Rich, slightly spicy, and loaded with flavor, chilaquiles scrambled eggs are a delicious and incredibly satisfying morning meal that is sure to become a regular in your brunch rotation.
Thick tortilla chips are smothered in a dried chili and tomato-based sauce, layered with creamy scrambled eggs, and topped with sour cream, cheese, and avocado for the perfect balance of textures, flavors, and heat. A traditional Mexican breakfast dish, chilaquiles are deceptively simple to prepare, come together quickly, and are an absolute crowd-pleaser.
Chilaquiles scrambled eggs are best served immediately after they’re done cooking, so they’re great for smaller, low-key brunches with just a handful of guests. They’re delicious on their own, are wonderful with a side of bacon or Mexican chorizo, and pair excellently with pineapple mimosas and mango mimosas.
Chilaquiles are essentially fried tortillas smothered in either a rojos (red) or verde (green) sauce and can be topped with anything from grilled chicken to spiced beans. The sauce for this recipe is made from scratch, though feel free to use a jarred salsa verde or red enchilada sauce to save some time!
The backbone of the sauce is dried ancho and guajillo peppers, which can be found in the Mexican food section of most supermarkets. If you can’t find them at your local grocer, you can easily find them online.
This recipe calls for ready-made tortilla chips, but make sure you buy the thickest, most robust tortilla chips you can find, so they don’t get soggy in the sauce. If you prefer making your own tortilla chips, make sure to use high-quality corn tortillas, so they have enough structure.
If you’d like to get ahead, the sauce can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.
What You Need to Make Chilaquiles Scrambled Eggs
To make chilaquiles, you’ll need a handful of kitchen staples like eggs, onions, garlic, and oregano, as well as dried ancho and guajillo chilis, roma tomatoes, sturdy tortilla chips, and a myriad of optional toppings (sour cream, avocado, cilantro, etc.).
Pasilla and chile de arbol can be used in place of the ancho and guajillo peppers, though use only 1-2 chile de arbol as they pack a punch of heat. Roma tomatoes can be swapped with beefsteak or cherry tomatoes; just make sure you have about 1 cup of tomato.
- Tortilla Chips (make sure they’re thick and sturdy!)
- Dried Ancho Chilis (deseeded, stems removed)
- Dried Guajillo Chilis (deseeded, stems removed)
- Yellow Onion
- Roma Tomatoes
- Chicken Broth or Water
- Chili Flakes (optional)
- Neutral Oil
- Avocado (optional)
- Cilantro (optional)
- Queso Fresco, Feta or Cotija Cheese (optional)
- Sour Cream (optional)
How To Make Chilaquiles Scrambled Eggs
Place the destemmed and deseeded ancho and guajillo chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, chili flakes, and a generous pinch of salt in a medium pot, then pour in the chicken broth.
Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft and the peppers can be torn apart with your hands.
Remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard.
Transfer the softened peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic to the bowl of a blender and add 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Set the rest of the cooking liquid aside.
Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and homogenous. If the sauce is too thick, add more of the cooking liquid, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, as needed.
In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, carefully pour in the sauce (it may sputter and bubble a bit) and stir for a few seconds to distribute the oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
While the sauce is reducing, scramble the eggs to your preferred doneness.
Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper if needed. Add the tortilla chips to the sauce and gently fold them in until all of the chips are coated, then cut the heat.
Layer the chilaquiles with the scrambled eggs, then garnish with whichever toppings you’re using.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Should chilaquiles be crunchy or soft?
Chilaquiles should be moist but not mushy. Having a bit of crunch is fine, though the chips will soften in the sauce. For optimal texture, serve the chilaquiles as soon as they’re done cooking.
What are chilaquiles made of?
Chilaquiles are fried tortillas or tortilla chips smothered in sauce. The sauce is either a salsa verde made from tomatillos or a red enchilada sauce, and the chilaquiles can be topped with eggs, chicken, beans, or enjoyed on their own.
What’s the difference between chilaquiles and migas?
Migas are made with gently fried strips of tortillas, onions, and peppers, then scrambled together with eggs and topped with cheese and salsa. Chilaquiles are fried tortillas or tortilla chips that are simmered in sauce, then topped with eggs and various toppings. Both are typically served for breakfast and are equally delicious.
Chilaquiles Scrambled Eggs
For the Chilaquiles:
- 2 cups sturdy tortilla chips
- 4 eggs (scrambled)
- 3 dried guajillo chilis (deseeded, stems removed)
- 2 dried ancho chilis (deseeded, stems removed)
- ½ yellow onion (peeled)
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 1 ½ tsp oregano
- 1 ½ tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp butter (for scrambling the eggs)
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- For the Toppings (all are optional):
For the Toppings:
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup queso fresco (feta or cotija cheese)
- ½ cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
- Place the destemmed and deseeded ancho and guajillo chiles, tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano, chili flakes, and a generous pinch of salt in a medium pot, then pour in the chicken broth.
- Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes and peppers are soft.
- Remove the skins from the tomatoes and discard.
- Transfer the softened peppers, tomatoes, onion, and garlic to the bowl of a blender and add 1 cup of the cooking liquid; set the remaining cooking liquid aside.
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and homogenous; if the sauce is too thick, add more of the cooking liquid, 1-2 tablespoons at a time, as needed.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet set over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, carefully pour in the sauce (it may sputter a bit), and stir a few times to distribute the oil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 6-8 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken; stir frequently to prevent sticking.
- While the sauce is reducing, scramble the eggs to your preferred doneness.
- Taste the sauce and adjust for salt and pepper if needed, then add the tortilla chips to the sauce and gently fold them in until all of the chips are coated; cut the heat.
- Layer the chilaquiles with the scrambled eggs, then garnish with whichever toppings you’re using.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
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