Chilaquiles Recipe (Chilaquiles Rojos)
This chilaquiles recipe is the ultimate Mexican breakfast with crispy tortilla chips tossed with zesty chili sauce, with avocado, jalapenos, tomato, queso, and topped with fried eggs.
We’re cooking up a big batch of Mexican Chilaquiles in the Chili Pepper Madness kitchen today, my friends. Care to join me? If you’re a fan of crispy tortillas tossed in a saucy red sauce, topped with fried eggs and all sorts of other delicious toppings, this is a recipe you’ll want to keep on hand.
Chilaquiles are hugely satisfying, and quite easy to make. You may have enjoyed them in Mexican restaurants off the menu, but making them at home is somewhat simple, provided you’re comfortable with lightly frying tortillas
I just published a recipe for this – How to Make Homemade Crispy Tortilla Chips – to help you get started. Chilaquiles are flat out delish with homemade tortillas, but if you’re not comfortable with making them at home, you can always opt to use chips from a bag to save time.
That will work too, though I’ve include the recipe for frying the tortillas with this recipe.
What are Chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles a traditional Mexican breakfast made from fried corn tortillas that are tossed with a spicy red or green sauce, then topped with a number of ingredients. While it can be served anytime of day, it is popularly served for breakfast with a fried egg over the top.
There are numerous regional differences in how chilaquiles are served, mostly differing in topping choices, though many argue whether the tortilla chips should remain crispy or allowed to soften in the sauce. The choice comes down to personal preference.
For this recipe, I’ve opted for the rojo, or “red” version, with a homemade red ancho chili sauce that isn’t very spicy, yet is filled with bold flavor.
They’re so earthy and rich and any resulting sauce carries over that richness and depth that will draw you to the ancho like it did for me. One important key in making a successful ancho sauce is to lightly toast the ancho peppers before rehydrating them.
Toasting the skins in a dry pan loosens up the oils and heightens the overall flavor of your final sauce. Please don’t skip that step.
Let’s talk about how we make chilaquiles rojos, shall we?
Chilaquiles Ingredients Needed
- FOR THE CHILAQUILES ROJO SAUCE
- Ancho peppers.
- Oil as needed.
- Vegetables. White onion, red onion, garlic and Roma tomatoes.
- Seasonings. You’ll need red wine vinegar, cumin, Mexican oregano, honey and salt and pepper to taste.
- Tomato Sauce. For extra sauciness.
- FOR THE CRISPY TORTILLAS
- Corn tortillas. You can use store bought to save time, but to make your own, start with the corn tortillas alone.
- Canola oil or other neutral oil
- FOR SERVING
- I use crumbled queso fresco, diced tomato, chopped jalapeno peppers, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and fried eggs for topping
How to Make Chilaquiles Rojos – the Recipe Method
Make your red chili sauce first. You can make this sauce ahead quite easily. Simply toast the ancho peppers on a hot pan a couple minutes per side.
The peppers will puff slightly and the skins will begin to turn red. Some people like to char the skins, though I prefer only a light toasting. Set the toasted ancho peppers into a pot of boiling water and remove from heat.
Let them soak covered in water for 30 minutes until they are softened. The soaking liquid will change color as some of the ancho leeches into it.
There are nutrients within this liquid, so don’t throw it away. Reserve some of it to use to help form the sauce.
Remove the stems and coarsely chop the anchos. Add them to a food processor, then cook down the onion along with your cooked onion, garlic, tomato, herbs, vinegar and the reserved soaking liquid. I also added just a bit of honey to balance it with a bit of sweet.
Cook down the Vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium high heat and add the onion. Cook about 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and tomato and cook another minute or so, until you can smell the garlic. Add them to the food processor.
Get the Sauce Going. Add the vinegar, cumin, oregano and a bit of salt and pepper along with about 1 cup of the soaking liquid and honey. Process until it smooths out.
Strain the sauce through a sieve then combine it with tomato sauce for a full bodied, rich red ancho sauce. I will often make an extra large batch of this sauce to keep on hand for other recipes.
See my Ancho Chili Sauce Recipe that you can use for so many things.
Making the Homemade Tortillas
Now! For the tortillas, as mentioned, I always prefer to fry my own at home. Sure, it takes a little extra time, but you will be rewarded immensely for your efforts.
First, add canola oil to a wide pot and heat to medium. Do not let it boil or smoke.
Slice the tortillas into 6 wedges. Add the tortillas and fry them in the oil in batches a couple minutes per side, until they begin to slightly brown. Remove and drain them on a paper towel lined plate.
