A Simple Mexican Dish: How to Make Chilaquiles With Tortilla Chips

Chilaquiles with tortilla chips on a dark plate

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
474 Calories
29g Fat
44g Carbs
11g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 474
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 38%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 1364mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 249mg 19%
Iron 2mg 10%
Potassium 531mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A standard Mexican breakfast, chilaquiles turn yesterday's tortillas into a tasty base for an assortment of possible toppings. The cook cuts or tears the corn tortilla into triangles, then fries them in oil until they turn slightly brown and crispy. Once cooled, the chips get doused in a sauce that can range from mild red to spicy green chile to any variation of mole, and topped with crema and salty crumbled cheese.

Some cooks bake chilaquiles as a casserole; some simmer the tortilla chips in a sauce until they soften and fall apart; others simply layer the ingredients on your plate, retaining some of the crunchiness. You can find many variations and accompaniments throughout Mexico, including fried eggs or shredded chicken, avocados, or spicy chunks of chorizo. Chopped onion, sliced radishes, cilantro, and lime often garnish the dish. This easy version starts with packaged tortilla chips.

“I’m upset that I went so long without knowing about Chilaquiles but at least I finally do now. I can’t stress how nice this dish is or easy it is to make, perfect for when you’re in the mood for something with a little more flavor than basic nachos but without much more effort.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

Chilaquiles with tortilla chips on a white plate
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 to 3 cups tortilla chips, about 30 chips

  • 1 1/4 cups green or red salsa

  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, or Cotija cheese

  • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema, or substitute regular sour cream thinned with a splash of milk

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chilaquiles with tortilla chips ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Lightly coat a large skillet with the vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.

    Frying pan coated with oil

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Spread tortilla chips in pan.

    Tortilla chips spread out in the oil-covered skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Quickly pour salsa over chips and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer the chips in sauce, undisturbed, until chips absorb some of the liquid and soften, for about 10 minutes.

    Tortilla chips and salsa in a skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 

  5. Divide chilaquiles between two plates. Sprinkle half of the cheese on each, drizzle with half of the crema, and serve.

    Chilaquiles with tortillas and cheese on a dark plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • Substitute leftover corn tortillas for the packaged chips by cutting them into strips, frying them in 375 F vegetable oil until crisp, and draining them on paper towels or brown bags as they cool. Proceed as with the store-bought chips.