Top 10 Ways to Use Up Tortilla Chip Crumbs

Everybody eats the big chips, but what happens with the crumbs at the bottom of the bag?. (Photo: Dereje/Shutterstock)

There are two bags of tortilla chips sitting in my pantry right now with nothing but crumbs at the bottom. Chips and salsa are a regular snack in my house, so this isn’t an infrequent problem. The bag doesn’t get thrown away because, technically, there are still chips in there. But, the bag doesn’t get touched again because there are no good chips left in it.

What are the options for those tortilla chips pieces other than throwing them in the trash? Here are 10 suggestions.

1. Feed the birds. You can scatter them in the backyard or at the park and give the birds a little Southwestern treat.

2. Top a casserole with them.

3. Put them at the bottom of a bowl of chili.

4. Chop them in the food processor or blender until fine and use in place of breadcrumbs as a breading for chicken fingers or as a filler in meatballs or meatloaf. You can keep processed chips in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer until you need them.

5. Make tortilla chip chicken with avocado dip.

6. Use on top of a taco salad.

7. Put them in a tuna fish sandwich.

8. Substitute for the fried corn tortillas in Mexican Migas, an egg dish.

9. Make a taco pizza.

10. Try this zucchini recipe that I got from the mycoupons message boards that was submitted by Nightflyer.


  • 5 to 6 medium zucchini, sliced in rounds
  • olive oil
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can of tomatoes, chopped
  • fresh cilantro, finely chopped, to taste
  • jarred jalapeno peppers, minced, to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Monterey Jack cheese, grated, to taste
  • tortilla chip crumbs
  • melted butter
  • (grilled chicken, different grilled vegetables, and seasonings could be used)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Drizzle the zucchini with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill until crisp-tender.
    3. In a medium saucepan, combine the tomatoes, cilantro, peppers, and salt and pepper. Mix well and heat throughly.
    4. Put half the zucchini into a greased casserole dish. Spoon half of the tomato mixture on top. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers.
    5. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top and drizzle with butter.
    6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the crumbs are lightly browned.