Allow me to introduce you to one of our all-time favorite brunch recipes, Kurt’s Famous Chilaquiles Rojos! Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast dish consisting of crispy fried tortilla chips, simmered in a green or red sauce.

For my fiance Kurt’s recipe, he uses my red enchilada sauce to simmer the chips and tops the dish with sour cream, cotija cheese, avocado, cilantro and red onion. It’s an easy recipe to make in just 15 minutes, totally customizable and so incredibly delicious!

chilaquiles on plate topped with cilantro and red onion

It was the summer of 2019, I had just purchased a 7 pound bag of tortilla chips at Costco and then I had the thought, “what in the heck are two people going to do with 7 pounds of tortilla chips?!” On that fateful day of impulse purchases at Costco, Kurt’s famous Chilaquiles were born!

Ever since then, he’s been whipping up these chilaquiles almost every other weekend for brunch! I’m obsessed with this recipe for two reasons.

  1. It’s so insanely delicious!
  2. It’s so insanely easy to make!

Traditional chilaquiles are made by frying corn tortillas cut into quarters. We skipped this step by purchasing a 7 pound bag of store bought tortilla chips at Costco. But I must mention that not just any tortilla chips will work for this recipe, you need a thick, hearty tortilla chip to hold up to the sauce!

The chips are then simmered in a delicious sauce. For this recipe, we use my red enchilada sauce. Every time I make it, I always make a triple batch of the sauce, then store it in the freezer. This way, we’ll always have it on hand for enchiladas or chilaquiles!

If you don’t have time to make the homemade sauce, you can always use a store-bought enchilada sauce. We really love Sprouts red enchilada sauce for the times when we don’t have a stockpile of my homemade sauce in the freezer.

After a quick simmer in the sauce, the chilaquiles are ready to be topped with all the goodies! Creamy avocado, salty cotija cheese, sour cream, crisp red onions and fresh cilantro are always on the menu at our house!

ingredients for chilaquiles rojos

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil
  • Red onion – for this chilaquiles recipe, we sauté red onion in the sauce, then also add raw red onion on top to finish off the dish.
  • Bell pepper
  • Jalapeno – just like the red onion, we sauté some jalapenos in the sauce and save some for topping the dish.
  • Red enchilada sauce – it’s important to have a really delicious sauce, as it really is the star of the recipe. I highly recommend following the link and making my homemade sauce. It’s incredibly flavorful and easy to make in 15 minutes! You can also try out some store-bought versions to find one that you like.
  • Tortilla chips – it’s super important to find thick, hearty chips for this recipe. Thin tortilla chips will not hold up! We purchase the La Fortaleza Tortilla Chips at Costco for this recipe. If there is a Mexican brand of tortilla chips at your grocery store, I recommend checking those out first as they’re normally thicker than the American brands of tortilla chips.

For the toppings

  • Cotija cheese – while this is my favorite cheese for topping the chilaquiles, any salty, white crumbly cheese will work for this recipe. Feel free to substitute in queso fresco if cotija can’t be found, or in a real pinch, you can use feta cheese.
  • Sour cream – Mexican crema is a more traditional topping for chilaquiles, but we always have sour cream on hand, so that’s what we use! Feel free to use either to add a cool creaminess on top of the chilaquiles.
  • Cilantro – fresh cilantro leaves add color, flavor and texture on top of the chilaquiles. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can leave it off, or substitute in diced green onions for that pop of color and flavor on top of the dish!
  • Red onion – I love the crunch and bite that raw red onion adds on top of the dish.
  • Jalapeno – just like the onion, diced jalapenos add a nice crunch on top of the dish, as well as some spice!
  • Avocado – a few slices of creamy avocado compliments the flavor and textures in this recipe.
  • Eggs – chilaquiles are commonly topped with a fried egg or scrambled eggs. We actually prefer the recipe without eggs, but if you want to add some eggy goodness on top, go right ahead!
  • Black beans or refried beans – black beans, drained and rinsed from a can, can be added on top of the chilaquiles. Refried beans are perfect for serving on the side.
  • Guacamole – to keep this recipe easy, we simply add sliced avocado on top, but if you’re feeling the guac, go ahead and scoop it on top!
  • Pico de gallo – for a bright, fresh flavor on top, try sprinkling on some pico de gallo!
collage of images showing how to make chilaquiles rojos

Step by step instructions

  1. Be sure to find thick tortilla chips. I can’t stress this enough! You really need a thick, hearty bag of tortilla chips for this dish to work properly.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat. Saute onion, bell pepper and jalapeno for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the enchilada sauce to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tortilla chips to the sauce. Toss for 3-4 minutes or until all of the chips have been covered in the sauce.

