Using Leftover Tortilla Chips

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When you have chips that are crumbled or gotten a little stale, there are ways to incorporate them into other foods. This page is about using leftover tortilla chips.


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The DH was making himself a can of Juanitas Chicken Pozole and decided to add the broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag. He added a loose 1.5 - 2 cups and heated the soup on low for 45 minutes to one hour.

The result was a thick tasty pozole stew. What a good use for the bits.

By R Barbara from Bremerton, WA

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When you get to the bottom of the chip bag and the tortilla chip bags there are always broken chips in the bottom. The broken potato chip pieces make wonderful casserole toppings, filler in meatloaf, coating for chicken and other meats for frying, etc.


The tortilla pieces are wonderful in soup, top of Mexican inspired casseroles and salads. Make sure to let your family know that you are using these leftovers and NOT to throw the bags with the crumbs away. This only works if you can get everyone on board the savings train!

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What do you do with the broken corn chips at the bottom of the bag? I'm sick of throwing them out into the compost. Sometimes half the bag seems to be crumbs. I've tried crushing them and adding them to my bread baking, but I don't like the final result. Any reasonable suggestions welcome. I'm basically a whole foods cook and this is about the closest I get to prepared food.


By susan cantin from Canada


August 23, 20091 found this helpful

I make Frito Chili Pie. It doesn't matter that the chips are crumbled up.
Frito Chili Pie
Layer in ingredients into a casserole dish (size depends upon size you want to make). Bake in oven at 350 degrees F. until hot all the way through. My family loves it.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

You can also use them on top of your favorite casserole dishes in place of bread crumbs! I use what I have on hand. Crushed chips of any kind that I think will complement the dish, bread crumbs, or cracker crumbs of any type!

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

When my son was in primary school, the class made potato chip cookies. Unfortunately I don't have the recipe anymore (after 25+ years I don't know why!), but I'm sure it would be available somewhere on the internet.


Hope this helps a little bit.

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August 26, 20090 found this helpful

I grind them up in my food processor and use them like bread crumbs for breading fish and chicken.

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August 26, 20091 found this helpful

Make chilaquiles. Heat taco sauce in a skillet and stir in the broken chips. When all is hot, top with a little cheese and allow it to melt. This works even if the chips are stale.

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August 26, 20091 found this helpful

I know you're asking about recipes but I set mine out for the birds but you could also try using them in a salad instead of croutons ;-)

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September 6, 20090 found this helpful

We have a restaurant here in Harrisburg, PA that serves a Cowboy Crunch burrito using the last bits in the chip bag:


12" tortilla, refried beans, brown rice (or white), meat (buffalo, chicken or steak), cheese, veggies (lettuce, toms, onion, jalapenos), Ranch dressing and chip crumbs. Fab!

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September 8, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you one and all for these suggestions. There are so many. I think I have two winners: Jazalay and Cumberland. I am going to try these two first. :)

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October 22, 20140 found this helpful

Eat them! That's is they aren't stale... if they are give them to birds, hand them to your kids to feed the birds at the park. Great for families to have fun!

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Answer this Question

April 6, 2005

Have some tortilla chips that are a little stale or some crumbs left in the bottom the bags? Here are some ideas for using those chips. Post your ideas.


April 6, 20050 found this helpful

Don't throw out those last few little pieces of tortilla chips left in the bag - put them in a plastic bag and freeze them for recipes. They work great in Mexican casseroles or tortilla soup!


By Susan

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By Cindy in AL (Guest Post)
April 6, 20050 found this helpful

Mom always used to save the plain potato chip crumbs for topping on tuna fish casserole. We thought it was a treat.

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April 9, 20050 found this helpful

Chips can go rancid because of the grease or oil used in cooking them. Either save them in the freezer or use them up immediately. patsAZ

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By (Guest Post)
April 11, 20050 found this helpful

I put throw them into any Mexican-style soup or salad just before eating.

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By Bridget (Guest Post)
May 10, 20050 found this helpful

Yummy taco salad ~ grab some lettuce a little leftover meat ( crumbled beef, chicken or even pork). I even love to add leftover rice & then sprinkle with cheese & tomatoes. You can use most anything as your dressing - gravy, salsa or even your favorite salad dressing. Cheap ~ but very, very good :)

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Answer this Question

September 14, 2017

A short time in the microwave can help make stale chips taste better. This is a page about how to refresh stale chips and crackers.

Chips in a white bowl.

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September 22, 2014

Nachos are a favorite recipe that uses tortilla chips, but there are other creative ways to use them. This is a page about recipes using corn chips.

Corn Chips in Vegan Nachos

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

August 22, 2009

Any uses for those leftover 1/2 bags of potato/tortilla chips that no one will touch after 2 days? Remember, camouflage is the key word here. The family can't actually identify it as leftover chips in the resulting recipe.

