We are thrilled to be partnering up again with Jones Dairy Farm (If you remember, last month we shared an epic Green Chile Benedict) to showcase our Breakfast Chilaquiles Verdes.
This made-from-scratch classic takes crispy baked tortillas chips and tosses them in a spicy, zesty salsa verde studded with crisp turkey sausage. We drizzle the salsa-soaked chips in crema and sprinkle with crumbled cotija cheese to finish it off.
Breakfast Chilaquiles Verdes
There are two kinds of breakfast people in this world. The sweet and the savory. As the breakfast archives in Cooking for keeps can attest to, we are firmly in the savory camp. And breakfasts like today’s Chilaquiles Verdes are what truly sing to my savory loving heart. Not only do they combine all my favorite checkpoints in the perfect breakfast – spice, texture, flavor – but it’s one of those breakfast-meets-lunch meals that can mascaraed as a meal any time of day.
If you’re not familiar with one of the most popular breakfast imports from Mexico, let me fill you in. Chilaquiles are at its simplest, crispy tortilla chips tossed with sauce and covered in cheese. Most traditional versions showcase a tomato based sauce similar to our favorite enchilada sauce. Sometimes they’re served with shredded chicken, but most times you can find them served alongside a sunny-side up egg, or two.
Our version of chilaquiles is the green version, made with an easy homemade salsa verde that packs a serious zippy punch and a heavy hand of spice. We bake our own tortillas chips, which retain the perfect amount of crunch and chewiness even after they’re saturated with salsa.
Instead of chicken, we brown and chop our favorite Jones Dairy Farm Natural Turkey Sausage for a dose of protein, a little bit of texture, and a whole lot of flavor.
We finish the warm chilaquiles off with a drizzle of crema or sour cream and plenty of crumbled cotija cheese. Oh, and a fried egg if you wish.
Tomatillos. If you’ve ever wondered what gives salsa verde it’s vibrant green hue, wonder no longer, it’s tomatillos. Tomatillos look like a petite unripe tomato, and while they are in the nightshade family (as tomatoes are), they aren’t tomatoes. They are a bright acidic fruit with sour notes, and when roasted, become smoky and sweet with hints of brightness and citrus. In short, they’re delicious and perfect for salsa.
Onion. You could leave the onion raw as you would in many salsa recipes, but we may as well bring out the sweetness of the onion while we’re roasting the tomatillos.
Jalapeno. For us, the hotter the better. We use a whole jalapeño in our salsa verde, but you can adjust to suit your spice level. Again, we opt to roast the jalapeño, to add another element of smokiness and flavor to our salsa verde.
Garlic. I like for the tomatillos and cilantro to shine, so one large garlic clove is all we need.
Cilantro. A green salsa (or any salsa for that matter) isn’t completely without a heavy hand of cilantro. At least that’s what I’ve come to believe. Cilantro haters can propose their argument to the contrary.
Lime. It only makes sense to compliment the sour, acidic notes in the tomatillos with little bit of acid from a lime. I love the brightness and zippiness it adds to the salsa. I’ll even squeeze a little bit extra at the end just before serving.
Corn tortillas. Traditional chilaquiles is made with crispy corn tortilla chips. As mentioned, we like to make our own, and we do that with corn tortillas. Any kind will do, even the cheap variety that breaks before you can even attempt to pull them out.
Olive oil. All you need to crisp up those tortillas is a little bit olive oil. Enough to coat each tortillas, but not so much that it’s completely saturated. I find one tablespoon per five tortillas is the right ratio. If you want to increase the amount of chips you make, simply follow that ratio.
Salt and pepper. Like any dish we make, it’s important to season as you go. Before baking the chips, make sure each one is coated in plenty of salt and pepper.
We touched on this prior, but what makes our Breakfast Chilaquiles Verdes different than many others, is the addition of Jones Dairy Farm All Natural Golden Brown Turkey Sausage. I love to have an element of protein or meat in my chilaquiles, so instead of topping them with chicken or only a fried egg, I thought a little bit of sausage would be a nice departure from the norm.
We are big fans of all Jones Dairy products and their All Natural Turkey Sausage links are no exception. First and foremost, they’re incredibly flavorful, as they should be. Second, in a world where consuming all-natural products is becoming increasingly more important, to myself included, I feel good about their no added ingredients mantra. That means no MSG, no preservatives, and no nitrates. Also, with 10 grams of protein per serving, and 75% less fat than pork sausage, it keeps us in line with our “healthier” version of chilaquiles.
Crema. You can find Mexican crema in most grocery stores these days, but sour cream works great too.
Cotija cheese. I’m sort of obsessed with cotija cheese. It’s super salty and crumbly and is the perfect topping to just about any Mexican or tex-mex dish.
Eggs. If you want a super hearty breakfast, fry up a few eggs and nestle them right on top.
Let’s make Chilaquiles Verdes!
