With a fresh, flavorful tomato sauce and finished with a fried egg, these Chilaquiles with Fresh Tomatoes and Fried Eggs are just as at home on the brunch table as they are at dinner. To simplify the process and lighten things up, bake the tortillas until crisp instead of pan-frying them in batches - the result is every bit as crisp and flavorful.
It’s Monday which calls for something easy, something fast, something preferably topped with a runny yolk fried egg. (Because everything is better with a runny yolk fried egg.) Chilaquiles is one of those dishes that I knew I would love from the moment I first read about it. Corn tortillas are quickly fried until crisp and then folded into a rich, spiced, tomato-based sauce.
In Mexico chilaquiles is usually served for breakfast, but it is a dish that, to me, feels completely at home for almost any meal. Eggs are optional, but they add enough protein to make this meal feel hearty enough for dinner.
There are as many ways to make sauce for chilaquiles as there are people who make it. I’ve tried everything from a version that includes bouillon powder for savory richness to a version that use a modified enchilada sauce as the base. But with summer upon us and my garden, hopeful as ever, aiming to provide me with tomatoes at some point in the near future, I wanted a version of this simple weeknight meal that uses lots of fresh tomatoes. The sauce is still cooked down until it is rich and thick enough to combine with toasted chips, but it retains the tart balance of fresh tomatoes.
And those crispy tortillas? Traditionally they are fried in batches in the skillet, but it’s a weeknight, and there’s no need to hover over a hot stove to fry them in batches. Just toss the tortilla wedges in a generous amount of oil and bake them - let the oven do the work.
It’s easy to see why this Chilaquiles with Fresh Tomatoes and Fried Eggs has become a favorite around the world. Here’s how to make it.
- Corn Tortillas - Corn tortillas are the heart of a batch of chilaquiles. You can slice them into wedges or strips. Toss with some oil and bake until crisp.
- Onion, Jalapeño, Garlic - Use these aromatics as the base of flavor for the sauce. I highly recommend including the jalapeño for flavor and spice, but you can remove the seeds if you prefer less heat.
- Tomatoes - Fresh tomatoes are the star of the flavorful sauce. Dice them well so that they cook down into nearly smooth, rich sauce.
- Tomato Paste - A bit of tomato paste helps to give the sauce a head start on that rich, smooth texture.
- Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Ground Cumin, Salt, Sugar - Use a combination of pantry staples to flavor the sauce. A bit of sugar really helps to draw out the natural sweetness in the tomatoes.
- Cooking Oil - Use any neutral cooking oil to start the sauce and also to toast the tortillas. I like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or vegetable oil.
- Lime Juice and Cilantro - Don’t skip the lime juice and cilantro stirred into the finished sauce. These really brighten the flavors of the sauce.
- Eggs - Fried eggs top the finished dish. Chilaquiles are great with scrambled eggs too, if you’d prefer to make them that way.
How to Bake Tortillas
Baking tortillas is a great and easy way to get crisp chips with very little work and without the need to use much oil. It works well with corn or flour tortillas. Just toss the sliced tortillas with some oil and spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350°F.
Do the tortillas stay crisp in Chilaquiles?
If you’ve never had chilaquiles, the process might seem a bit strange. You put in the effort to get the tortillas crisp and then fold them into lots of tomato sauce so that they lose all that crunch. But once you taste it, you’ll understand the magic balance of the dish. The crispy tortilla chips don’t exactly stay crispy, but they hold their shape, not completely soaking up the sauce but letting it cling to the sides in a way that is addictive and oh-so-satisfying.
More Vegetarian-Friendly Dinner Ideas
- Vegetarian Tater Tot Casserole
- Herb Roasted Vegetables
- Black Bean and Zucchini Enchiladas
- Tex Mex Stuffed Zucchini
- Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers
- Grilled Summer Vegetable and Pesto Pizza
- Sesame Vegetable Noodles
- Marinated Chickpeas with Bell Peppers and Cucumbers
- Sweet Thai Chili Baked Tofu
- Creamy Cauliflower Baked Ziti
- Creamy Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole
Chilaquiles with Tomatoes and Fried Eggs
- Large skillet or saute pan
- Half Sheet Pans
- 4 tablespoon Cooking Oil, divided (any neutral oil will work - I like avocado, grapeseed, or canola)
- 1 cup diced Yellow Onion
- 1 Jalapeno, diced (remove the seeds first for less spice)
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 lb Tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika (regular paprika will work)
- ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Sugar
- 12 Taco-Sized Corn Tortillas, cut into wedges or strips
- 2 tablespoon chopped Cilantro Leaves
- 2 teaspoon Lime Juice
- 4 Eggs (optional)
- Avocado, Sour Cream, Extra Cilantro, and / or cheese, for serving (Cotija or Monterey Jack)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
- While oven is heating, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet or saute pan.
- Add onions, jalapeño, and garlic with a pinch of salt. Saute until vegetables are starting to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add diced tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, and sugar.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and then reduce heat so the sauce is very gently bubbling. Simmer sauce until the tomatoes are falling apart and the sauce reduces by about half, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While sauce simmers, toss tortillas wedges with 3 tablespoon cooking oil and then spread out in a single layer on a sheet pan (you may need two sheet pans to prevent overlapping).
- Bake tortilla chips in the preheated oven until golden brown and very crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Return to sauce and fold in baked tortilla chips. Stir gently and cook until the crispy tortilla chips are coated in sauce, about 3 minutes.
- Remove sauce from heat and stir in cilantro and lime juice.
- If serving with fried eggs, heat a thin layer of cooking oil in a nonstick pan. Crack eggs into heated oil and fry on one or both sides.
- Divide chilaquiles between serving plates or bowls and top each with a fried egg. Season eggs with salt and pepper and serve with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and / or cheese.
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