Paleo Tortillas

Paleo Tortillas | PaleoSpirit.com

You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the girl. I grew up eating Mexican and Tex-Mex food. But after living in New Jersey for many years I have had to learn to live without some of my favorite foods. It’s just not the same around here no matter what some people say. I’m almost always disappointed when attempting to find decent Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants. And of course having celiac disease and following the paleo diet does place limits on what I can enjoy anyway. In spite of that, I still consider myself a connoisseur of tortillas. So let’s get one thing straight when it comes to this paleo tortillas recipe. Those of us who are well-acquainted with the taste AND texture of flour and corn tortillas will be tough customers. There’s just no way grain-free tortillas will be exactly the same as “regular” tortillas. But with this recipe my goal was to create something that would not taste TOO eggy, not be too much like a crêpe and would be pliable – able to hold a filling without breaking.

double tortillas cropped

The recipe uses eggs but not nearly as many as some other recipes I have seen. There’s just enough yolk to help them hold together but not enough that it overpowers the flavor. The coconut flour gives it some body but not enough to impart a coconut flavor – something I would find unpleasant in a tortilla. The flax meal helps replace some of the eggs and is one reason the paleo tortillas are flexible. The tapioca flour is a terrific alternative to wheat flours. I have used it before in my Paleo Dinner Rolls recipe and really like the true “bread-like” texture it provides.

Once you get the technique down for making them, paleo tortillas are fairly quick and easy. We have eaten these right after cooking and we have also stored the tortillas in a big zip-lock in the fridge for later use. They stayed flexible after reheating and did not break when they were used to make chicken enchiladas.

Paleo Tortillas Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites (2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup water*
  • 1 tablespoon melted lard (cooled), palm shortening, olive oil or other liquified fat of your choice
  • 1 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • lard, olive oil or coconut oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Whisk the eggs, egg whites and water in a medium-large bowl. Drizzle in the 1 tablespoon of melted lard (or other liquified fat) while whisking.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the tapioca starch/flour, flax meal, coconut flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined and smooth. The batter will be very thin – much thinner than pancake batter.Paleo Tortilla Batter
  4. Heat a crêpe pan or medium, flat-bottomed, non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.
  5. Melt a small amount of lard on the surface.
  6. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter on the hot pan surface. (I used a 1/3 cup measuring cup)
  7. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom and you have an (approximate) 8-inch tortilla. You will have to work quickly.
  8. Cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side.Paleo Tortillas
  9. Flip and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute on the second side. (Don’t overcook the tortillas if you want them to stay soft and pliable)Paleo Tortillas

Makes 8 paleo tortillas

NOTES:

  • I used a crêpe pan to make the tortillas but I also made a few of them in my regular non-stick pan and they were fine.
  • I greased the pan for the first tortilla but did not need much for subsequent ones because the pan was seasoned and there is enough fat in the batter.
  • *The ingredient list shows 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water simply because it is easier to add water than to adjust the recipe if you have a batter that is too thin. In my experience the 1/2 cup of water makes for thicker, more corn tortilla-like paleo tortillas. The extra 1/4 cup of water can be added if your batter seems too thick and your tortillas are not thin enough. When I made them with the increased amount of water the end product was more like a crêpe. They actually tasted good and I kind of liked the texture for more of a sweet crêpe recipe whereas the thicker ones seem better for Tex-Mex recipes and wraps. It’s a personal choice and you will figure our what works best for your technique and taste. 

I can’t wait to hear your results. I’m sure there will be some people who love them – because, let’s be honest, having tortillas after NOT having tortillas while following the paleo diet is pretty great. There will be others who don’t like them because the tortillas aren’t exactly like the ones they are used to. It will be fun to hear the discussion. Good luck!

The next few posts will be related to recipes needed to make Paleo Chicken Enchiladas (Chicken Enchiladas Verdes). The first one will be for this Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde). It turned out GREAT! I used up a ton of tomatillos, peppers and garlic from our local CSA.

Salsa Verde | PaleoSpirit.com

After the salsa verde recipe I will share one for Cashew Sour Cream Sauce (dairy-free) and then I will use these paleo tortillas to make Chicken Enchiladas Verdes. Here’s what the tortillas look like wrapping some shredded chicken in preparation for the enchiladas.

