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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Chilaquiles Rojos with Black Beans

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If you love Mexican food, then you’re going to adore chilaquiles rojos! This classic Mexican dish is filled with black beans, peppers, tomatoes, and spices with layers of corn tortilla smothered in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a vegetarian-friendly Mexican casserole the whole family will love!

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Chilaquiles is a classic Mexican casserole dish.

It’s traditionally made with fried tortilla chips topped with a spicy tomato sauce, tons of cheese, and eggs.

Delicious? Yes! Healthy enough to eat on a regular basis? Not so much.

But my version of chilaquiles rojos keeps all of the flavor of the original recipe with none of the guilt!

I recommend taking this dish to your next party or potluck. It will seriously disappear right in front of your eyes, and everyone will rave about how good it is.

This recipe is perfect for feeding a large group of people for breakfast or brunch, or even as a breakfast-for-dinner for two with lots of leftovers later.

The leftovers taste great after making this dish, since it just gives the spices even more time to blend together!

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need

Recipe Ingredients & Notes

ingredients for chilaquiles rojos
  • The Sauce: While you can use store-bought enchilada sauce for this recipe, I highly recommend making your own. I’ve incorporated my homemade enchilada sauce into this recipe. It takes just 5 minutes and tastes way better than store bought – so making it at home is so worth it!
  • The Tortillas: Chilaquiles is typically made with deep fried corn tortillas. I used fresh corn tortillas in this recipe to lighten it up! To get a similar texture as the deep fried version, you can lightly toast or bake your corn tortillas before adding them to this dish.
  • The Filling: The filling ideas are pretty much endless here! I chose black beans, peppers, corn, tomatoes and onions but you can use any veggies + protein you like!

How to Make Chilaquiles Rojos – Step by Step

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, chili powders (all 3 of them), garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer.

red sauce simmering in a pot

Step 2: Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

peppers and onions sauteeing in a pot

Step 3: Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3-5 minutes.

black beans, corn, peppers and onions sauteeing in a pot

Step 4: Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the casserole dish.

corn tortillas in a casserole dish

Step 5: Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese.

layered vegetarian chilaquiles in a casserole dish

Step 6: Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more. Top with diced tomatoes and green onion.

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

What Makes This Chilaquiles Rojos Healthy?

  • Low Calories: Each serving of this healthy chilaquiles rojos is huge and only has about 250 calories! It’s great for keeping you full and pleasing your taste buds too. 
  • Protein: Eating plenty of protein is good for your bones, helps you maintain weight, and keeps you full. Each serving has over 11 grams of plant protein! 
  • Fiber: Another important nutrient you need is fiber to help control your blood sugar and aid in digestion. Each serving of these chilaquiles has over 8 grams of fiber! 

Will Kids Enjoy Chilaquiles Rojos?

Kids are going to love everything about this chilaquiles rojos recipe. The corn tortillas, cheese, seasonings, and black beans are kid friendly ingredients. If your kids are especially sensitive to spice, I’d omit the chipotle chili powder in the sauce and adjust the rest of the spices as needed.

The hardest part about feeding this Mexican casserole to kids is that they aren’t going to want to stop eating it. They will almost always go back for another helping, but don’t worry! It’s healthy for them, so it’s a great recipe to feed those little growing bodies. 

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Recipe FAQs

Are These Vegetarian Chilaquiles Spicy?

No, this recipe isn’t too spicy. The combination of cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and chipotle chili powder adds a little bit of spice, but it’s a mild spice. 
In order to increase the heat, you can add in some extras! Fresh diced jalapenos, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes would all be lovely ways to add some spice to the casserole. I would start with one jalapeno to see if it’s spicy enough for you. As far as the cayenne and red pepper flakes, start with a little and add more if needed. You don’t want to add too much and make it too hot, especially if you are feeding kiddos. 

How Do You Store and Keep Mexican Chilaquiles?

Refrigerator: Place the cooled chilaquiles rojos in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. 
Freezer: Store leftovers in a freezer-safe container with a lid that fits tightly. Freeze for up to three months. Defrost before reheating. 
Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave or the oven. For the microwave: place on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a paper towel and heat in the microwave. For the oven: put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or  until hot. 

Are These Vegetarian Chilaquiles Gluten Free?

Yes! This recipe uses corn tortillas that are naturally gluten free. Just make sure you’re purchasing corn tortillas that are gluten free certified, as many corn tortillas are made in spaces that also produce wheat, spelt, etc. tortillas (so there is a risk of cross contamination).

