These simple homemade corn tortilla chips will elevate your next taco night and turn into your favorite snack-time treat. Golden brown and super crispy, serve them with salsa, queso, or guacamole, or turn them into nachos for a game-day meal!
Whether you are making your own homemade corn tortillas, or grabbing a pack at the store, these homemade corn tortilla chips are a breeze to whip up!
Tips for the Perfect Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
I've been making these homemade tortilla chips now for about 8 years. And while you can just slice them into quarters and drop them in the hot oil, there are a few tips that will make these the BEST tortilla chips ever.
- Choose the Right Thickness - For tortilla chips that offer the best crunch, aim for corn tortillas with a thickness of about an eighth of an inch. Too thin, and they can burn quickly or become too brittle. Too thick, and they may turn out chewy rather than crisp.
- Monitor the Heat - Heat your chosen oil to a consistent temperature of 350-375°F, using a thermometer. This range is ideal for quick frying without absorbing too much oil or risking a burnt flavor!
- Get the Timing Right - Monitor your tortilla chips closely while they're in the oil. They usually take about 50 seconds to 2 minutes to reach golden perfection. Once they're a light golden brown, remove them quickly to prevent overcooking.
- Drain Excess Oil - After frying, transfer your chips to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. This step also helps ensure they stay crisp as they cool down. If you're doing a large batch, don't pile the finished chips too high as this will cause the oil from the top to drip onto the lower chips! Instead, grab a second plate and line it with fresh paper towels. Then you can add more chips to the new plate.
- Experiment with Oils - Each type of oil brings a unique flavor and set of health benefits. Organic coconut oil adds a subtle sweetness and is excellent for high-heat cooking, while grass-fed beef tallow contributes a robust, savory note. Try different ones to find the best fit for you!
- Season While Warm - For seasonings to stick well, sprinkle them on your chips as soon as they come out of the fryer. We like just a classic sea salt, but you can try all sorts of savory or spicy blends, or even sugar and cinnamon!
Just a few simple ingredients are required for these amazing homemade tortilla chips... which honestly, is a little dangerous to know! Ha! :-)
- Corn Tortillas - We prefer using homemade corn tortillas, but you can use store-bought as well if that works for your family!
- Frying Oil - We use coconut oil as a healthy choice for frying. It provides a subtle flavor and a high smoke point, which is perfect for getting that golden crispness without burning. You can also use tallow if you'd prefer, or any oil that works for your family.
- Salt - Himalayan sea salt is our favorite way to season these chips, however, you can use whatever salt (or other seasonings) that you have on hand.
Keep your homemade tortilla chips gluten-free by ensuring all ingredients, including any seasonings or spices, are free of gluten contaminants!
Alright, it's time to actually make these tortilla chips! Let's get to it!
- Prep - Grab your corn tortillas and using a sharp knife, or a handy pizza cutter, slice them into fourths or sixths, ensuring a consistent chip size. I like to cut them into fourths, but depending on the size of your tortillas, sixths might be better.
- Heat - Heat the oil over medium-high until a tortilla sizzles upon contact, signaling the perfect temperature to start frying. This is usually around 350-375°F.
- Fry - Work in manageable batches, adding the tortilla wedges to the hot oil without overcrowding. Fry them until they are a nice golden color. This process takes about a minute or two in total. Use tongs to transfer the chips onto a plate lined with paper towels, allowing any excess oil to drain away.
- Season - While still warm, season your chips! Sprinkle sea salt for classic simplicity, or venture into more adventurous territory with a dash of chili powder or a hint of lime zest.
- Cool and Serve - Give your finished chips a moment to cool before serving. Pair them with your favorite dip or enjoy them on their own!
NOTE: If frying isn't your thing, consider air-frying the chips as a lighter alternative. Or you can oven-bake these tortilla chips by arranging the tortilla pieces on a baking sheet, lightly oiling them, and baking at 375°F until they achieve the desired golden brown crispiness.
After enjoying the crispy crunch of homemade corn tortilla chips, you'll want to keep them fresh for as long as possible... if there are any leftover! Make sure your chips have cooled to room temperature before sealing them away, otherwise, condensation will rob them of their crispness.
Here are the best tips for storing your chips long-term.
- The Perfect Container - Find an airtight container you like for storage and add an oxygen absorber to prong the shelf-life.
- Temperature - Choose a cool, stable environment like your pantry. Not your garage!
- Reduce Moisture - Ensure chips are cool before bagging and that the storage area is dry. Add a moisture absorber for added safety.
- Avoid Sunlight - Even in an airtight container, sunlight will heat up the bag and cause major issues!
I like to use a 1-gallon mylar bag for my chips, with an oxygen and moisture absorber added to the top before closing. This allows us to have the equivalent of a bag of chips ready to go when we want to open one. We go through them in a few sittings, and aren't opening and closing a large bag or container too frequently!
This often happens if the oil isn't hot enough or the tortillas are too moist. Make sure your oil temperature is around 350-375°F and your tortillas are thoroughly dried before frying.
Definitely! While I use organic coconut oil, you're free to choose other oils like avocado or even grass-fed beef tallow, depending on your dietary preferences and the flavor you're going for.
Yes, they are. When you make them at home, you control the ingredients, ensuring there are no added preservatives or unhealthy fats, making them a healthier option.
Sogginess can result from overcrowding the pan, which lowers the oil temperature too much. Fry in small batches to keep the oil hot and the chips crispy.
Stored properly in an airtight container at room temperature, they should last for about 6 months. Keep them in a cool, dry place to maintain crispness. I like to use a 1-gallon mylar bag for my chips, with an oxygen and moisture absorber added to the top before closing.
Frying will give you that traditional, crispy texture while baking offers a lighter alternative. Both methods can yield delicious results; it's a matter of personal health preference.
Absolutely. If you don't have the time to make your own corn tortillas, simply slice the store-bought ones and follow the frying or baking steps for a quick snack.
More Recipes to Try Next
If you loved making your own corn tortilla chips, here are a few more recipes that you might enjoy next!
Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips
- 16 corn tortillas (we use this easy homemade corn tortilla recipe)
- 4 cups coconut oil
- sea salt to taste
- Grab your corn tortillas and using a sharp knife, or a handy pizza cutter, slice them into fourths or sixths, ensuring a consistent chip size. I like to cut them into fourths, but depending on the size of your tortillas, sixths might be better.
- Heat the oil over medium-high until a tortilla sizzles upon contact, signaling the perfect temperature to start frying. This is usually around 350-375°F.
- Work in manageable batches, adding the tortilla wedges to the hot oil without overcrowding. Fry them until they are a nice golden color. This process takes about a minute or two in total. Use tongs to transfer the chips onto a plate lined with paper towels, allowing any excess oil to drain away.
- While still warm, season your chips! Sprinkle sea salt for classic simplicity, or venture into more adventurous territory with a dash of chili powder or a hint of lime zest.
- Give your finished chips a moment to cool before serving. Pair them with your favorite dip or enjoy them on their own!