Easy tortilla recipe. Make your own delicious flour tortillas.

photo credit: howstuffworks.com

Try making your own flour tortillas for your next Tex-Mex feast.

There are loads of fajita recipes on the net, but I think that most of them miss the point. The secret to great fajita is well grilled meat, sautéed onions and sweet peppers, a bit of hot sauce and a good fresh salsa; and most importantly...fresh homemade flour tortillas.

Fresh warm flour tortillas will transport a plain-Jane weeknight meal into something really fantastic; and they're very easy to make. Try them at least once, and I guarantee you'll be converted!

Flour tortilla recipe (makes 8)

  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose or bread flour, cake flour should be avoided)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, then turn the dough out onto the counter and knead the dough for about a minute. This isn't like making bread and a minute of kneading is plenty.
  2. Divide the dough into eight rounded balls.
  3. Heat up a heavy frying pan over medium heat. The heavier the pan the easier they are. If you have a cast iron fry pan it is ideal for making tortillas.
  4. Sprinkle some flour onto the counter and roll out each ball of dough into a flat circle about 6 inches in diameter. If the dough is sticking to the table, just add more flour. Rotating the circle around as you're rolling it out can help you get that nice circular shape, but it really just takes practice; and they'll taste great even if they're not perfectly circular
  5. Take a clean cloth and dust off any flour that's adhered to the tortilla, and place it onto the frying pan. You don't need to add any oil to the pan, they won't stick.
  6. When you see bubbles popping up all over the top of the tortilla, it's done.
  7. Take it off the heat and wrap in a clean dishtowel as you repeat the process.

You don't need to cook the tortillas on both sides as they're so thin they'll cook through from the bottom. Cooking on only one side will make a better tortilla.

Don't get discouraged if you're tortillas look funny, by the second or third batch you do you'll be a seasoned pro; and the whole process won't take more than about 20 minutes.

Be warned though, once your family or friends get used to your hot fresh tortillas, there's no going back to store bought ever again!

Which do you prefer?

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Comments 51 comments

tshirtscene profile image

tshirtscene 9 years ago

I've never made tortilla before, and lately I've been wanting to cook something different for weekend dinners. Thanks for the idea.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 9 years ago Author

I'm sure you're going to love homemade tortillas. Use the heaviest fryingpan you've got!

tshirtscene profile image

tshirtscene 9 years ago

thanks for the advice, I'll be making them tomorrow night.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 9 years ago Author

Let me know how they turn out.

Andre 9 years ago

I'm going to make it tonight too. I'm on a low iodine diet and this will work out perfectly.

Bar 8 years ago

your recipe is so clear and the pictures make it easy . This recipe is better than most I looked at on line...Thanks

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Wow, I'm hooked. I love the simplicity of your recipes, John - even a kitchen klutz like myself can do them! You can be sure that I'm going to keep coming back for more. :-)

Susan Ng profile image

Susan Ng 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

We made your flour tortillas for dinner the other night, but I mistakenly added 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons! :( Needless to say, it tasted like the Red Sea. We'll try it again sometime, and hopefully I'll have learned to read a recipe correctly. :)

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 8 years ago Author

Oh no!!! Haha, ah well, Susan, live and learn anyway!

Sam 8 years ago

This recipe was easy and the tortillas were top notch. I grew up on the Mexican border and these are on par with any flour tortilllas I have ever had.

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Art Vandaley 8 years ago

I left the last comment 3 months ago and have returned (with an account) to give some advice.

The quality of the tortilla varies greatly by the type of flour used. I have found that generic cheap flour leads to a pretty bland product while the "top shelf" flours (all purpose is what I use) give much better results. I suspect it has to do with the natural gluten, but that is just a guess. My personal favorite is Gold Medal brand.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 8 years ago Author

Hi Art,

I think you are absolutey right about the quality of the flour making a real difference in the end results. Fresh unbleached flour will always make a better tortilla than stale, processed and bleached flour. I find that low gluten all purpose flours make a tastier tortilla.

