Loving Leftovers: How to Use Up Stale Tortilla Chips

Updated on May 1, 2019
Carb Diva profile image

Exploring food facts, folklore, and fabulous recipes, one ingredient at a time.

Source

If like me you grew up in the 1950s (or before), you no doubt were encouraged to eat your vegetables and clean your plate with the words, "Remember the starving Armenians." I didn't know any Armenians, where they lived, or why they were always hungry, and I didn't understand how my clean plate would help them to feel any less under-nourished.

But that mantra has stuck with me, even decades later. I abhor waste and find every possible way to use the bits and orts, the dibs of this and dabs of that. In months past we've looked at ways of using leftovers such as mashed potatoes, stale bread, meatloaf, ham, pasta, and rice.

Our final installment in this series is looking at ways of using up stale (and/or broken) tortilla chips.

Recipes

Albondigas Soup

Source

Albondigas soup originated as an Arab dish imported to Spain during the Muslim rule of the Iberian Peninsula. The name is derived from the Arabic word al (the) bunduq (small round object) because of the meatballs small, round shape. The soup eventually ended up in Mexico when the conquistadors were traveling about doing their conquistador thing.

Typically meatballs are made of ground meat, seasonings, an egg, and a filler such as cracker meal or breadcrumbs. In this recipe finely crushed tortilla chips step in. The chips lighten the structure of these meatballs and also contribute sweet-salty corn flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup finely crushed tortilla chips
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano (flakes, not powdered)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup white rice, uncooked
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground turkey, garlic, crushed tortilla chips, egg, and minced cilantro. Form into 1-inch meatballs.
  3. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes or until the meat begins to brown and firm up.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large stockpot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes, broth, and seasonings to the pot and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add the rice; cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
  8. Add the meatballs. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Chicken Taco Casserole

Source

The food blog SixSistersStuff (yes, they really are sisters and there are six of them) features family favorites—home cooked meals that are economical and quick enough for busy families. They also share home decorating and crafts projects.

From start to finish this chicken taco casserole takes only 45 minutes (30 of those are baking in the oven), and feeds 8-10.

Chilaquiles

Source

Chilaquiles are a terrific brunch dish, full of color, texture, and flavor. Simply bring salsa, black beans and corn to a simmer in a large saute pan. Fold in tortilla chips, make a few divots in the mix and break a large fresh egg in each divot. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven and revel in the praise and adulation.

FitFoodieFinds presents the perfect easy baked chilaquiles with avocado crema.

Chili Mac

Source

This recipe was born out of a lack of money, time, and patience (funds were short, the clock was ticking, and the kids were in the midst of a meltdown.) They loved it then, and 30+ years later this is still the meal that my family requests at least twice a month.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry macaroni, (my kids loved the kind shaped like wagon wheels, but any kind will do)
  • Two 15-ounce cans chili, (use whichever type is your favorite)
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • 4 cups crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Drain well and place in a large mixing bowl. Gently stir in the chili, salsa, 1 cup of the cheese, and the crushed tortilla chips.
  3. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread macaroni/chili mixture in dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered about 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
  5. NOTE: You can omit the salsa if you prefer a less spicy meal. This is also a great place to "hide" additional vegetables—corn, cooked carrots, or diced zucchini or tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Tortilla Chip No Bake Cookies

Source

According to the Food Timeline, no-bake cookies began during the Great Depression. When flour, eggs, and milk were in short supply, the family sweet tooth could be satisfied by combining oats or cornflakes with a sweet-sticky binder. If you enjoy sweet-salty tastes, and if you fondly remember peanut butter cornflake no-bake cookies, you'll love these confections made with tortilla chips.

I found this recipe for peanut butter tortilla chip no bake cookies (and mouthwatering photos) on TheShabbyCreekCottage blog.

Tex-Mex Migas

Source

The people at Serious Eats can always be relied on for well-researched, beautifully photographed, and exhaustively written (and usually humorous) recipes. Their in-depth reporting on how to achieve the perfect Tex-Mex migas is no exception. They opt for making their own tortilla chips but take my word for it, you can use leftover bagged tortilla chips and still achieve a very admirable migas.

Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Strips

Source

Does your family love chicken "fingers?" You can actually make your own using this healthy recipe. Chicken tenders are breaded and baked, not fried. The spicy-smokey flavors of chili, cumin, and smoked paprika go well with a dipping sauce of Greek yogurt or cool, creamy guacamole.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders
  • 2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed 15x10-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together flour and spices; whisk egg until whites and yolks are well-blended.
  3. Dredge chicken tenders with flour; shake off excess, then dip in beaten eggs. Finally, cover with crushed tortilla chips, pressing on the coating to make it adhere to the chicken.
  4. Arrange the coated chicken pieces on the lined baking sheet. Make sure that that's some space between each piece—don't crowd them together.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes; carefully turn pieces over and return to oven. Continue to bake until chicken is done and the coating is crispy, about 10 minutes more.

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 Linda Lum

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        6 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

        So Lawrence, which one is your favorite?

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 

        6 weeks ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Linda

        Its a good jobits lunch time, after reading this I'm hungry!

      • Shing Araya profile image

        Sunshine Tibod 

        3 months ago from Cebu, Philippines

        A very delicious article, I am hungry aready. Thank you for sharing.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Mary, what is "dock time?" Do you live on a lake? I enjoy all of these dishes. I'm almost tempted to purposely overbuy so that I can have the excuse to "use up those chips."

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Love these ideas now that it's again dock time for us and lots of tortilla chips get to be opened without being consumed.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Oh well, there you go. All I have is an 8-pound black panther and he's on a diet, so I scramble for ways to use leftovers. Maybe I should just donate them to you LOL.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 months ago from Olympia, WA

        But we never have stale chips....not with all the dogs and chickens....but if we did, these are great ideas. :)

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Thank you Ms. Dora. The soup is even better the 2nd day (assuming you have leftovers)

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 months ago from The Caribbean

        All these recipes are interesting. Like you, I hate waste. I especially like the first dish but I'm sure they're all tasty. Thanks.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Mary, don't touch those Doritos. They are highly addictive. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Blond Logic profile image

        Mary Wickison 

        3 months ago from Brazil

        Very inventive ways to use them.

        Sadly I haven't seen them here other than highly flavored Doritos in small bags. When I do eventually find them, I will know what to do with them.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Shauna, you are correct. Some foods do seem to be even better the day after (soup, beef stew, chili) and the chicken taco casserole is certainly one of those Thanks for your support. Let me know if you like it.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        3 months ago from Central Florida

        Linda, I love tacos. I've printed two of these recipes and will try your chicken fingers as well. My son loves anything chicken. I love anything cheese, so I'll make the chicken taco casserole one night when he's home. I'm guessing that dish is even better the next day.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Pamela, I'm not a big fan of spicy foods either. You can adjust the heat by removing the seeds and membrane from peppers, or just leave them out entirely. Honestly, I'm just there for the cheese.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Flourish, I would be more concerned about the sodium in this chips if feeding them to the wildlife. I hope your family enjoys these new ideas.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        3 months ago from Sunny Florida

        These recipes show you so many ways to not toss out chips. I particularly like Tex-Mex type food, and I like several of the featured recipes. I have to be careful as I don't tolerate food that is too spicy. I have been like that since my gallbladder was removed. I can always adjust any recipe to meet my desire. Thanks Linda for another way to not waste leftover food.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 months ago from USA

        This is an awesome way to ensure they don’t go to waste. I usually crush them up fine and toss them to the birds and squirrels. But then I get worried about what if the sharp little edges of the chips hurt their throats because they aren’t used to eating people food like this? I’d love to try some of those Tex-Mex recipes for my family.

      • Carb Diva profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Lum 

        3 months ago from Washington State, USA

        Eric, tortilla chips have so much earthy flavor (and no gluten, if you care). My family loves Tex-Mex -ish foods and so I'm always trying to find new ways of cooking with corn chips.

        By the way, my older daughter and I went to Trader Joes yesterday and found that their chips are MUCH lower in sodium than all of the others. If you have a TJ's in your part of the world you should check them out. Chips (potato, corn, or whatever) tend to be very high in sodium.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Wonderful. Mine are when they pile them on at "taco" shops. I learned something here. I just assumed you put them in with refried beans a day or so later and tons of goat cheese. I love the grease. Easy peasy in microwave. Now I can do better.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)