Why I believe that making your own Tortilla Chips can be a defining moment

You don’t have to, as there are great store-bought versions, but try it once: make your own Tortilla Chips. It’s easy, fun and you can flavor them the way you like. Win-win-win, if you ask me!


Did I see that spark in her eyes? That “Hey, is that really how easy it is?” kinda spark?

That “That’s easy. I can do that!” spark?

The same one I had years ago?

On that warm August evening, I was sitting on the patio chatting with some friends of my High School Bestie. She had thrown herself a goodbye party before taking off a year of college to travel India all by herself. Candles in empty wine bottles lit the fenced garden and someone passed baguette and herb butter.

“I make that myself”, the girl I was chatting with suddenly said to me. “It’s so simple, you just mix some fresh herbs into butter.”

It was an innocent sentence, a small moment at that party, but for me it was a defining moment that influenced my cooking forever.

    You can make anything from scratch, although you don’t always have to.

What else we talked about that evening, I honestly can’t remember. I only know, from that moment on, I never bought herb butter at a supermarket anymore. I always make it myself. And learned to look at other dishes in the same way: you can make anything from scratch, although you don’t always have to.

Earlier this week, I was on the other side of what could have been a similar tale. I was teaching an outdoor cooking class here in Southern California. A bit chillier than that warm Summer night 20 years ago, so we gathered around the grill and I tried to keep the participants warm with a cocktail and some food.

“It’s that how tortilla chips are made?”


Wait! Was there that same spark?

I had just brushed some store-bought corn tortillas with olive oil, salt, pepper and some onion powder and smoked paprika and a self proclaimed ‘horrible cook’ flipped them over on the grill (and she did great!). Once crispy, I cut the tortillas in triangles and the girl on the other side of the bar snapped. “I always think cooking is hard, but I can make these things”.

I probably will never know if it resonates with her and she still will remember this moment in 20 years. And of course, that’s fine. But her enthusiasm sparked this blog post and that’s a win too.

Of course you can buy tortilla chips in a bag, and often I do. But sometimes, it’s just fun to make your own Tortilla Chips.


Make your own Tortilla Chips in the oven

When you have all the ingredients at hand, it’s faster to make your own Tortilla Chips than driving to a store and buy a bag. Or at least, it’s way more fun.

I used:
6 corn tortillas
3 T olive oil
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t (smoked Spanish) paprika
salt and pepper

I did:
Preheat the oven at 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Mix oil and spices and brush the tortillas on both sides with the oil. Cut in 6-8 triangles (depending on size of the tortillas) and align them on the sheet pan.

Bake the tortilla chips a few minutes, flip over and bake a few more minutes until they start to turn brown at the edges. Let cool down a bit to crisp up.

Dip your home-made tortilla chips in any dip you like!


Tell me, what would you like to learn to make from scratch – even you can buy perfect store-bought versions?

Join the cooking!