Authentic Chilaquiles Rojos

Chilaquiles Rojos (Red Chilaquiles) with deep, bold flavors! They’re crispy corn tortillas, smothered in a tomato & chiles sauce topped with Mexican crema and queso fresco. This Chilaquiles recipe is an authentic Mexican recipe that you’ll love! 

A plate with chilaquiles rojos with a fried egg and beans on the side.

**This post was originally published on Jan 2021. It has been updated to be more helpful. Recipe remains the same.

Another favorite dish is this Chilaquiles Verdes; same process but with a different Tomatillo sauce. Use baked or fried tortilla chips for best results but in a pinch, use store bought ones.

Chilaquiles is a sort of tortilla casserole. In its simplest form, it consists of a freshly made salsa into which you stir fried tortillas. You can eat them plain, top with eggs, mixed with shredded chicken or even some sauteed shrimp!

The secret to this delicious recipe is the amazing red sauce. It has deep flavors but not much heat. I definitely recommend making the sauce the day before and make a double batch of sauce so you have for future.

Why you’ll love it!

  • Great use of stale tortillas – If you have tortillas that have been sitting in your fridge for too long, make chilaquiles with them!
  • So flavorful! – The sauce is amazing and very versatile. You can make it enchiladas with it too.
  • Perfect for meal prep – You can make this recipe your own by adding in your preferred protein or topping it with your favorite cheese.
  • This recipe is gluten-free, nu-free, vegetarian (with an option to keep it vegan)
Two plates with chilaquiles topped with avocado, placed on a blue background.

Ingredient Notes & Substitutions

  • Corn tortillas – Chilaquiles are better made with old tortillas than fresh ones. If you only have fresh tortillas take them out of the bag and let them get stale for a few hours prior to frying. If you’re making them store bought tortilla chips, use the thicker kind, preferable with low salt.
  • Canola & avocado oil. Enough to coat the tortillas if baking or about two cups if frying.
  • Red sauce.
  • Plus your favorite toppings (see below for recommendations).

Ingredients for the Red Sauce (Makes about 2 cups)

  • Ripe roma tomatoes – or any medium sized tomato.
  • White or yellow onion
  • Guajillo chiles – remove the seeds prior to cooking.
  • 2 or 3 chiles de arbol. If you like spicy chilaquiles,  add 2 or 3 more
  • Garlic cloves
  • Chicken or vegetable bullion
  • For seasoning: Kosher salt, dried oregano and black pepper
Ingredients for this recipe in small bowls on a white backdrop.

How To Make Chilaquiles Rojos

First make the sauce

  • In a small or medium saucepan, add two cups of water, chiles, tomatoes, onion & garlic. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a soft boil, then lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 7 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.

This sauce is so good and easy to make in large batches to keep in the fridge or freeze for later!

  • In a blender, add one cup of the cooking water, the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic plus all of the spices. Puree for one or two minutes until everything is pureed well.
  • Note: Reserve the remaining of the cooking water for now in case the sauce becomes too thick
  • Add one tablespoon oil to a saucepan/skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the tomato/chile puree (careful, it will sizzle!). Turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the sauce darkens and thickens a little bit.
  • Taste and adjust salt & pepper.

Cook the sauce for another 5 minutes on medium-low to incorporate all of the flavors well and to thicken the sauce a little bit.

A large white skillet with adding red sauce to it.

Now assemble the chilaquiles

  • In the saucepan where the sauce is cooking, stir in the tortilla chips, and fold until the tortilla is coated with the sauce. Remove from heat.
A large white skillet with red sauce and tortilla chips being added to it.
  • Serve immediately so that the tortillas chips don’t become too soggy. They will soften up fast!
A white skillet with tortilla chips covered in red sauce.

Toppings & Pairings

The most common Chilaquiles toppings are:

  • Crumbled Queso Fresco or Cotija (crumbled feta cheese is a good substitute)
  • Substitute with, sour cream, nonfat plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche or sour cream
  • Fried eggs, avocado, sliced onions, cilantro and or radishes.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

Chilaquiles must always be served with refried beans! It’s like peanut butter & jelly….they were born to be together! But if refried beans are not your thing, then Calabacitas is another perfect pairing.

Served along a sunny side up egg is an another common option. If you visit a restaurant in Mexico, you must ask for the egg as it’s not automatically served with Chilaquiles. Just request a “huevo estrellado”and they’ll know what you’re talking about :D.

A wide bowl with red chilaquiles and beans on the side.

FAQs

What are chilaquiles rojos?

Chilaquiles is a sort of a tortilla casserole. It consists fried tortilla chips smothered with a freshly made tomato & chile sauce. Sometimes eggs are added, and sometimes chicken as well.

Are the homemade chips okay to make beforehand? 

Definitely! Make the chips and the salsa ahead of time and putting this meal together could take less than 15 minutes!

Can you add the sauce individually to each serving?

Yes. If you don’t want your chips to lose any crispiness, you can add the sauce as you serve them. Make sure to mix them well!

A fork holding chilaquiles drizzled with crema.

Now all you have to do is inhale these red Chilaquiles!!! They are so good I guarantee they will become a staple for your breakfast, lunch or dinner menu!

Now the question for you is, do you liked them with a fried egg or not? ☺️

💫 If you make this recipe be sure to leave a rating in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram at @anafriasb.🙏

A plate with chilaquiles rojos with a fried egg and beans on the side.

