Camping Chilaquiles

chilaquiles with egg, cilantro, lime slice on a white plate

Many years ago, we were enjoying a character breakfast at Disneyland’s Storyteller’s Café. It was the Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet and the best dish on the menu was chilaquiles. Aaron had not had this dish before, and he raved about it so much we decided to make it at home. While it is a bit more work than some of our other camping dishes, it can still easily be made over a camping stove. And these camping chilaquiles are definitely worth leaving your sleeping bag to eat!

What exactly are chilaquiles? It involves crispy tortillas simmered in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with eggs. Traditionally eaten in Mexico for breakfast or brunch, this is a tasty way to wake up your whole body starting with the taste buds. While this can be made more authentically with frying up our own tortillas, we don’t always want to fuss with cooking oil while camping with a child, so we sometimes make it with precooked tortilla chips. Either way, these are delicious.

NOTE: Chilaquiles come in both a red sauce variety (Chilaquiles Rojo) and a green sauce variety (Chilaquiles Verde). We tend to be Team Red Sauce which tends to be on the spicier side.

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Sometimes we don’t want to fuss with getting a campfire going before we start making breakfast. That is when we pull out our cast iron skillet and cook on the camping stove (after the coffee is made!). We love to use cast iron while camp cooking. Not only is it hardy enough to handle the heat of the campfire, but it is also fairly easy to clean while camping because we don’t need a sink full of suds to wash the dishes. We pull out our tawashi brush and give it a scrub. If you aren’t used to cast iron cooking, give it a whirl. It might just become your new favorite campsite cooking tool.

What we love about Camping Chilaquiles:

  • A very hearty breakfast
  • Great use for stale tortillas
  • Uses up leftovers

The Ingredients for Camping Chilaquiles:

  • Corn tortillas and Oil (if you wish to make your own chips)
  • Stale tortilla chips (if you don’t want to make your own)
  • Red onion (diced)
  • Garlic (minced)
  • Enchilada sauce (if you don’t make your own, we recommend El Pato sauce)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • Eggs (for protein)

Optional Additional Ingredients for Camping Chilaquiles:

  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro
  • Diced red onion (or pickled red onions)
  • Fresh lime slices
  • Grated cheese (Cotija crumbles are tasty as well)
  • Mexican crema sauce
corn tortilla triangles frying in oil in a cast iron skillet on a camp stove
fried tortilla triangles draining on a paper towel
minced garlic and diced red onion sauteing in cast iron skillet on camp stove

The Process:

  1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. While oil is heating, cut your corn tortillas into quarters.
  2. Place a single layer of the triangles in the oil and fry for a few minutes, until golden brown, flipping once. Remove and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining triangles. NOTE: If you choose to use leftover stale tortilla chips, you may notice a slight difference in taste and texture, but you should still enjoy the dish.
  3. Lower the heat to medium. Add the diced red onion and saute until tender. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
fried tortillas simmering in red enchilada sauce in cast iron skillet on camp stove
four eggs sitting on top of fried tortillas in red sauce
four over easy eggs sitting on top of fried tortillas in red sauce in a cast iron skillet
  1. Next, add the enchilada sauce. NOTE: we use Emeril Lagasse’s recipe and make our own. Bring this to a simmer.
  2. Add fried tortillas back into the sauce and stir to coat. Let this sit for a few minutes.
  3. Create small wells in the tortilla mixture, as many wells as you have eggs to cook.
  4. Crack an egg into each divot and cook to your liking. We prefer to cover the skillet and allow them to poach in the sauce. They can also be scrambled if you prefer.
  5. Divide your chilaquiles into as many servings as you need.
  6. Provide toppings for your hungry eaters. We enjoy avocado slices, pickled red onions, fresh lime, you name it.

Equipment needed:

  • Camp Stove: We definitely prefer to make this over our camp stove and not over the campfire.
  • Cast iron skillet OR Dutch oven: You want something deep enough to contain your layers.
  • Cutting board and knife: Unless you prep all your ingredients at home, you will need a knife and cutting board.           
  • Heat resistant gloves: If you are going to be working around a fire, at some point you will probably get burned. These gloves can help prevent that.

Other Breakfast Recipes to Enjoy:

Camping Chilaquiles

Enjoy a tasty breakfast of chilaquiles made while camping ina cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over a camp stove.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast, camping, cast iron, eggs, spicy, tex mex, tortillas
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Camp stove
  • Cast iron skillet OR Dutch oven
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Paper towels

Ingredients

  • 6-10 corn tortillas
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-6 eggs

Optional Toppings

  • avocado slices
  • cilantro
  • red onions diced or pickled
  • lime slices
  • cheese Mexican blend, Cotija, Monterey Jack
  • Mexican crema sauce

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat. While oil is heating, cut your corn tortillas into quarters.
  • Place a single layer of the triangles in the oil and fry for a few minutes, until golden brown, flipping once. Remove and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining triangles. NOTE: If you choose to use leftover stale tortilla chips, you may notice a slight difference in taste and texture, but you should still enjoy the dish.
  • Lower the heat to medium. Add the diced red onion and saute until tender. Then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds.
  • Next, add the enchilada sauce. NOTE: we use Emeril Lagasse’s recipe and make our own. Bring this to a simmer.
  • Add fried tortillas back into the sauce and stir to coat. Let this sit for a few minutes.
  • Create small wells in the tortilla mixture, as many wells as you have eggs to cook.
  • Crack an egg into each divot and cook to your liking. We prefer to cover the skillet and allow them to poach in the sauce. They can also be scrambled if you prefer.
  • Divide your chilaquiles into as many servings as you need.
  • Provide toppings for your hungry eaters. We enjoy avocado slices, pickled red onions,fresh lime, you name it.

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