Easy Chilaquiles with Chicken | Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Friday, May 3, 2019

Easy Chilaquiles with Chicken

Get your Fiesta started with Easy ChilaquilesA traditional Mexican comfort food, Chilaquiles are made with corn tortilla chips and baked in a spicy salsa sauce. This easy layered Mexican casserole recipe also includes cooked chicken breast and Monterey Jack cheese.  Delicious for dinner, lunch, or even breakfast when you serve a couple of over easy eggs on top!

Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures overhead view garnished with jalapeno pepper slices, red radish slices, and cilantro

Easy Mexican Casserole Recipes

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo at home this year? Why not add this recipe for Easy Chilaquiles to your menu?!

My family adores Mexican and Tex-Mex flavors, so layered Mexican casserole recipes like Chilaquiles show up on our table often! My family loves them because they are so flavorful, but I love them because they are so easy to make! Some of our favorite Mexican casserole recipes are Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas Verde, Turkey Taco Pie, and now, these Easy Chilaquiles.

What are Chilaquiles?

Chilaquiles are pure Mexican comfort food. Traditionally made from leftover corn tortillas that are baked with salsa, this dish is usually served for breakfast or brunch and topped with eggs. Sometimes the salsa is red (Chilaquiles Rojos) and sometimes it's green (Chilaquiles Verde). It's an easy Mexican casserole recipe that is adaptable to make a great meal any time of the day. Chilaquiles is one of those recipes that yields to many variations. Chilaquiles are so easy to add your own twist to!

In my version of Easy Chilaquiles, I like to combine store bought, jarred salsa with store bought red enchilada sauce for the "salsa" component in the dish. This combination soaks into the crisp tortilla chips and softens them as they bake. However, some of the chips retain their crunchiness, keeping this Mexican casserole recipe interesting to your palate! 

Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures on a white plate with a fork and Mexican rice

The first thing you will need to make Easy Chilaquiles is corn tortillas or corn tortilla chips. You can purchase 6" corn tortillas at the store, cut each round into 6 small triangles, and lightly fry them in oil. Since I'm not big on fried foods, I prefer an easier and healthier way to make corn tortilla chips for chilaquiles using an air fryer. (If you don't have an air fryer, you can bake the corn tortillas following the directions for these Baked Tortilla Chips.)

I purchased a Dash Compact Air Fryer from Target a few months ago. I can't say I make a ton of things in it, but for things like making healthy tortilla chips, it works great!

How to make tortilla chips in the air fryer 

  • Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  • Cut 8 to 10, 6" corn tortillas into 6 small triangles each. (You'll have 24 to 30 "chips")
  • Spray the inside of the air fryer with cooking spray.
  • Place as many "chips" as you can fit into the basket comfortably, so they are in a single layer. (I have a small air fryer, so I could only do 6 chips at time) Sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired.
  • Air fry chips for 5 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. (Add more time if you want them crispier, but watch them carefully so they don't burn)
  • Repeat with remaining corn tortillas.

If you don't have an air fryer, or don't want to fry or bake your own tortilla chips, you can use store bought tortilla chips too! I recommend buying low salt or no added salt varieties.  Sometimes jarred salsa can be salty, and if the chips are too salty, it will make the whole dish too salty. Look for brands that make thicker chips too. The ultra thin ones won't soak up the salsa mixture as well as the thicker ones. So it's best to try to make your own tortilla chips...but if time is short, go the store bought route!

Dash Compact Air Fryer (gray color) with a bowl of corn tortilla chips and salsa in front

How to make chilaquiles

When it comes to Easy Chilaquiles it's all about the layering. Start with a layer of crisp corn tortilla chips and cover in "salsa," holding back a 1/2 cup to finish after the layer of chicken. In my version of Easy Chilaquiles, I use a red sauce (Chilaquiles Rojos). I like a combination of salsa and red enchilada sauce. The combination of both gives the sauce a depth of flavor I like. 

Leave some of the chips exposed, so they remain crunchy after cooking.

Second layer of preparation for Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Next add the pulled chicken and cover with remaining sauce.

Third layer of preparation for Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Lastly, cover in shredded Monterey Jack cheese and bake (or broil) until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Last layer of preparation for Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures

Garnish as desired. Garnish suggestions include:

  • sliced fresh jalapeno
  • sliced radish
  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • avocado

If making this Mexican casserole recipe for breakfast or brunch, top with a couple of over easy eggs!

Easy Mexican Chilaquiles by Renee's Kitchen Adventures overhead view with serving spatula and missing servings

What to serve with Easy Chilaquiles

Looking for an easy start and finish to your fiesta?  Try this delicious Mexican Shrimp Cocktail Recipe and this easy Fresas Con Crema (Strawberries and Cream)

chilaquiles, chilaquiles rojos, Easy Mexican food, Mexican Casserole Recipes
Main Course, casserole
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Renee Paj
Easy Chilaquiles

Easy Chilaquiles

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min
A traditional Mexican peasant dish, Chilaquiles is made with corn tortilla chips and sauce. This easy Mexican casserole recipe also includes chicken and Monterey Jack cheese. Delicious for dinner, lunch, or even breakfast.


  • About 28 corn tortilla chips (homemade or store bought)*
  • 3/4 cup salsa (any brand - I used Herdez)
  • 3/4 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded, cooked, chicken breast
  • 4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded


  1. Place tortilla chips on the bottom of a 9" pie plate or 8 to 9" square oven proof pan.
  2. In small bowl, combine the salsa and the enchilada sauce. Cook in small sauce pan until heated through or microwave until hot.
  3. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the mixture on top of the chips. Scatter the chicken on top of the salsa mixture and then top with remaining sauce.
  4. Sprinkle top with the cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F until cheese is melted and bubbly (about 10 minutes) or set oven to broil, and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Garnish with sliced fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced radish, chopped cilantro, and sour cream, as desired.


*For the corn tortilla chips:EASY - fry the 6 "corn tortillas (cut into 6 triangular pieces) in oil until crisp, drain on paperEASIER - Air fry the 6 "corn tortillas (cut into 6 triangular pieces) in your Air Fryer appliance. (Directions in text above)EASIEST - Purchase corn tortilla chips. I recommend low salt or no salt variety. Nutritional Information is an estimate

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

14.26 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.36 g

Cholesterol (grams)

54.98 mg

Carbs (grams)

21.40 g

Fiber (grams)

2.83 g

Sugar (grams)

5.26 g

Net carbs

18.58 g

Protein (grams)

20.78 g

Sodium (milligrams)

1000.97 mg
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