sourdough discard tortillas (and a vegan taco recipe)

sourdough discard tortillas (and a vegan taco recipe)

I know, I know. I’m posting a recipe for tortillas before posting a bread recipe. I’m still on the look for the perfect recipe + method, but it will come soon (hopefully).

The thing is, baking with sourdough is a joy, but also such a pain! I mean, all that precious starter that ends up being discarded when you refresh it before baking. Although I’m using a reduced waste feeding schedule, by the end of the baking cycle I always have a little extra jar sitting in the fridge.

If you’re wondering why, my starter Giovanna is rather young, so I like to strengthen her by doing multiple feedings two days before baking. The rest of the time she sits in the fridge, waiting for the next feeding round.

The discard I get isn’t a huge amount, but still I can’t say I’d trash it without a second thought. And here comes the sourdough tortillas idea.

sourdough tortillas

Since the first loaf I baked, I started wondering how I could deal with the discard I had laying around. I tried sourdough pancakes first, but they didn’t meet my taste both texture- and flavor-wise. Then I made a batch of wannabe sourdough crackers, but they rose while baking and I managed to eat only half of it before everything went stale.

a tower of tortillas!

Sourdough tortillas were a hit tho. I made the first batch upon my boyfriend’s request: he had asked for a taco lunch. But tortillas aren’t really a thing here, and the grocery shop only sells rubber-like sad things. That’s pretty obvious, who would have tortillas if there are fresh piadine available?

Side note: if you’re unfamiliar with it, a piadina is an Italian flatbread originating from Emilia Romagna region, and it’s very soft, pliable and delicious. The only downside of it, from a veg point of view, is the prosciutto filling. And the lard that’s often used for the dough. But we do olive oil here!

food pattern with tortillas

Back on our tortilla business now. The very first time I tried making my own tortillas wasn’t a huge success. I experimented with gluten-free tortillas, and while the flavor was good, they dried out and broke when we wrapped them around the filling, making for a very messy lunch.

After that first attempt I did a lot of research. I get very serious when it comes to food y’all.

sourdough tortillas from above

Browsing the web I learnt that:

  1. you need fat to keep the tortillas fresh and pliable. Not a huge amount, but still, you’ll want to add a touch of oil
  2. a good amount of liquid will yield a soft, elastic dough
  3. if a fraction of this liquid is milk, even better. It makes for a softer and more flavorful finished product
  4. don’t skimp on salt. And do add baking powder even though we’re using sourdough starter

These tortillas are soft, pliable and just sooo good!

sourdough tortillas closeup

As I mentioned on instagram, these tortillas have a secret ingredient. And I already told you what it is! It’s milk. Almond milk. The nut based milk will infuse your tortillas with a subtle sweet flavor, keeping them fresh a little longer.

However, this doesn’t mean they will last forever on the counter. I’d say you can safely store a few in the fridge if you eat them on the second day, otherwise, freezing them is the best option (see recipe notes). Defrosting them is a breeze!

And this takes me to the second part of this blogpost: the actual taco! In my foreign opinion, tacos are the perfect weeknight supper fix. Gather a few leftovers you may have, and dinner is served! (I hope my Mexican friends won’t be mad at me for this).

tortillas ready to be rolled into tacos

The first time I served these tortillas with two different fillings and a delicious avocado crema my sister slurped up all on her own. Today we’re having a vegan taco feast that comes together in 15 minutes flat, assuming you have tortillas ready to go. Or you could cook everything in one sitting, if you’re a multitasking goddess.

Our best friend here? Red lentils. Packed with protein, they cook in no time, and paired with grainy mustard they make for a super flavorful taco filling. Thanks to Alexandra I now know the life-changing secret to make lentil just delicious: mustard! Trust me (us) on this and go for it. 

I also added shredded cabbage, avocado and a delicious red pesto to round up the flavors.

red pesto closeup

And here we have the image of my assistant who was rather annoyed by the lack of food spillage during the shoot.

Molly waiting for her tortillas

Hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we all did!

See you with the next recipe

x Chiara

You can also find me on instagrampinterestbloglovin’food52, and YouTube. See you there!

red pesto on sourdough tortillas
sourdough discard tortillas
prep time
20 mins
cook time
10 mins
Resting time
30 mins
total time
20 mins

A sourdough tortillas recipe that’s perfect to use up discarded starter, plus a vegan taco to put your flavorful tortillas to good use on a taco night!

course: appetizer, main, snack / nibbles
cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: sourdough, sourdough discard, sourdough tortillas, tortillas
servings: 15 ~40g tortillas
ingredient list
Sourdough tortillas:
  • 70 g sourdough starter (doesn’t have to be active)
  • 100 ml lukewarm water
  • 60 ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 80 g wholemeal flour
  • 150 g bread flour
  • 50 g cornmeal, extrafine
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 g salt
Taco filling:
  • 160 g red lentils
  • 50 g frozen soffritto mix (diced onion, carrot, celery)
  • 1 tsp grainy mustard
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • vegetable stock
  • black pepper
  • shredded cabbage
  • avocado
  • 4 tbsp red pesto (tomato based pesto)
For the tortillas:
  1. Dissolve starter in water and almond milk into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add oil, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until comes together loosely, then knead until smooth and elastic, about 10′.

    Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 30′. 

  2. Portion the dough into 40g pieces, this recipe makes about 15. 

    If you have a tortilla press, go ahead and make your prefect tortillas. If you don’t, flour a working surface and a rolling pin and roll the tortillas out about 3mm thick, trying to get a round shape.

    Meanwhile, heat up a large griddle pan. Cook tortillas 1′ on the first side, 30 seconds on the other. Place cooked tortillas on a clean towel until you finish cooking the rest of the batch.

Lentil taco filling (serves 8 tortillas):
  1. Heat up a touch of extra virgin olive oil in a small pot. Sautée a mix of onion, carrot and celery until translucent, about 2′. Add red lentils, stirring constantly to soak up all the flavors without burning. Cover with veg stock and cook until desired doneness. I usually do 15′. Once cooked, add a tsp of grainy mustard, fresh black pepper and serve.

For the tacos:
  1. Spread half a tbsp red pesto on each tortilla. Top with lentil filling, a handful shredded cabbage and avocado, or any other taco topping you like!


This recipe makes for 4 servings, each counts 2 tortillas and 1/4 of the lentil filling. If you’re vegan, check the red pesto ingredients and choose accordingly.

To store leftover tortillas, let them cool completely, then layer them between sheets of parchment paper, wrap in foil and freeze. Frozen tortillas will last for up to one month. Let them thaw on the counter 1-2h before using. 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu