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+ servings

Red Chicken Chilaquiles

Try this saucily versatile, tasty Mexican comfort dish that's like an easy-going mix between flavor-packed enchiladas and crunchy nachos.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 4 servings


Red Chile Sauce

  • 4 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 cups water
  • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes, drained
  • 3/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbs Vegetable oil


  • 12 stale corn tortillas
  • 1/4 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cotija
  • 2 cups shredded chicken


Red Chile Sauce

  • Remove the stem, seeds, and veins from the chiles. Lightly toast in a medium skillet, then transfer to a heat-resistant bowl.
  • Boil the water, then pour 2 cups over the chiles. Cover and let soak for 15 minutes.
  • Reserve water, and transfer chiles to a blender. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and paprika. Purée until smooth.
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium with the oil. Carefully pour in the purée (it'll likely splatter) and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, then partially cover and cook to thicken. Stirring occasionally, it'll take about 15 minutes. Add water if it gets too dry.
  • Remove from heat and let rest until ready to use. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to three days, just be sure to warm it up a bit before using.


  • Cut tortillas into quarters or sixths. Coat a large sauté pan generously with oil, about 1/8 inch deep, and heat on medium high until the oil reaches about 350 F.
  • Working in batches, fry tortillas until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper-towel lined sheet and add salt, if desired.
  • Remove the oil from the pan and wipe away any charred on tortilla bits. Add 2 tbs oil to the pan, and heat over medium-high again. Add the red chile sauce to let it warm through, then add the fried tortillas to the sauce. Gently turn until all the tortillas are well coated. Let cook another minute or two.
  • Remove from heat, top with the shredded chicken, red onion, cotija, and cilantro


Although this recipe is wonderful with fresh ingredients, it's more traditionally a dish to use up leftovers. Try it with 2 cups leftover salsa (red or green), and topped with a fried egg for breakfast.