Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas

Easy as Pie and So Much Better Than Store-Bought

by Holly Madrigal

It is so rewarding to make your own tortillas at home. And the process (if you invest in a $20 tortilla press) is super easy and fun. Making tortillas is the perfect process to bring the family together to craft a meal. Watch pride bloom on children's faces as they make these delicious food-holders with their very own hands.
If you are thinking about tacos or quesadillas for dinner, make the tortilla dough first so it can rest 40 minutes while you prep the filling (beans, ground beef, or cheese) and toppings. When the fillings are ready, begin cooking the tortillas, because once started, the tortilla-making goes quickly. Most people want to eat them right away.

Salvio Senerchia (age 8) and his mom, Spring, demonstrated their tortilla making skills recently when I joined their family for supper. Salvio deftly pressed each disc, peeled it off and laid it on the griddle, watching carefully as it cooked. Using a spatula, he flipped and then removed each tortilla into a cloth-lined basket. Wrapping the cloth closed ensures that the tortillas continue to steam while you finish cooking the rest, Spring explains.

The kitchen activity drew other family members into the mix, as Sylvana (age 12) finished up crafting her own perfect rounds. Mine occasionally rumpled as I added them to the griddle, but they tasted just as good. As we sat down at the dinner table, we marveled at the ease of creating this simple, flavorful meal. The tortillas were perfectly toothsome yet soft, the toppings escaping to drip onto our hands. Extra tortillas were ready to scoop up every last morsel. Making your own tortillas almost takes less time than reheating store bought ones, but you can be certain that they contain pure ingredients, and the process is way more satisfying.

Homemade Tortillas


  • 3 c masa, available in most groceries

  • 2 c water, more if needed

  • 1 T olive oil

  • Tortilla press

  • Plastic produce bag cut down the sides to lie flat, or heavy duty plastic wrap

Mix masa, water and olive oil. Add more water if needed, scraping down the sides of the bowl until just combined and the batter is the texture of biscuit dough. Let rest for 40 minutes. Roll into 1-½“ balls.

Heat the griddle until hot then lower to medium.

Take the tortilla press, lay half the plastic open across the press, place a ball of dough in the center, fold over the other half of plastic, close the tortilla press, and apply pressure until dough is flat. Remove the flattened tortilla from the plastic and place on the griddle. Flip once and cook until just before browning. Remove from heat to a cloth-lined basket, wrap and cover as you work. The tortillas will continue to steam in the cloth wrapping until you are ready to eat.