I travelled all the way to Mexico City last month in search of the best chilaquiles, tacos and quesadillas I could find. I found all of the above, plus quite a few new-to-me Mexican combinations of cheese, flatbread and cactus or mushrooms.
On our last morning there, I walked to the loveliest French-Mexican café down the street called Lardo and ordered chilaquiles verdes. Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast made with tortilla chips simmered in sauce—green (verde) or red (rojo).
I happily sat at the bar solo, sipping my cappuccino, admiring all of the copper design details, eavesdropping on the American family nearby, and imagining how fun it might be to travel with my own family someday.
Then my chilaquiles arrived, and all focus shifted to the gorgeous food placed before me. I didn’t know that tortilla chips and salsa could be so beautiful, but these were piled high and covered with dollops of queso fresco, fresh green cilantro leaves and lots of creamy diced avocado. (No egg; apparently I was supposed to order that separately, but I loved them as is).
The chips were perfectly tender, not soggy or too poky. The salsa tasted super fresh, and wasn’t overpowered by the flavor of fried chips. I’ve read that the sauce for chilaquiles varies by region (sometimes it’s red), but I think that green sauce is more traditional in Mexico City. Those chilaquiles tasted as good as they looked, and I vowed to recreate them promptly when I got home.
Which I did, opting to bake my tortilla chips rather than using store-bought or frying my own (big pots of oil scare me). I also made my favorite salsa verde.
I tried a variety of toppings and landed on a combination of feta (in lieu of queso fresco or Cotija), red onion (for some color and heat), fresh cilantro, fried eggs (optional), and, of course, avocado.
I carefully picked out just-ripe avocado at the store, and then I forgot to add it for the photos. I went all the way to Mexico City for this chilaquiles recipe, and I forgot to add the avocado. Head smack!
I might redo these photos soon to add the avocado. It’s more essential than the eggs! If you’d like to go the extra mile and dollop some of the best guacamole ever on top, I don’t think you’ll regret it.
If you enjoy these green chilaquiles, be sure to try my chilaquiles rojos recipe (chilaquiles with red sauce). You might also enjoy these savory Mexican breakfasts:
- Austin-style migas
- Fresh huevos rancheros
- Breakfast quesadillas
- Breakfast burritos
- Breakfast tostadas
Chilaquiles Verdes with Baked Tortilla Chips
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Mexican
This delicious Mexican chilaquiles verdes recipe is made lighter with freshly baked tortilla chips! Add salsa verde, fried eggs (optional), and fresh garnishes for an epic breakfast, brunch or dinner. Recipe yields 4 servings.
Baked Tortilla Chips*
- 16 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt or 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups (24 ounces) salsa verde—either homemade** or store-bought***
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 fried eggs (optional)
- 1 avocado, diced
- ⅓ cup crumbled Cotija, queso fresco or feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons chopped red onion or green onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- To bake the chips: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with oil. Stack the tortillas, 4 at once, and slice them into 8 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Divide the wedges between the two baking sheets and arrange them evenly across the pans (it’s ok if the chips overlap; they’ll shrink significantly as they bake). Sprinkle half the salt over one pan and half over the other.
- Bake, swapping the pans on their racks every 5 minutes, until the chips are curling up at the edges and some are starting to turn golden on the edges. This could take as little as 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the top rack especially, as those tend to finish baking first. Once you see the chips on the top rack turn golden on the edges, remove that pan and move the pan on the lower rack up to the top. Bake until those chips start turning golden on the edges, then remove from the oven.
- Once the chips are out of the oven, warm 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a large, non-reactive (stainless steel, enameled cast iron or non-stick) skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once it’s shimmering, add the salsa verde, being careful to avoid splatters.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the tortilla chips and cilantro until all of the chips are lightly coated, then cover and let the mixture rest (off the heat) until the chips have softened slightly, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and add the toppings of your choice, then divide the chilaquiles onto individual plates. The chips will continue softening with time, so chilaquiles are best served promptly (do not re-cover the pan to preserve heat; the chips will get far too soggy).
I love chilaquiles! To answer your question, I would love to see a red version!
Thanks, Giselle! Noted. ;)
My favorite Mexican restaurant makes it with their enchilada sauce. It would probably work to substitute Kate’s (https://cookieandkate.com/2016/enchilada-sauce-recipe/) and add pico de gallo , avocado, and an egg for a red version!
My husband has made the “proper” red Chile sauce for this but we often cheat and use enchilada sauce but tweak it some. Tonight we’re making it with enchilada verde sauce and tweaking it by adding a hatch avocado salsa. No, it’s not the real deal but it’s delish. Oh yes and we add soyrizo. We’re not vegetarian but this sub is sooo good. Husband calls this mess “chicalitos” ♀️ I’m rating this recipe 5 stars because it’s a great idea recipe and easy to make. PS we usually have it for supper ♀️
oh wow! this looks amazing with tons of flavor! pretty easy to do too! Gonna make it for dinner…
Cool! Report back, please! Let us know how it goes.
