62 Mexican Recipes You’ll Make Again and Again

From tacos and tamales to enchiladas and agua fresca, it’s easy to fall in love with the flavors of Mexican cuisine. We’ve rounded up our best authentic Mexican recipes (along with some really great Mexican-inspired takes) to pay homage to all the delicious dishes we find ourselves coming back to, time and time again.

April 28, 2022

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So Full of Flavor

Mexican cuisine is far more varied than most people realize. And, as much as we love the classic dishes that have become popular in the United States (think tacos and guacamole) there is so much more to discover when it comes to the food and cooking (and desserts and drinks!) of Mexico. That’s why we’ve rounded up these recipes — to celebrate the rich and sophisticated flavors that developed when indigenous ingredients like corn, chiles and chocolate met Spanish culinary customs. There are more far more regional dishes worth mentioning than we can highlight here, but these recipes make for a good starting place — including this one for savory puntas de res. A dry spice rub on the meat imparts a great deal of flavor, and a luxurious sauce coats the stewed beef, tomatoes and fresh chiles gueros that are mellow but have just enough of a kick and a whole lot of flavor. This dish is a classic and the flavor punch will keep you coming back for another tortilla-full.

Get the Recipe: Puntas de Res a la Mexicana

Watermelon and Mint Agua Fresca

This fruity and refreshing drink is so simple to make. Just puree cubed, seeded watermelon with a little water in a blender, until smooth. Then, pour over a mixture of muddled mint leaves, sugar and lime slices. Best of all, agua fresca (which can be made with a variety of different fruits) pairs perfectly with just about any Mexican dish you’re serving up.

Get the Recipe: Watermelon and Mint "Agua Fresca" (Fresh Fruit-Blended Water)

Easiest-Ever Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Marcela's blender-and-stovetop mole sauce is easier than you might think. Pour the sauce over homemade chicken enchiladas. The enchiladas can be made ahead, tightly wrapped and frozen for up to three weeks.

Get the Recipe: 'Easiest Ever' Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Chiles Rellenos

Stuff poblano chiles with Oaxacan-style string cheese before dredging and frying until golden brown.

Get the Recipe: Chiles Rellenos


This marinated, shredded beef is perfect for tostadas, burritos, tacos and even sandwiches. Better yet, this recipe makes a big batch so you can easily store some in the freezer and be one step ahead on nights when you don’t have time to cook from scratch.

Get the Recipe: Slow-Cooker Braised Brisket (Machaca)

Elotes Asados

Grilled street-style corn is a staple all over Mexico. You will often see the corn being grilled in its husks over fire — but you can achieve great results on a stovetop. This recipe offers options for each. In both versions, you cook the corn in its husks to develop that smoky and sweet flavor that goes so well with creamy mayo, sour cream and salty Cotija cheese, making it one of the most delicious street foods you can find.

Get the Recipe: Elotes Asados


Chilorio is a stewed pork guisado from the state of Sinaloa on the Mexican Pacific coast. The first thing you will notice is its striking crimson red color. Chilorio is a perfect match with breakfast potatoes to bring you back to life after a long night. Also try it tucked into some flour tortillas and tightly rolled for the best Northern-style burrito lunch.

Get the Recipe: Chilorio

Chicken Tamales

Ingrid makes tamales easy: Use store-bought rotisserie chicken and bottled green salsa.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tamales


Marcela’s take on this delicious, deep-fried treat couldn’t be easier: she uses pre-made tortillas. Leave them whole or cut them into any desired shape before frying, then toss in cinnamon-sugar. It’s that simple!

Get the Recipe: Cinnamon-Sugar Crisps ("Bunuelos")

The Best Pork Enchiladas

Enchiladas from the Mexican state of Oaxaca are made with a red chile sauce. Ours has raisins to pull the fruit flavors from the ancho chiles and add a touch of sweetness. The pork is braised with aromatics and seasonings that turns into a deeply flavored blended sauce. Frying the tortillas a bit before rolling them gives them a durability that is important when assembling the dish.

Get the Recipe: The Best Pork Enchiladas

Classic Margarita

Once you've tasted a homemade margarita, you may never go back to the store-bought stuff. Tequila, lime juice and agave syrup are all you need for this classic, refreshing drink.

Get the Recipe: Classic Margarita

Pozole Verde with Shrimp

Pozole verde hails from the state of Guerrero located in Mexico's Pacific coast. It is traditionally served with pork and topped with chunks of chicharron. In this version, I use shrimp instead of pork for a lighter version of the dish. The plump shrimp shines against the backdrop of the rich nutty broth, the brightness from the tomatillos and herbs and the mellow heat from the fresh serrano chile.

Get the Recipe: Pozole Verde with Shrimp

Tacos Carne Asada

Tyler Florence's five-star tacos can be as hot as you'd like. His version uses two jalapenos and a heaping of garlic.

Get the Recipe: Tacos Carne Asada


Tyler keeps his take on Mexican flan traditional, flavoring it with vanilla bean, cinnamon and lemon.

Get the Recipe: Flan

Huevos Rancheros

The eggs in this beloved breakfast dish are sauced with a ranchero-style sauce of roasted tomatoes, spicy ancho chiles and smoky chipotles. To make breakfast easier, make the sauce ahead of time and reheat to serve, adding a bit of water to thin if necessary.

