Skip the store-bought bag and make homemade tortilla chips instead! Here’s how we make traditional tortilla chips as well as baked tortilla chips in our own kitchen. Jump to the Tortilla Chips Recipe or read on for all of our tips!
There are a few really good store-bought tortilla chip brands available, but we haven’t found anything that beats homemade chips! Homemade tortilla chips are very easy to make and are perfect for nachos or serving alongside your favorite dips and salsas. Some of my favorites are fresh pico de gallo, guacamole, creamy queso dip, this sweet onion black bean dip and our roasted tomatillo salsa.
For the best tortilla chips, fry them. We have shared details for both fried and baked tortilla chips. The baked chips are excellent, but they will never be as light or crispy as the traditionally fried chips.
What tortillas to use?
Start with homemade corn tortillas or use good quality store-bought tortillas. For the best flavor, look for tortillas that have been made using nixtamilized corn.
Nixtamal is dried corn that has been cooked and soaked in water with calcium hydroxide (also known as slaked lime or cal). This ancient process makes tortillas taste incredible and makes the outer walls of the corn more easily digestible for us (unlocking nutrients available in the corn). Not all store-bought tortillas use this method, which is why the flavor of corn tortillas can vary. Look for the words “nixtamel” or “nixtamalized” on the package. You can also look at the ingredients list on the package. It should be short and have the words “lime” or “cal” present.
How to Make Tortilla Chips (Fried)
As I’ve already mentioned, this is my favorite way to make tortilla chips. They are crispy, light and airy. You will need to fry them in oil. Use a wide pan and fill with an inch or two of oil. You don’t need a full pot of oil.
If you are using a smaller pot, you may find that making the chips in batches works better than dumping all of the tortilla triangles in at once. Each batch only takes a couple of minutes so even if you are making multiple batches, you won’t find yourself standing at the stove for very long.
- Cut corn tortillas into 6 triangles.
- Heat a neutral, high-heat cooking oil to 350°F.
- Drop the tortilla triangles into the oil and cook until crisp and golden brown.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
You can see from the photo that the tortilla triangles can be close together in the oil. That said, you will likely need to fry your chips in batches. I like to add enough to the oil that they are mostly in one layer and not too crowded.
How to Make Baked Tortilla Chips
Baked tortilla chips don’t get as light and airy as fried, but they still taste great. A can of cooking spray or spray bottle filled with oil is helpful, but you can always use a pastry brush or clean paper towel to lightly brush the tortilla chips with oil just before baking.
- Heat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut corn tortillas into 6 triangles and spray or lightly brush with oil.
- Arrange triangles on a baking sheet in one layer.
- Bake until crisp and golden brown.
- Sprinkle with salt.
Homemade tortilla chips are best eaten the same day, but if you need to store them longer, allow them to cool completely and then place them into a resealable plastic bag or air-tight container. They should keep this way for an extra day or two.
More Easy Recipes
Easy Tortilla Chips (Fried or Baked)
For the best homemade tortilla chips, fry them. We have shared details for fried and baked tortilla chips in the recipe. The baked chips are excellent, but they will not be as light or crispy as the traditionally fried chips. In the recipe ingredients, we call for 10 corn tortillas, but you can increase or decrease this amount based on how many chips you would like to make.
For the best flavor, look for tortillas that have been made using nixtamilized corn. Nixtamal is dried corn that has been cooked and soaked in water with calcium hydroxide (also known as slaked lime or cal). Not all store-bought tortillas use this method, which is why the flavor of corn tortillas can vary. Look for the words “nixtamel” or “nixtamalized” on the package. You can also look at the ingredients list on the package. It should be short and have the words “lime” or “cal” present.
Makes 60 chips or more
You Will Need
10 corn tortillas or use more for more chips, stale or dried out tortillas are best
3/4 to 1 cup neutral, high-heat cooking oil; suggested: avocado oil, safflower oil, peanut oil or vegetable oil
Sea salt to taste
- Fried Tortilla Chips
- Baked Tortilla Chips
Cut each tortilla into six triangles.
Line a plate with paper towels or a clean dishcloth.
Add enough oil to a wide, high sided pot or cast iron pan so that it is at least 1/4-inch deep. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat until the oil is 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not have a thermometer, you can check the temperature of the oil by dropping a small piece of tortilla into the oil. If it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. If the tortilla browns too quickly, the oil is too hot and you will need to take the oil off of the heat and allow it to cool down before cooking the tortilla chips.
Place enough tortilla triangles into the hot oil so that they are mostly in one layer, but not crowded on top of each other. Use a slotted spoon or kitchen tongs to gently push the tortillas down into the oil so that they all have the chance to be coated in oil. Cook until the chips are crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the chips to the plate lined with paper towels and lightly season with salt. Repeat with remaining tortilla triangles.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.
Spray or lightly brush the tortillas on both sides with oil. Cut each tortilla into six triangles and then arrange, in one layer, on the baking sheets.
Bake until the chips are crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Check the chips occasionally and if you find that some are browning quicker than others, rotate the baking sheets to encourage more even baking.
Lightly season each chip with salt and then serve.
Adam and Joanne’s Tips
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. Values below are for fried chips.
Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size About 12 chips / Calories 177 / Total Fat 9.8g / Saturated Fat 1.4g / Cholesterol 0mg / Sodium 254.1mg / Carbohydrate 21.4g / Dietary Fiber 3g / Total Sugars 0.4g / Protein 2.7g