Gluten Free Soft Taco Tortillas

Gluten Free Soft Taco Tortillas

These gluten free soft taco tortillas are thinner and more flexible, but still have the flavor and aroma of corn tortillas. The best of both worlds!

Stack of tortillas on towel

These gluten free soft tacos are a combination of our gluten free flour tortillas and authentic corn tortillas. Rather than using only all-purpose gluten-free flour, we use a combination of that flour and masa harina corn flour.

A close up of a stack of tortillas on white surface

What makes these gluten free soft taco tortillas special

I like the weight, chewiness and even the authentic aroma of masa harina, a precooked cornmeal. Adding all purpose gluten free flour makes the dough a bit easier to handle. Instead of oil, I used nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening because I like how smooth it makes the dough.

These make a super quick dinner. Fill them with a variety of chopped grilled vegetables, or with leftover grilled chicken or ground beef you brown quickly on the stovetop. There’s lot of potential here.

What’s your favorite way to eat a soft taco? My favorite way is black bean and corn salsa with tomatoes and freshly grated cheese, in a warm taco right out of the pan.

Tortillas on white and red towel

Ingredients and substitutions

Masa harina corn flour: In place of masa harina corn flour, a precooked cornmeal which is discussed fully in our recipe for pupusas, I have made this recipe successfully using corn flour. In the U.S., corn flour is finely ground cornmeal, and an ingredient we explore fully in our recipe for gluten free cornbread.

Instead of purchasing corn flour as fully ground, you can simply take any coarsely ground cornmeal that you have on hand, and grind it further. I grind a bunch in my personal blender or miniature food processor, and store it as “double ground cornmeal” in my pantry.

Shortening: I use Spectrum brand non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening. It is not Crisco. Instead, it’s sustainably sourced and significantly healthier than hydrogenated vegetable shortening.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use shortening, you can try solid-at-room-temperature virgin coconut oil. If you’re concerned about a coconut aroma, see if you can find triple filtered virgin coconut oil, which has absolutely no aroma.

These gluten free soft tacos are thinner and more flexible, but still have the flavor and aroma of corn tortillas. The best of both worlds!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 8 8-inch tacos


3/4 cup (105 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

3/4 cup (90 g) gluten free masa harina or gluten free corn flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons (24 g) non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (I like Spectrum brand)

1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) warm water, plus more as necessary


  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, masa harina, salt, and baking powder, and whisk to combine well. Add the shortening and cut in with a pastry blender, two knives, or your fingers (it doesn’t need to stay cold, so your hot little hands work fine here) until evenly distributed throughout the dry ingredients.

  • Add the water to the mixture slowly, mixing constantly. The dough will begin to come together. Depending upon the climate in your kitchen, you may need more water than 1/2 cup, and you made need less. After 1/2 cup, add the water sparingly by the tablespoon, kneading well after each addition. If the dough is crumbly, it is too dry and needs a bit more water. If it is sticky, it is too wet and could benefit from another teaspoon of masa. Add all ingredients sparingly. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until smooth and well integrated, cover with a towel, and allow to rest on the counter for 30 minutes.

  • Once the dough has rested, divide it into 8 to 10 equal parts (depending upon how large you want your tacos), and roll each into a ball. Roll between two either two sheets of plastic wrap or a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, split down the seams and then cut in half. Use a tortilla press (lined with plastic on both sides) if you have one – they’re worth the small investment.

  • Cook each round of dough in a heavy-bottom cast iron (or nonstick) skillet over medium-high heat for 20 seconds on one side (pressing the tortilla gently in the center with a wide spatula as it cooks), flip and cook for 10 seconds on the other side. The tortilla should be completely opaque and lightly charred in spots.

  • emove the tortilla from the pan, and place either in a tortilla warmer or in a moist tea towel, covered on both sides with the towel. Repeat with the remaining rounds of dough, and serve warm.


Comments are closed.

  • Michelle n
    June 3, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    My husband and I enjoyed these amazing soft tacos tonight. We are both gluten-intolerant and loved the softness of a flour tortilla after so many years without. Your recipes have changed our lives. Bless you for sharing your talent with us!

