These delicious Mexican flatbreads are pillowy soft and perfect for stuffing with your favorite fillings! While most traditional gorditas recipes call for corn flour and are fried, I am sharing a recipe made with all purpose flour and cooked on a griddle or comal.
My grandma was famous for her deep-fried gorditas (corn pockets) made with masa harina (corn flour) and filled with picadillo. I never even knew there was such a thing as gorditas de harina (flour gorditas).
Watch this video to learn about the gorditas I grew up eating in El Paso.
What are gorditas?
If you thought that gorditas were the brainchild of Taco Bell, you’d be wrong. Gorditas are a traditional Mexican dish whose name means “little fatties.” If you’re familiar with arepas from Venezuela and Colombia and pupusas from El Salvador, they are quite similar.
While I grew up only knowing about the deep fried corn version, there is apparently a version traditional to Northern Mexico that is made with wheat flour and resembles a thick tortilla. “Little Fatties” makes sense, right?
However you make the gorditas, they are vessels that are begging to be filled with delicious fillings. These flour gorditas are like Mexican pita breads, so you can fill them with anything your heart desires!
My dear friend Alba who is from Nazas, Durango, Mexico was telling me all about flour gorditas and was more than willing to share her recipe. She and I had a great time cooking together, listening to Latin music and sharing stories about our abuelitas.
While Alba was making the dough for the gorditas recipe, she reminded me of my mom making flour tortillas. She worked so quickly that I had to continually stop her to write down measurements and instructions.
This recipe is actually very similar to flour tortillas, but gorditas are a bit smaller and the dough includes milk. The flavor reminds me of my mom’s flour tortillas and buttermilk biscuits combined.
Cooking the Gorditas
Alba brought over a nifty round cast iron press to weigh down the gorditas as they cooked. The press helps the gorditas cook evenly and prevents them from shrinking on the comal.
TIP: If you do not own a press you can use a brick in tinfoil to use as a weight. Bonus for all you tailgaters out there: Heat that brick in the oven and pop it in a cooler to keep your food warm. Now you can bring things like my Chiles Rellenos burritos to the game!
Carefully cut them open with a small sharp knife to create a pocket as soon as the gorditas are cooked and cool enough to handle. Now they’re ready to fill!
This gorditas recipe is easily adaptable and can be filled with almost anything you have on hand. Treat them like a flour tortilla or pita bread.
TIP: You can make a big batch of these flour gorditas and freeze them for up to three months. Just layer them with parchment paper and put in an airtight bag. Now you have an easy vehicle for quick dinners or lunches!
Delicious filling options include vegetarian rajas, picadillo, chile verde con carne y papas, spicy chicken tinga, refried beans and cheese, or just about anything you can think of. Honestly, your imagination is the limit!
Need more recipe inspiration? Check out these delicious gordita filling options!
- Asado de Chile Colorado
- Chicken Tinga
- Pork Green Chile
- Refried Beans with Cheese
- Creamy Zucchini, Corn, and Poblano Rajas
Gorditas de Harina
- Place a comal (griddle or cast-iron skillet) over medium heat and allow it to heat up.
- In a bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Add the lard and combine until you have the consistency of small crumbs.
- In a small pot combine water and milk and heat until warm, but do not bring to a boil.
- Add the warm liquid and mix well with your hand. The mixture may be a little sticky. Knead on a cutting board or smooth counter until dough is pliable and springy. Sprinkle with flour if dough is too sticky.
- Form 2 to 2½-inch dough balls. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough balls to form 5 to 6-inch disks. If dough is sticky, sprinkle board and rolling pin with flour to make it easier to roll out the dough.
- As you roll out each disk, place on the hot comal to cook, it will take 1 minute or less on each side. Press down gently on it with a rolled up kitchen towel to cook evenly. After cooking the first side, turn gordita over and let it cook on the opposite side.
- As soon as you can handle the gordita, with a sharp knife, make a pocket around the edge, just big enough to fill.
- Keep the gorditas warm in a tortilla warmer or under a clean dish towel while you make the rest.
- Fill gorditas with stuffing of your choice.
- Gorditas can be filled with almost anything you have on hand. Treat them like a flour tortilla or pita bread. Delicious filling options include picadillo, chicken tinga, pork green chile, refried beans with cheese, anything you want. Be creative and enjoy.
- Leftover gorditas can be refrigerated in a plastic bag.
- Freeze gorditas for up to three months. Layer them with parchment paper and put in an airtight bag.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: March 2018.