Mariah 8 years ago


I made these as soon as I saw the photos and the simplicity of the recipe. It only took about 10 minutes and I had my first tortilla ready to fry. Rolling tortillas for me is like a great geographical quiz game, "Guess Which Country This Tortilla Best Resembles." I've made tortillas many times over the years, this is my favorite recipe so far, by the way, but I can never seem to get them nice and round. Any rolling suggestions would be helpful.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 8 years ago Author

Hi Mariah,

I find that rotating them often as I roll helps to keep things looking circular. Keep lots of flour at the ready so that they don't stick and give em a half turn every few rolls of the pin. The tortillas always look funny at first, but the learning curve is pretty steep and you can get good at it pretty quickly.

Thanks for the comment

flread45 profile image

flread45 8 years ago from Montana

I toss them on my wood stove and presto their done.Slap butter on and you have a meal..

tazbpou 7 years ago

this it good recipe

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Hi Tazbpou!

As someone who worked with me to roll a few thousand of these over the years - you certainly know what you're talking about!

vanessa 7 years ago

hi i love tortillas they taste good thx for this website whoever made it im glad i found it on google!! and to hear about it!~

Tigermadstanley profile image

Tigermadstanley 7 years ago from Canterbury, Kent, UK

I've been looking for an easy tortilla recipe. I'm so glad to have found your hub. Thank you.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Hi Tigermadstanley - I am glad to be of service. Good luck with your tortillas!

mrobinson 7 years ago

I'm getting ready to make some right now, You make it sound so easy. I'll let you know how they turned out. And do you have more recipes?

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Hi Mrobinson. Please do let us know how they turn out - and I've got hundreds more recipes, which you can find here http://hubpages.com/profile/John+D+Lee


Patrice 7 years ago

Hey there,

From California but have been living in Italy for years. While Italian cuisine is amazing... I do still greatly miss a good burrito every once in awhile. I tried your tortilla recipe and they turned out perfect! You can't find shortening here so I used tub margarine instead and it was fine. So, thanks for the recipe. The refried beans are ready, carne asada too, so ciao!

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Hi Patrice - I'm very glad to hear that you've been able to move the tastes of Mexico cross the Atlantic to Italy!

Athena 7 years ago

I'm so happy to find such a simple, useful recipe! I'm living in Germany for the year, and finding tortillas in a tiny village in eastern Germany is pretty much impossible. And sice German cooking concepts are so...well...bland, it's nice to find a do it yourself recipe. I've literally been dreaming about Mexican food, so this should be quite an ocassion!

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Athena, you're very welcome, I hope these tortillas satisfy your Mexican food cravings!

marty 7 years ago

hmmm.......... i've tried about three diff. times to make tillas and nope! nope! they always come out to stale and hard but they taste good just a bit crunchy though!!! i gave up on ever trying again but after reading all these comments i am super excited to try it once again!! wish me luck!! :)

Happy Chef 7 years ago

SUPER RECIPE!!! Easy, simple and most importantly - very tasty! I have to cook 3 meals a day for 4 people and I don’t have time to let the dough ‘rise’ like I found in many other tortilla recipes, so to find this recipe – slap – bang – done!!! What a godsend! Thank you John.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 7 years ago Author

Hi Happy Chef,

So glad you've found what you needed!

steph 6 years ago


My sister buys uncooked torillas to keep in the fridge. Can I make these and use wax paper inbetween them and keep them for cooking later in the week?? I know probably a dumb question,


John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 6 years ago Author

Hi Steph, I am not sure about this one - I would think they might dry out too much? But I've not tried it so I can't be sure.

Gabriela 6 years ago

This is only my second time ever trying to make flour tortillas. The first time was when my mom who knows how to make everything tried to show me how as a teenager. Now I'm in my 30's and Let me say THANK YOU! for posting this along with pictures, it makes it so much better to follow. So YES I tried this and they came out soooo good! and actually came out a little round :) I am so proud of myself thank you so much I really needed a boost these days.

