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Oaxacan Tlayudas

How to Make Oaxacan Tlayudas

Oaxacan Tlayudas are a traditional Mexican dish originating from the Oaxaca region, featuring large, thin, crispy tortillas spread with various toppings.

Rooted deeply in Oaxacan cuisine, Tlayudas start with a large, thin tortilla, traditionally prepared on a comal (a flat griddle), until it turns crisp and slightly charred. These tortillas often reach a diameter of about a foot, providing a substantial base for the toppings.

The toppings for Tlayudas typically include refried beans, Oaxacan cheese (quesillo), shredded lettuce or cabbage, slices of ripe tomatoes, avocado, and sometimes meats such as tasajo (thinly sliced beef), cecina (marinated pork), or chorizo. The assembled toppings create a colorful and flavorful combination atop the crispy tortilla.

Once the toppings are arranged, the Tlayuda is often folded in half or served open-faced, resembling a large, thin pizza. It is then briefly heated again to melt the cheese and warm the ingredients, resulting in a dish that balances textures and flavors—crispy, creamy, savory, and fresh.

Oaxacan Tlayudas are a celebrated part of Oaxacan cuisine, showcasing the region’s culinary diversity and serving as a substantial and delicious meal appreciated by locals and visitors alike.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Street food enthusiasts, those seeking a taste of Oaxacan delights, anyone craving a crispy and savory experience.
  • Estimated duration: A quick and delightful creation ready in approximately 15 minutes, perfect for a flavorful snack or light meal.
  • Nutrition facts: A versatile dish that can be customized with a variety of toppings for a balanced and satisfying treat.

About this Recipe

Tlayudas are a staple of Oaxacan street food, showcasing the culinary richness of the region. This recipe provides a base for the iconic crispy tortilla, allowing you to personalize it with an array of toppings to suit your taste.

Equipment Required

  • Large skillet or griddle
  • Tongs or spatula
  • Mixing spoon


Tlayuda Base:

  • 4 large tortillas (corn or wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Toppings (Customize to Taste):

  • Refried black beans
  • Oaxacan string cheese or shredded mozzarella
  • Shredded cooked chicken or beef
  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Sliced radishes
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Salsa (Optional):

  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the skillet: Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.
  2. Prepare the tortillas: Brush one side of each tortilla with vegetable oil.
  3. Cook the tortillas: Place the tortillas, oil side down, on the hot skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is crispy and golden.
  4. Add toppings: Flip the tortillas and quickly spread refried beans, cheese, and your desired toppings over the cooked side.
  5. Finish cooking: Cover the skillet with a lid or foil and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the cheese melts, and the toppings heat through.
  6. Prepare the salsa (if using): In a bowl, combine diced tomatoes, chopped onion, minced jalapeño, cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve: Remove the tlayudas from the skillet, cut into wedges, and serve hot with salsa on the side and lime wedges for squeezing.

Side Dishes

  • Mexican crema or sour cream
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Guacamole for extra creaminess

Storage Options

Tlayudas are best enjoyed fresh. If you have leftover toppings, store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Reheat the tortillas on the skillet and assemble with fresh toppings when ready to enjoy.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Toppings: Customize with your favorite ingredients such as grilled vegetables, chorizo, or different types of cheese.
  • Salsa: Experiment with different salsas or hot sauces for a personalized kick.

Alternatives to this Meal

Transform your Tlayudas into a hearty meal by adding protein-rich toppings like grilled shrimp or seasoned black beans, creating a satisfying and balanced dish.


Oaxacan Tlayudas bring the crispy goodness of tortillas to your table, offering a versatile canvas for a variety of flavorful toppings. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a light meal, this recipe promises a taste of Oaxacan street food and a celebration of texture and taste. ¡Buen provecho!