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Learn how to make Gorditas. This is one of the most classic Mexican food recipes. Corn dough that’s cut in half and stuffed with a yummy filling. Talk about delicious!
Gorditas are as Mexican as tamales and tortillas.
They bring up family memories of sitting around the table with my grandmother, my mother and my tías (with the occasional cousin thrown in for good measure).
The sound of the patting of hands is something that makes me wish I was a kid again, hiding behind my abuelita.
I can almost hear her laugh…
Today, I’m going to show you her gorditas recipe. You’re in for a treat!
You are going to love this gorditas recipe!
To make gorditas, you need masa harina, baking powder, salt.
Use warm tap water. Not hot water, or you’ll burn yourself.
Work the dough by mixing until it is smooth.
This gorditas recipe is super easy. They come together very quickly too.
Form masa into small balls, the size of a baseball.
However, no throwing or getting the Dodgers to autograph these. 🙂
Check out the picture below to see the size in my hand.
The masa itself is not sticky. It feels like grainy PlayDoh.
Up to now, this is the same recipe for Tlacoyos. For those of you unfamiliar with them, they are shaped like pointy ovals.
You will often find gorditas and tlacoyos sold together at Mexican street vendors.
Wet your hands. Or keep a bowl of water next to your masa.
The water will help in forming the gorditas.
Then pat the dough balls with your hands back and forth until you have formed a small disk.
It is thicker than a regular tortilla. If your edges are uneven, wet your hands and rub the masa until the ends are smooth.
See below how the edges are a little cracked and uneven? Get some water and with your finger rub the ends.
They will almost instantly smooth out.
One or two uneven edges is ok. Food is not supposed to be perfect.
Some people will use a tortilla press.
If you have one, place the masa ball between wax paper or plastic wrap in the tortilla press.
Press down, but not all the way.
The masa for gorditas should be thick. Remember, they are going to be stuffed and need to hold up to the filling.
Think thick corn tortilla.
How to Cook Gorditas:
1- Fry them in hot oil for a few minutes on each side.
2- Oil a hot griddle and cook on each side for a few minutes until they poof up.
You don’t have to fry them, but fried gorditas taste so good!
If you decide to make them on a griddle (or comal), they will be just as tasty.
Look below. See how the edges are slightly cracked.
This was even after I smoothed out the edges with water. Sigh…
It’s ok though. They will still be just as good.
Drain excess oil on a paper towel. No one wants the excess oil.
Too much will make them limp.
Also, please know that I did not fry them in lard.
I do not recommend putting them in a deep fryer. This is more of a shallow fry. 2 minutes on each side.
A deep fryer might make them too dark. The other thing you can do drop them in the deep fryer for 1 minute, then take them out immediately.
Using a serrated knife, cut open the gordita 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 use place the “top” on top of your filling.
For those of you who are going to making gorditas for a party, I would serve them already cut in half, and your guests can add whatever filling they desire.
Or, you can serve your gorditas with a knife, but you don’t want anyone cutting themselves.
When you serve your gorditas, be sure to have your fillings ready to go. Please will see the gorditas and immediately want to taste them.
Some of the traditional fillings for gorditas
I have had a few people ask me for gorditas de chicharron. These types of gorditas are different.
This is where the chicharron prensado is mixed with the masa, then fried.
Then they are cut open and stuffed with salsa and other toppings.
These are gorditas de maíz (corn gorditas). Gorditas de harina (or flour gorditas) are different.
Flour gorditas are sweeter. Corn gorditas are savory.
The recipes are not interchangeable.
Some of the traditional toppings for gorditas:
crumbled queso fresco
your favorite salsas
You can add all, some, or none of the toppings noted here.
I like to add as much as I can to my gorditas. They can be messy to eat.
You will need to serve them with lots of napkins and a fork and knife.
Serve them buffet style with all the toppings and fillings on the side.
They feed lots of people (almost like loaves and fishes), and everyone always enjoys them.
You can even make the gorditas ahead of time (like earlier in the day). I do not recommend making them two days ahead of time. One day before the party is ok.
Have the fillings made the day before or two days before. Or make it a potluck and people can bring their own fillings.
Talk about easy entertaining!
Watch Video How to Make Gorditas
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.
- (Optional cooking method: 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.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
More Recipes using Masa Harina
Masa for Tamales
Tamale Masa Recipe with Oil
Red Pork Tamales
Tamales de Rajas con Queso, Pickled Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales
Instant Pot Chicken Tamales
Beef Tamales, Tamales de Res
Chicken Salsa Verde Tamales
Northern Style Bean Tamales, or Tamales de Frijol Norteños