These Smoked Chicken Chilaquiles are the perfect way to use up leftover smoked chicken! This classic Mexican breakfast is loaded with corn tortillas, enchilada sauce, perfectly fried eggs, tender chopped chicken, and cheese all served in one skillet!
Is there anything quite as delicious as a freshly smoked chicken? I don’t think so. But as much as I love grilling chickens, I am often left wondering what to do with leftover smoked chicken (especially these smoked chicken thighs that I make in big batches)… Not that I have any issue eating cold chicken right off the bone.
These quick Smoked Chicken Chilaquiles are one of my favorite leftover smoked chicken dishes. Ready in a total of 20 minutes, it’s an easy chilaquiles recipe, loaded up with flavor, and a great brunch or breakfast!
Besides, it’s just fun to say Chi-la-qui-les. But first,
What are Chilaquiles?
Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish, a breakfast staple and a savory brunch masterpiece. They’re essentially breakfast nachos made up of meat and leftover tortilla drenched in enchilada sauce and topped with fried eggs.
Except, the ‘nachos’ aren’t crispy. They are soft (but not soggy), coated in sauce (usually either a red enchilada or green enchilada sauce) before being topped with cheese, eggs, black beans, and other fixings, and for this recipe, shredded chicken. Then they are cooked to heat it all through and set the eggs.
It’s a great way to use up leftover tortillas or even tortilla chips if it’s what you have in the pantry.
This chilaquiles recipe is packed with simple ingredients and so much flavor.
- Chicken – I love to make these breakfast chilaquiles when I have leftover smoked chicken but you could use store-bought rotisserie chicken too.
- Tortillas – I recommend using corn tortillas. Their texture holds up better than flour tortillas in the sauce.
- Enchilada Sauce – I usually use canned enchilada sauce for convenience but you could whip up a batch of homemade enchilada sauce if you’re working with a little extra time. You could also make them with salsa verde for a totally different flavor combo!
- Eggs – you can add 3-4 eggs depending on how many people you’re serving.
- Cheese – use whatever cheese you like best! Try cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, cotija, or even a shredded Mexican blend cheese.
- Red Onion and Red Pepper – these aren’t necessary but if you have them on hand, it’s always nice to add a little extra texture.
- Fresh Cilantro – for serving.
How to Make Smoked Chicken Chilaquiles
In a large cast-iron skillet, reheat the leftover chicken. Stir in 1 cup of the enchilada sauce to coat and heat through.
Tear or chop the tortillas into wedges and dip them into the remaining enchilada sauce.
Add the tortilla to the chicken mixture, then spoon the remaining enchilada sauce on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make several nooks in the tortilla and chicken mix and lay a cracked egg into each nook. Place the skillet into the smoker or oven and cook at 350ºF until the eggs are just starting to set.
Top with cheese and cook until melted, then serve with peppers, onion, and cilantro.
Are Chilaquiles Supposed to Be Soggy?
Yes and no… There’s really no way for chilaquiles not to be wet, as they are tossed in liquid. But they shouldn’t be soggy, or mushy.
Using leftover tortillas means they are slightly stale, like when you use leftover bread for French toast. The slightly dried-out exterior helps hold the shape and texture while allowing the liquid to coat.
You can curb the sogginess a tad by frying the tortillas in a little bit of oil before rolling them in red sauce. This helps them not soak up as much sauce so they remain a little bit crunchy when they cook.
Another option is to swap the corn tortillas out for tortilla chips. They will still soften in the sauce but their structure will hold up better than tortillas.
I like to serve these breakfast chilaquiles topped with chopped red pepper and onion and a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro.
They would also be delicious topped with crumbled cotija cheese, avocado slices, diced jalapeño, refried beans, sour cream, or hot sauce for a kick of heat.
How to Store
This chicken chilaquiles recipe are definitely best right away. Leftovers are a little bit hard to manage since the tortillas can get soggy quickly and you’re using up leftover smoked chicken (which doesn’t take kindly to being reheated too many times).
However, if you really do want to save your leftovers, wrap them in foil and store them in the fridge for a day or two.
To reheat, keep in the foil or transfer back to a cast-iron skillet with a fresh egg and bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes or until the egg has set.
More Leftover Smoked Chicken Recipes
Need some pointers on smoking that first bird? Check out this Smoked Chicken 101 and be sure to check out the recipe archives for more inspiration on how to use up the leftovers smoked chicken – and every other juicy hunk of meat you can think of. Cuz, I kinda crush on using up the leftovers.
If you’ve tried this luscious breakfast con huevos please rate the recipe below and let me know where you found it in the comments.
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Smoked Chicken Chilaquiles
For the Chilaquiles
- 1 cup Leftover smoked chicken chopped
- 5 to 6 Tortillas
- 1 ½ cup Enchilada Sauce divided
- 3 to 4 eggs
- ½ cup cheese
For toppings / Garnish
- ½ red onion chopped
- ½ red pepper chopped
- fresh cilantro chopped
Make the chilaquiles
- Preheat the smoker or oven to 350.
- In a large preheated cast iron skillet, reheat the leftover smoked chicken.1 cup Leftover smoked chicken
- Stir in 1 cup of the enchilada sauce to coat and heat through.1 ½ cup Enchilada Sauce
- Rip or chop the tortillas into wedges and dip them into the remaining enchilada sauce and add them to the chicken mixture.5 to 6 Tortillas
- Toss to combine.
- Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over top if needed (things are looking too dry) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a large spoon, make several little nooks into the tortilla and chicken mix and gently lay a cracked egg into each nook.3 to 4 eggs
- Slide the skillet into the smoker or oven and cook until the eggs are just startign to set.
- Carefully, top with cheese and cook a few minutes longer until the cheese melts and the eggs are cooked to your desired doneness.½ cup cheese
Garnish and Serve
- Top with the peppers, onions, and cilantro.½ red onion, ½ red pepper, fresh cilantro
- Serve hot, scoop out portions with a fried egg and serve on indivusual platters.
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