Paleo Tortillas for Chicken Enchiladas | Paleo Spirit

Several of you have asked about nutrition information. I don’t usually run those numbers mainly because I don’t have the time to devote to it. But also because I shy away from getting into calorie and fat counting. As long as I eat the right foods I have not had a problem maintaining my health and weight. But given that many of us opt for lower carb options (I do tend to eat fairly low carb) and this recipe contains tapioca, which is fairly starchy, I thought it would make sense to provide the info. The source is www.caloriecount.about.com

Paleo Tortilla Calories Carbs

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46 thoughts on “Paleo Tortillas

    • The glycemic index is a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood-sugar levels. Lots of foods can raise your blood sugar – it all depends on how much you eat and what you are eating it with. Paleo implies something does not contain grains, legumes or dairy and usually it means lower sugar. But different people have different goals which makes them choose different foods within the choices. For example, my kids don’t need to worry about carbs or glycemic index. But other folks have to be very concerned about it for a variety of reasons – they have health issues (diabetes for example) or are trying to lose weight, etc… It all depends on the individual. This tortilla recipe makes about 8 tortillas, each of which has about 2 tablespoons of tapioca. That’s 13 grams of carbs from the tapioca (about 50 calories). They also contain lots of protein from the eggs and healthy fats. People will have to decide for themselves and their goals how this food will fit into their diet. I hope that helps.
      Lea

    • Hi Becky,
      I don’t typically provide fat/calorie content for recipes. One reason is I have gotten away from really paying a lot of attention to calories. As long as I am eating in a paleo template I find that I don’t need to worry about calories. And fat content seems to also be a non-issue as long as I am not going completely crazy and ingesting whole cans of full fat coconut milk or something similar. The other reason is I simply don’t have the time to do it. I might try to figure this one out just because I am curious and I anticipate there are other folks like you that will want to know. I’ll update the post to reflect what I find out.
      Lea

  1. Hi these look amazing, I just discovered your site and I just wanted to say how happy I am that most of your recipes are based around coconut/tapioca flour instead of nut flours! so many other paleo recipes are just filled with nut flours and nut butters and those make my stomach hurt and I think my skin worse, so I don’t think nuts are that healthy in such high amounts, keep up the awesome work! :)

    • Hi Pauline,
      I am glad you found my site too! My oldest son, Benjamin, has some nut allergies that keep us from being able to do a lot of nut flour recipes if he is going to be able to eat them. Just recently it seems he has outgrown his allergy to almonds (it was the one he reacted to the least in the past). So he is able to eat things with almond flour. But I’m with you on the consumption of so much nut flours/nuts. I would rather have a bit more in the way of starchy carbs (tapioca) than a ton of omega-6 fat nuts. And the coconut flour is so low carb that I like combining those two so the recipes aren’t too high in carbs for those who care about such things.
      Best,
      Lea

  2. I’ve made these twice now. Great!!!. I used a Crepe maker and was able to make almost double or more as they are much thinner that way. I have something like this one – http://www.amazon.com/Villaware-Crepe-Maker/dp/B0012RMV34/ref=sr_1_20?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1381264003&sr=1-20

    Anyway, the first time I added the oil/lard per recipe and I had some issues with them sticking to the maker. My second batch, I omitted the oil/lard and everything worked out well. I think I was able to make close to a dozen.

    Again, great recipe – Thank You…

    • THanks for the feedback, Patrick. I wonder why the oil/lard made them stick – seems counterintuitive. I’d love to have one of those crepe makes to see for myself for it works with the recipe. I’ll have to put that on my Christmas wish list. Thanks again! Lea

      • Lea,

        Sorry about the confusion, but I just re-read my post. The crepe maker is a Non-Stick one and the oil caused the tortilla to slip off when I flipped it over. My crepe maker is the one that you dip the unit into the batter. With the oil, I really had to watch how long I dipped (maybe 1-3 second) or the it would slip off back into the batter and basically be wasted. However without the oil, I was able to go about 4-5 seconds. I found the longer dip created a little thicker and more tortilla like.

        Keep the recipes coming.

        Thanks,
        -Patrick

  3. Hi!

    I just found your blog and it is amazing! I live with 4 other girls and we are all going 30 days of Paleo right now…following Whole 30 the book. Anyways we have some pulled pork we want to make carnitas tacos! Can we substitute the tapioca flour for almond mill or use the coconut flour in place? Thanks for the recipe!

    -Jaci

    • Hi Jaci,

      Yeah, the tapioca is kinda starchy. But I hesitate to give you advice on swapping it out for another type of flour. Almond flour is very fatty and coconut flour is very dry and goes a LONG way. So it’s a bit of a chemistry experiment to get this recipe to work just right. I do think you could figure out a way to do it with just the coconut flour but much more egg whites. I haven’t tried it before but you are inspiring me to give it a go and see what happens. Good luck on your Whole 30!
      Best, Lea

  4. Pingback: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

    • I am almost positive arrowroot can be used. Arrowroot and tapioca are usually interchangeable. The one caveat is I have not personally tried this recipe with arrowroot. If you do try it please write back and let us know how it went. Thanks!

