Chilaquiles Rojos

Chilaquiles Rojos
October 2, 2023

Chilaquiles Rojos Recipe

Chilaquiles Rojos is a traditional Mexican breakfast recipe consisting of tortilla chips smothered in a tasty tomato and red chili sauce. The tortillas absorb all the flavors from the red sauce and become a little tender, but also retain a pleasant crunch. I love making chilaquiles for breakfast because it’s such a versatile dish. For example, while Chilaquiles Rojos are prepared with a red chili sauce, there are also variations such as Chilaquiles Verdes (made with a delicious sauce based on green tomatillos) or Mole Chilaquiles (soaked in mole sauce).


Corn Tortillas: Corn tortillas are definitely the best option because they are firm and can hold the sauce better without getting too soggy.

Tomatoes: Use the ripest tomatoes you can find.

Chili Peppers: I used guajillo peppers for color and depth of flavor, plus some chili de arbol for heat.

Onion: Garlic or red onion.

Seasonings and Condiments: For the basic seasonings, you’ll need cloves of garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper.

Chicken broth: Use powdered chicken broth or mix the salsa with chicken broth if you prefer.

Oil: Your preferred vegetable oil for frying the tortillas and cooking the sauce.

For serving Quarks.

Queso fresco

Mexican crema or sour cream.

Chopped onion.

Fried eggs (optional)

How to make chilaquiles rojos?

Make the red sauce Discard seeds and skins from guajillo chiles and chile de árbol. Cut the tomatoes and onions into quarters and put everything in a small saucepan.


Lightly roast the chilies before adding them to the pan for a more intense flavor. It’s a game changer!

Pour in enough water to lightly cover the ingredients and bring to a boil.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly and place the sauce ingredients in a blender with 1 1/2 dl of the cooking water or chicken stock.

Add garlic, cumin and peppercorns. Blend until a smooth sauce forms. Set aside until needed.

Make the tortilla chips

Now put 4 tortillas in a stack and cut them into wedges like a treat. Repeat this step with all the tortillas.

Heat about 2/3 cup vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Fry the tortilla wedges in batches, turning occasionally, until nice and golden brown and crispy.

When the tortilla chips come out of the pan, place them on a paper towel lined sheet and set aside.

TIP: If you want to serve your chilaquiles with a fried egg, you can do this after you have fried all the tortilla wedges.

Make the red chilaquiles

Remove all oil and wipe pan of any browned tortilla pieces.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and heat over medium heat.

Add the red tomato sauce to the pan and season with chicken broth. Simmer the sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly.

Return all the tortilla chips to the pan and gently toss to evenly coat the chips.

Cook for about 1 minute, no longer or your tortillas will be too soggy.

Divide chilaquiles rojos between 4 plates, add cream, queso fresco or cotija cheese and chopped onion. Add a fried egg if desired and serve immediately.

Expert tips and comments

Test the oil before frying. First put a piece of tortilla in the pan. If the frying process takes longer than 3 seconds, the oil is not hot enough. If the tortilla turns dark brown quickly, the oil is too hot.

Use corn tortillas. Traditional Mexican chilaquiles are always made with corn tortillas because they are firmer and hold the sauce better. Flour tortillas absorb too much oil and also taste different because they are already made with oil or lard.

Let your tortillas get stale. Cut the tortillas the night before and let them rest overnight covered with a kitchen towel so they don’t get wet from the sauce while cooking.

Reduce calories. Bake tortillas instead of frying. To do this, you can brush them with a little oil and bake them in individual layers at 200 ° C for about 10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy.

How to serve

In Mexico, chilaquiles rojos are always serve with frijoles refritos (refried beans). Usually they are placed on a plate and topped with cheese, crema and chopped onions.

Other toppings like a fried egg, avocado, shredded chicken or even carne asada are also popular options.

I like to pair them with coffee, hot chocolate or atole when I serve them for breakfast. Or agua fresca when I serve them brunch.

Store and Reheat

Leftover Chilaquiles Rojos can be store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Let them cool, then put them in an airtight container before putting them in the fridge.

My preferred method is to heat them in a skillet or griddle over low-medium heat and add a little oil or cooking spray to prevent them from sticking.

Heat gently until the red chilaquiles are heat through, turning occasionally.

Why do people eat chilaquiles?

It’s a dish common throughout Mexico that consists of deep-fried tortilla chips topped with a red or green salsa and fried until soft. Most Mexican houses serve chilaquiles with a side of baked beans and a side of chives.

Chilaquiles comes from the Aztec word Nahuatl, meaning “the hut of the people”. The three main terms are Quilitl (edible herb), Salai (water) and Chili (chili). Since the food is served hot, it’s like a gentle tug that reduced your morning sleepiness. Although chilaquiles can be make with red or green sauce, red sauce is more popular. Two types of chili and various spices are usually used in the recipes. Some people prefer to make their chili simply with cheese, while others prefer to serve it with beans, rice, and eggs on the side.

Originally from Mexico, Chilaquiles are now very popular all over the world. These tortillas and eggs are made with flour and can be served with refried beans and guacamole on the side. Although there are regional differences, the basic ingredients are the same. Chilaquiles are a popular breakfast or brunch dish that can be make with leftover tortillas and salsas. They are an excellent choice for any meal as they can be serve with a variety of toppings.


Calories: 629kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 869mg | Potassium: 695mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2346IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 246mg | Iron: 2mg

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