This Mexican breakfast staple is a healthy, hearty way to start your day—or nurse a hangover! Homemade tortilla chips in the air fryer smothered in spicy roasted tomatillo salsa and topped with eggs any way you like.
¡Hola amigos! Mi cosa favorita de vivir en California es la comida mexicana.
Yep. I know Spanish. Fun fact, I’ve taken almost 10 years of Spanish courses throughout my schooling. Plus five more if you include working in restaurants around LA, which has honestly taught me more than any course I took in school.
Anyway, as I was saying—my favorite thing about living in California is all the Mexican food. I’ve eaten Mexican food from the East Coast to the West and everywhere in between and nowhere does it quite like Cali. Except probably Mexico—never been there. In Los Angeles especially, chances are, even the restaurants not specifically dedicated to Mexican food, still have a few bomb dishes on their menu. They may not be completely authentic, but it’ll still be some of the best Mexican food you’ll find in the states. Guaranteed.
For example, the inspiration behind this dish came from The Overland Tap + Kitchen (where I work). We have a really tasty, really BIG plate of chilaquiles that I always recommend for brunch, even though our pancake plates and eggs Benedicts are more popular. You wouldn’t expect a place that serves up chicken pot pie to have a dank plate of chilaquiles, but surprise!
I took a poll on IG and more than half of y’all didn’t know what chilaquiles [chee-la-kee-lehs] even were, so let me fill you in. Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish of fried tortilla chips smothered in red or green salsa—depending where they’re from—and topped with huevos. They are commonly served with shredded meat, like chicken, but I kept it meatless so I’d have room for rice and beans. Mexican food is the only cuisine where it feels acceptable to eat beans for breakfast, am I right??
The sauce is what really makes or breaks this dish. You have to make it homemade—you have to. Roasting the vegetables changes their flavor and gives them a deep, savory aroma that mellows out the acidity from the tomatillos. I like it pretty spicy—sort of a medium heat—so I keep one of the peppers whole (seeds and all) when I roast them. I use a combo of jalapeños and fresno chilis, but you can use any pepper you like. Serrano is also a great choice.
The best part about this dish is how surprisingly healthy it is! The air fryer is amazing. It gets the chips golden and crispy without using any oil! I tried brushing the tortillas with olive oil before air frying them, but they came out a bit soggy. I recommend just lightly coating them with cooking spray, instead.
I like to break the egg yolk and let it ooze all over the chilaquiles. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions for a little freshness, salty queso fresco, and a squeeze of lime to brighten it all up. You can make your eggs any way you like—scrambled seems to be pretty popular at the restaurant. But you’ll find me with sunny side up because I’m all about that #yolkporn!
AIR FRYER CHILAQUILES VERDES + ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA
For the chilaquiles
- 5 small corn tortillas (per person)
- 1-2 eggs (per person)
- fresh cilanto
- green onions
- queso fresco, crumbled
- roasted tomatillo salsa (see below)
- avocado (optional)
- lime (optional)
For the roasted tomatillo salsa
- 12 tomatillos, husked and washed
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and deveined
- 1 fresno chile, stem cut off
- 1/4 yellow onion, chunk
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 4 green onions
- 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon + 1 cup hot water (or 1 cup chicken broth)
- olive oil
Start making the tomatillo salsa by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F. Prep tomatillos, peppers, and yellow onion. I make my salsa medium spicy, but for a mild sauce you can seed and devein all the peppers, or for hot keep at least two peppers whole with the stem cut off.
Toss tomatillos, peppers, and onion with olive oil and salt and place on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil. Peel garlic cloves and wrap them together in tinfoil with a little olive oil and salt and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Trim ends off green onions and add to roasting pan half way through.
Transfer roasted veg and all their juices to a food processor. Add 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon to 1 cup hot water and mix well. Add mixture (or 1 cup chicken broth) to food processor with a large pinch of salt. Pulse or blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.
Cut tortillas into quarters using a pizza cutter, for easy cutting. Spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with olive oil. Too much oil will make them soggy. Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees F and fry chips for 7 minutes in batches of 20 chips (or 5 tortillas). Sprinkle with salt.
Warm up a cup or so of the tomatillo salsa in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add chips to the sauce and stir to coat, adding more sauce if necessary. Simmer until chips just start to soften, but still have some crunch to them. You may have to work in batches depending on your many people you’re feeding.
Transfer to a serving plate and top with eggs any style (I like sunny side up), crumbled queso fresco, and fresh cilantro and green onion. Serve with avocado, lime wedges, and a side of rice and beans.