Easy Handmade Corn Tortillas

TortillasKick your Taco Tuesday up a notch and make these Handmade Corn Tortillas! I made them for the first time for our recent Margaritaville Gr8 Dinner. Using the recipe below, we made the balls smaller so that the tortillas would be about 3″ each; the perfect size for taco appetizers. Making them 2 days prior to the party and keeping them in the refrigerator was a huge help when organizing time.Tortillas-in-towel

The masa harina can be found at your local grocery store or Latin American market. It is like buying a bag of flour, so you will have it on hand and can easily add 3 more ingredients and have fresh tortillas anytime!Tortillas-masa You really don’t need a tortilla press if you have a rolling pin or two cutting boards.  Pull out your cast iron skillet and in minutes you’ll have fresh homemade corn tortillas!  Enjoy!Tortillas-skillet

Print Recipe
4 from 1 vote

Adapted from a Sur La Table recipe.
Servings: 12 5 to 6-inch tortillas


  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina,, and more for dusting
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons melted lard, butter, or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water and more if needed


  • In a medium bowl, mix the masa, salt and melted lard, butter or vegetable oil together with your fingers or a whisk.
  • Slowly pour the water into the masa mix while stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough becomes a ball.
  • Turn the dough out onto your work surface that is lightly floured with some masa harina.
  • Knead the dough for about 1 minute until smooth and no longer sticky. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of water to moisten. If the dough is too sticky, add a bit more masa until the dough is easy enough to form a ball in your hand.
  • Divide the dough into 12 (1 ounce) portions and hand form each into a smooth ball. Make the balls smaller if you want small tortillas.
  • Place them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic and let them rest for thirty minutes. (If you are in a hurry, you can skip this step. Letting it rest gives the dough an opportunity to absorb the water.)
  • After the dough has rested, preheat a cast iron skillet or any high heat tolerant skillet over medium-high for five minutes, then reduce heat to medium.
  • Place dough ball between two pieces of plastic wrap and press in a tortilla press. I don’t have a press so I laid the the dough in the plastic wrap between two small wooden cutting boards and pressed down as evenly as I could. Press until the tortilla is about 1/8″ thick.
  • Peel away the plastic carefully while holding the tortilla flat in your palm and transfer into the hot skillet.
  • Cook the tortillas until you see brown spots appear (about 1 minute) and then flip with a thin metal spatula, and do the same on the other side.
  • Transfer the cooked tortillas to a baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel to trap the heat and moisture.
  • Serve immediately or let cool and store according to the Gr8 Tip below.


Gr8 Do-Ahead Tip:

The tortillas can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. When time to serve, wrap in foil and reheat the tortillas in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes or wrap in a slightly dampened kitchen towel or paper towel and reheat in the microwave in 30 second increments until warm.
Adapted from a Sur La Table recipe.
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  1. Kyle | 7th Aug 16

    Hi Lon, We usually grill fish after rubbing it with olive oil and salt and pepper. Sometimes for fish tacos I’ll lightly dust the fish with flour and spices (any that you like) and fry in a bit of olive oil in a skillet. Enjoy!

  2. Claudia Kerns | 5th Aug 16

    This is great!! It looks like you made fish tacos. Our favorite! Can you share how you made the fish for your tacos?

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