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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros is a satisfying, savory breakfast and the best way to start your day!  It’s made by layering creamy refried beans, runny, sunny side up eggs and cooked salsa over warm tortillas and garnishing with your favorite toppings such as cilantro, avocados, and Cotija cheese.   It’s an intoxicating explosion of rich, creamy, spicy, fresh and nutty all at the same time as the egg yolk minges with the warm salsa. The best part is, if you can operate a blender, open a can of beans and fry up an egg, you can make this simple recipe!  You can even use store-bought salsa and refried beans if you need a 10-minute breakfast – it will be our little secret.  Serve Huevos Rancheros for breakfast, lunch or dinner – because you will want to eat them all the time!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 -4 servings (makes 4 tortillas)


Optional garnishes


Prep Ahead Note

  • You will need 3 skillets for this recipe: 1 nonstick skillet for the salsa and eggs (can be smaller), 1 large skillet for the beans, and 1 cast iron skillet for the tortillas. You can use the same skillet for the beans and tortillas if you clean in between.


  • Prepare salsa according to recipe directions if using homemade. (The salsa freezes well if you would like to make the whole recipe instead of half.) Remove 1/3 cup salsa to use later in the beans.
  • Add remaining salsa (1 2/3 cups if using store-bought) to a large nonstick skillet and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened. Taste to make sure the salsa is well seasoned or the Huevos Rancheros will taste bland. Season with salt and pepper to taste and/or add some some chili seeds or cayenne pepper for more heat. Transfer salsa to a serving bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Don’t wipe out skillet (we’ll use it for the eggs).


  • Add 1/3 cup reserved, uncooked salsa to a large skillet. Stir in the beans and their liquid, ¼ cup water, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until the beans are softened and most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon lime juice. Use a potato masher to smash about ¾ of the beans. The beans should be thick and creamy, but spreadable, like thick peanut butter. If they are wet, simmer for additional time, if they are dry, stir in a splash of water. Cover to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.


  • Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add two tortillas and cook until golden and crisp on the edges but still pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.


  • Set out a nonstick mat or parchment paper to receive the cooked eggs.
  • In the same nonstick skillet you cooked the salsa in, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat unto hot and shimmering. Meanwhile, crack 2 eggs into 2 separate small bowls or ramekins.
  • Carefully pour the eggs into opposite sides of the skillet. Cook until the whites are set/opaque and the yolk is cooked to your preferred level of doneness (we like them runny over here, about 2 ½ minutes). Transfer eggs to the nonstick mat. Do NOT cover the eggs with foil or the eggs will steam and cook the yolk.


  • Rewarm the salsa and beans if needed in the skillet/microwave.
  • Spread refried beans over each tortilla and top with an egg and freshly cracked pepper. Top with some warm salsa and other desired toppings such as finely grated Cotija cheese, cilantro, avocado, hot sauce, etc. Dig in!


  • Shortcut: prep the salsa and the beans days in advance and warm when ready OR use your favorite store-bought salsa and refried beans.  Season the beans with 1/3 cup salsa, salt and pepper.
  • Corn tortillas: with so few ingredients, quality really counts here.  Please look for the best corn tortillas you can find. Freshly made or homemade is best for that extra robust, nutty, sweet corn flavor and thicker, pliable texture that won't break or tear even when pan-fried and piled with toppings.  I love La Tortilla Factory Corn Tortillas. I find mine at Sprouts or you can pick them up on Amazon here.  Warning: be aware that this brand has two types of corn tortillas - one is corn and wheat (my fav, more pliable) and one is just corn.  If you can’t find freshly made tortillas, consider making them yourself.  Just pick up some corn flour and follow the easy instructions on the package.  Homemade corn tortillas also freeze well so you can make them up to months ahead of time.
  • Tostadas: serve over tostadas if you don’t have/can’t find quality tortillas.
  • Pinto beans: can be used in place of the black beans.
  • Change up the eggs:  while fried eggs made to order are traditional, this is YOUR Huevos Rancheros recipe – so make them any way you’d like. Try scrambled “Huevos a la Mexicana,” over-easy, poached, etc.
  • Huevos divorciados “divorced eggs”: prepare this dish with salsa verde on one half of the plate and salsa roja on the other half.
  • Additions: top the refried beans with Mexican rice, protein such as chorizo, carnitas, barbacoa or shredded chicken, and/or roasted/sautéed veggies such as sweet potatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Gluten free: select certified gluten-free corn tortillas.
  • Dairy free: omit the cheese in the topping.
  • Vegan: omit the eggs and cheese.


Huevos Rancheros are a time sensitive dish and should be served right away while the tortillas, beans and salsa are still hot.  Fortunately, you can prepare the beans and salsa ahead of time which makes assembling a breeze.
  • Make salsa.  The salsa can be made, simmered, cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.  Gently rewarm the salsa just before serving, adding a splash of water if needed to reach desired consistency.
  • Make refried beans.  The beans can be made up to 3 days in advance, cooled, and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Gently rewarm before serving, adding a splash of water if they are too thick.
  • Toppings. The toppings can be chopped and stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or small covered serving bowls if making a toppings bar.