Chicales Recipe

Explore our delicious Chicales recipe! Learn how to make this classic Mexican dish with simple ingredients and step-by-step instructions.



  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Breakfast / Brunch
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 400 calories

About Ingredients Instructions Video Servings Tips Substitutes

Chicales, also known as Chilaquiles, are a beloved dish in Mexican cuisine, cherished for their comforting flavors and versatility. This traditional dish is often enjoyed for breakfast or brunch but can be savored any time of day. The essence of chicales lies in its simplicity: it's essentially a combination of fried tortilla strips or quarters, smothered in flavorful salsa or sauce, and topped with various toppings like cheese, onions, cilantro, and sometimes protein such as shredded chicken or beans.

The beauty of chicales lies in its adaptability. There are countless variations of this dish, with each region and household adding its own unique twist. Some prefer red salsa made from tomatoes, while others opt for tangy green salsa made from tomatillos.

The type of cheese used can vary as well, from crumbly queso fresco to gooey melted Monterey Jack. Additionally, toppings like sliced avocado, sour cream, and pickled jalapenos add layers of texture and flavor, making each bite a delightful experience.

One of the best parts about chicales is its ability to transform leftovers into a delicious meal. Stale tortillas? No problem. Simply fry them up to make crispy chips and toss them in your favorite salsa for a quick and satisfying dish. Leftover chicken or beans? They make a perfect protein addition to your chicales.

Whether you're cooking for a crowd or just looking for a cozy meal for one, chicales are sure to please with their hearty flavors and comforting appeal. So next time you're craving a taste of Mexico, whip up a batch of chicales and savor the rich flavors of this classic dish.


Discover the ultimate comfort food: Chicales! Dive into this mouthwatering Mexican dish with our easy-to-follow recipe and tantalize your taste buds today.


  • Corn tortillas (about 12)
  • 2 cups of salsa (red or green, depending on your preference)
  • 1 cup of shredded chicken or cooked beans (optional for added protein)
  • 1/2 cup of diced onion
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup of grated cheese (queso fresco, Monterey Jack, or cheddar work well)
  • Sour cream and sliced avocado for serving (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Cut the corn tortillas into quarters or strips.
  3. Spread a thin layer of salsa on the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. Arrange a layer of tortilla pieces on top of the salsa.
  5. Add a layer of shredded chicken or beans (if using), diced onion, chopped cilantro, and a sprinkle of cheese.
  6. Repeat the layers until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of cheese on top.
  7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  8. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown.
  9. Serve hot, topped with sour cream and sliced avocado if desired.

Enjoy your homemade chicales! They're perfect for a comforting and flavorful meal any time of day.

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Chicales, Chicales Recipe, Recipe


Chicales are typically served hot and fresh, straight from the oven or stovetop. Here's how to serve them:

  • Portioning: Use a spatula or serving utensil to scoop out servings onto individual plates or bowls. Be sure to get a good mix of the crispy tortilla chips, flavorful salsa, and toppings in each serving.
  • Toppings: If desired, garnish each serving with additional toppings such as diced onion, chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco or grated cheese, sliced avocado, and a dollop of sour cream. These toppings add freshness, creaminess, and extra flavor to the dish.
  • Side Dishes: Chicales can be served as a standalone dish, but they also pair well with side dishes such as refried beans, Mexican rice, or a simple salad. These sides complement the flavors of the chicales and make for a more complete meal.
  • Accompaniments: Serve chicales with additional condiments on the side, such as hot sauce or salsa verde, for those who like an extra kick of heat. Warm tortillas or crusty bread are also great for mopping up any leftover salsa.
  • Beverages: Pair chicales with your favorite beverages, such as freshly squeezed orange juice, Mexican hot chocolate, or a refreshing agua fresca. These drinks help balance out the flavors and add to the overall dining experience.
  • Once everything is plated and ready to go, invite your guests to dig in and enjoy the delicious flavors and textures of the chicales. Whether served for breakfast, brunch, or dinner, chicales are sure to be a hit at any gathering.


  1. Choose Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, high-quality ingredients whenever possible, especially when it comes to the salsa, cheese, and toppings. Fresh salsa or homemade salsa will enhance the flavor of the dish significantly.
  2. Customize to Taste: Chicales are highly customizable, so feel free to adjust the recipe to suit your preferences. Experiment with different types of salsa, cheeses, and toppings to create your perfect combination of flavors.
  3. Use Stale Tortillas: If you have stale tortillas on hand, chicales are a great way to use them up. Stale tortillas fry up crispier and hold their shape better when mixed with salsa compared to fresh tortillas.
  4. Layering is Key: When layering the tortilla chips, salsa, toppings, and cheese in the baking dish, make sure each layer is evenly distributed to ensure every bite is flavorful and well-balanced.
  5. Don't Overbake: Be mindful not to overbake the chicales, as this can cause them to become too dry or overly crispy. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the baking time to prevent burning.
  6. Serve Immediately: Chicales are best served hot and fresh, so try to serve them as soon as they come out of the oven. This will ensure that the cheese is melted and gooey, and the tortilla chips remain crispy.
  7. Get Creative with Toppings: Don't be afraid to get creative with your toppings! In addition to the classic toppings like onions, cilantro, and avocado, consider adding extras like pickled jalapenos, diced tomatoes, or crumbled bacon for extra flavor and texture.
  8. Make Ahead: You can prepare certain components of the dish ahead of time, such as frying the tortilla chips or making the salsa, to save time on the day of serving. Simply assemble the chicales and bake them when you're ready to eat.

Ingredient Substitutes

  1. Tortillas: If you don't have corn tortillas, you can use flour tortillas instead. They will yield a slightly different texture and flavor, but they will still work well in the dish.
  2. Salsa: If you don't have salsa on hand, you can make a simple substitute by combining diced tomatoes with chopped onions, garlic, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Alternatively, you can use canned enchilada sauce or tomato sauce mixed with your favorite spices.
  3. Cheese: Queso fresco is a traditional cheese used in chicales, but you can substitute it with other types of cheese such as Monterey Jack, cheddar, or even shredded mozzarella.
  4. Protein: While shredded chicken is a popular protein option for chicales, you can also use cooked ground beef, pork, or turkey. For a vegetarian option, you can use cooked black beans, pinto beans, or refried beans.
  5. Toppings: Get creative with your toppings! If you don't have onions or cilantro, you can use sliced green onions or chopped parsley instead. You can also add sliced jalapenos, diced tomatoes, or crumbled bacon for extra flavor.
  6. Sour Cream: If you don't have sour cream, you can use plain Greek yogurt or Mexican crema as a substitute. Both will add a creamy texture and tangy flavor to the dish.
  7. Avocado: If you don't have fresh avocado, you can use store-bought guacamole or simply omit it altogether. Alternatively, you can add a dollop of avocado or olive oil for richness.


Get ready to savor the flavors of Mexico with our Chicales recipe. Whether it's breakfast, brunch, or dinner, this dish is sure to satisfy!

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