Homemade tortilla strips are a crunchy, salty garnish that tastes way better than the store-bought alternative! This simple recipe is made with only three ingredients – tortillas, oil, and salt – making them a quick and easy way to elevate your favorite soups or salads.
Homemade tortilla strips are one of the easiest recipes I have ever made! They hold up well as toppings because they are crispy, crunchy, and salty and hold their texture and shape well in soups and salads. The store-bought alternative tends to get soggy and lose shape, whereas when homemade, they tend to hold up better.
Anytime I find myself making homemade tortilla chips, I also go ahead and make these tortilla strips. Both recipes use similar ingredients, with the main difference being their shape. One is a triangle used for dipping, and the other is a strip shape used usually as a topping. However, tortilla strips taste great on their own, so you can always just snack on them!
So why wait or buy them in a store when you can make them right now at home?
- Tortillas: Corn tortillas are best since they fry well and hold their shape beautifully. I recommend using high-quality store-bought corn tortillas. Avoid using the “thin” kind. They tend to fall apart easily and burn.
- Oil: I used canola oil for frying, but feel free to use your preferred vegetable oil.
- Salt: Flaky sea salt or table salt adds is best.
How to Make Tortilla Strips
Cut into strips: Cut the tortillas in half, then cut them into ½-inch strips along the short end and set aside.
Fry: Heat the vegetable oil to 350°F in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the tortilla strips for about 45-90 seconds until lightly browned.
The fry time will vary depending on the thickness of the tortillas.
Season: Remove the tortilla strips with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess oil. Sprinkle salt on top of them immediately and allow to cool.
How to Make Baked Tortilla Strips
If you prefer to avoid frying, try baking for a lighter version.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray each side of the tortillas with olive oil, cut them into strips, and then place them on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Sprinkle with salt, and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
These tortilla strips are perfect on top of soups, chilis, and even salads! Try adding them to the recipes below:
- Southwest Chicken Soup
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Taco Soup
- Mexican Chorizo Chili
- Taco Salad
- Southwest Chicken Salad
- You can use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas into perfect strips.
- Don’t let your oil get hot, or the strips will burn (over 350°F is too hot).
- For a spicy kick, sprinkle chili powder or cayenne along with the salt.
Got leftovers? You can place the cooled tortilla strips in a paper bag and store them in a cool, dry place for up to 1 week.