Cauliflower Chilaquiles

5 from 4 votes
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Cauliflower Chilaquiles with homemade salsa roja, black beans, and a cooling lime crema. Enjoy this Mexican-inspired main topped with fried eggs with for brunch or dinner.Chilaquiles in a skillet with cauliflower, black beans, and fried eggs

Chilaquiles (pronounced chee-lah-key-less) are a traditional Mexican dish made of fried tortillas simmered in sauce. The two classic types consist of chilaquiles verdes, which are made with green sauce (or salsa verde), or chilaquiles rojos, made with red salsa roja.

In this version, we’re using tortilla chips, roasted cauliflower, and black beans for protein. I know using cauliflower may not register high on the authenticity meter, but I promise will still satisfy your chilaquiles cravings!

One common theme in chilaquiles is the onslaught of fresh, hearty, cooling, and crunchy toppings. This is where you can really get creative and include whatever you like. My go-to’s are fried eggs, lime crema, cilantro, and avocado.

Other topping ideas include shaved radish, queso fresco, scallions, lime juice, etc.!

How to Make Cauliflower Chilaquiles

The spice of the salsa roja is the perfect counter to the cooling yogurt sauce, while a flurry of cilantro adds welcome freshness.

If you’re spice averse, either scale back on the dry chiles or swap them for a more mild pepper (suggestions to follow).

The IngredientsCauliflower Chilaquiles ingredients in separate bowls on a white board

  • Cauliflower: While it may not be authentic, I love adding spice-roasted cauliflower to chilaquiles. It bulks up the filling, while creating a heartier, healthier meal.
  • Spices: For roasting the cauliflower, use a mix of chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin for a bold flavor profile. 
  • Onion: You need either 1 small yellow or Spanish onion or 1/2 large onion. I find it best to slice the onion in quarters for roasting – that way the layers stay somewhat intact. 
  • Tomatoes: For the homemade salsa roja, use 4 or 5 plum or roma tomatoes, which are oval or cylindrical in shape.
  • Chiles: Look for either dry guajillo chiles or ancho chiles for the salsa roja. A note of caution: guajillo chiles can get HOT, so if you’re spice averse, start with a small amount and add more as tolerated.
  • Chips: Many chilaquiles recipes suggest frying your own tortilla chips, however I found that store-bought tortilla chips can also do the job well. If possible, look for a local brand of tortilla chips, which will likely be fresher than most brand names. I also really like the results of using Late July’s chia and quinoa tortilla chips.
  • Beans: To pump up the protein, add one can of black beans or pinto beans. Alternatively, you can serve homemade or store-bought refried beans on the side.
  • Cheese: Top the chilaquiles with either Monterey Jack or shredded Oaxaca cheese.
  • Toppings: Chilaquiles aren’t complete without a generous amount of fresh toppings. I like using avocado, lime crema, fresh cilantro, and of course, fried eggs.

A serving spoon scooping out a portion of chilaquiles

The Directions

Step 1: Roast the Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Arrange cauliflower florets and onion segments on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss in chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Roast for 30 minutes, tossing cauliflower and turning onion segments once halfway through.Cauliflower and onion being roasted on a white baking sheet

Step 2: Prepare Salsa Roja

Meanwhile, heat 1 cup of vegetable broth in the microwave or in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat and add dried chiles. Let stand while vegetables roast.

Add roasted onion segments to a blender, along with tomatoes, garlic, salt, and dried chiles with soaking broth. Blend on high speed until smooth.

Empty salsa roja into an oven-safe skillet (such as a cast-iron). Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the salsa reduces and thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.Tomatoes, onion, and chiles being blended until smooth in a blender

Step 3: Assemble Chilaquiles

Add roasted cauliflower, black beans, and chips to the skillet, and gently toss to coat. Scatter cheese overtop and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and corners of chips are crisp.Salsa roja in a skillet with chilaquiles ingredients being mixed in

Step 4: Add Toppings

Remove chilaquiles from oven and add toppings of choice. Serve immediately. Cauliflower chilaquiles topped with fried eggs and avocado in a skillet

How to Eat Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles can be enjoyed for brunch or dinner

In the U.S., chilaquiles are almost always served with fried eggs on top, which I highly recommend! For serving, scoop a generous portion of chilaquiles mixture onto a plate, and top with a fried egg and extra drizzle of lime crema.

