Gluten-free but craving “flour” tortillas? Same! Luckily, the craving can now be satisfied. Introducing our perfected method for cassava flour tortillas that are chewy, soft, and easy to fold without cracking.
Just four ingredients stand between you and your taco: quesadilla, enchilada, and (mini) burrito dreams coming true! Bonus? They’re vegan, grain-free, and SO versatile. Let us show you how it’s done!
What is Cassava Flour
Cassava flour is a naturally gluten-free flour made from a tuberous root grown in tropical regions. Some call the tuber cassava, while others know it as manioc or yuca, among other names. It’s a staple food in many countries located in the tropics.
Unlike tapioca flour, which is made using only the starchy pulp of cassava, cassava flour utilizes the whole root. It supplies a beneficial type of fiber called resistant starch and contains minerals such as potassium and calcium.
Cassava flour is used around the world to make breads, tortillas, cakes, and more. The following is our favorite way to use cassava flour to make tortillas that resemble classic wheat flour tortillas!
How to Make Cassava Flour Tortillas
This recipe begins with combining cassava flour, tapioca starch, and sea salt. While cassava is the primary flour, the addition of a little tapioca starch helps ensure these tortillas fold without cracking and creates a pleasantly chewy texture.
The remaining ingredients include warm water to help the mixture form into a dough and oil or vegan butter for both flavor and texture. When everything is combined, the texture resembles Play-Doh (FUN)!
Since brands of cassava flour vary slightly in their absorbency, you can adjust the dough by adding a little more water if it’s too dry or more cassava flour if it’s too sticky. It should look like the photo above!
Once the dough has the right texture, it’s time to roll it into tortillas! We found that rolling out from the center and turning the parchment (rather than using a back-and-forth motion) prevents the tortillas from sticking to the parchment paper, tearing, or being uneven in thickness.
The last step is to cook the rolled-out dough in a hot cast iron or non-stick skillet for about 30 seconds per side. You’ll know the pan is hot enough if air bubbles appear within that time frame. If they don’t, try turning up the heat for the next one!
3/4 cup cassava flour (plus more for rolling // we like Otto’s — see notes for other brands)
2 Tbsp tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup melted vegan butter or oil (such as olive or avocado oil // dairy butter would work, too)
To a medium bowl, add cassava flour, tapioca starch, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Add warm water and melted vegan butter. Stir using a spatula or wooden spoon for about 1-2 minutes (it will look wet at first) until the mixture has a texture that’s slightly softer than Play-Doh. If too dry, add more water, 1 Tbsp (15 ml) at a time. If it is too sticky, add more cassava flour, 1 tsp at a time. Shape the dough into a ball and cut it into six equal pieces for taco-sized* tortillas.
Place a piece of parchment paper onto your work surface and dust lightly with more cassava flour. Place a portion of the dough onto the center of the cassava flour and dust with more flour. Use your hands to flatten the dough and shape it into a disk. Now, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to ~7 inches, adding more flour to the top of the dough if it begins to stick. You want to get them as thin as possible while still being able to handle them! We found it works best to roll from the center out, turning the paper in 1/4-circle movements and repeating until it is all rolled out. We noticed using a back-and-forth motion made the tortillas more prone to tearing and being uneven!
Heat a cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Flip the tortilla into your hand and gently peel off the parchment paper before flipping it onto the skillet, being careful not to let it fold on itself. Cook for ~30 seconds — until the tortilla begins to bubble — before flipping and cooking for another 30-45 seconds.
While waiting for the first tortilla to cook, roll out the next one. Until you get the hang of it, you can cook a tortilla, remove it from the pan, and turn the heat to low before rolling out the next one!
Serve the tortillas warm with your desired fillings. They’re perfect for making tacos, small burritos, quesadillas, and enchiladas. Their neutral flavor and pliable texture also make them very satisfying to tear and dip into dals and curries.
Leftover tortillas will be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days or in the freezer for one month (separated by pieces of parchment paper). Reheat in a skillet on the stove when ready to enjoy next!