Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips- It's Easy To Make Your Own

Homemade gluten free tortilla chips
Gluten-free tortilla chips made from brown rice tortillas.

Take a gander at these golden crispy brown rice tortilla chips. I managed to eat the whole bowl, still slightly warm from the skillet.

Are you a salty crunchy snack person, or a sweet and creamy snack person? It's an easy question for me. I can answer it in my sleep. While dancing backwards blindfolded one hand tied behind my back (don't try this at home). Or even while insanely preoccupied attempting to balance my checkbook.

Wait. That's not true.

I never balance my checkbook. I haven't in twenty years (does that count as never, or only mostly never?).

Math and me? A match not made in heaven. I wrestle with math like Chuck Liddell vs a small furry creature. I am the creature- let's say, for instance, um, a small shivering bunny. Math is the Ice Man. It's more of a surrender than a smack down. I don't have the chops. Maybe it's because I used to draw in my fifth grade math class instead of listening to Mr. Martone (he summoned my mother to school at least twice to convey how serious a matter it was that this inattentive ten year old girl was not only refusing to focus on x = y in his tedious class, she was drawing pictures all over her math work sheets).

My checkbook balancing gifted mother (on several occasions) tried to lure me into her ordered world of numbers by telling me how much she "loved math" because "1 + 1 is always 2". When I would hear this (and the last time I heard this I was an adult with children of my own) I would sincerely think, It does? Not always. It can't always be 2. Sometimes it's 11. And my mind would be off wandering in a series of images (perhaps including bunnies of various size) never to return to the column of debit vs balance.

In my hard won wisdom years later I understand that not everyone encounters the world in the same way. Even though we share the commonality of our five senses, we do not see green in exactly the same shade, hear the exact same B flat, taste cilantro identically, or smell a rose as identical twins (roses smell like a musty basement to me- am I alone in this?). The sensation of touch is also highly individual. I confess I cut out each and every clothing tag lest it drive me completely, totally, remarkably insane (and who invented clothing tags, anyway? And why? Are they a special brand of torture devised to keep us Princess and the Pea types chronically distracted and itchy?).

What's up with THAT, I ask you?

But back to numbers. They may make perfect sense to you- and that's lovely (and lucky) for you, Dear Reader. I suppose. You'll sport a balanced checkbook. And multiply without using your fingers. But for those of us with brains that cannot decipher the mysterious foreign language of numbers, I am here to mention (in a post about tortilla chips) that we may, you know, have other gifts.

We may have different neural pathways that fire and spark toward visualization, intuitive problem solving and imagistic, associative word play. So don't feel sorry for us when we don't believe that 1 + 1 is always 2. We're fine with it. And we know how to make the color green from ivory black.

The trick in this life?

Finding someone who values that very particular shade of green.


Homemade brown rice tortilla chips

Brown Rice Tortilla Chips Recipe

As you may have guessed by now, my vote for favorite snacks is crunchy salty. And I love a good corn chip. But lately I've been frying up my stale brown rice tortillas into snappy triangles of crispy goodness. This is not really a recipe- hence my meanderings about math and brains and neurodiversity. But here's what I do to make these golden beauties. Corn-free chips that are just as good- if not better- than your tried and true tortilla chips.

1-2 gluten-free tortillas per person
Extra light olive oil or Canola oil for frying
Sea salt

Using a pizza cutter, slice the round tortillas into triangles.

Pour about a half inch of extra light olive oil into a deep sided skillet (I used my big heavy iron skillet). Heat it over medium heat. It should not be smoking.

When the oil is hot, drop in as many triangles as you can loosely fit into the skillet.

Lay out some paper towels for draining.

Using tongs to turn over the chips, fry on both sides until they are golden and crisp (they will crisp up more as they cool). This takes, maybe 4-5 minutes- don't ask me, I'm no good at math.

Using tongs, lift the chips out of the oil and drain on paper towels. Salt lightly on both sides while they're still hot.

Continue with the remaining triangles- until you're done frying them all. If you need to add oil, add a little at a time.

As they cool they get crispy crunchy.

Roasted tomato salsa.

Please make sure the tortillas you choose are indeed gluten-free. Wheat-free may not be gluten-free. Check on-line for a brand you can trust. Apparently, a recent (December 2011) test of Food For Life brown rice tortillas (and their millet bread) to contain above 20 PPM gluten; see alert here at Gluten-Free Watchdog.
We love our tortilla chips with salsa (well, duh). But they're equally tasty with hummus and guacamole. Check out my dip recipes here. Try my Roasted Yellow Tomato Salsa- it's perfect for a party.


Jacki said...

Oh these look delicious! Thanks for sharing....

aTxVegn said...

I'm with you on the math, and the clothing tags, and the crunchy salty snax! And I guess also on not letting food go to waste. The chips are a great idea.

Kalyn said...

So fabulous. And this is so great for South Beach dieters who can't have corn chips! Never thought of that. Now I need to look for brown rice tortillas. Whole Foods seems like a likely place.

lucette said...

From another person who doesn't balance her checkbook: this made me laugh out loud. I was OK at math until it got to the heavy stuff, but I was always distracted by the numbers themselves, to which I kept wanting to assign personalities or colors or names.

Vittoria said...

Those look delicious. I bet you could do the same with teff tortillas too. I always did fine in math, but words are my thing. I can do a cross word in minutes, but I can't even contemplate starting a soduko. I envy you artists who can paint or draw, I can only create what I envision if I'm working in three dimensions. We're all gifted in our own ways.

Just give me food said...

