Soft, tender, and authentic. With 5 simple ingredients, learn how to make vegan flour tortillas from scratch!
No preservatives or funny ingredients here. These babies are going to be your new favorite snack, side dish, or food mopper upper.
Table of Contents
There's no arguing our love for corn tortillas. They instantly come to mind when authentic Mexican food is brought up.
But we learned something recently.
Flour tortillas are also very authentically Mexican.
Once you learn the history and how to make some of your own, you won't want to buy store-bought ever again.
Long ago, when the Spaniards settled in Northern Mexico, they discovered the cold winters were perfect for their wheat crops to flourish.
Since then, flour tortillas have become an integral part of Mexican cuisine Tex-Mex cooking.
In states closer to California like Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, and Sinaloa, you'll see flour tortillas used more often because of the suitable terrain.
What are they?
So, what's actually in a flour tortilla?
They consist primarily of four ingredients: flour, fat, salt, and water.
All-purpose flour is relatively low in gluten, which creates a soft tortilla. You'll want to avoid bread flour as it contains higher amounts of this protein.
Many traditional recipes use lard, but we're definitely not sold on the idea (couple of vegans here), so we've included vegetable shortening in our recipe.
We've heard of people using coconut oil, but we wanted to keep things as cheap and authentic as possible for this vegan tortilla recipe.
You can definitely make these salt-free, but it does help elevate the overall taste. We wouldn't recommend skipping this ingredient.
There is back and forth on whether flour tortilla recipes need baking powder. While not totally necessary, we've actually recently started adding it to ours and prefer them with baking powder.
This quick and easy recipe is a must if you want to make the most of all your favorite Mexican dishes.
So, you must be ready to make your very own vegan flour tortillas by now!
Once you take your first bite, you'll never be able to look at store-bought the same way again.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: known as all-purpose flour, this has a rather mild wheat flavor. It gives the tortillas a soft texture and slightly sweet taste.
Health: compared to store-bought tortillas, homemade gives you the benefit of no preservatives! It really makes you think twice about the ingredient lists of mainstream tortilla brands.
Fun fact: flour has been made since prehistoric times. Some of the earliest methods involved grinding grain between stones (and here we are now driving around in electric cars).
Taste: opt for neutral oils to avoid an overpowering flavor on the rest of the recipe. We use vegetable shortening in this recipe, but you can also use avocado oil or olive oil if you prefer.
Health: if you're looking to purely save money, you can't beat vegetable shortening, soybean, or canola oil. But if you want to retain some health properties, avocado oil is a great choice.
If you have questions about this vegan tortilla recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the vegetable shortening with your hands to incorporate into the dry ingredients. Then, add the water and stir everything together with a spatula.
Note: the dough will seem crumbly at this point, but once you start the kneading process, it will come together.
Step 2: remove the dough from your mixing bowl onto a floured surface and knead until it's sticking together but not coming off on your hands. Keep on kneading for about 10 minutes.
Step 3: cut the dough into 12 smaller pieces and roll each one until smooth. Once they are rolled, slightly flatten them, and cover with a towel to rest for 15 minutes up to a few hours (the longer they rest, the softer they'll turn out).
Step 5: the best way to make your tortillas is with a rolling pin. Flour your surface, then flatten out the disc of dough with your hand. Start rolling it out with a rolling pin until it's very thin (it should be almost see-through).
Step 4: if you have a tortilla press, open it and lightly flour both surfaces or line it with 2 pieces of a freezer bag. Place a tortilla in the center, close it, and press down to form tortillas about 6 inches in diameter.
Step 6: preheat a seasoned cast-iron skillet slowly up to medium. Then, add a tortilla in and cook on the first side for 45-60 seconds, or until you see bubbling and light brown spots. Flip and cook for another 45-60 seconds.
Note: you may have to adjust the time and heat level depending on your own stove and pan. Just keep practicing until you get the right feel!
Step 7: when the tortilla looks ready, remove it from the heat and wrap it in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve these warm with your favorite meals. Happy eating!
Keeping warm: while you're cooking all the tortillas, it's important to keep them wrapped in a tea towel or tortilla warmer. The trapped steam will keep them soft and pliable.
