Cooler Ranch Tortilla Chips

The same great flavor! Now with less chemical aftertaste!

Cooler Ranch Tortilla Chips.jpg

What's in a Cool Ranch Dorito? Go ahead, google, it, I'll wait. 

Ok. So not to get all Science Babe on this, but seriously, why is "blue" an ingredient? I know it's just food dye, and I dumped plenty of it into the flag cake I made two years ago for the 4th of July, but what is it doing on chips? Because they are "cool" and blue makes us think of cold? To color coordinate with the bag? To be festive? Just, why?

In total, there are 34 ingredients in the Doritos version, but I managed to whittle that down to 15 or 16 in my homemade version, and 12 of those are spices or flavoring. That is still a lot, yes, but the final result gets so close to the original it's scary! And honestly, you can cheat. You don't have to make your own ranch seasoning or, um, your own chips. I mean, you do if the point is to minimize additives or, you know, go the crazy route for Superbowl snacking. If you are putting together a whole spread for game day, then maybe stay sane and take the shortcuts, but if you are headed to a party and you were only drafted to bring some chips, why not come with ones that will impress everyone and shame that one guy who just brought an open jar of queso and a sad half-finished bag of tortilla chips? Don't leave all the competition to the players.

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Cooler Ranch Tortilla Chips

Chips adapted from Mark Bittman's tortilla recipe, and seasoning mix dreamed up from this with some inspiration from here.

For the tortilla chips:

  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • flour for kneading
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Cooler Ranch Seasoning Mix

  • 1/8 cup dry buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 Tbs white cheddar powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp tomato powder 
  • 1 tsp citric acid (optional)
  1. Mix together masa, salt and 2 tbs oil, then slowly add in the water, mixing with your hands until completely combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute until dough is smooth and elastic. Wrap in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. While dough is resting, make the spice mix. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other non-stick skillet) over medium-high heat. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces and begin to roll out into 5-inch circles. Place each tortilla onto the skillet and cook for about a minute on each side, until dark spots begin to appear. While tortillas are cooking, continue to roll out the dough so you have an assembly line going. 
  4. Once all tortillas are done, heat an inch of vegetable oil in your cast iron skillet, (or large, heavy-bottomed pot) to around 350 degrees. Cut the tortillas into quarters and fry for a minute or so, until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels then toss in a large bowl with desired amount of seasoning mix (I used about half).
  5. Serve immediately. Chips will keep for about one day, maybe two.


  • I know some of these seasonings aren't everyday staples, like the cheddar cheese or tomato powders, or the dried buttermilk, but they do really add an authentic flavor, and can be used to season many other foods, like popcorn, soups, etc.
  • To shortcut these chips, you can use store bought ranch seasoning and tortillas, I won't tell. Just be sure remember to include a tsp each of garlic and onion powder.
  • The citric acid is optional, but it's the something-something that gives these chips that cooling effect, so if you leave it out, you will still have ranch flavored chips, just a less cool, slightly more socially awkward version.