CammoMOM from CA


Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Crush them and use as:

To keep the chips fresh longer and cut down on food waste, when you first open the bag, place half in an airtight container. Let the family eat what's left in the original bag first and then tell them they must finish what's in the airtight container before opening another bag. (01/24/2008)


Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I don't know about the tortilla chips but you can use crushed potato chips in biscuits and in coatings for fish, chicken, and pork. (01/24/2008)

By joan pecsek

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I use chips to top my tuna casserole. (01/24/2008)

By Heather

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

You can crush the tortilla chips and put in the bottom of a baking dish. Add about a cup or so of chicken broth. Top with hamburger that has been fixed as for tacos with a can of refried beans added. Top all with two cups of cheddar cheese and bake for about 30 minutes at 350. The base will be like tamales and your family will never know what it really is. This is really yummy. (01/24/2008)

By Belinda

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Make potato chip cookies. (01/25/2008)

By Tina

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I use the tortilla chips in Mexican casseroles and taco salad. You can also put them in a bowl and put chili on top of them, like Frito pie. Potato chips can be crunched and added to meatloaf and to some casseroles. If they're crunched enough, you can add them to stew or sprinkle on tomato soup. I've seen a couple of recipes for cookies using potato chip crumbs, but I've never tried them. (01/25/2008)

By Dianne J

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Smash up and use for breading for pork chops and chicken.
I saw this on the food network and that is all I use now.
My family loves it. (01/25/2008)

By kathy

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I crush and use leftover chips in my meatloaf and meatballs. I don't add extra salt to that batch because the chips are already salted. I add shredded veggies to make them healthier too. Also Rachel Ray just made a delicious looking chicken tortilla soup/stew that used about 2 cups crushed tortilla chips as a thickener. It looked scrumptious. (01/25/2008)

By Kathy Klahn

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I do a thing kind of like Belinda's above, except that I just make a little batch of simple chili: ground turkey/beans/taco sauce/garlic and chili powder, add whatever you want. If I have a green pepper that needs to be eaten I add that; sometimes a can of corn, drained. Add a cup or so of extra water so it's on the soupy side. Then munch your chips a little bit (not to crumbs), dump in bottom of a greased casserole, dump the chili on top of that, top with a cup or so of cheese, and bake, probably 350, for approximately 30 minutes. Precision is absolutely unnecessary in any of the above. (Just don't over-brown the cheese, yuk) Anyway, it tastes kind of like enchiladas. My family loves it. We call it "Stale Chips Divine". (01/26/2008)

By Carol

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I add a few crushed up corn chips to my tuna sandwich, that way I still get the taste, but cut calories. My granddaughter and I like crushed potato chips added on top of our potato salad.The rest of the family thinks we're nuts, but we like it anyway. GG,Vi (01/26/2008)

By Vi Johnson

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I make Tuna Casserole using older chips. Mix 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup and 1 soup can of milk in a mixing bowl. Add drained tuna, one drained can of peas and the crushed chips. Pour into a baking dish and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, top with sliced American Cheese and return to oven until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

God Bless.
Sheila in Titusville, FL (01/27/2008)

By Sheila Saey

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

I am so cheap, I save everything. I even save crumbs such as chips, cereal, bread, etc. and keep them in a jar to use for my own "shake n bake" for meats or fried veggies. (01/27/2008)

By mom-from-missouri

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Around here, corn chips go to the hens; potato chips get crushed and put on top of tuna noodle casserole. (01/27/2008)

By Marna

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Five minutes in a warm oven and they are snappy fresh again. (01/27/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Potato chips are good as topping for baked chicken, or used in casseroles with some french friend onions.

Leftover tortilla chips are perfect for tortilla soup since they'll get soggy anyway. I also use them in taco casseroles and my husband's never complained. (01/28/2008)

By Concetta

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

If you are talking about all the broken chips that are at the end of the bag, I save them in an airtight container. When I have enough, I make taco salad with them (it doesn't matter if they are stale). Save them all together: regular tortilla chips, seasoned nacho chips, Frito chips.

I brown the meat, pour in the sauce/seasoning and heat. Pour the broken chips in a large bowl, add the grated cheese, and the hot meat, and mix. The hot meat will melt the cheese so it'll be all gooey. If too dry, add some salsa. Then scoop into individual bowls and top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream, sliced olives, chopped onions, more cheese, or whatever your family likes. No one realizes that you are using leftover chips. (01/28/2008)

By susan

Recipes Using Leftover Chips

Make this easy dish. Put the chips (or dried-out tortillas) in a skillet. Add some cooked meat if you have it, maybe some leftover veggies and some taco sauce. Heat through. Melt a little cheese on the top and serve. We have made this many times. (01/28/2008)

By Coreen Hart

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