Huevos Rancheros: My Favorite Hefty Breakfast!

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If for some reason or another I only had one breakfast left on this planet to eat, I would have huevos rancheros. Dinner or lunch, I might need to go with fried chicken, but breakfast…most definitely huevos rancheros. I have a rule when I travel: If I see Huevos Rancheros on the menu, I must order it. So, as a result, I have eaten all kinds of varieties of them—the delicate diet type available at boutique hotels in L.A. (not my fave), or, better yet, the green salsa–slathered beanie mess at an awesome diner in Wilson, Wyoming (yeah, baby, now we’re talking!).

But because I live in Pennsylvania, and prefer my food organic, I have learned to make them myself. And it is good. Very good. Although, the best thing is to have Mexican food the night before so you can make extra beans (the beans are the secret!), and then have leftover beans for a quick and easy huevos rancheros masterpiece for breakfast. So let’s start with my recipe for what I loosely call “Mexicali Beans,” not because they have anything to do with Mexico, or that I’ve even ever been to Mexico, but because there is a Grateful Dead song called “Mexicali Blues,” and I thought it sounded good (and yes, I was a Dead Head once, a very, very long time ago!).

Maria’s Mexicali Beans



1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon powdered cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like it spicy—if so, you can add more or remove, to taste)

1 can pinto beans

Salt, to taste

Hickory smoke flavoring (optional)


1. Put the olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan.

2. Add the cumin and cayenne pepper, and heat on medium heat until the spices foam a bit.

3. Add the can of beans and salt, to taste, and hickory smoke flavoring—for that extra cowgirl kick!

4. Cook for 15 minutes to a half hour.

Huevos Rancheros!



Whole wheat tortillas

Olive oil

Organic eggs

Shredded Monterey jack or Colby cheese

Fresh salsa, hot sauce, guacamole, sour cream, and whatever else you might want as a topping


1. Heat the tortilla in a cast-iron pan (olive oil optional) on both sides; set aside.

2. Add the heated beans on top of the tortilla, and the grated cheese on top of that.

3. Fry an egg and put it on top of the beans.

4. Add your favorite salsa (I prefer my homemade fresh salsa when it’s in season) and hot sauce, guacamole, if you have it, and sour cream, if you must.


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26 Responses to Huevos Rancheros: My Favorite Hefty Breakfast!

  1. Cheryl Forberg RD January 14, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    Mornin Maria!
    Your beans sound scrumptious. Would love to share my easy Ranchero sauce recipe from my Biggest Loser Simple Swaps book (Rodale). This is one of my fave recipes – and so easy. Hope you like it with your Mexicali Beans. I am definitely going to try them together – Cheryl : )

    This quick and tasty Ranchero sauce is also fabulous with scrambled eggs or tossed with whole grain pasta for a south-of –the-border flair.

    Ranchero Sauce Yield: 2 cups sauce (enough for 4 servings Huevos Rancheros)

    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 small yellow onion chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    14 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
    1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 salt
    1/2 teaspoon chipotle sauce from adobo or dried chipotle powder (optional)
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro

    Heat olive oil in nonstick sauté pan. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for about one minute longer. Do not brown garlic. Add tomatoes and seasonings and cook for a few minutes longer.

    Carefully transfer sauce to jar of a blender or bowl of a food processor. Blend or process briefly. Sauce should still be a bit chunky. Thin with broth or water if desired. Stir in cilantro.
    Serve with Maria’s Mexicali Beans

  2. Dana from Maria's Kitchen January 14, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    Yum, thanks for sharing that recipe, Cheryl!

  3. Julie January 14, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Thank you Maria and Cheryl. I think we’ll have this for our Sunday morning breakfast.

  4. MJ January 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Clearly, a trip to New Mexico for huevos rancheros is required!
    Pintos are typically vegetarian and whole bean, no mash. Corn tortillas form the bed, frequently blue corn. “Christmas style” includes both green chile and red chile sauce, red on the bed and the green poured all across the top. Ladle on pintos, egg on top, garnish with lettuce and cheese, and life is complete. Add a side of fresh posole and a homemade flour tortilla and oh my my. I need to go start my pintos soaking!

  5. Laura K. January 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    MMmmmmmmmmmm I love me some huevos rancheros. Best ever: it’s a toss-up between a small town in Mexico vs. New Mexico. I’ve never made them at home and now I will. Thanks!

  6. babysteps January 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I’m with you! I love it too. Also whip up some guac. for dinner the night before! Love the bean recipe.

  7. Amanda January 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Yum, yum, yum, yum, yummy! The cumin is totally key to good beans. And, I agree: the beans make the huevos rancheros.

  8. Carlee June 22, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Way to go on this essay, hleepd a ton.

  9. SJ September 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Canned beans have become so expensive, I’ve started making them in my pressure cooker each week. 1 cup dry makes about 1 qt, which lasts us a week. I make up different kinds of beans each week. Pintos for frijoles, White beans for baked beans, black beans & garlic & celery (also Mexican meals), and pink beans for pots of chili. When I get the recipe just right, then I make up a fresh batch (undercooked) and can them with my large pressure canner. Your recipe does sound yummy. I love to use cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, celery seed, and mustard seed… and sometimes molasses and bacon.

  10. Margie February 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    I have been viewing your recipes and wanted to print some of them but I don’t see a icon for print on any page. If I were to print from another source, would I get just the recipe or other information shown on the page?

  11. Patsy May 22, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    I make my Huevos Rancheros with warm corn tortillas. I make my own sauce by using canned tomatoes, onions, garlic and a slicedjalapeno pepper (pickled). Saute onions, garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil, add remaining ingredients and a little salt.
    Pour over the corn tortilla and egg.

  12. Gina October 10, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    Can’t wait to try the Ranchero sauce. Thanks Cheryl!

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