Topping Ideas and Variations For Chilaquiles

We enjoy this recipe just the way it is, but you can certainly add all your favorite toppings if you want. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt: 1-2 tsp per serving is plenty!
  • Guacamole: Add some freshly made guacamole. It’s delicious and goes so well with all of the other ingredients. 
  • Pico de Gallo or Salsa: If you love pico de gallo, add a tablespoon or so on top right before serving. 
  • Cilantro and/or Green Onions: Dice some fresh cilantro and green onions and sprinkle all over top. It’s bright, vibrant and adds a touch of freshness!
  • Eggs: Chilaquiles are typically served with a fried egg, or scrambled eggs. Feel free to cook up some eggs (fried, scrambled, poached, or however you like it) and top these healthy chilaquiles with them after they come out of the oven!
  • Baby Spinach: For even more veggies and extra greens, add 6oz fresh baby spinach to the black bean mixture (add it at the step when you add the black beans).
  • Refried Beans: For some extra protein, you can serve these up with some refried beans on the side.

Top Tips For Making Chilaquiles Rojos

  • Allowing the sauce to simmer brings out all the flavors of the seasonings. 
  • Don’t forget to add foil when baking the casserole. It will keep the top from burning while heating it all the way through. 
  • Evenly dice your chopped vegetables so that they are about the same size. This will give the casserole a good texture, and make sure you get all the flavors in one bite!
  • If you want tortillas with a little bit of bite, bake them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or toast them in the toaster oven before assembling.
  • Feel free to switch up the toppings and filling with your favorite ingredients!
  • Make these vegetarian chilaquiles vegan just by omitting the cheese, or using a vegan alternative!
chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish

Check Out These Other Healthy Mexican Inspired Recipes!

If you have tried this Chilaquiles Rojos Recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

chilaquiles rojos in a white casserole dish
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chilaquiles Rojos

If you love Mexican food, then you’re going to adore chilaquiles rojos! This classic Mexican dish is filled with black beans, peppers, tomatoes, and spices with layers of corn tortilla smothered in a rich tomato sauce. It’s a vegetarian-friendly Mexican casserole the whole family will love!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 253.6kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion diced
  • 3 red, yellow or orange bell pepper diced
  • 2 15oz cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • cups corn frozen (thawed) or fresh
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 10-12 corn tortillas quartered
  • cups shredded Cheddar cheese or a Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce 1 can
  • cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle chili powder use less for a less spicy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Diced tomato and green onion for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Meanwhile, make the sauce: combine the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, chili powders (all 3 of them), garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then turn the heat down to low and let simmer.
  • Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.
  • Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the casserole dish.
  • Top with half the vegetable mixture, then half the sauce, and then half the cheese.
  • Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese.
  • Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.
  • Top with diced tomatoes and green onion.

Video

https://youtu.be/efLpZmLf52I

Notes

Topping Ideas and Variations For Chilaquiles
We enjoy this recipe just the way it is, but you can certainly add any of your favorite toppings or mix-ins that you like. Here are a few ideas to consider:
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt: 1-2 tsp per serving is plenty!
  • Guacamole: Add some freshly made guacamole. It’s delicious and goes so well with all of the other ingredients. 
  • Pico de Gallo or Salsa: If you love pico de gallo, add a tablespoon or so on top right before serving. 
  • Cilantro and/or Green Onions: Dice some fresh cilantro and green onions and sprinkle all over top. It’s bright, vibrant and adds a touch of freshness!
  • Eggs: Chilaquiles are typically served with a fried egg, or scrambled eggs. Feel free to cook up some eggs (fried, scrambled, poached, or however you like it) and top these healthy chilaquiles with them after they come out of the oven!
  • Baby Spinach: For even more veggies and extra greens, add 6oz fresh baby spinach to the black bean mixture (add it at the step when you add the black beans).
  • Refried Beans: For some extra protein, you can serve these up with some refried beans on the side.
Top Tips For Making Chilaquiles Rojos
  • Allowing the sauce to simmer brings out all the flavors of the seasonings. 
  • Don’t forget to add foil when baking the casserole. It will keep the top from burning while heating it all the way through. 
  • Evenly dice your chopped vegetables so that they are about the same size. This will give the casserole a good texture, and make sure you get all the flavors in one bite!
  • If you want tortillas with a little bit of bite, bake them at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or toast them in the toaster oven before assembling.
  • Feel free to switch up the toppings and filling with your favorite ingredients!
  • Make these vegetarian chilaquiles vegan just by omitting the cheese, or using a vegan alternative!
Adapted from EatingWell

Nutrition

Calories: 253.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.9g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 6.8g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 12.5mg | Sodium: 515mg | Potassium: 606.5mg | Fiber: 8.6g | Sugar: 4.4g

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