Homemade Tortilla Chips

Here’s how to make homemade tortilla chips baked or fried! These fresh warm corn chips made from scratch are simply sublime.

Homemade tortilla chips

There’s nothing quite like fresh homemade tortilla chips warm from the oven. The audibly crispy crunch (imagine it!) and the searing salt as it hits your tongue makes it one of the world’s most satisfying bites. Alex and I had a cocktail night with margaritas and friends a few months ago, and we still remember those crunchy warm chips piled high with rich guacamole. Since then, we’ve put the finishing touches on everything you need to know about how to make homemade tortilla chips. Here are two methods, the pros and cons of each, and how to make each of them in your home kitchen!

Fried vs baked tortilla chips: which method to choose?

This article required us to become experts in the field of homemade tortilla chips. (You’re welcome!) Why make homemade tortilla chips from scratch? They taste better than any chip you’ve had. There’s no chip you can buy at the store that tastes better than one warm from the oven or frying pan: guaranteed. You can make tortilla chips baked or fried: here are the pros and cons of each method:

  • Baked tortilla chips: This method is easier and slightly healthier than frying. It makes a great chip, but it’s not nearly as crunchy as fried. Baked chips don’t store as well as fried chips, so it’s best to eat the batch of baked chips right away.
  • Fried tortilla chips: Frying requires slightly more technique than baking, but the chips come out perfectly crispy with the signature bubbles on the surface. The chips absorb only a small amount of the frying oil: so while fried chips are less healthy, they aren’t as different from baked as you might think. Fried chips store very well: you can store them up to 5 days in a sealed container.
How to make homemade tortilla chips

Method 1: How to make homemade tortilla chips: fried!

After making both fried and baked homemade tortilla chips back to back, one method was a clear winner. No surprise: it was the fried chips! They are so crispy, with the signature bubbled look on the surface like a chip you’d get at a restaurant. We also liked leftovers store well because baked chips can become very tough. But you will need to get comfortable with hot oil! Here are some frying basics:

  • Use your largest frying pan. This way you can fry a large batch at once.
  • Use a neutral oil. This means organic vegetable, canola or grapeseed oil.
  • Heat the oil to 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s helpful to have a food thermometer to judge the temperature. But you can also test using a chip: see if the oil bubbles rapidly when you add a chip.
  • Add the chips in a single batch. Don’t overlap chips or they don’t cook correctly.
  • Cook 30 seconds, then flip them constantly until golden. The total time should be about 1 to 1.5 minutes total.
  • Remove and add salt! Add to a paper towel lined plate so they can drain.
Homemade tortilla chips baked or fried

Method 2: How to make homemade tortilla chips: baked

Making homemade tortilla chips baked is also a great option! This is nice because you don’t really have to think about it: pop the trays in the oven and wait. These chips come out crunchy, just not quite as crunchy as the fried (and without the surface bubbles). They don’t save well, so you’ll want to eat them right out of the oven. Here are a few tips for baked tortilla chips:

  • Brush each side lightly with olive oil. You don’t need a lot of oil: just lightly coat!
  • Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cut into 8 wedges and sprinkle the tops with salt. Make sure they’re in a single layer: no overlapping allowed!
  • Bake at 375 degrees until golden. It should take about 10 to 15 minutes.

A note on dry tortillas vs fresh

Is it better to use older, leftover tortillas or fresh tortillas for homemade tortilla chips? Well, we tested this too! Here’s what we found:

  • We preferred fresh tortillas to dried tortillas. We set out a tortilla to dry at room temp for about an hour, then fried it up. It got darker in color in the frying pan, which didn’t look at lovely. While it came out very crispy, we liked the fresh tortilla look and feel better.
  • This recipe is for homemade corn tortilla chips. When we say tortilla, we mean corn! Corn tortillas are the most traditional for Mexican tortilla chips and they get the crispiest. Flour tortillas can be denser and flat tasting. Now you know!
Homemade tortilla chips

How long can you store homemade tortilla chips?

The very best part about homemade tortilla chips? Enjoying them warm from the oven or frying pan! You get the best satisfying crunch and warmth. But if you want, you can store homemade tortilla chips too! Here are some tips:

  • Fried chips store for up to 5 days. Fried chips stay crispy during storage! Yes, behold the magic of frying. You can store in a sealed container in your pantry, and they’re still crispy 5 days later.
  • Baked chips taste tough even a few hours after baking. Baking makes for a denser chip. Sometimes baked chips are ok the next day, but it can taste like biting into cardboard.
Homemade corn tortilla chips

5 great dips for tortilla chips

Now for the fun part! You’ve finished frying or baking your homemade tortilla chips: let’s get dipping! Here are our top dips for tortilla chips:

  1. Bean dip. This 5 Minute Bean Dip is the easiest, tastiest dip you’ll find! Only 3 ingredients and so cheesy.
  2. Guacamole. This Simple Guacamole is full of classic flavor.
  3. Salsa. Our favorite is this Best Salsa Recipe made with ripe tomatoes, or Roasted Tomato Salsa using canned tomatoes.
  4. Texas caviar. This Texas Caviar (aka Cowboy Caviar) is a zesty and healthy black eyed pea dip.
  5. Pico de gallo. Chunky and classic Pico de Gallo is ultra refreshing.

Looking for more? Browse our 15 Easy Dip Recipes.

These homemade tortilla chips are…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Homemade tortilla chips

Homemade Tortilla Chips (2 Ways!)


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make homemade tortilla chips baked or fried! These fresh warm corn chips made from scratch are simply sublime.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 corn tortillas 
  • Neutral oil for frying or 1 tablespoon olive oil for baking
  • Kosher salt or flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Fried method (crispiest, best for storage): In your largest frying pan, cover the bottom with about 1/4” of neutral oil. Heat the pan over medium high heat until it between 325 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or it bubbles rapidly when a chip is added). Throw in a batch of chips one at a time in a single layer: a large skillet should fit 3 tortillas-worth at once (24 chips). Cook 30 seconds, then flip the chips with tongs. Continue to cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, flipping the chips constantly until they are evenly golden brown. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with flaky salt or kosher salt. Note that older dryer tortillas will turn a darker brown but end up crispier.
  2. Baked chips (easy, eat right away): Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the tortillas slightly with olive oil on both sides, then use a pizza cutter to slice them into 8 wedges per tortilla. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the wedges on top in a single layer and lightly sprinkle the top of the chips with salt. Bake until browned and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet for even baking. You may notice towards the end some chips are soggy while others are crisp: remove the crisp chips and keep baking the soggier ones. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Baked tortilla chips are best eaten fresh from the oven.
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baked or fried
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Homemade tortilla chips, how to make homemade tortilla chips, homemade tortilla chips baked, homemade corn tortilla chips

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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