Enjoy this traditional chilaquiles verdes recipe. Crispy corn tortillas drenched in a flavorful homemade green sauce and served with cheese, cream, and onions. This authentic Mexican recipe is so easy to make and the perfect Sunday brunch for your family!
Chilaquiles verdes is a traditional and typical breakfast recipe from Mexico that consists of fried tortillas smothered in salsa verde and served with various toppings.
The star of the authentic recipe is the flavorful and rich sauce made with tomatillos, cilantro, and serrano or jalapeño green chili peppers. It needs to simmer until thick and aromatic.
The chilaquiles verdes recipe is the counterpart of chilaquiles rojos which are made with an earthy red sauce. Both recipes are so delicious and perfect to serve as breakfast or brunch.
- Corn tortillas. Use homemade corn tortillas or store-bought tortillas. Corn tortillas are best to make chilaquiles because once fried they hold better the rich sauce.
- Fresh or canned tomatillos. If you go for the first option you’ll first need to boil them with chilies until soft. Otherwise, use canned in a pinch.
- Fresh green chilies. Serrano and jalapeno are the best options, but any other kind of green chilies like Anaheim or Thai chilies are also good.
- Chicken stock. I used powdered chicken stock, if you want to use liquid just add it instead of water.
- Onions and cilantro. White onions and fresh cilantro.
Toppings: Queso fresco (or your favorite farmer’s cheese), Mexican crema or sour cream, and diced onion. You can also top chilaquiles with a fried egg for a more fulfilling meal.
How To Make Chilaquiles Verdes
Place fresh tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tomatillos are soft, remove from the hot water, and allow to cool down.
Place cooked tomatillos, chilies, onion, cilantro, garlic, and salt in a blender along with 1 1/2 cups of water and blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Cut the tortillas into wedges, like a pie. Heat a good glug of oil in a medium pan and, working in batches, fry the tortillas until nicely crispy on both sides.
Remove fried tortillas to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil and set aside.
Remove almost all oil from the pan where you fried the tortillas leaving only about 2 teaspoons.
Heat the pan over medium-high heat then carefully add the chilaquiles sauce.
Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the salsa slightly thickens. Adjust salt to taste.
TOP TIP: To balance the flavors and cut through the bitterness and sour taste of tomatillos, add a pinch of sugar to the sauce.
Add the tortilla chips and then mix to coat evenly. Cook for up to 1 minute, not more, or your chilaquiles will become too soggy and break apart.
Place chilaquiles on serving plates, and garnish with cheese, chopped onions, and crema. Enjoy immediately with your favorite sides.
Expert Tips & Variations
How To Prevent Chilaquiles From Getting Soggy
- Use corn tortillas: Because flour tortillas don’t get as crunchy as corn tortillas do, they just absorb lots of oil and still remain a bit soft.
- Sturdy tortillas: Tortillas are different from brand to brand, and even in Mexico from place to place. Sometimes they’re so thin that will get soggy as soon as you add the sauce. If you can’t find sturdy tortillas, consider making your own.
- Don’t overlap: Either you fry or bake the tortillas, always do it in one layer, and add enough oil, so they fry/bake evenly.
- Coat, don’t over-simmer: Try to not simmer for so long. Is all about practice, as soon as you see the tortilla chips are fully coated and they start to soften, serve and eat.
- Cook & Eat: Don’t let the green chilaquiles sit for too long at the table. They should be eaten just as you finish cooking.
How To Serve
Chilaquiles verdes are usually served as breakfast with a side of frijoles refritos, a fried egg on top, or shredded chicken. Besides the traditional toppings like cheese, cream, and onion.
How To Store
If you have some leftovers just place them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Then just reheat them in the microwave or in a pan, your homemade chilaquiles won’t be as good or crunchy as freshly made, but they will be delicious anyway.
If you want to prep this meal ahead, start by making the green sauce and storing it in the fridge for up to 5 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Tortillas can be also fried up to 3 days ahead and stored in a resealable bag to keep their crunchiness.
When ready to eat, reheat the sauce and assemble your chilaquiles as instructed in the recipe.
What means chilaquiles?
According to priest and historian Ángel María Garibay (1892-1967), the word chilaquil comes from the Nahuatl voice chīlaquīlli, which is composed of the two words chīlī “chile”, and aquīlli “[something] tucked into”. So it refers to something that was submerged in chile.
Are chilaquiles just soggy nachos?
No, chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican breakfast made with tortilla chips smothered in salsa. Nachos are crispy tortillas topped with various different ingredients and served as a snack.
Should chilaquiles be crunchy or soft?
It is all about personal taste so they can be both. The perfect chilaquiles should be a little soft while still retaining a bit of crunch.
What are the two types of chilaquiles?
There are two popular types of chilaquiles: Verdes and Rojos. The first is with green sauce (like in this recipe) and the other is with a red sauce made of tomatoes and red chilies.
More Breakfast Recipes
Did you enjoy this chilaquiles verdes recipe? It is one of my favorite Mexican breakfast too, along with mole chilaquiles!
So if you make this recipe, please, don’t forget to rate it and leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you! Also, follow this blog along on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & YouTube for more authentic Mexican breakfast recipes!
Authentic Chilaquiles Verdes
- 16 corn tortillas (cut into wedges)
- vegetable oil (for frying)
For the sauce
- 1 lb fresh tomatillo (or a 12-oz can tomatillos, drained)
- 4 serrano chili peppers (or other type of green chili)
- ½ cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
- 1 small white onion (cut into chunks)
- 1 garlic clove (peeled)
- 1 Tbsp chicken bouillon (read notes)
- 2 tsp oil
- ½ cup red onions (chopped)
- ½ cup Mexican crema (or sour cream)
- 1 cup queso fresco
- In a medium saucepan place tomatillos and green chilies, cover with water, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until tomatillos become tender. Let them cool slightly.
- Add tomatillos and chilies to a blender with onions, garlic, and cilantro.
- Add half a cup of water and blend for a minute or until you have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
- Heat ¼ cup oil in a medium pan. Working in batches fry the tortillas until nicely crispy.
- Remove fried tortillas to a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the green sauce and powdered chicken stock.
- Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened.
- Add the fried tortilla chips and mix to coat evenly. Cook for about 3-4 minutes (depends how crispy you want your chilaquiles).
- Serve and garnish with cream, queso fresco, and onions.
- You can swap chicken bouillon powder and water with 1 cup of chicken stock.
- Store leftovers into an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Serve chilaquiles verdes with a side of frijoles refritos, a fried egg on top, or shredded chicken for a complete meal.
*This recipe was originally published on this blog on May 29, 2019. It has been updated and republished on February 7, 2023.*
Maricruz Avalos Flores is a Mexican cook and photographer living in Italy where she shares authentic Mexican & Italian recipes that can be easily made at home using easy-to-find ingredients.