The BEST homemade Chilaquiles recipe includes crispy corn tortillas coated in a homemade sauce and topped with queso fresco and crema. My homemade sauce combines red and green sauce for the best chilaquiles I’ve ever had!

Looking for more authentic Mexican recipes? Try my Pozole Verde, Mexican Rice, Tamales, Elote and Mole Poblano.

Chilaquiles served on a plate, garnished with cream, cotija and a side of beans and fried egg.

Why I love this recipe:

  • Red AND Green Sauce Chilaquiles are usually made with either red or green sauce, but I love the flavors of both so I combined the two, resulting in the BEST chilaquiles I’ve ever had! They are SO authentic tasting and easy to make from scratch
  • Versatile – Can be served for any meal of the day, but I particularly enjoy them for breakfast or brunch, with a fried egg on top.
  • Easy Make Ahead Meal: This recipe really is EASY, but does take some time, so I love to make the sauces and fry the tortillas ahead of time, so that it comes together in a breeze when we want to eat it! Find my make ahead instructions in the recipe card notes.

What are Chilaquiles?

Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-lah-KEE-lays) are a traditional Mexican dish consisting of lightly fried corn tortillas tossed in salsa verde (chilaquiles verde), or red chile sauce (chilaquiles rojo) with queso fresco and Mexican crema on top. They’re often served with a fried egg and refried beans, and some variations may include additions of sautéed onion, shredded chicken and avocado.

How to make Chilaquiles:

Pan Fry Tortillas: Cut corn tortillas into 6 wedges and allow them to dry on the counter for a few hours, or overnight (or, use older, stale corn tortillas). Heat a large saucepan with an inch of vegetable oil, over medium heat. Add the corn tortillas, turning them once or twice in the oil, and cook until crisp. Remove to a bowl lined with paper towels.

Corn tortillas cut into triangles, next to a photo of them fried crispy.

Soften Dried Chiles: Use scissors to cut the dried chiles open, and remove veins and seeds inside. Place dried chiles in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil reduce heat to simmer and cook them until softened, 20-30 minutes.

Dried guajilo and arbol chiles in a saucepan with hot water.

Blend Green Sauce: In a blender, add ⅓ cup chicken broth, garlic, oregano and cumin seed. Blend well. Add tomatillos and ¼ cup (a small handful) fresh cilantro and blend until smooth.

Ingredients for salsa verde added to a blender and then blended.

Simmer: Heat a saucepan with olive oil. Add sliced onion and cook for 3 minutes. Remove onion to a plate. Add salsa verde from blender to the saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Onion sautéing in a pan, next to a photo of salsa verde in the saucepan.

Blend Red Sauce: Once the red chiles are softened, use a slotted spoon to remove the chiles from the liquid and place them in blender with 1 cup chicken broth. Blend until smooth.

Softened chiles in a blender next to a photo of the blended salsa rojo in a fine mesh strainer over a saucepan.

Combine red and green sauces: Pour red chile sauce into a fine mesh strainer set over the pot with the green sauce. Use a spoon to press it through the strainer and into the pot. Season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2/3 cup more chicken broth. Simmer 20 minutes. Taste and add a dash of oregano, or ground cumin, if needed.

Add fried tortilas to the sauce and toss until well coated.

To process photos for coating fried tortillas on sauce to make chilaquiles.

Serve: Divide chilaquiles between plates and sprinkle them with a pinch of queso fresco, add a few sautéed onions and a drizzle of Mexican crema. Serve with side of refried black beans and a fried or sunny side up egg.

Overhead view of a plate of easy and authentic homemade chilaquiles.

Make Ahead Instructions:

The red and green sauces and chips can be prepared several days in advance. Store sauces in the fridge. When ready to serve, warm sauce in saucepan and add chips. Stir to coat, and serve as instructed. Both sauces could also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.

Can I use Store-Bought Tortilla Chips for Chilaquiles?

I don’t recommend substituting tortilla chips in place of the corn tortillas because tortilla chips soften easier and will have a mushier texture when mixed with the sauce. If you do choose to use tortilla chips for chilaquiles, choose thick, organic ones, for best results. If you don’t want to fry the corn tortillas, use my baked corn tortillas method instead (see recipe card notes).

Variations:

  • Bake the Corn Tortillas: Divide corn tortillas among two large baking sheets. Drizzle tortillas with a few tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until crispy.
  • Add Meat: This is a great dish to add leftover meat to like shredded chicken, carnitas pork or beef barbacoa.

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Recipe

Chilaquiles served on a plate, garnished with cream, cotija and a side of beans and fried egg.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Total 46 mins

Ingredients
 
 

  • 15 white corn tortillas* , preferably older/stale
  • vegetable oil , for frying

Sauce:

  • 7 dried guajillo chiles
  • 4 dried arbol chiles
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tomatillos medium size, outer leaf removed, washed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt , or more, to taste
  • 1/2 of an small onion , sliced thinly

For serving:

Instructions
 

  • Fry Tortillas*: Cut corn tortillas into 6 wedges and allow them to dry on the counter for a few hours, or overnight (or, use older stale corn tortillas). Add about an inch or so of vegetable oil to the bottom of a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the corn tortillas (you may need to work in batches) in hot oil until crisp, turning them once or twice in the oil. Remove to a bowl or plate lined with paper towels.
  • Soak dried chiles: Use scissors to cut the dried chiles open, and remove veins and seeds inside. Place dried chiles in a saucepan and cover them with water. Bring to a boil reduce heat to simmer and cook them until softened, 20-30 minutes.
  • Blend Salsa Verde: While the chiles cook, make the green sauce. To a blender add ⅓ cup chicken broth, garlic, oregano and cumin seed. Blend well. Add tomatillos and ¼ cup (a small handful) fresh cilantro and blend until smooth.
  • Simmer: Heat a saucepan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add sliced onion and cook for 3 minutes. Remove onion to a plate. Pour the green tomatillo sauce from the blender into the saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Blend Red Chiles: Once the red chiles are softened, use a slotted spoon to remove the chiles from the liquid and place them in blender with 1 cup chicken broth. Blend until smooth.
  • Combine sauces: Pour red chile sauce mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over the pot with the green sauce. Use a spoon to press it through the strainer and into the pot. Season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 2/3 cup more chicken broth. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add a dash of oregano, or ground cumin, if needed.
  • Add Tortillas: Add crispy tortillas to the sauce and toss until well coated.
  • Serve: Divide chilaquiles between plates and sprinkle them with a pinch of queso fresco, add a few sautéed onions and a drizzle of crema. Serve with fresh sliced avocado, a side of refried black beans and a fried or sunny side up egg.

Notes

Corn Tortillas: White or yellow corn will work, and the older and staler they are, the better. I like to cut mine into triangles 1-2 days before I fry them, and leave them on the counter to dry out.
Baked Tortilla Chips: Divide corn tortillas among two large baking sheets. Drizzle tortillas with a few tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, until crispy.
Store-Bought Tortilla Chips: The taste and texture is much better when you fry your own corn tortillas. Store-bought tortilla chips will get mushier when mixed with the sauce. If you do choose to substitute tortilla chips, choose thick, organic ones, for best results.
Make Ahead Instructions: The red and green sauces and chips can be prepared several days in advance. Store sauces in the fridge. When ready to serve, warm sauce in saucepan and add chips. Stir to coat, and serve as instructed. Both sauces could also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Add Meat: This is a great dish to add leftover meat to like shredded chicken, carnitas pork or beef barbacoa.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 389kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 16gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 479mgPotassium: 677mgFiber: 10gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1901IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 174mgIron: 3mg

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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