Surprisingly simple!
Homemade tortillas

How-to Make tortillas from scratch

Why pay more for store-bought tortillas when you can make fresh, delicious ones at home? Surprisingly simple to make, they turn a basic meal into something special. So grab a rolling pin and get ready to enjoy homemade tortillas warm from the pan.


  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little extra for rolling the tortillas
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup very warm tap water



Step 1

Measure out your flour into a medium bowl. Make sure to fluff up the flour before putting it in the cup measure to ensure that it is not packed down in the cup. Stir in the salt.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 1


Step 2

Place the shortening into the bowl...

Homemade tortillas -- Step 2a

… and use your hands to squeeze and work all of it into the flour. There should be no large pieces of shortening visible when you are done.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 2b


Step 3

Make 3/4 cup of very warm tap water...

Homemade tortillas -- Step 3a

... and work it into the flour with a fork until it starts to form a dough.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 3b


Step 4

Turn the dough out onto a counter...

Homemade tortillas -- Step 4a

... and knead until it has started to smooth out. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.


Step 5

Roll or squeeze the dough into a log and cut into 12 equal pieces.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 4b


Step 6

Place in a zip-closed bag and leave it for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours. This lets the dough rest and makes it easier to roll out. You can use this time to prep all the yummy fillings for the tortillas.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 5


Step 7

Roll out the tortillas into 7-inch circles. Start by flattening the dough with your hand, and then flip and turn the tortillas as you roll it to make an even circle.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 6


Step 8

Preheat a frying pan to medium high. The tortilla should sizzle when it touches the pan. Use a timer (like the one on your phone) to time 30 seconds for each side of the tortilla. The tortilla should bubble up a bit during the first 30 seconds. Flip it and use the spatula to gently press it down during the next 30 seconds to help it cook.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 8


Step 9

As you cook the tortillas, keep the finished ones stacked in an aluminum foil package. This keeps them warm and creates steam which makes them soft.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 9


Step 10

Once you've cooked them all, load them up with your favorite toppings.

Homemade tortillas -- Step 10

I love avocado, tomatoes and cheddar, but you can put anything you want in there! They are great for breakfast wraps or even with just a smear of peanut butter and jelly. Use your imagination and enjoy!

Homemade tortillas -- Final

Want more?

Check out this recipe for fruit tacos with chocolate tortillas!

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Comments on "Homemade tortillas"

Rosie February 27, 2014 | 7:41 PM

Ive made tortillas since I was 9 years old, Im 68 now. I have always used baking powder along with the salt, shortening, preferably lard, flour, (La Pina) and warm water!

Maxine January 31, 2014 | 7:56 AM

Do you recommend freezing? And if so, how? Gonna make these tonight for dinner but wont need all twelve shells

Teresa January 26, 2014 | 10:05 AM

If you add 1 tsp of baking powder, the tortillas will be lighter and fluffier. This recipe is exactly the recipe that RICK BAYLESS uses and has published.

sherrie January 23, 2014 | 12:22 PM

This recipe was great. I made them for my grandson's birthday because he wanted tocos. We are trying to eat no procrssed foods. The store bought ones have close to 37 ingredient in them:( I say make what you can. Much better for your body. This recipe is a keeper!!

Keri January 01, 2014 | 11:09 AM

I made them as cinnamon sugar snowflakes on a snowday, kids loved it. Made them and filled with bean and cheese mixture, loved again. Great and versatile recipe. Thanks!

carolyn June 04, 2013 | 9:28 AM

I make flour tortillas, but not very often. I have used store bought tortillas and found them to be a little on the sweet side. Sure enough, one of the ingredients is sugar. My mother never put sugar in with the flour. That must be an Anglo thing. We are Mexican. Never heard of sugar in tortillas. Anyway, they are not the best with the sugar added.

Tracy May 29, 2013 | 12:05 PM

Great recipe...I made these yesterday! And I LOVE your rolling pin!

cindy March 10, 2013 | 7:42 AM

2-3/4 cups, does it mean 2 cups and 3/4 cups of flower of 2 cups for the dough en 3/4 for the rolling?

Amy January 16, 2013 | 1:13 PM

These look great. I've made tortillas a few times and they're pretty easy and taste so much better than store-bought ones.

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