Have you ever had chilaquiles before? I will admit that I had no idea what it was until about 6 months ago, and then proceeded to mispronounce the word (it’s chee-la-KEE-lays) until a few weeks ago. It’s a Mexican comfort food that’s made with leftover tortilla chips cooked in some type of salsa and served with eggs or meat, often for breakfast.
The first time I tried Chilaquiles was maybe 3 or 4 months ago. I decided to try it out after finding the recipe in one of my fave cookbooks, America’s Test Kitchen Best Mexican Recipes (side note, I LOVE this cookbook, and actually read it cover to cover when I first got it). I had seen chilaquiles on the menu at my favorite Mexican restaurant, but never tried it because I love the sopes and tacos too much to ever try anything else. When I finally did give chilaquiles a try, I was a little sad that I had been missing out on them for the previous 31.5 years of my life.
I’m making up for it now. I have super simplified that initial recipe I made and turned it into a couldn’t-be-easier version: Four Ingredient Chilaquiles. That’s right, you only need four ingredients to make this delicious meal. Tortilla chips, your favorite salsa, oil and eggs. Make sure the chips are good quality – I like the ones that come in the papery brown bags, like the Tortilla Strips from Costco. And pick whatever salsa you like – red or green, homemade or store bought. The chips get cooked in the salsa until they’re a little soft (but not soggy), meanwhile the eggs are cooking just until the yolk is still runny. Timing is key here – you don’t want either the chips or the eggs to overcook, nor do you want either sitting around for long waiting for the other to finish. Luckily, both tasks only take a few minutes.
The egg gets set atop the now softened-and-coated-with-salsa tortilla chips. Of course, you could leave it at that and it would be delicious. But the toppings really set it off. My very favorite is avocado, and since I have a toddler that is obsessed with them, I almost always have them hanging around. I’ll usually throw on a few crumbles of queso fresco (or feta in a pinch), and since my garden is currently producing radishes, I like the crunch they give. Cilantro is always good too. And jalapenos if you like spicy – maybe bell pepper if not. Basically, whatever you like and whatever you have. It will turn out delicious no matter what.
- 1 1/2 cups salsa (your choice - homemade or from a jar red or green)
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 6 ounces good quality tortilla chips about 6 cups
- 2 large eggs
- salt and pepper
- Your choice of any of the following:
- sliced radishes
- sliced avocados
- lime wedges
- sliced jalapeno peppers
- queso fresco
- minced cilantro
- sliced scallions
Bring salsa to a simmer in a large saucepan or deep saute pan over medium heat. If salsa is very watery, simmer for a few minutes until it's thickened up. When the salsa has thickened (or if it started out thick) add the chips and gently toss and stir until the chips are coated with salsa, being careful not to break them up too much. Cook for 2-3 minutes until chips are slightly softened, but not soggy. Remove from heat and divide between two bowls.
At the same time you start simmering the salsa, heat a teaspoon of canola oil in a small non-stick pan over medium high heat. Crack two eggs into the pan and reduce heat to medium. Season eggs to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of water to the pan and cover. Cook eggs until white is opaque, but yolk is still runny, 2-3 minutes. Serve eggs on top of cooked tortilla chips.
Top the chilaquiles with your choice of toppings including sliced avocado, radishes, jalapeno or bell peppers, queso fresco, minced cilantro and/or sliced scallions.
Chilaquiles Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information is for basic chilaquiles plus egg only – it does not include any extra toppings. Keep in mind that the nutrition info for chilaquiles will vary depending on what type of salsa and tortilla chips you use. To cut down on sodium, use a reduced sodium salsa or make your own and/or use lower sodium chips. To cut down on fat, used baked tortilla chips.