Huevos Rancheros

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

A classic Mexican breakfast, huevos rancheros (translated “ranch eggs”) are fried eggs served on hot corn tortillas and smothered in cooked salsa. When you cut into them, the egg yolks mix in with everything—the salsa, tortillas. So good!

You can also make the eggs scrambled instead of fried. In that case the dish is known as Huevos a la Mexicana. Either way, salsa with eggs and tortillas makes a wonderful breakfast.

One benefit of being raised in California by a mother with Mexican heritage is that we grew up eating and loving Mexican food. From the age of 5 it was my job to prepare the salsa for our family. You may not always find bread at our house, but you can always find tortillas. And more often than not, huevos rancheros for breakfast.

 

Huevos Rancheros Recipe

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  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 2-4 servings

The recipe is flexible, sometimes we use canned salsa and just add a few more chopped tomatoes and some chopped pickled jalapeños to make the sauce.

Sometimes if we have some leftover refried beans, we'll spread some on the tortillas before topping them with the eggs and salsa. My mother has been known to add a pinch of sugar to the salsa sauce if she feels it's too acidic for her taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (about a half cup)
  • 1 15-ounce can whole or crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted, (or 1 -2 large fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, when in season)
  • 1/2 6-ounce can diced green Anaheim chiles
  • Chipotle chili powder, adobo sauce, or ground cumin to taste (optional)
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Butter
  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Method

1 Make the sauce: Sauté the onions in a little olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, add the tomatoes and their juices. If using whole canned tomatoes, break them up with your fingers or a spatula as you put them in the pan.

If you are using fresh tomatoes, chop them first, then add. Note that fresh tomatoes will take longer to cook as canned tomatoes are already cooked to begin with.

Add chopped green chilies. Add additional chili to taste, either chipotle chili powder, adobo sauce, regular chili powder, or even ground cumin.

huevos-rancheros-method-1

Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and let simmer while you do the rest of the cooking, stirring occasionally. Reduce to warm after it has been simmering for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste if needed.

2 Warm the plates: Heat the oven to a warm 150°F, place serving plates in the oven to keep warm.

3 Prepare the tortillas: Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet on medium high, coating the pan with the oil.

One by one (or more if your pan is big enough) heat the tortillas in the pan, a minute or two on each side, until they are heated through, softened, and pockets of air bubble up inside of them.

huevos-rancheros-method-2

Then remove them and stack them on one of the warming plates in the oven to keep warm while you continue cooking the rest of the tortillas and the eggs.

4 Fry the eggs: Using the same skillet as was used for the tortillas, add a little butter to the pan, about two teaspoons for 4 eggs. Heat the pan on medium high heat. Crack 4 eggs into the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes for runny yolks, more for firmer eggs.

huevos-rancheros-method-3

5 Assemble and serve: To serve, spoon a little of the sauce onto a warmed plate. Top with a tortilla, then a fried egg. Top with more sauce, sprinkle with cilantro if desired.

Serve either one or two eggs/tortillas per plate, depending on how much you want to eat. I'm a 2-egg 2 tortilla person myself.

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Note, some people like refried beans with their huevos rancheros. Just spread some warmed refried beans over the tortillas before adding the egg and salsa.

Huevos Rancheros

Showing 4 of 32 Comments

  • Lilo

    I use crumbled bacon in mine and refried beans it’s sooooo good

  • Dennis Hauptstein

    Thanks from Germany! I just came home from the nightshift and the the desire for a really uplifting breakfast. Never had this before, but it was outstanding good and revitalized me totally! Will have it regular now :-D

  • Rohn Jay Miller

    I love the “leftover” quality of huevos rancheros which opens the dish up for some creativity. If I don’t hve leftover chili, I like pan searing either ground chuck or chorizo with seasonings of ancho, chipotle, cumin and salt. Toss in the chopped onion and tomatoes, get that all cooked together.

    I line the side of an individual serving bowl with folded flour tortillas, then pour in the cooked meat mixture. Cover that with some shredded cheese and diced green onion, then lay on two over-easy eggs with ground pepper. The mix of rich egg yoke and salsa/chili–as you rightly point out–is the heart of the dish.

  • Angora

    One egg – one tortilla person here ;).

    Really great recipe. I made it today for lunch (just an hour ago) and we all loved it! Though, having norwegian-ized tastes like we do, we had to add a lot of sour cream to milden the salsa’s hotness :). Nevertheless, it was excellent! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Jo

    I always spend hours drooling over the recipes on here, and it’s torture, so today I made these for brunch. This definitely beats bacon and eggs! I added crushed garlic with the onions, and used cayenne pepper because canned Anaheims are hard to come by here. But then I also added chipotles (because I finally found them in NZ and wanted to use them immediately), PLUS the adobo, because I’m crazy.

    Well, it was crazy good. I can see myself making different delicious versions of it. Thank you!

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