Chilaquiles Rojos

Experience a burst of Mexican flavors with our Chilaquiles Rojos! Corn tortilla triangles drenched in zesty salsa, adorned with creamy cheese, avocados, and a protein twist of your choice and ready in less than 30 minutes!

Chilaquiles Rojos served on a black plate.

What are Chilaquiles Rojos?

Chilaquiles Rojos is a traditional Mexican dish known for its rich flavors and satisfying texture. Originating from Mexico, chilaquiles are essentially a clever and delicious way to use leftover tortillas and salsas. The name “chilaquiles” comes from the Nahuatl language and means “chilis and greens.”

Lightly fry or bake corn tortillas cut into wedges until they achieve a slight crispiness to create this dish. These tortilla pieces are then simmered in a red salsa (salsa roja), made from ingredients like tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chili peppers, until they are just softened but not too soggy. The red salsa gives the dish its characteristic color and name “Rojos,” meaning “reds” in Spanish. Cover them with red chile sauce and serve them for breakfast with eggs. They are commonly served at lunch or dinner time with refried beans.

Reasons to Love These Chilaquiles

  • Chilaquiles Rojos combine the texture of stir fried tortillas with a tangy, spicy salsa.
  • This dish holds a special place in traditional Mexican cuisine, offering an authentic taste of Mexico’s rich culinary heritage.
  • I love that Red Chilaquiles are versatile and typically served with a variety of toppings. You can add shredded chicken, eggs (either fried or scrambled), cheese (like Cotija or queso fresco), crema (a type of Mexican sour cream), and avocado. For breakfast or brunch, consider washing these down with a Michelada Bloody Mary!

Recipe Ingredients

Mexican Chilaquiles ingredients in white dishes.
  • Jalapeño: Adds a spicy kick to the salsa and balances the flavors.
  • Whole Tomatoes: Key for making the red salsa that characterizes Chilaquiles Rojos.
  • Onion and Garlic: These aromatics are crucial for building the foundational flavor of the salsa.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations

  • Protein Boost: For a heartier meal, suitable for breakfast or dinner, incorporate eggs, shredded chicken, beef, or pork into your Chilaquiles Rojos.
  • Spice it Up: If you prefer a spicier kick, garnish your Chilaquiles with pickled jalapeño slices for an extra zing.
  • Flavorful Additions: Consider topping your dish with chopped onions, radish slices, and either black or pinto beans for added texture and taste.

How to Make Chilaquiles Rojos

Step #1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

Step #2: Next, cut homemade corn tortillas into six wedges and arrange them in a single layer on two 13×9″ baking sheets. Lightly spray with oil and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. You can also use store-bought tortilla chips instead and skip this spraying with oil and baking step.

Baked tortilla triangles on a baking sheet.

Step #3: Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a blender or large food processor and puree until smooth.

Making Chilaquiles Sauce in a food processor.

Step #4: Transfer the red sauce to a large skillet and set to medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to low and add the chicken broth. Taste and add salt as needed.

Cooking Chilaquiles Rojos sauce in a pan on the stovetop.

Step #5: Transfer the baked chips to the skillet and fold gently into the sauce. If you want some crunchy chips around the edge of this dish, then save a few and don’t cook in the sauce, and then add them around the edge of the dish. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the chips have softened.

Step #6: Serve with toppings of your choice! This Mexican chilaquiles recipe gets better when topped with cilantro, cotija cheese, shredded chicken, avocado slices, onion, eggs, beans, or pretty much anything your heart desires!

Baked chips and a selection of toppings served on a table.

Expert Tips

  • Use Thick Tortillas: To avoid overly soggy tortilla chips, aim for a texture that softens in the warm sauce but does not fall apart. You can achieve this by using thick tortillas, baked until they are crispy and lightly browned, which helps maintain their structure when soaked in the sauce.
  • Adding Crunchy Edges: Keep some tortilla chips uncooked in the sauce and add them around the dish’s edge for a crunchy texture.
  • Slicing Avocado Efficiently: Utilize a 3-in-1 avocado peeler, slicer, and pitter tool to save time and streamline the preparation process.
Chilaquiles Rojos on a black plate served on a table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Guajillo Chiles in Chilaquiles Rojos?

Yes, you can use guajillo chiles to add a different flavor profile to Chilaquiles Rojos. Guajillo chiles offer a milder heat compared to jalapeños and bring a slightly sweet, tangy taste.

Can I prepare the red sauce for Red Chilaquiles Rojos in a saucepan?

Yes, preparing the red sauce in a saucepan is ideal. It allows for even cooking and flavor development. Simply sauté aromatics, add the blended tomato and chili mixture, and simmer to enhance the sauce’s depth.

Can I use a blender if I don’t have a food processor for the red sauce in Chilaquiles Rojos?

Yes, a blender is a perfect substitute if you don’t have a food processor for making the red sauce in Chilaquiles Rojos. Just blend the ingredients until well-combined.

Storage Info

Mexican Chilaquiles Rojos is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

To reheat, gently warm them in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen the sauce if needed. Avoid microwaving as it can make the tortillas too soft and the dish less enjoyable.

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Chilaquiles chips and sauce served on a black plate.

Chilaquiles Rojos Recipe

Experience a burst of Mexican flavors with our Chilaquiles Rojos! Corn tortilla triangles drenched in zesty salsa, adorned with creamy cheese, avocados, and a protein twist of your choice and ready in less than 30 minutes!
4.6 from 63 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 381kcal
Author: Linda
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 corn tortillas - cut into triangular wedges
  • 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded
  • 1/2 of a medium white onion - roughly chopped
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Optional Toppings

  • Cotija cheese
  • Shredded chicken - cooked
  • Shredded beef - cooked
  • Shredded pork - cooked
  • Fried Eggs
  • Scrambled Eggs
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Cilantro
  • Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
  • Avocado
  • Pickled Jalapeno Slices
  • Radish Slices
  • Onions - chopped
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Instructions

  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
  • Next, cut homemade corn tortillas into six wedges and arrange them in a single layer on two 13×9" baking sheets. Lightly spray with oil and bake for 15 minutes or until crisp. You can also use store-bought tortilla chips instead and skip this spraying with oil and baking step.
  • Meanwhile, place the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, vegetable oil, salt, and cumin in the bowl of a blender or large food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Transfer the red sauce to a large skillet and set to medium-high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then reduce the heat to low and add the chicken broth. Taste and add salt as needed.
  • Transfer the baked chips to the skillet and fold gently into the sauce. If you want some crunchy chips around the edge of this dish, then save a few and don't cook in the sauce, and then add them around the edge of the dish. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the chips have softened.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice! This Mexican chilaquiles recipe gets better when topped with cilantro, cotija cheese, shredded chicken, avocado slices, onion, eggs, beans, or pretty much anything your heart desires!

VIDEO

NOTES

Mexican Chilaquiles Rojos is best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat, gently warm them in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of chicken broth or water to loosen the sauce if needed. Avoid microwaving as it can make the tortillas too soft and the dish less enjoyable.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 678mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 83IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Linda

Hi, I'm Linda! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel adventures from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. Be adventurous and try a new recipe and travel somewhere you have never been before.  Bon Appétit! Bon Voyage!  

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Comments:

  1. Your chilaquiles look wonderful! I live in San Diego…could you tell me where you ate while you were here? Thank you!

    1. Hey Lucy. The best my mother and I have had so far here is Cotijas in Santee. Hopefully us both being Mexican carry a little weight on this subject. : )

      As with most things, its an individual taste thing!