How To Make Corn Tortillas From Scratch

4.57 from 16 votes

Until a few years ago, I would have told you how much I hated corn tortillas. Those cardboard disks they sell in supermarkets, so bland, tasteless and rubbery were not my bag.

I wondered, to myself, how anyone could pick those during the “corn or flour” debate. Really, corn? What am I missing?

It turns out that homemade corn tortillas, with their seductive softness and slightly sweet flavor (don’t even get me started on the amazing smell) changed my taco-making life.

Like the difference between baloney and Filet Mignon, homemade corn tortillas are an entirely different beast. Once I made my own from scratch, I was shocked – shocked I tell you! – at how much I’d been missing out on.

How is it that no one told me that it only takes a few minutes to throw these together and they are somewhere around a billion times better than the crap in stores? Seriously friends, what the hell?

Like the revelation of discovering how insanely brainless it is to make homemade whipped cream, I’ll never go back to store-bought.  Plus, it’s about 3 cents per tortilla, gluten-free and vegan, making it a perfect choice for a large get together when who knows what kind of food aversion people will have.

Look how accommodating you are, AND you make your own tortillas?!

They’ll never know.

You need a few supplies, but don’t worry, you’ve got this.

  1. Tortillas press. You can buy one online, at Mexican markets or you can fashion your own.  I have this aluminum one, and my Mexican friends tend to prefer this wood one.

(I have also heard that you can use two very heavy books wrapped in plastic wrap or try your hand with a rolling pin and some parchment paper. )

  1. Masa, also called Masa Harina, which most stores sell in the “ethnic foods” aisle, or you can buy online.
  2. Water, salt and a bowl.
  3. Griddle or cast iron skillet.

That’s it. Not too bad, right?

4.57 from 16 votes

How to Make Corn Tortillas

By: Jackie Dodd
It turns out that homemade corn tortillas, with their seductive softness and slightly sweet flavor (don’t even get me started on the amazing smell) changed my taco-making life.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 servings


  • 1 cup Masa
  • pinch salt
  • ¾ cup water, I’ve also used beer, which turns out great as well


  • In a large bowl, add the Masa and the salt, stir to combine.
  • Add the water and stir to combine. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional water. If it is too wet, add more Masa.
  • Form into balls a bit larger than golf balls.
  • Prepare a tortillas press by wrapping in plastic wrap or covering with parchment paper. Place one ball in the center.
  • Press, rotate and press again until thin.
  • Heat a griddle (or cast iron skillet) to a medium high heat (about 350 for electric griddles).
  • Cook until slightly brown on the bottom (about 30 seconds to a minute) flip and cook on the other side. Don’t overcook.
  • Serve warm, impress your friends.


Calories: 138kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 99mg, Fiber: 2g, Vitamin A: 80IU, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 2.8mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

How to make corn tortillas from scratch

About the Author

The Craft Beer Bites CookbookJackie Dodd’s beer-infused recipes earned her a spot as a finalist for Saveur Magazines Best Original Recipes, 2014 as well as crowned winner for Best Beer Coverage in 2015 (yes, craft beer is unprocessed). The Beeroness was also a finalist for Better Homes and Gardens Best Food Blogs, 2015. She has been seen on The Today Show, Lifetime Network, CBS News, as well as interviewed in print publications such as Imbibe, Bite and The San Francisco Chronicle. She also writes for Parade Magazine, Draft Magazine and Whisk Magazine. Jackie is the author of The Craft Beer Cookbook and The Craft Beer Bites Cookbook, and you can connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

A photo of Andrew Wilder leaning into the frame and smiling, hovering over mixing bowls in the kitchen.

Welcome to Eating Rules!

Hi! My name is Andrew Wilder, and I think healthy eating doesn’t have to suck. With just three simple eating rules, we'll kickstart your journey into the delicious and vibrant world of unprocessed food.

You May Also Like:

Notify of
Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
October 2, 2012 10:48 am

I am definitely going to try ‘my hand’ making these. Thanks.

October 2, 2012 10:28 am

Can you freeze them after making??

Reply to  Kim
October 2, 2012 1:42 pm

5 stars
I have frozen them successfully.

October 2, 2012 10:27 am

So excited! My life will be easier now! Masa? What is it? Corn? No GMO I am assuming… Sorry, I am so learning!!! 🙂

Reply to  Kim
October 2, 2012 11:05 am

Yep, it’s basically a very fine corn flour. Organic, labeled non-GMO, or Bob’s Red Mill brand are all going to be non-genetically modified. (I’m told that none of Bob’s products contain GMOs).

Nicole M
Reply to  Andrew
October 2, 2012 3:05 pm

To make masa harina, corn is boiled and soaked in an alkali solution to remove the hulls the same way the hominy is made. After it is rinsed, it is ground into a dough or masa. The dough is then dried and ground into a flour.

October 2, 2012 10:02 am

Great post! I love making my own tortillas too! Although I must say, my rolling pin process is quite laborious. You’ve inspired me to invest in a tortilla press!

October 2, 2012 10:00 am

I’m thinking of making 5000 of these and breezing right through Unprocessed October….just made my life easier!!

Chef Kirsten
October 2, 2012 8:37 am

Oh so delicious! Making homemade corn tortillas – my kids’ favorite kitchen activity! So easy too – love’em! We like to cook them a bit extra crispy and drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Great post, definitely sharing!

Nicole M
October 2, 2012 7:20 am

There really is no going back after making your own corn tortillas. I never got around to buying a tortilla press though. I just line my counter with wax paper, space out the balls of masa, put another sheet of wax paper over them, and smash them with a flat bottomed casserole dish.

October 2, 2012 6:46 am

This is such a great idea and looks super easy. Why have I never even considered it before??

October 2, 2012 6:17 am

I can’t wait to try and make these!

October 2, 2012 3:22 am

I haven’t made corn tortillas before, but I frequently make flour tortillas, and they are loads better than what you can find in the store. I would like to get a tortilla press, but for now I just use a plain old rolling pin 🙂

Reply to  Heather
October 2, 2012 2:18 pm

me too!

Reply to  Heather
October 4, 2012 10:31 pm

I use my rolling pin and a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag cut open. The thicker plastic peels off better, I think. Homemade tortillas are soooo much better!

1 2 3 5