Chicken chilaquiles verde use up leftover chicken and tortillas all tossed in a comforting green salsa and cooked on the grill.

Perfect as a 20-minute camping recipe or just because you want to cook breakfast al fresco. 

above shot of Kita grilling chilaquiles on a gas grill with pineapple slices

(I am excited to partner with Reynolds Wrap® on this post! All thoughts and opinions are my own. )

Chilaquiles Verde With Chicken

There is nothing as exciting as a big platter of amazing food for breakfast. Or maybe that’s just me, but I am a sucker for a savory dish to dive into right after my morning workouts (which is probably the reason I religiously need to work out).

And chilaquiles verde are a special meal that makes me incredibly excited for brunch and leaves me fueled all day. 

Loaded with leftover tortillas, tender shredded grilled chicken, or even leftover oven roasted chicken, and salsa verde (though sometimes I just use red enchilada sauce) it’s pretty much perfect. When you serve it with a masterfully fried egg on top, then you are speaking my absolute love language.

What Is A Chilaquiles Verde?

Quite simply, a chilaquiles is an ancient breakfast passed on from the indigenous cultures of Mexico. It has a rich tradition, but it is so open to interpretation, so from regional variations to new spins on an old recipe, you will always find new ways to enjoy them.

The “verde” refers to the type of green salsa I use, but you can also do it “roja” with a red style salsa as well.

In its simplest form, chilaquiles is fried corn tortillas that are then simmered and finally slathered in salsa. Adding shredded chicken, cheese, crema, avocado or guacamole, well, the list keeps growing.

Use Leftovers For Chicken Chilaquiles

I adore this recipe because it’s incredibly frugal, making sure to use up stale tortillas with flavors that blend so well together, and you can dress it up if you want easily with bright pops of fresh ingredients! 

Having a way to use old tortillas you might otherwise throw out? Life just improved. You just moved a little bit closer to true balance. Equilibrium.

This recipe is also a favorite of mine while I am camping, tossed in a heavy-duty foil packet, and onto the fire; they make camping more like those luxury glamping sites.

No one can believe how easy it really is. They are also so easy to cook on the grill for a perfect outdoor brunch and with as much as they look like a big undertaking, prep and clean up are a total breeze. 

Variations On Chilaquiles

I suggest shredded chicken, but you could easily do shredded beef too. The thing about chilaquiles is they are designed to repurpose your leftovers.

So, even if you have a bit of leftover salmon, then you can make it work. Just make sure to use it before any bit of gross and stinky sets in. With leftover salmon, you are looking at maybe 24 to 48 hours.

But, take a look in the fridge… Anything you have that you were meaning to use… Now becomes an innovation to the chilaquiles tradition.

big skillet using leftover chicken with fried eggs on top, a quick crema and fresh toppings like sliced lime and grilled pineapple all in a foil skillet (shown in the cast iron pan as well for easy grilling)

Use Thick Aluminum Foil

My trick here is always having Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil on hand. I use it for everything from storing meat in my freezer to prevent freezer burn to tenting my food with foil after they come off the grill. But I also love that it’s a total game-changer for cleanup. 

Nothing is as frustrating as when you are cooking and the foil you are using to make things easier keeps ripping unexpectedly – and you guys know what I mean; we’ve all had that eye roll moment in the kitchen. Let’s be honest, some just don’t handle the heat.

That’s why I have been a fan of Reynolds Wrap® for years. Especially in my camp and grilling kits. I know that it’s going to be tough enough for cooking over fire. For packets like these, I will double up the foil, knowing that it’s thick enough to protect the tortillas on the bottom from burning if I am skipping the skillet all together. 

Close up of a grilled skillet of chilaquiles with leftover chicken, eggs and salsa verde topped with bright limes, radishes, tomatoes, and pickled onion

Pro Tip: Line your skillet with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil to make clean up a breeze. Simply measure out the foil to line your skillet with enough foil that it can wrap over the filling completely while you are cooking. After you are done, just lift the Reynolds Wrap® out of the skillet to serve and the mess is gone! One less dish to wash. 

So, what do you need for this chila quiles verde recipe? 

The trick to mastering this recipe is leftover stale tortillas. Having walked through the market streets of Central and South America, nothing is as prevalent as the homemade fresh tortillas pressed daily. Served with every meal, they are literally everywhere.

And because they are a simple blend of masa harina and water, they do have a rather quick shelf life. With fresh tortillas daily, it is easy to see why using up the leftovers is important. Also, having fresh tortillas on hand just makes me happy. And let’s be honest, ain’t nothing wrong with that. 

From there, you need salsa verde to toss everything in and you’ll want to add in last night’s barbecue as well. I love this dish with grilled chicken chopped up but it is also amazing with shredded smoked pork or even beef! 

What you need to make chicken chilaquiles with salsa verde, ingredients on a wooden board

Fried eggs, in my opinion, are essential to making this dish over the top, so don’t skip them. Actually, you can cook them on top of the chilaquiles themselves and not even worry about having another pan on hand. However, if you want perfectly fried eggs, cooking them in their own pan may be your best bet. Otherwise, crack that baby on top and let it firm up under the heat of the grill. 

