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Homemade Corn Tortillas (Gluten Free) ~ & the Best Tortilla Press

These corn tortillas are naturally gluten free, simple to make and only require 3 ingredients.  These homemade tortillas are made with masa flour, mixed by hand in just a few mins, and pressed in an authentic wooden tortilla press. 

They are soft, pliable, and taste amazing!

These are nothing like store bought tortillas, they taste just like you get in Mexico.

corn tortillas on a plate with tacos behind

This recipe for corn tortillas is so stinkin easy, and I have to say that they are absolutely fantastic!  These tortillas are just as pliable and soft as any flour tortilla and they have just great flavor!

My daughter and my husband both tried them and said they tasted great.  No complaints whatsoever and that’s something!  We ate them with the Pulled Pork Tacos we posted recently.

Best Corn Flour for Tortillas

You can’t use just any corn flour for these tortillas if you want them to turn out right.  You must use a masa harina corn flour.  Trust me, I’ve tried a few and all corn flours are not created equal!

What is Masa Harina?

Its finely ground corn flour. Before grinding, the corn is soaked in calcium hydroxide or lime which releases the niacin in the corn to make it more nutritious and easier to digest.

I’m not sure if that also makes it the best for soft pliable corn tortillas, but it is the best!

Where to buy Masa Harina

You can find it in a Mexican grocery store, if you have one close by you, but sometimes they have it in the bigger grocery stores too.

We used this one, and I got it from a little Mexican grocer in Burnaby, BC, but that link takes you to where you can buy it on Amazon. Bob’s Red Mill has a good one too.

Are Corn Tortillas Gluten Free?

Yes!  Corn is naturally gluten free, however if you are celiac or very sensitive to gluten, you might want to make sure the masa harina comes from a gluten free processing plant because there is a chance of cross contamination with gluten other wise.

making the dough for homemade tortillas
making the dough for homemade tortillas

How to Make Homemade Corn Tortillas

  1. First mix the salt with the corn flour.  Then add half of the warm water and mix it around with your hand.
  2. Add a little more water as you go if you need to until the mixture forms a soft ball of dough.   Roll the dough into balls about golf ball size.
  3. It’s best to let the dough balls rest for 15 mins or so, but you can also use them right away.   I have also left them in the fridge overnight, but if you do this, cover them with a damp towel so they don’t dry out.  Mine were totally fine after a night in the fridge.

Corn tortilla dough is very forgiving. If it gets a little dry, add a touch more water. If its too wet, add a touch more flour. You want it to be moist, but not sticky.

little balls of dough ready to make homemade tortillas

How to Press Tortillas

Pressing tortillas is way easier than rolling them, although you can do that too. There are a number of ways to do this (see below) but the basics are:

  • Press the balls of dough between two pieces of parchment paper so they don’t stick to the press and they are easy to peel off. 
  • cook the tortillas right away as you press them or make sure to keep them under a damp towel so they don’t dry out as you press the rest.

The Best Tortilla Press

This tortilla press has a story behind it.  Debbie and I were in a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta and we saw a woman making tortillas in a big huge wooden press.  They came out perfect!

We searched high and low for a wooden tortilla press in Puerto Vallarta and eventually on the last day, Debbie and Mark found one!   We were pretty surprised how hard it was to find.

I have tried those aluminum tortilla presses that are easy to find and for some reason they just don’t work.  Maybe I haven’t tried the right one, but anyways…

This tortilla press rocks!

We realize that it might be tough for  you to get to Mexico to get one for yourself, but we found a very similar wooden tortilla press  on Amazon and it looks like it works just the same.  We recommend getting one if you like to make homemade tortillas in your house.

How to Make Tortillas Without a Press

Now this might not be an actual press, but its cheap and easy!  Place the dough balls between two large and heavy books and press them together. Or use a heavy skillet!

Simple as that!

I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be perfect, but I’m pretty sure that in a pinch, it will work just fine.  Maybe better than fine!

