International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Mexican chilaquiles con pollo

(Mexican fried tortillas in sauce)

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Chilaquiles are an easy way to use up leftover tortillas. Popular for breakfast all over Mexico, the ingredients vary somewhat by region. The essentials, however, remain the same — fried corn tortillas simmered in a spicy sauce and garnished with cheese.

Chilaquiles are perfect as as part of a Mexican brunch and are considered an excellent hangover cure.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil -- for deep frying
  • Corn tortillas, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares or diamonds -- 6 to 8
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Serrano or jalapeño chiles, minced -- 2 or 3
  • Garlic, minced -- 2 or 3 cloves
  • Tomatoes, crushed or chopped -- 3 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled -- 1/2 cup
  • Sour cream or crema agria -- 1/3 cup


  1. Add about 1 inch of oil to a large, deep skillet. Heat over medium flame until shimmering. Add the tortillas in batches and fry, turning occasionally until lightly crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  2. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons of the oil. Add 3/4 of the chopped onions and chiles and saute until the onions are cooked through and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully stir in the tortillas and simmer for another 5 minutes or so until the tortillas soak up some of the sauce and are softened but not mushy.
  5. Garnish with the remaining chopped onions, queso fresco and sour cream. Serve hot with scrambled or fried eggs and refried beans.

Chilaquiles Variations

  • Quick Chilaquiles: Instead of frying your own tortillas, break up 6 to 8 tostadas or use a few big handfuls of plain, restaurant-style tortilla chips. For a speedy sauce, use a can of prepared red or green enchilada sauce.
  • Sauce Variations: Substitute one or two chipotle peppers in adobo for the fresh chiles to add a smoky flavor. Use salsa verde instead of the tomato sauce. Or try your favorite mole sauce.
  • Optional Additions: Stir in some cooked, shredded chicken breast with the tortillas. Or beat 5 eggs and stir them lightly into the simmering sauce to form ribbons of cooked egg before stirring in the tortillas.
  • Garnishes: Other possible garnishes include chopped avocado, chopped cilantro.


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