Air Fryer Chilaquiles: Smothered Tortilla Breakfast Dish!

If you’ve got leftover tortillas from last night’s taco night, then you’ll love these air fryer chilaquiles! It’s a great way to use up tortillas that are going a little stale, and turn them into a breakfast dish that’s packed with flavor. Plus, I love this shortcut version for convenience!

air fryer chilaquiles recipe dinners done quick featured image

What Are Chilaquiles?

Chilaquiles are fried leftover tortillas, usually cut into wedges or strips. They’re then coated in a salsa or sauce. Toppings can vary from as simple to as complex as you like, but crumbled cheese, crema, vegetables, and fried eggs are some of the most common options.

Usually, chilaquiles are considered a breakfast dish, as a way to use up last night’s tacos in a new and interesting way.

While the tortilla chips are usually deep fried, air frying provides an alternative that delivers that nice, crispy tortilla, but with way less oil that you need for deep frying.

holding up an air fryer chilaquiles with a chunk of avocado

There are lots of great ways to make this recipe work for your own needs and preferences as well. In fact, I’m using prepared sauce so that my chilaquiles only take about 10 minutes, so I can get to eating even faster.

Ingredients for Air Fryer Chilaquiles

ingredients to make air fryer chilaquiles
  • 6 street taco size tortillas
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste) 
  • 5 ounces red or green enchilada sauce
  • Oil spray (I use olive oil)

Toppings (all optional)

  • Crumbled cotija cheese
  • Mexican crema
  • Sunny side up egg
  • Diced avocado
  • Cilantro or parsley

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • You can use any taco-sized tortillas. For larger ones (not street taco), you will want to cut them into 6-8 wedges instead so they’re not too big
  • For the oil, you can use another high smoke point oil instead of the olive oil, like avocado or rapeseed oil
  • Instead of the enchilada sauce (which is a common shortcut), you can use salsa verde or rojos, or another similar sauce of choice
  • Feel free to add any other toppings you’d like, as chilaquiles are a very customizable dish. For proteins, pulled pork, chorizo, and black or refried beans are great additions. You can also add lime, green onions, pickled red onions, jalapenos and other peppers, radishes, and other types of cheeses as desired!

Air Fryer Chilaquiles Verde Vs. Rojos

So, what’s the difference between air fryer chilaquiles verde and rojos? The answer is simply the type of salsa or sauce you use!

  • Chilaquiles rojos are made with a red salsa or enchilada sauce that’s derived from primarily red chile peppers. While it is considered the spicier of the two options, there are plenty of mild varieties of prepared sauce available if you’re heat averse
  • Meanwhile, chilaquiles verde are made with a green sauce, which gets its color from the tangy tomatillo. It’s usually milder but a little more acidic than its red counterpart

How to Make Air Fryer Chilaquiles

  1. Cut your tortillas into quarters (or 6-7 wedges if using larger tortillas than the street taco size)
cut tortillas into quarters
  1. Spray the cut tortillas with a fine mist of oil and sprinkle with the salt. I usually put them in a bowl and spray while tossing them around, but you could also lay them out flat if you prefer
place tortilla wedges in a bowl to spray with oil and salt
  1. Place the tortillas into your air fryer’s basket or rack in as close to a single layer as possible (some amount of overlap is alright, but you want them to heat evenly)
place tortilla pieces in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, pausing halfway through to flip the tortillas over
  2. Remove the crispy tortilla chips to a large bowl and cover in the enchilada sauce, turning to coat. The longer they sit, the more soft they will get, so adjust for your preference. Note, you can also heat the enchilada sauce in a skillet on the stove until thickened and then toss the fried chips in it, letting it cook until the desired consistency is reached
coat crispy tortillas in enchilada sauce
  1. Top with your favorite toppings and serve warm!
overhead view of air fryer chilaquiles on a plate with avocado and egg

How to Make a Sunny Side Up Egg in the Air Fryer

  1. Spray a small round oven safe dish with nonstick spray (such as a mini pie pan or ramekin)
  2. Crack an egg into the greased dish and season with salt and pepper to taste
crack an egg in a greased dish and season with salt and pepper
  1. Place the dish into your air fryer and cook on the air fry setting at 350°F for 2-3 minutes (or more if you want a more firm yolk)
  2. Use a soft spatula to slide it out of the dish onto your chilaquiles

What to Serve With Chilaquiles

  • Refried beans
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Fried eggs
  • Pico de gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Queso fresco
  • Crema 
  • Radishes
  • Pickled onions
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro
  • Pulled chicken
  • Pulled pork
  • Chorizo
  • Ground beef
  • Fish
  • Shrimp

There are lots of great dishes to serve with chilaquiles, depending what sort of meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) you’d like to enjoy them for!