Spoon the chilaquiles out onto four separate plates and add the toppings of your choice. If you want to add eggs, I recommend cooking the eggs while the sauce is simmering in the pan.

chilaquiles on white plate, topped with cilantro and avocado

Tips and tricks

  • Using more or less tortilla chips will determine how saucy the chilaquiles are. For a more saucy dish, use 6-8 cups of tortilla chips, for a less saucy dish, use 8-10 cups of tortilla chips. In the recipe you see pictured throughout this post, I used 8 cups of tortilla chips. This is a happy medium that I find to be perfect for making chilaquiles!
  • You can use a green sauce to make chilaquiles verdes. We’ve used this exact same recipe with green enchilada sauce and it turns out delicious! If you don’t have time to make your own sauce, our favorite store-bought sauce to make chilaquiles verdes is this Hatch green chile enchilada sauce.
  • Chilaquiles should still be slightly crunchy when you serve them. For this reason, you want to serve them immediately after the chips are tossed in the sauce.
  • While this recipe is delicious for breakfast or brunch, you can also eat it for lunch or dinner. There’s no timeframe on deliciousness in our house! When I’m looking for a quick and easy dinner, these chilaquiles are always on the menu.

What’s the difference between migas and chilaquiles?

Migas is a more egg-forward dish, consisting of small corn tortilla strips added to scrambled eggs. Chilaquiles uses whole tortilla chips, simmered in a sauce, rather than cooked with the scrambled eggs.

Both dishes are a great use for extra tortilla chips or leftover fresh corn tortillas. In our house, we use the 7 pound bag of Costco tortilla chips to make chilaquiles, then when it gets to the bottom of the bag, we use the crumbs to make migas.

Do chilaquiles have meat?

This recipe for chilaquiles does not call for meat. Shredded chicken or beef, like beef barbacoa, can be added to the enchilada sauce before the chips are added to make the chilaquiles. You can also serve cooked chorizo, or soyrizo, on the side of the chilaquiles.

chilaquiles on plate topped with fresh cilantro and red onion

More Mexican breakfast recipes to try

And don’t miss 175 more delicious Mexican recipes, perfect for lunch, dinner and dessert!

chilaquiles on plate topped with cilantro and cheese
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 2 votes
Rate this Recipe

Chilaquiles Rojos

This chilaquiles rojos recipe is incredibly flavorful and easy to make in 15 minutes! This traditional Mexican breakfast consists of thick tortilla chips simmered in a delicious red enchilada sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 16 ounces red enchilada sauce, click link for recipe
  • 8 cups thick tortilla chips

Toppings

  • ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • ½ jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan or dutch oven on the stove over medium high heat. 
  • Saute onion, bell pepper and jalapeno for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the enchilada sauce to the pan.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium high heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the tortilla chips to the sauce. 
  • Toss for 3-4 minutes or until all of the chips have been covered in the sauce.
  • Spoon the chilaquiles out onto four separate plates and add the toppings of your choice. 

Notes

  • Tortilla chips – it’s super important to find thick, hearty chips for this recipe. Thin tortilla chips will not hold up! We purchase the La Fortaleza Tortilla Chips at Costco for this recipe. If there is a Mexican brand of tortilla chips at your grocery store, I recommend checking those out first as they’re normally thicker than the American brands of tortilla chips.
  • Using more or less tortilla chips will determine how saucy the chilaquiles are. For a more saucy dish, use 6-8 cups of tortilla chips, for a less saucy dish, use 8-10 cups of tortilla chips. In the recipe you see pictured throughout this post, I used 8 cups of tortilla chips. This is a happy medium that I find to be perfect for making chilaquiles!
  • Eggs –  if you want to add fried or scrambled eggs to the dish, I recommend cooking the eggs while the sauce is simmering in the pan.
  • You can use a green sauce to make chilaquiles verdes. We’ve used this exact same recipe with salsa verde and it turns out delicious!
  • Adding meat – shredded chicken or beef, like beef barbacoa, can be added to the enchilada sauce before the chips are added to make the chilaquiles. You can also serve cooked chorizo, or soyrizo, on the side of the chilaquiles.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 482kcal (24%)Carbohydrates 48g (16%)Protein 8g (16%)Fat 31g (48%)Saturated Fat 10g (50%)Cholesterol 32mg (11%)Sodium 1392mg (58%)Potassium 466mg (13%)Fiber 8g (32%)Sugar 13g (14%)Vitamin A 2379mg (48%)Vitamin C 65mg (79%)Calcium 246mg (25%)Iron 2mg (11%)
Did you make this recipe?Tag @WhitneyBond on Instagram and hashtag it #WBRecipes!

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.