These authentic chilaquiles rojos (red chilaquiles) are a traditional Mexican breakfast of corn tortilla chips soaked in a homemade salsa roja. This chilaquiles recipe is a fool-proof gluten-free breakfast that is so easy to make!
These chilaquiles rojos con huevo are a staple breakfast on the weekends. The first time I had chilaquiles was when I first moved to Los Angeles and it was the first recipe my Mother in Law taught me. They’re a true Los Angeles go-to and are served at many brunches.
What are chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles are a traditional savory Mexican breakfast. The traditional recipe contains tortilla chips soaked in a homemade sauce. There are two types of chilaquiles: chilaquiles rojos and chilaquiles verdes.
Chilaquiles Rojos, or Red Chilaquiles, are chilaquiles with a red sauce. The sauce is a Mexican red salsa and is made with tomatoes, jalapeños, and serranos (optional).
Why this recipe works
- This authentic chilaquiles recipe is a family recipe passed down from my Mother in Law.
- Chilaquiles are a simple meal using only a few ingredients.
- Naturally gluten free.
- A staple brunch served in Los Angeles because it's quick and flavorful!
A traditional Mexican chilaquiles recipe is actually really easy! It has one important ingredient to make: a homemade salsa roja (red salsa).
Corn tortilla chips
I love using corn tortilla strips versus chips as they have the best texture in this recipe. If you can, making your own corn tortilla chips is best!
To thicken the sauce, scramble an egg into the cooking chips. You can omit or use JustEgg as a substitute.
Chilaquiles taste best when made with a fresh homemade salsa roja. A substitute would be a store-bought smooth Mexican red salsa, or using a chunky salsa and blending it. To use a salsa verde would make chilaquiles verdes.
Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are a must-have for salsa-making and are a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Substitute for heirloom tomatoes.
Chiles: For this salsa, I always use jalapeno. To add spice, I suggest adding a serrano chile (be careful as this definitely adds heat).
Step One: Make the Salsa
A chilaquiles recipe is only as good as its sauce, and that is the first step in this one. This one comes from my Mother in Law, originally from the Jalisco state of Mexico. It can be modified for any spice level.
Like many traditional Mexican salsas, first we char the fresh produce. The way I learned how to do this is to char the tomatoes, jalapeños and serranos straight over the fire. However, a more fool-proof way of doing that, and the steps we’ll use is putting the salsa ingredients under the broiler.
Slice the roma tomatoes in half and place on a baking sheet or dish with the jalapeno and serrano if using. Broil for ten minutes, not directly under the broiler but in the middle of the oven.
Flip the tomatoes and chiles to the other side and broil for an additional 5 minutes, until both sides are charred.
Add to a high-powered blender with salt. Blend until completely smooth and leave to the side.
Crack eggs into a small bowl or measuring cup. Beat quickly with a fork, until mixed, and leave to the side.
Step Two: Make the Chilaquiles
Add tortilla chips into a warmed pan, with heat on medium-low. Gently press on the chips to break them slightly - this helps make the chilaquiles in small bites, but you can feel free to leave the chips whole too.
Warm the chips for 2-3 minutes, and then add the blended salsa roja sauce.
Stir gently to toss the chips and salsa together for a few seconds. Push the soaked chips to the edge of the pan and add the whisked egg into the center.
Push the egg back and forth to scramble it. Once it starts cooking through, stir the egg into the chips, until completely combined.
Serve while warm and add toppings.
Optional Step: Add Chorizo
Adding chorizo to this chilaquiles con huevos is completely optional. I love to serve it this way to add protein.
First, heat a large skillet over medium heat on the stove. Once warm, add chorizo.
Break up chorizo into small pieces with a wooden spoon and let brown for 2-3 minutes. Stir, and allow the other sides to brown.
Cook chorizo, stirring gently, until completely cooked through (when no pink is showing).
Chilaquiles are often served with a number of toppings to make these loaded up, almost like nachos!
Some great pairings with chilaquiles are:
- Fresh cilantro
- Diced onions (red or white)
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Spicy Serrano Salsa
- Fresh avocado or guacamole
- Cotija cheese
Chilaquiles con huevos: Chilaquiles can also be served with a fried egg on top. Instead of adding a fried egg on top, this recipe requires scrambling the egg into the salsa - it helps thicken the sauce.
Make it vegan: To make this recipe vegan, skip the chorizo (or use a plant-based version) and omit the egg or use JustEgg.
Make it spicy: We love to eat spicy chilaquiles, and the sauce is so customizable! Use a serrano pepper in the salsa to add heat, or try adding a second.
Make it quick: If not making the salsa ahead of time, the next best way to make this recipe quickly is to use store-bought salsa roja (red salsa). Aim for a smoother salsa, or blend prior to using.
Make it ahead: To make this recipe ahead, make the salsa the day (or two) before. Blend until smooth and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Storage directions: Chilaquiles are best served fresh and hot. Because they are technically tortilla chips drenched in a red salsa, they can get mushy if sitting for too long. If you do end up with leftover chilaquiles that you want to save, I suggest putting them in a ziploc airtight container. They will still taste great, but the texture will be slightly more soggy.
Chilaquiles are made with chiles inside the sauce, so it can be spicy. Luckily you can temper the sauce depending on how many chiles you use in it.
To make a chilaquiles rojos sauce not spicy, I recommend not using any serrano peppers and using only one jalapeño. (Serranos are about 5x spicier than jalapeños)
Absolutely! I recommend it because it’s so much quicker, although homemade tortilla chips are the traditional way to make this recipe.
No! The sauce should be on the thicker side and does not need to be strained.
- Chilaquiles Verdes
- Chorizo con Huevos
- Spicy Serrano Salsa Verde
- Mango Habanero Salsa
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Authentic Mexican Chilaquiles Rojos
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 serrano (OPTIONAL) optional - see note below
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces chorizo
- ½ avocado
Make the salsa
- Turn the oven to Broil.
- Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place tomatoes, jalapeño and serrano (optional to use serrano as it will be spicy) in a small baking dish. Place on middle shelf, not directly under the broiler.
- Broil the peppers and tomatoes for 10-minutes (or until medium-charred on top). Then using tongs, flip the peppers and tomatoes to their other side.
- Allow the second side to broil for an additional 5 minutes, until the second side is charred.
- Place the tomatoes and jalapeño (and serrano if using) into a blender with any juices. Add salt.
- Blend until smooth. If sauce doesn’t form, add one tablespoon of water until able to blend. Leave to the side.
- Crack the large egg into a measuring cup or small bowl and whisk lightly with a fork. Leave to the side.
Make the Chilaquiles
- Heat up a large skillet on medium-low heat.
- Toss the chips onto the pan. Lightly press on them with a spoon to break them in half.
- After 2-3 minutes of warming the chips, carefully pour in the blended chilaquiles rojos sauce.
- Stir the chilaquiles sauce and chips together lightly - you want some pieces to soak up the sauce, while others are nice and crispy still!
- Push salsa-soaked chips to the edges of the pan and add the whisked egg. Using the spoon, move back and forth to scramble and cook the eggs. Once starting to cook through, stir tortilla chips back into the center and toss to combine all together.
- Serve the chilaquiles while warm and add toppings if desired.
Cook chorizo (optional)
- Heat a skillet under medium heat on the stove. Once warm, add chorizo.
- Break up chorizo into medium sized chunks and let brown for 2-3 minutes. Once browned on bottom side, break into smaller chunks and allow second side to brown.
- Cook chorizo, stirring gently, until completely cooked through (when no pink is showing).