Gluten Free Tortillas: Make Your Own or Buy Them?

Gluten Free Tortillas: Make Your Own or Buy Them?

*ETA: I’ve reprinted the Gluten Free Flour Tortillas recipe from page 203 of my bread book, GFOAS Bakes Bread, right here on the blog! Get ready to make the best flour tortillas of your life—gluten or no gluten.

Gluten free tortillas are something I consider to be pret-ty important (wraps! burritos! quesadillas!). I been waiting to try the packaged gluten free tortillas available now, but I couldn’t find them in stores anywhere. Which means I had to order them online. Such a production! But I soldiered on, and now they’re the latest installment in our Make It Or Buy It blog series. Can you stand the suspense?![pinit]gluten free tortillas

The homemade gluten free flour tortilla I used is the version from my first cookbook (page 120). I considered it so essential to a proper gluten free life that I repeated it as a ‘bonus’ recipe in my second cookbook (page 80).

gluten free tortillas

Clearly, I dig this recipe. Don’t be mad that you have to have one of my cookbooks to get it! There’s also a recipe for whole grain gluten free flour tortillas right here on the blog.

gluten free tortillas

I use these tortillas for everything. They’re tender and even a little chewy, and they are perfect with just a little butter right out of the skillet (never had them like that? it’s reason enough to make this recipe and I know it sounds really ho-hum but that’s only because you’ve never tried it). This time, I made simple chicken fajitas with some pico de gallo. And it was glorious!

gluten free tortillas

The “buy it” version was Rudi’s plain gluten free flour tortillas. Rudi’s really got the texture just right: tender and flexible, they bend without breaking even before you heat them. Well done, Rudi. You buy them frozen, like most packaged gluten free breads, and then defrost them in the refrigerator. A quick spin in a hot cast iron skillet, and they’re good to go.

gluten free tortillas

The taste of the packaged tortillas was … pretty good. Not great, and definitely not at all bad. 8.5 about sums it up. But the cost was out of control (seriously), and the ease was, well, anything but easy. If I could find them for a better price and in a grocery store near my home, I would actually like to keep some on hand, mostly because they’re really very flexible and you can actually make a real burrito with them. But not only did I have to order them online (not uncommon for gluten free packaged products), I had to order them frozen, which meant that I had to pay crazy extra amounts for shipping. Which also meant that I felt ridiculous ordering 1 package of tortillas in a whole cooler pack. And since I couldn’t recall (or find out again without going through the entire ordering process) how much shipping was, the price below per ounce doesn’t even include the shipping cost! So the cost is a deal-breaker for me for now. If you can find these closer to you, and maybe for a better price, I say you might want to give them a try. At least they’re better than those bizarre “tortillas” they sell in Trader Joe’s that are made from 1 ingredient: rice.

gluten free tortillas

Up next in the Make It Or Buy It blog series is gluten free granola. Any other packaged gluten free products you’d like me to try and compare to the homemade version? Let me know in the comments!



P.S. Looking for some weekend reading? Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy is just the thing – and you’ll support the blog that loves to support you. Thank you!!

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  • Melissa
    April 26, 2013 at 6:12 AM

    I just got a tortilla press, so I can’t wait to try these. :)

  • GutThinking
    April 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    In defense of the rice ones from Trader Joe’s (AKA Food for Life brand at any other store) – yes, they break and yes, they do not behave like a regular tortilla and are frustrating but WOW do they make the best quesadillas and if you have a problem with corn, try cutting them up into chips and frying them up in an inch of olive oil in a 4 quart pot on the stove – the BEST tortilla chips that stay crispy and do not turn stale if you put them in a plastic zippered bag for up to a few (yes few) weeks. Love them! All that said, I will try the Rudi’s at some point because I’ve had little luck making my own tortillas for some reason, though I’m 99% certain there’s something in them that disagrees with me, so they’ll be a fairly forbidden pleasure. Thanks for the review. :)

  • Kalkette
    April 22, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    This post inspired me to actually try making home made gluten free flour tortillas. I absolutely adore them! I am considering making more today and possibly more every day this week. I may be hooked. That or it’s something I was definitely missing A LOT after going gluten free!

