Chilaquiles can be customized for any palate, but there are three variations worth noting: chilaquiles rojos, which are made with red salsa made from tomatoes, chilaquiles verdes, made with green salsa made from tomatillos, as well as chilaquiles blanco, prepared with a creamy, often cheesy salsa. Regional variations of this leftover breakfast favorite are full of opportunities to play with cooking methods and textures. Amigo Foods points out that in Mexico City, leftover tortillas are simmered in a spicy sauce, while in central Mexico, chips or crispy tortillas are added just before serving to keep them crisp. In Guadalajara, you might come across chilaquiles baked in a clay dish called a cazuela, cooked long enough to thicken the tortillas to a polenta-like texture.
When it comes to timing, of course, chilaquiles can be served for any meal, but they’re usually at breakfast. Taco Guy explains that his favorite way to enjoy chilaquiles is after a traditional Mexican wedding, which are usually long affairs that last all night and end with festive mariachi music. Lopez writes, “Just as the mariachis sing their last song and draw their last tequila, the chilaquiles pop up to give everyone in the party a final boost of energy to send them home.” Chilaquiles, apparently, are also the perfect hangover food.