Homemade Tortillas: How To Make Tortillas At Home!
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We all love a tasty wrap or burrito, but did you know you can make homemade tortillas, that have none of the additives and preservatives of shop bought tortillas?
It’s true! What’s more, my recipe doesn’t even require a tortilla press – just a few simple ingredients, a rolling pin and a pan!
Homemade flour tortillas are simple to master and a great recipe to have on hand. All you need is whole grain flour, olive oil, salt and water – a cheap, healthy list of ingredients.
Compare that to the long ingredient list of shop bought tortillas which usually include emulsifiers, sugar and preservatives. I think we have a winner, right?
What’s more it takes only 15 minutes to whip up a fresh batch, as there is no need to let the dough rest before cooking.
Why not use these homemade tortillas to whip up a breakfast burrito, some veggie tacos, or a crispy tortilla pizza!
Whole wheat flour
I use whole wheat flour because it is healthier than refined white flour.
It is higher in fibre and more nutritious, due to the fact that it does not undergo the refining process that strips the most nutritious parts of the wheat away.
Make sure you choose plain / all purpose flour, because you don’t want the raising agents that are found in self-raising flour.
This goes the same if you decide to use white flour instead of wholegrain flour (which yep, you can do, and it’ll be a tasty tortilla!)
Olive oil is a healthy unsaturated fat, which is why I think it is usually the best choice of oil! Tortillas are traditionally made using lard, which is an unhealthy saturated fat, hence why we swapped it out for olive oil.
If you don’t have olive oil to hand, you are welcome to use vegetable oil or sunflower oil instead!
A sprinkling of salt enriches the flavor of the tortillas.
How many calories in these homemade tortillas?
This recipe contains 190 calories per tortilla, and it contains 5g protein per serving.
These bad boys are totally vegan too!
Health benefits of homemade tortillas
My choice of flour and fats make these tortillas as healthy as they can be!
Whole grain flour is made by grinding down whole wheat kernels into powder, whereas to make white flour, the kernels are first stripped of the bran and germ, before being ground!
The bran and germ are the most nutritious parts of the wheat kernel, which means that whole wheat flour contains considerably more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals than white flour.
Therefore, these homemade tortillas are a good source of iron, potassium, calcium and various b vitamins, all contained in whole wheat flour.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest sources of fat. It is a mono-unsaturated fat which contains plenty of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids as well as oleic acid.
Omega fatty acids are vital for cell production and oleic acid helps to support your immune system.
How to make the best flour tortillas
The key to tortilla making is really in the rolling and the cooking. After you have mixed your ingredients in a large bowl, you’ll need to split the ball of dough into 4 pieces and prepare a lightly floured work surface.
- Rolling: Take the first piece, shape it into a ball then press down on it with your hands until it is fairly flat. Start rolling the dough into a flat circle on your lightly floured surface, going a little at a time, and spinning the dough between rolls so you can get thin tortillas without breaking the dough. Sprinkle more flour on the dough and the surface as you need it! Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cooking: The best tortillas are cooked quickly and at a high heat, keeping them soft. So heat that cast-iron skillet up hot, toss your first tortilla on, cook for 15-20 seconds, up to 30 on each side, looking for the golden brown spots which indicate it is cooked but not burnt.
Eat the warm tortillas fresh with your favorite toppings/fillings/accompaniment.
If you have questions about making tortillas at home, hopefully I have answered them here! Any other questions? Just give me a shout in the comments!
Can I make them ahead?
You can make the tortilla dough ahead of time and store it in plastic wrap in your refrigerator for a couple of days. Don’t leave it for a long time or it may dry out. I wouldn’t recommend cooking the tortillas ahead of time too often though as they can become tough and dry. Fresh tortillas are always best!
How to store and reheat?
Store the dough in plastic wrap in the fridge for a few days and take it out when you are ready to cook the tortillas. I wouldn’t really recommend storing and reheating cooked tortillas though, as they lose their soft supple texture quite quickly.