Lastly, chilaquiles verde make perfect vehicles for toppings like sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, crumble cotija, rashies, scallions, pico de gallo, and pretty much any other Latin topping you can imagine. If you really want to stretch the value and make this a hearty meal, add frijoles too! If anything you will earn some bonus points from me. Got extra leftover chicken? Try this green chili chicken with leftover chicken thighs.

More Great Brunch Recipes

I love this recipe for camping and it makes a great dish for brunch. Not hard to cook, easily loved and consumed, who needs to do another quiche when you have chilaquiles on the menu?

Here are a few others I humbly submit for your inspection and consideration!

above shot of finished chilaquiles recipe in cast iron with foil for campfire or gas grill. pineapples and other topping scattered around on a blue background

Chilaquiles Verde with Chicken and Chipotle Crema

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Servings: 6
Shot of chilaqules with leftover chicken, salsa verde and eggs grilled in a skillet with foil. Topped with crema, limes, tomatoes, pickled onions and pretty much anything else that inspired me.
This 20-minute chilaquiles verde recipe for using up chicken leftovers is the easiest skillet recipe for a totally loaded breakfast or brunch.

Recommended Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil

Ingredients  

For the Chilaquiles

  • 4 cups tortilla chips
  • ½ can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 1 cup cooked chicken chopped, use leftovers shredded preferably
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese shredded
  • 6 eggs

For the Chipotle Crema

  • ½ cup crema or sour cream
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce

For Serving

  • ½ cup frijoles negros rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno seeded, stemmed and sliced into rings
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp freshly minced cilantro
  • 2 oz cotija
  • ¼ cup Pico de gallo or salsa
  • Lime wedges
  • 1 avocado skin and pit removed and sliced
  • Grilled Pineapple

Instructions 

Make the Salsa:

  • On a grill heated to medium-high heat, add the oil and swirl to coat pan.
  • Sauté the onion for 5 to 7 minutes until soft. Carefully remove from pan.
  • Meanwhile, char the poblano over the grill until the skin is burnt.
  • Remove from heat and wrap in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil for 5 minutes. When safe to handle, peel the skin from the poblano and discard.
  • Remove the seeds and add the poblano to a food processor.
  • Add the onion and enchilada sauce.
  • In a food processor blend the ingredients until smooth.

Make the Chilaquiles:

  • Preheat the grill to medium heat, hot enough that you can carefully hold your hand 3 to 4 inches above the grill grates for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Line the skillet with Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, leaving enough additional length to fold the foil back over to cover, ends meeting in the middle.
  • Place a little bit of sauce to coat the foil.
  • Add a layer of tortilla chips.
  • In a small bowl, toss the chicken with a few tablespoons of sauce.
  • Add a layer of chicken to the skillet.
  • Toss the remaining tortillas chips in the enchilada sauce and top the chicken layer with it.
  • Sprinkle cheese over the chip layer.
  • If you are adding eggs, crack an egg into a small bowl. Drop each egg carefully over the surface.
  • Carefully fold the overhanging foil over the layers, without letting it touch the surface of the food. Pinch the edges together.
  • Place the skillet over the grill and allow to cook until the eggs are set about 15 minutes.
  • When the eggs have set, using heat resistant gloves, carefully remove the skillet from the oven (It will be hot!) and garnish with the crema and any desired toppings.

Make the Chipotle Crema:

  • Using your blender or food processor, pulse the crema, orange juice, and chipotles until smooth. Season with salt if desired. (If you want more heat, add ½ a chipotle more at a time until you are happy, however, with canned chipotles, it’s best to start small and work your way up.)

To Serve:

  • Carefully lift the foil packet from the skillet and place on a serving platter.
  • Unwrap the top of the foil, peeling it back to display the chilaquiles.
  • Place the frijoles and jalapeno on top.
  • Sprinkle with the cilantro and cotija.
  • Serve with pico de gallo, lime wedges, avocado, and grilled pineapple, if desired

Video

Notes

  • To make these more traditionally, use leftover tortillas.
    In a large cast-iron skillet heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil until shimmering.
    Working in batches, fry the tortilla wedges until just starting to crisp.
    Remove and arrange on a paper towel-lined plate while repeating until all wedges are crisp.
  • Leftover chilaquiles absorb the liquid from the salsa verde, so they are best enjoyed fresh or within 24 hours. The eggs will not be good reheated. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 
  • Reheat in the microwave, with the foil removed, until hot. OR in an oven preheated to 325 for 10 minutes, until heated through. Add a bit more salsa if needed. Add a freshly fried egg if desired. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 686kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 209mg | Sodium: 798mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 894IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 382mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Latin
Author: Kita Roberts
Keyword: Chilaquiles, chilaquiles verde

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I too am a huge fan of Reynolds Wrap heavy duty aluminum foil – the generic brands just don’t hold up! And your chilaquiles on the grill look fantastic – I’ll be testing them out this summer :))

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