- Yield : 6-8
- Servings : 4
- Prep Time : 5m
- Cook Time : 30m
- Ready In : 45m
Like so many authentic regional foods, there are about as many different ways of making Huevos Rancheros as there are families in Mexico. The basis for all of these recipes come down to three things: Eggs, tortillas and tomato-chile salsa.
There are variations on how the eggs are cooked, what type of tortillas are used, along with how they’re cooked and lastly, huge variations on what goes into the tomato salsa.
The traditional way Huevos Rancheros are prepared is with corn tortillas, lightly fried and topped with a fried egg, sunny-side up. The tomato-chile salsa is then put on top of this and garnished with a small amount of Queso Fresco, a soft white Mexican cheese. Other than having my eggs cooked “over-easy” I stick with this traditional preparation.
I’ve seen Huevos Rancheros prepared with flour tortillas, but this is more of a Tex-Mex variation and I believe it looses some of the great flavor you get with the corn. Using corn tortillas also makes this a gluten-free recipe. If you’d like to cut out a bit of the fat in this recipe and not loose the flavor, try coating the corn tortillas with a cooking spray and baking in the oven at about 350 for 5-10 minutes. Even though I’m somewhat of a “tortillas snob” (almost always opting for homemade), I use the thinnest store bought corn tortillas for this recipe. I’ve tried using thicker tortillas but found the flavor and texture was compromised a bit too much for my liking. Go thin!
The traditional way eggs are prepared for Huevos Rancheros is fried sunny-side up. When you do this, you can serve them on the corn tortillas and then spoon a small amount of the salsa around the outside of the eggs. The presentation with this is fantastic, with the yellow yoke in the middle, a bit of the egg white around that and then the deep red salsa around the outside. Give it a try and wow your family. I cook mine over-easy, trying my best to keep the eggs runny, but not always succeeding as you’ll see in the video below.
Another variation you can try with the eggs is to poach them in the simmering tomato salsa. This is another way to cut down on the amount of fat in this dish. When the salsa has been simmering for a while and you’re about to serve it, turn the heat down to low and crack a few eggs into the sauce, separating them from each other and letting them sit undisturbed. Cover the pan and cook until the whites are firm. To serve, use a large spoon to scoop out each egg, placing it on the fried tortilla and then top it with additional salsa.
I won’t even attempt to cover all the varieties I’ve seen with the salsa, but I’ll give you a few you can try. The first thing you should decide is whether you like it spicy or not. I prefer to make mine mild so the entire family, kids included, can enjoy it. I’ll then add in a good amount of hot sauce to my plate. If you know you’re going to want it spicy, chop up some peppers, Jalapeños, habanero or serranos, and cook them along with the onions and bell peppers.
You can quickly and easily change up the texture your Huevos Rancheros simply by adjusting the way the onions and peppers are prepared. I usually chop mine because it gives it a nice chunky look and feel. If you or someone you’re serving it to doesn’t really like onions or peppers, consider dicing them or even putting the salsa in a blender after it’s done cooking. Another way I like preparing this is with long thin strips of onions and peppers, which looks fantastic when served.
My Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros Recipe
Now that I’ve given you all those different ways of preparing these, I’m going to give you my favorite recipe, which happens to be incredibly easy and quick. If you’ve got an aversion to using a can-opener, you’re not going to like this because I use canned tomatoes, enchilada sauce and chicken broth. Obviously it wouldn’t take much for you to make up fresh versions of each of these items and offer a truly homemade version. However, if you’re busy and you just want a quick and delicious meal to offer for breakfast, brunch or even dinner, this one will always please.
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil (additional 1/4 cup noted below)
- 1 Lg Onion, chopped
- 1 Sm Bell Pepper, chopped
- 1 Tsp Cumin Seed, Whole
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (approx. 15 oz)
- 1 Can Red Chile or Enchilada Sauce (approx. 14 oz)
- 1 Can Chicken Broth (approx. 15 oz)
- 1/4 Vegetable Oil
- 6-8 Corn Tortillas
- 6-8 Eggs
- 1 Cup Cheese, Shredded or Crumbled (I recommend Queso Fresco)
Chop the onion and bell pepper into approx 1/2" pieces. As noted, you can prepare this in a variety of ways, so be creative.
Heat a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat and add 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Add the onions and bell peppers and saute until soft and lightly browned.
Add the oregano and whole cumin seed and continue to cook for about a minute.
Add the tomatoes, red chile or enchilada sauce and chicken broth. Raise to a high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently
Once it's come to a boil, reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until it's reduced to approximately half. While the salsa simmers, prepare the tortillas and eggs.
PREPARE TORTILLAS: In a small frying pan (large enough to hold one tortilla) add approximately 1/4 cup vegetable oil and place on a medium heat. Test the oil with a small piece of tortilla to make sure it's ready. It should start to bubble immediately, but make sure it doesn't brown right away.
Place a corn tortillas into the oil and cook for about 30 seconds then flip over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. You want them to be fried but not hard.
Drain each tortilla on a plate lined with paper towels. Continue until all of the tortillas are done.
Fry each egg to your liking. I recommend leaving the yokes runny as that adds something to the flavor of the dish. Of course, if you don't like them like that, it's fine.