Green Chilaquiles 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Oct 16, 2019

Chilaquiles are an ideal way to use up leftover tortillas, but this saucy, bright and zippy rendition will make you want to buy them specifically for the purpose. Our base recipe for the Mexican classic consists of oven-baked tortilla chips, tossed in salsa verde and topped with cheese, onion and sour cream. You can take it to the next level by adding your choice of protein, such as beans, shredded chicken, beef, or pork, and eggs.

Margarita Carrillo Arronte's original recipe called for twice as much sauce to create a more casserole-type experience. We decided to adapt it for a slightly quicker, crispier version finished in the skillet you cook the sauce in, but if you want to bake the chilaquiles, check out the variation below.

To make chilaquiles with red sauce, see the related recipe below. Make the salsa roja as directed, then transfer about half to a large skillet and proceed with adding the chips to it, reheating the sauce first if necessary.

Make Ahead: Bake the tortilla chips at least a day in advance, and store in an airtight container. The sauce can be made and refrigerated three days in advance. Reheat in the skillet before adding the tortilla chips.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 15 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and patted dry (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 poblano chile pepper
  • 1 to 2 serrano peppers
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola, plus more for brushing the tortillas
  • 12 six-inch corn tortillas (about 8 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 ounces grated queso fresco or crumbled feta cheese

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Preheat the broiler with a rack placed about 4 inches from the heating element. Arrange the tomatillos, poblano and serrano on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil for about 10 minutes, turning the vegetables over halfway through, until they are blistered and black in spots. Let the vegetables cool, and pull the stems off the peppers. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and move the rack to the middle.

Transfer the charred vegetables to a blender or food processor, making sure you tip in any juices from the baking sheet, and add the white or yellow onion, garlic and cilantro. Process until smooth, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or large measuring cup, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce.

Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Brush the top of each tortilla with a little oil, dividing them into two stacks and then cutting through each stack so the tortillas have been sliced into sixths. Separate and scatter the pieces on the baking sheet, keeping them in one layer as much as possible, though a little overlap is fine. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring two to three times, until the tortillas are crisp and a pale golden brown.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Pour in the sauce, allow it to briefly bubble vigorously and then reduce the heat to medium-low, or just low enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, taste and add more, if desired.

Turn the heat off and stir in the tortilla chips, transferring to a serving platter, if desired. Top with the red onion, sour cream, queso fresco and cilantro and serve right away. If you prefer softer chips, cover the skillet for a few minutes before topping and serving.

VARIATION: To make baked chilaquiles, double the ingredients for the sauce (except the poblano) and the toppings. Cook the sauce in a larger saucepan or pot, and once it's done, transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Stir in the tortilla chips, top with the onion, sour cream and queso fresco, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve with extra sour cream, cilantro and cheese.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Mexico: The Cookbook" by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (Phaidon Press, 2014).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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