Mexican Gorditas (Fried Stuffed Corn Cakes) Recipe

Photograph: Lauren Rothman

Once you eat a Mexican gordita, your life may never be the same again: Corn cakes made from masa dough are pan-fried to create a crisp exterior and a steamy, tender interior, then stuffed with any number of traditional fillings, from spicy beans, to fresh white cheese and tender shredded meats.

Our recipe calls for stuffing with chili-braised pork, beef barbacoa, or slow cooker chicken, which gets topped with a sweet-and-sour cabbage slaw.

Why this recipe works:

  • Shallow-frying the gordita shells delivers enough heat to activate the baking powder in the dough, creating a light, puffy interior—without the mess and hassle of deep-frying.
  • A quick cabbage slaw adds freshness and acidity to the rich braised meat, and a drizzle of dense Mexican crema adds creaminess.

Note: Masa freezes beautifully. After forming gordita shells (see Step 1), place extras on a baking sheet in a single layer for 1 hour, then transfer to a zipper-lock bag or airtight container and store in freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, set gordita shells on a plate at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then proceed with recipe.

Recipe Facts

Active: 45 mins
Total: 45 mins
Serves: 15 gorditas

Rate & Comment



  1. Using wet hands, roll masa dough into 15 golf-ball-sized balls. Pat balls into flat 4-inch rounds about 1/4 inch thick; if edges crack, run a wet finger around them to smooth them. Place rounds on a baking sheet and keep covered with a towel as you work.

  2. Fill a large cast iron skillet with 1/4" oil and heat over medium-low heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add masa rounds and fry, flipping once, until well-browned and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. Test for doneness by poking shells with a finger: if they feel soft inside, return to oil and continue frying, flipping as needed to avoid burning, until firm to the touch. Drain on a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Continue until all masa shells are fried, adding more oil to the pan if necessary.

  3. Using a sharp serrated knife, split masa shells in half crosswise. For each gordita, pile about 2 tablespoons braised meat on lower halves of masa shells, then top with about 2 tablespoons curtido. Smear top half of gordita shell with about 1 teaspoon crema. Close sandwich and serve immediately.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
235 Calories
14g Fat
22g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 15
Amount per serving
Calories 235
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 120mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 6mg 28%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 297mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)