A couple of years ago, I didn’t even know chilaquiles existed – I know.
But that all changed when some friends of ours made us some for dinner one evening and the flavor and simplicity of the dish blew me away. I’ve been itching to veganize it ever since.
Origins of Chilaquiles
“Chilaquiles” is an ancient Aztec word meaning “chilis and greens”. And its believed that the dish dates back to Central Mexico and early Aztec times. Chilaquiles became popular throughout Mexico and are thought to have been introduced to the US by a 1989 cookbook called “The Spanish Cook.”
The following is our inspired, plant-based version of this delicious dish! You can find a more traditional recipe here from Mexico in My Kitchen.
How to Make Chilaquiles
The base for this dish is a hearty 5-ingredient sauce, which comes together fast and is not only flavorful, but also incredibly versatile.
While it’s perfect in this dish, I also suspect it would be amazing on enchiladas, tofu scrambles, and more. I can’t wait to experiment with other uses.
Traditional chilaquiles recipes typically involve chips or fried tortilla strips, stir fried in a rich tomato-adobo* sauce and topped with chicken, eggs and cheese. But this version remains vegan friendly yet still amazingly flavorful.
Plus, it’s considerably healthier thanks to DIY baked tortilla chips.
*Note: you can learn about the origins of adobo sauce and where to find it here.
This dish only takes 30 minutes to prepare, and is super satisfying with 16 grams of protein per serving. I love it for breakfast, but it would also make the perfect brunch or even weeknight dinner.
John and I attempted to split this skillet for lunch and couldn’t even finish it all! It was so filling and fresh and most importantly, husband-approved.
What does it taste like? I’m glad you asked. It’s:
Top this dish with some fresh cilantro, onion and Vegan Mexican “Parmesan” Cheese for another wave of freshness and flavor. In my opinion, this step is a must.
I think you guys are going to LOVE this dish. If you give it a try, be sure to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram or @minimalistbaker on Twitter so we can see! We love seeing what you guys cook up. Alternatively, Pin it to save for later. Cheers!
Chipotle Tofu Chilaquiles
FOR THE CHILAQUILES:
- 5 small yellow corn tortillas*
- 1/2 large white onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (canned)
- 1 Tbsp adobo sauce (add more or less depending on preferred spice)
- 1/2 cup veggie stock
FOR THE TOFU:
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu (drained and pressed in a clean towel for 15 minutes // I set a cast iron on top)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Vegan Mexican Cheese
- Diced onion and/or fresh cilantro
- Salsa or hot sauce
- Lime juice
- Start by quickly pressing/draining your tofu in a clean kitchen towel with a heavy pot on top, and preheating oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
- IF BAKING YOUR OWN TORTILLAS: Lightly brush or spray both sides of your tortillas with olive or avocado oil and lightly dust them with sea salt. Stack and cut into triangles and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until crisp and just slightly golden brown. Set aside. If using regular chips, skip this step.
- While chips are baking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and prep onion and garlic.
- Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and slightly browned – 3 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Add tomato sauce, diced chipotle and adobo sauce, and veggie stock. Heat until bubbly. Then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Transfer sauce to a blender (optional). For a completely smooth sauce, blend well. For a chunkier sauce, pulse and leave some texture. Set aside.
- Use a fork to crumble the tofu and place skillet back over medium heat (no need to rinse or wipe clean – the remaining sauce adds more flavor).
- Add a bit of oil to the pan and then add tofu. Let lightly brown for 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice. Then add seasonings (chili powder, salt, garlic powder and cumin) and stir. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Add chips to the pan and pour over sauce, stirring quickly to coat. Then top with tofu scramble, fresh onion, and cilantro and serve immediately. Additional toppings might include hot sauce, lime juice, salsa and/or Vegan Mexican Cheese. Serves 2-3 as original recipe is written. Best when fresh.
*Adapted from Food and Wine.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without any additional toppings (cheese or otherwise).