Of course you can always roll them out with a rolling pin too.  Or maybe press them between books and then roll a bit as well to finish.

pressing homemade tortillas in a tortilla press

How to Cook Tortillas

  1. When you are ready to cook them, turn a skillet on to medium or medium-high heat.
  2. Cook them in the hot pan until they start to puff up. This will only take about 30 – 45 seconds on each side.  Flip them and cook the other side.
  3. Serve them right away or keep them in a stack under a very slightly damp towel.

A couple tips:

  • The best skillet to use is a cast iron skillet. They get nice and hot and the corn tortillas won’t stick.
  • They will feel stiff when they first come out of the pan, but they will soften up quickly and get pliable in a couple mins.
  • If you make them ahead of time, you can heat them up with a quick toss in a hot pan before serving.
homemade tortillas on a plate

How to Store Corn Tortillas

If you make more tortillas than you eat, the best way to store them is wrapped in a towel and placed in a tuperware container in the fridge. They will get hard in the fridge, but when you want to use them again, just give them a couple seconds in a hot skillet again and they will taste great.

Can You Freeze Tortillas?

Yup, you sure can.  There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Freeze the balls of dough and then thaw, press and cook them when  you are ready.  If you do this, freeze them separated on a tray before putting them in a container.  Otherwise they will stick.
  2. Press or roll the tortillas and then freeze them with a piece of parchment paper between them.  Thaw and cook before serving.
  3. Fully cook the corn tortillas and freeze them after.  It would be best to place a piece of parchment between them so they don’t stick together.  Thaw them and cook for just a few seconds in a really hot pan to liven them back up.

We recommend either going with #2 or #3.  #2 is the best option though.

Recipes to Use Your Tortillas

As you can see we love our tacos!  And fresh salsas and condiments too.  We hope you love them as much as we do.  Happy tortilla making!

If you’ve tried this homemade corn tortilla recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you!

We love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

Homemade Corn Tortillas (Gluten Free)

Homemade tortillas that are naturally gluten free, simple to make and only require 3 ingredients.  These corn tortillas are made with masa flour, mixed by hand in just a few mins, and pressed in an authentic wooden tortilla press.  They are soft, pliable, and taste amazing!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: corn tortillas, homemade tortillas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
resting time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 14 tortillas
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • Combine the flour and salt and mix with your fingers.   Add the warm water, starting with 3/4 cup and mix well and continue to add water until a soft, round ball of dough is formed.
  • Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls.  Cover and set aside to rest for 30 mins or so.  
  • Heat a pan to medium heat.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll into a round disk about 1/8 inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter or to your preference.  OR.. use a tortilla press and press each ball between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper. 
  • Fry one at a time on a hot griddle (no oil) until the surface starts to bubble. Turn only once, the first side should have tiny brown flecks. They hardly take any time at all so be careful not to cook them too long or they will get harder than they should be.
  • Keep warm in a tortilla keeper or wrapped in a cloth until served.


Keep the extra in the fridge for later. Mine kept great for a week! They will feel a little stiff when you take them out of the fridge, but just throw them in a hot pan for a second on both sides and they will become pliable again. You could microwave them too if you like.


Serving: 1tortillas | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fiber: 1g

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    1. Yes! Because for nice, soft corn tortillas, you need a special kind of corn flour and that is pretty hard to find in BC, Canada. Plus, not everyone likes corn tortillas.

    1. Im not sure what you mean. Can you be more specific? Do you mean a rolling tool or an ingredient?

  1. Hey Julie and Debbie,
    that recipe is fantastic and the pictures are wonderfully descriptive! I always wanted to make my own tortillas but never really followed through! I have to use two books to press them since I don’t have such a cool tortilla pressing tool! Have you ever tried to do it with two books or was that more an idea?

    Thanks for sharing, it really looks like fun,

    Ginger by Choice I food & lifestyle blog

    1. Thank you so much! Yes! You could totally use two books. In fact I think that would work better than many of those aluminum tortilla presses you can get at stores. Those have NEVER worked for me but two books would be great. You will have to give it a shot!

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