How to Make Tortilla Shells Into Chips

by Kay Tang

Items you will need

  • Package of corn tortillas
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

Before Christopher Columbus set sail in the fifteen century, the Aztecs roasted tortillas on a searing flat grill. They fried surplus tortillas in hot oil to boost flavor and allow for longer storage. Fried round tortillas were called “tostadas.” Tortillas cut into small pieces, were called “totopos,” which translates into chips. You can easily turn leftover corn or flour tortilla shells into chips by either baking or frying them.

Step 1

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Cut each tortilla into eight small wedges. Spread the wedges into a single layer on a baking sheet.

Step 3

Pour the lime juice and vegetable oil into a mister. Shake to mix. Spray each wedge on the sheet until they are all moist.

Step 4

Combine the salt, chili powder and cumin into a bowl. Use your fingers to sprinkle this mixed powder on the chips.

Step 5

Bake for approximately seven minutes. Rotate the pan. Bake for another eight minutes until the chips appear crisp but not browned.

Step 6

Serve the chips with salsa, guacamole or other dips.


  • You can also fry the wedges. Simply place them in a half-inch of oil in a skillet at high heat. Fry them until they puff, then drain them on paper towels.

About the Author

Kay Tang is a journalist who has been writing since 1990. She previously covered developments in theater for the "Dramatists Guild Quarterly." Tang graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and political science from Yale University and completed a Master of Professional Studies in interactive telecommunications at New York University.