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Weekend Huevos Rancheros

Big Joe’s Huevos Rancheros

Every Christmas morning my husband makes up a big pan of these Huevos Rancheros. It’s become my favorite meal of the holiday: soft eggs nestled in a smoky, chipotle- spiced tomato sauce under a cover of melted Cheddar. The sauce can be made a day ahead of time, just to the point before you add the eggs. If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, they are just as tasty reheated the next day. You can make this vegetarian by leaving out the bacon.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Calories 456 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 6 bacon slices
  • 1 medium onion , finely chopped
  • one 28-ounce can diced tomatoes , with liquid
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 chipotle chile en adobo , minced into a puree (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt , plus a generous pinch, divided
  • 2/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro , divided
  • 8 eggs
  • 8 corn or small flour tortillas
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • Sliced avocado or sour cream , for serving (optional)


  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Lay the bacon slices flat in the pan. Cook until the slices are deeply browned on one side and begin to curl up, about 5 minutes. Using a fork, turn the slices over and cook the second side until browned and most of the fat is rendered, another 3 minutes or so. Transfer to a plate covered with a couple of paper towels to absorb the drippings. When cool enough to handle, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces.
  2. Pour off all but about 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat from the pan and re- turn to medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, scraping up any tiny bacon bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped bacon, tomatoes with their liquid, water, chipotle, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of the salt to the pan. Stir well. Adjust the heat so the sauce simmers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and a little of the liquid cooks off, about 10 minutes. It should look like a thick, chunky sauce. If it appears too dry, add 2 tablespoons more water.
  3. Add half the cilantro and stir. Crack the eggs into the sauce, spacing them evenly in the pan, and sprinkle a generous pinch of salt over the top. Set a lid, large pot, or piece of aluminum foil over the skillet so that it’s completely covered (I invert a wok on top of the pan). Simmer the eggs, adjusting the heat as needed, until done to your liking. For runny eggs, the whites should be cooked but the yolks still soft to the touch, about 6 to 8 minutes. Hard-cooked eggs will take an additional 2 minutes or so.
  4. While the eggs are cooking, heat the tortillas in another skillet set over high heat or directly on the burner if you have a gas range, quickly warming each side. You want the tortillas warm and maybe a little blistered, but not crispy. Wrap in a napkin or dish towel to keep warm until ready to eat.
  5. When the eggs are done, scatter the cheese and the remaining cilantro over the top. Serve right from the pan: spoon an egg and plenty of sauce onto a tortilla and top with avocado or sour cream, if desired. Eat like a very messy taco, or use a fork and knife.