Crispy Gluten Free Corn Tortillas Recipe Using Cornmeal

Most corn tortillas are made with masa harina which are treated with lime. Since I am allergic to lime (both citrus and the type used to treat masa), I created this gluten free corn tortilla recipe using cornmeal instead of masa harina. It works great for crispy tacos and tostadas. See the instructions for how to make them crispy. For a soft, corn tortilla using masa harina, see the Soft Gluten Free Corn Tortillas Recipe.

Crispy Gluten Free Corn Tortillas Recipe Using Cornmeal


Yield: Makes 5 tortillas.

Crispy Gluten Free Corn Tortillas Recipe Using Cornmeal

A gluten free corn tortillas recipe using cornmeal instead of masa harina. Works well for crispy tacos or tostadas.


  • 1/4 cup gluten-free cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Carla's Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour Blend Recipe
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon neutral flavored cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water (I used 1 T. less)
  • Gluten free spray olive oil


  1. In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the oil and about 1/2 cup of boiling water to the bowl. Using a rubber spatula or your hands fold the dry and wet ingredients together. Add additional water and stir it in until a supple dough forms and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Form the dough into a log and cut it into five pieces.
  4. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat.
  5. Spray 2 sheets of wax paper with oil. Using slightly dusted floured hands, form a piece of dough into a round patty. Place it between the wax paper sheets and roll it out to a 7-inch circle.
  6. Remove one of the pieces of wax paper and transfer to a frying pan. Carefully remove the remaining piece of wax paper and fry on each side for about 45 seconds or until a few golden brown spots appear. (After you fry the first tortilla, you will probably need to lower the heat just a bit.) Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
  7. To make crispy tortilla shells for tostadas, fry them in preheated skillet with 1-inch of oil for 30 -- 45 seconds on each side or until they are crunchy and golden brown. Taco shells are a bit trickier. Use tongs to hold a folded tortilla with the folded side down. Fry the tortillas in a deep-fryer preheated to 370°F for about 30 seconds.


An exact water measurement is not provided because different gluten-free flour mixes contain different ingredients. Since I used a flour blend that calls for superfine rich flour more water is required. Superfine rice flour is very dense and absorbs more liquid.

You can substitute about 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal for flour, however, the fiber content is higher with more cornmeal. Bob's Red Mill makes a medium coarse gluten free cornmeal. Cornmeal is naturally gluten free, but if you need to careful of gluten cross-contamination Bob's Red Mill is great choice.

5 Replies to “Crispy Gluten Free Corn Tortillas Recipe Using Cornmeal”

  1. Thanks! I live someplace where masa harina just isn’t available at all, so I’m thrilled to find an alternative recipe.

  2. “Most corn tortillas are made with masa harina which are treated with lime. Since I am allergic to citrus, I created this gluten free corn tortilla recipe using cornmeal instead of masa harina.”

    Carla, The lime used to treat masa harina is a solution of calcium hydroxide and water. It is not the citrus.

    from MedlinePlus: “Calcium hydroxide is a white powder produced by mixing calcium oxide (“lime”) with water. Calcium hydroxide poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance.”
    (Who would want to drink it, anyway?)

    Many products are dangerous at some stage but can be made safe to eat by correct preparation.

    Thank you for your recipes.

  3. Hey, Carla – just a quick note:

    You mentioned that you are allergic to citrus, but the “lime” used to process Masa Harina is not the fruit, it’s a mineral called calcium hydroxide – a very alkaline substance that kind of pre-cooks the corn flour. Just thought you’d like to know!


    1. David,

      Thanks so much for this information. However, every time I eat masa or tortilla chips treated with lime, I itch all over. So, I suppose I am allergic to both the fruit and calcium hydroxide and/or the lime mineral.


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