Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles

Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles

Once you know how to make this Mexican breakfast dish, you’ll never throw away a stale tortilla again.

Chilaquiles turns yesterday’s tortillas into a tasty base for an assortment of possible toppings.

The word chilaquiles (pronunced: chee-lah-kee-lehs) is an ancient word from the Aztec Nahuatl language meaning “chilis and greens.”

The Nahuatl language originated in Central Mexico and can still be heard spoken today in some regional communities.

The tradition of preparing chilaquiles has existed for hundreds of years.

Chilaquiles were first brought to the United States by Encarnatión Pinedo, a Spanish Californian who kept her heritage alive through cooking after her family suffered losses in land and status during the U.S.-Mexico War.

Encarnatión shared her chilaquiles recipe with with others in her cookbook – “The Spanish Cook,” published in 1898.

Chilaquiles can be made with either green, red or white chili sauce.

Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles
Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles Made With Green Chili Sauce

Popular toppings for chilaquiles can include, but not limited too, are Mexican Crema, shredded chicken, cotija cheese, beans, cilantro, avocado, pickled jalapeño, and radish slices.

Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups tortilla chips (approximately 45 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)

Lightly coat a large frying pan with vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.

Spread tortilla chips in pan.

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 approximately 10 minutes.


Cook’s Notes

Substitute leftover corn tortillas for the packaged chips by cutting them into strips, frying them in 375 F vegetable oil until crisp.

Drain them on paper towels as they cool. Proceed with recipe as with the store-bought chips.


Divide chilaquiles between two plates. Sprinkle some cheese and drizzle with cream.

You could also top with cilantro and guacamole – click here for a deliciously yummy Authentic Guacamole recipe.

Make some authentic Mexican inspired food.


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