Chilaquiles 😋



12 corn tortillas or 8 cups sturdy tortilla chips, preferably from a restaurant
Vegetable oil (for frying; about 8 cups; optional)
Kosher salt
2 cups shredded roast chicken or carnitas or cooked fresh chorizo or 8 fried large eggs
3–4 cups Salsa Roja (see recipe)
1 ripe large avocado, sliced
4 oz. queso fresco, crumbled
¼ cup crema mexicana
Cilantro leaves with tender stems and lime wedges (for serving)

Special equipment

A deep-fry thermometer


  1. Step 1

    If using 12 corn tortillas, divide into 2 stacks; cut each stack into 6 wedges.

    Step 2

    Pour vegetable oil into a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot to come about 4" up sides (about 8 cups). Fit thermometer to sides of pot and heat oil over medium-high until thermometer registers 350°. Working in 2 batches and returning oil to 350° between batches, fry tortilla wedges, stirring and turning constantly with a spider or slotted spoon, until crisp and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined baking sheet and let drain; season immediately with kosher salt. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a large bowl.

    Step 3

    If using 2 cups shredded roast chicken or carnitas, toss with 1 cup Salsa Roja (see recipe) in a small saucepan; place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally until heated through, about 5 minutes.

    Step 4

    Bring 3 cups Salsa Roja (see recipe) to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fried tortilla wedges or 8 cups sturdy tortilla chips to skillet and toss to coat. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit until softened, 1–5 minutes, depending on how soft you prefer your chips to be (1 minute for almost totally crunchy chips, 3 minutes for soft chips with a little crunch, and 5 minutes for soft chips with almost no crunch). Season with salt.

    Step 5

    Divide soaked chips among plates; top with chicken or carnitas or 2 cups cooked fresh chorizo or 8 fried large eggs, followed by 1 large ripe avocado, sliced4 oz. queso fresco, crumbled¼ cup crema mexicana, and some cilantro leaves with tender stems. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

    Cook’s note: To make chilaquiles verde, substitute 3 cups tomatillo salsa verde for the salsa roja.