Season them with salt while they are hot. Use more salt than you might think. The salt clings to the warm oil and guarantees a huge flavor burst. Done! Easy, right?
See a video of how to make your own chips here – How to Make Homemade Crispy Tortilla Chips – Frying and Baking method.
Then, simply warm up your ancho red salsa in a pan, toss in the chips, coat them up just right, and serve with all of your favorite toppings. Don’t forget a bit of salt and pepper. You can also toss it all together on a baking sheet.
I used jalapeno slices, avocado, chopped tomato, fresh chopped cilantro, a fried egg on top, and some homemade queso blanco. Wait, you’ve never made queso blanco? What?
Here’s a recipe – How to Make Homemade Queso Blanco. Awesome stuff!
I hope you enjoy your chilaquiles rojos, my friends! This is my favorite chilaquiles recipe made with red sauce.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Big Batch the Sauce. Make an extra large batch of the Ancho Chili Sauce and store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container. You can use it for many other recipes through the week.
- Crispy Chips. You can also make extra crispy tortilla chips and store them in paper or plastic bags. They will stay crispy a few days so you can enjoy them as a crunchy snack.
- Store Bought Chips. Want to save some time? You can use your favorite brand of store bought corn tortilla chips. Just toss them in the sauce and skip the frying. Grab a bag from the store. Still very good.
- Spice it Up. You can easily spice up your chilaquiles by using serrano peppers instead of jalapeno peppers, or by sprinkling the dish with spicy chili flakes. Too Spicy? Add a dollop of sour cream or Mexican crema to help.
- Make it for Dinner. Add a protein to make a dinner of this. Ideas include shredded chicken, crumbled chorizo, crispy pork shoulder. Black beans are always a nice addition.
- Chiliquiles Verdes. You can also make a green version of this recipe with salsa verde or tomatillo salsa. Delicious. See my Chilaquiles Verdes recipe.
This is truly an authentic Mexican meal, so perfectly homemade. Who would think something so simple could be so unique, and it really is HUGE on flavor with chips tossed in a sauce. This sauce is crazy good. If you’re ever looking for a unique Mexican style breakfast, you have found it here.
Try Some of My Other Popular Breakfast Recipes
- Chilaquiles Verdes
- Jacked-Shuka – Extra Spicy Eggs in Hell
- Menemen – Turkish-Style Scrambled Eggs with Peppers
- Chilaquiles Rojos with Ancho Chili Sauce
- Huevos con Chorizo
- Spicy Pepper Lover’s Omelet
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Chilaquiles Recipe (Chilaquiles Rojos)
For the Ancho Chili Sauce
- 2 ancho chili peppers
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 small Roma tomato chopped
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
FOR THE CRISPY TORTILLAS
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 cup canola oil or other neutral oil
- Crumbled queso fresco
- Diced tomato
- Chopped jalapeno peppers
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
- 1-2 fried eggs
- Make the ancho sauce first. Dry roast the ancho peppers on a hot pan about 1-2 minutes per side. The peppers will puff slightly and the skins will begin to turn red.
- Set them into a large pot of boiling water and remove from heat. Let them soak covered in water for 30 minutes. Reserve the soaking liquid.
- Remove the stems and coarsely chop the anchos. Add them to a food processor.
- Heat the oil in a pan to medium heat and add the onion. Cook about 5 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic and tomato and cook another minute or so, until you can smell the garlic. Add them to the food processor.
- Add the vinegar, cumin, oregano and a bit of salt and pepper along with about 1 cup of the soaking liquid and honey. Process until it smooths out.
- Press the sauce through a coarse strainer into a bowl. I use a wooden spoon to push it through.
- Add it to a small bowl with the tomato sauce and stir it together.
- For the tortillas, add the canola oil to a wide pot and heat to medium. Do not let it boil or smoke.
- Slice the tortillas into 6 wedges and fry them in the oil in batches a couple minutes per side, until they begin to slightly brown.
- Remove and drain them on a paper towel lined plate. Dash them with salt while they are hot.
- Make the Chilaquiles – Add the ancho chili sauce to a wide pan and heat through.
- Stir in the tortillas and coat each of them with the sauce.
- Remove from heat. Top the chilaquiles with queso fresco, tomato, jalapeno, avocado, herbs, and a fried egg or 2. Enjoy!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 12/21/20 to include new information and photos. It was originally published on 5/1/17.