{recipe} Chilaquiles Verdes

One of the most searched and clicked recipes on this site is Robert’s Chilaquiles. That means that a lot of people have had the benefit of my friend Robert’s wonderful recipe for chilaquiles, which makes me ¡muy feliz! Robert’s recipe for this Mexican breakfast treat involves layers of fried tortilla triangles, scrambled eggs, chorizo, cheese, and a spiced tomato sauce. However, after spending a long weekend in the neighboring Mexican towns of Puebla and Cholula, we kind of got hooked on chilaquiles verdes–made with a green tomatillo sauce in place of the red.

A little research and some experimentation led to this recipe. Typically chilaquiles verdes are made with chicken, but I prefer chorizo. For those who requested it, I fried an egg and laid it on top of their plates.

I am extremely lucky to live nearby some wonderful Mexican grocery stores, so it was easy for me to find everything I needed. (SF locals: In case you are curious, all of the ingredients were purchased at La Palma Mexicatessen and Casa Lucas.) I am, however, not lucky because it took me about 20 minutes to find a parking place near these great stores on a Sunday morning. Normally I fry tortillas to use for chilaquiles, but since I was running late and since I had never seen these before, I had to buy them!

They translate to “little hard ones for chilaquiles”–a chip specially formulated to embody the structural integrity needed to withstand the bath of sauce, cheese, and meat. What will they think of next?? Also, is this where they got the name “Doritos”?

I think it might be. Some people claim that the word doritos means “little pieces of gold” because gold in Spanish is oro. I don’t agree. A closer match for “little golden things” would be doraditos as opposed to doritos. I posit that duritos is a closer match for doritos. Anyway, have you tasted Doritos lately? They are not as good as I remembered. In fact, they are pretty gross. I’m going to stick with chilaquiles and stop talking about Doritos.

Chilaquiles Verdes

serves 6


  • 3/4 lb. tortilla chips, duritos, or tortillas
  • 1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1-2 jalapeños, stem and seeds removed (if you like spicy things, you can leave some seeds in)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 3-4 scallions, white part and up to medium green part
  • 1 lb. Mexican chorizo
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija or queso fresco cheese
  • scallions and cilantro for garnish


  • If making your own chips: cut tortillas into chip-sized wedges. Heat about 1 inch of oil in a large saute pan. Fry chips in batches until golden on both sides, removing to drain on paper towels.
  • Meanwhile, place whole tomatillos, jalapeños, and garlic cloves in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook 5-7  minutes, until tomatillos are turning brown and vegetables are soft.
  • Put tomatillos, jalapeños, and garlic cloves in a blender or food processor with a cup of the hot liquid, the cilantro, scallions, and a large pinch of salt. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Remove chorizo’s outer skin and break into pieces with your hands into a saute pan. Cook chorizo, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned.
  • Pour a thin layer of sauce into a non-metal (ceramic or glass) 9×13 baking dish. Add a third of the chips and spread them out. Pour more sauce over, then sprinkle with one quarter of the cheese. Add half the chorizo and spread it on top.
  • Add another third of chips, more sauce, more cheese, and the remaining chorizo. Add the remaining chips, then cheese, sauce, and top with cheese. By this point you should have used most or all of the sauce.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese is just starting to get a little brown. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro. Serve with refried beans, avocadoes, and Mexican crema or sour cream.

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1 Response

  1. February 14, 2011

    […] regular chips. (HEY! Do you think that’s where they got the name “Doritos”? One food blogger thinks […]