Savory Masa Harina Waffles

These savory gluten-free waffles should find a place at your table no matter what time of day it is. Tender yet sturdy enough for a variety of hearty toppings, these subtly spiced waffles are wonderful served with a generous scoop of fresh mango pico de gallo. They’ll also shine topped with chili, served with fried chicken, or even turned into a breakfast sandwich with a fried egg and a strip or two of bacon — the choice is yours!

20 mins
1 hr
4 1/2 large (7") Belgian waffles; or 5 medium (5") square American-style waffles
Savory Masa Harina Waffles - select to zoom
Savory Masa Harina Waffles - select to zoom
Savory Masa Harina Waffles - select to zoom


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  1. Prepare and preheat a waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions.

  2. To make the mango pico de gallo: In a small bowl stir together all the ingredients, tossing to evenly coat with the lime juice. Season with salt, then set aside while you make the waffles.

  3. To make the waffles: Weigh your masa harina; or measure it by gently spooning into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, whisk together the masa harina, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.

  4. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and melted butter.

  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry, stirring just until combined; it’s OK if the batter has a few small lumps.

  6. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes, while your waffle iron continues to preheat. The batter will rise as the baking powder is activated, and it will also thicken as both the masa harina and cornmeal absorb some of the liquid.

  7. Without stirring the batter down, portion it into your iron using about 3/4 cup for a Belgian-style waffle or about 1/2 cup for a thinner “standard” waffle.

  8. Cook the waffle until steam stops seeping from the iron, and it doesn’t stick when you open the iron.

  9. Serve hot waffles immediately with a generous topping of mango pico de gallo. Or keep waffles warm in a 200°F oven while you cook the entire batch.

  10. Storage information: Store any remaining pico de gallo in the refrigerator, covered, for several days. Any leftover waffles can be frozen for a few weeks and reheated in the toaster.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Masa harina (translation: dough flour) is flour made from corn that’s been soaked in a solution of slaked lime (nixtamalized) to loosen its hull and soften it, which improves its texture and helps release its nutrients. The soaked corn is ground into a paste (masa), dried, and then ground again, this time into a fine flour. Due to the corn’s special treatment, neither cornmeal nor corn flour are good substitutes for masa harina.

  • If you’re craving an additional sauce component, we love pairing these waffles and pico de gallo with the avocado crema from our Fish Tacos. Add a tablespoon or two of water and pulse in a food processor for a smooth sauce that’s easily drizzled.

  • Waffle irons come in all shapes and sizes. This recipe makes about 4 1/4 cups of batter, if that’ll give you a better idea of how many waffles you can expect to make using your own iron.