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Food & Recipes

In a Breakfast Rut? This Easy Chilaquiles with Salsa Roja Recipe Really Brings the Flavor

Learn how to turn leftover tortillas into the best homemade chips

Weekday breakfasts can be a rushed affair as you’re getting ready for a hectic day, but come the weekend, we like to take advantage of the extra time and splurge a little. Still, sometimes we get a little tired of omelets or pancakes. And that’s why we love chilaquiles — a traditional Mexican dish that never fails to turn a sluggish morning into a vibrant fiesta. Think crispy tortilla smothered in a vibrant chili-infused sauce topped with fried eggs. It sure beats buttered toast! It’s also make-ahead friendly and ready in 30 minutes. Learn how to make your own tortilla chips (which taste way better) and the best salsa Roja sauce. This is how you make chilaquiles.

What are chilaquiles?

Chilaquiles (pronounced “chee-lah-kee-les”) are a vibrant and flavorful Mexican breakfast. Fried tortilla strips are bathed in a rich salsa, typically either salsa Roja (red) made with tomatoes and chilies, or salsa Verde (green) made with tomatillos and herbs. This flavorful base is then topped with cheese, crema (a thin sour cream), onions and sometimes shredded chicken or other protein.

Tips for authentic chilaquiles

Here are some key tips to elevate your chilaquiles game and ensure a delicious and authentic experience in every bite.

1. Use day-old tortillas

While fresh tortillas can be used, slightly stale corn tortillas work best for chilaquiles. They hold their shape better when fried, resulting in perfectly crisp chips that won’t become soggy in the salsa. To save some time, you can also use stale store-bought tortilla chips.

2. Chilies 101

The chilies you choose for your salsa will determine the heat level of your chilaquiles. For a classic flavor, stick with mild chilies like poblanos or jalapeños. For salsa Roja, dried chilies like guajillo or ancho adds a deeper, smokier flavor. But if you don’t have time to steep, you can toast them in a pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes before adding to the blender.

3. Don’t overcook

You want to achieve a balance between crispy tortillas and a flavorful sauce. Don’t overcook the tortilla chips and be mindful of simmering time for the salsa to prevent it from becoming watery.

Related: Nachos for Breakfast? Yes! Here’s How to Turn the Tex-Mex Favorite Into the Ultimate Morning Treat

30-Minute Chilaquiles Recipe

chilaquiles on plate with fried egg, salsa roja and onions
ALLEKO/Getty

You won’t believe how quickly this recipe from The Kitchn comes together, plus you can also make it ahead of time. And don’t be shy with those garnishes!

Chilaquiles Salsa Roja

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 12 corn tortillas, cut into 8 wedges each
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 Roma tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes (about 1½ lbs.), chopped
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeño, sliced (remove the seeds for a less spicy dish)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1¼ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Crema
  • Queso fresco
  • Fried eggs

Directions:

  • Active Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  1. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add about a quarter of the tortilla wedges and cook, flipping once, until lightly brown and crisp.
  2. Drain the tortilla chips on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat this process until all tortillas are fried, adding more oil if needed.
  3. Place the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño and garlic in a blender or food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Then, pour in 1 cup of the broth. Blend until smooth.
  4. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the salsa and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes. Then, add additional broth and seasoning, as needed.
  5. Add the chips and stir carefully to coat. Cook until the tortillas are heated through, about 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  6. Serve warm garnished with avocado or guacamole, crema, queso fresco and/or fried eggs, if desired.

Storage instructions

Leftover chilaquiles can be stored for up to a day. To reheat them, use a pan or oven. However, keep in mind that the tortilla chips might soften slightly as they absorb any leftover salsa.


For more Mexican favorites, try some of these recipes below:

Homemade Tortilla Bowls Bake Up Crispy and Golden + They’re Healthier Too — Perfect for Taco Salads

This Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe Bakes Up to Buttery, Crumbly + Nutty Perfection

Caldo de Res: The Mexican Beef and Veggie Soup That’s So Comforting + Good for You

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