Totopos: Mexican tortilla chips

Totopos are delightful, crispy, and addictive Mexican corn chips that are super versatile and simple to make.

You can serve them with a variety of sauces and dips or season them with tons of flavors. These are easy to make and a perfect solution to untimely craving.

Totopos served with guacamole and pico de gallo salsa.

What are totopos?

The word totopo comes from a combination of the Nahuatl words totopochtli and tlaxcaltotopochtli that translate into “to crunch/toast” and “toasted tortilla” which was an interpretation of a tortilla that makes noise when chewed.

In ancient times, those chips were made by leaving the tortillas toast on a comal until crunchy, then break them into pieces. In modern days, they are made using leftovers/dried tortillas cut into triangles and deep frying them.

Those tortilla chips are often served in Mexican restaurants alongside with pico de gallo and guacamole salsa.

Crispy and golden tortilla chips (totopos).

How to cut them

Although tortillas originally are circular, you have to cut them into smaller pieces to fry them easily. You can cut them into any shape you like: into triangles, strips, squares, small circles, and diamond shapes as well. Feel free to get creative.

To cut them in triangles just pile 3-4 tortillas then into 6 wedges (like a pie). For cutting round tortilla chips, use a cookie cutter.

Tortillas cut into various shapes on a cutting board.

How To Dry Tortillas

Corn chips are supposed to be a recycling food, and you’ll notice that they will turn better if made with dried tortillas. So I’ll leave you two options to dry them out.

Spread the tortilla triangles onto a single layer on a counter top or table. Allow them to dry for a few hours. You can also cover them with a clean kitchen towel and leave them there overnight.

Place tortilla triangles on a baking sheet, try to separate them a bit so they won’t stick to each other and create moisture. Place the baking sheet on the fridge for at least one hour then proceed with the recipe.

Tortilla triangles arranged on a baking tray.

How To Fry Them

There’s a few things you need to know about frying those totopos:

Use plenty of oil: If you want those tortilla chips to be crispy and golden you gonna need enough oil. Just enough for the tortillas to be well covered. Oil should be about 340°F (170°C), if you don’t have a cooking thermometer just make sure oil won’t make smoke because that’s mean it is too hot.

The tortillas just added to oil.

Fry in small batches: Don’t overcrowd the pan, if it’s your first time making tortilla chips, you might want to use a small pan and work in small batches until you feel confident with the recipe.

Don’t forget to flip them: They need to cook on both sides, so flip them a couple of times to allow to fry evenly on both sides.

Medium fried totopos on a pan.

Remove them at once: Use a spider strainer to remove all chips at once, Depending on the temperature and the thickness of the tortilla, it will take them from 40s to 1 minute to be ready.

Removing totopos from the pan.

How to Make them healthy

Although the traditional way of making totopos is by frying them, it is for sure not the healthiest option. So, if you want to enjoy those tortilla chips but cut down the calories, here are two options that use very little oil and therefore are far healthier:

  • Baking: Place the uncooked totopos on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 375ºF (190ºC). You can use a cooking spray or olive oil to lightly brush them. Then bake from 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Air frying: An air fryer is a miracle kitchen gadget. It uses hot air to fry food without excessive oil. You can easily make these in an air fryer in no more than 10 minutes.
A collage with two photos showing oven baked tortilla chips.

How to eat them

You can eat these just like you eat tortilla chips or nachos. Here are a few ideas of what to serve with these:

  • Guacamole: Guacamole and totopos are a perfect combination. It is the perfect pairing for the most loved Mexican dip.
  • Soup: Serve it beside any of your favorite soup, just as you do with croutons.
  • Loaded totopos: Load these with ragu or Bolognese sauce, top with cheese, and enjoy.
  • Dips: You can serve these with creamy dips and sauces of your choice. For example this creamy tuna dip, or this delicious smoked queso.
  • Salads: Use them to scoop up this Mexican ceviche or this mango pico de gallo.
Tortilla chips a.k.a.totopos served with various salsas.

How to store

Allow the chips to cool down, then place them in an air-tight container or a zip lock bag and store them at room temperature. These are the perfect snacks that stay on your kitchen counter or in the cabinets crispy and crunchy for up to 5 days.

Totopos Recipe

Totopos

Homemade tortilla chips (totopos) with only 2 ingredients. Make those crispy corn chips to enjoy with your favorite salsas.
PREP 5 minutes
COOK 10 minutes
TOTAL 15 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Make batches of 4 tortillas piled and cut them into 6 wedges, like a pie. Line a baking tray with 3 or 3 layers of kitchen paper towels.
  • Heat a good amount of oil in a medium frying pan (about 340°F/170°C).
  • Carefully, add a batch of tortilla wedges into the oil making sure they’re all in a single layer and immersed into the oil.
  • Fry for about 1 minute, flipping once or two times to allow the chips to fry evenly.
  • Remove with a spider strainer and place onto the paper towels.
  • Repeat until all tortillas are used.

NOTES

  • Baking: Place the uncooked totopos on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven at 375ºF (190ºC). You can use a cooking spray or olive oil to lightly brush them. Then bake from 10 to 12 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • Air frying: An air fryer is a miracle kitchen gadget. It uses hot air to fry food without excessive oil. You can easily make these in an air fryer in no more than 10 minutes.
Nutrition
Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg
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