A Recipe for Chilaquiles

Here we have the ugly step-sister of cuisine... a homely casserole. Why is it impossibly difficult to take an attractive photo of casserole-type dishes? Never mind. As unattractive as this photo might be, the recipe is delicious.

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish served for breakfast or brunch. The ingredients are usually a combination of corn tortillas, eggs, cheese and/or sour cream with beans and salsa on the side. Chilaquiles are not usually made as a casserole, however this dish was brought to our door by a friend shortly after our family was joined by our wee Bloom. We were starving. This was warm, filling and it tasted good. After we licked our plates clean, I asked my friend for the recipe. It's so simple that it has now become a regular dish in our dinner roster.

From Still Life with Menu by Mollie Katzen

12 yellow corn tortillas (yellow corn has more flavor than white corn)
2 four-oz. cans diced green chilies
2-3 cups grated jack cheese (I used pepper jack for an extra kick)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk

optional additions: cooked pinto beans, cooked corn, cooked shredded chicken, 1 cup sauteed onion, minced garlic, spices such as cumin, basil or oregano, etc...

1) Pre-heat oven to 375 f. Butter or oil a 9"x 13" pan.
2) Tear 6 tortillas into 3"-4" pieces and lay over bottom of greased casserole pan.
3) Distribute half the chilies and half the grated cheese over the layer of tortillas (and add any additions such as beans, corn or chicken.)
4) Tear the remaining tortillas and lay on top. Follow with the remaining chillies and cheese.
5) Beat the eggs and buttermilk together with salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over the casserole.
6) Bake uncovered for approx. 3 minutes at 375 f, until lightly browned on top. Serve with salsa & guacamole.

If you're lazy (like me) you might buy a jar of salsa (and sometimes I'm so lazy, I even buy pre-fab. guacamole.) However, in case you're interested, here are some good recipes...

Pico de Gallo Salsa
  • 1 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeƱo chilies (about 2 medium)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover & chill.

  • 2 large ripe avocados peeled, pitted, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion or sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped serrano chiles with seeds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lime juice
  • Coarse kosher salt


  1. I'm with you on the fact that casseroles are completely unphotogenic...think 1970s cookbooks! But that one made my tummy growl...we're a dairy free house and one of the biig adjustments was giving up those casseroles that always seem to have sour cream, cheese, or cream of mushroom soup. Wish I lived closer...I'd slip over for a piece!! Looks wonderful.

  2. Mmmmm. I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for the recipe! (:

  3. Knitty Gritty try Diaya brand "cheese" it is so much better than other cheese substitutes and yes it does indeed melt.

  4. Dearest Knitty Gritty... you are welcome to drop by any time and I will gladly whip up a batch to chilaquiles for you! I wonder how this would taste with non-dairy cheese... And what would you use as a substitute for buttermilk? I think that there are some fermented non-diary yogurts on the market? Do you eat eggs? For this casserole you definitely need something to bind the liquids and create a custard... If anyone tries a non-dairy or vegan version let me know how it turns out!



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