Are homemade tortillas worth it?
Yes! They are healthier and fresher than shop bought tortillas, not to mention cheaper!
Why do my homemade tortillas come out hard?
You are probably over-cooking them. The key to cooking soft tortillas is to cook them quickly in a hot skillet. They shouldn’t need more than 30 seconds on each side for brown spots to appear which signal they are cooked.
Is it better to use butter or oil for tortillas?
Oil is healthier, although traditional recipes use butter or lard. All options work, but I would say olive oil is better because it is healthier.
What is the best way to make tortillas?
Make a simple dough of flour, olive oil and salt. Roll into a smooth ball and divide dough into equal pieces. Carefully roll each piece into flat discs, spinning the dough between each roll to ensure it doesn’t stick to your rolling surface or split.
Cook the tortillas at a high heat in a large frying pan with no oil for no more than 30 seconds each side.
What to serve with homemade tortillas?
Lots of Mexican food uses tortillas. Why not try making burritos, tacos, huevos rancheros or enchiladas with your fresh tortillas? Or any of your favorite wraps!
Homemade tortillas – variations and alternatives
You can use white flour for this if you can’t access whole wheat flour. You can also use vegetable oil, sunflower oil or any other type of liquid oil, instead of olive oil.
If you want to make corn tortillas, which are gluten-free, you can replace the wheat flour with ‘masa harina’. Be sure not to buy standard cornmeal or cornflour, as this is not the same as masa harina and does not work for making tortillas.
More recipes that use tortillas
I have so many great recipes that you could use these homemade tortillas in!
In the wrap department, there’s this tangy veggie wrap, a smashing breakfast egg burrito, a cottage cheese and pineapple breakfast burrito, a chickpea wrap to die for and these lush sweet potato burritos.
You should also try our lentil tacos and easy veggie quesadillas!
- 1 cup wholegrain flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- Salt to taste
- A little extra flour for sprinkling
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (not the flour for sprinkling of course) using a spoon or fork. It shouldn't take more than a minute or so.1 cup wholegrain flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, ¼ cup water, Salt to taste
- If the dough is too dry add a little more water.
- When you’ve got a big lump of smooth dough, split it into four balls (super important: put some flour on your hands if the dough is too sticky).
- Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface and place the first ball on it.A little extra flour for sprinkling
- Press down on the ball with your hands, turn it around and press again until the dough is fairly flat. Again, if the dough gets a little too sticky at any point, sprinkle more flour on it!
- Then use a rolling pin or equivalent to flatten the dough into a thin circle, roughly the size of a frisbee.
- Always flatten the dough a little at a time and spin it round again to prevent it from sticking to the surface. That way you’ll get them very thin without breaking them.
- To the cooking: the key to a tasty tortilla that stays soft is cooking quickly and at a high heat. Flash cooking if you will.
- So, get a large pan and turn the heat up. You don't need any kind of oil or fat or spray for this. When the pan is ready to go, throw in your first tortilla. 30 seconds per side should be enough – brown spots are a good indicator that it's cooked but not burning. When you've done both sides take the tortilla out of the pan and pop it on a plate.
- Next, roll out the second ball and cook in the same way.
- Repeat until finished.
- That's it, your awesome handmade tortilla wraps are ready. Enjoy!
I hope you have enjoyed this homemade flour tortilla recipe! I bet you’ll never go for store-bought tortillas again! Let us know in the comments how your first time making them went.
I always make my own flour tortillas, sometimes using whole wheat flour to get chapati style flat bread. Next time I’ll try your recipe and add a bit of olive oil!
Ah, that sounds interesting. Will have to check up chapati style 🙂
What a great recipe! I’ve never made tortillas at home before, but I’ve always wanted to. I’m definitely going to have to now – these look so tasty!
