This traditional Mexican breakfast chilaquiles rojos recipe is a delicious dish made with fried tortillas mixed with red salsa. It’s a delicious way to start the morning (though I often sneak it in as an afternoon snack too!).
This breakfast Chilaquiles Rojos is a recipe that’s popular in Mexico. I hadn’t ever tried it before visiting Mexico but it’s become a regular addition to our brunch rotation at home since (it was recommended as my “first Mexican breakfast experience” by one of the cooks I was meeting there). It’s easy to make, easy to adapt, and very, very, tasty!
What are chilaquiles rojos
Chilaquiles rojos is a popular Mexican breakfast recipe. The standard chilaquiles recipe is made using crispy tortilla chips, that are topped with salsa, and then garnished with Queso fresco and Mexican crema.
There are typically two popular salsas used for chilaquiles recipes: salsa roja (referring to red salsas), and salsa verde (referring to green salsa). Chilaquiles rojos are chilaquiles made with using red salsa (salsa roja).
Of course, as is often the case with traditional favourites – there are several small regional variations to Mexican chilaquiles rojos recipes.
What are the two types of chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles rojos are chilaquiles made using salsa roja (red salsa) while chilaquiles verdes are chilaquiles made using salsa verde (green salsa).
Chilaquiles vs migas
Sometimes chilaquiles are referred to do as migas, another popular Mexican breakfast dish. The two recipes are actually very similar. The only major difference seems to be that migas are prepared with scrambled eggs while chilaquiles do not have scrambled eggs mixed in with the salsa and crispy fried tortillas.
- Corn tortillas (you can use flour tortillas too as they’re often easier to find, I actually used flour ones for the video as my local store was out of corn tortillas!)
- Canola oil
For the red sauce
- Roma tomatoes, chopped
- Onion (white or yellow), chopped fine
- Guajillo chiles, seeded
- Chiles de arbol
- Garlic cloves
- Kosher salt (or sea salt)
- Dried oregano
- Black pepper
- Fried egg
- Mexican Crema
- Queso fresco
How to make breakfast chilaquiles rojos
Prepare the crispy tortillas
Fry the tortillas in canola oil over a medium high or high heat. Set aside to drain on a kitchen towel.
Prepare the red sauce
In a small or medium saucepan, add the water, chiles, chopped Roma tomatoes, finely chopped onion and garlic cloves. Over medium-high heat, bring the water to a soft boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the tomatoes become soft. about 7-8 minutes.
In a blender, add the cooked tomato mixture, alongside one cup of the cooking water (don’t throw away the remaining cooking water, you can use it in case you find that the blended mixture is too thick), and the remaining spices. Blend, until everything is well-combined to form a sauce, about 1-2 minutes.
Add some oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the blended tomato and chile mixture. Turn the heat down to low, and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring regularly until the sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Prepare the chilaquiles
Once the red salsa has thickened, it’s time to prepare the chilaquiles. Simply stir the tortilla chips into the salsa mixture that’s still simmering over a low heat. Mix until the crispy tortilla chips are coated in the red chile sauce/salsa. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Generally speaking, this isn’t a particularly spicy dish. However you can adjust the spice level to your taste by increasing or decreasing the chiles. If you’re spice tolerance is very mild, you can omit the chile de arbol entirely.
Alternatively, you can even add a dollop of sour cream to the finished dish to cool off any unwanted spiciness.
Homemade tortillas vs store-bought tortilla chips
It’s okay to use store-bought tortilla chips to save a little effort for this recipe, but homemade tortilla chips almost always tastes a bit better. Whichever option you go with, it’s important to serve this breakfast Chilaquiles Rojos as soon as it’s ready – otherwise, the tortilla chips will start to go soggy.
Using slightly stale tortilla can be helpful to get a crispier final tortilla chip. Of course, you can fry or bake the tortillas ahead of time.
Using store-bought salsa
You can use store-bought salsa to speed up the preparation of this breakfast Chilaquiles Rojos recipe. I’d recommend getting better quality/fresh salsa though! If you’re looking for something a little different, red enchilada sauce also works well but provides its own flavors.
The perfect salsa
It’s important to avoid thickening the salsa too much – it’s tempting, but a super thick salsa becomes difficult to mix with the tortilla chips. The thickness in them also makes it harder for the chips to absorb any moisture from the sauce.
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What to serve with chilaquiles rojos
For this recipe, I’ve opted to serve the chilaquiles rojos with a fried egg (runny yolks are always an excellent idea), some Mexican crema, queso fresco, and sliced avocado. But you have a lot of variation options here. Here are a couple of suggestions based on what I saw while visiting Mexico:
- Refried beans or black beans
- Roasted chicken
- Cotija cheese
- Herbs/spices to garnish – cilantro and ground cumin are two options.
Once prepared, Chilaquiles Rojos don’t store very well. I’d recommend preparing the tortillas and the salsa, and storing separately. The tortillas can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days, while the salsa can be refrigerated for the same amount of time.
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This recipe doesn’t require any special tools. However, it’s handy to have a good little blender available for you.
And that’s it, that’s everything you need to make this breakfast chilaquiles rojos recipe. Will you be trying this popular Mexican breakfast recipe? Let me know in the comments below.Print