In Mexico, nothing says “traditional Mexican breakfast” like a hot plate of delicious chilaquiles. It is one of the most beloved breakfast dishes in Mexico, and it’s making its way into more Mexican and Latin-American restaurants in other countries. Read on to find out how you can make authentic Mexican chilaquiles Rojos at home!
You may be asking yourself: “What are chilaquiles?”. Let me tell you all about it!
Chilaquiles is a breakfast dish consisting of crispy tortilla chips that are covered in salsa and topped with crumbled cheese and Mexican crema. The salsas used to cover the tortillas can vary, but the two most popular ones are salsa Roja (red) and salsa verde (green), which make Chilaquiles Rojos and Chilaquiles Verdes, respectively.
As to how spicy the chilaquiles are- that depends on how spicy the cook makes the salsa. You might come across a few spicy chilaquiles, but generally, the heat level in the salsa is low, especially when ordering chilaquiles at big chain restaurants and hotels. Even if they’re too hot for your liking, the spiciness can be cooled down by adding some more Mexican cream on top (this is what my son does!).
Frequently Asked Questions About Mexican Chilaquiles
Before I share my chilaquiles recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about homemade chilaquiles rojos.
What kind of protein do I add to this breakfast dish?
When it comes to additional protein, you generally have the choice of chilaquiles topped with shredded chicken or a fried egg. And, in some places, it is also served with a thin cut of grilled beef or pork steak Adobado.
So, if you go to a restaurant for breakfast in Mexico, you will generally be asked what type of chilaquiles you want (red or green) and which protein you want it with (chicken or eggs).
I've also seen some instances where you can order this breakfast dish with some Mexican barbacoa beef.
Now, you know how to order chilaquiles in Mexico!
What is epazote?
Epazote is an herb used in many Mexican dishes. Its taste is very similar to licorice or anise but on the milder side. Many people brew it for tea! Epazote is commonly added to the chilaquiles sauce in Central Mexico.
I find this to be a must-have ingredient in Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles.
What is the difference between chilaquiles and migas?
I get this question all the time! I have to say- it is an excellent question.
Both chilaquiles and migas are made using tortilla chips, but migas consists of tortilla chips mixed with scrambled eggs, and they do not have a sauce on them. Chilaquiles always have a sauce on them but are not mixed with scrambled eggs.
Migas or Chilaquiles?
Like with many things in Mexican cuisine, there will be exceptions and regional variations, and you might find some people that use the terms “chilaquiles” and “migas” interchangeably. In case you’re wondering, the name “chilaquiles” comes from the Nahuatl word “chil-a-quilitl”, which means “herbs (or greens) in chile broth”.
Although, I really like what some old books mention that the origin or meaning of the name "Chilaquiles" is still not exact and that it could also mean dipped in chili sauce. In case you are wondering how do we pronounce the name Chilaquiles, it's pronounced "chee-lah-kee-less"
Where can I find chilaquiles?
Available everywhere from mom-and-pop diners to the buffets at five-star hotels, chilaquiles are a must-have dish when you’re in Mexico. If you can’t find them where you live, I encourage you to make this delicious breakfast dish at home.
Since they’re very simple to make, it’s easy to get creative with them or incorporate ingredients you have leftover in the kitchen.
Let’s get cooking!
Mexican Chilaquiles Recipe
Here is the list of ingredients you will need:
- Corn tortillas
- Red or green salsa
- Mexican crema
- Mexican Queso
- Vegetable oil
- Onion (rings separated)
- Chicken breast (shredded)
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Chilaquiles Mexicanos
To make things easier for you, I am going to breakdown the directions to this recipe into sections.
Cook Up The Tortillas
- 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.
Put Together a red Sauce
You will need tomatoes, jalapeño o serrano peppers, onion and garlic. See the ingredients list below.
Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion, and garlic in a medium-size saucepan, cover with water, and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and peppers are cooked. Place in a blender with ½ cup of the cooking water and process until smooth. Season with salt and set aside while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
- Clean the skillet with a paper towel, turn the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add the salsa of your choice and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the Epazote and season the sauce with salt.
Add-In The Cooked Tortillas And Chicken
- 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.
- Serve and enjoy!
What To Serve With Chilaquiles
I like to serve this breakfast dish garnished with crumbled cheese, cilantro, onion and topped with the crema.
If you want to serve it with some side dishes, I recommend making some refried beans to eat with this breakfast dish. Avocado is also a good addition to the plate!
More Breakfast Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for chilaquiles, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Mexican Morning Tacos
- Easy Nopales and Eggs
- Gorditas De Harina
- Mexican Style Scrambled Eggs
- Machaca Con Huevo
For non traditional Mexican Brunch Ideas:
Easy Spanish Egg Casserole from A Taste for Travel website.
Buttermilk Quiche with Ham from Kelly Neil.
I hope you make this recipe for chilaquiles Mexicanos! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
- 12 corn tortillas cut into six preferably dry tortillas left out over the counter the night before
- 2 cups salsa Red or green salsa(See links bellow)
- ½ cup Mexican cream
- ½ cup Cheese Mexican Queso,crumbled
- 1 sprig Epazote
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped to garnish
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 slices onion rings separated
- Salt to season
- 1 ½ cups chicken breast cooked and shredded (optional)
FOR RED SALSA
- 2 Plum tomatoes
- 1 jalapeño pepper or 1 serrano pepper
- 1 small garlic clove
- ⅛ medium size white onion
- For the Red Salsa, place tomatoes, onion, pepper, garlic, and onion in a medium size saucepan. Cover with water and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes and peppers are cooked. Place the cooked ingredients in your blender with ½ cup of the cookign water to make a sauce. Season with salt and set aside.
- 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.
- Clean the skillet with a paper towel, turn the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sauce and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the Epazote and season the sauce with salt. 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.
- Serve garnished with crumbled cheese, cilantro, onion and topped with the cream. Serve with “Refried beans”. Avocado is also a good addition to the plate.