Homemade Mexican Gorditas are fluffy little pockets that you can stuff with a variety of mouthwatering flavors. Think of them as thick corn tortillas that you can stuff with various fillings. 😋
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Affectionately known as “little fatties,” this classic Mexican food will likely become one of your favorite dishes that you’ll come back to time and again.
The simple mention of Gorditas brings up family memories of sitting around the table with my grandmother. The sound of the patting of hands is something that makes me wish I was a kid again.
Once they are cooked, cut them in half and stuff them with your favorite filling. You’re going to love every delicious bite. They’re simply magical!
Table of Contents
- 1 🥘 Ingredients
- 2 🌽 What is Masa Harina?
- 3 🥣 Making the Dough
- 4 Sweet vs. Savory
- 5 Smooth Edges
- 6 👩🏼🍳 Two Ways to Cook Gorditas
- 7 Ideas for Fillings:
- 8 Optional Toppings
- 9 Storing Instructions
- 10 🧊 Freezer Instructions:
- 11 🙋🏻♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
- 12 🍴 Serve With
- 13 😋 Hungry for More?
- 14 How to Make Gorditas
The first time you make them may seem a little scary, but this is an easy recipe. Make them for dinner, lunch, even breakfast gorditas.
Very important! Use warm water. Not hot water or you’ll burn yourself.
Olive oil is optional, but it helps bring the dough together and adds flavor to the gorditas.
The baking powder will make them puff up slightly since they can be very flat, almost like a thick tortilla.
🌽 What is Masa Harina?
Masa Harina is a special type of corn flour that has undergone the process of Nixtamalization.
You can NOT substitute regular corn flour for masa harina flour.
If you can’t find it at the grocery store, you can buy masa harina online.
🥣 Making the Dough
- Place all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix and add water slowly until combined.
- Work the masa dough by mixing until it is smooth.
- Form masa into small balls, the size of a baseball.
This recipe comes together very quickly. The masa itself should not sticky. It feels like grainy Play-Doh.
To form the gorditas, it’s essential to have wet hands. Keep a bowl of water next to your masa to keep your hands wet. The water will help in forming and smoothing out the masa.
Sweet vs. Savory
- These are gorditas de maíz (corn gorditas). Gorditas de harina are made with flour and are completely different (also called Gorditas de Azucar).
- Flour gorditas are sweeter and usually served with jam or cajeta. Corn gorditas are savory. The recipes are not interchangeable.
- Pat the masa ball with the palm of your hands back and forth until you have formed a small disk.
- Or, place between two pieces of plastic and press inside a tortilla press.
I do not recommend using a rolling pin or biscuit cutter. Do this until you have no more masa left. Cover the dough with a kitchen dough so they won’t dry out.
If your edges are uneven or cracked, get some water and with your finger rub the ends until the ends are smooth. They will almost instantly smooth out.
👩🏼🍳 Two Ways to Cook Gorditas
Pan Fried Gorditas
- Form the gorditas – either with a tortilla press or by hand.
- Place on a hot griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Let cool slightly before slicing open to add stuffing.
Great Party Idea!
Serve the gorditas already cut in half, and your guests can add whatever filling they desire. Also, when you serve your gorditas, be sure to have your fillings ready to go.
These feed lots of people (almost like loaves and fishes), and everyone always enjoys them. You can even make them for a potluck, and people can bring their own fillings.
- Form the gorditas – either with a tortilla press or by hand.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet.
- Fry them in hot oil for a few minutes at medium heat on each side.
- OR, oil a hot griddle and cook on each side for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain excess oil on kitchen paper towels. Before slicing and stuffing.
You don’t have to fry them, but fried gorditas taste so good! You can also bump it up a notch and fry them in lard.
If you decide to make them on a griddle (or comal), they will be just as tasty.
- Using a serrated knife, cut open the corn cakes in half, leaving the end still attached.
- You are creating a little pocket to add your fillings.
If you cut through the end, it’s ok. Just place the “top” on top of your filling.
Ideas for Fillings:
- Chicharrón en Salsa Verde
- Chorizo con Papas
- Refried Beans
- Calabacitas a la Mexicana … and more!
Store leftover Mexican gorditas in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. If placing in a plastic bag, try to remove as much air as possible.
🧊 Freezer Instructions:
- Once you have made the gorditas, let them cool.
- Place them in a sealable plastic bag.
- Remove as much of the air from the bag as possible.
- Place in the freezer.
- Frozen gorditas will last up to 3-4 months.
Stuffing them before freezing is not recommended. The moisture will make them crumble into pieces.
🙋🏻♀️ Frequently Asked Questions
The two are very, very similar. Gorditas are Mexican, and pupusas are from El Salvador. The main difference is that gorditas are stuffed AFTER they are cooked. Pupusas are stuffed and then cooked.
While both are delicious staples in Mexican cuisine, a gordita is sliced open to create a pocket for stuffing, much like pita bread. On the other hand, a sope is formed into a thick circle with its edges pinched to create a raised rim, resembling a pizza or pie crust, and toppings are layered on top.
Yes, when cooking gorditas, they often puff up due to the steam generated inside. This natural puffing creates the perfect pocket in the center, making it easier to slice open and stuff with your favorite fillings after cooking. These will puff up slightly because of the baking powder.
There could be a few reasons. If your gorditas fell apart, it’s possible the masa dough was too dry or lacked enough binding. Try adding a splash of oil. Be sure you use the right amount of water and knead the dough to the right consistency. Additionally, letting the dough rest for a bit covered with a kitchen towel before shaping can also improve its texture and prevent breaking. Finally, your filling might be too juicy causing your little dough pocket to fall apart.
Mexican Gorditas are typically eaten with your hands, not with a fork and knife. Serve them with lots of napkins.
🍴 Serve With
Mexican gorditas are crafted from masa dough and are either cooked on a griddle or fried to golden perfection. These little delights, stuffed with your favorite fillings, are set to become your new favorite Mexican treat.
😋 Hungry for More?
How to Make Gorditas
- In a large bowl, add masa harina, baking powder, salt.
- Mix and add half the water.
- Continue mixing.
- Add 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil.
- Mix again and gradually add the remaining water until a soft dough forms.
- The dough will resemble wet sand.
- Cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.
- With wet hands, roll out 6 masa balls the size of a baseball.
- Gently pat the balls to form the gorditas.
- If the edges crack, smooth out by rubbing water over the ends.
- Place on a plate and cover while you form the rest of the gorditas.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a skillet.
- Fry the gorditas for 2 minutes on each side.
- Set on a paper towel to drain any excess fat.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on a griddle.
- Cook gordita for 2 minutes on each side.
- Using a serrated knife, cut in half to make a pocket.
- Add fillings.