Healthy Comfort Food

February 1, 2010

Yes, it does exist.

A traditional Mexican breakfast treat is chilaquiles, which features a conglomeration of tortilla strips, fresh tomato sauce, cream, cheese and sometimes eggs.  I came across this lasagna-like twist on the dish, which turns it into a heartier meal.  To save time, buy a cooked rotisserie chicken at the market and chop it up at home.  I added a few ingredients of my own to give it some more zing.  The result is a fairly healthy, crowd-pleasing dish – simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth, and vegetarians will be happy too (I omitted the beans so I’d be happy).  Enjoy!

Black Bean and Chicken Chilaquiles

(makes 4 generous servings)

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken

  • 1 poblano chile, diced

  • 1 can (8 oz.) corn, drained

  • 1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 can (7 ¾-ounce) salsa casera (any red salsa, medium spicy)

  • 1 can (14 oz.) red enchilada sauce

  • 10-12 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

  • 1 ½ cups shredded jack and/or cheddar cheese

  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, chile and corn; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly softened. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth, salsa and enchilada sauce to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.  Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray or lightly oiled. Layer half of chicken mixture over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted.  Eat!



  1. I have having chilaquiles envy. I have not made them yet thinking it is too heavy of a dish….yet I made insane baked mac & cheese last week. Whatev!

    • This really isn’t that heavy of a dish, since there’s no cream or eggs…just go light on the cheese and it’s actually on the lighter side!

  2. Okay – mine was fabulous but did not look like this. These tortillas appear to be in wedges? I was inclined to sauce after the first layer and sauce the remaining on the top of the second layer but instead decided to follow the instructions per the recipe. I had a nice crisp bottom layer and the sauce penetrated the dish but the top was not crunchy and crackly like this. I loved the taste and would opt to add more heat (either additional fresh chiles or a can of diced green in the veg saute) and maybe more chicken and a extra can of beans (personal preference).

    Thanks for this variation on chilaquiles since I do not like eggs. This was like an awesome Mexican lasagna! I

    I served with fresh made salsa Maxicana for a cold, citrus punch!

  3. I’ll be honest – this is a stock photo, I didn’t take one of my dish. D’oh. But yes, it’s more like a lasagna than traditional chilaquiles. The top shouldn’t be crunchy, just cheesy. What kind of salsa did you use in the dish? That’s usually where you can adjust the heat – but chopping up a jalapeno would work too!

  4. If the top should look cheesy than mine was perfect. We were too hungry and my phone was charging. It was perfectly cheesy and by cutting the tortillas into one inch strips they were a nicely layered fit. I had a smaller can on hand of the enchilada sauce and added the extra ounces of salsa for the difference. Also used frozen not canned corn. The salsa was Frontera jalapeno cilantro http://theoriginalstore.com/463838.html

    The consistency of the dish was spot on and there was just enough sauce to do the job without making it wet and mushy. The top was nicely melted and bubbly but the tortilla strips were not exposed so they were not hard. Totally loved the nice layer of strips on the bottom!

    • Can you believe I just discovered Frontera salsa? I had no idea Rick was behind it…they’re so good! The original recipe has fewer ingredients – I added the corn, chile, enchilada sauce and cilantro. I’m thinking a jalapeno next time (though I have to keep the spicy separate for my little guy).

  5. I love the flavor that poblanos give it. I didn’t have cilantro because I had just used it up for the pico….but the cilanto in the jar salsa and the cilantro in the pico did the job. Great call on the additions. I love corn in Mexican dishes and had never used enchilada sauce for anything. The flavor was such a nice mix with the salsa and broth. I thought the overall flavor of the dish was perfect….I just wanted there to be more for another dinner for both of us! I did a quick poach in chicken broth for the boneless/skinless chicken breasts and shredded it for the dish. Used pepper jack cheese. Bill ate a second helping with a few added tortilla chips for crunch.

    So glad I have a Mexican food brother in arms!

  6. […] believe there is a Rick Bayless recipe that we hadn’t made, but we found one. We posted another recipe for chilaquiles a while ago, but that recipe is more like a Mexican lasagna than authentic chilaquiles, which is a […]

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