You can also add extra garnishes to each serving (avocado, radish, cilantro, scallions, etc.)

Recipe Variations:

  • Make Gluten Free: Be sure to choose certified gluten-free tortilla chips, or make your own chips with gluten-free corn tortillas. 
  • Make Dairy Free: Omit the cheese and use a plant-based yogurt for the crema. 
  • Make Vegan: Omit the cheese and eggs, and use a plant-based yogurt for the crema. 

A black bowl filled with roasted cauliflower, tortilla chips, salsa, roja, and fried eggs

More Mexican Recipes to Try:

The Ultimate Vegetarian Burritos

Our Favorite Veggie Quesadillas

Fiesta Avocado Corn Salad

Mole Poblano Chili

If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a picture and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 4 votes

Cauliflower Chilaquiles

Cauliflower Chilaquiles with homemade salsa roja, black beans, and a cooling lime crema. Enjoy this Mexican-inspired main topped with fried eggs with for brunch or dinner.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Large oven-safe skillet (such as cast-iron)
  • Blender
  • Rimmed baking sheet

Ingredients  

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 small yellow or Spanish onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed
  • 4 to 5 plum or Roma tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 handfuls corn tortilla chips*
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Oaxaca cheese

Optional Toppings

  • 2 to 4 fried eggs
  • Sliced avocado
  • Lime crema (sour cream mixed with fresh lime juice, a pinch of salt, and enough water to thin out enough for drizzling)
  • Fresh chopped cilantro leaves
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF.
    Roast Vegetables: Arrange cauliflower florets and onion segments on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss in chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt.
    Roast for 30 minutes, tossing cauliflower and turning onion segments once halfway through.
    While the veggies are roasting, heat vegetable broth in the microwave or in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat and add dried guajillo chiles. Let soak for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare Salsa Roja: Add roasted onion segments to a blender, along with tomatoes, garlic, oregano, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, guajillo chiles and soaking broth. Blend on high speed until smooth.
    Empty salsa roja into a large oven-safe skillet (such as a cast-iron). Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the mixture reduces and thickens. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Assemble Chilaquiles: Add roasted cauliflower, black beans, and chips to the skillet, and gently toss to coat in sauce. Scatter cheese overtop and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and corners of chips are crisp.
    Remove chilaquiles from oven and add toppings of choice. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*I tried a few brands of tortilla chips and liked the flavor and texture of Late July Chia and Quinoa Tortilla Chips best.
  • Make Gluten Free: Be sure to choose certified gluten-free tortilla chips, or make your own chips with gluten-free corn tortillas. 
  • Make Dairy Free: Omit the cheese and use a plant-based yogurt for the crema. 
  • Make Vegan: Omit the cheese and eggs, and use a plant-based yogurt for the crema. 

 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 980mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 9g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

 

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9 Comments

  1. Isabelle says:

    What is the Chilaquiles verdes recipe? Need Salsa Verde recipe

  2. Victoria says:

    5 stars
    This was so amazing!! I will definitely make this a regular recipe. I have never made salsa from scratch before and I didn’t realize it was so easy!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Victoria! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Alli says:

    5 stars
    These are delicious!!! I used chipotle in adobo from a jar instead of rehydrating guajillo chiles but followed everything else to a T and it came out fantastic!!!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this one, Alli! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. Leslie says:

    5 stars
    Another amazing recipe! Whole family loved it!

    1. Jamie Vespa says:

      I’m so glad this one was a hit, Leslie! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  5. Kristen S Cramer says:

    5 stars
    This was fabulous, a bit spicy, but in a good way. This will be a new family favorite.

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Hi Kristen, I’m so happy to hear that!! I hope you continue to enjoy it. Cheers