- Food: Chilaquiles Rojos
- Writer: Nicolas Wilson
- Content-Type: Food Blog
Where in the world have these crimson chilaquiles been my entire life? Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-lah-keyless) is a Mexican morning dish made with tortilla chips cooked in sauce.
They’re usually made with green salsa (salsa verde in Spanish, which results in chilaquiles Verdes) or red enchilada sauce (chilaquiles rojos).
I like how the chips absorb part of the sauce and become slightly tender as a result.
Fresh toppings like cilantro, radish, or onion, crumbled cheese, and, in some cases, fried eggs, elevate this chip-based cuisine to a full meal. Although this easy recipe isn’t 100% authentic, I hope it will satisfy your chilaquiles needs.
The sauce is important when it comes to chilaquiles. With homemade salsa verde, I’ve already polished my Chilaquiles Verdes recipe.
I tried preparing chilaquiles with my beloved homemade enchilada sauce for the first time, and holy smokes, I’d been missing out!
Chilaquiles make a delicious weekend breakfast or brunch option. They’re also a delicious and quick breakfast-for-dinner option, as well as a wonderful way to use up a package of tortilla chips. Are you prepared to learn how to manufacture them?
Ingredients for Chilaquiles Rojos
This chilaquiles recipe may be broken down into three parts:
Sauce for enchiladas
In chilaquiles, the sauce is the foundation of flavor, so choose wisely. My go-to red enchilada sauce recipe is one of my favorites, so I’ve included it in the recipe below.
My red sauce has a deep, long-simmered chili-pepper taste, but it’s quite simple to make in a large skillet before adding the chips.
You’ll need 2 cups of red enchilada sauce, whether you make your own or buy it (the Frontera brand is the only semi-decent choice I’ve found).
Chips made with tortillas
Fried tortilla chips are used to make authentic Mexican chilaquiles. I’ve prepared homemade chilaquiles with both freshly baked and store-bought tortilla chips—more on those alternatives below.
Add some toppings!
To the spicy chips, tangy shredded cheese, crunchy radish, fresh cilantro, and creamy avocado provide a nice contrast. If you’re adding eggs to your chilaquiles, you’ll want to do it either before or after you make the sauce (if you are great at multitasking).
Chilaquiles: A Step-by-Step Guide
We’ll do the following once your ingredients are ready to go:
In a big skillet, make the enchilada sauce.
Throughout the recipe, we’ll use the same skillet. We’ll drop the heat to the lowest feasible setting after the enchilada sauce is ready, then…
Toss in the tortilla chips and whisk constantly.
It may appear that your tortilla chips will never be completely coated, but they will. Cover the skillet for a few minutes if your chips haven’t softened up during the stirring process.
Toss in the toppings and serve right away.
Without a significant number of fresh toppings, chilaquiles aren’t complete. Because the chips might become mushy if left out too long, serve your chilaquiles straight away.
Tortilla Chips Made at Home vs. Store-Bought Tortilla Chips
Cooking your own tortilla chips is recommended in several chilaquiles recipes. I’m afraid of big pans of oil, therefore I don’t deep-fry at home.
Another fantastic alternative is baked tortilla chips, which work well with chilaquiles. Baked chips also use a lot less oil than fried chips. In the area below, you’ll discover instructions.
When I first tried making chilaquiles, the results with store-bought tortilla chips were disappointing. Some brands have an oily or stale flavor that transfers to the chilaquiles.
Late July’s chia and quinoa variety, on the other hand, is a brand of tortilla chips that I actually like in chilaquiles. Those chips will be used in this article.
How to Bake Crispy Tortilla Chips?
16 thin corn tortillas, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt are all you’ll need. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and place the racks in the upper and lower center positions. To make cleanup easier, line two big baking pans with parchment paper. Brush each tortilla lightly with oil on both sides. Stack the tortillas four at a time and cut them into eight wedges. Continue with the remaining tortillas. Divide the wedges between the two baking sheets and spread them out equally (it’s fine if they overlap; the chips will shrink slightly as they bake). Pour half of the salt into one pan and the other half into the other.
