Make thick and fluffy flour tortillas with this easy to follow recipe. Requires no special equipment! Enjoy restaurant style tortillas in your own home! This post contains affiliate shopping links which help support this site.
Thick and Fluffy Flour Tortillas
I used to live for trips to Mexican restaurants that made thick, fresh tortillas from scratch. I’d hardly care what I ordered, so long as I could receive a steady supply of stacks upon stacks of tortillas.
Thick, restaurant style tortillas are so very different from the thin, tasteless packaged tortillas you get in the grocery store. That’s hardly a tortilla at all in my book.
Some Mexican restaurants are even switching to corn tortillas, like Frontera Cocina down here at Disney Springs in Orlando.
Don’t get me wrong; I adore corn tortillas, but there will always be a place in my heart for the fluffiest, thickest flour tortillas.
So, years ago, I looked up a recipe for tortillas made without lard. This was literally almost a decade ago. I jotted down the basics of the recipe and have been working to master it ever since. I wish I knew the original source, but, alas, it’s been lost to time.
So although I’m usually very good about citing my sources, I’ll have to let this one go. If you happen to recognize it, let me know and I’ll give credit. (UPDATE 1/25/2016: A savvy reader recognized this from Homesick Texan! Mystery solved!)
If you like Mexican food, I must also encourage you to seek out one of the great gems of Mexico: Mexican Coca-Cola. Our local grocery stores carry it in 6-packs of glass bottles. It’s made with sugar instead of corn syrup, and yes it tastes totally different. It’s the champagne of cola!
Please do yourself the favor of finding it, chilling it, and sipping it straight (no dilution with ice, please).
Tips for Making Tortillas
There are a few tricks that will make your tortilla efforts a lot easier. These tips will help keep you from making all the mistakes I’ve made over the years!
- Measure carefully. It is far better to start with too little flour than too much, because too much flour cannot be corrected once mixed. Too much flour equals tough, hard-to-roll-out tortillas.
- Rest the tortillas for the full period of time suggested in the recipe. Too little rest = too tough to roll out.
- Let your skillet preheat for 5 minutes before cooking. A pan that’s not hot enough will not cook the tortilla properly, leaving it pale and gummy.
- Don’t leave the balls of dough exposed, or they will quickly begin to dry and become harder to roll out.
- As you cook the tortillas, put the finished ones in a stack on a plate and cover loosely with a sheet of foil. That will keep them warm and moist. Or get yourself a handy tortilla keeper—this one is made in the USA and is BPA-free, melamine-free, and microwaveable (for reheating tortillas as needed).
Thick and Fluffy Flour Tortillas Recipe
- 2 cups all purpose flour (for gluten free see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil or your preferred vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup warm milk
Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Drizzle with the olive oil and stir again. Add the milk and stir, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, until dough comes together. It should be a little sticky, but not extremely sticky. If it is extremely sticky, sprinkle on a tiny bit of flour until it is just a little sticky.
Knead dough for 2 minutes, then form it into a large ball. Place in a clean bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sections and roll each section into a ball. Place the dough balls back in the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a nonstick skillet on medium low for 5 minutes. While you are preheating the skillet, roll out a dough ball into a round shape, as thin as you can manage without making it so thin it will tear.
Place the tortilla in the skillet. Wait 30 seconds or so until the tortilla puffs up, and the side facing down has little golden brown spots. Flip it. Cook another 30 seconds or so until a few golden brown spots appear. Put on a plate and cover loosely with foil (add your cooked tortillas to this stack as you go, so they stay warm and moist until ready to serve).
To make these tortillas gluten free (yes, I've done it many times and it works perfectly), substitute Cup4Cup Multipurpose flour for the all purpose flour.
If you like Mexican food, also try these recipes from my collection:
Exactly the way I like tortillas!! I must try this one.
Flour tortillas are not Mexican.
The Spanish brought this over in 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
It is Spanish cuisine based on pita bread,
They seemed to me like no-egg-pancakes, but pita bread is more accurate!
the indigenous people in México, made their own version of flour tortillas. So it’s not totally Spanish.
And these tortillas look more like pita bread than actual flour tortillas.
Not correct, the Spanish were actually more fond of corn based breads. Flour tortillas are native to Northern Mexico, where it has historically been easier to grow flour rather than corn. Southern Mexico is where the corn flour cuisine is most popular but flour is certainly native to Northern Mexico.
