Huevos Rancheros

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.

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


  • 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)


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.


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.


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.


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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  • Sara

    I’ve made this several times for dinner. I like to add bacon pieces and black beans to the sauce. Yum!!!

  • Emy

    Thank you for sharing your recipe, it was amazing! This is a dish I have always wanted to try and your recipe did not disappoint!

  • 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.

  • Veronica

    My boyfriend is a chef, and he makes Huevos at his cafe…it’s by far the most popular dish on the menu. The difference with his is he puts Ranchero sauce on top of the tortillas first with green onions and some cheese, and he also adds guacamole on top (under the salsa).

    • Parris

      I’ve had something similar at Cafe La Tasa in San Francisco. They also add black beans – amazingly good.

  • 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!

    • Martha

      Now that you’ve located a source for chipotles in adobo, stock up and try this: put two. 4 oz. cans in your blender, whirl until thoroughly combined, & freeze in an ice cube tray. When frozen, store in a freezer bag. Add 1 or 2 cubes (depending on your heat tolerance) to dishes calling for chipotle & adobo. Terrific in sopa seca.

  • Joe

    I made this for brunch today! I added a dollup of guacamole on the side. Quite tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer

    Yummy recipe Elise! Thanks for sharing. I lived in Mexico for a year and my family loves Mexican food–my husband is latin, and he said these were the best H.R.’s he’s ever had. I made this for Christmas breakfast–I’ll be making it again! P.S. I served it with cilantro and grated cotijo on top, and black beans on the side.

  • Karlee Hoffart

    OMG- these were so good! I have made huevos rancheros before but they were not as good as these…. thanks!

  • Kim

    Hi Elise!

    Kudos to your mom for having you make salsa at the age of 5. I’m Vietnamese, so at 5, my mamma had me cooking the dinner rice. :o)

    It’s really hot in Southern CA today. That said, I have no CLUE why I was craving huevos rancheros. Doing a search for some photo ideas (because I’ll be blogging about it later this week), I came across your post. Just wanted to let you know that it inspired to capture a colorful photo of my own. :o) So thanks!

    Brunch was delicious. Now, if only I could figure out how to duck out of the heat!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend,


  • Christie

    Thanks for this great recipe! It was super fast and easy and, most importantly, delicious! I found that the sauce was enough for 2 servings. I served it with black beans and sour cream on the side. I can’t wait to make this again and I know I’ll make it on a regular basis.

  • John

    Thanks for sharing, Elise. Your recipe just made the best breakfast I’ve had in months!

  • Nancy

    I was looking for something different to serve over the holiday weekend and came upon this recipe and decided to give it a try. We LOVED it. It’s a keeper in this house!

  • Christine

    I made this recipe twice last weekend. We liked it so much the first time that we had to make it again. This is a keeper in my house. Thanks.

  • Ron Padian

    This has always been my favorite breakfast for camping trips. To cook it in one pan I make enough salsa for one serving, push a couple of dimples in the salsa and slip an egg into each dimple. Cover to poach the eggs and when they are done I sprinkle with some cheese. I toast the tortillas directly over the flame of my little camp stove.

  • nobodyfamous

    A key note: When the recipe says “Medium heat” it means something like a 3 out of 10 on the stove. If you take it literally, setting the stove to 5, you will end up with burned tortillas.

    Everybody’s stove is different. ~Elise

  • Dee

    I just made these for my boyfriend and me and they were fantastic! I have eaten them at restaurants, but never made them myself. I think mine were better than the huevos rancheros I have eaten in restaurants! I added garlic to the sauce…next time I have to add cojita cheese. Thanks for the recipe and your story!

  • Beverley

    This was great, thanks for sharing! I had to make some adjustments due to what I had (or didn’t have) on hand but it was still really good.

    We had two leftover burrito-sized flour tortillas — I’ve never tried the method of warming them in the frying pan. (Although I didn’t have the pan hot enough for the first one so it ended up a bit oily, but it worked well for the second one!)

    I had only Italian-Style tomatoes on hand, fire-roasted sounds really good, will try that next time!

  • Myles

    For rancheros addicts only: Try Calamari Rancheros and Carne Rancheros! In addition: with tongs in hand; fire roast your fresh corn tortillas until they begin to blackened; no more! Spoon on rancheros, sprinkle a little fresh cilantro, fold and derive pleasure. Adios.

  • helen

    Goody! Just same recipe I use. I sometimes use green salsa, and serve it with refried beans. Delicious!

  • Susana

    Thanks for sharing. I definitely agree with the addition of refried beans and cotija cheese. I’ve had this dish in Acapulco and it was beyond divine; however, they used a green salsa and I have not been able to duplicate it. By any chance do you (your Mama) have a good green salsa recipe? Thanks!

    Yes, check out this salsa verde. ~Elise


    Oh my! This is wonderful-I haven’t had this dish for over 20 yrs. I had it in Santa Fe NM at what I think was called the “American Mexican Cafe or restaurant. Don’t think it’s there anymore. I recall this dish with something bordering on ecstasy, it was that good! Can’t wait to try your version. I think it’s the exact same thing. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    I tried this recipe and loved it. I’ve made huevos rancheros before, but with store bought salsa. Since I can’t get store bought salsa in Laos, I really appreciated your sauce recipe. It was delicious. Thanks!

  • Lane

    I made this on Tuesday night, and it was delicious!

  • Dodie

    I make the best huevos rancheros. I make mine with shredded chicken sauted in El Pato. With beans also chesse, avacados, tomatos and sour cream on top, I also use two corn tortillas and layer it. The fried eggs are fried in butter and your mouth will go wild. The best Mexican food in the world. I just made some the other day for my daughter and I.

  • Molson

    I love Huevos Rancheros, but I like poached eggs much better than fried ones. I like my eggs runny, but I tend to overcook them too easily. Instead I poach the eggs in the simmering salsa; the acidity in the salsa keeps the egg together, and I can get them out before they vulcanize.

  • Lulu

    Being a true Brit I am not familiar with Mexican food, so how do you eat heuvos racheros – knife and fork, rolled up, fingers or what? Sorry to be so ignorant! The recipe sounds divine.

    Just with a fork and knife, easy! ~Elise

  • Annie

    I usually make mine really hearty with black beans, avocado, and cheese and have it for dinner sometimes. Pretty filling, actually.

    Love your site, Elise

  • merd

    Love it. I feel this is an energizing breakfast to start the day or a wonderful way to end a late night (early morning) after having drinks with friends (in that case add some has browns to the plate also). I prefer eggs over easy for this and am a two egg/tortilla person myself :)

    Another thing I highly recommend is a trick I learned from a local restaurant that essentially gave their recipe for fresh ‘roasted’ salsa. They pan roasted whole tomatoes, peppers, onions, and garlic in the oven under the broiler that were brushed with olive oil. The skins peel right off the veggies and the meat gets that (semi) fire roasted flavor and near stewed texture. I like to make a batch which disappears within days and having this prepped up makes a recipe like this very easy. You can add some vegetable juice (V8) to the skillet and it will help produce the sauce consistency instead of just roasted veggies.

  • John P

    Living in Houston/San Antonio, this is a very common dish that I cannot imagine being without. I can’t wait to try your recipe. I usually see these served as scrambled eggs or as a “hybrid” omelette, but this looks pretty stunning. I also like throwing in some bell pepper for extra veggies.