Football season is here! When it comes to the big game, nothing tastes better than chips & dips. Homemade versions of salsa and guacamole are easier than you think and tastier too.
Football season is in full swing. Between the tailgates, the parties, and the playoffs, the big game will be here before we know it! While many will argue that the most important part of the big game is in fact the game, I’ll argue that it’s the food! I love getting together with friends to watch, but any party without food is not much of a party.
What’s a girl to do?! Throw together one of my favorite game day snacks: chips & dips. I love the crunchy chips, the fresh, spiciness of salsa, and the creamy goodness of guacamole. Sure, you can pick up everything at the grocery store and just pop open the containers, but where is the fun in that? Making these dips from scratch not only tastes better, but it’s better for you because you know exactly what is going in them.
First up, the chips. Confession: I usually pick up a bag of Mission Tortilla Chips. The ingredients could get any easier. Corn flour, water, vegetable oil, and salt. However, I have been known to bake my own when I have a leftover bag of tortilla shells that need to be used up. It’s easy to do and once they are baked they last for weeks. The method works with both corn and flour tortillas, or you could get really homemade and make those yourself as well.
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grab your tortillas and rub them down with some oil. I prefer coconut oil, but any cooking oil you have on hand will work. I use small tortillas and about 1/2 a teaspoon of oil per side. This is how we fake the frying part. You can skip it, but they don’t turn out nearly as good.
Grab a pizza cutter or long knife and cut the tortillas into 6ths or 8ths depending on your preference. Lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Depending on how many you are making, it may take two sheets. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of sea salt and bake them for 8 – 10 minutes. If you are doing two trays, rotate them halfway through. While the chips are baking, make the salsa.
Homemade salsa is one of those things that once you try it, it’s hard to go back to the stuff you find in a jar at the grocery. The best part: it can easily be customized based on your taste. Want it super spicy? Add in red pepper powder, sriracha, or tabasco. Prefer it a smokey garlic flavor? Try adding smoked paprika, garlic, and maybe even a drop of liquid smoke. Don’t like a lot of chunks? Puree it in the food processor or blender. Think cilantro tastes like soap? Try adding basil or parsley instead. The combinations for homemade salsa really are endless.
The recipe I have here is fairly basic and only calls for 7 ingredients. Tomatoes, onion, cilantro, salt, chili powder, paprika, and the one not in the visual: lime. I used tomatoes on the vine and while they weren’t as fresh as they are in August, they were still pretty good. If you can’t get good tomatoes, opt for canned ones. I recommend Hunt’s diced tomatoes because they don’t add any unnecessary ingredients. Chop the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and toss it into a bowl. Add in the salt and the juice from 1/4 of a lime. Stir it up and taste it. You have a classic pico de gallo.
Now for the fun part! Start adding in the extras – you can use the chili powder and smoked paprika, like I did or get little crazy and throw in the hot stuff. Add a diced jalapeno if you like. The key here is to keep tasting it with each addition and remember that less is best. You can always add more, but it takes a lot of adjusting the other ingredients if you add too much of one spice. The flavors will develop and the tomatoes will marinate as it rests.
Moving onto the guacamole, this one is even easy than the salsa. I have never had a problem with guacamole turning brown before it can be eaten. The lime acts as a natural preservative, which helps to keep the flavor and a little goes a long way. In fact, the guacamole I made for this post is still in a covered container in the fridge. It’s been two days and it’s still green. Once you see how easy this is, you’ll never purchase another guacamole flavor packet again.
Start by scoring the avocado. By that I mean to slice into the avocado until you feel the seed. Then rotate the knife around the seed to cut the avocado in half. Put down the knife and twist the avocado and pull apart. Squeeze the side with the seed to loosen it, then remove it. Scrape all of the avocado into a bowl and mash it evenly with a fork.
For one avocado you’ll need a dash of onion powder, a dash of garlic powder, the juice of 1/4 of a lime and about 1 tablespoon of pico de gallo or salsa. The salsa is optional and I tend to omit it if I’m not already making it. Stir it all together and viola! Homemade guacamole.
In all, it takes me about 15 minutes from start to finish to make chips & dips from scratch. Buying the chips cuts it down to about 10 minutes. With flavors like these, you really can’t beat it with the store bought version. These will last about 3 days in the fridge, if covered in an airtight container but do taste the best on day 1.
Happy GameDay snacking!!
Don’t forget to YUM or PIN these recipes for later!
Have you ever made salsa or guacamole from scratch? What’s your favorite GameDay snack? Let me know in the comments below!
Semi-Homemade Tortilla Chips
Game Day Chips and Dips
- 2 small tortilla shells corn or flour per person.
- Cooking oil coconut, olive, or peanut works best
- Kosher salt
- 3 small tomatoes
- 2 TBSP diced onion
- 2 TBSP chopped cilanto
- juice of 1/4 of a lime
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Optional: chili powder paprika, hot sauce, diced jalapeno, red pepper, etc.
- 1 avocado
- dash of onion powder
- dash of garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- juice of 1/4 of a lime
- 1 TBSP salsa optional
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Rub both sides of each tortilla shell with a small amount of oil. Just enough to cover the entire surface, approximately 1/2 tsp.
- Stack the tortillas into piles of 6 or 8. Tall enough to save time, but not so tall they slip while being cut.
- Using a long knife or a pizza cutter, divide the shells into 6 or 8 triangles.
- Spread the chips in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake 8 - 10 minutes, or until crispy and just starting to brown.
- Chop the tomato, dice the onion, and chop the cilantro.
- Combine tomato, onion, cilantro, lime and salt in a small mixing bowl. Stir to mix.
- Taste and adjust the salt and lime as needed.
- Taste again and add chili powder, paprika, hot sauce, red pepper, etc as desired. Start with a little bit and add more until it reaches your desired level of heat.
- Scrape all the flesh of the avocado into a bowl, discarding the skin and seed.
- Mash the avocado using a fork.
- Add in the onion powder, garlic powder, salt, lime, and optional salsa. (A dash is about half of a 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon.)
- Stir to combine.