    • I just made some from another recipe using arrowroot. They are good. I want to try this one now. The recipe I used has an egg taste, I would like to have less of that.

    • This recipe calls for lard, as in, from pigs. The option to use palm shortening is for people who are vegetarians or don’t have lard on hand. Coconut oil is another option but it will give the tortillas a coconut flavor. People can decide for themselves which product to use. It’s possible to buy “certified sustainably grown” palm oil.

      • Great – answers my question – I am not a vegetarian – however I do not eat beef or pork – can use Palm shortening instead?

        will have to try this – thank you

        • Stacy,
          I think it would be perfectly fine to use palm shortening instead. In fact, I have been told the recipe works pretty well without adding any fat.
          Lea

    • This is the first recipe I have ever seen that has called for Palm oil. That goes for Vegan, Paleo, Etc. If you read my previous post, I used Coconut Oil the first time and then no oil the second and both came out perfect.

      I recommend you look at the ingredients of all the store bought foods that you purchase. Also, look into any cosmetics you wear to make sure your not destroying any rain forests.

    • Not all palm shortening comes from the rain forest…or takes up rain forest area. Palm can and is being sustainably sourced in some areas of the world. I live in third world country where palm is grown. :-)

  5. This is by far the best paleo tortilla I have tried…..AND I HAVE TRIED A LOT! It’s a perfect balance. It’s not to sweet (happens when there is to much coconut flour), or to egg-ie, and the flax gives it a nice nutty flavor and gives it great texture and is very dynamic. It wraps without breaking and is perfect as a sandwich wrap, for tacos, enchilada’s, etc. I went paleo about 4 or 5 months ago and was a huge sandwich and wrap person so I have struggled letting this part of eating go. This will make it a lot easier for me when I crave that sandwich or other items requiring a wrap. THANK YOU so much for sharing your recipe.

  6. I tried these last night and my husband and I thought it was a KEEPER in our Paleo arsenal (and I’m pretty picky about Paleo bread-like things). I also don’t like the flavor of eggs and these were not too eggy. Thanks a lot. Also, I used ghee as the fat and that worked out great too.

  7. I made the tortillas and the salsa verde tonight for our fajitas. We didn’t have any tortillas left. They were really good and even my 14 year old liked them (I didn’t tell him they weren’t “normal” tortillas). The salsa was delicious! I’m going to have to resist getting a bag of chips to eat with it.

  8. Just made these, THANK YOU THANK YOU, they will definitely serve multiple purpose, thicker 10″ as a sandwich wrap and thinner 8″ as a tortilla. I am a personal chef and cook for a Paleo client and by default I’ve become a “wanna-be” Paleo, (probably more Paleo than I realize anyway) anyway I’ve try some other recipes and they just don’t hold up or are overpowering to much in one ingredient. THIS recipe beats them all. Perfect for me personally too as I try to eat more Paleo and my husband is 100% Mexican, he even said he would eat these for tacos – whew what a huge compliment to YOU, and a relief to me, cuz the fried corn tortilla thing ain’t doing anyones arteries any favors. This recipe is a keeper !!!!

  9. With some leftover pork in the fridge I felt inspired by your recipe to make a tasty lunch for one, and these tortillas turned out absolutely fantastic!!! As I live in the Netherlands, where the Paleo lifestyle is not as well-known as I would like it to be and most of my food therefore has to be entirely self-made, I am so happy when I stumble across a recipe that works for me! With 2tbs ground flax, 3 tbs of tapioca, 1 egg, a pinch of baking powder, salt and some water I made a small batch of the batter based on your instructions and it yielded 2 gorgeous thicker style tortillas. They held a generous amount of filling and withstood some serious tortilla folding: PERFECT!
    Can’t thank you enough!!

  10. Pingback: Creamy Paleo Chicken Enchiladas Verdes — Paleo Lifestyle Success

  11. Is there anything you could use to substitute egg? I’m allergic to egg and struggle to find a good substitute while cooking/baking.

    • Hi Kiran,
      I used flax seed meal in this recipe partly to avoid using so many eggs. You could try making “flax eggs” (google it for the process) and try that. I have never tried this recipe will all flax eggs though so I can’t vouch for it. Good luck!
      Lea

  12. We’ve been paleo for almost 2 and a half years and these are the best tortillas we’ve ever had! Not at all eggy, not coconutty, beautiful consistency, easy to make, just perfect! I think I’m in love! My husband loves tortillas and the other paleo versions had put him off until I convinced him to try these ones. He loves them! Thank you :-)

  13. Love your recipes! This one was great!!! Much better than my prior go-to Paleo Tortilla recipe. I added some garlic and onion powder and some dried rosemary to the mix and they were great! Thanks!

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