Authentic Chilaquiles Rojos (Red Chilaquiles) Recipe

Servings 4 servings
Ana Frias
5 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Make the popular Chilaquiles Rojos usually served at breakfast but are perfect for any meal of the day. You can add shredded chicken or just top it with a fried egg for the ultimate experience!

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Medium saucepan
4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 12 corn tortillas See note below
  • canola & avocado oil enough to coat the tortillas if baking or about two cups if frying.

For the sauce (Makes a little bit over two cups of salsa)

  • 3 roma tomatoes
  • onion white or yellow
  • 2 guajillo chiles seeded
  • 2 or 3 chiles de arbol Use more if you like it very spicy
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ Tablespoon knorr chicken or vegetable flavor
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Toppings

  • Mexican Crema
  • queso fresco
  • Avocado
  • red or white onion slices

Instructions
 

Make the sauce

  • In a small or medium saucepan, add two cups of water, chiles, tomatoes, onion & garlic. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a soft boil, then lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 7 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.
  • In a blender, add one cup of the cooking water, the chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic plus all of the spices. Puree for one or two minutes until everything is pureed well.
  • Note: Reserve the remaining of the cooking water for now in case the sauce becomes too thick
  • Add one tablespoon oil to a saucepan/skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the tomato/chile puree (careful, it will sizzle!). Turn the heat to low, and simmer, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the sauce darkens and thickens a little bit.
  • Taste and adjust salt & pepper.

Make the chilaquiles

  • While the sauce is cooking, fry or bake the tortillas
  • In the saucepan where the sauce is cooking, stir in the tortilla chips, and fold until the tortilla is coated with the sauce. Remove from heat.
  • Serve immediately so that the tortillas chips don't become too soggy. They will soften up fast!
  • Drizzle with crema, sprinkle the cheese, and sliced avocado on the top.

*Ana’s Notes:

Chilaquiles are better made with old tortillas than with fresh ones. If you only have fresh tortillas they will work too. Just take them out of the bag and let them get stale for a few hours.
1) You can bake or fry the tortillas ahead of time. 
2) If the sauce comes out too dense, add a little more cooking water from the tomato/chile. It has to be runny because the tortillas are going to absorb some of the liquid from the sauce
3) For mild Chilaquiles, do not add the chile de arbol. 

ADD YOUR OWN PRIVATE NOTES

Whenever you come back to this recipe, you’ll be able to see your notes.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1plate | Sodium: 268mg | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 7g | Potassium: 135mg | Calories: 298kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fat: 16g | Protein: 4g | Carbohydrates: 35g

The nutritional information and US conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data. If this is important to you, please verify with your favourite nutrition calculator and/or unit conversion tool.

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Recipe Rating




21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this for my Mexican husband and he said, “This is how the sauce should be.” They were perfect and better than any restaurant I can remember. I’ve made them once with a fried egg and once with leftover shredded chicken. I saved half the sauce in the freezer and re-used it for chilaquiles and also for tacos dorados. Thank you for this simple and perfect recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Fácil y deliciosos de preparar los chilaquiles. Muchas Gracias Ana !! Excelente ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe sounds delicious but I’ve never made or eaten them. Are the chiles dried? I found minced dried Chiles de arbol on Amazon. In this form, how much should be used? I’ll come back to review the final product.

    1. Hi Sandy! I’m so happy you want to give them a try! Do you have the Amazon’s link by any chance? I want to see how they’re sold so that I can give you accurate information. Have a great weekend!
      Ana

  4. 5 stars
    I have never had this. It was amazing! My sons girlfriend made it for me and it was identical to this recipe. Since there was three of us she added scrambled eggs instead of fried. My question if you will is can you make extra sauce? If so, how long does it last?

    1. Hi Julia! Thanks so much for the kind review! You have a great question. You can definitely make extra sauce and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks for best flavor.

      XO, Ana

  5. 5 stars
    I made this recipe tonight for my husband and I and we loved it!

    I added shredded chicken to the dish with the rest of the ingredients on this list and it was incredibly delicious 😋

    Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    Omg my family devoured these chilaquiles! I added shredded leftover turkey from Thanksgiving and it was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    Made this recipe and it was so easy to follow. It was a hit with the family! So so good! The only thing I need to dial in is how spicy o want it.

  8. 5 stars
    One of the best recipes for a simple dish. Made this one day and kid you not, the flavor took us back to our childhood. A lot of places will add too much of a certain thing or be missing something and it would always be meh. But this one…yummy! I added epazote to it as well cause thats how we grew up.

    1. Hi Lucy! Your comment makes me so happy! It is my goal to share recipes people will love and to preserve those flavors that we grew up eating. Thanks so much for your comment and I hope you make them again. XO, Ana

  9. 5 stars
    My kids loved this dish! I had a few packs of tortilla wraps needing used up as they were a few days over the best before date! Love that this recipe calls for stale tortillas as I really dislike wasting food. I made my sons favourite refried beans and coupled with these Chilaquiles Rojos he has discovered his new favourite meal! Thanks.

  10. 5 stars
    I didn’t realize how easy it is to make a homemade red sauce like this. So tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. 5 stars
    My friends always claim I am too picky about Mexican food, but this Chilaquiles Rojos is what it’s all about! Very delish and super authentic! I loved it. There are very few Mexican restaurants in the US that I will eat at. I spent a month every year in Mexico, and the food was day and night compared to what I see here. I’m so glad I found your blog!