Make Mexican cuisine come alive in your kitchen with this authentic gorditas recipe! Learn all the tips and tricks for making delicious gorditas at home.
Gorditas are a delicious Mexican dish made from corn masa dough filled with all kinds of savory fillings.
Crisp on the outside and soft inside, gorditas are stuffed with leftover pork, chicken, beef, or veggies. Just add your favorite Mexican-inspired toppings and sauces.
For a authentic Gorditas, grill the masa discs in lard or butter instead of oil.
Gorditas are a traditional Mexican dish made of masa, or corn dough.
The dough is formed into thick discs and then filled with various ingredients such as beans, cheese, vegetables, and meats.
Gorditas are very forgiving and endlessly customizable. They can be fried or baked in an oven and served hot.
What Sets Gorditas Apart?
Gorditas differ from other Mexican dishes like tacos and burritos because they are thicker than the typical tortilla-based dishes.
The thickness of the gordita allows for more filling to be added inside the gordita before cooking which results in a heartier meal overall.
Gorditas are a popular Mexican dish that can be prepared in many different ways. While there are many different types of gorditas, each region (and cook) has their own unique variations.
In the northern states of Mexico, such as Chihuahua and Sonora, gorditas are usually made with flour tortillas filled with beans or cheese and topped with salsa and crema.
In some areas they may also be served with carne asada or chorizo. The dough for these gorditas is often flavored with lard or butter to give it a richer flavor.
In Central Mexico, especially in the state of Michoacán, you’ll find gorditas de nata which are made from corn masa (dough) stuffed with cheese and fried until golden brown.
Types of Gorditas
- Sweet: There are many variations of gorditas including sweet versions filled with fruits like pineapple or guava
- Savory: Savory versions stuffed with beef picadillo, chorizo con papas (sausage with potatoes), rajas con queso (roasted peppers and cheese)
- Vegan: Vegan options like refried beans and roasted vegetables are popular. Gorditas are also gluten-free.
There is something for everyone when it comes to this classic Mexican dish.
History of Gorditas
The origin of gorditas dates back to pre-Columbian times when indigenous people would make them using ground maize flour mixed with water and salt to form small cakes called tlaxcalli or tecuitlatl in Nahuatl (the language spoken by Aztecs).
These cakes were usually cooked on comals over open fires but could also be boiled or steamed depending on preference.
Over time, different fillings were added to create what we now know as modern day gorditas.
- Masa Harina: Look for fresh masa harina specifically labeled “for gorditas” at your local grocery store or Latin market. This type of masa will have just the right amount of moisture so it won’t be too dry when you form it into discs and cook them on the griddle.
- Salt: Adds flavor to the dough and helps it rise properly when cooked.
- Water: Warm water helps keep the dough moist while shaping it into patties before cooking them up.
- Lard (optional): Used in traditional Mexican recipes to help bind the ingredients together and make sure that they don’t stick together while cooking.
- Filling & Toppings: Stuff with leftover meats/veggies and your favorite Mexican toppings and sauces (guac, cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and chipotle sauce work great).
Expert Tips for Making Gorditas
Making gorditas is not difficult but there are some tips to keep in mind for the best results.
Learn everything there is know about making gorditas at home.
The Best Masa
The key to making great gorditas is using the right type of masa.
Look for fresh masa harina specifically labeled “for tamales” at your local grocery store or Latin market.
This type of masa will have just the right amount of moisture so it won’t be too dry when you form it into discs and cook them on the griddle.
To shape your gordita dough correctly you’ll need two hands and a little bit of patience.
- Start by taking about 2 tablespoons worth of dough and rolling it between your palms until you get a smooth ball shape about 1-2 inches in diameter depending on how big you want your finished product to be.
- Once all balls are formed press each one down lightly with both hands until they become flat discs about ¼ inch thick – this should take no more than 10 seconds per disc if done properly.
When cooking gorditas make sure to use medium heat so they don’t burn before they’re cooked through; this usually takes around 3 minutes per side depending on thickness.
Flip them over once golden brown spots start appearing on top then let cook another few minutes until bottom side has also reached desired coloration – do not overcook.
It is important to avoid raw masa when making gorditas because it can taste bitter and unpleasant if not cooked thoroughly enough.
Make sure all sides have been exposed evenly during the cooking process, otherwise some parts may remain uncooked while others become burnt or overcooked due to uneven heat distribution from the griddle surface itself.
How to Store Gorditas
Refrigerating and freezing gorditas is a great way to keep them fresh for longer periods of time.
Here’s how to refrigerate and freeze gorditas properly.
To keep your gorditas fresh overnight, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap before storing them in an airtight container.
This will help prevent the moisture from evaporating and drying out the gordita’s exterior.
Place the container in the refrigerator and consume within two days for the best taste.
If you want to store your gorditas longer than two days, freezing is a great option.
To freeze them properly:
- Let them cool completely at room temperature
- Place each individual gordita on a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Flash freeze for 1 hour (this prevents them from sticking together)
- Once frozen solid, transfer into an airtight freezer bag
- Label with date and store up to 3 months in the freezer
When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
How to Re-heat Gorditas
For best results when reheating gorditas, use a skillet over medium heat to heat each side for 5 minutes.
You can also bake at 350°F (175°C) until heated through.
More Traditional Mexican Recipes
- Mexican Foods: 40 Most Iconic Recipes
- Authentic Carne Asada Tacos Recipe (Street-Style)
- Traditional Mexican Red Pork Tamales Recipe
- Mexican Food Sopes (Easy Recipe)
- Authentic Mexican Chicken Tostadas Recipe (Easy)
- Authentic Enchilada Recipe: Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- Huaraches Mexican Food Recipe (with Steak)
FAQs in Relation to Authentic Gorditas Recipe
Are traditional Gorditas made with lard?
Traditionally, lard is used as the fat of choice when making gorditas because it adds a rich flavor and helps keep the dough from sticking together while cooking.
What are Mexican gorditas made of?
The dough is formed into small discs and then grilled until they become golden brown and crispy. They can be filled with various ingredients such as beans, cheese, shredded beef, pork carnitas, chorizo sausage, potatoes or vegetables. They can also be served plain with salsa or other condiments for dipping.
What is a traditional gordita?
A gordita is a traditional Mexican dish made with masa dough that has been flattened and cooked on a griddle. The dough is then filled with various ingredients such as cheese, beans, chorizo, or vegetables. It can be served either open-faced or folded in half like a taco.
Why don’t my gorditas puff up?
Make sure your dough is thick enough and has enough moisture. To ensure your gorditas puff up, use freshly-made masa dough. Make sure to press down firmly when forming the gordita discs before cooking them in order to create an even thickness throughout.
What is the difference between sopes and gorditas?
Gorditas are typically larger and thinner than sopes. The dough is also typically grilled instead of fried. Gorditas are cut and then stuffed like a pita. while sopes are topped. They are both made with masa, salt, and water.