Kacey @ The Cookie Writer
I thought I had a great tortilla recipe, but looking at how fluffy and perfect yours are, I may have to change over! Seriously, these are the best looking tortillas ever (I am so going to try them once my home renovations have toned down.)
Rachael @ La Fuji Mama
I have never tried making tortillas without lard! But these look AMAZING and I love the thought of the flavor that olive oil would add. Can’t wait to break out of my lard mode and try these!
I like the idea of making my own tortillas because I have more control over the ingredients. You have made this process look so easy.
Manila Spoon (Abby)
Wow, these tortillas look fluff-licious! Didn’t realize they’re quite easy to make and thanks for the additional notes and tips! Pinned.
Those look amazing! I am more of a corn tortilla gal, but those could almost change my mind!
Julie @ Texan New Yorker
So what is your secret for getting them all rolled out into perfect circles the same size? Mine are generally a stack of hot mess in this respect.
The milk instead of lard version comes from San Antonio, Texas, and it’s pretty common in Tex-Mex cooking to use the milk, whereas Mexican flour tortillas tend to use lard. I prefer the milk version, and very much so. Lisa Fain (homesicktexan.com) has a recipe that I use.
Julie, I struggled with that too, until I figured out the two secrets: 1) Go easy on the flour- too much makes the tortillas tough to roll out evenly. You want a dough that is just slightly sticky, not totally smooth and dry. 2) You have to let them rest for the full amount of time; then they “relax” and become stretchier and easier to roll out.
Julie @ Texan New Yorker
Okay, thanks! Mine were not tough to work with at all after the second resting period, but I’m half wondering if I didn’t divide them up evenly. Try and try again, right? 🙂
The first roll makes them oblong right. And turn them just a quarter turn instead of half turn. The first roll outs aren’t too strong and the edges should be thick still. Then go strong hand after the third roll out. My papí taught me that.
Dini @ The Flavor Bender
I definitely prefer making my own tortillas than buying store bought! 🙂 They taste infinitely better! I like adding wholewheat to my tortillas (although probably not traditional) These looks gorgeous Katie!
Kathleen @ Yummy Crumble
These look great! I love home made tortillas. I’m so going to try these soon. Thanks for sharing!
Old Fat Guy
I love tortillas and will have to try this. I have pinned it for later use. Thanks.
The Old Fat Guy
Thank you! I do love these tortillas, and I hope you enjoy them too. 🙂
Sarah @ SarahTitus.com
Mmm, I love homemade tortillas. I didn’t realize they were so easy to make. I’ll have to try your recipe! 🙂
Elaine @ foodbod
These look so good!
Could I please ask you what the actual weight of the flour is? I seem to have several different cup sizes amongst my sets of measuring cups ?
Hi Elaine! I haven’t measured it by weight, but the standard weight for 2 cups of all purpose flour is 9 ounces or 240 grams. I rely heavily on feel- better that the dough is a little wet and sticky (you can fix that with a pinch of more flour if needed) than too dry and tough (you can’t fix that no matter what).
I’ve made these twice already! First time I had too much flour, milk too hot & not enough salt! Second time…I read the entire instructions!! Lol. I measured carefully& milk was warm not hot! They came out perfectly delicious. Best recipe ever. Oil instead of lard and milk instead of water!! My family loves them. Thanks!
I am thrilled that you liked them! Tortillas do take a little practice, for sure, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want store bought again. 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love to hear when people try my recipes.
I think the original recipe comes from the blog Homesick Texan! I love using the milk instead of water.
Oh my gosh- I checked! You’re right! I have wondered where I wrote this down from for years. I’m going to add that into the post itself.
Can I make my dough the day before and refrigerate? Or will that mess up the final product? I have made these once before and they were amazing but using them for breakfast burritos is a little time consuming when you wake up hungry!
