Learn how to make homemade tortilla chips with this step-by-step recipe! They are super crispy and flavorful. Enjoy them with your favorite dip!
If you have a bag of stale tortillas sitting on your counter, don’t throw them away. Instead, make homemade tortilla chips!
These homemade tortilla chips are crunchy, flavorful, and light as air. Made with just 3 ingredients—corn tortillas, salt, and oil—they’re super simple to make, and they taste 10 times better than any store-bought tortilla chips I’ve tried. I could easily eat a handful plain, but the crunchy chips stood up beautifully to dips like this salsa and guacamole too. They are the perfect snack for game day, Cinco de Mayo, or a taco night. Keep reading to learn how to make them!
How to Make Tortilla Chips
My favorite way to make tortilla chips is to fry them. I usually don’t know how to fry at home, usually preferring to bake or air fry, but when it comes to homemade tortilla chips, really fried is totally worth it. They came out so light and crispy!
And a plus of frying tortilla chips? It does not require much oil. You will only need 1/4 to 1/2 inch in the bottom of your Dutch oven or pan. A note on oil selection: Be sure to use a neutral oil with a high smoke point for this recipe. Avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil will work well!
Okay, let’s cook!
The first step in this recipe is cutting the tortillas. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut each of the six wedges.
Next, heat the oil. Place a heavy, high-sided skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. The oil is ready when its temperature is 350°F on an instant-read thermometer. No thermometer? If you add a small piece of tortilla to the oil, it should sizzle.
Then, add a layer of tortilla triangles to the hot oil. They should fit in the pan without overlapping. Use tongs to flip chips constantly until pale golden brown, about 2 minutes. If they are browning too quickly, reduce the heat.
When the chips are golden brown, let them drain. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining tortillas. Add more oil to the pan if needed.
Sprinkle with salt and serve!
Tips on Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Use dry corn tortillas. I think it goes without saying, but flour tortillas will not work in this recipe. They are too wet to crisp properly in oil. Plus, the corn tortillas give the chips a great depth of flavor. Stale tortillas are fine, but I’ve also successfully made this recipe with dry corn tortillas right from the grocery store.
- An instant-read thermometer helps. With one, you can monitor the temperature of the oil so it stays at 350°F while you cook. This recipe can be made without one, but you need to test the oil before adding the tortilla wedges (does a small piece of tortilla insert?) quickly.
- Work in batches. If you add too many tortillas to the oil at once, they will lower the temperature of the oil too much, so they won’t start to crisp right away. Plus, this method for how to make tortilla chips requires flipping them while cooking. If you have too many chips in the oil at once, you won’t be able to flip them as often as needed.
- Sprinkle them with salt. To really soften the flavor of these homemade tortilla chips, you should sprinkle them with salt after cooking. I like to use fine sea salt, but your favorite kosher salt or flaky salt will work too!
What about baked or air fryer tortilla chips?
My hot take? Don’t do it. I tried making baked tortilla chips and air fryer tortilla chips many times, and each time, I was disappointed with the results. They don’t pop the way fried chips do. Instead of being light and crisp, they are thick, hard, and have sticky teeth.
Homemade tortilla chips are a fun treat. Like I said above, they are SO worth frying!
Favorite Dip Recipes
Need a tasty dip to pair with this salty snack? You can’t go wrong with any of these:
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Serving 6 until 8
Learn how to make homemade tortilla chips! Crispy and flavorful, it’s delicious plain or with your favorite dip.
- High-heat cooking oil, such as avocado, canola, or vegetable oil
- 12 stale corn tortillas, cut into 6 wedges each
- Sea salt
Line a plate with paper towels.
Fill a heavy skillet or Dutch oven with ¼ to ½ inch of oil. Heat the oil over medium heat until its temperature is 350°F on an instant-read thermometer, or until a small piece of tortilla sizzles when added to the oil.
Add enough tortilla wedges to the pan to fit in one layer without overlapping. Use tongs to flip the chips constantly until they are crisp and pale golden brown, about 2 minutes. If the chips are browning too quickly, reduce the heat. Use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer the chips to the paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately. Store leftover chips at room temperature for up to 3 days.