Chilaquiles Verdes with Chicken

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Although it’s a dish with humble beginnings, chilaquiles are now found in many varieties all throughout Mexico. Many (including myself) believe that this dish was created from some leftover tortillas and the creativity of home cooks. The Nahuatl words closest to the name “chilaquiles” are “chilli” and “quilitl”, which mean “dipped in chile sauce” or greens-herbs in chili broth . This is not confirmed and still up for discussion though, according to Nahuatl language experts.
The types of Chilaquiles you will find in Mexico are very diverse, since nowadays cooks will add any sauce that they like to use. Of course, the most common Chilaquiles are the ones with red or green sauce. In central Mexico, people are more familiar with the green chilaquiles, which are often served as a side dish for breakfast next to scrambled or fried eggs, beef steak or grilled chorizo, and some refried beans.
If you have some salsa left over in your fridge, whether it be green salsa, guajillo salsa, even poblano salsa, you can use it to make chilaquiles. The process is the same, and you can enjoy your own chilaquiles creation!


  • 12 tortillas cut into six or 8 triangles (preferably dry tortillas left out on the counter the night before)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • Green salsa, recipe bellow
  • 3 Epazote leaves
  • 1/2 cup of Mexican cream
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Mexican cheese crumble
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro to garnish
  • 2 slices of an onion separate the rings
  • Salt to season
  • When you let the tortillas dry over night, they keep their shape longer when cooking them.
  • Sometimes I use leftover rotisserie style chicken for the chilaquiles.

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  1. Cook 1 pound tomatillos, 2 or 3 serrano peppers and 1 garlic clove in a saucepan covered with water. Simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes until soft and tender.
  2. Drain the water, reserving 1/4 of the cooking liquid.
  3. In a blender, puree the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, add the reserved liquid if needed to get a saucier texture. Set aside.

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  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and start frying the tortillas until golden and crisp in batches. You might need to do 2 or 3 batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Drain the tortillas on paper towels. Repeat the process with the rest of the tortillas.
  2. Clean the skillet with a paper towel, turn the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  3. Add the sauce and the 3 epazote leaves,  let it cook for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt.
  4. Carefully stir in the tortillas to avoid breaking them. Add the chicken (if using) and coat it with the salsa. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Serve garnished with crumble cheese, cilantro, onion and topped with the cream. Serve with "Refried beans". Avocado is also a good addition to the plate!
You can see the recipe for Red Chilaquiles clicking HERE.

How do you like your chilaquiles?

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  1. Beautiful and delicious. Blessings, Catherine

  2. Querida Mely,
    siempre se ve muy rico todo!
    Estaba justamente a punto de sacar un receta de chilaquiles verdes recopilada por la señora Kennedy, donde ponen huevos revueltos con el tomate verde y la tortilla crujiente al final.
    Se encuentra en el libro "The Art of Mexican Cooking" que seguramente tienes.

    Si la voy a hacer, te digo.

    Un abrazo querida amiga!

  3. Thanks for the history of these, now if I can just learn how to pronounce it. I've made them once and adored them. I think it was a Rick Bayless Restaurant. Love this version with Chicken. Pinned.

  4. Beautiful photos and recipe! I LOVE chilaquiles. My favorite are chilaquiles rojos with a little bit of pollito, some crema, and queso fresco. I usually like them somewhat crunchy, but I can't resist any kind of chilaquiles.

  5. Hola Mely,
    I am making this for dinner tonight, so what do you suggest since the tortillas won't be set out to dry overnight? And I made the Tres Leche Cake for my papi's birthday this weekend.. Muchas Gracias because he loved it. "It was the best he's had over here"

    1. Hello Leslie,

      Sorry, I didn't see this message yesterday. I am sure your chilaquiles came out wonderful. When the tortilla is fresh, the only thing different that I do, is to make sure the tortillas get really crispy while frying them. I am so glad to know your dad enjoy the cake.


  6. Estimada Mely; llevo ya tiempo leyendo y disfrutando de sus recetas y le admiro mucho por llevar este arte culinario por otras latitudes tan bien como se hace en en México.

    1. Gracias Alfonso,

      Saludos y que cocine muy rico!

  7. Mely, Used the Chilaquiles Verdes recipe of yours for my chicken enchiladas, worked out great with a few other additions. Don't know if you have another recipe for enchiladas but couldn't find it.

    Loved it......Douglas

    1. Hello Douglas,

      Great to hear to were able to adapt the recipe to your liking. There are several recipes for enchiladas in the recipes section. I hope to get the chance to check them out!
      Happy cooking!

  8. Hi,

    I am looking for a recipe that a friend showed me how to make years ago. It was delicious!

    It was made with the mini tortillas with mashed potatoes an onions, green salsa, chicken and lettuce. I'm not sure what the name is and I don't know if I am remembering everything. Can you help?

    1. Hello Sandra,

      I'm pretty sure those are sopes, check the link here:


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