The salted, lime-infused crunch of a favorite store-bought tortilla chip is easy to recreate at home with a short list of ingredients and in minimal time.
My family adores the store-bought “hint of lime” tortilla chips. As I was making my Tex-Mex Chopped Salad one evening, which includes a crunchy element on top, I realized I never thought to buy the necessary tortilla chips at the grocery store.
I did, however, have corn tortillas and decided to make my own.
Not only is this an easy task, the results are quite good. When made with tortillas, the resulting chips will be slightly heartier and crunchier than the store-bought variety because of the typical thickness of soft tortillas. My family enjoys the extra crunch–plus the sturdier chips are less likely to break when plunged into a dip of choice.
The quick process includes brushing the tortillas with a mixture of lime juice, zest, olive oil, and two simple seasoning. The tortillas are then cut into wedges and baked.
The first time I made these, the lime flavor was more subtle than I preferred. After some experimentation, I found that a quick second brush of the lime mixture when the chips are done cooking but still hot adds the punch of flavor I was hoping for. Lime zest was not in the original recipe either, and it effectively ratchets up the lime flavor without additional tartness.
For a chili-lime twist, try sprinkling a bit of chili powder over the tortillas before cutting into wedges. A light sprinkle of cumin is tasty too.
- Older tortillas that have been stored in the refrigerator can become damp from condensation. In this case, the tortillas will likely require a few extra minutes to crisp.
- The chips will continue to crisp as they cool. Don’t be tempted to bake until they are very crisp and golden brown throughout, as they may be too crunchy for you once cooled.
- Dark-colored baking sheets will cook and brown food quicker than light-colored sheets. This, as well as typical variances from one oven to the next, will account for slight differences in baking times. With this and other recipes, always check a few minutes early and add time as needed.
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) lime juice plus the zest of half the lime
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 350℉.
Mix the lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt, and garlic powder in a small bowl and brush over both sides of each tortilla, brushing all the way up to the edges. Reserve the remaining lime mixture.
Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges (you may stack them to make quicker work of this) and arrange the wedges in a single layer on a large baking sheet. (No need to grease.)
Bake for 12-17 minutes or until you see the slightest hint of golden brown in spots. You don’t want them to be too brown, and the chips will further crisp as they cool. (Note: I’ve made this recipe many times and the cook time varies based on freshness of tortillas–moisture levels vary over time–and whether a dark or light baking sheet is used.) At this point, remove the chips from the oven, and if you’d like a more pronounced lime flavor, immediately give the top side a light brush with the reserved lime mixture. The warm chips will quickly absorb it.
Serve with salsa or guacamole or crush and use as a Tex-Mex salad topper.
If doubling the recipe, rotate the baking sheets halfway though the cook time or use the convect mode of the oven, reducing the temperature to 325℉.
For a slightly different flavor, you can dust the tortilla wedges with ground cumin and/or chili powder after the first brush of the lime/oil mixture.
Due to the typical thickness of purchased corn tortillas, these tortilla chips turn out slightly thicker and heartier than many store-bought varieties. We think this is a plus when dipping into salsa, guacamole, and other dips.