Hot take: I prefer my chilaquiles with no eggs, as I like the smoky chiles in the sauce to shine through. I usually do some crumbled queso fresco, crema, and some fresh avocado for a delicious bite!

You can also try my air fryer chilaquiles rojos with my air fryer refried beans, microwave refried beans, air fryer chorizo, air fryer mojo chicken, air fryer pulled pork, or some copycat chipotle chicken in the air fryer.

Recipe FAQs

How Do I Make Chilaquiles in the Air Fryer?

To make chilaquiles in the air fryer, start by air frying tortilla chips until crispy. Toss the chips in your choice of warm salsa, then return them to the air fryer or a skillet for a few minutes to heat through.

Top with your favorite garnishes and serve immediately.

Can I Use Store-Bought Tortilla Chips for Chilaquiles?

Yes, you can use store-bought tortilla chips.

However, making your own chips from cut corn tortillas and air frying them will result in a fresher, crispier texture.

What Type of Salsa Should I Use for Air Fryer Chilaquiles?

You can use either red or green salsa or enchilada sauce for chilaquiles, depending on your preference.

Both homemade and store bought salsas and sauces work well.

How Do I Keep Chilaquiles from Getting Soggy?

To keep chilaquiles from getting soggy, serve them immediately after tossing the chips in the salsa.

Air frying the chips again briefly after adding the salsa can help maintain crispiness, if you find yours are getting too soggy.

What Toppings Can I Add to Air Fryer Chilaquiles?

Popular toppings for chilaquiles include crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese, sour cream or crema, sliced avocado, chopped or pickled onions, cilantro, fried eggs, and shredded chicken.

You can customize them to your preferences, and feel free to add other items as well, like refried beans, chorizo, other meats, hot sauce, and more.

Can I Make Vegan Air Fryer Chilaquiles?

Yes, you can make vegan chilaquiles by using plant-based toppings such as vegan cheese, avocado, and a dollop of dairy-free sour cream.

Ensure that the salsa and tortillas used are also vegan-friendly.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Chilaquiles in the Air Fryer?

The cooking time for chilaquiles in the air fryer is relatively short. Air frying the tortilla chips typically takes about 5-7 minutes, or 8-10 if you do not preheat in advance.

If you choose to reheat the sauced chips, it should take an additional 2-3 minutes.

Can I Add Protein to My Air Fryer Chilaquiles?

Yes, you can add cooked proteins such as shredded chicken, chorizo, or fried eggs to your chilaquiles.

Any cooked meats can be added along with the sauce, and reheated in the air fryer for a couple minutes to warm them.

How Do I Reheat Leftover Chilaquiles in the Air Fryer?

To reheat leftover chilaquiles, preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Note that the chips may not be as crispy as when freshly made.

You may want to add a piece of parchment or nonstick foil to your air fryer for easier cleanup, as the sauced chips can be a little messy.

Can I Make Chilaquiles Ahead of Time?

Chilaquiles are best served immediately. However, you can prepare the components ahead of time.

Store the sauce and prepared toppings separately, and air fry the chips just before serving. Toss everything together right before eating.

What Kind of Tortillas Should I Use to Make Homemade Chips for Chilaquiles?

You can use corn or flour tortillas to make homemade chips for chilaquiles. Usually taco-sized tortillas work best for overall size.

Cut the tortillas into triangles, lightly spray with oil, and air fry until crispy.

Tips For Air Fryer Chilaquiles

  • I have a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer, which I did not preheat for this recipe. My tortillas were crispy to my liking in 10 minutes. If you preheat, you can generally reduce cooking time to 6-8 minutes. Note that cooking times can change slightly between air fryers and brands of tortillas anyway, so adjust as needed
  • If you’d like to warm and re-crisp your chilaquiles after adding sauce in your air fryer, add a piece of parchment or nonstick foil down. Spread out the chilaquiles, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes (or until desired level of browning and crispiness)
closeup view of air fryer chilaquiles topped with avocado, egg, and cotija cheese

