• Tomato and chipotle bathed corn chips with fried eggs (chilaquiles rojas) (Benito Martin)Source: Benito Martin

A classic breakfast in Mexico that uses yesterday's stale tortillas to great effect. The smoky flavour of chipotle chilli works wonderfully with eggs and takes a simple breakfast dish to a new level. To save time, make the tomato sauce ahead of time and reheat before serving.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (10 votes)


  • 250 g day-old corn tortillas (see Note), cut into triangles 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 500 g tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1–2 chipotle chillies in adobo (see Note)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried Mexican oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs

To serve

  • 80 g queso fresco (see Note), crumbled
  • chopped parsley
  • finely sliced eschallots or red onion

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat the oil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat. Fry tortillas in batches for 2–3 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain well on paper towel and season lightly with salt. Reserve oil.

Place the tomatoes in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3–4 minutes until tender. Drain and transfer the tomatoes to a blender. Add the onion, garlic, chipotle chillies, bay leaf and oregano, and blend until smooth.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Carefully pour in the blended tomato sauce and season to taste. Cook, stirring, for 6–8 minutes or until the sauce starts to change colour and darken. Add the fried tortillas and mix gently, trying not to break up the tortillas too much. Set aside while you cook the eggs.

Cook the eggs in 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until the whites are set but the yolks remain runny.

Serve chilaquiles topped with fried eggs, queso fresco, parsley and onion.



• Corn tortillas are available from Latin grocers, select delicatessens and some supermarkets. You can also make your own tortillas and use them immediately as they don’t have to be stale.

• Chipotle chillies in adobo are dried and smoked jalapeño chillies in a thick, spicy sauce. They are available in small tins in Latin food stores and quality continental delicatessens and supermarkets.

• Queso fresco is a fresh, lightly flavoured white cheese. You can buy queso fresco from Latin food stores and specialist cheese suppliers. If unavailable, substitute with a mild cow’s milk feta in brine. 


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Kristine Duran-Thiessen. Coloured glassware from Market Import; tiles from Di Lorenzo.