Yellow Corn Tortilla Recipe

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Yellow Corn Tortilla Recipe



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Corn tortillas are a staple in Mexican cuisine, revered for their versatility, flavor, and the simplicity of their ingredients. Traditional yellow corn tortillas, with their slightly sweet taste and robust texture, serve as the perfect base for tacos, enchiladas, and many other dishes. Below is a straightforward recipe to make your own yellow corn tortillas at home, ensuring that you can bring a piece of Mexican culinary tradition into your kitchen.


2 cups of masa harina (yellow corn flour)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups of warm water
A large mixing bowl
A tortilla press or a rolling pin
A cast iron skillet or griddle
A kitchen towel or plastic wrap


Prepare the Dough

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of masa harina with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring continuously until the dough comes together. The dough should be firm and springy; if it’s too dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is the right consistency, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Form the Tortillas

After the dough has rested, divide it into golf ball-sized portions. This size should yield about 15-16 tortillas. If you have a tortilla press, line it with two pieces of plastic wrap or cut open a zip-top bag to prevent sticking. Place a ball of dough in the center of the press and gently flatten it to about 1/8-inch thick. If using a rolling pin, place the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it out to the desired thickness.

Cook the Tortillas

Heat a dry cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Once hot, carefully place a tortilla on the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute or until the edges start to curl up, then flip and cook for another minute on the other side. The tortillas should have some brown spots and puff up slightly. Adjust the heat as needed to prevent burning.

Keep Them Warm

As you cook the tortillas, stack them under a clean kitchen towel. This will keep them warm and soft until you’re ready to serve.

Homemade Mexican tortillas in a basket with flour and rolling pin.

Tips for Perfect Tortillas

Masa harina is a type of corn flour specifically treated with lime, which gives it a distinctive flavor and helps in the formation of the dough. Ensure you use masa harina and not regular corn flour or cornmeal.

The water temperature is key. Warm water helps in activating the masa harina for a smooth, pliable dough.

If the tortillas are cracking at the edges as you press them, the dough is too dry. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Cooking time may vary slightly depending on your stove and skillet. Keep an eye on the tortillas as they cook to find the perfect timing.

Making your own tortillas may seem like a daunting task at first, but it’s actually quite simple and incredibly rewarding. Not only do homemade tortillas taste better, but they also allow you to control the ingredients and customize them to your liking. Whether you’re making tacos for dinner or just want to enjoy some fresh, warm tortillas with butter, this recipe is a great starting point for exploring the delicious possibilities of Mexican cuisine.

Storing and Reheating

One of the many beauties of homemade yellow corn tortillas is that they can be made in bulk and stored for future use, ensuring you always have the base for a quick and delicious meal. Here’s how to store and reheat them:

Storing Fresh Tortillas

Room Temperature: Keep the tortillas in a sealed plastic bag or container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Refrigerate: For longer storage, refrigerate your tortillas in a zip-top bag with as much air pressed out as possible. They can last for up to a week.

Freeze: Freeze the tortillas in a zip-top freezer bag with sheets of parchment paper between each tortilla. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use them, there’s no need to thaw; you can reheat them directly from the freezer.


Skillet: Warm them on a hot skillet or griddle for about 15-30 seconds on each side.

Microwave: Wrap a stack of tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on how many you’re reheating. The steam from the damp paper towel will keep them moist.

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Homemade yellow corn tortillas are incredibly versatile. Here are some variations and serving suggestions to get the most out of your tortillas:

Taco Night: Use your tortillas for taco night. Fill them with your favorite meats, vegetables, and toppings for a custom feast.

Enchiladas: Roll your tortillas around a filling and lay them in a baking dish, cover with sauce and cheese, and bake.

Tostadas: Fry the tortillas in a shallow layer of oil until crispy. Top with beans, cheese, lettuce, and other toppings for a crunchy meal.

Chips: Cut the tortillas into wedges and fry or bake them to make homemade tortilla chips. Perfect for dips or as a snack.

The Joy of Homemade

Making your own yellow corn tortillas at home is not just about the delicious results, but also about the joy of creating something fundamental from scratch. It connects you to a rich culinary tradition and gives you a base from which you can explore a vast array of dishes.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious beginner, the process of making tortillas is forgiving and rewarding. It invites experimentation and personalization. You can adjust the thickness to your liking, experiment with adding spices or herbs to the dough, or even try making blue corn tortillas for a different flavor and visual appeal.

Ultimately, homemade tortillas elevate any meal they accompany. Their warm, comforting presence on the table brings people together, inviting everyone to wrap, roll, and savor the flavors enclosed within their tender embrace. Enjoy the process, share your creations, and most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with it. Cooking is an adventure, and with these tortillas, it’s an adventure that begins with the simplest of ingredients but leads to a world of delicious possibilities.


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