Homemade Fried Tortilla Chips

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The only time I spent in the food industry professionally, I was working as a full-time waitress and a part-time counselor at a camp in northern Wisconsin.

And it was there that I burned myself for the first time. Ouch.

It's so easy to make homemade tortilla chips! Simply fry soft corn or flour wraps in oil to get crispy triangles perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hummus. We share the recipe: https://foodal.com/recipes/snacks/homemade-tortilla-chips/

I’d signed up, willing to do anything. And by some act of grace, I wasn’t assigned cleaning duty. Instead, they put me in the kitchen.

Early mornings, before campers and counselors were awake, I’d walk in the dining hall, the scent of warm yeast in the air. I pulled trays of puffy doughs and freshly made eggs off the rolling warmers and set them in the buffet line. I collected dishes from round tables covered with plastic tablecloths.

And when the weather was nice, the kitchen crew transported things to a picnic area in the woods, complete with an outdoor cooking area, grills, and tables lined up to make a food line.

During one of these days, I ended up burning myself slightly while I carried a hot plate, causing a small scab to grow over my left forearm.

Learn how to make homemade tortilla chips in just a few minutes, using soft flour or corn tortillas fried in oil. We share this super-easy recipe now: https://foodal.com/recipes/snacks/homemade-tortilla-chips/

In a lot of ways, I think it’s good to burn yourself early: it gives you a healthy respect for cooking tools, and you learn to act more carefully when you’re working with them.

But in my case that summer, that little wound brought about an irrational fear of being burned. I have avoided a lot of things since, like hot oil, bubbling and popping in a pan on the stove, which is something of a problem for a fried food lover like myself.

So the recipe that got me to conquer those fears would have to be a pretty special one, don’t you think?

Enter homemade fried tortilla chips.

Homemade fried tortilla chips are crispy triangles perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hummus. We share the recipe: https://foodal.com/recipes/snacks/homemade-tortilla-chips/

These chips are everything I was looking for: something easy and wonderful to eat. Looking for an alternative that didn’t involve frying, I also found some baked options and tested those too.

Trust me when I say this: the fried version is better.

The instructions are so simple, I could recite them in conversation, without looking for my notes or consulting a resource, and that’s saying something:

Get a package of corn or flour tortillas (whatever you like best), and cut them evenly into triangles. Heat up some canola oil in a large skillet, and lay the triangles carefully in the oil, arranging them in a single layer and flipping them a couple of times.

Tired of store-bought bags of nachos? Put down the bag, and get in your kitchen! Make your own fried tortilla chips, using our easy recipe now: https://foodal.com/recipes/snacks/homemade-tortilla-chips/

And the oil is absolutely nothing to fear! You only need a shallow pool in your skillet that just coats the triangles. Not a huge, scary, bubbling vat of hot liquid.

When they’re lightly golden and crispy, take the chips out of the skillet and set them on paper towels to dry. You’ll want to add a dash of sea salt when they are still a little warm, so it can absorb right into the warm oil on each chip. Then you’re set.

That’s it. Really.

Cheap, easy, fast, tasty… and safe (phew!).

The Recipe

A Plate of Tortilla Chips | Foodal.com
The Best Homemade Tortilla Chips
Votes: 3
Rating: 5
You: 5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Homemade fried tortilla chips are crispy triangles perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
A Plate of Tortilla Chips | Foodal.com
The Best Homemade Tortilla Chips
Votes: 3
Rating: 5
You: 5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Homemade fried tortilla chips are crispy triangles perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hummus.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 6 Soft corn or flour tortilla wraps
  • sea salt to taste
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. Stack the tortillas on a cutting board. With a large knife, slice them all together into 8 equally-sized triangles.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil until hot, about 5 minutes. Working in batches, add a single layer of tortilla triangles, being sure to let them overlap.
  3. Fry them in the hot oil for 30 seconds to one minute on one side until lightly golden. Flip each one with tongs and fry for another 30 seconds to one minute, or until golden.
  4. Working quickly, remove them from the oil and place on a large tray lined with paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat with the remaining triangles.
  5. Once they have all been fried, drained, and cooled slightly but still warm, place them in a large bowl and toss with sea salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
The Best Homemade Tortilla Chips
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Sodium 636mg 27%
Potassium 60mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g 6%
Calcium 5%
Iron 7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Cut the Tortillas

Perfect Triangles of Soft Tortilla Wraps | Foodal.com

Stack the tortillas on top of each other, lining them up as best as you can. Using a large, sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board, slice them into equally-sized triangles.

If you are using corn tortillas, which are formed as smaller circles, cut them into 4 equal pieces.

Using flour tortillas instead? Because they are generally larger than the corn version, slice them into smaller pieces. As demonstrated in the above photos, you can cut them into 8 small triangles.

Step 2 – Fry in Oil

Starting to Fry Triangles of Tortilla Wraps in a Pan of Oil | Foodal.com

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 1/2 cups of canola oil until hot, about 5 minutes.

Working in batches, add a layer of triangles, being sure they do not overlap. Keep them in a single layer to promote the most even cooking.

