Arguably one of the best hangover foods known to humankind, chilaquiles are a mix of salty, savory, and even a little bit spicy. This recipe is a great way to use up leftovers since you can mix these fried and sauced chips with so many options. In this recipe I used some leftover pulled pork to make this classic Mexican breakfast.
There are two main schools of thought with chilaquiles: do you keep the tortillas crispy or do you let them simmer in the sauce until soft. Because I prefer them simmered in sauce until soft that is how I have written this recipe. However if you want to keep those tortillas crispy I will provide instructions on how to do it ‘CDMX style’ as well.
These pulled pork chilaquiles, like most chilaquiles variations, are so customizable you don’t have to worry about keeping to the recipe. Like many Mexican dishes you will find not just regional variations, but a plethora of ‘secret family recipes’ as well.
What Are Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles are a popular Mexican breakfast or brunch dish that consists of tortilla chips tossed or simmered in salsa and topped with things like fried eggs, avocado, queso fresco, and more.
While this chilaquiles recipe uses pulled pork, it is far more common in Mexico to use pulled chicken. However feel free to add any protein you like – or don’t! There aren’t many rules when whipping this dish up. In fact this recipe can be made start to finish in just about 10 minutes!
How To Make These Pulled Pork Chilaquiles
Chilaquiles are a fantastic breakfast or brunch meal because they can be made very quickly, and use up leftovers from the night before. For example I had made pulled pork tacos for a taco party and with all the leftovers decided to make these quick and tasty pulled pork chilaquiles for breakfast the next morning.
For the pulled pork I simply braised a pork butt in chicken stock, shredded it, and then mixed it with guajillo chili paste. Super easy. I normally buy the Lol-Tun brand of guajillo paste but you can buy this one on Amazon if you prefer shopping online.
- 250 grams Salsa – You can use red or green salsa, chunky or smooth. It is entirely up to you. If you have a homemade salsa leftover you can use that, otherwise a jar of the store-bought stuff will suffice.
- Tortilla Chips – You can fry fresh ones yourself, or use leftovers from a bag.
- 150 grams Pulled Pork – Or pulled chicken, or tofu, or any other protein you want. You can also leave this out entirely and just do chips and salsa with toppings.
- Salt – As needed. If your chips and salsa are already salty enough, you may not need to add any extra salt. Taste as you go and adjust as needed.
- Queso Fresco – Or another salty white cheese (Feta is a great substitute here). Optional.
- Avocado – Sliced, optional.
- Egg – Fried, optional.
- Cilantro – To taste, optional.
- Hot Sauce – I like adding a few drops of my homemade Ghost Pepper hot sauce since it is made with cherries and complements the pork and salsa nicely. You can use whatever you like should you want to up the spice level at all.
Chilaquiles Recipe Instructions
To start add your pulled pork and salsa to a pan on medium high heat. We are not really trying to fry anything but really just heat and soften the ingredients so they meld with the tortilla chips later. This is a pulled pork chilaquiles recipe but if you want to use pulled chicken or any other protein feel free to do so in this step.
When the liquid has gotten hot and spread out a bit you can add the tortilla chips. You don’t need to be rough and mash them all in there, as the chips absorb the sauce they will soften and make more room for the chips on the top. I like to use a rubber spatula to kind of fold everything around without breaking the chips.
After a couple minutes you should see all the chips soften and flatten out. You can stop here and plate, or keep going and make a sort of tortilla chip stew. It’s up to you. In some regions of Mexico they cook chilaquiles so long it becomes a single homogenized mass that kind of reminds me of a salsa-fied polenta.
What Can You Eat With Chilaquiles
There are so many toppings you can add to your homemade chilaquiles, and I will go through them down below, but really just do what you want. There are no set in stone rules about what you can or cannot add to your chilaquiles recipe so have fun with it. Here are some of my favorite toppings in no particular order:
- Queso Fresco – This Mexican cheese is tasty and easy to crumble, so it goes perfect atop some freshly made chilaquiles. If you cannot find queso fresco there are plenty of substitutions like feta, beyaz peynir, or any local fresh white cheese.
- Fried Egg – Putting a fried egg on top of your chilaquiles is an extremely common topping seen all over Mexico. You can cook it how you like, but I’m a fan of a nice sunny side up egg.
- Sour Cream – Most cultures have their own version of sour cream, so feel free to add a dollop if you like. I personally used some smetana since I live in Eastern Europe and also prefer the higher fat content, but you can use creme fraiche, or another style if you want.
- Avocado – Always a classic. Slice some avocado into a fan and spread it over your homemade pulled pork chilaquiles
- Herbs – The most common herb you will find is simply cilantro, but you can get creative and add whatever you like. A sprinkling of Mexican oregano would not go amiss, nor would a some lemon thyme.
- Hot Sauce – Go ahead and make these as spicy as you like. I’m a huge fan of making my own homemade hot sauce from dried chilis which is a great way to get harder to find peppers all over the world.
- Pico de Gallo – If you are looking for a more fresh and vibrant addition adding some pico is a great choice. Homemade pico de gallo is super easy to make and it really does add a lot to this recipe.
- Guacamole – If you would rather add some guacamole instead of an avocado fan go ahead and throw on a scoop of that. After all, guac is a delicious addition to things like tacos and nachos, so of course it would fit well atop chilaquiles.
Chilaquiles With Pulled Pork
- 250 grams Salsa You can use red or green salsa chunky or smooth. It is entirely up to you. If you have a homemade salsa leftover you can use that, otherwise a jar of the store-bought stuff will suffice.
- Tortilla Chips You can fry fresh ones yourself or use leftovers from a bag.
- 150 grams Pulled Pork Or pulled chicken or tofu, or any other protein you want. You can also leave this out entirely and just do chips and salsa with toppings.
- Salt As needed. If your chips and salsa are already salty enough you may not need to add any extra salt. Taste as you go and adjust as needed.
- Queso Fresco Or another salty white cheese Feta is a great substitute here. Optional.
- Avocado Sliced, optional.
- Egg Fried, optional.
- Cilantro To taste, optional.
- Hot Sauce I like adding a few drops of my homemade Ghost Pepper hot sauce since it is made with cherries and complements the pork and salsa nicely. You can use whatever you like should you want to up the spice level at all.
- Place a large pan on medium heat and add the salsa and shredded pork (or whatever protein you want to add). When the salsa and pork heat up and begin to spread add in the tortilla chips.
- Use a rubber spatula or large spoon to sort of fold the chips and salsa around so the chips get quite saturated with the hot liquid. Let everything cook for a couple minutes, or until the chips have reached a consistency you are happy with (some people like chilaquiles with very crispy chips, some like them completely salsa-logged).
- Plate the chilaquiles and add whatever toppings you want. You don't have to take my list as your only options either, get creative and have fun with it!