Imagine waking up to a glorious plate of huevos rancheros with guacamole, a breakfast plate heaped with eggs in a delicious cooked tomato salsa, served alongside a generous scoop of freshly made guacamole. Now that’s a breakfast worth getting out of bed for!
Originating from the farms of Mexico, huevos rancheros are the typical Mexican breakfast plate enjoyed by ranch hands and farm workers throughout the country. Naturally vegetarian, cheap and filling, it’s no surprise that huevos rancheros became such a hit across North America.
A perfectly cooked sunny-side-up egg, its bright yellow yolk glistening under the rays of the mid-morning sun. A heaping mound of red cooked salsa, juicy tomatoes tinged with the heat of jalapeno and blistered onions. A warm corn tortilla, serving as a bed and a vehicle to catch all that yummy goodness. And finally, the crowning glory: a pile of vibrant green guacamole, creamy, zesty, and balanced.
These are the makings of the ultimate huevos rancheros with guacamole, the farm-to-table breakfast you won’t stop dreaming about.
Gather your ingredients for huevos rancheros with guacamole
At its core, huevos rancheros are simple farm fare. The most basic version involves eggs, a corn tortilla and ranchero sauce, a form of cooked salsa. Our huevos rancheros with guacamole is a dish meant to represent the colors of Mexico: red, green and white. The red is the salsa, the white is the tortilla and the egg white, while the green is captured in the guacamole and the bright pops of jalapeno and cilantro.
To get started on cooking this dish, a trip to any regular supermarket will do. All you need are common ingredients like eggs, corn tortillas, tomatoes, onions and avocados. Garlic, fresh cilantro, and lime are optional, but they help amplify the flavor of the dish and make its taste nuanced and exciting.
Prep the ingredients for the guacamole
Because huevos rancheros take a short while to make, we like to start by making the guacamole and lettings its flavors meld and marinade while we prep the rest of the dish. All you need for guacamole is an onion, avocados, garlic, lime and cilantro. Jalapeno can also be good here, so add some if you like the heat.
The traditional way of making guacamole involves using a mortar and pestle. We find that it adds some flare to the dish, and it really helps incorporate the flavor of the garlic and onion into the avocado. Plus, it’s quite an arm workout!
But don’t worry — if you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can easily do everything with a cutting board, a sharp knife, a bowl and fork.
Make the guacamole for your huevos rancheros
Making guacamole takes more brawn than brains. First, you start off by mincing garlic and finely dicing your onion. You also want to dice your cilantro and set it aside for later.
If using a mortar and pestle, you proceed by grabbing onto your pestle (the elongated, baton-shaped part of this two-part tool) and pounding the life out of your onions and garlic in the mortar, which is the bowl. A few squirts of lime juice and salt will help make easy work out of this. If using a cutting board and a knife, you just have to dice more finely before mixing the two together in a bowl. So any way you spin making guacamole, you have to put your back into it.
Once your onion and garlic are finely meshed together, add the avocado, and jalapeno (if you like spice), and mash everything together using a fork. You want to mix everything together until it becomes cohesive, with nice chunks of onions throughout.
Taste and season your huevos rancheros guacamole
Once you have mixed your avocado, onion, optional jalapeno, and garlic finely together, it’s time to ensure all the flavors are balanced.
Taste your guacamole and correct its seasonings. Then taste it again. You may want more lime or salt than we do, and that’s totally fine. There is no right or wrong way to make guacamole — there’s just the way you like it. The flavor of a good guacamole should be bright, and the texture creamy. The onion should come through, but not overpower the whole dish.
Some people even add a splash of milk to help make the avocado even more creamy and smooth. If doing so, add it in the end, right before tasting and correcting your seasonings. Finally, add minced cilantro and stir to combine.
Prep the salsa ingredients for huevos rancheros
With your guacamole ready and waiting, it’s time to make our ranchero sauce, or in our version of huevos rancheros, the cooked salsa.
The three components of our cooked salsa are onion (you can use the other half of the onion leftover from making guacamole), tomato, and jalapeno. We add some fresh cilantro to spike up the flavors, but you can also use dried oregano if that’s all you have, or omit it altogether.
To prep the ingredients for cooked salsa, start by dicing the onion into a fine cube. Roughly dice the tomatoes — they’ll break down more as they cook. Be sure to finely dice the jalapeno, as no one wants to get a giant chunk of spicy pepper in one bite.
Cook the salsa for huevos rancheros
The reason we cook the salsa for our huevos rancheros is because it greatly mellows the flavors and compliments the sunny side up egg with a delicious sauce.
In a large pan on medium heat, add your preferred cooking oil. Sauté the onions until they change color and become translucent, about five minutes. Add tomatoes and jalapeno.
