How To Make The Best Homemade Tortillas Costa Rica Style

homemade tortilla

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One of my favorite things we did when we were in Costa Rica was learning how to make homemade tortillas. I love to cook and bake from scratch so I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to make tortillas (for free!)

Costa Rica has some of the freshest food I’ve ever had while traveling. There are a few Costa Rican staples, but it’s not largely known for its food like Mexico or Cuba. A few of the staples we were able to sample were Gallo Pinto for breakfast (rice, black beans usually served with eggs) and Casados for lunch (rice, beans, a meat, salad and plantains.) The foods I fell in love with, however, were the incredible assortment of fresh tropical fruit and veggies. While there, we ate mangoes, papaya, pineapple, yucca, coconut, guava, guanabana to name a few. At home, I try to recreate the tropical fruit spreads as often as possible.

Back to the tortillas. Oh the fresh, handmade, homemade tortillas.  Five simple ingredients, a little mixing, a quick turn on a hot griddle and you can have this yummy goodness. I learned that in southern Costa Rica, this was usually made as an afternoon snack.

Homemade Tortillas


  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of corn flour – Masa Harina will work here in the states. Do not substitute corn meal, as it’s too grainy
  • 1 spoonful of sour cream
  • 1 spoonful of cheese – any good quality cheese will do. I like to use queso fresco or queso Mexico and shred it up for both mixing in and putting on the tortilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • Water

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl with your fingers until it starts to get clumpy. Yes, there are no exact measurements and that’s okay. I use my dinner spoons and it works out fine. Add water a spoonful at a time until you get a nice dough ball that you can roll around the bowl and it does not stick to the sides.

homemade tortillas on the griddle

Place the dough ball on wax paper and start to press into a flat tortilla shape. Once you get it all pressed out, put on a hot skillet and press out any air bubbles with the wax paper. When it’s lightly browned one side, flip over and continue to lightly press with the wax paper to cook all the way through.

Enjoy warm with a dollop of sour cream and more shredded queso.

homemade tortilla with sour cream and queso

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m hungry. I think I’ll go make some fresh tortillas with a side of papaya. A perfect, local Costa Rican snack.

Do you have any favorite foods you’ve learned to make on your travels? Comment below and tell me more about it!

homemade tortillas by Detail Oriented Traveler

27 thoughts on “How To Make The Best Homemade Tortillas Costa Rica Style”

  1. Oh wow–these tortillas look delicious! I seriously need to make these soon. It’s so fun to learn how to cook different recipes when you travel, especially when they are delicious like this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh those do look great and such simple ingredients too, definitely going to have to give that a try as a side with my next batch of chili. You are lucky to have got the recipe, I often spend ages analysing a favourite dish when travelling and then trying to recreate it from memory and scribbled notes when I get home.

    1. It was easy to get because it was so simple and really no measuring cups!
      (Helps I took a picture of the ingredients too!)

  3. I love taking local cooking classes when I travel. It gives you the chance to bring a little bit of the trip home with you. We did a cooking class in Vietnam that ended up just being my husband and me as the other groups cancelled. It was fantastic. We learnt to cook a 5-course meal and then sat down and ate it all!
    I think I will have a go at making these tortillas. They look really good

    1. Carol it’s really tasty and easy to make. There’s specific sauce but if you can’t find it, Worcestershire makes a decent substitute.

  4. Waahh! Tortillas! I love them! I didn’t know that one of the ingredients is cheese. That makes it all the more yummy! Im hungry now for quesadillas hehe. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Get creative! Yes Trisha… I love that you can experiment with these. I’m usually a by the book cook, but this one is fun to try different types of sour cream and cheese.

  5. Great instructions! Will save for my friends. I would replicate this, but lately have been making tortillas with cauliflower. After 7 years in Costa Rica, I had to give up the flour. :/

    1. Erin, that’s too bad. Even corn flour? I also would be interested in what this might taste like with cauliflower. I’m guessing you grate it to use in place of the flour?

  6. Pingback: Canyoning Waterfall Rappel in Costa Rica | Detail Oriented Traveler

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