Hmmm… I wish I had an exact answer for you! I have never made the dough ahead. I have made the tortillas ahead, which works fine because they reheat nicely. If you do make the dough ahead, make sure you store it really, really airtight, because tortilla dough dries out like crazy. Please let me know if you try it and how it goes for you. I’m very curious! 🙂
Shawn & Dennis Letteer
Im always looking for a fluffy tortilla recipe! I tried this technique with olive oil and milk, but they did not turn out well for me (chewy an flat). Im sure it was the cook, not the recipe…will keep trying:)
Chewy might mean that they either a) didn’t rest long enough, or b) got too heavily “worked” when rolled out, or maybe c) too little milk. Flat I would guess is due to either not enough baking powder or old baking powder. Tortillas really can be tricky! It must have taken me at least half a dozen tries to get the hang of making them. Don’t give up. You will learn by trial and error to “feel” the dough, but it takes practice. If you have any questions or need advice, give me a shout. 🙂 -Katie
I really like your recipe. I use it when makes tapas for parties. They are perfect size. My regular tortillas recipe is 1 3/4c flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp (fresh) baking powder, 1/3 c crisco or Manteca, 1 c warm water. I rest my dough 1 hr. Make 8 balls, rest them 15 min. Roll & cook. They bubble beautifully and are soft and flakey. Cheers
I’m so glad you like them! They really are a favorite in my house, too. I will have to give your recipe a whirl. Cheers!
I am no cook, chef, baker, whathaveyou – but I ran out of tortillas and couldn’t get to the store…had all the ingredients for our burrito-esque dish but no more tortillas! I was in a pinch. Stumbled upon this recipe and took a shot at it. They turned out amazing. Everyone was shocked. 7 perfectly fluffy and yummy tortillas! (I always mess up the first one that goes into the pan…just can’t get the heat and oil right I think) but nevertheless I’ve made these several times since and the family loves them. (Still can’t nail that first one…)
I’m from San Antonio but live in Atlanta, and the tortillas available here are trash. Thus, began my search for a recipe for good, thick tortillas. I’ve used several recipes over the years, but they never created tortillas that were as fluffy as I wanted them to be. This recipe, however, did the trick. They turned out very well! A few comments I have:
1) Make sure to roll out the dough very thin because they really puff up. My first 2-3 tortillas were actually too thick (Who knew that was possible?).
2) The dough is decently sticky, so I had to use more flour when rolling out the tortillas than I recall doing with other recipes.
3) This will now be my go-to tortilla recipe.
This looks good. Interestingly, where I come from we call this sada roti.
Camilla M Coy
I make tortillas at least once a month. I was looking for a way to make them a little fluffier and came across this recipe. I will try these tonight, as I’m cooking beans right now. I place my finished tortillas in foil as well, but even if I only tent them underneath the foil they still accumulate condensation from the steam and get kinda wet. Consequently, I place a small square of paper towel between each one. Problem solved.
I’m from Texas and love Tex Mex. which usually includes fluffy tortillas like this. I tried the recipe and they turned out good. My usual recipe is a lot easier (less wait time & easier to roll) but this recipe may be worth the extra 35 min. The dough was a little tough to roll but I thinknjya just because I’m comparing to my original recipe which includes 1 cup of HOT water. Thank you for sharing!
When I cook my tortillas, I place them on a towel that folds over the top of the pile. Then when all are cooked, and while still warm, I place them in a zip lock bag. This helps keep them soft, and I have never had them get soggy.
Hi! Can evaporated milk be used?
I’d thin it out to the ratio of regular milk by combining evaporated milk and water in a 50/50 ratio.
I have made these once and my husband loved them. I was curious if you have ever froze the dough?
No, I haven’t frozen the dough- I’d be curious to know if it works!
hi there, i want to make these vegan. if i use soy milk or oat milk, would that be a fine replacement?
I haven’t tried it with tortillas, but I often swap in a nondairy milk (usually unsweet coconut milk beverage) when I make other breads, so it might just work. If you try it, let me know how it goes!
Love that idea! So I tried it with original soy milk. I chose that because it has just about the same sugar content as cow’s milk, as well as a similar amount of protein. The consistency is also similar. Next time I will probably do full-fat oat milk, since oat milk is all the rage these days and it’s great for baked goods. The soy milk was great though! No difference between using that and using milk IMO. Plus, better for lactose intolerant folks and/or vegans! I made two vegan breakfast tacos with vegan egg and vegan bacon and vegan cheese and a spicy green sauce from Taco Deli here in Austin. So good. Then I buttered a third tortilla with Earth Balance and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. The tortillas were super thick and fluffy. Yum!
Dang, that sounds delicious!
After trying several other flour tortilla recipes….this was THE ONE I’ve been searching for! After living years in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico and moving to Mississippi past 10 years, I’ve missed Tex Mex Restaurants that make fresh fluffy tortillas! But, not anymore and needless to say I’ve stopped buying store-bought tortillas, never going back! This recipe is precisely written for a reason, follow the tipsand directions carefully and you’ll be amazed at the wonderful texture and flavor! As for aspiring to roll them into perfect circles, they taste so good, nobody will care what shape they come out!
