Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them

Homemade tortillas are a taco night game-changer, and so so so fast and easy.

Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them

We make tacos with fresh, homemade tortillas constantly. They're a taco night game-changer, and so so so easy. You can make the dough in a heartbeat using masa harina, which is available tons of places. Once the dough is made (seriously, two minutes tops) you can keep it refrigerated for days and days. I'm including the basic recipe below, with a list of five favorite variations. A simple tortilla press makes quick/easy work (and is worth the small investment), but in a pinch I've also used a heavy cast iron skillet to press out the tortilla dough.


Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them

Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them

Keeping tortillas hot: I like to make the tortillas shortly before serving, but you can make them ahead of time, store them stacked in the refrigerator, and reheat just before serving. Wrap hot tortillas in a clean cloth kitchen towel or keep in a tortilla basket at the table.

Making Homemade Tortillas is Simple, plus Five Ways to Boost Them

Types of masa harina: There is quite a selection out there. There are some who swear by the Maseca brand (labelled "Instant Yellow Corn Masa Flour", which is powder fine, and lends a silky texture to your dough. But, on the organic front Bob's Red Mill is good. I find it slightly more coarse, with a need for a bit less water. I've also like blue masa and yellow organic masa by Gold Mine Natural Food Co., it's the coarsest of the bunch, needing even less water. Play around, and adjust the amount of water, bit by bit, until the dough is easy to handle, tender, and doesn't stick to your hands.

Be sure to make some guacamole, and keep some good salsa on hand for serving!

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Homemade Tortillas

3.67 from 12 votes

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. Combine the masa harina and water in a bowl and stir for a minute or so. Divide the dough in half, and each half into quarters - so you have four balls. Take one of the balls and make four smaller balls - sixteen balls total. One at a time, press each of these smaller balls in a tortilla press until flat. Then cook on a hot (preferably cast-iron skillet). When you see a bit of browning, blistering happening, flip and cook the other side. Cook as many as your pan will fit, remove, and keep warm by stacking and wrapping with a clean cloth until ready to serve.
  2. The dough will dry out quickly, so keep it covered until you're ready to press it out. Tightly wrap any unused dough and refrigerate for later use.

Turmeric & Hempseed Tortillas: Add 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric, and a pinch of crumbled saffron to the masa harina.

All Green Tortillas: Add 1 tablespoons green powder (spirulina, wheatgrass, crushed kale chips, etc.), 1/2 teaspoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons chopped chives to the masa harina.

Mushroom Paprika Tortillas: 1 tablespoon mushroom powder (I use porcini), 3 garlic cloves (smashed & chopped into paste), 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed.

Blue Corn & Black Pepper Tortillas: Use blue corn masa harina, and add 1/2 teaspoon+ freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons mixed sesame seeds.

Dragonfruit Cayenne: I use 3 tablespoons dragonfruit puree in place of some of the water, alternately, you can use beet juice. I like to counter the sweetness of both with 1/4 teaspoon+ ground cayenne.

Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
8 mins
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3.67 from 12 votes (12 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Great post & recipe! I was wondering if the cooked tortillas dry out – i.e. when you go back for your second or third (or fourth…who’s counting?) taco after the tortillas have been sitting on the table for a while, will they be brittle and crack when you fold or roll them? Thanks!


    You can just wrap them loosely in a clean kitchen cloth 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

Love this post and the unique varieties you came up with! I grew blue corn this year but unfortunately let it grow too large (and therefore hard) before picking it 🙁

Lindsey@Chapi's Kitchen

My mum went to Mexico for two weeks and all I asked for was a tortilla press. Apparently that was too hard! And I can’t find anywhere in London to buy one.

Sarah Moore

I love making my own tortillas so having the recipes for these flavored ones will be fun! Also are you using cling wrap with your tortilla press or some other type of plastic? I also found cling wrap too “sticky”.

HS: Hi Monica – try cutting a quart-sized Ziploc bag open. The plastic os more substantial. 🙂


and the colors are so beautiful
have you ever tried to make a tortilla from cauliflower? i am on an auyrvedic cleanse and have been craving tacos. and was going to try to see if i could make an auyrvedic version.

Lauren Spencer King

I love these videos — from the intro to watching your hands work to the music & editing – all easy and fun and charming (and never friggin’ twee or trying-too-hard). so glad you started doing these.

HS: Thanks for the feedback Flo! They’re fun to make, glad you’re enjoying them 🙂


Gorgeous! Love all of the colors and varieties. Can’t wait to try. Bet this idea would transform tamales too. Thanks Heidi! xox

HS: A big YES to that Leah. 🙂

Leah Gauthier

Nice recipe!! What do you eat yours with? Would love to have different fillings of toppings for a dinner party with friends..

HS: Hi Eva – I was actually considering writing a post about all the different fillings I do. On the list!


I hate to be a party pooper, but I grew up in Texas and have eaten more than my share of corn tortillas. I still remember the BEST ones from a little restaurant, sadly now closed. Today’s versions are nowhere close to the taste of those tortillas. You could smell them when you walked in the door. I have bought every masa available and followed the directions to a T. They always taste like cardboard. A Mexican lady told me to put in a smidgen of lard. I am going to try that next…

sandra lane

Hi Heidi! Do you have any recommendations for a tortilla press? We bought one once and it broke, so I am a little shy of them! But I think it might be faster than forming by hand or even rolling. Thanks so much for this colorful idea for tortillas made at home!

HS: Hi Teri – I’ve had the same “Tortilladora” press for a decade or more, I don’t think it cost more than a few dollars…Or, I’ve had my eye on a few of the wood ones.


Great variations! I make the basic a lot and also cut them up and pan fry strips and/or chips. I am a Maseca fan and think it has great corn flavor. I use the Maseca Masa in all recipes that call for corn meal and find that it works fine for me. I also use it for a binder in fritters and meatballs (veg, bean or actual meat). I like the taste as well as it seems to do very well as a binder. If I think the corn taste will be too much, I will sub 1/2 masa and 1/2 bread crumbs.


Heidi, ingenious tortilla variation. Unfortunately, I have yet to find organic, non GMO mesa harina anywhere. Consuming corn of which 85% grown is listed as a pesticide would not make tortilla’s worth it for our family 🙁

HS: Hi Ame – have a look at the organic masa harina from Bob’s Red Mill – my understanding is that they source exclusively from non-GMO suppliers.

ame rica

This latest blog post is awesome! I have a tortilla press just like yours so I am good to go for that. Can you tell me the approximate diameter of your tortillas? Also, when you make the flavored dough, are you seasoning the entire batch or just a small portion?

HS: Hi Kelsey – I season the entire batch. Have fun!

Kelsey Lane

As a mexican who has eaten tortillas every single day of his life, I love the twist you gave to this, I LOVE it!

Martin Damian

This is amazing! I used to make tortillas when I was a kid with the Maseca but have been sort of intimidated by finding an organic option I can work with. This is just the inspiration I need to push myself over the edge 🙂
Also – loving the flurry of posts! I’m sure it would be hard to keep up permanently but it’s such a welcome influx, like a little festival of recipes!

Shannon Murphy

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