I want to try a new chili recipe that calls for masa harina. I live near Philadelphia, PA and cannot find it at my local Whole Foods or Acme!

Suggestions? Substitutes?

Susanne Johnson


Georg February 21, 2022
ALDI sells Masa Harina.
Karen M. February 8, 2018
You can substitute cornmeal for masa harina or you can go online and order masa.
susanm September 25, 2012
susanne - i just realized you must be about to make the chili recipe i suggested. GOOD LUCK! hope you like it. here is the michael chiarello recipe that inspired it. perhaps you will want to add back in some of the things i omitted or changed.

susanm September 25, 2012
my whole foods carries the the "bobs red mill" brand.
pretty sure it's with the oats and grains and cereals to cook, not necessarily the flour. good luck! otherwise, maybe order online.
here: http://www.amazon.com/Bobs-Red-Mill-Harina-24-ounces/dp/B001HTIT9C
Nozlee S. September 25, 2012
You could also take a page from this recipe, which uses finely crushed regular old tortilla chips to thicken chili!

Quinciferous September 24, 2012
Susanne, check out one of the Mexican groceries in the Italian Market on 9th St -- they definitely carry Masa Harina. Try Tortilleria San Roman (where fresh hot tortillas are $2 a kilo!) -- if they don't have it they can certainly tell you where to go.
HalfPint September 24, 2012
In a pinch, you can use packaged corn tortillas (ripped/ground up into tiny pieces) in place of masa harina. The toritillas are made from masa harina and water. I think the 1TB of masa in the recipe is meant to be a thickener, so you should be ok using tortillas.
nutcakes September 24, 2012
I've done that to thicken soups before, with success, but some of the corn tortillas may need to be whirled in the blender unless you are cooking for a long time, where they should fall apart.
Author Comment
Look with the Mexican foods, and look with the baking supplies. Also, I think my WFM has it in the bulk bins.
ChefOno September 24, 2012
If you can't find it in the Mexican aisle of your local supermarket and you don't have a Mexican grocery store nearby, you can substitute an equal amount of fine corn meal. Not much difference between the two in that application -- but if you purchase the masa, you can make tortillas to serve with the chili.

Author Comment
Try any grocery catering to the Hispanic community. Also, Whole Foods definitely carries it. (Masa harina is basically finely ground cornmeal; it's not quite the same as the plain stuff, but if you're not making tortillas, you can probably substitute fine cornmeal.)
Susanne J. September 24, 2012
Thanks! I asked someone at WFM and we both looked. Didn't see it. Will try again.
Recommended by Food52