As per your request, a Mexican gorditas recipe! Seriously, I can’t even begin to write about gorditas without starting to salivate! These delicious small and thick corn tortillas have a pocket stuffed with a savory filling and can be found in México being sold at fairs, markets, and street food stands. They can also definitely be made at home!
Gorditas are a great way to use the leftover stew from yesterday or the lonely refried beans in the fridge. Yes, leftovers take on a new life as a filling for gorditas, and then get transformed into a delicious meal!
You can make this gorditas recipe using masa harina or corn flour that you can easily find at your local grocery store. The most popular brand is Maseca.
But, What Is A Gordita?
A gordita is a small, thick tortilla. There’s not just one type of gordita recipe. It honestly depends on what region of the country you are in. Gordita literally translates to "little fat one". Other meanings could be "Little fatty" or "Chubby". If you compare it to a tortilla, it sure looks chubby.
Some gorditas could be just something made of corn dough or wheat dough or with an easy simple dough mix or a very complex dough with several ingredients. It could be savory or sweet gordita, cooked on a griddle, a fried gordita, or baked gordita. And, it can also be stuffed with a filling or not. You can also find enchiladas, with dried peppers in the masa mix. It really just depends!
See, a gordita could be so many things that the only thing they have in common is their shape: a small thick tortilla. We even have Sweet Gorditas made of regular flour.
My Version Of Gorditas
This gordita recipe is for the most popular corn gordita, which is usually stuffed with cheese, beans, meat, or other types of fillings, and served with red or green salsa. In México, we have a large variety of savory and sweet gorditas depending on the region of the country.
The savory gorditas are made using corn dough, sometimes with lard and salt added; they are cooked on a griddle or deep-fried.
Some gorditas are stuffed prior to being cooked or fried, similar to the “pupusas” from El Salvador.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gorditas
Before I share my gorditas recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about homemade gorditas.
What type of fillings is best for gorditas?
I usually make gorditas when I have several leftovers in the fridge like:
- Pork cracklings in green salsa (chicharrón en salsa verde)
- Pork pibil
- Refried beans
- Pork in salsa verde
Just to mention a few options! Some of the most popular stuffings for gorditas are Pork stew (asado de Cerdo), Chicharron en Salsa Verde, Chicken Tinga, Scrambled Eggs in Salsa ( red or green salsa), Shredded Beef in Salsa, Potatoes Mexican Style, Roasted Poblano Strips with cream, Chorizo and potatoes, and Refried Pinto Beans with cheese. The fillings vary according to the regions.
Fried Gorditas vs Pan Cooked Gorditas
Every region in Mexico has its own version of gorditas, I have lived in many places in Mexico, and some cooks fry them, and others cook them on the comal (griddle). The most common version is the pan cooked.
To fry the gorditas, proceed to form the gorditas using your tortilla press, and place them in a frying pan with hot oil. Cook until lightly golden on one side, and then flip it. The gordita will inflate when you flip it. Both sides should be lightly golden, then remove from the oil, place in a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Once they cool a little and you can handle them well, make the opening around the edge of the gordita using a knife, big enough to place the filling being careful not to break it or make it too big.
Why don't my gorditas inflate?
If your gorditas don't puff. It might be that your gordita is too thick and it might've not been pressed down thin enough. It is very important that you knead the dough very well and check the temperature of your griddle according to the instructions below. Think of a corn tortilla but just a bit thicker.
Make sure that when you flip the gordita the first time, the cooking time is a little longer as well as the final cooking. Almost at the end of the cooking, you can also gently press it down in the center. You can use a spatula or your fingers. That way you sort of force the puffing.
Can I freeze gorditas?
Yes! This gorditas recipe is very freezer friendly. Just make sure to wrap them tightly in food-safe plastic wrap so that no air gets in and to avoid freezer burn. To thaw them out, transfer them to the fridge the night before and let them sit out an hour before cooking.
Mexican Gorditas Recipe
Here is the list of ingredients you will need...
For The Dough:
- Corn flour (Maseca)
For The Filling:
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Gorditas: Step By Step Tutorial
To make things easier for you, I am going to breakdown the directions to this recipe into sections.
Make The Dough
- In a medium-size bowl, mix the corn flour and salt.
- Slowly add the water and knead to form a dough-like mixture.
- Divide the dough into 9 balls and cover with a moistened kitchen towel or paper towel to prevent the dough balls from drying out.
Form The Corn Tortillas
- Heat the griddle to medium-high heat.
- Place one plastic square on your tortilla press and then one ball of dough. (I like to use a freezer bag cut into a square to form the dough. Some people use plastic bags or plastic film, and even wax paper)
- Top with the other plastic square and gently press down the tortilla press to form the gordita.
- Remove the top plastic.
Tip: If you don't have a tortilla press for this gorditas recipe, I used the glass baking dish to show you how to make them without the tortilla press.
Cook The Gorditas
- Then, place on the hot griddle to cook.
- While the gordita is cooking, keep forming the rest of the dough, keeping a watchful eye on the griddle.
- After about 2 minutes, check if the gordita has already formed light brown spots.
- When it's done cooking, the gordita will slightly inflate.
- Remove from griddle and cover with a clean kitchen napkin to keep warm.
Assemble The Gordita With Fillings
- As soon as you can handle the hot gordita, with the help of a paring knife, make an incision around the edge, just big enough to stuff with the filling.
- Once you’ve finished making all the gorditas, fill them with the stuffing of your choice! I usually like to stuff it with refried beans and pork in green pipian sauce.
