Chilaquiles Recipe

Chilaquiles on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 32 mins
Total: 47 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
384 Calories
28g Fat
25g Carbs
10g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 384
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 194mg 65%
Sodium 173mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 15mg 74%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 505mg 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.)

Red or green salsa? Crunchy or soggy? With eggs, shredded chicken, or plain? Cream? Cheese? This is the dilemma that you will deal with every time you make chilaquiles for breakfast: Tortillas fried crisp, then cooked in salsa. Good thing there are no bad choices when it comes to this brunch classic. Chilaquiles is one of the simplest dishes of Mexican cuisine—unless, of course, you like to complicate it with all the add ons you can think of.

Chilaquiles may look similar to migas, but they differ in some key ways. First, migas are an egg dish, but with chilaquiles the eggs are optional. On the other hand, chilaquiles are always cooked in salsa, and with migas they're an optional topping. You start with crispy tortillas for chilaquiles; in fact, some people take a shortcut and start with tortilla chips. With migas, the tortillas tend to be softer. Both dishes, of course, are an excellent way to use stale tortillas.

If you're able to plan a few days ahead, we recommend leaving your tortillas out of their packaging for a day or two to dry out before cooking this dish.

Chilaquiles Recipe/Tester Image

"This delicious breakfast dish has just the right amount of chile heat and tangy brightness from tomatillos. The freshly fried chips are addictive, so you'd be wise to make extra."—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 6 small corn tortillas, cut into wedges

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • 1 pound coarsely chopped tomatillos

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped white onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 diced habanero chile, optional 

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 4 large eggs

  • Crumbled cotija cheese, for garnish, optional

  • Crema or sour cream, for garnish, optional

  • Avocado slices, for garnish, optional

  • Diced red onion, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chilaquiles ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, heat oil to 360 F. Carefully lower tortilla wedges into the oil, making sure none overlap. You may need to do this step in batches.

    Tortillas frying in a pot with oil

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  3. Fry tortilla wedges, turning over half-way through, until golden-brown and crisp. This should take 2-3 minutes per batch. Remove and allow to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Salt to taste while the chips are still hot. Set aside.

    Fried tortilla chips on a paper towel lined platter

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  4. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add tomatillos, water, onion, garlic, habanero chile, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until tomatillos break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

    Tomatillos, water, onion, garlic, habanero chile, and cumin in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  5. Add the ingredients from the skillet to a blender with the cilantro. Blend the salsa to desired consistency.

    Tomatillos, water, onion, garlic, habanero chile, cilantro, and cumin in a blender

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  6. Return salsa to skillet over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Tomatillo sauce in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  7. Meanwhile, add the butter to a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until melted. Gently crack eggs into the melted butter. Fry to your preference and set aside.

    Egg cooking in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  8. Just before serving, add tortilla chips to salsa in the skillet and cook until coated and heated through, about 2 minutes.

    Tortilla and sauce in a pan

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

  9. Divide chilaquiles between 4 plates and top each serving with a fried egg. Add cotija cheese, crema, avocado, and onion, if desired, and serve immediately.

    Chilaquiles on plates

    The Spruce Eats / Christine Ma

Handle Chiles With Caution

Take care to wash your hands thoroughly after handling chiles. Some people use gloves or wrap their hands in plastic bags to protect themselves. Oils from the chiles can irritate your eyes and nose if you handle chiles and then absentmindedly touch your face.

Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

Recipe Tips

Chilaquiles are best made with stale, dry tortillas. Leave your tortillas out of their packaging for a day or two to dry out before cooking this dish, if possible.

Recipe Variations

  • Green habanero chiles are among the spiciest. Feel free to swap out with a milder chile, like serrano, or leave out altogether.
  • Instead of tomatillo salsa you can make or buy any other thick salsa you like.
  • More fun toppings for your chilaquiles include fried chorizo, or beef cecina (a type of cured beef), roasted cactus, or zucchini. 
  • Yes, you can make chilaquiles with tortilla chips

How to Store

  • You can make the salsa in advance. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within a week.
  • Freeze the salsa for up to a month. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before using.