  • Janet
    August 12, 2011 at 1:54 PM

    Thank you so much! Once again you have rescued lunch with GF boy! Before it was pizza, today he wanted a cheesy tortilla, but the standard corn tortillas would not do. “They’re tear too much”. So I made a batch of these today and got 16 in the batch (about the size of a regular corn tortilla). He loved them and had 4 for lunch today! I wrapped the rest in plastic wrap and I am going to try them reheated tomorrow and see if he likes them that way too.

    Many thanks,

    • Nicole
      August 12, 2011 at 8:09 PM

      Hi, Janet,
      Sounds like you’ve got a smart boy there! So glad you’re enjoying this recipe. It is such a cinch, and I’m sure it will reheat just fine. When you’re ready to use them, heat them in the microwave and they should be soft and pliable again. If the tortillas feel stiff at all, sprinkle them with water before heating.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Sarah
    July 29, 2011 at 10:41 PM

    These were soft and delicious. Everyone in my house gobbled them up. I did modify back to not have corn and used lard for the shortening. I love how your recipes are very robust! Thank you for a wonderful meal!

    • Nicole
      July 30, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      Hi, Sarah,
      Oh my goodness lard for the shortening is decadent and delicious. I have even used bacon grease. It’ll kill you, but you’ll die happy. :)
      Thank you so much for telling me how you made out. I love hearing “after” stories!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Carrie
    July 27, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    These look so. delicious. I’ve made tortillas before (ok, I have a huge batch frozen right now so I can pop one out anytime I need to) but unless I reheat them right before I eat them (which is not always possible when I’m at work and such) they kinda break apart. So disappointing. So I’m excited to try these out! And I will be able to make them perfectly this time. Because you know what I did last night? I ordered Better Batter flour. And your cook book. What a lovely couple they will be. So happy together. And I will be happy too!
    Those packages better ship to me fast. That’s all I have to say about that. :)

    • Nicole
      July 27, 2011 at 2:49 PM

      Hi, Carrie,
      Any tortilla (gluten or gluten-free) will be most pliable when it’s warm – either from the pan, or from a microwave. That being said, I often make my family burritos, and bring them to-go, send my husband to work with them for lunch, put them in the kids’ lunch boxes, etc. If it’s a kid’s lunch box, I microwave the burrito right before they leave in the morning, and put it in an insulated container. It’s perfect at lunchtime. For my husband, he has a microwave available to him at work, so he just zaps it for a few seconds there. If you have to eat them cold, make the burrito when they’re warm, and be sure to roll them a little thicker than normal. It helps them retain their moisture.
      Hooray for Better Batter and the cookbook! Indeed, a match made in heaven. :) I hope they both come speedy quick. I know what it’s like to just. want. to. get. started!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Ashley
    July 27, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I’ve never made homemade GF tortillas do they hold together instead of falling apart like all the flops I’ve bought in the past?

    P.s. You’ve changed my life with your book and blog I <3 u Nicole!

    • Nicole
      July 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM

      Hi, Ashley,
      Of course they stay together! They don’t crumble like the store-bought GF ones do. For the life of me, I can’t understand why no one has put out a good GF flour tortilla. Rudy’s makes a packaged spelt tortilla that people rave about — why can’t they do a GF one? But yes, these tortillas (or you can try the straight flour one from the book, that is reprinted in Living Without Magazine & on their website) hold together beautifully. They are soft and pliable, and roll up really nice. I promise!
      xoxo Nicole
      P.S. YOU changed your life. I just talked you through it. :)

  • Kadren
    July 27, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    There is nothing like a homemade tortilla!!!!!!!! :)

    • Nicole
      July 27, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      Hi, Kadren,
      I know! I totally agree. Fresh out of the pan, you can’t beat it!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Bonnie Sue
    July 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    You’re always making stuff I love or want to eat! I just wish I could overcome this laziness. Will you just start shipping your yummy goodness …pleeeeeeeease!?

    • Nicole
      July 27, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      Hi, Bonnie Sue,
      I don’t believe that you’re lazy! Usually “laziness” in the kitchen is really something else entirely. Do you feel competent in the kitchen? Are you just too busy doing other things that are more valuable/important to you? No way. Not going to believe you’re lazy! And, for the record, I’d love to cook for you. The blog is just a poor substitute for the real thing. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • July 27, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Sounds great! Will try it next week – thanks!

  • Anne Fleury via Facebook
    July 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    I know what we are having for dinner tonight!! Thanks Nicole!

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