How to make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press

If I had to pick my favorite type of food without a question I would tell you Mexican food. I absolutely love Mexican food. I really don’t know why, I don’t but do I need an excuse to love really good food? Living in El Paso Texas I became spoiled by Mexican Food, there was plenty of it. There was good Mexican food and then there was bad Mexican Food like Chicos… it’s an El Paso thing. You either loved or hated Chico’s. I’m sorry Aaron Sanchez but it is not the best thing I ever ate (with my hands).

I’m sorry i’m just anti-Chicos. There are just too many unappetizing stories out there about them. There was a lot of good food to be found in El Paso though. Good food that I really miss and I have been recreating. I just can’t find really good Mexican food in North Carolina. I know the food in Mexico varies by region but I have yet to figure out what region the Mexican food around here is from.

One of our favorite things to do in El Paso when we didn’t want to go out to eat was head to a local grocery store where they made their own tortillas. Their tortillas were heavenly especially right off the machine when they were still warm. Vista Market’s tortillas were the perfect addition for making authentic Mexican meals at home.

Now that I have to rely on store bought tortillas I have been pondering how hard is it to make my own tortillas. I don’t have a press and didn’t want to buy a press not knowing how or if the tortillas were going to turn out. What’s a girl to do? I’ll tell you what, this girl got creative and guess what it worked. Homemade tortillas were very easy to make and definitely worth the little bit of extra work. Here is how I did it.

How to Make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press | Country Girl Gourmet

Step 1: Prepare your dough. This is some of the easiest dough I have ever made. You mix Masa flour,water and salt (if desired). If your dough is a little dry add more water, a little wet add more masa. Allow your dough to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Step 2: Roll your dough into about golf ball sized balls. Keep the ones that you are not preparing to roll covered so they don’t dry out.

Step 3. Take either a large sheet of parchment or 2 sheets of parchment to roll your dough ball out in between. You could use wax paper or saran wrap if desired but parchment was the easiest to work with. The dough doesn’t stick and the parchment can be reused multiple times without any fuss.

How to Make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press | Country Girl Gourmet

Don’t let not having a rolling pin keep you from trying this recipe. A wine bottle (or other round glass bottle) will work as a rolling pin in a pinch.
How to Make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press | Country Girl Gourmet

Step 4: Once you have rolled out something that is about the size of a corn tortilla take a plastic bowl and use it as a “cookie” cutter and cut out the tortilla. Yes, everyone a plastic cereal bowl that you can buy 4 for a $1 at Walmart or the Dollar Store makes for a perfect tortilla cutter.How to Make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press | Country Girl Gourmet

Step 5: On medium- high heat cook each side of your tortilla for 30 seconds to one minute. I used an electric skillet but a good heavy skillet works just as well. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve. To save for later store in a ziploc bag.

How to Make Corn Tortillas without a Tortilla Press | Country Girl Gourmet


They were seriously some of the best tortillas we have ever eaten! My husband told me that i’m not allowed to buy store bought tortillas anymore even. Yes, they are that awesome! Try them for yourself and see. No need to buy a tortilla press unless you really want to. As long as you have masa, parchment paper, a rolling pin and a plastic bowl you have everything that you need. So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to make homemade corn tortillas and taste the difference?


Corn Tortillas (without a Tortilla Press)
Serves: 15
Corn Tortillas are easy to make, taste better and are cheaper than store bought tortillas.
  • 1¾ cups masa harina
  • 1⅛ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (if desired)
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high.
  3. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Cover the dough balls to help retain moisture.
  4. Take either a large sheet of parchment or 2 sheets of parchment to roll your dough ball out in between. Roll dough ball thinly until it is approximately 6-7 inches round.
  5. Once you have rolled your dough take a plastic bowl and use it as a "cookie" cutter and cut out the tortilla
  6. Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until lightly browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.

adapted from

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

If I had to pick one type of food to eat the rest of my life I could pretty easily say, Mexican food. Living in El Paso really spoiled me when it comes to Mexican Food. I am a Mexican Food snob.  Yes, I know there are different styles from the different regions and I am good with that, well, as long as the food is tasty. I would even be tempted to go back to eating gluten for the fresh made tortillas from Vista Market. Heck, just give me some of their tamales and a strawberry Jarritos and i’m good. Seriously, it is one of the only soda’s I will drink.

I live in North Carolina now though and we have tried several Mexican restaurants and while we have found a couple that were ok nothing has really wowed us. Thankfully I can make some pretty good Mexican dishes and I am always keeping my eye out for new dishes. One of the recipes I tried recently was for Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

The recipe had me at Slow Cooker. My crock pot is one of my favorite time savers for busy nights. When my kids were in track we ate crock pot meals on a nightly basis. In my opinion it is so much better to put something in the crockpot for dinner than to stop and get fast food on the way home.

This recipe had an interesting twist to the “normal” crock pot recipes. It was roasting a whole chicken in the crockpot while resting on top of aluminum foil balls. I had cooked whole chicken in the crockpot  before but never using the foil ball method. I was intrigued with how it would turn out. So I stuffed the cavity with limes and simply seasoned with seasoned salt and fresh garlic. The original recipe called for wine also but I skipped that part. Chicken broth is often substituted for wine and I knew that cooking in a slow cooker would produce enough juices that extra liquid wouldn’t be needed, and it wasn’t. The end result was a juicy falling apart chicken. The chicken skin was just missing the typical roasted crispness but I was ok with that. I wasn’t cooking it for the skin but the chicken meat to make a family favorite,tacos!  All that was left for me to do was shred the chicken and serve. I kept the cilantro on the side instead of mixing in just in case some of my family members decided to be on team no cilantro. I know some people love cilantro while others hate it. Cilantro love and hate is something that has been studied for years like in this article. My family usually loves it but kids can be picky for no reason.

With lime wedges on the side my family ate their chicken tacos and loved them and asked me to make them again the next night. If I do say so myself they were pretty tasty and will be a welcome addition to our dinner rotation.

What type of food is your favorite?

Do you use your crock pot? What do you use it for?

Do you love or hate cilantro? 


4.5 from 2 reviews
Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
  • 3 sheets aluminum foil, rolled into balls
  • 1 (5 pound) whole chicken
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt, or more to taste
  • 8 cloves garlic, or more to taste, crushed
  • 4 limes, quartered
  • ½ cup white wine (optional)
  • 20 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • additional limes for serving
  1. Put aluminum foil balls in the bottom of a slow cooker crock.
  2. Season chicken with seasoned salt. Rub half the garlic on the inside surfaces of the chicken's cavity and leave them inside. Squeeze 8 lime quarters into the cavity; drop the squeezed quarters into the cavity. Place the chicken atop the foil balls. Squeeze 8 more lime quarters over the outside of the chicken; drop squeezed lime quarters into the bottom of the crock. Rub remaining garlic over the outside of the chicken and put garlic in the bottom of the crock. Pour white wine into the crock.
  3. Cook on Low until the chicken meat pulls apart easily, 5 to 6 hours.
  4. Remove chicken to a cutting board. Remove meat from bones and shred completely. Serve chicken on warmed tortillas with cilantro for topping and lime wedge.

original recipe found on