Crispy tortilla chips are topped with an easy, homemade salsa verde sauce in this Chilaquiles Verdes recipe. Add a fried egg or refried beans for an even heartier breakfast!
Easy Chilaquilies Verdes Recipe
Chilaquiles Verdes is a traditional Mexican dish that’s loaded with all the things you like about Mexican food. This includes one of my favorite snacks – tortilla chips. Who doesn’t love a good tortilla chip? And then they’re topped with homemade salsa verde. The crispy chips meet the tart and spicy salsa and it becomes the perfect bite.
Don’t forget about the garnishes. What I love about this dish is that you can customize it the way you like to eat your Mexican food. I personally love adding cotija cheese, Mexican crema, and avocado. The saltiness from the cheese is perfect with the salsa verde. Then you get the smooth and creamy flavor of Mexican crema. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
What Are Chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles is an authentic Mexican dish that is made up of corn tortilla chips topped with salsa or a red sauce (mole or red enchilada sauce). Usually, the chips are pan-fried first so that they get hot and extra crispy. Then, when you add the sauce on top, the chips lose a bit of their crispiness (in a good way!) and soak up the flavor from the salsa.
The combination of textures makes this dish really special. You might think they are like nachos, but they aren’t. You’ll want to grab a fork to eat Chilaquiles.
What’s the Difference Between Chilaquiles Verdes and Rojo?
You’ll find two different ways to make Chilaquiles – Verdes or Rojo. My version is Chilaquiles Verdes, which means the recipe includes salsa verde (and it’s homemade!). Salsa verde, or green salsa, is made with tomatillos.
Chilaquiles Rojo will use a red sauce, or enchilada sauce. Red enchilada sauce is made with dried chilis and has a deep, maroon hue. It has more of a smokey and pepper flavor than salsa verde.
What do Chilaquiles Taste Like?
I know, I know, I can’t stop talking about the textures of this dish. But, you’ll see what I mean once you make this recipe!
Once the chips are slathered with the salsa verde, they soak up all the delicious taste of tomatillos, garlic, and serrano peppers. Some bits of the chips stay a little crispy, while most of them develop this soft texture that has incredible amounts of flavor in each bite.
Let’s not forget the toppings! When you add the toppings, you immediately boost the flavor. You can add some heat with hot sauce, creaminess with crema, or citrus with limes…really, you can add whatever you’d like. (My suggestion is to go all out and add them all!)
Are you ready to make some homemade salsa verde? Once you make this simple salsa, you’ll be ready to make Chilaquiles Verdes.
- Tomatillos: You’ll find tomatillos in the produce section of your grocery store (with the husks on). They are the key ingredients in the salsa verde.
- Serrano Peppers: You can also use jalapeno peppers. These little green peppers will bring the heat to your salsa!
- Red Onion: This is another key salsa ingredient. If you don’t have a red onion, you could use a yellow or white onion instead.
- Cilantro: Adding cilantro to the salsa verde makes it bright green and adds that classic Mexican herbal flavor.
- Oil: You can use whatever cooking oil you have.
- Salt & Pepper: Adding these ingredients is a really easy way to boost flavor.
- Tortilla Chips: Store bought or homemade, whichever you prefer! I suggest using corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
How to Make Chilaquiles Verdes
It’s always best to gather your ingredients first. It will make the recipe go even faster. Let’s get started!
First, you’ll make the salsa verde. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and put them in a pot. Add some water to cover the tomatillos. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Finish the sauce. You’ll puree the cooked tomatillos and peppers, onions, garlic, and cilantro with some of the cooking water.
Heat up the salsa verde before serving. Pour the sauce into a pan and heat up when you’re ready to serve.
Time to put everything together! Plate the tortilla chips and pour the salsa verde on top.
Garnish and enjoy. Garnish with your favorite toppings like chopped cilantro, diced onions, or sour cream
Tips for Success
There are a few tips to keep in mind when cooking this dish. These tips can also apply to many other Mexican dishes!
- Choose the right pepper for your tastebuds. I use serranos, but you can also use jalapeños. Leave the seeds in the peppers if you want your sauce to be extra spicy.
- Add a fried egg. In Mexico, it’s common to also add a fried egg on top if you wish! This is how my husband, Jorge, prefers it.
- Add refried beans. I will also sometimes serve these with refried beans if we have any leftover for an even heartier breakfast.
- Heat the tortilla chips. I always warm my tortilla chips in the oven, or the microwave (in a pinch). Or upgrade this dish even more with homemade fresh tortilla chips.
What Goes with Chilaquiles?
What I love most about Mexican food is how a simple garnish goes a long way with flavor. Here are some of my favorite ingredients that go with Chilaquiles Verdes.
- Cotija Cheese: This is a crumbly cheese that is salty and milky. It’s one of the most important ingredients in my Mexican Street Corn.
- Fried Egg: If you like Huevos Rancheros, you’ll love adding a fried egg to Chilaquiles!
- Mexican Crema or Sour Cream: Adding a drizzle of cream not only makes the dish look beautiful but it’s a great way to balance the spiciness of the dish.
- Avocado: Avocado is a great way to add protein and healthy fats to the dish (especially if you’re a vegetarian!). Or if you have some leftover Guacamole, go ahead and throw it on top!
- Fresh Cilantro: Cilantro is the obvious choice here. It’s the perfect garnish for many dishes like Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and Spicy Black Bean Soup.
- Onions: Onions add tanginess and more texture to this dish. Fresh onions are a little spicy, but they complement the dish so well. I like to use red onions, but you can use any that you have on hand.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
I don’t recommend storing, or freezing, any leftovers of the final Chilaquiles dish. Sorry, but you’ll end up with a mushy mess!
You can store the verde sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or, you can freeze the verde sauce for up to 3 months in an air tight container. Use a freezer-friendly container and don’t forget to date it!
- 1 ½ lbs tomatillos
- 1 to 2 serrano, or jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed
- ½ of a small red onion, roughly chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon oil, avocado, vegetable or canola
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb tortilla chips, warmed
- Wash the tomatillos and remove any husks. Place the tomatillos and serrano peppers in a saucepan, and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove ingredients with a slotted spoon, and save the water you boiled the tomatillos and peppers in.
- Place the cooked tomatillos, serrano peppers, onion, garlic, cilantro, and 2 cups of the water used to boil the tomatillos and peppers into a blender or food processor. Blend until a fine puree is formed.
- In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place the sauce into the pan and bring it to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Place the tortilla chips in a dish and cover them with the sauce, as desired.
- Garnish with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, onion, and if you would like some thin slices of avocado. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- I don't recommend storing, or freezing, any leftovers of the final Chilaquiles dish. Sorry, but you'll end up with a mushy mess!
- You can store verde sauce in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze the verde sauce for up to 3 months in an air tight container. Use a freezer-friendly container.
More Mexican-Inspired Recipes
- Camarones a la Diabla
- Chorizo and Eggs
- Blackened Fish Tacos
- Creamy Avocado Salsa
- Authentic Guacamole
- Homemade Chorizo
- Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
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