Huevos Rancheros is an easy-to-make Mexican farm-style egg dish with homemade salsa. It’s packed full of flavor and is the perfect start to your day!
Growing up in the suburbs of the Midwest, I had very little experience with Mexican food that didn’t come from a chain restaurant. It wasn’t until I moved out to California some 20+ years ago that I discovered huevos rancheros, an eggs and salsa dish that was on nearly every breakfast and brunch menu here in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve had it a dozen different ways, from eggs and salsa with the tortillas on the side, to eggs baked into the tomato salsa itself (not unlike a Mexican version of shakshuka) to the classic preparation of eggs on tortilla with the rancheros salsa sauce over the entire thing. It’s this classic version, a variation of a vegetarian breakfast tacos, that I tend to gravitate toward, despite loving all the others. My only regret…not learning about about huevos rancheros earlier!
What is Huevos Rancheros?
Huevos rancheros translates to “Rancher’s Eggs” and are a typical breakfast dish that is made for a mid-morning meal in rural Mexican farms. Though there are many variations, the most common one that I’ve found again and again on menus include a lightly fried corn tortilla, smothered with refried beans with an over easy or sunny side up egg on top. The ranchero salsa sauce is then added, which is made of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and garlic.
I’ve made mine the classic way, including some cilantro as garnish because I love cilantro. That said, I know cilantro is a polarizing ingredients, so feel free to leave it out or substitute flat leaf parsley in its place.
How do you make Huevos Rancheros?
Huevos rancheros is a rustic dish that is easy to make! First you make the salsa by pureeing Muir Glen’s fire roasted petite cut tomatoes with a 1/4 onion, a serrano chile, some oregano and chili powder in a blender or food processor. Then sauté some chopped garlic and simmer the salsa a bit on the stove to reduce it.
While the salsa is reducing, I heat up some refried beans (I used store-bought canned for ease, but you can use homemade if you wish). Pan fry some corn tortillas and fry up the eggs.
Then assemble it all! Plate the tortilla, smear some refried beans over it, add the egg and smother with salsa. Salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle some cilantro leaves over the whole thing if you want to get fancy. Breakfast, Mexican farm style, is served!
What can you put on Huevos Rancheros
The basic huevos rancheros has just corn tortilla, egg and salsa on top. I’ve added refried beans under the egg on top of the tortilla, which is also a common addition, along with a sprinkling of cilantro. But as the dish has migrated to the U.S., folks have started evolving it. Here are some suggested additions that I’ve seen on huevos rancheros on menus all over.
- Cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
- Sliced green onions (usually just the green part)
- Chopped chives
- Avocado slices or cubes
- Sour cream
- Cheddar cheese
- Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
- Cojita, an aged Mexican cheese
- Fresh grilled corn kernels
- Sliced black olives
Why use canned tomatoes?
I love fresh tomatoes but for this recipe I opted to use Muir Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes. They’re already chopped and have a smoky charred flavor to them. More importantly, tomatoes aren’t in season all year round, but when I use canned tomatoes, I know I’m getting tomatoes picked and canned at their prime season. This way I can have the best huevos rancheros all-year round.
Can I make huevos rancheros ahead?
Huevos rancheros really tastes best when it’s made fresh. Fried eggs just don’t sit very well! But you can totally make the salsa ahead of time. In fact, if you want to make a double batch of the salsa, you can make it ahead of time, using half of it one day and then the rest a few days later. The salsa will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an air tight container.
Can you freeze the salsa?
Yes! This salsa freezes well. Just double the recipe and reserve half of it for another time. Let the salsa cool to room temperature than place it in an airtight container or ziplock bag. Freeze it (don’t forget to label it with a date) up to 2 months. Just thaw it out again in the refrigerator overnight. The salsa might seem more watery, so just reduce it again on the stove as you warm it up.
If you like this huevos rancheros recipe, check out some of these other Mexican-inspired recipes:
- Vegetarian Breakfast Tacos with Mushrooms
- Esquites, Mexican Corn Salad
- Spicy Guacamole with grilled avocado and corn
- Mole Chicken Wings, with lime tequila marinade
Right now Whole Foods is running a special 10 for $10 promotion on Muir Glen canned tomatoes from January 29, 2020 to February 12, 2020! Check out where the closest Whole Food is to your place at http://bit.ly/wf-stores to stock up on Muir Glen tomatoes.
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
- 1 medium serrano pepper, chopped can sub a jalapeño
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 14.5 ounce can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more as needed
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 cup refried beans canned or homemade
- 4 large eggs
- cilantro leaves for garnish, optional
- 1 lime cut into wedges, optional
Place the chopped onions, serrano pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper and salt in a blender or food processor. Add the canned tomatoes and blend until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan until it starts to shimmer, then add the garlic. Cook for 10 to 15 seconds until it starts to smell fragrant. Don’t let it brown. Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and let cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until salsa has darkened a bit and thickened.
While the salsa is reducing, place the olive oil in a medium skillet. Heat until it starts to shimmer, then place 1 tortilla in the oil. Cook until the edges start to brown and harden a bit, flipping the tortilla to make sure both sides are fried. You don’t want to fry the tortilla completely hard, just crisp it up slightly. Remove from oil and place on a plate with a paper towel to drain it a bit. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, stacking the tortillas on top of each other with a paper towel in between.
Once the tortillas are fried, plate them. Heat the refried beans in a microwave safe bowl or on the stovetop in a small pan. Smear about 1/4 cup of refried beans on each tortilla.
Cook the eggs by reheating the remaining oil in the same pan you fried the tortillas in. Crack an egg into the pan, making sure there is enough hot oil to fry the egg white crispy. Fry to your desired doneness (I prefer over easy). Remove egg and place on the refried beans. Repeat with the remaining eggs, adding more oil if necessary.
Top the fried eggs with the warm salsa. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, then garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with lime wedges.