By Noel Christmas

I recently wrote a post about Chicken Tortilla Soup and realized something: as much as I love it, I don't make it for the soup. I make it for the tortilla strips. They might seem basic (and truly, they're super-easy to make), but man, do they add a metric-ton of happiness to soups, chilis, stews, and snack time.Here's how easy it is to make homemade tortilla strips.

Photo by Buckwheat Queen

How to Make Baked Tortilla Strips

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. But don't worry, the temperature isn't written in stone. If you're baking something at 350, it'll still work fine.

2. Oil the tortillas and stack them. If you really want to go crazy, use melted butter instead of oil.

3. Slice 'em into uniform strips. Make them as thin or wide as you want. Tip: if you make them a little wider, you can fit a lot more salsa on them while you're watching a game.

4. Spread on a baking sheet. Just make sure they're in a single layer. Double-layers won't crisp up. And definitely use parchment paper (if you've got it) for easy cleanup.

5. Bake until crisp. 10 to 15 minutes should do it. If I'm doing a big batch (which is approximately every time I make them), I'll make sure to spin the pan and stir them around about 7 minutes in. That way you can compensate for any hot or cold spots in your oven.

5. Enjoy! Yes, we're showing this on soup, but, I mean...you're not going to only do that. I've had friends totally hog them at dinner so they could sneak them home. Let that be a lesson to you: Make more than you think you need!

Using Your Tortilla Strips

Want to see the Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup that inspired me to make the tortilla strips? Here you go:

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