What To Serve With Gorditas
I highly recommend serving these gorditas while they are hot with a side of green tomatillo salsa and fresh salsa roja.
More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for gorditas, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Instant Pot Black Beans (Mexican Style)
- Green Tamales With Chicken
- Raw Nopales Salad
- Chicharron In Red Salsa
- Concha Recipe
I hope you make this recipe for Mexican gorditas! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
FOR THE GORDITAS RECIPE
- 1 ½ cup of corn flour (Maseca)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup water plus 2 extra tablespoons.
- 1 cup refried beans
- 1 cup pork in salsa verde
Or any other type of filling you may have. They have to be warm, and ready to use when the gorditas come out of the griddle.
- In a medium size bowl mix the corn-flour and salt. Slowly add the water and knead to form a uniform mixture. If the dough feels dry, add more water, little by little, spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft and manageable, like play dough. It doesn't have to be sticky. Depending on the humidity of your local city, you will need to add about 2 more tablespoons of water to the dough, and also keep a small bowl with water to moist the dough as needed. This dough tends to dry, so cover with a moist kitchen napkin while you make the gorditas.
- Divide the dough into 9 balls and cover with a moistened kitchen towel or paper towel. Heat the griddle to medium high. It has to be hot when you place the gorditas, in order to avoid having them stick.
- Place one plastic square on your tortilla press and then one ball of dough, top with the other plastic square, and gently press down the tortilla press to form the gordita. It should be about 4 inches in diameter. If using the glass baking dish, place one plastic square on your working surface, add the ball of dough, cover with the other plastic square and gently press with the glass dish, making an even pressure to form the gordita disc.
- Remove the top plastic. Pick up the gordita, holding with the plastic at the bottom. Gently flip the tortilla onto the palm of your hand. Then, place on the hot griddle to cook.
- While the gordita is cooking, keep forming the rest of the dough, keeping a watchful eye on the griddle.
- After about 2 minutes, check if the gordita has already formed light brown spots. If so, flip to cook the other side of the gordita. It will need about 2 more minutes to cook on the other
- side. Then check if it has formed light brown spots, if you see the brown spots then flip again, if not, then leave a few more seconds on that side, and flip again and cook for 20 seconds. In total, you’ll flip the gordita 2 times, and the cooking time will be more than 4 and half minutes total. In the last cooking time, the gordita will slightly inflate. Remove from griddle and cover with a clean kitchen napkin to keep warm.
- As soon as you can handle the hot gordita, with the help of a paring knife, make an incision around the edge, just big enough to introduce the filling. Do not open the whole thing. Return the gordita to the napkin to keep them warm while you finish making the rest of the dough.
- Once you’ve finished making all the gorditas, fill them with the stuffing of your choice, as I’ve mentioned in the fourth paragraph above.
- Serve while they’re still hot with green and red salsa. I hope you enjoy this Gorditas recipe!
I've seen this recipe with or without baking powder. Which way is more authentic? Thanks
My personal thoughts are about not baking powder is needed. And about authenticity, that is arguable.
Thank you for the recipe. I was always nervous about making them because I could never get the consistency right. They were a hit!! I had a few that didn’t puff up as much but I think I turned them mite than twice.
Do you usually use warm water or room temperature works as well?
I usually add warm water, it helps the dough to spread nicely.
These are so good
Thanks for the recipe. It looks good. I will try it out.
This is similar to chapatis that are made in India. If it was fried, then it would be similar to Indian puris. It's interesting that Mexican and Indian cuisine have many similarities even though the two countries are so far away from one another. I often use Mexican peppers when I make Indian dishes.
You are right. A long time ago a took 2 cooking classes with an Indian lady, I was so surprised about how similar our cuisines are.
Hiya! I made these tonight (perfect for my trusty toddler assistant) but they didn’t puff at all. They were still delicious and I used a knife to open them up but I’d like to see that puff thing happening. Any tips? Thank you!!
You need to knead the dough very well and check your timing when slipping the gorditas.
Made with no puff
Loved this and my Gorditas haha. I knew the ingredients but needed the step by step and this helped a lot! Thanks for sharing!
Hi. Do you have a recipe for sweet gorditas using Maseca
Cathy from Canada
I still don't post the recipe for the Sweet gorditas made with masa. I hope to post it in the Fall.
Thank you Mely for this amazing recipe as it was much appreciated
LOVE LOTS FROM CANADA
Thank you for visiting and for your kind words.
Gorditas are one of my favorite foods but difficult to find since we moved. I've been craving gorditas and am thrilled to have found your recipe (among a gold mine of authentic recipes)!
A question -- is this masa dough the same as what would be used to make huaraches, only bigger and oval shaped? (my husband's favorite). Thank you!
Yes, you are correct this is the same masa to make huaraches.
Dear Mely once again I tried my hand at making your Gortitas, but they're still sort of raw inside. I made them this am again, I still ate them cause the masa smells so good, but I could also taste some raw masa. I followed your 2 min. per side, and a couple burned, but I ate those too..Lol....so should I cover them so the inside can get done? Your pics look so good, well I'll keep trying, one day I'll get it right.
While you keep cooking the rest of the gorditas, the inside masa of the gordita will firm up. It is sort of the same effect as when making tamales, when you from the out of the pot they are still a little soft, but once you let them sit for some minutes the dough becomes firm (solid) If they are still tasting raw maybe you need to make them a little thinner. Provecho!