When Chipotle shared the official recipe for their lime tortilla chips last year, fans were delighted. Fortunately, it's super simple to make these chips at home with only a handful of basic ingredients. Before long, you'll be crunching on this amazing snack, but be warned; you might eat the whole batch in one day!
You only need four ingredients to make Chipotle's chips at home: corn tortillas, lime juice, salt, and oil. Let's discuss each one of these ingredients.
- Corn Tortillas: Chipotle uses their own tortillas, which you obviously can't buy from the grocery store. For the best flavor, choose a brand that has few ingredients and no preservatives. I used 5 ½-inch La Banderita yellow corn tortillas, because they are healthier, but Chipotle does use white corn tortillas.
- Lime Juice: I used freshly squeezed lime juice. It's important never to use bottled or concentrated juice, as it has an inferior flavor compared to the freshly squeezed juice. See the "Pro Tips" section of this post for my tips on squeezing the most juice from limes.
- Salt: Chipotle uses kosher salt, but I chose margarita salt instead, as its thinner flakes stick to the chips a lot better. Feel free to use either one, but if you want the salt to stick the best, use margarita salt.
- Deep Frying Oil: Chipotle uses sunflower oil to cook their chips, but feel free to use any high-heat oil. I used peanut oil for this recipe, and the chips turned out delicious! Other healthy high smoke oils are refined olive oil, avocado and palm oil.
What kind of chips does Chipotle use?
Chipotle uses their own house brand of tortillas for their tacos, burritos, and chips. Their website says that these tortillas are made only with corn masa flour, water, lime (the mineral), and sunflower oil.
How many calories are in Chipotle's tortilla chips?
According to their website, one serving of chips contains 540 calories, 25g fat, 73g carbs, and 1g sugar. It's not stated exactly how large the serving size is, but I'm guessing these nutrition facts are probably for one small bag of chips. One large bag of Chipotle chips contains approximately 60 chips and weighs 120g.
By comparison, my copycat recipe contains 502 calories, 30g fat, 54g carbs, and 1g sugar for 20 chips. The types of tortillas and oil you use will affect the nutrition facts. Scroll to the bottom of the recipe card to read the full nutrition facts.
Can you buy tortillas from Chipotle?
No, you can't buy Chipotle's tortillas on their own; the only way you can enjoy them is if you order a burrito, taco, or the chips. You can always ask for a plain tortilla on the side if you order a burrito bowl.
How does Chipotle make their tortilla chips?
According to an official Chipotle TikTok video released in 2020, the process consists of deep frying tortillas in hot oil, then tossing them in a mixing bowl with salt and freshly squeezed lime juice. Fortunately, this is a simple process to replicate at home, even if you don't have a deep fryer like the restaurants do. Check out the "How to Make" section below for a step-by-step guide to making these chips.
How to Make
Start by gathering the ingredients. You'll need corn tortillas, salt, limes, and oil for deep frying (not shown).
Use a sharp knife to cut the tortillas in quarters.
Use the palm of your hand to roll the limes on the counter to soften them, then cut them in half crosswise. Use a citrus reamer or press to squeeze the juice from the limes.
Pour ½ inch of deep frying oil, such as peanut, sunflower, or canola, into a heavy-bottomed skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high until the oil reaches 350 F, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
Add several chips and let them fry for 30-50 seconds, or until have very lightly browned. Use a skimmer to remove them from the hot oil and let them drain on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet.
Immediately sprinkle the chips with kosher salt or margarita salt.
Use a spoon to lightly drizzle the lime juice on the chips, or use a food-safe spray bottle to mist the juice instead. You can also copy Chipotle and put the chips, lime juice and salt in a large bowl and toss to mix.
Enjoy these homemade chips immediately with your favorite guac, salsa, or queso!
- Squeeze the limes by rolling them on the counter with the palm of your hand to soften them. Cut them in half, then microwave them on high for 10-15 seconds to soften them even more. Then use a citrus reamer or press to squeeze the juice.
- What's the best pan for deep frying? Choose one with a thick, heavy base, such as copper-cored stainless steel or cast iron, as they have superior heat retention and cook more evenly.
- Use a toothpick to check the oil depth before frying.
- Monitor the oil temperature with a digital thermometer as you cook the chips. You might have to turn the heat up or down to avoid burning or overcooking them.
- Remove the chips when they are a couple shades lighter than you want. They will darken as they cool.
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Chipotle Tortilla Chips Copycat
- Stack the tortillas and use a sharp knife to cut them into quarters.
- Cut three or four limes in half and use a citrus reamer or press to squeeze out the juice.
- Pour oil into a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or saucepan until the oil is ½ inch deep (approximately 3 cups). Turn the heat to medium-high until the oil reaches 350 F, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
- Fry about 10 chips at a time, trying not to let them overlap in the oil. Fry each batch for about 50 seconds, or until they are lightly browned, then use a skimmer to scoop them out of the oil. Let the chips drain on paper towel-lined cookie sheets.
- Immediately sprinkle the hot chips with some of the flaky margarita salt, as that type of salt sticks better than kosher salt. Drizzle or spray the chips with the freshly squeezed lime juice. Add more salt or lime juice as desired. (You can also toss the chips in a mixing bowl with the salt and lime juice like Chipotle does.)
- Make squeezing the limes easier by rolling them on the counter with the palm of your hand to soften them. Cut them in half crosswise, then place the halves on a plate and microwave them on high for 10-15 seconds to soften them even more. Then use a citrus reamer or press to squeeze the juice.
- The best pans for deep frying are ones with thick, heavy bases, such as copper-cored stainless steel and cast iron, as they have superior heat retention and cook more evenly.
- Don't know how deep the oil level is in your pan? Check by inserting a toothpick.
- Use a digital thermometer to monitor the oil temperature as you cook the chips. You might have to turn the heat up or down to avoid burning or overcooking them.
- The chips will darken a couple of shades as they cool, so remove them from the oil a little sooner than you think they need.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.