A sauce-covered dish of enchiladas is like Kryptonite to me. I’ve also been known to indulge — and indulge and indulge — in a bowl of chips and salsa. Both are very good in their own way.

Chilaquiles fall somewhere in the middle: warm and soft like enchiladas, but lighter, simpler and more snackable, like, well, chips and salsa. These Green Chilaquiles are what you need when you want something bright, zesty, saucy and a little cheesy.

Margarita Carrillo Arronte’s original recipe called for twice as much sauce to create a more casserole-type experience. We decided to adapt it for a slightly quicker, crispier version finished in the skillet you cook the sauce in. If you’d prefer to bake the chilaquiles, check out the variation below.

Chilaquiles are, of course, an ideal way to use up leftover tortillas. This rendition with oven-baked tortilla chips will make you want to buy them specifically for the purpose. The chips are not hard to make, and they’ll hold up better, with more flavor and texture, than a bag of typical store-bought chips.

Our starter toppings consist of cheese, onion, sour cream and cilantro. You can take it to the next level for any time of day, from breakfast to snack to dinner, by adding your choice of protein, such as eggs, beans, and shredded chicken, beef or pork. No matter what you decide, rest assured that pretty much anything will go with the stellar salsa verde.

Recipe notes: To make chilaquiles with red sauce, check out this Salsa Roja recipe I published last year from Pati Jinich. Make the salsa as directed, then transfer about half to a large skillet and proceed with adding the chips, reheating the sauce first if necessary.

Bake the tortilla chips at least a day in advance, and store in an airtight container. The sauce can be made and refrigerated three days in advance. Reheat in the skillet before adding the tortilla chips.

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Adapted from “Mexico: The Cookbook” by Margarita Carrillo Arronte (Phaidon Press, 2014)

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