The Best Homemade Tortilla Chips Ever
Making flavorful, fresh homemade tortilla chips is a breeze with this easy recipe. These baked tortilla chips are ready after 15 minutes in the oven!
OK, picture this. You’re grabbing a bite at your favorite Mexican restaurant. You sit down, crack open a menu and — wait — what’s that glorious smell coming from behind your shoulder? It’s your waiter bringing you hot, salty tortilla chips fresh out of the kitchen.
If you are also the sort of person who gorges themselves on chips and salsa before your entree even arrives, then you are in a safe place. Last week I shared my recipe for a super beginner-friendly, restaurant-style, oven-roasted tomatillo salsa verde recipe. And today, you are going to learn to make tortilla chip MAGIC!
These zesty, salty oven-baked chips have a mild kick of heat and can be made with corn or flour tortillas. They require the absolute bare minimum prep and are ready after 15 minutes in the oven.
Now listen — there is a time and place for Tostitos, but if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, they just don’t compare to DIY-ing your own tortilla chips. And if you’re like me, you’re a little turned off by deep frying for health and practicality reasons. Baked is the way to go, it’s totally fuss-free! It can be tough to get the oil-chip proportions right for baked tortilla chips, but I have been through much trial and error to find the right balance.
This recipe is part of my “Summer Basics” series featuring simple, easy recipes for staples of al fresco dining. Learn more here.
These chips are a fantastic base for refreshing guacamole and are also stellar with my smoky-sweet oven-roasted tomatillo salsa verde. You can learn how to make that salsa here.
So do these chips live up to the hype?! Only one way to find out!
The Secret Ingredient
The special ingredient that sets these tortilla chips apart is Tajín, one of my favorite spice blends made from sea salt, dried lime and mild dried chiles. These chips aren’t too hot for my spice-averse loved ones, and that lime is what really sets these chips apart from your run-of-the-mill chips seasoned with salt alone.
I have some guidelines in my recipe below for how much Tajín you might want to use, but you can really season your chips to taste. Nervous about the heat? Just do what makes you comfortable. Excited about the heat? Spice it up, baby!
If Tajín is not available, there are knock-off alternatives that you should be able to find in your spice aisle. You might also check the international aisle, since Tajín is a Mexico-based company. As far as alternatives go, I am a fan of the Trader Joe’s chile lime seasoning blend.
Baked Tortilla Chip Ingredients
- Small tortillas, corn or flour
- Canola oil, or another liquid, netural-flavored oil of your choice.
- Tajín, or similar chile-lime seasoning blend
Baked Tortilla Chip Instructions + Tips
Preheat your oven and line a sheet pan with tinfoil for easy cleanup.
Take tortillas, cut into quarters, and spread across the pan. Sprinkle your oil and Tajín over the top, then use your hands to toss together until tortillas are evenly and thoroughly coated.
Spread your tortilla chips across the pan, and minimize overlapping as much as possible. This might be very difficult, or impossible, if you have a smaller pan or are using larger tortillas than the four-inch tortillas that I recommend. You might consider baking a second batch or baking two sheet pans at a time. If you use two sheet pans, definitely eyeball your chips to make sure they are not getting undercooked.
Bake for 15 minutes, flipping chips halfway through, and bake until golden brown. I, personally, like my chips dark golden brown — darker than the chips you’ve seen photographed for this post. What can I say, I’m just a girl who loves her char. If you do too, feel free to give your chips another 1 to 2 minutes on each side!
Allow to cool before serving. You might want to sprinkle on some extra seasoning, or add some pepper or cilantro on top. And don’t forget the salsa!
Troubleshooting: Soggy Tortilla Chips?
I’ve noticed that my chips tend to get crispier as they cool. I honestly have no idea why that is, but my theory is that steam continues to rise off of them as they sit out? Listen, this theory hasn’t been scientifically tested, but all this is to say that you shouldn’t panic if your chips are a little too soft for your liking the second you pull them out of the oven. Keep an eye on them — don’t risk overcooking them by popping them right back into the oven.
If your chips remain a little too soft after cooling for about 10 minutes or so, they probably need some more time in the oven. Maybe you added a little too much oil, pulled them out too early, or maybe your actual oven temperature is way below what it says on the screen. No biggie. Just pop your chips back in and keep an eye on them.
Hope this post has been helpful to all of my enterprising, soon-to-be chipmakers!
Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips
- 24 small tortillas approx. 4 inches wide, cut into quarters
- 3 tbsp. Canola oil
- 1-2 tbsp. Tajin to taste
- Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. Line a sheet pan with tinfoil.
- Spread tortilla slices across the pan. Layer on oil and Tajin, then use your hands to toss until chips are evenly coated in the mixture. Spread as evenly across the pan as possible.
- Bake for approx. 15 minutes, or until golden brown, and use a spatula to flip the chips about halfway through baking.
- Allow to cool until crispy and room temperature, and enjoy!
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