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Chilaquiles Divorciados Recipe



Chilaquiles are a staple in Guanajuato and everyone seems to have their favorite salsas for preparing it. This dish not only offers two distinct flavors from the use of two common Mexican sauces (Salsa Verde and ranchera) but makes for a festive presentation (when garnished with sour cream, it shares the same color as the Mexican flag).

While the preparation may seem a little daunting, this dish utilizes staples that are always in the Mexican home. Shredded chicken is often added to fortify the dish and topping the plate with fried fresh farm eggs is a classic way of battling the previous days cerveza and/or tequila indulgence.

One would have to assume that the dish’s origins are based on a way to utilize stale tortillas left over from the previous day’s meal. Although frying stale tortillas in vegetable oil is the classic preparation, I’ve had great success in substituting high-quality tortilla chips or broken tostadas (keep in mind the salt content of the tortilla chips that are being used and adjust your seasonings accordingly).


For the tortillas:

  • 12 stale tortillas, cut into 8 pieces (or substitute 64 tortilla chips as mentioned above)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the salsa verde:

  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 10 ounces tomatillo, removed from husk and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces chicken stock
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2-4 diced serrano chiles (depending on desired heat level)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro

For the salsa ranchera:

  • 1 ½ pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 2-3 chopped serrano chiles (depending on desired heat level)
  • 2-3 chopped jalapeños (depending on desired heat level)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup finely diced white onion
  • Sea salt, to taste

For the chilaquiles:

  • 6 ounces grated cheese (I used a blend of Oaxaca, Ranchero, and Chihuahua)
  • 4 ounces sour cream
  • 1 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Sliced red onion, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish


For the tortillas:

Fry the tortilla pieces in vegetable oil in a deep skillet until crisp. Be careful not to heat the oil too much and brown the tortillas. Remove from the skillet and put on a rack or paper towels to drain the excess oil.

For the salsa verde:

Sauté the onions and tomatillos in the vegetable oil until slightly caramelized in a deep skillet. Add the chicken stock and sea salt, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Combine tomatillo-onion mixture and remaining ingredients in a blender and pulse until reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the salsa ranchera:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the halved tomatoes, chiles, and garlic in a tablespoon of oil and spread on a roasting pan and then cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender and process until relatively smooth.

In a deep skillet, sauté the onions in the remaining oil until soft and translucent (be careful not to brown the onions). Add the blended tomato mixture to the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring the pan, and making sure to scrape the bottom to prevent scorching. Remove from the heat and season to taste.

For the chilaquiles:

Preheat the broiler. Set aside ½ cup of each sauce for later. In separate skillets, heat the 2 sauces and add ½ of the tortilla chips to each skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the chips have softened and absorbed most of the sauce.

Place the cooked chips on a baking sheet and cover with shredded cheese. Broil until edges of chips start to brown and cheese is melted. Thin the sour cream with lime juice. Then plate both types of chilaquiles on opposite sides of the plate. Garnish with reserved salsas, lime sour cream, red onion, and cilantro.

Buen provecho!