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Reduce food waste with skillet chilaquiles

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About one-third of all food produced for people’s plates goes to waste. To conserve resources, save your leftovers at home and in restaurants, and plan meals before going to the store.

This favorite recipe contributed by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of the Border Grill fosters creativity in the kitchen while reducing food waste. It’s a great way to use stale tortilla chips, and any leftover vegetables, chicken, or beans you might have in your fridge.

Skillet Chilaquiles

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of the Border Grill


  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream
  • 1 cup cooked leftover vegetables, pinto beans, and/or black beans
  •  6–8 cups corn tortilla chips
  • 1 cup cheese (panela, Mexican manchego, or Monterey Jack), shredded
  • 1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into ½-inch dice
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1–2 jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
  • ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


In wide skillet, bring salsa, broth, and half-and-half or cream to a boil. Add vegetables and/or beans and tortilla chips, mixing gently to coat each chip while simmering. In 1–2 minutes—when some of the chips have moistened and begun to break up, but others are still holding their shape—add cheese. Continue stirring gently for 1 minute to distribute cheese evenly. Add avocado, onion, chilies, and cilantro and stir well. Cook for 1 minute, remove from heat, and divide among 4 warmed plates. Top with a squeeze of lime.


  • Add 1 cup cooked, shredded, leftover chicken with the vegetables
  • Serve with ¼-cup dollop of sour cream and/or fried egg.

Yield: 4 servings

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