How to Make Gordita Shells

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Things You'll Need

  • Prepared masa dough

  • Salt

  • Baking powder

  • Skillet

  • Deep saucepan

  • Oil thermometer

  • Vegetable oil

  • Tongs

  • Paper towels

  • Sharp knife

Gordita means "little fat one" in Spanish, referring to the greater thickness of the shell compared to tortilla shells. The distinctive texture of gorditas, with their chewy interiors and crunchy exteriors, comes from the cooking method used to make them. Once cooked, the shells can be split open like a pita pocket and filled with meats or vegetables as you would a sandwich. Homemade gordita shells have a fresh flavor unrivaled by packaged shells. The key ingredient is prepared masa dough, which you can find in the refrigerated section of Latin or specialty markets.


Step 1

Combine masa dough, salt and baking soda, using 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder for each 1 pound of masa. Knead in water a spoonful at a time until you have a smooth dough.

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Step 2

Shape the dough into 4-inch-wide circles 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick.


Step 3

Heat a skillet on high.


Step 4

Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet.


Step 5

Cook the gorditas for 2 minutes per side until browned on both sides.


Step 6

Add 3 inches of vegetable oil to a deep saucepan. Insert an oil thermometer in the oil. Or, use an electric deep-fryer.



Step 7

Heat the oil on medium to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


Step 8

Fry one or two gorditas in the oil for 45 seconds, or until they float to the top of the oil.

Step 9

Remove the gorditas with the tongs and drain on paper towels.

Step 10

Split the gorditas with a sharp knife and add the fillings.


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