The Difference Between Chilaquiles And Migas

If you're lucky enough to be sitting at a breakfast or brunch table eating delicious dishes, then you may be having a good morning or early afternoon. If you're lucky enough to be sitting at a brunch table where someone can make you chilaquiles or migas, then you may be having a great morning or afternoon! Both of these dishes, most often found in Mexican restaurants, are delicious, filling, and full of complimentary textures that are sure to put a smile on any diner's face.

As both of these dishes have risen in popularity, diner's often confuse the two, according to Texas Monthly, and while they do have similar ingredients, there are some distinct differences that separate them. They both have a similar flavor profile and texture... but what makes migas different from chilaquiles is the vastly different way these two dishes are prepared. Read on to find out more about what makes these two brunch-dish cousins unique and how you can make them at home.


Like chilaquiles, migas feature eggs, fried tortillas, onions, and cheese, but the way the tortillas meet the eggs is the thing that makes migas really special. The first thing you do is cut up your strips of tortilla and fry them in oil, per Food Network. You want to fry the strips until they are golden brown, which can take about 5 minutes, depending on your heat level, amount of tortilla strips, and pan size. Add in any vegetables like peppers and onions, and then put in your eggs and scramble them in the pan with the tortilla strips. Texas Monthly reports that migas are traditionally made with longer, thinner tortilla strips or squares as opposed to whole chips, which are mixed in with the egg.

Once everything is mixed together, you add your toppings like queso fresco, cheese, cilantro, onion, or salsa. The migas are then ready to serve. The dish is a variation of Spanish migas, which uses bread and leftovers in a similar fashion. So, how do chilaquiles differ?


Chilaquiles also incorporate eggs, fried tortilla strips, cheese, and onion, but the process is different from migas in that the egg is used as more of a garnish than a central element of the cooking process. To make chilaquiles at home, you'd first want to fry your tortillas. (Texas Monthly reports they are most commonly cut into triangles like traditional tortilla chips.) Once they are fried in oil and are nice and crispy, a hot salsa is added to them before being plated. This usually softens the chips a considerable amount.

According to The Kitchn, there are chilaquiles verdes and chilaquiles rojos, and the difference is based on whether you are using a green salsa (verde) or a red salsa (rojo). Once the salsa-bathed chips are on the plate, the cheese, cilantro, and onion can be added as a garnish. Avocado is another common addition. This dish is then topped with a fried egg or two.

Unlike migas, chilaquiles are of distinctly Mexican origin, and the name comes from a Nahuatl word meaning "chilis and greens" or "something that is covered in chili" (per eHow and Texas Monthly).

It's easy to see why someone might confuse the two dishes as their flavor profiles and ingredients are similar, but now when you see both on the brunch menu, you'll have the knowledge to know what makes each of these dishes unique.