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Homemade Corn Tortillas

  • Serves: 18
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 47
Homemade corn tortillas wrapped in a towel

Homemade corn tortillas are easier than you think. With just three ingredients, the best, freshest tortilla ever is just a few simple steps away.

Nothing More and Nothing Less Than the Best 3-Ingredient Corn Tortilla Recipe, Ever.

Fresh, homemade corn tortillas are unbelievably easy to make! They only have three ingredients (one of which is water, which barely counts), they’re fun to make (enlist the little people for this one!), and they’re even inherently vegan and gluten-free. Best of all? Homemade corn tortillas make the best tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas you have ever had in your life, if you can wait long enough to make something out of them and not eat them all straight out of the pan. Soft, foldable and warm from the skillet, homemade corn tortillas are a simple indulgence you can make anytime you want.

Homemade corn tortillas on a linen towel

Corn Tortilla Ingredients

Among the many reasons to make your own corn tortillas, knowing exactly what's in your food is high on the list. Store-bought, shelf-stable tortillas aren’t just not as delicious as freshly made corn tortillas (though they’re that, too) store-bought tortillas necessarily have preservatives in them added to help them last longer on the shelf. When you make corn tortillas at home, you can keep the ingredients super simple, resulting in the best taco ever AND in a slightly healthier tortilla, too! Plus, if dietary concerns are at play, homemade tortillas are always the safest choice (and we’ll talk more about that later). Here’s all you’ll need to make our corn tortilla recipe:

  • Masa harina. Masa harina is a flour made from nixtamalized corn, which is corn that has been soaked in limewater (or sometimes another alkaline solution). It’s very fine—don’t confuse it with cornmeal!—and it comes in white, yellow and even blue varieties, depending on the type of corn used to make it.

  • Warm water. It doesn’t have to be hot, but at least room temperature and definitely not cold.

  • Fine sea salt

a bag of masa
A bowl of masa and water for homemade corn tortillas
masa and water mixed together in a bowl for homemade corn tortillas
dough for homemade corn tortillas in a bowl

How to Make Corn Tortilla Dough

Did we mention that making corn tortillas at home is easy? Yeah, it’s probably the easiest dough you’ll ever mix up! Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Mix the dough! Use your hands to mix the masa harina, warm water and salt.

  2. Let it sit. The corn tortilla dough is ready when it’s about the consistency of playdough. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let the dough sit for ten minutes.

  3. Roll the dough! Working with about two tablespoons at a time, roll the dough into even balls. Line them up on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel so they don’t dry out.

dough rolled in balls on a baking sheet for corn tortillas
tortilla press with parchment paper and corn tortilla dough
hand pressing homemade corn tortillas in a tortilla press
tortilla press with parchment paper and fresh corn tortilla

How to Cook Corn Tortillas

Yes, we use a tortilla press to make these. Yes, it’s the absolute best way to make corn tortillas at home. But! If you don’t have a tortilla press, we don’t want that to stop you from trying our homemade corn tortilla recipe because they’re just so good. So, if you don’t have one and aren’t ready to buy one quite yet, just place a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and press it down into a tortilla using the bottom of a heavy, flat-bottomed skillet. It’s not going to yield tortillas that are quite as perfect and thin as those you’d press with a tortilla press, but it’ll work in a pinch! So, back to the how-to! You’ve made the dough, now it’s time to cook these corn tortillas. Here’s how:

  1. Heat. Heat a dry skillet over high heat.

  2. Press. Press the tortilla dough ball flat in a tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper.

  3. Cook! Cook the pressed dough in the hot skillet for 30 seconds on each side.

fresh homemade corn tortilla cooked in a cast iron skillet

All of Your Most Pressing (Ha) Corn Tortilla Questions, Answered.

  • Are corn tortillas vegan? Our corn tortilla recipe yields vegan tortillas, but you should always always check the ingredients on store-bought ones if you need your tortillas to be vegan.

  • Are corn tortillas gluten free? Yes, our corn tortilla recipe is gluten free! If you’ll be serving these to someone with a severe gluten allergy, you’ll want to be double double sure by buying masa harina that has a gluten-free certification. Even high-quality masa harinas, like this one from Bob’s Red Mill, are not always “certified” gluten-free, because they’re processed in a building that processes flours that do contain gluten. As with the question about whether or not they’re vegan, if you’re eating store-bought tortillas, it’s always best to check the ingredients.

  • How to store corn tortillas? Once all the corn tortillas are cooked, store them in a zipper top bag, or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Wrapped up like that, you’ll be able to keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

  • Corn vs flour tortillas and how to know when to use which. In our many, many taco recipes, we often call for specifically either flour or corn tortillas. But we’ll let you in on a little secret—you can actually use whatever kind of tortilla you prefer! Swap these homemade corn tortillas in for the flour tortillas we call for in our jerk chicken taco recipe and you’ll be a happy camper. There’s no wrong way to enjoy these—just make them and eat ‘em up, loaded with whatever makes you happy.

Homemade corn tortillas in a linen

What to Make With Corn Tortillas

In addition to making every taco recipe we’ve ever shared (and we’ve shared a lot of them!) taste extra delicious, these corn tortillas are excellent in these four quick and easy recipes:

Tools You’ll Need

Homemade corn tortillas wrapped in a towel

How Did You Use Your Tortillas?

We’d love to know! They’re so good, there’s really no wrong answer! Even if you made them and immediately gobbled them up (been there). Try the recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

Homemade Corn Tortillas

  • Serves: 18
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Calories: 47

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Masa flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm water
  • 1/4 tsp Fine sea salt

Method

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, water and salt. Using your hands, mix together ingredients until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Dough should be a similar consistency to playdough. If it's too dry, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover with a damp towel and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Using your hands, form balls the size of golf balls, about 2 tablespoons each, about 18 tortillas total. Arrange formed balls on a baking sheet and cover with a damp cloth to avoid drying them out.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle to high heat. Once the skillet is smoking, working with one ball at a time, press the tortilla flat in a tortilla press between two pieces of parchment paper. Carefully peel the tortilla off the parchment and cook in the skillet for 30 seconds on each side. Cover the tortillas with a cloth napkin to keep warm and soft. Continue steps with remaining tortillas

    How to store tortillas: Once cooked, store tortillas in a ziptop bag, or tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 47
  • Protein 1 g
  • Carbohydrates 10 g
  • Total Fat 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • sodium 32 mg
  • Total Sugars 0 g

Homemade Corn Tortillas

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