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

Chilaquiles recipe

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
474 Calories
29g Fat
44g Carbs
11g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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 (chee-lah-KEE-less) turn yesterday's unused tortillas into a tasty base for an assortment of possible toppings. The cook cuts or tears the tortilla into strips (corn being traditional but flour an acceptable option if you prefer), 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 tortillas 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.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 to 3 cups tortilla chips (approximately 30 chips from a bag)

  • 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.

    Ingredients for chilaquiles

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Lightly coat a large frying pan with the vegetable oil; heat it over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.

    Frying pan coated with oil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Spread the tortilla chips in the pan.

    tortillas chips in pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

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

    Tortilla chips and salsa in pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga 

  5. Divide the chilaquiles between two plates; sprinkle half of the cheese on each and drizzle with half of the crema.


    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Serve and enjoy!


    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk for food-borne illness.


  • 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.