Hi Karina,
I have read your blog off and on (as dietarily needed:) for 2 years. Recently i just started my own wheat-free-and-more recipe blog, for the sake of many people I know in this situation, some of them very close to home. I feel my recipes and take on the whole situation is a little different from yours. I would love to chat more through e-mail or something, and as I have passed your blog on to everyone I meet in need, I would like to put a link to your site on my own blog with your permission (can anyone say run-on sentence?) What so you think? Check me out and let me know. I'd appreciate it!

lisette said...

Great, great blog!! And great pictures! Definitly gonna try some of your recipes! x

Shirley said...

I often do the same thing and sometimes I cut them into strips. The strips are just right for "crunching" into one's soup. I have yet to find a cracker I really like for that purpose and I always have tortillas on hand and can make however many "crackers" that I like easily. (Don't have to worry about having a box of crackers on hand.) They sort of remind me of the crispy noodles that I used to eat in soup in Asian restaurants. I have shared this hint with many of my support group members and they all love it. Oh, and they are very economical compared to purchased crackers. :-) Thanks!

Karen said...

Karina, you took me back to Mr. Jones's math class where I had a consistent "0" in math but oh, so pretty, pictures drawn on all my math papers! That was 6th grade for me, but still, I don't get numbers and think that the calculator is the best invention in the world.

Thanks for the "recipe' for the rice tortilla chips. I am definitely going to be making some.

milhan said...

I went to art school because I was soooo not a math and science person (and because I loved to draw, lol).

I'm a crunchy/salty kinda gal too...and I have a bag of rice tortillas in the fridge right now. I didn't like them for wrap sandwiches, so I will try them as chips - thanks!

Klay said...

I second the vote for crunchy salty snacks! Where do you buy these lovely rice tortillas?

Karina said...

Jacki- They're different- and yummy.

Atxvegn- Thanks for the solidarity on the math issue, clothing tags, and the whole salty crunchy thing. ;)

Kalyn- What a great idea for South Beach dieters! Thank you for sharing that. xo

Lucette- Ha! Yay! I love that you wanted to invent personalities for the numbers. That would make a great children's book!

Vittoria- Yes, I imagine the teff tortillas would be quite similar. Let me know if you try it. We are each gifted in our own ways- true. Yay for diversity.

JustGiveMeFood- Thanks for the heads up. Good luck with your new blog!

Lisette- Muchas gracias!

Shirley- Thank you for mentioning that! I love the strips, too. They are fab in soup!

Karen- Ha! Mr. Jones, eh? Well, I bet your drawings were way more interesting and creative than the math problems he was enforcing. And I agree-- that's why The Goddess- in her infinite wisdom- made calculators. ;)

Milhan- Welcome to the club! :) And let me know if you try frying those tortillas. They are fun.

Klay! Good question! I'll go back into the post and edit that in. I get the Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas at Whole Foods, or Vitamin Cottage; or I use the new brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe's.

Hope you can find some! xo


Anonymous said...

i just recently found your site after i was put on a very restricted diet last week by my naturopath. i just wanted to tell you that last night i made these chips and they were FABULOUS.

now i'm going to look around your site to figure out what i'm making for dinner tonight. thanks for sharing with us :)


Erin said...

I can't do math either. At all. I still count on my fingers. And lilies smell like rotting bologna to me, so I totally get that roses smell like a musty basement to you. My mom smells lilies as rotting meat too, and your whole math/brains/neurodiversity musings before the tortilla chips recipe is making me think a lot. I like that. I like your recipe too. :)

Tracy said...

Hi again! We do the same thing with our TJs brown rice tortillas EXCEPT we opt for sweet and spicy... After brushing them with oil and baking, we generously drizzle with raw local honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.... warm with fresh fruit for breakfast.... perfect! :)
Thanks again for your amazing blog.
Happy Weekend!

EileenCook said...

Seeing this made me think of my moms recipe! She actually sprinkles them with sugar! Super yummy!!

Anonymous said...

Karina, I'm a salty crunchy fan myself, and yet I'm corn and soy free as well newly GF. I never knew about the brown rice tortillas till today (Glory Be!!), but can you recommend other salty crunchy recipes to keep me satiated (so I don't eat the cupboards themselves in my quest for the perfect snack food??) XO KarenD

Karina Allrich said...

I suggest you check my cracker recipes, as well. And you can create chips from both rice tortillas and corn tortillas, following the method in this recipe.


*your sister said...

I love you, you're awesome!

and that is all.

Kristin :)

jennifer said...

I just found your website and I am sooo excited! I am gluten intolerant and also very sensitive to corn, eggs, and dairy. I tried these chips yesterday and they are fabulous. I also made a batch sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. They were great as well. I plan to try to make them into nachos with some soy sour cream, meat, and daiya "cheese" sprinkles. I am making the blueberry oat muffins today. Can't wait to eat them! What a blessing to find this site!

jen :>

chickybiker said...

Hi Karina

Great blog, especially love your photos. Here in the UK we don't seem to have much in the way of GF tortilla wraps to make into chips. I looked in your mexican section for a recipe to make my own, but I can't find anything.

Any chance you could point me at a recipe, please?

Anonymous said...

Hey Karina,

I absolutely love your blog. I already had to avoid sugar and certain fruits so when I found out I couldn't have gluten or dairy, I thought I was going to die. But your recipes are such an inspiration! I made these earlier today and can't stop munching on them. Thanks a bunch, I hope you have a great day. :)

- Nikki

Ms. Camile said...

I searched brown rice tortillas and the good for life ones came up and seem to be the most popular brand. I don't want to get them since they are tagged for actually having gluten. Which brand would you recommend?

Karina Allrich said...

Camille, I do not currently know of a 100% gluten-free source for brown rice tortillas. There may be gluten-free teff wraps available? And there are gluten-free corn tortillas- as always check labels.

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