Room temperature: you can keep vegan flour tortillas in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Fridge: these will keep in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. They will harden a little once in your fridge, but you can easily reheat them (see below).
Freezer: let your tortillas cool completely before stacking with parchment or wax paper in between. Wrap with foil and keep in a freezer-safe bag for up to 6-8 months. Thaw the amount you want in your fridge overnight.
Reheating: microwave your tortilla on a plate with a damp cloth or paper towel over top for about 20-30 seconds. You can also reheat them in a covered skillet over low for 20-30 seconds per side.
💭 Pro tips
Time to share our tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with these flour tortillas for you:
- The texture will be slightly crumbly when you initially mix it. But as you continue kneading, the consistency will turn more uniform.
- Start your cast-iron skillet low and slow to ensure you get the right temperature.
- If you're seeing dark brown or black spots too quickly, turn the heat down and wait a few minutes before starting the next tortilla.
- Don't worry about rolling these out perfectly. They still taste delicious! Plus, the oblong shapes totally add to the homemade-ness.
- Make a double batch and freeze the extras to save you time in the future.
🍴 Tasting notes
We love homemade flour tortillas and we know you're soon going to be a fan of them too. They're:
If you try this vegan tortilla recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
How to Make Flour Tortillas
- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- 3 cups all-purpose flour ($0.22)
- 1 teaspoon salt ($0.02)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder ($0.01)
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening ($0.08)
- 1 cup very warm water ($0.01)
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the vegetable shortening with your hands to incorporate into the dry ingredients. Then, add the water and stir everything together.
- Next, remove the dough from your mixing bowl onto a floured surface. Begin kneading the dough to form a ball that's sticky enough to stay together, but not coming off on your hands. Keep folding over and pressing with your palm for 10 minutes.
- If the dough appears too crumbly, continue adding a tablespoon of water at a time until you are able to form a texture similar to play dough. If it's too sticky, similarly add a tablespoon of flour while continuing to knead.
- Cut the ball of dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece with your hands until smooth, then flatten slightly. Once they are rolled and flattened, cover with a towel to rest for at least 15 minutes up to a few hours (the longer they rest, the softer they'll turn out).
- On a floured surface, use your hand to flatten the disc out a little then begin rolling it out with a rolling pin. Roll it until the tortilla is quite thin (don't forget about the edges). If you don't have a rolling pin, use a tortilla press or the bottom of a baking dish.
- Preheat a seasoned cast-iron skillet slowly up to medium. Then, add a tortilla in and cook on the first side for 45-60 seconds, or until you see bubbles forming and light brown spots on the underside. Flip and cook for another 45-60 seconds.
- Note: you may have to adjust the heat and cook time depending on your individual stove and pan.
- Remove from heat and wrap each tortilla in a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest. Serve your flour tortillas warm with your favorite meals. Happy eating!
- The resting period hydrates the flour and softens the gluten bonds, which makes softer, more pliable tortillas.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- Nutritional information is a rough estimate.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more delicious Mexican recipes, check out our:
- Corn tortillas to decide which one you prefer (or maybe it's both).
- Jackfruit carnitas for a recipe that will challenge everything you thought you knew about meat alternatives.
- Cauliflower tacos for an easy-to-make meal that's perfect for taco Tuesday.
- Crispy black bean tacos for a simple weeknight meal that's light on the wallet and big on taste!
If your dough is too dry, add in warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until it stays together with kneading.
If your dough is too sticky, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it reaches a playdough consistency.
You don't have to let the dough rest. But to ensure you have the softest tortillas, leave them for a minimum of 30 minutes before cooking.
If your tortillas are sticking to the pan, it likely means you didn't preheat it enough before putting the tortilla on to fry. This is especially important if you use a cast-iron skillet since it takes a while to heat up evenly.
You can make these without oil if you want. They won't be as flavorful, and the texture will be dry.
We haven't tried making this gluten-free since gluten plays an important role in flour tortillas. You can try using your favorite gluten-free flour blend, but we think you're better off making our gluten-free corn tortillas.