This easy chilaquiles recipe is a fantastic way to use up all those stale corn tortillas languishing in your cupboard. We added eggs, roasted corn and pickled red onion to take this to a whole new level!
It’s hard to imagine a more comforting food than chilaquiles. If you aren’t familiar with the dish, homemade chilaquiles is a classic Mexican comfort food that is often served for breakfast. It was originally created to help use up stale tortillas and that use…well it holds true for today too. It’s the perfect weekend breakfast to clean out the fridge.
In some renditions of the dish the chips are lightly fried. In others they are tossed in the sauce and cooked until turned almost to mush. I like something kind of in the middle. And since I’m kind of exhausted from chasing these kids around my preference is actually to bake them!
To start off….the sauce. We will be making my favorite tomatillo verde sauce. You can definitely use a store bought sauce if you want (red or green), but if you have time…this one is worth the minimal extra effort.
First up…roasting all the ingredients is an absolute must. Just slice and broil nothing fancy here.
I like to use our giant NordicWare Big Sheets. They are my favorite cookie sheet because they cook perfectly even and are big enough to fill my ENTIRE oven rack. Makes for less batches and less dishes=total win. The price is a total steal too.
Once everything is good and roasty under the broiler it’s time to blend!
Toss everything in your food processor plus cilantro and lime and give it a whirl.
If you could just smell this right now….oh my goodness. It’s truly the best smell in the world. This sauce is everything.
Tangy, roasty, sweet. It’s truly the stuff dreams are made of.
Now comes the decision making part of this gig. You can do one of two things here.
#1 toss in your corn tortillas directly into the pan and cover with sauce.
This will make an enchilada/casserole kind of dish. If you do this, do NOT do what I did in these pictures and leave the corners of your tortillas showing. Make sure the sauce covers them completely or you end up with crunchy inedible bits on the edge.
#2 quickly pan fry your corn tortillas in olive oil until crispy.
This adds more calories and time to the process but it’s my hubby’s favorite way (shocking I know!).
Both ways of doing the dish are considered traditional and both are delicious in their own right.
Add your sauce in and any other yummy tid bits you happen to have around that you want to add.
Roasted corn on the cob adds fabulous crunch but anything you like can be added…chicken chilaquiles is amazing, leftover bits of bacon, shredded pork….this is one dish where we use up whatever leftovers are in the fridge. Now you can at this point just use a pan and cook this on the stovetop. Or toss it in the oven and it’s a chilaquiles casserole. Yum both ways.
Next layer layer layer. Tortillas, sauce, toppings, cheeeeeese.
The Best Chilaquiles Cheese
Lots of cotija cheese is a mandatory for chilaquiles in my book. In case you aren’t familiar with it Cotija cheese is a classic mexican crumbly white cheese. You can find it in the cheese section, it’s usually not in the specialty cheese section but closer to the shredded cheeses. Cacique cotija is my favorite brand and I have found it pretty consistently across the country. Amazing on tacos, enchiladas, salads. Love it!
You can also buy it on Amazon. Do not be thrown off by it’s close cousin Queso Fresco cheese. This is a fresh cheese vs aged and while crumbly too….it’s very wet and lacking in the bold flavor of Cotija.
After the cheese we like to top it with several cracked eggs, they set as the dish bakes and that runny yolk is absolute perfection.
Top these easy chilaquiles with plenty of chopped cilantro, fresh lime wedges and if you like some quick pickled red onions (truly quick: just put the red onions in rice wine vinegar for 15 mins)! Some mexican crema and a good dose of hot sauce is also up there in favorite toppings for me.
Serve these as breakfast chilaquiles, or for dinner. Make them at midnight for girls night. Make them for the perfect hangover cure. Serve them with plenty of hot coffee and fruit for the ultimate saturday brunch.
Just promise me you will make them soon!
- 10-12 large tomatillos
- 2 poblano chiles
- 2 jalapeños
- 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 20 corn tortillas, cut into eighths
- Sauce (above)
- ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 5-6 eggs
- roasted corn (or whatever filling you have on hand)
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
- Lime slices, for garnish
- Quick pickled red onions (slice onions and let rest in rice wine vinegar for 15 mins)
- Hot sauce
- Mexican crema sauce
- Broil tomatillos, poblanos, jalapenos, and onions until charred nicely, keep an eye on them!
- Puree in food processor with cilantro, lime and salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Cover bottom of baking dish with olive oil. Layer corn tortillas in with sauce, cheese and any toppings desired. (It is best to cover all tortillas so they don’t dry out). Top with cracked eggs if desired.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees until top is browned and cooked through and egg whites are set with runny yolks.
- Top with cilantro, lime slices and pickled red onions. Serve with hot sauce and crema if desired.