Chipotle Chilaquiles


Chilaquiles is a basic Mexican dish created to use up leftovers like tortillas, chiles, shredded chicken and cheese. Rick Bayless keeps the recipe simple by doctoring canned tomatoes with canned chipotles in adobo, available at Latin grocers and many supermarkets. Plus:  More Mexican Recipes 

Chipotle Chilaquiles
Forgot to prep your Cinco de Mayo celebration? Whip up quick dishes like chicken and cabbage tacos with cilantro cream and black-bean soup with avocado salsa. Photo: © Christopher Testani
Total Time:
40 mins


  • One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and 1/2 cup liquid reserved

  • 2 chipotles in adobo

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth

  • Salt

  • 8 ounces tortilla chips

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded chicken

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or queso añejo (see Note)

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves


  1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes with their reserved 1/2 cup of liquid and the chipotles; blend until almost smooth.

  2. In a very large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add two-thirds of the onion and cook over moderately high heat until browned around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato puree and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and boil the sauce over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

  3. Gently stir the tortilla chips into the sauce, making sure they are well coated. Top with the remaining onion, the shredded chicken and the Parmesan cheese. Dollop the sour cream over the chilaquiles, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight. Reheat the chipotle-tomato sauce before proceeding.


Queso añejo is an aged Spanish white cheese that's slightly salty.

Suggested Pairing

The smoky-spicy flavors in this dish can be balanced best by a wine with lots of sweet fruit. Zinfandels, particularly from warmer regions like Sonoma's Dry Creek Valley, have a jammy richness that's ideal here.

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