Easy Gluten-free Vegan Tortillas have great taste, texture, and require only 4 ingredients. Sandwich some vegan cheese and veggies between for a fabulous plant-based quesadilla!
Making Tortillas Gluten-free
Tortillas are pretty much a staple in my home. They are served up as quesadillas, tacos, wraps or just a delivery device for some great dips. What can’t you do with them?
Unlike myself, my family is not gluten-free per se. Although I eat a gluten-free diet out of necessity, I do believe that everyone can benefit from reducing the amount of gluten in their diet. So to me it makes sense to focus on recreating these types of recipes that my family consumes in larger quantities. I get more bang for my gluten-free buck!
Because my family members don’t have a health condition to motivate them to eat gluten-free foods, I am left with the challenge of facilitating change to gluten-free items by recreating dishes so that they have a superior taste and texture to their glutenous counterpart. Not easy!
It’s All About the Taste and Texture
After trying several flour combinations that yielded results that sacrificed either the taste or the texture or both, I finally achieved the results I (and my family) wanted. The tortillas are:
- thin enough that cheese (especially vegan) can melt nicely without burning the tortilla in the process;
- flexible enough to roll (think-enchilada, taco, or wrap) without cracking open and losing their contents, and;
- taste better than store-bought any day.
I totally closed the deal with my peeps!
Working with the Gluten-free Dough
All of my recipes have varying quantities of process photos included in their post. I do this because I hope to answer some of those questions that may pop into your head when you are creating a dish for the first time. Working with dough can often produce those questions! In this post, I will provide the basic recipe in the recipe card and additional tips or hints below the process photos here in the post.
Update: Dough will store in refrigerator for several days. This makes it possible to make the dough ahead of time and use on an as needed basis for pan fresh tortillas!
A slicing motion with the spoon will help to evenly incorporate both the flax mixture and the boiling water. Dough is ready to form into a ball when most of the dry ingredients are incorporated. If dough appears too dry, add more hot water one tablespoon at a time. If dough appears too moist, add more rice flour one tablespoon at a time.
Dough is ready to knead when it easily comes together in a ball. The outside will not stick to your hands, and the inside will be the very much the same texture as playdough. It will look moist but easily maintain its form.
To knead dough, first flour your surface with white rice flour. Flatten dough ball with heel of palm and press forward toward 12 o’clock. Fold side at 3 o’clock over toward 9 o’clock and press with palm of hand again. Turn dough 1/4 turn and repeat process. Do this about 4-6 times then wrap dough in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
Break off portion of dough and form into ball (a 2 tablespoon portion size will yield about 10-six inch tortillas). Replace plastic wrap over to prevent drying. At this point I recommend placing a small bowl of rice flour within reach as surface will need constant reapplication of flour. Press dough ball into flour on surface to flatten, flip over and repeat. Do this two times, then roll to approx. 1/8th inch thickness.
Gently remove tortilla from surface with a plastic spatula.
I used olive oil to season my medium non-stick pan between cooking each tortilla. This is a very important step, as adding in the small amount of fat helps the tortilla remain flexible. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side over medium/medium-high heat. The first side is about done when you see the edges start to curl up (pictured above), and the second side when air bubbles appear in the center. I placed a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper to cool the finished tortillas.
Easy Gluten-free Vegan Tortillas
Once you have made a couple of tortillas you will find your rhythm and feel like you can make them in your sleep. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!!
Easy Gluten-free Vegan Tortillas have great taste, texture, and require only 4 ingredients. Sandwich some vegan cheese and veggies between for a fabulous plant-based quesadilla! Flexible enough to make a great enchilada, taco, or wrap!
- 1 tablespoon golden flax meal
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- 1-1/2 cups white rice flour (more for flouring surface when rolling tortillas)
- 1/2 cup arrowroot
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 3/4 cup boiling water
- 1) In a small bowl combine golden flax meal and warm water to make a "flax egg". Set aside.
- 2) In a medium mixing bowl combine white rice flour, arrowroot, and finely ground sea salt.
- 3) Add flax mixture to flour mixture and stir together. A slicing motion with a wooden spoon combines the two thoroughly. Then add boiling water and mix together with wooden spoon. Once most of the dry ingredients are incorporated, form dough into a ball. If dough is too dry add more hot water one tablespoon at a time. If too moist add more rice flour one tablespoon at a time.
- 4) Flour surface with white rice flour and knead dough four to six times. Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent exterior drying while making tortillas.