Admittedly, there are few steps to our breakfast chilaquiles verdes. Because of this, we need to streamline it! We bake the chips while the tomatillos are roasting. While all of that is baking, we brown up the sausage Doing it this way ensures everything cooks at the same time and in a minimal amount of time.
The Salsa Verde
To minimize mess, I like to line my baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Add the tomatillos (cut-side down), the onions, and jalapeños to the pan. Coat with olive oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Roast until the veggies start to caramelize, about 25 minutes.
Once everything has caramelized and roasted in the oven, transfer everything to a high powder blender along with some garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Blend ‘er up! Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper!
Bake the chips
While baking your own chips is definitely an extra step, for our breakfast chilaquiles verdes, I find homemade crispy tortillas fare much better than store-bought. They retain their crispiness but take on an almost chewy texture when tossed with the salsa verde. It’s delightful.
To make our own chips, we cut corn tortillas into triangles and toss them with olive oil. We don’t skimp on the salt before popping them into the oven along with the tomatillos, onions, and jalapeño.
Cook the sausage
While the chips and salsa components are doing their thing in the oven, I brown up the sausage in a large skillet. Even though the Sausage is fully cooked already, I like to crisp them up just a bit. Oil isn’t necessary, but if you want a little extra crispiness, you can use a teaspoon or two of olive oil .
When the sausage are brown, chop them up and set them aside until you are ready to assemble!
When you’re ready to eat, heat the salsa up in the same pan you cooked the sausage in. Once it starts to simmer, throw the chips in and toss until they’re coated. Add in the sausage, toss again. Serve it up! Divide the chips and sausage, drizzle with sour cream, sprinkle with cheese, and top with an egg.
Can Chilaquiles Verdes be made ahead of time?
Yes, but not completely. Obviously once you toss the crunch baked chips with the salsa verde, they aren’t going to retain their crunch forever. If you want to make breakfast chilaquiles verdes ahead of time, here’s how to do it:
- Bake the chips. Cool completely and store in a plastic bag or airtight container.
- Make the salsa. Store in an airtight container.
- When you’re ready to eat, cook the sausage as instructed. Add the salsa to a large skillet and heat until it reaches a simmer. Add the baked chips. Toss. Add the sausage, toss. Assemble as instructed!
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Because we are cooking the chips at a pretty high temperature, you really need to keep an eye on them. They can go from golden brown and crispy, to burnt very quickly. I like to flip them over at the five minute mark, and check on them every two minutes after that until they are done.
- Tailor the chilaquiles to suit your spice level. We use one whole jalapeños seeds and all, but if you like things a little less spicy, take out the seeds and membranes. If you want it more spicy, double up on the jalapeño.
- For more zippiness, and another squeeze of lime juice.
- If you can’t find cojita cheese, feta is a great substitute.
- Replace Mexican crema with sour cream mixed with a little bit of milk for a drizzle texture.
Our favorite tex-mex dishes
- This One Pot Turkey Mexican Pasta is one of our favorite easy weeknight meals.
- Another great easy meal are our Supreme Turkey Baked Tacos.
- Chicken Enchilada Baked Ravioli is hybrid of two favorites – classic enchiladas and baked ravioli.
- 1 lb tomatillos, skin and stems removed and halves
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 jalapeno
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 large garlici clove
- Juice of 1/2 lime (aboug 1 tbsp)
- 5 oz package Jones Dairy All Natural Golden Brown Turkey Sausage
- 1/4 cup cojita cheese, crumbled
- Mexican crema for drizzling
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add tomatillos, onion, and jalapeno to the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil. Use hands to coat everything evenly with oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Toss again. Place in the oven on the top rack and bake for 25 minutes or until the skin is starting to shrivel and turn brown.
- While the tomatillos cook, make the chips. Stack the tortillas on top of each other and cut them into eight wedges.
- Add the triangles to a baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining two tablespoon of olive oil. Use hands to evenly coat the tortillas with the oil. Divide the tortillas between two large baking sheets. Sprinkle evenly with remaining ¾ tsp salt. Toss to combine. Spread the tortillas out on the baking sheet. You want room for them to get crisp. If they are too close together they will steam.
- Place chips in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Pull out of the oven, flip and cook another 3-5 minutes until the chips are slightly golden brown and crisp. As they cool, they will crisp up more. I like to check them every two minutes after the five minute mark to ensure they don’t burn. Remove from oven.
- Once the tomatillos are cooked, transfer them along with the cooked onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to a blender. Blend until smooth. If needed, add a little bit of water to loosen up the salsa. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the chips and tomatillos cook, brown the sausage in a large skillet over a medium heat. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the salsa to the same skillet you cooked the sausage in. Bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add in the chips. Toss in the sauce. Add the sausage. Toss again.
- Drizzle everything with crema and sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm
- Notes: If you want to skip a few steps, you can swap out the homemade tortilla chips with store bought. You’ll need the equivalent of about six cups of chips. I wouldn’t skip making the homemade salsa verde, it really makes this dish!