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How to Make Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are easy to make at home and only require two simple ingredients. You can use your homemade corn tortillas for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, taquitos, and more.

homemade corn tortillas on a purple plate

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Homemade corn tortillas are delicious and easy to make. They are also naturally vegan and gluten free.

When fresh, they are much better than anything you can buy in the store. This easy step-by-step guide will you how to make corn tortillas from scratch in just a few easy steps.

corn tortillas on a plate with tortilla press in the background

What ingredients do you need to make corn tortillas from scratch?

The beauty of this recipe for homemade corn tortillas is that it only requires two ingredients: masa harina and warm water. Salt is optional for seasoning.

Do you need a tortilla press to make tortillas?

No! Having a tortilla press certainly makes the process easier, but it is not essential at all.

You can always use a rolling pin to roll out the tortillas instead. I like to put the dough balls between two pieces of parchment paper to roll them out.

If you want to buy a tortilla press, you can get one for less than $20. I love my cast-iron tortilla press, but you can also find plastic ones that work perfectly well.

bag of maseca masa harina

What is masa harina?

Masa harina is corn flour or cornmeal that is made from corn that has first been soaked in a lime (calcium hydroxide) solution. The corn is then thoroughly rinsed, dried, and finely ground.  

You can buy masa harina at any Mexican grocery store as well as at many supermarkets. You’ll usually find it in the baking aisle alongside all-purpose flour and regular cornmeal.

If you can’t find masa harina where you live, you can order it online here.

mixing masa harina and water

How to make corn tortillas

The process of making corn tortillas is much easier than you might imagine.

  1. Mix masa harina with warm water and, if you want, salt until it forms a soft dough.
  2. Form the dough into golf ball-size balls.
  3. Using a tortilla press or rolling pin, flatten the balls into thin disks.
  4. Cook the tortillas on a very hot pan, ideally a cast-iron skillet or griddle.
ball of corn tortilla dough in a hand

Tips for making corn tortillas

  • The moisture of your dough will vary based on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments. If your masa dough is too wet, sprinkle in a bit more masa harina, a teaspoon or two at a time. If it is too dry, add more water a teaspoon at a time.
  • Use a tortilla press to flatten your tortillas if you have one.
  • If you don’t have a tortilla press, use a rolling pin to roll your dough balls out.
  • Make a whole bunch of tortillas at once and store them in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  • You can store the balls of dough in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator, or flatten the balls and put sheets of parchment paper or wax paper in between the uncooked tortillas and then and store them in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. The uncooked dough will last in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • To reheat the tortillas, wrap them in a slightly damp dishtowel and microwave them for about 1 minute.
  • To keep tortillas warm at the table, you can put them in a tortilla warmer or simply wrap them in a clean dishtowel or cloth napkin.

How to use homemade corn tortillas

You can use your corn tortillas to make Fish Tacos, Chicken Enchiladas, or Tortilla Soup. They’re great for wrapping up Camarones a la Diabla, too! They are also great for making tostadas and taquitos.

corn tortilla in hand
Yield: 15 to 20 tortillas

Corn Tortillas

corn tortilla in hand
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the masa harina, water, and salt, if using. Once the water is fully mixed into the masa harina, use your hands to mix it into a soft dough.
  2. With your hands, form the dough into golf ball-size balls. You should get between 15 and 20 balls.
  3. Use a tortilla press or a rolling pin to shape the balls into flat tortillas.
  4. Heat a skillet or griddle (ideally cast iron) until it is very hot. Cook the tortillas for about 2 minutes per side, until they are dry and begin to brown in spots.
  5. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 52Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 68mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 1g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.


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pinterest pin for corn tortillas
By on March 28th, 2020

About Robin Donovan

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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