Published Sep 26, 2022, Updated Jul 05, 2023
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This Red Chilaquiles recipe is a classic Mexican dish that combines crispy tortilla chips in a red tomato sauce topped with a fried egg. It comes together in under 30 minutes and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Red chilaquiles is a classic Mexican breakfast dish that my best friend loves! She asked me if I could create a version of the recipe for her and I quickly agreed. I added a few of my own touches, like chipotle pepper in the sauce and a variety of different toppings to this traditional dish and it turned out SO good! Chilaquiles are traditionally served for breakfast, but can be enjoyed at any time of the day and we actually really enjoy having it for dinner. Added bonus: it comes together in under 30 minutes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- With a combination of tortilla chips, a savory spicy sauce, cheese and eggs what’s not to love?!
- It can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
- This version is vegetarian and can be customized to fit your dietary needs.
- This dish comes together in under 30 minutes so it’s the perfect meal for busy days!
What Are Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles, pronounced chee-luh-kee-layz, are a traditional Mexican dish that originated from the Aztec Empire hundreds of years ago. The name loosely translates to “something that is covered in chili” from Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). Today, this delicious breakfast is typically made with fried tortillas cut into quarters, cooked with eggs or chicken and mixed with a red or green salsa (chilaquiles verdes or chilaquiles rojos). The dish came to be known as it is today because families needed a way to use up leftover tortillas. Add a bunch of eggs to the mix and you’ll be able to happily feed a large family.
Ingredients Needed For Red Chilaquiles
- tortilla chips – see my favorite tortilla chip brands below. If you’re worried about sodium content, I recommend purchasing no salt added tortilla chips or making your own. This way you can salt to taste and your final dish won’t be too salty.
- eggs – a key ingredient for this dish and a great source of protein.
- cheese – I prefer to use either cotija cheese, which crumbles nicely or queso fresco, which has a mild flavor and less salt compared to cotija. Feta cheese would also be a good substitute if that’s all you have on hand.
- cilantro – I love adding fresh herbs to my meals and cilantro is the perfect pairing for this dish.
- sour cream – this is optional, but I love adding a drizzle of sour cream or plain greek yogurt on top of the chilaquiles for a delicious, slightly tangy flavor.
- avocado – another optional, but highly recommended topping for some added creaminess and healthy fat.
- sliced radishes and red onions – these aren’t traditional toppings, but I added them for some extra nutrients and crunch!
- olive oil – to sauté the vegetables in. Avocado oil would also work well!
- garlic cloves – adds a delicious flavor to the sauce.
- chipotle pepper – chipotle peppers aren’t too spicy and add a smoky, slightly sweet flavor to the sauce. I used canned chipotle peppers that were in adobo sauce.
- adobo sauce – this is a sauce made with ground dried chiles, herbs and vinegar. You can find a jar or can in the “International” section at your grocery store.
- tomato sauce – a can of tomato sauce will give this sauce more depth.
- low sodium broth – you could use either vegetable or chicken broth for this recipe. I prefer to use low sodium broth so I can control the sodium content in the sauce.
- spices and seasonings – dried oregano, chili powder, ground cumin, salt and pepper.
How to Make
Make sauce: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté garlic until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato sauce, oregano, chili powder, cumin, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. When ready, set aside for later use.
Fry eggs: While the sauce is simmering start prepping the toppings and frying the eggs in a separate small skillet.
Add chips: Add the tortilla chips to the sauce and gently flip them over until completely coated with the sauce. Let the chips cook for a good 2-3 minutes, until the chips have softened slightly, but not too much!
Serve: Remove from heat, and serve immediately topped with a fried egg, cotija, radish, cilantro, red onion, sliced avocado and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!
How to Serve Red Chilaquiles
- Toppings: I added cilantro, sour cream, red onion, avocado, radish and cotija cheese. Other options that sound good would be sliced jalapeño, pico de gallo and green onion.
- Eggs or no eggs: Chilaquiles can be enjoyed with or without eggs. You could replace the eggs with another protein like black beans, refried beans or shredded chicken.
- Vegan: If you’re interested in making a vegan version you could try replacing the eggs with this simple tofu scramble, use nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and substitute the sour cream with a vegan yogurt.
- Sides: Some sides that work well with chilaquiles are guacamole as well as beans and rice. My cilantro lime cauliflower rice would be delicious paired with chilaquiles.
Homemade vs Store-Bought Tortilla Chips
Store-bought tortilla chips are usually fried with refined oils and high in sodium. Though, it’s not the case for all brands. My two favorite tortilla chip brands are Late July (I like their organic chia & quinoa chips) and Zack’s Mighty, which are organic.
Of course, you can always make your own tortilla chips if you have the time! Not only are homemade tortilla chips easy to make, but they can save you money as well. You’ll need corn tortillas cut into quarters, and you can either fry them in an oil of choice or better yet, bake them in the oven.
How to Store Red Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles are best when they are served right away. Storing them will cause the chips to become soggy, but that doesn’t mean they go bad. I actually don’t mind them leftover and a bit soggy. You could store your chilaquiles in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheat them over the stove on medium heat or in the microwave for a minute.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes to Try
- Healthy Chicken Enchiladas
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Ground Turkey Tacos
- Mexican Quinoa Casserole
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Vegan Enchiladas
- Easy Guacamole
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
- Taco Soup
Be sure to check out the full collection of Mexican recipes on EBF!
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small chipotle pepper, diced (from canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
- 1 Tablespoon of adobo sauce from can
- 1 16 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 5-6 large handfuls of tortilla chips, about 5-6oz
- 3 large eggs, fried
- crumbled Cotija or queso fresco
- sour cream or greek yogurt, for serving
- Sliced avocado, for serving
- Cilantro, for serving
- Sliced radishes, for serving
- Diced red onion, for serving
- In a medium skillet over medium heat, add oil and sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato sauce, oregano, chili powder, cumin, broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. This will help thicken the sauce. Set aside until ready to use.
- While sauce is simmering prep toppings and start frying eggs.
- Add the tortilla chips in with the sauce. Gently flip over the tortilla chips until they are all well coated with sauce. Let cook 2-3 minutes, until the chips have softened slightly (but not too much!).
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately topped with a fried egg, cotija, radish, cilantro, red onion, sliced avocado and sour cream, if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.