They really are good! Much better than bought ones too 🙂
These are simple and work a treat. I also hung over wire racks in oven for few minutes and had tacos shells Great receipe
Hooray, I’m very happy to hear that! Thank you for writing 🙂
Tortilla as similar to our Indian flat bread- Chapathi. We use whole wheat flour and sesame/coconut oil or a little ghee to make chapatis. 🙂 We have chapati varieties in which we stuff vegetables like potato, cauliflower and all. I think you can try that for tortillas too. Add a boiled and mashed potato and some spices to the dough while kneading. I am sure you will love it.
Wow, that really sounds delicious, Sangeetha!! I’d love to try that one day!
That sounds really, really good. I’m going to try that…roughly how thick do you make the chapathis? Any particularly matching herbs you recommend?
LOVE this line “That’s a lot of shit for things that should essentially be made of flour, water and oil” Haha – so so true! My mom makes “roti’s” with flour, oil and water and they are The Best so I know these tortillas are gonna be way better than store bought ones!
Haha glad you like it – sounds like your mom knows her stuff 🙂
Don’t know wherre you got this recipe from—but traditional tortillas are made with all- purpose flour, baking powder,, salt,shortening and warm water.
Hi Jessica! I’m sure traditional tortillas are made like you say! But these are not traditional, these are quick, easy and tasty 😀
How long do you think these could last in the fridge or pantry if I wanted to double the batch?
Hi there! you can keep them in the fridge up to 5 days 🙂
Good idea to douple the batch, less work in the long run!
I don’t have whole grain flour, could I use all-purpose flour instead??
yep that would work without problems 🙂
Hi, I can’t wait to make these! Just a quick question, my organic store has wholegrain rye flour and wholegrain spelt flour. I would value your opinion as to which one you thing would work best with your recipe. Thanks! x
Thanks for writing!! Honestly, I can’t help you out with your question because I almost never baked with neither spelt nor rye.
I know that quite some people have trouble to digest rye well, though! Maybe that makes your choice easier 😉
I use spelt flour all the time and it works brilliantly for this recipe.
Make these with my kids about once a week.. Really great!
Niceeee, glad to hear that Maggie 😀
I am so excited to try this. After a trip to Europe I have come back with an awareness of GMOs in American food and have taken my family to a new level of eating. I have made all the food in our home GMO free. This is NOT easy at all! We have had to give up some things that were much loved and have had to go back to making a lot on our own. Tortillas are one thing we have yet to find that are non gmo. We enjoy Mexican food weekly in our home and haven’t been able to thanks to this, however tonight we are having burritos I am making these tortillas now and am so excited. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
We’re really glad you found us Marie! Yes, the amount of GMO products is very scary – and Europe is involved in various negotiations about it at the amount – there have been many protests recently! But as you’ve pointed out, a great side-effect is that you go back to making things yourself – you know exactly what is in your food then :). Thanks for writing and hope you enjoyed the tortillas and your Europe trip!
I absolutely loved both Europe and the tortillas thank you. I have a large family, 8 children so maybe you could help me with one thing…. by the time I was done fixing all of them they had hardened and I had to reheat each one to fill it. This is extreamly time consuming. If I make these ahead is there anyway to keep them soft? I have a tortilla box but they didn’t stay soft in that either. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks
Wow, 8 children? That’s a lot of tortillas to make 😀 ah yes, they could well get hard in that time. That’s a good question – I would definitely try to keep them damp – so sprinkling a bit of water on each should help. I’d also try to keep them covered up and pressed against each other – in tin foil or perhaps a slightly wet tea towel. I hope that helps. Please let me know what you try!
I am confused: the video recipe differs from the print recipe – why? And how much milk etc did she use in the video?
Thanks for giving the recipe a shot, Joline!
The video is just to illustrate the technique on rolling out the tortillas, the recipe is different. Being all smart-assy, let me point out that I mentioned it in the sentence above 😉
I hope they still turned out well!