Freshly Fried and Browned Tortilla Chips in a Pan of Oil | Foodal.com

Continue cooking them on one side until very lightly golden, about 30 seconds to one minute, then flip them with heatproof tongs. Continue to cook them for just another 30 seconds to one minute, or until lightly golden.

Depending on what style of tortilla you use, the cooking times will change slightly. The flour version is a little thicker, and will take longer to cook, while the corn tortillas are thinner, and will not need as much time.

So stay close to the pan while you’re cooking to keep an eye on the color. They cook quickly! And who really wants brown, burnt chips?

Step 3 – Remove and Repeat

Allowing Freshly Fried Tortilla Chips to Drain on a Paper Towel | Foodal.com

When they have finished frying, remove them and place on a large tray lined with paper towels in order to remove any excess oil.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 with the remaining chips.

Step 4 – Season and Serve

Dipping a Freshly Fried Tortilla Chip in Salsa | Foodal.com

When all the chips have been fried and allowed to cool just slightly, but are still warm, place in a large bowl and toss with sea salt to taste.

Serve them with your favorite dips, and enjoy!

Put Down That Bag of Store-Bought Nacho Chips

Don’t fear the hot oil. It’s your friend, not your foe! These homemade tortilla chips got me over my fear of frying, and for that, I love them.

A Plate of Tortilla Chips with Fresh Salsa | Foodal.com

In just a few short minutes, you too can make these crunchy goodies, a perfect base for all your dipping needs. Not to mention it’s a great way to use up those tortillas that have been sitting on your shelf, right before they’re starting to go bad…

These triangles of crispiness – almost too easy to justify posting an actual recipe – are delicious, with a bit of chewiness amidst the crunch and a perfectly salted flavor that complements a variety of dips, like pico de gallo, hummus, and guacamole.

You could also use these as a base for taco-inspired nachos. Cover them in mounds of ground meat, sour cream, fresh salsa, and shreds of cheese.

You can easily double (or triple) this recipe. Just be sure to use a skillet big enough to accommodate a larger amount of oil and tortilla pieces.

Well, have I convinced you to make your own chips? What would you use as your favorite dip for these crispy little guys? Feel free to leave us a message in the comments below!


Don’t forget to Pin It!

Tired of the same old nacho chips you buy at the store? Put down that bag, and make some in your own kitchen! Learn how to make homemade tortilla chips in just a few minutes using soft flour or corn tortillas. Simply fry them in oil to get crispy triangles perfect for dipping in your favorite salsa, guacamole, or hummus. Get the recipe now on Foodal.

Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published February 27th, 2009. Last updated: January 30, 2018 at 11:20 am. Additional writing and editing by Nikki Cervone.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography, and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.

14 thoughts on “Homemade Fried Tortilla Chips

  1. honestly, i can’t imagine you being so wild your freshman year! 🙂 and speeding? you’re so responsible shannalee that i can’t imagine it!
    so my question is, after frying, how did you abode smell? i love fried foods too but after making tempura once, the lingering smell was annoying. i’ve since sworn off frying anything.

  2. oh i do love making my own tortilla chips – i do the same with pita bread too, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and chopped rosemary…

  3. Thanks for the love 😉 These are almost dangerous they are so addicting. I always have to make them the same day I need them, even though you can make them days in advance, or I will just devour them all.

    Cheers!
    Nick

  4. Homemade chips are far better and cheaper than buying a bag of Tostitos. We’re fans of baking and adding lots of seasonings like cayenne, cumin and garlic with a bit of salt. You can dress ’em up or dress ’em down.

  5. i love homemade tortilla chips! i make them when i make a tortilla soup and just use them as a garnish. what have i been thinking? they need to be the star! next time, i’m making a whole batch 🙂

  6. Hi! My friend dirrected me to your blog a few months ago and I love it. 🙂 I am a writer and I also enjoy cooking. If you are interested, have a look at my craft blog I just started. 🙂 These tortilla chips look good … I like he idea of putting cinnamon and sugar on them. My fav. were the Earl Grey cookies.

  7. Lan – LOL! Never underestimate the power of a boy in your car. Also, I did a lot of fun/stupid things back then, some that I wish I had guts to still do but most that I wish I could have slapped myself to stop! BTW: I think it depends on the kind of oil and how much of it is used. When my mom makes this one Indian dish—it’s like a crispy, crispy flat dough—the smell is there for at least a day.

    TJ – Thanks!

    Montague – It is taking a great deal of restraint to not leap to the kitchen RIGHT NOW and try what you suggested. Can’t wait.

    Nick – Thank YOU!

    DD – More good ideas!

    Michelle – Your house sounds like the kind of place I’d love.

    Rachel – Hey, a sweet version is a great idea! For sure with pita chips. Making a mental note.

    Jacqui – LOL. Dying to know what that means.

    Kickpleat – I agree!!

    Megan – Thanks so much for visiting (and to your friend for recommending it!) Just between us, the Earl Grey cookies are one of my favorites, too.

  8. i’m glad you deemed this worthy to post. i freaking love homemade chips at restaurants, so this is even better.

  9. Okay, now this I need to try. Yummy AND Frugal?! I love your pictures on the blog, Shanna, they make me want to eat whatever is pictured LOL!

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