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Air Fryer Tortilla Chips: simple, savory, snackable. Whether you’re elevating a regular tortilla chip or reviving that stale bag from the back of your pantry, this kitchen hack has your back.
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
This recipe uses store bought tortilla chips. I always have them on hand, and it’s what most people will have in their pantries. It’s an easy way to elevate an inexpensive bag of chips from something mundane into something special.
I use my *Instant Brand Vortex Plus Air Fryer.
How do you make tortilla chips better?
Tortilla chips and salsa is one of the easiest party appetizers or snacks on the planet, and almost everyone loves it! Here’s an easy way to make a simple dish SO much better: toast your tortilla chips in the air fryer!
I’ve been doing this trick for years—air frying tortilla chips brings the life back into stale chips, and it elevates fresh chips.
The air fryer helps to toast the chips ever so slightly, which brings out their flavor (I use corn tortilla chips and they taste a little bit like popcorn!). You can also add a squeeze of fresh lime and a sprinkle of high quality salt to make them extra special.
Another trick I love is to sprinkle a little bit of this True Lime on freshly air fried tortilla chips. True Lime is crystallized lime and it’s AMAZING in drinks and for cooking. It doesn’t make the chips soggy, and gives it a perfectly tart lime flavor. You can find it in the drink mix aisle.
How do you heat tortilla chips in an air fryer?
Since the store bought chips are already cooked, you can place them in a preheated air fryer at 400º for just 2–4 minutes. They don’t take long! You also don’t need to put them in a single layer, and you can add a good amount of chips. However, for best results, don’t over-stuff your basket.
I set my air fryer timer for 3 minutes, then shake the basket every 30 seconds or so after the first minute. This way, the chips will toast evenly and nothing will burn. Every air fryer is different, so you’ll have to find the time that works best for you!
Once they are as crispy and fresh as you like, carefully dump the chips into a serving bowl. The oil on the chip will have come to the surface of the chip, so they will be super hot. You can also sprinkle them with additional coarse salt at this point—the oil on the chips will ensure that the salt sticks.
How to make homemade tortilla chips
If you’d like to make your own chips at home, you can use homemade or store bought tortillas. You’ll want to cut the tortillas into small triangles, spray or brush them with a neutral oil (like avocado oil), then place them in the air fryer in a single layer.
Cook at 350º for 5–8 minutes, checking every 30 seconds after the first 3 minutes.
How do you make crispy tortilla chips?
Many people wonder how you can “unstale” chips that you’ve had open in the pantry for a while. They’re probably a little chewy and stale. This happens because the moisture in the air can make tortilla chips lose their crunch.
You can definitely revive tortilla chips and make them crispy and delicious again using the air fryer method!
What if you don’t have any air fryer? How do you make chips crispy without an oven?
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can try spraying them with a light mist of cooking spray, then placing the cookie sheet under the oven broiler for a couple of minutes. As a last resort, you can also microwave stale chips for about 30-60 seconds, shaking or tossing the chips every 30 seconds. You can also use a toaster oven.
Can you warm tortillas in an air fryer?
Yes! You can definitely warm tortillas in the air fryer. I do it all the time for when I make my Taco Lettuce Wraps or when I’m grilling protein for tacos. To keep the tortillas moist, I like to wrap a stack of them in foil, then place them in the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 350º F.
Can I put aluminum foil in an air fryer?
Yes! You can put aluminum foil, parchment paper, or any oven-safe cooking container in the air fryer. Unlike a microwave, the air fryer is more like a mini oven so you don’t have to worry about sparks flying.
Are tortilla chips healthier than potato chips?
Not necessarily. Nutritionally speaking, tortilla chips and potato chips are about the same. We try not to think about that too much when we put down an entire bowl at a party or dinner!
As long as you’re eating a relatively balanced diet, though, there’s no need for you to stress over eating chips—potato or tortilla. And if you put down a whole bowl sometimes, so be it!
Air Fryer tortilla Chip variations:
Cinnamon sugar: Spray tortilla chips with a light coating of oil or cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Lightly sprinkle the chips with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then toast them in the air fryer at 350º for 3–5 minutes. Remove the chips, then sprinkle them with an additional dusting of cinnamon sugar.
Chili Lime tortilla chips: Spray tortilla chips with a light coating of oil or cooking spray. Lightly sprinkle the chips with chili powder or your favorite chili/lime seasoning blend, then toast them in the air fryer at 350º for 3-5 minutes.
Finish the chips with a squeeze of lime. I like mixing “True Lime” or “True Lemon” powder into the chili powder if I don’t have fresh citrus. You can also add fresh lemon/lime juice to the chips prior to air frying, but you’ll need to add an additional minute or so to the cook time so that they aren’t soggy.
More Crowd-pleasing appetizers
- Cream Cheese Wontons (Air Fryer or Deep Fried)
- Cookie Dough Dessert Wontons (Air Fryer or Deep Fried)
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Instant Pot Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Chives
- Air Fryer Potato Wedges
- Instant Pot Salt Potatoes (perfect for charcuterie or fondue)
- Air Fryer Buffalo Cauliflower
- Instant Pot Stuffed Artichokes
Air Fryer Tortilla Chips
- 3 cups Tortilla Chips As many as you want to eat that will fit in the basket- careful not to overcrowd too much. They should be able to be in a single layer
- 1 packet True Lime
- Preheat the air fryer to 400º.
- Add tortilla chips to the basket and shake to distribute evenly.
- Air fry for 2-4 minutes, shaking every 30 seconds after the first minute and cook until you get the desired crispiness.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or plate, and while the chips are hot, sprinkle with the True Lime.