Tostilocos is a delicious, versatile, and fun Mexican snack that is perfect for parties and game days. It features a platter with layers of corn chips, salty snacks, sweet treats, and fruit drizzled with lime juice and hot sauce.
This is one of the most commonly found and versatile snack options in Mexico. It is also one of the most loved street food by everyone, kids included!
What Is Tostilocos?
The name tostilocos comes from two words: Tostitos, a famous Mexican brand of tortilla chips, and the Spanish word “loco”, which means “crazy”. So, tostilocos means crazy tortilla chips.
Despite its fame, the history of this snack is not very old. It came into the light in the 1990s in Tijuana, Mexico.
It is said that the mastermind behind this utterly simple, yet amazingly, tasteful recipe was Javier Rodríguez and that his recipe became so popular that it made him win many culinary awards as well.
In Mexico, you can find this snack at many food carts where the street vendors will just open lengthwise a bag of Tostitos or Doritos and prepare them with the ingredients you prefer.
Today, you can easily make this amazing Mexican snack at home. All you need is a bag of Tostitos chips (or other corn chips) and a few ingredients of your choice.
Ingredient breakdown and substitutes
Here is a perfectly easy and tasteful recipe that is very close to the traditional one. We will share some substitute ideas for your convenience as well:
- Plain Tostitos: The main ingredient of this snack is the Tostitos. You can either use plain Tostitos or flavored ones as well. Sabritas is the most famous brand that is commonly used for this dish. However, if you can’t find that use any type of corn chips, even homemade!
- Takis Fuego chips: These are flavored chips made from corn and perfect for adding texture and flavor; you can replace Takis Fuego with other spicy chips like hot cheetos, fritos, etc.
- Tamarind Mexican candies: These are delicious candies made with tamarind pulp, sugar, chamoy sauce, and salt. As a result, you get sweet, spicy, salty, and tart flavors all at once. The most popular tamarin candies include the Pulparindo brand. However, if you don’t find these, you can use dried fruit like mango, apricots, and even raisins!
- Japanese peanuts: Japanese peanuts, aka cracker nuts, are delicious and crunchy. They are peanuts coated with flour dough and deep-fried. If you don’t want to use Japanese peanuts, you can use regular peanuts or even spicy ones.
- Hot salsa: Use any Mexican hot salsa brand you prefer, or make our Valentina copycat recipe.
- Chamoy salsa: Chamoy is a delicious sweet and sour condiment that goes well with so many things. It is made with apricot, plums, or mango. Again, you can use store-bought or make our easy chamoy recipe.
- Tajín powder: It is a famous Mexican spice mix made from dehydrated lime, dried chili, and salt. It has a unique spicy and tangy flavor. Any chili powder works fine for this recipe too.
- Mango: Fresh, juicy, sweet, and delicious mangos cut into chunks add flavor and freshness to the dish. Nice replacements are strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple.
- Cucumber: Chopped cucumbers also brings freshness to the dish. Cucumber has a clean taste and a crunch that everyone loves and it also helps with the spiciness.
- Jícama: Jícama is another super healthy ingredient but is not easy to find outside Mexico. Replace with: Daikon, pears, or apples.
- Lime: No Mexican savory snack is complete without juice from freshly squeezed limes. You can use lemon instead as well.
How To Make Tostilocos
There are several ways you can make this snack. It is all about the combination of different textures and flavors.
And because this recipe is pretty much customizable to your liking and ingredients available. Here are some suggestions to make some variations to the recipe:
- Carrots and beets cut into strips or Julienne.
- Jalapeños en vinagre (pickled chilies).
- Canned corn (nice chewy texture and sweet flavor).
- Pickled red onions.
- Pickled cucumbers.
Can be made ahead?
Not really. Tostitos can get soggy very fast due to the salsas and other wet ingredients like cueritos and fruit. So, the best you can do is to eat them right away. Or prep everything as suggested below.
Prep for your party
Want to serve those tostitos locos for a game day or a party? Here is what you can do:
More Mexican Snacks
- Pepinos Locos – Cucumber cups filled with fruit, chips, and drizzled with salsa. Best party snack ever!
- Mexican fruit cups – A healthy snack that you can customize for everybody.
- Sandía Loca – Super fun and colorful, watermelon shell is used as a bowl filled with fruit salad, candies, and salty snacks.
- 3 small bags of plain Tostitos (3 oz each)
- 1 small bag Takis fuego chips (2.5 oz)
- ¼ cup tamarind Mexican candies (pulparindo or other kind)
- 1 cup mango (chopped)
- 1 large cucumber (chopped)
- 1 cup jicama (chopped)
- 1 cup Japanese peanuts (Japanese peanuts)
- hot salsa (as needed)
- Chamoy salsa (as needed)
- Tajín powder (as needed)
- 1 lime (juice)
- Arrange Tostitos on a large serving platter.
- Place fruit on top.
- Add Tamarind candies, Takis chips and Japanese peanuts.
- Drizzle with hot salsa, lime juice and Chamoy salsa (you can also use only one kind of salsa).
- Sprinkle with Tajín powder and serve immediately.
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What does tostilocos taste like?
This amazing snack has all flavors going on. From spicy to sour, to salty, yet with some hints of sweet. Is truly a combination of flavors very interesting and fun.
Who invented the recipe?
It is believed it was invented by Javier Rodríguez in Tijuana Mexico, back in the 1990s.
Is this recipe vegan?
Depends on what you put on it. But our recipe doesn’t include any animal product. Also, always make sure to check out the labels when using store-bought salsas and snacks, as many of those might contain gelatin, fat, or other non-vegan products.
Are tostilocos healthy?
No. Even if they are made with lots of fruits, don’t forget that there are also salty snacks, candies, and other ingredients that are not considered healthy. We recommend moderating the consumption of this snack to once in a while.