Chilaquiles Verdes

A vegan version of an authentic Mexican dish

Photo by María del Río for LAIKA

recipe by lorena ramirez
Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish; its name is derived from “chīlāquilitl” (“chiles and greens”), a word in the indigenous Mexican language known as Nahuatl. As a first-generation Mexican American, Lorena Ramirez drew inspiration from her mother’s cooking when she went vegan three years ago. She discovered that veganizing the recipes wasn’t a huge challenge. “It’s important to remember that a lot of our platter is grains and vegetables,” she said of authentic Mexican cuisine in her LAIKA Issue Eight cover story. “Colonization just messed us up. We started eating more meat and cheese, stripping away our culture, our dances, our food. We have to go back to our roots and remember how we initially were. ” The Chilaquiles dish is Ramirez’s ode to her heritage, and a fast and affordable go-to recipe that pleases any palate.

Chilaquiles Verdes

Serves 2

Salsa Ingredients
5 tomatillos
2 raw jalapeños
1 Serrano chili
2 garlic cloves
¼ bundle of cilantro
½ cup water
1 tbsp of salt
12 corn tortillas, cut into triangles
8 tbsp avocado oil for frying
Optional toppings: vegan cheese, diced onion, cilantro, vegan sour cream


1. Add all of the salsa ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.

2. On medium-high heat add oil to sauce pan. Once the oil is hot, add corn tortillas and fry until golden brown and crispy on the edges, achieving the look and texture of a tortilla chip.

3. Pour half of the salsa verde onto tortillas until fully coated. Set remaining salsa aside for other dishes.

4. Add your choice of toppings and enjoy!

Lorena’s pro tip: For instant chilaquiles, use tortilla chips. Oil is not necessary, just simmer salsa and toss chilaquiles. Cover pan for 5 minutes and leave over medium heat until chips are soft. My favorite tortilla chips to use are the Northgate brand or any lightly salted chip.