We Found the Best Tortilla Chips for Dips, Salsas and More
The perfect salsas, guacamoles and dips all demand the perfect tortilla chip. After testing 10 brands, we found the best tortilla chips for dipping, dunking and snacking.
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While some may think these dips are the stars of the show, remember that homemade guac (this Guac Lock gadget keeps guac fresh and green for up to a week!) would be nothing without a salty, sturdy chip to scoop it up with.
However, we’ve all dunked our chip into that garden-fresh salsa only to find that the chip isn’t strong enough to withstand our scoop. Or maybe the chip is just too darn salty—or bland or even burnt tasting. That can turn even the tastiest dip into a ho-hum treat.
Worry no more about unsatisfying snacks! Our Test Kitchen team snagged all the most popular brands to find the very best tortilla chips for your next snack attack.
How We Found the Best Tortilla Chips
Our Test Kitchen grabbed 10 bags of tortilla chips for this test—all the most popular brands that you’d peruse at your supermarket or nearby big-box store. Each was judged with some salsa and these qualities in mind:
- Texture: Our tasting squad kept crunch in mind as well as the texture of the chip. Is the chip light and crispy? Is it a bit more dense and sturdy? Both are great (there’s room for all sorts of chips in our pantry), but crunchiness is always key.
- Dip-ability: The chips are made for dipping. To get our Test Kitchen’s approval, chips should hold up to some dip—maybe not a mountain of taco dip but at least a good bit of queso.
- Flavor: Chips should taste good—even without salsa piled on top. Satisfying corn flavor and the right amount of salt make for a Test Kitchen-Preferred tortilla chip.
Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Tortilla Chips
Taste of Home‘s culinary crew spent a lot of time scooping up salsas and queso for this test. Four brands got our experts’ stamp of approval: the right to be called Test Kitchen-Preferred.
Best for Salsa and Dips: Tostitos Original Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
This blind test proved to our culinary crew that the biggest name in tortilla chips is definitely one of the best. Tostidos Orginal Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips are a definite standout in the snack aisle.
According to Executive Culinary Director Sarah Farmer, “This is the chip I want to pull my salsa bowl next to!” Our other testers agreed.
Tostitos restaurant-style chips are lightly salted and super crunchy. Made with white corn, they have a pale appearance, compared to chips made with yellow corn. Flavor-wise, though, these hit the mark and hold up to good hefty helpings of homemade salsa.
Best Tortilla Chips for Nachos: Santitas Tortilla Triangles
Sometimes you need a chip that holds up to a satisfying scoop of guacamole, sometimes you need a chip that does even more—like holding up to all the toppings you pile on your nachos. That chip is Santitas Tortilla Triangles.
Santitas are super crunchy with a perfectly golden color. These chips don’t have a ton of flavor on their own, but the crispness and sturdiness of these chips make them the perfect vehicle for carrying hefty dips or nachos loaded with all of the toppings you enjoy.
When covered in cheese, beans, jalapenos and other nacho favorites, these chips hold strong and don’t get soggy like many ultra-thin tortilla chips.
Best Thin and Crispy Chip: On the Border Café Style Tortilla Chips
Not everyone is looking for a hefty chip to hold a mountain of hummus. If you prefer a lighter, crispier chip, add On the Border Café Style Tortilla Chips to your grocery cart.
According to Sarah, “This is a very fine chip! Thin and crispy.” These chips are perfectly thin with a good level of salt and a subtle corn flavor you can appreciate. Some testers likened these to restaurant-style tortillas.
“Heavy-handed chip-dippers might be disappointed,” according to Sarah, but that doesn’t take away from these On the Border chips’ appeal. Just be cautious as you dunk into that homemade nacho cheese.
Best Tortilla Chip to Eat on Its Own: Frontera Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips
Sure, we typically think of tortilla chips as vehicles for salsa and other dips, but they can also be a great snack on their own—provided they have plenty of flavor. For our Test Kitchen, that brand is Frontera Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips.
These chips are toasty and super crunchy, much like the freshly made ones that you’d get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. But beyond that, Frontera chips also have a more pronounced corn flavor and a good level of salt which is why our staffers enjoy these chips on their own.
Need a dip for these chips? Any dip will do. These chips were also sturdy and even a bit dense so they can scoop up bean dip as well as some of our other choices.
Make the Most of These Must-Have Chips
Taste of Home
When it comes to enjoying a bag of one of our Test Kitchen-Preferred tortilla chips, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing your favorite store-bought guacamole or salsa.
But if you want to take things to the next level, our culinary team suggests these five-star Blue-Ribbon Beef Nachos. Layerd with beef, beans, green onions and more, these nachos are definite crowd-pleasers.