This looks delicious! I love Mexican breakfast recipes, especially for a Saturday or Sunday brunch. I’ll be trying this for our next weekend brunch gathering for sure :)
Make sure to report back, Leanne!
Kelli @ Hungry Hobby
this looks sooooo yummy! I love baking my own corn tortilla chips!
It’s *so* easy and *so* delicious.
Cassie Autumn Tran
I have always wanted to try chilaquiles! Thank you for an amazing vegan option!
You’re welcome, Cassie! I hope you get the chance to whip some up.
oh my goodness! i cannot wait to try this.
Get on it! :)
Chilaquiles verdes are my favorite! I love that you baked your own chips, homemade is always better!
is there a reason you don’t list calories/nutritional facts with your recipes?
Hi, Shannon. I do have the nutritional facts here. If you look under the notes, you’ll find >NUTRITIONAL FACTS. If you click on that, the info will drop down.
Wow, that was quick! Thank you so much, love your website and your recipes! Made the Spinach Artichoke Enchiladas and they were delicious!
Thanks, Shannon! So glad you enjoy the blog.
Prettiest/tastiest breakfast I ever made! Here’s my blog about it!
Awh, thank you, Sarah! I loved your post. I’m so glad you had such a great time with your friend and that this recipe was a highlight!
I would LOVE these but my husband HATES cilantro so I can’t make anything verde really. It’s really so annoying because I absolutely adore cilantro and would add it to pretty much everything before I was married. haha! Would love to see the Rojo recipe!
Oh, that’s too bad, Alisa! I’ll definitely get on that rojo recipe, for sure. :) I’m positive you’re not the only one with this problem.
These look great! Chilaquiles are one of our favorite brunch dishes. I would love to see one with red sauce and made with tofu in place of eggs!
Thanks, Michelle! I’ll definitely get to work on a rojo version of this.
Donya L Hagler
Those look amazing! Unfortunately I have an avocado hater in the house (who hates avocado? It’s vegan butter! And mayo!) but maybe I’ll sneak it in there. Big pots of oil scare me too! And pressure cookers. They’re like the world’s biggest jack-in-the-box,lol. Your posts make me drool, sister!
YES I’m with you on the pressure cookers, too. I’ve seen too many episodes of Top Chef where those don’t work properly, so I figured I’d learn those lessons via TV rather than in-person. Maybe one day I’ll conquer my fears!
Wow…this looks UNREAL!
I hope you get a chance to try it, Gaby!
I love your blog. it is well written and your recipes work. I am not a vegetarian by any stretch, but 90% of my diet is vegetable based, and I enjoy getting inspired by your ideas, and I like that you stand by your ethos without being preachy.
I too enjoy mexican breakfast food. Don’t be afraid of the fryer! it can be quite useful, and if you manage the temperature properly, it isn’t “fatty” or greasy.
I look forward to the emails every week.
You’ve got me with this recipe. I love salsa verde, and definitely want to try chilaquiles verdes for breakfast. I haven’t made any kind of chilaquiles in many years. Thanks for inspiring me.
Hooray! I hope you get the chance to try these, Susan.
Just made this for Sunday night dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? This recipe was amazing; colorful, satisfying and absolutely delicious. I’ve made dozens of your recipes, and this one definitely ranks in the top five; it may even be in the top three. Thank you for the thought and presentation you put into every post. Your Cookie + Kate fans really appreciate it!
Breakfast for dinner is my favorite! I’m so glad you enjoyed the chilaquiles, David.
This has always been my favorite breakfast. But I never attempted it on my own. I am eating it now and it’s soooooo good! This is awesome. Thank you so much!!
Yes! I’m so glad this persuaded you to do a homemade version, Julie!
I just made this for dinner tonight as well as your salsa verde. It was my first time trying chilaquiles and it turned out so delicious!
Hooray! I’m such a huge fan of breakfast-for-dinner. Always a good choice.
Recipe says non-reactive pan but it looks like you used just regular cast iron? That’s what I’ve got; wondering if it will work or will wind up tasting tinny…
Yeah, I used a cast iron pan that wasn’t very well seasoned and my chilaquiles definitely tasted tinny. That’s why I specified non-reactive in the recipe notes. I first made it in a nice stainless steel skillet that I bought for a reasonable price at TJ Maxx and it turned out great.
I just made these for dinner, using a Rick Bayless tomatillo salsa recipe, and they were a huge hit. I know my husband likes something when he says, “This is good,” but he went so far as to say we are definitely making this a regular menu item. My son liked the flavor, and got fully onboard when we told him they weren’t nachos, and the texture was not supposed to be crispy (goofball). The only complaint I have is that I foolishly got a second half helping, and now I can barely move. Thanks so much for sharing this!!
I made this for dinner yesterday and it took every ounce of willpower I have not to eat the entire batch. So good! I made it with the Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde and it didn’t need extra doctoring. Will have to try making my own next time.
