The term huevos rancheros translates as "ranch eggs" or "rancher’s eggs," so presumably, this style of egg preparation has rural origins.
Although many more elaborate versions exist, this recipe concentrates on the three essential elements of the dish: slightly cooked tortillas, fried eggs, and rustic, tomato-y ranchera sauce with its wonderful blend of onion, garlic, and chile flavors. Breakfast or brunch doesn’t get any better than this.
- 4 corn tortillas
- 3 tablespoons oil (for coating and frying)
- 1 cup salsa ranchera (homemade)
- 4 large eggs
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
Prepare the Tortillas and Salsa
Heat the oven to 500 F/260 C. Brush both sides of each tortilla with oil and place on a cookie sheet.
When the oven is ready, bake for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how crisp you like your tortillas.
Heat the salsa ranchera in the microwave or in a pan over high heat on the stove for about 2 minutes or until very, very hot.
Fry the Eggs
Heat some oil in a small frying pan. Fry eggs slowly on one side until whites are firm and yolks are runny.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assemble and Serve the Huevos Rancheros
Place 2 fried tortillas on each plate, overlapping somewhat. Place 1 fried egg on top of each tortilla.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the salsa over the top of each egg; this will further cook the top of the egg. Let it sit for about 1 minute before serving.
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.
Note: Serve your delicious huevos rancheros with slices of bolillos or other crusty white bread that can be used to help push the food around on the plate and will absorb the liquid egg yolk.
Once you have this recipe down, don't be afraid to prepare your eggs this way with any other of Mexico's many delicious cooking sauces. Some may argue that they won't really be huevos rancheros if you are not using the standard salsa ranchera—but who cares? You still will be enjoying an extraordinarily delicious breakfast.
Sprinkle your eggs with some grated or crumbled Mexican cheese (most any variety will do; try queso fresco or Cotija cheese), or garnish with a few slices of ripe avocado. Or spread a layer of refried beans over the tortilla before placing the egg on top.
Don't like a runny egg yolk? Make this dish with eggs fried, poached, scrambled, or however, you like them.
Another way to prepare the tortillas (one traditionally used by people in Mexico when they make this dish) is to fry them very briefly in oil rather than bake them. To do this, fill a medium-sized skillet or saucepan with vegetable oil to a depth of about 1/2 inch and heat. Use tongs to place a tortilla into the oil, leaving it for just a few seconds, then flip it over to fry for a few seconds more. The idea is to fry the tortilla just enough that it is no longer flaccid and easily bendable, but not so much that it becomes hard and crisp. Remove tortilla from oil and let drain. Continue one by one, until all the tortillas have been briefly fried.