The Secret To Making Perfect Chips And Salsa At Home

Chips and salsa at your favorite Mexican restaurant puts the bagged tortillas and jarred salsa you typically eat at home to shame. Authentic south-of-the-border tortilla chips, called totopos, start out as corn tortillas which are cut into triangles and fried or baked right before serving — usually with a bowl of tangy, spicy tomato salsa (via The Spruce Eats). If you're feeling ambitious, or have a bag of stale tortillas you want to reinvigorate, you can cut the tortillas into wedges to fry or bake. For an easier approximation of restaurant-worthy fare, though, you can stick to store-bought tortilla chips.

According to the Food Network, the key to coming as close as possible to the drool-worthy chips served at Mexican restaurants with relative ease is to serve them warm. The combination of toasty, crunchy corn chip with cilantro- and chili-spiked salsa is boosted with this simple trick: crisp your chips in the oven prior to serving.

How to elevate your at-home chips and salsa

To mimic Mexican restaurant chips, start with your favorite tortilla chips (preferably unseasoned) and spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Then bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, for about five to eight minutes. When crisp and golden, remove your chips from the oven and season. A sprinkle of chili powder and a spritz of lime juice will take your kitchen to restaurant status. You can also season with powdered chipotle chile or a pepper blend, according to The Spruce Eats.

Enjoy your chips and salsa immediately after seasoning. Part of the secret to making perfect chips and salsa at home is the temperature contrast between the chip and the dip, so it's vital to not let those tortilla chips cool before snacking! And whether you're making fresh salsa from scratch or popping open a jar of old faithful, make sure to chill it before serving.