How Do You Make Corn Tortillas Without Breaking Them?

If you’ve ever tried making enchiladas at home, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of corn tortilla shells splitting as you roll them. It’s a common cooking difficulty, so don’t be alarmed! We’ve got you covered with simple ways to avoid tortilla disasters and assure flawless enchiladas every time. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to roll corn tortillas without breaking them and keep their delicious flavor and texture.

Corn tortillas, a mainstay in Mexican cuisine, dry up rapidly, making them more prone to shattering while rolling. However, using the proper techniques, you can keep their pliability and integrity while transforming them into scrumptious enchiladas that hold up nicely.

1. Steam Them First

Reintroducing moisture is the key to keeping maize tortillas from shattering. Steaming the tortillas is a quick and easy way to accomplish this. Here’s how to go about it:

Place a tortilla in a steamer basket, making sure it doesn’t come into direct contact with the pot’s hot water. Allow about 15 to 30 seconds for the tortilla to steam. The tortilla softens throughout this procedure, making it simpler to roll without shattering.

2. Microwave Steaming Method

You don’t have a steamer basket or don’t want to wait for the water to boil? Not a problem! You may obtain similar effects by using your microwave:

  • To begin, dampen the corn tortilla shells slightly with hot tap water.
  • Place the moistened tortillas on a microwave-safe dish and stack them.
  • Cover the tortillas with a moist paper towel to create a steamy environment.
  • Microwave the tortilla stack for 30 to 45 seconds or until the steam softens the tortillas.
  • Allow the tortillas to stand for at least a minute after microwaving before attempting to roll them. This step is essential for maximum pliability.

3. Keep Tortillas Covered

When working with corn tortillas, keep them covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel, especially when making many enchiladas. This keeps them from drying out and becoming brittle throughout the assembly process.

4. Optimal Tortilla Storage

The freshness of your corn tortillas is important for their malleability. Store them in a sealed plastic bag with the air removed to keep them fresh. This helps to keep their moisture content stable and reduces the chance of breaking.

5. Embrace the Right Filling-to-Tortilla Ratio

Overfilling your tortillas can result in tearing during rolling. Aim for a balanced filling-to-tortilla ratio to make beautifully rolled enchiladas that are less likely to come apart.

6. Gentle Handling

During the rolling process, handle your tortillas with care and gentleness. Use your fingertips to guide and support the tortilla’s structure to minimize stress.

7. Practice Makes Perfect

Rolling corn tortillas smoothly takes practice, just like any other culinary talent. Don’t be dismayed if you make a few mistakes at first; each effort puts you closer to mastering the art of enchilada making.

8. Embrace Imperfections

Remember that just because a tortilla cracks slightly while rolling doesn’t imply your dish is ruined. Enchiladas are about flavor and comfort; a minor tear will not affect the flavor.

9. The Culinary Versatility of Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are versatile enough to be used for more than just enchiladas. Their distinct flavor and texture complement a wide range of foods, from tacos and tostadas to quesadillas and chilaquiles.

10. Elevate Your Enchilada Game

With the knowledge of how to roll corn tortillas without breaking them, you can up your enchilada game and produce visually stunning dishes that are also delicious.


Mastering the art of rolling corn tortillas without breaking is a skill that opens the door to countless delectable creations in food. By heating, storing, and handling tortillas with care, you may conquer this culinary difficulty and enjoy visually gorgeous and delicious enchiladas.

Read more: What Is the Best Way to Clean a Molcajete for the First Time?

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