  • Fatima
    April 21, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Beautiful pictures Nicole! They look so yummy and I miss flour tortillas :) I have your Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Q and E right in front of me and yeah! :) no corn if you use a flour blend w/o corn. That is the downfall for me with the Rudi’s ones (underlying allergy to corn and/or it reacts like gluten in my body) along w/ the price although they are not as expensive as you list at our local WF and come in two varieties: plain and Fiesta if I remember correctly. Okay so my question, do I invest in a tortilla press? I have invested in a scale and other equipment you have suggested and it makes life so much easier b/c things come out like they are supposed to :) Thank you so much :)

  • Alana
    April 19, 2013 at 6:21 PM

    I made these for the first time tonight, and they are AMAZING! I have both of your books, but this was the first time I was brave enough to try them. I’m so glad I did! I couldn’t bring myself to shell out the $$ for the frozen ones, and I have missed tortillas. I just can’t brag on them enough. They’re definitely worth the effort.

  • Jeri
    April 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    I have access locally to the Rudi’s and I purchase them frozen. They are expensive at about $6.00 for a package. Short of making them they are the best I’ve tasted. I like that I can fold them and they don’t break.

  • Linda
    April 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    Nicole, do you use a cold tortilla press or did you invest in the hot ones that shape and cook all at once? We really miss tortillas in my household and want to make them ourselves. My daughter can’t have tapioca or corn, we are both gluten and dairy free, and I can’t have soy or potatoes . . . so potato starch and tapioca starch have been out for us but usually I end up substituting arrowroot powder quite successfully. Keep up the great work and thank you for continuing with your wonderful blogging!

  • hjacobsRN
    April 19, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Thank you, Nicole, for this post and this great “make it or buy it” series!!! Excellent idea!!!! Oh how I have missed tortillas. I can’t wait I make them! I have both your books and love them!!! I am a huge fan! Keep up this important work!
    Heather :)

  • April 19, 2013 at 11:29 AM

    You know I LOVE LOVE LOVE these segments. We eat GF corn tortillas mostly because I’m afraid to make yours – though I bet you I look at that recipe at least once a month in your wonderful cookbooks. Can I freeze yours? I know you freeze yours once you’ve made them into a burrito but can I freeze just the tortilla? no filling?
    Other segments I’d like to see are pizza crusts/pizzas, breads, and cake mixes. Thanks for all you do! :)

    • Marissa Ammer
      April 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      I put pizza on the make it list. I make it just about every week. The gluten-eating fiance eats it too. So have his friends. Everybody likes it and can’t believe that 1. we eat pizza made from scratch in my kitchen. 2. it’s GF.

      I’ve made the one from Nicole’s first book; another one without rice flour and have 2 other recipes waiting in the wings. The first crust was daunting to make. Now it’s old hat. The dough is easy to mix with a fork, rolling it out is easy with a few tricks (freezer/parchment paper on bottom, dough, cling wrap, then rolling pin).

      There is only 1 GF pizza crust available in my preferred grocery store. It was so gross that I threw it away without having the fiance taste it. It also disagreed with my GI tract for the next day and a half.

      Ease: 8.5. The downside to Nicole’s crust is letting it rise. That extra half hour means that I have to plan pizza. I work almost 11 hour days right now and sometimes I just want pizza. Now. Otherwise, super easy and a 10.

      Cost becomes an issue too. The buy-it versions add up quickly; shoestring is better. The ingredient list is so simple that I can ALWAYS make pizza.

      Taste/quality is excellent. I find that Nicole’s is enhanced by mixing some rosemary and/or garlic in with the dough. The base recipe is really versatile, but a little bland. It needs pizza flavor for pizza crust. W/o rosemary/garlic: 8; W/: 10

      Texture: I miss the big, almost-a-bread-stick pouf of crust on the outside. Under the sauce and toppings, it’s just fine. 9.5

      • April 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Thank you! We make pizza too after several attempts – now I have it down. I will try the rosemary/garlic tips – thanks so much! :)

      • April 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

        A question for you – have you ever parbaked this crust and stored in the freezer? that’s my next attempt as I agree – sometimes you just want pizza NOW!

        • Marissa Ammer
          April 20, 2013 at 3:54 AM

          I’ve parbaked and refrigerated another GF crust. I never get far enough ahead to freeze them. I know others freeze them though.

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