- 5) Flour surface with white rice flour. Break off portion of dough and form into ball (2 tablespoons of dough yield about ten 6 inch tortillas). Press into flour on surface and flatten two times on each side, then roll out with rolling pin (see pictures in post).
- 6) Cook tortilla in a medium, greased (I use olive oil), non-stick skillet over medium or medium/high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Place on a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment or wax paper to cool. Leftover tortillas can be refrigerated in a sealed bag for a few days. To reheat, cover with wax paper or damp paper towel and place in microwave for 15 seconds on high.
- Vegan Quesadilla
- To make the plant-based quesadilla, I used a mix of Daiya cheddar and mozzarella shreds (about 1/4 cup) and fresh chopped jalapeno and onion. Although, any combination of veggies would be delicious! Place desired filling (but not too thick, or the cheese won't melt) on one tortilla and top with second tortilla. Place in non-stick pan over medium heat until cheese begins to melt. Then, flip to opposite side and complete melting.
For more details and photos on how to prepare tortillas for cooking please refer to the Easy Gluten-free Vegan Tortilla post at Nutritionicity.com
Don't pay too much for your arrowroot! In most cases arrowroot is not economical to buy in the spice section of your grocery store. It is usually much cheaper when purchased in a larger quantity. For example, Bob's Red Mill sells a one pound bag for about the same cost as a 1.87 oz. container found with other condiments.
Dough will store in refrigerator for several days. This makes it possible to make the dough ahead of time and use on an as needed basis for pan fresh tortillas!
Can I replace the arrowroot? It is not very accessible where I live.
Best wishes xx
Hi Ana! I completely understand the challenge to find ingredients locally. I have not tried this myself, but perhaps you could substitute either tapioca starch/flour or corn starch for the arrowroot. Please let me know how they work out if you decide to try it. 🙂
These tortillas look delicious!! I’m really looking forward to make them, but I just have one question: can the rice flour be substituted with buckwheat flour or only with garbanzo flour as written above? Thank you in advance!
Sorry, I didn’t mean above, but in one of your replies. Haha I thought the comment would be posted under the other ones :))
No worries!! 🙂
HI! Thanks so much!! I have not tried using buckwheat flour, but my opinion on substituting with it is about the same as my comment you mentioned on the garbanzo flour. It may change the flavor and texture slightly but I think it could work. If you are familiar with buckwheat flour then you know that it brings a little bit of an earthy flavor. It is also a little bit heavier than rice flour, so the tortillas may be a little more dense and possible a little less flexible. Please let me know how it goes if you decide to give it a go. I hope this helps! 🙂
Patricia Tyrrell says
Can these be frozen until use, and will they retain their flexibility after thawing? I work in a small cafe where we get requests for gluten free wraps, but not very often (maybe one or twice weekly) .It wouldn’t be feasible at all to make these on demand.
I am not sure how the tortillas will react to freezing, I always end up using all of mine 🙂 I do know that it helps to have some moisture present when reheating them to help them remain pliable. For example, I reheat mine out of the refrigerator in between two moist paper towels in the microwave. Let me know if you decide to test them in the freezer, I’d love to know how they do. If I freeze them myself in the near future I will be sure to update this post.
Are these tortillas flexible? Can they be used like a flour tortilla? Or are they only for quesadillas?
Hi Anne, The short answer is yes they can be rolled. If you go on the shorter side for cooking them and roll them right away or stack them under a moist papertowel they will be almost as flexible as a flour tortilla. I hope this helps! 🙂
These look amazing! I am assuming you utilize the golden flax meal as a binder. I have had trouble in the past with brown flax meal when my now two year old daughter was just under one. I’m concerned she could have another allergic reaction and she also can not tolerate any grains. Do you have any great substitutions for the the grain and flax that also do not include nuts and is vegan? Thanks in advance!
Hi Candice, I totally understand not wanting to take any chances with your little one. Yes, the golden flax meal is a binder so I think you could use an equal amount of ground chia seeds instead. As far as a substitution for the white rice flour that is both nut and grain free, two things come to mind. First let me say that I have not tried any of these substitutions, but if you are feeling experimental I would recommend substituting a starch of similar weight for the white rice flour such as potato starch or tapioca starch. A far reaching possibility is garbanzo flour. This is a heavier flour so the weight and outcome of the tortilla would not be as predictable. Also, I don’t know if you are familiar with garbanzo flour but it has a very specific flavor that I would say you would need to like because it tends to carry over in recipes that do not have other flavor packed ingredients. Please let me know how it goes. I hope this helps! 🙂 Jana