Can you store these at room temperature?
Temporarily. I’d go with standard food safety limits – 2 hours at room temperature maximum, then store in the fridge.
I have finally found THE tortilla recipe that I LOVE! Thank you! These were so delicious and soft and fluffy! Made them following all instructions and they did not disappoint!!! I can finally make tortillas that would impress my mother-in-law! She makes excellent tortillas, but these are so much thicker and softer. I also feel good about not eating all that lard.
Mexican Schmexican. Nope. Fill with Spam, Potato, and Egg. That there is the A-Bomb Schizzle.
I am about to try this recipe, very excited but I have one question, my grandma, who recently passed, used to make the best tortillas! They were very thick, fluffy and soft. She told me the secret is butter but not sure what the butter would replace in this recipe or can I just add it as an extra ingredient?
I would play it safe by substituting it for half of the olive oil. So, 1 teaspoon of melted butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. That way you get some butter flavor but also the liquidity of the olive oil. If it works well, you can try substituting butter for all of the oil next time.
James F Kilmer
If you’re ever in the Des Moines, Iowa area, find your way to one of the Tasty Taco locations and order an original flour taco. I guarantee you will be getting another one! They use a great puffy flour taco, and the combination is a religious experience!
That sounds fantastic!
Yes! I’m from Des Moines, Iowa too and these look like Tasty Tacos before they deep fat fry them yum! Thanks so much for the great fluffy tortillas recipe!
I usually never comment on recipes but I actually can’t believe how good they are!!! Saving this recipe for the rest of my life!! Amazing recipe and so easy. Next time I will add more salt just my preference. I do have a question though after making the balls does it alter them in any way to leave them for more than 15 mins?
They might get drier and harder to roll out – but a few minutes extra probably won’t make much of a difference. Hope this helps!
Will a non dairy milk work?
It should work fine. I’d avoid any of the flavored non dairy milks (the ones that taste like vanilla) and stick to the more neutral-tasting ones.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t tell you how many tortilla recipes I have tried that just gave me flat, lifeless results. These were wonderful — warm, fluffy, soft, EXACTLY what we were looking for. They reminded me of the tortillas we used to get at our favorite Mexican restaurant … this is a permanent addition to my recipe collection!
I love it too! So much I even made a gluten free version. 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying these super fluffy tortillas!
You ever just meet a recipe that changes your cooking life forever ? Money is tight – it’s year 2 of the pandemie and I need to save those dollars where I can. My life of disappointment when I go to grab the uncooked tortillas from the store only to find out that once again that section has been ransacked and only the 5 dollar pack of organic gluten free tortillas remain are over! Been making these for months and wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe – me and my partner experiment with adding ingredients to the dough before cooking (finely chopped tomatoes and onions are a fav right now) and we use king arthur flour because a good quality flour is smth you should never skimp on. Thanks!
That is just fantastic to hear! Thank you for commenting! 🙂
I’ve been searching for a copycat recipe for the flour tortillas from Frontier Restaurant in Albq, NM. The picture of this tortilla looks identical to Frontier’s; so I’m looking forward to trying this!
I’m curious: you emphasize being careful with the flour measurements; while rolling out the dough, is the roller and the surface lightly floured?
It can be. I’ve done it both ways, depending on the surface. As long as you don’t go too crazy with extra flour you should be just fine. 🙂
I’m in search of a Frontier copycat recipe, curious if you ended up trying this recipe and how it compared?
Looking forward to trying these tonight. Canada also has coke made with sugar. We often take some across the border for friends who prefer Canadian Coke
We tried your tortilla recipe today and it very good. We had looked for a tortilla that wasn’t too thin. The tortilla was easy to roll and was soft and chewy. Thank you for the recipe.
DAN @ Sauce Grandmaster
Really delicious! Sweet and slightly crunchy. Can be served with pickles! Awesome!!
I dont know what I did wrong. I followed your directions and amounts perfectly but my dough came out dry and lumpy
I really liked using warm milk instead of water – it gave the tortillas a very nice texture in your mouth.
As for puffy – that didn’t happen. I’m thinking I didn’t rest it long enough.
I make pancakes with no acidity and they puff, so my guess is just not resting the right times because my b powder is brand new. I’ll definitely try again.
Used almond milk, EVOO + sunflower oil, tortilla press