These vegan tortillas are perfectly soft, pliable and really easy to make! You likely already have the ingredients in your pantry, and they also freeze great.
A note to my subscribers: this is the one and only recipe without a gluten-free option I plan to post this year! Please don’t run off. 🙂 I promise to make it up to you next week with the gooiest paleo vegan brownies! ♥
As I said in my Vegan Fajitas post, there’s a reason why I’ve never posted gluten-free tortillas on the blog. I’ve been making gluten-free tortillas at least twice a month for around six years and haven’t found a recipe that I love.
It’s ridiculous. If someone can recommend a recipe that they love, please let me know about it in the comments!
When I moved to Germany in 2009, I made these vegan tortillas all the time. I didn’t post the recipe because it didn’t fit my blog, but when I lost my sense of taste for a very, very long time, I panicked about what I was going to post and had my photographer shoot these.
I thought that way, I would have something to share. I knew the recipe was amazing and figured that someone would appreciate it.
Aren’t tortillas naturally vegan?
These homemade tortillas certainly are! But if you’re eating out or buying packaged tortillas, you should ask questions and carefully read the labels.
Traditional tortillas were made with lard which is fat from a pig. Butter is often used in place of lard. Whey is actually derived from dairy products and glycerin can be made from animals. Some glycerin is derived from vegetables, so at a restaurant, it’s better to ask for glycerin-free tortillas. Any one of these ingredients would disqualify a tortilla as vegan.
Commercial flour tortillas may also include vague ingredients like dough enhancers or enzymes to increase shelf-life, so you never know if it includes animal ingredients or not.
I prefer to make my own tortillas because I know exactly what is going into them, and I know that they will be vegan and delicious!
How to make tortillas
The process of making your own tortillas is easier than you think.
Here are the ingredients:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Warm water
- Oil (you can use olive oil or canola)
In a nutshell, this is how you make tortillas.
- Mix together all the dough ingredients.
- Divide into balls.
- Let the dough rest.
- Roll out.
- Cook both sides and go crazy on your homemade tortillas!
How to keep tortillas soft
While you’re making them, the best way to keep tortillas soft is to wrap them in a tea towel which has been placed in a ziplock bag.
You’ll want to cover them up, unlike my photo below. I just did that so you can see the tortillas. 🙂
You can also use a plate or large bowl lined with a towel, and cover it with another towel or plate, that is, if you don’t have a tortilla warmer. 😉
Whichever method you use is fine. What’s important is to keep them soft and warm so everything is served hot and fresh.
How to store tortillas
Once they’re all cooked and still warm, close up the plastic bag, making sure to remove all the air, and put them in the fridge.
In the fridge, tortillas will last up to 10 days, as long as you keep sealing the bag. If you slip a piece of parchment paper in between each tortilla, they won’t stick together.
You can then remove as many as you like and reheat them along the way.
How to reheat tortillas
Reheating tortillas is the best way to enjoy them after they have been stored in the fridge. Once they’ve been chilled, they get stiff and you must reheat them to soften them up again.
To reheat them you want to lightly steam them with damp towels so they won’t lose any moisture.
In a microwave, place the tortillas on a plate with damp paper towels in between the tortillas and reheat for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how many tortillas you have.
In an oven, wrap a stack of tortillas in a damp tea towel and place them in a casserole dish, cover with a lid or tight foil, and heat at 250 °F (120 °C ) for 20 minutes or so.
If you have a gas stove, using tongs, you can lay the tortilla on the open flame (the lowest setting) for 20 to 30 seconds then flip it to heat both sides. You obviously need to be very careful with this one! Also, expect some char around the edges.
If you have a cast-iron skillet, you can get the tortillas extra toasty (rather than soft and pliable) by using a little oil to heat them in about 30 seconds for each side. You can also not use oil and just heat them up in a well-seasoned skillet, but they may be a little drier.
You’ll know when they’re ready when they start to bubble.
Can you freeze tortillas?
Yes, you can! Freezing tortillas is a great way to store them for longer periods.
You can tightly wrap a stack of tortillas in plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper and place it in a large freezer bag. Remove any air and seal tightly.
I suggest taking an extra step and adding a layer of parchment paper between each tortilla if you want to pull out only a couple of tortillas at a time for a quick meal rather than defrosting a whole stack.
It’s always a good idea to label and date the package. In the freezer, tortillas can last up to 6 months.
To defrost tortillas you can put them in the refrigerator for a day until they are completely defrosted which helps them from sticking together.
But if you lined each tortilla with parchment paper, you can simply put a small amount on the counter for an hour or so and they will be ready to reheat and serve.
What to do with tortillas
Flour tortillas are versatile and fabulous! You can stuff them with almost anything. They are perfect for the Vegan Fajitas because these flour tortillas are also vegan!
If you like, you can make a fat burrito, a healthy wrap, or you can even use them in casseroles and stews.