I love chilaquiles! Any suggestions on an egg substitute? I usually do tofu.
Kelly Senyei @ Just a Taste
This looks unbelievably good! And that dollop of gauc on top would be perfect!
SO good. Made this recipe for friends over the weekend. Took a shortcut and used pre-made salsa verde… since we were at a lake house and relaxing on a boat is more fun than chopping veggies… but still turned out great. Every one of your recipes that I have tried has been a huge success. Thanks!
Agreed re: relaxing on a boat. I think I’d rather do that than just about anything else! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it, Emily!
I’ve made salsa verde twice now, and both times it was super sour. Any idea why? bad tomatillos?
Hi, Ruby. That’s a bummer! Are you referring to the recipe I have for salsa verde here? And did you roast the tomatillos prior?
yep, sorry, should’ve been more specific. Yes, followed your recipe including roasting the tomatillos. Not sure what the issue was. Really want to make it properly!
Anyway, made so many recipes from your book and they are all so good!! The spaghetti with roasted cauliflower and kale has been a huge hit !
Hi Ruby, you might try omitting the lime juice altogether, or adding it to taste at the end. I know raw tomatillos are very sour, but roasting them brings out their sweet side, so I’m not sure what else to suggest!
This looks so yummy! I love that you list how to make it gluten free and vegan!
I hope you get a chance to try them, Amanda!
Delicious! I was concerned the chips would turn out soggy, but everything tasted great! Thanks!
And a roja version would be fun!
Thank you thank you thank you!!
I workex for a year in a mexican restautant in melbourne. I discovered chilaquiles there and fell in love with this meal.
And finally, oh my god it’s the same taste!!!!
I can’t thank you enough.
This was delicious! I’m lucky to have access to amazing, fresh, locally-made salsa verde and tortilla chips here in Oakland, CA, so I used those to save steps/time, and the outcome was scrumptious! I did a half recipe, which was just right for dinner for two. I used feta, since I needed it for another recipe this week, but in the future I would use cotija. The feta flavor was just a bit too powerful in the dish. My first chilaquiles! Thank you, Kate!
You’re welcome, Christine! I appreciate the review.
Fantastic recipe! I made it andit turned out wonderful and delicious. Thank you for the inspiration!
Well, thank you Carmen. I appreciate the review!
This came out as delicous as it looks. My husband and just got back from celebrating our wedding anniversary in Mexico. We are very fond of chilaquiles, but i am not fond of frying things.
I found your blog, just in time to make him these for his birthday breakfast, to say that he was impressed is an understatmen. Thank you!!
Hooray! Thank you, Nicole.
These chilaquiles verdes come out as perfect as they look on your blog. Thank you for a perfect recipe. I made these this morning for my husband’s birthday breakfast. He said they tasted just like the ones we had in Mexico weeks ago. He was more than impressed. So thank you. By the way, I also used your salsa verde recipe for these and baked the chips just like you.
Love the recipe! I would recommend using avocado oil for a more neutral/ Latin flavor.
Thanks for your review, Carmen! I’m glad you loved it.
These were delicious, very similar to the real thing in mexico. Thank you!
I have been in Guadalajara, Mexico for 6 months, and each time I tried them they were either limp or soggy. Regardless whether I ordered them from a high class restaurant, or street vendor.
Yummy! Served with a green salad and whole pinto beans for dinner. I did poached eggs instead of fried. So good!
I like your combination! Thanks for sharing, Dana.
Loved this recipe, reminded me of my mom’s recipe. I did take shortcuts: store bought tortilla chips, jar of Hatch Chile verde salsa. Made for Father’s Day Brunch
I made this for brunch today and it was a huge hit with the whole family! Prepared exactly as directed – I love that the chips are baked instead of fried. I used a good jarred salsa and topped them with cilantro, avocado, white cheddar and red onion. Easy and delicious! Thank you for this awesome recipe!
Sounds delicious, Susan! Thank you for your review.
Wow, that made lunch while working at home a bit more interesting! I used store bought roasted salsa verde and that worked just fine for the purpose. Knowing that it’s that easy to make great baked chips is a dangerous thing – very more-ish. Loved the combination of flavors in this recipe.
Thank you for making this recipe and taking the time to review, Loraine!
I searched to look for home made Tortilla chips on your pages. Have you posted one? Could you please send me a link?
Incidentally I am having a blast following many of your vegetarian recipes!
Hi! I don’t have from scratch tortilla chips, but you can find ones using tortillas in my Tortilla Soup recipe. Enjoy!
Ronald H Snyder
Thanks. I was looking for chilaquiles verdes made with Doritos and found your recipe. Just about what I expected. Most Mexicans don’t put an egg on their chilaquiles, that would be gringo-style.
My favorite Mexican breakfast (which I first had in San Miguel de Allende) is huevos divorciados. You might try your skill to those.