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 6 years ago Author

Gabriela, congrats on the successful tortillas!

Li 6 years ago

Hello. I have made these many times, and it's the ONLY tortilla recipe I'll use. They are fantastic. Instead of vegetable shortening, I use a vegan margarine. They are better than any tortillas I've ever bought, and so easy! You can just eat them with butter/margarine, they are that good.


John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 6 years ago Author

Li - thanks very much for your comment - glad you're having goo luck with this tortilla recipe!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Thanks for another great recipe.

Lupita Cooney 6 years ago

Hello Jon my mom makes her flour tortillas with flour salt and veg oil and let me tell you im 29 and i can never make them as good as hers and trust me i should be able to as im mexican lol

Corrinna 6 years ago

I do not have baking powde and I thought baking powder was needed. Well that's how my mom and grandma make it. So do they taste the same without the powder? Moonitelady@live.com

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 6 years ago Author

Corrinna, some people use a little baking powder to get a bit more lift, but other than working as a leavening agent, BP won't add any flavors (in fact, if you can taste Baking powder, things have gone pretty far wrong!)

Ashlee 6 years ago

What a great recipe! I will be trying it shortly! We've made tortilla's (and then chips later) before, but I lost our recipe. I'm new to hub pages, is there a way to follow you and see your other recipes?

Lisa 6 years ago

I made these the other night and have been enjoying them immensely, as a sandwich wrap and even with a smear of butter or cheese. Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!

John D Lee profile image

John D Lee 6 years ago Author

Hi Lisa - Glad to hear you've been enjoying the tortilla recipe!

Josephina 5 years ago

How different would it be if I was to make these tortillas with bread flour???

autum 5 years ago

My family goes through a lot of tortilla bread for fajitas. I stock up on the breads when they're on sale. What I should be doing is making my own, and maybe save some more money. Your recipe sounds great and I will try it definitely. If it turns out well I will have to check your other recipes for bread making?

autum 5 years ago

I finally tried it. Due to the lack of shortening I used a half cup of butter. For some reason my dough was really gooey. Because of this I added more flour, perhaps another cup or two to a doughy consistency so I can roll them out. Rolling them was a challenge and my tortillas though had good flavor, was thicker than I wanted them to be. My husband seemed to enjoy it, but my kids were not as thrilled. Will try again.

jessica 5 years ago

What do I do if their coming out hard??

Russ 5 years ago

You can use a wooden dowel to roll them out, just remember to use plentry of flour or they will stick to your roller, I find this out the hard way!:)

Hannah 5 years ago

Made these and loved them! Liked them a lot better than the store bought ones, except mine were smaller. Still that just encouraged me to make more. Great with beef, salsa, guacamole, and rice.

SanJoseAngel 5 years ago

So I try the recipe above because I am determined to make some flour torts the way my nina (godmother) made them and somehow I failed? this recipe does not require baking powder? my nina used to make stacks and stacks of these fine beauties her tuperware bowl was stacked like a three story building. I am wondering why this recipe does not require baking powder? did it purposely get left out or is this a typo? I have followed x4 different recipes on the net to no avail. I would ask her but she is with Jesus. Her daughters do not make them. I am determined to keep trying recipies until I get it the way she made them. Just the right thickness,salt, and very pliable so you could roll them up without them cracking like mine just did can anyone shed some light on what I may be doing wrong? Thanks lostboy in BayArea, CA

emsie278 profile image

emsie278 4 years ago


I will love trying this one but I am from England. What are the cups in grams or ounces please?


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Southernmapart 4 years ago

Making tortillas is new to me and I need more practice. I have a press like the Norpro Cast Aluminum Tortilla Press advertised here and using the press is far preferable to rolling the tortilla dough. Good suggestion about not turning the tortilla in the pan. I'll try the one-sided cooking on my next batch.

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