I must be doing something wrong. My tortilla rolls out thin and large, but once I put it in the pan, shrinks and thickens. While thick tortillas are sooo yummy, they are not practical for rolling my wraps and burritos. My family hails from Mexico a few generations back, so it is pretty embarrassing to not be able to produce a decent tortilla. When I ask my grandmother, she says add more butter or lard, both of which I do not use, as a vegan. Help?
Hi Larissa! Thanks for your question and yep I feel your problem 🙂
Well, as for the flour tortillas they have to be really really thin and no baking powder or something! Then they should be fine. For example you can see them in action in our “Tangy Veggie Wrap” recipe. But as a Mexican I think you should also look out for “real” corn tortillas! We don’t have a recipe for it on our blog, but I guess it would be cool to know how to make them as well.
This recipe looks awesome, thank you! My husband Dave () and I recently watched a documentary called “What the Health, on Netflix. Wowsers. Eye opener and I recommend every person in the world to watch it. We both feel that now we kinda have no choice but to consume a plant-based vegan diet thanks to that documentary, and a BIG thanks for that documentary! Ok so we are new to the vegan lifestyle and love tortillas and burritos but store bought are either filled with a bunch of nastiness, or like $5 for a pack of six. Thank you THANK YOU for posting this recipe!!! My Dave will be thrilled that I found this!
I’m very pleased you found us too Amy! I haven’t seen What the Health yet, but of course I’ve heard a lot about it. I have Netflix now so will give it a watch 🙂 Enjoy the tortillas!
I made these last night. I made it with 1/2cup chickpea flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour. I even added some cumin seeds, some finally chopped red onion and some green chillie paste. Came out wonderful. Thanks
That’s very cool to hear MKaur! Thanks for the comment – and recipe ideas! They sound a little like papadums with those extra ingredients – which I love! Delicious.
Just made these using white spelt. Really lovely. Thanks for recipe.
I’ve never made homemade tortillas before and am amazed how easy it was and tasty…thanks a bunch for the recipe!!
Woohoo! Happy to have helped, Michelle!
I followed the recipe, but mine actually didn’t turn out very good. They were very thin and a little too hard for my liking. I don’t think it’s my cooking, because I’ve made tortillas before following a different recipe, and they were always thick and fluffy. The best tortillas I’ve ever tasted. Other people said so too. I mean this time they turned out ok…. just not something I would want to make again.
Oh dear, sorry to hear that Melody! That’s not how they’re supposed to be, of course! Nothing was changed from the recipe at all?
No. I followed it exactly. However, I found this other recipe: https://teaspoonofgoodness.com/homemade-flour-tortilla-recipe/. I tried it and they turn out soft and fluffy like I like. Apparently a little bit of baking powder and using lard instead of oil makes a huge difference. If you try this recipe out, you’re gonna have to add a lot more flour, but it worked out great!
Right, thanks for the follow up Melody! I’ll take another look 🙂
Unfortunately the lard makes them non-vegan. For a lot of folks, they are looking for the vegan option. A clean vegetable shortening could be tried instead of the lard in your alt recipe or in place of the olive oil in this recipe. I’ll be trying both ways to find a good healthy non-GMO vegan homemade tortilla.
I’ll try once in my home, I am not able to give it perfect shape. have you any kind of video which thought me about this.
Hi! There is a video link to youtube in the middle of the page 🙂
Thank you for this recipe – but the thing that I really really like (and so I hope I can find your recipes again another time) is that your recipe allows for adjusting the quantity and measurement style. Wow. Very helpful.
Thanks Wendy! I’m happy to hear about the serving size being helpful, I haven’t looked back since I started using it, either! 🙂
Thank you Dave, I’ve just made these and filled them with vegetables. Amazing and really simple 🙂
brilliant!! Glad you liked these, Diana 😀
I currently make them with buttermilk instead of water. Really nice too!