- Bake, rotating the pans on their racks every 5 minutes until the chips are curling up at the edges and some are turning golden. This might be completed in as little as ten minutes. Keep an eye on the top rack in particular, as it is the first to finish baking. Remove the top rack pan once the chips on the edges have turned golden, then move the lower rack pan to the top. Remove the chips from the oven once they start to turn golden around the edges.
recipe for rojo chilaquiles
Adding Eggs or Not Adding Eggs
That is the issue. Chilaquiles aren’t always served with eggs in Mexico. I ordered some fantastic green chilaquiles at Lardo in Mexico City, and was surprised when they didn’t come with eggs, which I had specifically requested!
Chilaquiles are almost typically served with fried eggs on top in the United States, and they’re excellent. My homemade chilaquiles are best served with olive oil fried eggs, which have the most enticing crispy edges.
I like to prepare my chilaquiles using eggs since they give them more substance. Eggs scrambled or poached are also delicious.
Looking for a filling plant-based meal? Serve your chilaquiles with refried beans on the side. By the way, this chilaquiles may simply be made dairy-free or vegan—see the recipe notes for more information.
Chilaquiles Rojos (Red Chilaquiles)
|15-minute prep time
Time to cook: 20 minutes
35-minute total time
Servings: 4 servings
With this proven recipe, you can make the greatest red chilaquiles! Chilaquiles are traditional Mexican cuisine that consists of tortilla chips dipped in a tasty sauce, in this case, crimson sauce.
Because this recipe comes together quickly and is best served hot, make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand before you begin. There are 4 servings in this recipe.
Red Sauce (yields 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons flour (whole wheat, all-purpose, or gluten-free blend all work)
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
- 5 big handfuls (5 ounces) of corn tortilla chips, or homemade crispy baked tortilla chips (see post)
- ⅓ cup crumbled Cotija, queso fresco, or feta cheese
- 1 small handful (about 3 tablespoons) very thinly sliced radish or chopped red or green onion
- 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced, or guacamole
- Optional: 4 fried eggs or scrambled eggs or poached eggs
- 1 small lime, cut into wedges
- To make the sauce, combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, combine the flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cinnamon. Place the tomato paste and broth in a bowl near the burner.
- Warm the oil in a big skillet over medium heat until a small sprinkle of the flour/spice mixture sizzles when it comes into contact. It could take a few minutes to complete this task. It’s important to keep an eye on it.
- When it’s done, add the flour and spice mixture. Cook, whisking continually, for 1 minute, or until aromatic and somewhat darker in color. Whisk in the tomato paste, then slowly drizzle in the broth, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a soft simmer, then reduce heat as needed to keep it there. Cook, whisking often, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat and your spoon meets resistance while stirring it.
- Reduce the temperature to the lowest setting feasible. Add the cilantro and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste, if needed (I usually add another pinch or two).
- To create the chilaquiles, follow these steps: Toss the tortilla chips into the pan. Toss gently with a flexible spatula until all of the chips are coated in sauce. It may appear like they will never be, but keep stirring!
- Remove the skillet from the heat once it is completely coated. Check to see if a chip has softened to your liking (this is a personal preference—I want my chips lightly tender). If the chips aren’t soft enough, cover the skillet with a lid for 1 to 4 minutes, or until you’re satisfied with the texture.
- Crumbled cheese, radish, and cilantro leaves should be liberally sprinkled over the chilaquiles. Scoop servings onto individual plates and top with avocado slices, a fried egg, and a wedge of lime, if desired. Because the chips will continue to soften with time, chilaquiles should be served as soon as possible (do not re-cover the pan to preserve heat; the chips will get far too soggy).
- ON LEFTOVERS: Because the chips continue to soften with time, chilaquiles are best eaten soon after they’ve been made. As a result, I wouldn’t anticipate having any leftovers. If preferred, you can divide the amount in half to make two servings (using a 10′′ skillet).
- CHOOSE CERTIFIED GLUTEN-FREE TORTILLAS OR MAKE YOUR OWN TORTILLAS WITH GLUTEN-FREE CORN TORTILLAS. In the sauce, use gluten-free all-purpose flour.
- MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE: It’s simple! Remove the cheese and serve with a big dollop of cashew sour cream on top of each plate.
- TO MAKE IT VEGAN, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the cheese and serve with a big dollop of cashew sour cream on top of each plate. Don’t put eggs on top of your chilaquiles. Serve with refried beans on the side for added protein.