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Easy Gorditas Recipe

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Traditional Mexican gorditas made with corn tortilla dough (masa) pressed into a chubby round, browned on a hot cast-iron skillet, then fried and stuffed with delicious Hatch chile meat.


Units Scale


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 and 3/4 cups very warm chicken broth or water, divided
  • 1/2 cup prepared Hatch green chile sauce (or substitute with just diced green chile)
  • 1/2 cup Hatch red chile sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • Any combination of the following toppings: shredded lettuce or cabbage, crumbled cotija or other Mexican cheese, Mexican crema or sour cream, diced tomato, salsa, diced white onion


  • 1 and 3/4 cups masa harina + extra for working into dough if necessary
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (I use instant mashed potatoes to save time)
  • 1 and 3/4 cups chicken broth or water, divided
  • 23 cups vegetable oil or your frying oil of choice


  1. Make the filling first: Place ground beef in a skillet set over medium high heat. Stir in the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, while breaking up any large clumps of meat. Let the beef cook without stirring for approximately 3-5 minutes to form a deep brown crust on the bottom. Pour in 1/4 cup chicken broth, reserving the rest. Stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom, and continue to cook and stir often until no pink spots remain. Remove from heat and divide into two small mixing bowls. Stir green chile sauce into one bowl and red chile sauce into the other. Cover and keep warm.
  2. For the Gorditas: Place the masa harina, cotija cheese, and mashed potatoes into a large mixing bowl. With clean hands, gently stir ingredients together with your fingers for a few seconds to loosely combine.
  3. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and work it into the dough by hand for about a few seconds. Repeat with another 1/2 cup broth. Finally, add an additional splash of broth and work the dough by hand until it forms a firm dough ball. You are aiming for the consistency of soft play-dough. (At this point if the dough is sticking to clean hands, knead in a spoonful or two more of masa harina; if it is cracking a lot around the edges when worked then knead in a splash more broth.) When the dough is smooth and does not stick to clean hands, knead and fold the dough ball for an additional 5 minutes longer.
  4. Set a large cast iron skillet or a comal over medium-high heat. Lay out a piece of parchment paper next to the skillet. Remove a portion of dough approximately 3 ounces in weight, or about the size of a large lemon, and roll into a ball. Place a ball between two pieces of parchment paper and press with the bottom of a frying pan, plate, or large measuring cup to create a disk about 1/3 inch thick. (Alternatively, shape into a flattened disk by hand, slowing working and turning the dough with your fingers and pressing against the palm of your hand. Smooth out any cracks along the edges of your dough disks. Place on the parchment paper and repeat until no more dough remains.
  5. Place gorditas onto the hot cast iron skillet and cook each side until spotty-golden brown and dry. In a separate medium-size skillet set over medium heat, add vegetable oil to a depth of approximately 1 and 1/2 inches.
  6. When the oil reaches 350 degrees F,  place spotty-browned gorditas gently down into hot oil and fry for approximately 20 seconds on each side, or until they puff slightly, float to the top and turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider strainer and set onto a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining gorditas. 
  7. While the gorditas are still warm, insert a sharp knife into the edge and genty slice 2/3 of the way down towards the center, working the knife along the edge of the gordita and through the center until you can open the gordita by simply squeezing the sides. Do NOT cut all the way through dividing it into two pieces. The goal is to create a ‘pocket’ in the gordita to hold the filling.
  8. Next fill the gorditas with the prepared meat filling and a spoonful of queso fresco cheese (reheating the meat if necessary), then stuff/top with your choice of additional toppings listed above and serve while warm. Gorditas should be eaten by hand.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: lunch or Dinner
  • Method: fry
  • Cuisine: New Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 gordita

Keywords: Gordita, Hatch chile, New Mexican, Mexican, masa harina