real life test kitchen: cheat-a-quiles

Technically, it’s more of a Tex-Mex Migas bake than true chilaquiles, but I think “cheat-a-quiles” is a much cuter name. Either way, it’s a quick, easy, and, best of all, delicious brunch, lunch, or even dinner that can feed quite a few folks on just a few cents (and makes excellent packable leftovers, too). This dish makes marvelous use of those broken up shards of tortilla chips left at the bottom of the bag, and is a great canvas for any leftover veggies or meats in the fridge. This version is actually vegetarian, using soy chorizo, but you could easily sub any protein you’d like — chicken, bacon, or even leftover pinto beans can work well with this. I usually like to garnish my cheat-a-quiles with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and some fresh avocado, which make this really special. But alas, this week found me out of those things, and without the time to procure them, so this time, it’s just a healthy splash of my favorite hot sauce. But it still works for me, and I hope it’ll work for you, too! — Megan B. Click for Megan B.’s cheat-a-quiles!

Megan B.’s cheat-a-quiles
serves 6-10

8 oz. crushed tortilla chips (about 5 cups)
6 oz. soy chorizo, removed from plastic casing (or other equivalent protein like cooked ground beef, chicken, etc)
1 large onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
8 eggs, scrambled
1/2 c buttermilk, milk, or half and half
2-4 tbs hot sauce, salsa, or even enchilada sauce (more or less to taste)
1 1/2 c grated cheese (I like a blend of pepper jack and smoked cheddar )
1/4 tsp salt (more if you use unsalted tortilla chips)
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 glass baking dish. Saute onion and pepper over medium heat in a tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Layer crushed tortilla chips, chorizo, and cooked onions and peppers in dish, mixing to evenly combine. Whisk eggs, buttermilk, hot sauce, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl and pour over chip mixture in pan, making sure to cover all the chips evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, and then add grated cheese, return to oven and bake for another 20 minutes, or until center is firm and the cheese is melted and browned. Serve immediately, or let cool, slice into squares, and pack for lunches and picnics!

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Sarah C.

This looks delicious! I love the top photo especially. I need to get some of that hot sauce!