Storage and Reheating Tips For Chilaquiles

  • Chilaquiles are best served fresh. However, you can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days if desired
  • To reheat chilaquiles, add a piece of parchment or nonstick foil to your air fryer, spread out the chilaquiles in a single layer, and cook for 3-5 minutes at 350°F until warmed and re-crisped. Try to remove any cold toppings (avocado, cheese, pico de gallo) before reheating for best results (you can add them back on after)

More Air Fryer Mexican Recipes to Try

Final Thoughts

I love making air fryer chilaquiles because it’s so quick and convenient! It’s a great recipe to use up leftover tortillas to turn them into something savory and delicious for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

The air fryer gets just the right crisp on the tortillas to help them stand up to the sauce, and whether you choose verde (green) or rojos (red) style, they’re going to be bursting with flavor.

Top them up any way you like! My favorite toppings are Mexican crema, crumbled cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, and some fresh avocado. It’s the perfect bite that lets those smoky chiles really shine through. Of course, you can change it up any way you like to make your perfect dish!

air fryer chilaquiles recipe dinners done quick featured image

Easy Air Fryer Chilaquiles (Rojos or Verdes)

Make chilaquiles with those leftover or stale tortillas in minutes thanks to your air fryer! This shortcut recipe turns out simple, delicious smothered tortilla chips perfect for breakfast or brunch.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 2
Calories 354 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 6 street taco sized tortillas
  • ¼ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 5 ounces red or green enchilada sauce
  • oil spray (I use olive oil)

Toppings (all optional)

  • 1 Tbsp crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 Tbsp crema
  • 1 sunny side up egg
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley (chopped)

Instructions
 

  • Cut your tortillas into quarters (or 6-7 wedges if using larger tortillas than the street taco size)
    6 street taco sized tortillas
  • Spray the cut tortillas with a fine mist of oil and sprinkle with the salt. I usually put them in a bowl and spray an oil mister while tossing them around, but you could also lay them out flat if you prefer
    oil spray, ¼ tsp salt
  • Place the tortillas into your air fryer’s basket or rack in as close to a single layer as possible (some small amount of overlap is alright, but you want them to heat evenly)
  • Cook on the air fry setting at 350°F for 8-10 minutes, pausing halfway through to flip the tortillas over
  • Remove the crispy tortilla chips to a large bowl and cover in the enchilada sauce, turning to coat. The longer they sit, the more soft they will get, so adjust for your preference. Note, you can also heat the enchilada sauce in a skillet on the stove until thickened and then toss the fried chips in it, letting it cook until the desired consistency is reached
    5 ounces red or green enchilada sauce
  • Top with your favorite toppings and serve warm!
    1 Tbsp crumbled cotija cheese, 1 Tbsp crema, 1 sunny side up egg, 1 avocado, 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro or parsley

Notes

  • You can use any taco-sized tortillas. For larger ones (not street taco), you will want to cut them into 6-8 wedges instead so they’re not too big
  • For the oil, you can use another high smoke point oil instead of the olive oil, like avocado or rapeseed oil
  • Instead of the enchilada sauce (which is a common shortcut), you can use salsa verde or rojos, or another similar sauce of choice
  • Feel free to add any other toppings you’d like, as chilaquiles are a very customizable dish. For proteins, pulled pork, chorizo, and black or refried beans are great additions. You can also add lime, green onions, pickled red onions, jalapenos and other peppers, radishes, and other types of cheeses as desired!
  • I have a Ninja Dual Zone air fryer, which I did not preheat for this recipe. My tortillas were crispy to my liking in 10 minutes. If you preheat, you can generally reduce cooking time to 6-8 minutes. Note that cooking times can change slightly between air fryers and brands of tortillas anyway, so adjust as needed
  • If you’d like to warm and re-crisp your chilaquiles after adding sauce in your air fryer, add a piece of parchment or nonstick foil down. Spread out the chilaquiles, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes (or until desired level of browning and crispiness)
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand, variety, and flavor of ingredients, toppings added (no toppings included in nutrition), size of tortillas, and quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 174gCalories: 354kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 8.6gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3.4gSodium: 1407mgPotassium: 195mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 85IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 150mgIron: 4.1mg
Keyword air fryer chilaquiles, air fryer tortilla chips, chilaquiles recipe, chilaquiles rojos, chilaquiles verdes, mexican cuisine at home, ninja air fryer chilaquiles
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheDinnersDoneQuick or tag #dinnersdonequick!
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Katie Vine

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