If you’re looking for something more specific, you can try one of these:
- Cream Cheese Quesadillas. These cream cheese quesadillas are terrific. They’re super quick and easy to make so just dethaw your frozen tortillas and use leftover roasted chicken for a last-minute meal on a busy night.
- Strawberry Banana Quesadillas – These banana PB&J quesadillas are perfect little snacks when you want something healthy but sweet at the same time.
- Tortilla pizzas are also a favorite last-minute snack around here! I throw the tortillas in the oven (or actually, my air fryer/convection oven) for a few minutes, and then add tomato sauce and cheese.
- Mexican Tortilla Casserole (Vegan Enchilada Lasagna) – This vegan Mexican tortilla casserole from Bianca Zapatka looks amazing. It’s made with black beans and corn for a perfect protein, and a mix of bright vegetables.
While you’re making the tortillas, I highly recommend listening to this short origin story from The Splendid Table radio segment. → In defense of flour tortillas: an origin story with Gustavo Arellano. It’s a treat.
Can I make these gluten-free or paleo?
I’m very sorry, but no. That won’t work. When it comes to tortillas, you really need to find a recipe that’s already gluten-free instead of trying gluten-free baking blends in the place of the all-purpose flour.
I have tried these with Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free 1-to-1 Baking Flour and that’s a big fat nope. Don’t try that! Save it for other stuff, like this Vegan Chocolate Cake, Dairy-free Cornbread, and these Berry Bars (both of which have vegan options).
I wish I had a great gluten-free tortilla to refer you to, but I’ve tried probably a hundred and haven’t loved any of them.
On a somewhat random note
The history of the tortilla goes back 10,000 years BCE and they were originally made out of corn. Flour tortillas originated in northern Mexico where wheat is more suitable to grow, and their name is Spanish meaning “small cake.”
Fast forward to modern times and you can find tortillas in an array of colors and sizes, and they even have their place in space.
NASA has used tortillas for some time. It seems there was a bread crumb gravity issue. Tortillas solved this problem because food could easily be rolled up into a tortilla, and it proved to be an easy way to eat a meal even in space.
I don’t think there’s a better reason for making your own out-of-this-world tortillas, do you?! 😉
I hope you’ll enjoy the fajitas! If you make this recipe, I’d love to see 📸 pictures of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Please hashtag them #texanerin so I can find them. 🙂
- Prep Time: 20 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Ready in: 35 min
- Yield: 12
- 2 1/4 cups (281 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup oil (you can use olive oil or canola)
- Put a tea towel in a Ziploc bag. There is where you’ll put the cooked tortillas to keep them pliable.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients using a wooden spoon.
- Add the warm water and oil. Use the dough hook of an electric hand mixer to mix it until totally combined. Begin on low so that the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. Mix on medium for about a minute. When the dough starts to come together to form a ball, mix the dough for another minute on low until the dough is completely smooth and combined.
- Lightly flour a surface and divide the dough into 12 pieces.
- Coat each one in a little bit of flour. Cover with a tea towel. Rest for 20 minutes to 2 hours before continuing.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Roll a dough ball into a 6″ circle. If it sticks, add more flour. Don’t stack the circles on top of each other as they’ll stick.
- Place the tortilla into the hot pan and let cook for about 40-60 seconds or until the top looks bubbly and the bottom of the tortillas has a few light brown spots.
- The first tortilla might be tricky since the pan is often not hot enough. After the first tortilla, if it takes longer than a minute to cook the first side, turn up the heat a little. If it’s browning too quickly, turn the heat down.
- Flip the tortilla and cook for about another 10-20 seconds.
How to store tortillas:
- Use tongs to remove the tortilla from the pan and place in the towel in the bag, which will keep the tortillas pliable.
How to reheat:
- Once they’re cooked and still warm, close up the plastic bag, making sure to remove all the air, and put them in the fridge. In the fridge, tortillas will last up to 10 days, as long as you keep sealing the bag. If you slip a piece of parchment paper in between each tortilla, they won’t stick together. You can then remove as many as you like and reheat them along the way.
- To reheat them you want to lightly steam them with damp towels so they won’t lose any moisture.
How to freeze tortillas:
- In a microwave, place the tortillas on a plate with damp paper towels in between the tortillas and reheat for 30 seconds to 1 minute depending on how many tortillas you have.
- You can tightly wrap a stack of tortillas in plastic wrap, foil, or freezer paper and place it in a large freezer bag. Remove any air and seal tightly.
- I suggest taking an extra step and adding a layer of parchment paper between each tortilla if you want to pull out only a couple of tortillas at a time for a quick meal rather than defrosting a whole stack.
- It’s always a good idea to label and date the package. In the freezer, tortillas can last up to 6 months.
- To defrost tortillas you can put them in the refrigerator for a day until they are completely defrosted which helps them from sticking together.
- But if you lined each tortilla with parchment paper, you can simply put a small amount on the counter for an hour or so and they will be ready to reheat and serve.