Stir the tomatoes a few times, mixing everything together. Bring the salsa to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about ten minutes, until the tomatoes lose their raw flavor and the sauce blends. Taste and correct your seasonings.
If you’re short on time, you can even skip cooking the salsa altogether, and serve it raw atop your tortilla. This will give the dish a much fresher, punchier flavor and you may want to use less onion as it can be overpowering.
Cook sunny-side-up eggs for the huevos rancheros
While the salsa is cooking, grab a second pan and make your sunny side up eggs.
First, a few words on our choice of eggs. Huevos rancheros are traditionally made with fried sunny side up eggs, which are meant to look like the sun and bring luck on a hard day of work. The yolk also tastes gorgeous when it mixes with the cooked salsa and the bright, punchy guacamole. But if you’re not a fan of sunny side up eggs, or you cannot eat raw eggs for any reason, feel free to use scrambled eggs in your huevos rancheros. It’ll taste just as delicious!
Here’s our method for cooking perfect sunny side up eggs, with a runny yolk but a firmly set egg white. In a large pan set on high heat, add enough oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan. When the pan is hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle, crack open four eggs and add them to pan.
Cook the eggs until the white begins to set and the edges of the egg brown and crisp up, about 30 seconds. Cover the pan with a lid and keep an eye on it — the rest of the process happens fast, so if you blink, you’ll miss it!
After 20 to 30 seconds of cooking, the egg white will have completely cooked through while the yolk will remain runny. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the stove, because your sunny side up eggs are ready.
Assemble the huevos rancheros
Your guacamole is mixed. The ranchero salsa is cooked. The perfectly crisp-around-the-edges, jiggly in the middle sunny side up eggs are done. Now what? It’s time to put all that glory together!
To assemble your huevos rancheros, top up a tortilla with a sunny side up egg. Pile on as much cooked salsa as you like, and add a scoop or two of guacamole. Serve with wedges of lime and a Mexican hot sauce like Cholula, and any optional toppings you like.
So what optional toppings go with huevos rancheros, you ask? More on that next!
Consider some additional huevos rancheros toppings and variations
Basic huevos rancheros with guacamole are delicious, and we really do consider them the perfect breakfast. But if you’re looking for even more flavor, we have a few ideas on how to gild the lily! You can add the following toppings to your huevos rancheros:
Cheese — monterey jack or cheddar are best
Lettuce — a very "gringo" adaptation to huevos rancheros, this turns them into a little taco
Sour cream — also a more Americanized version, but so delicious!
Your favorite store bought salsa provides a nice contrast to the cooked salsa
Dig into the huevos rancheros
With the huevos rancheros on your plate, it’s time to dig in! Breaking the yolk and mixing it with the cooked salsa produces a delicious, gooey sauce that contrasts beautifully against the freshness of the guacamole. The creaminess of the avocado pairs with the crispy edges of the egg white.
It all soaks into the corn tortilla, which provides the perfect little vehicle for lifting the whole thing up to your mouth, without even using a fork. In the end, you end up with one perfect bite of huevos rancheros with guacamole: salty, creamy, saucy, spicy and bright.
No wonder huevos rancheros are the preferred breakfast for farmers. It sets you up for a day of hard work, with minimal effort!
- 2 ripe avocados (for guacamole)
- 1 large onion
- 1 garlic clove (for guacamole)
- 10 stems fresh cilantro (5 for guacamole, 5 for salsa)
- half a lime for juice (for guacamole)
- 2 large tomatoes
- half a jalapeño
- 4 tortillas
- 4 eggs
- Mexican hot sauce
- quarter of a jalapeno for guacamole
- refried beans
- sour cream
- For the guacamole: Mince garlic clove. Finely chop an onion. Cube the avocados. Transfer garlic clove to a bowl with a pinch of salt and lime juice. Add half of chopped onion, avocado, and mix and mash everything until cohesive.
- Taste and correct seasonings. Add 5 stems of cilantro and stir to combine.
- Dice tomatoes and jalapeno for the salsa.
- In a large pan on medium heat, add oil. Sauté other half of diced onions until they change color and become translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, jalapeno, and cilantro. Bring the salsa to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce blends. Taste and correct seasonings.
- For the sunny side up eggs, start by heating a pan on high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom.
- Crack open the eggs and add them to the pan. Cook them until the white begins to set and the edges of the egg brown and crisp up, about 30 seconds. Cover the pan with a lid. After 20 to 30 seconds, the egg white should be cooked through while the yolk will remain runny. Turn off heat and remove pan from stove.
- Top a tortilla with a sunny side up egg, enough cooked salsa to your liking, and a scoop or two of guacamole. Serve with wedges of lime, hot sauce, and any optional toppings.