Get the Recipe: Huevos Rancheros

Caesar Esquites

Caesar salad is often thought of as an Italian classic, but the famous dish was likely invented at Caesar's Restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. For this esquites recipe (which means shaved corn) we pay homage to the anchovy-laced salad by replacing the traditional mayo-sour cream mixture often served on street corn with a Caesar-style dressing made with sour cream, garlic and what some say was a key ingredient in the original Caesar recipe: lime juice.

Get the Recipe: Caesar Esquites

Baja-Style Fish Tacos

Beer-battered halibut is fried to a golden crisp, then topped with shredded cabbage and salsa for the ultimate fish taco.

Get the Recipe: Baja Style Fish Tacos

Refried Beans

Make your own refried beans with a can of pinto beans, a few flavorful ingredients and just 27 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Refried Beans

Chicken Mole

The secret to this classic dish is all of the wonderful ingredients that make up mole sauce, including cinnamon, anise, coriander, chile peppers and, of course, Mexican chocolate.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Mole

Garlicky Holy Guacamole!

Rachael uses buttery and nutty Haas avocados as the base for her guacamole, which features an entire clove of garlic that she makes into a paste so it distributes evenly into the dip.

Get the Recipe: Garlicky Holy Guacamole!

Birria Tacos

Birria is a spicy Mexican meat stew. Here, Marcela shreds beef short ribs and marinates them in a broth of California chile peppers, pasilla and ancho chile peppers, tomatoes and onion.

Get the Recipe: Birria Tacos

Cajeta Gelatin

If you’re a fan of caramel, this dessert is for you. Cajeta is the Mexican equivalent of dulce de leche, except that cajeta is made with goat’s milk (instead of cow). If you can’t find cajeta at your local supermarket or specialty food store, you can easily substitute another caramel. You’ll still get wonderfully delicious results!

Get the Recipe: Cajeta Gelatin

Mexican Radish Slaw

Cilantro, lime and jalapenos are the key ingredients to turning shredded cabbage into a Mexican-inspired slaw.

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Radish Slaw

Carne Asada Burrito

Jeff makes a mojo marinade for steak before grilling it until charred and crusty. Pile the steak onto tortillas smeared with a layer of cilantro pesto, then sprinkle with tomatoes. Wrap it up tight and eat whole, or slice in half on the bias — just don't forget to dunk it in plenty of homemade salsa.

Get the Recipe: Carne Asada Burrito

Black Bean Soup with Mojo

This easy-to-do soup is a cinch thanks to your slow cooker. Put black beans, pork ribs, water, rum, garlic head halves, onion, salt, bay leaves, oregano, cumin and crushed red pepper in a slow cooker, then cook for about eight hours.

Get the Recipe: Black Bean Soup with Mojo

Churros with Chocolate Sauce

These churros are extra special: crispy and sweet on the outside, custardy and soft on the inside, like a fried cream puff dusted in cinnamon sugar. Organic sugar is key for the coatingit adds flavor and crunch.

Get the Recipe: Churros with Chocolate Sauce

Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Tyler's spicy black beans get their kick from a jalapeno pepper. Pair them with long-grain rice that's been cooked with turmeric.

Get the Recipe: Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice

Tortilla Chip Chilaquiles

Although chilaquiles is commonly served for breakfast, we’d gladly eat this Mexican staple any time of the day. And since this clever take uses store-bought chips (and eliminates the need to fry your own corn tortillas) it’s easy to enjoy whenever the craving strikes!

Get the Recipe: Tortilla Chip Chilaquiles


Take grilled corn on the cob to new heights by dressing it in the popular Mexican street food style — with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chile powder and fresh lime.

Get the Recipe: Elote

Chicken, Chili and Cheese Quesadillas

Top cheesy quesadillas with a homemade salsa that gets heat from hot sauce (try chipotle or Mexican green chili sauce).

Get the Recipe: Chicken, Chili, and Cheese Quesadillas

Smoked Cheddar Cheese Tamales

Make homemade corn tamale dough and fill it with a combination of smoked cheddar cheese and white cheddar cheese.

Get the Recipe: Smoked Cheddar Cheese Tamales

Jalapeno Margaritas

Make this big batch of margaritas with a spicy twist by pulsing jalapenos with sugar and fresh lime juice before mixing with tequila.

Get the Recipe: Jalapeno Margaritas

Salsa and Chips

Make homemade tortilla chips with corn tortillas and vegetable oil for frying. Serve with a simple tomato and onion salsa.

Get the Recipe: Salsa and Chips

The Best Red Chicken Enchiladas

We love the smoky combination of cascabel and guajillo chiles. Using two varieties of dried peppers creates a complex sauce with wonderful depth of flavor, so we recommend seeking them both out. Look for the best-quality corn tortillas you can find. They will have a better flavor and texture and will be easier to work with.

Get the Recipe: The Best Red Chicken Enchiladas

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Toss together pinto beans with corn, bell pepper and onions before topping with a garlicky dressing. This dish will taste great over greens or with chips.

Get the Recipe: Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Fastest-Ever Enchiladas

Use rotisserie chicken to cut down on prep time for these cheesy enchiladas.

Get the Recipe: Fastest-Ever Enchiladas

Salsa Verde

Use tomatillos and fresh hot green chiles to get great color and flavor for this green salsa.

Get the Recipe: Salsa Verde: Green Tomatillo Salsa

Chiles Rellenos      

Make this Mexican favorite affordable with Melissa's recipe that stuffs charred poblano peppers with a mixture of corn and Jack cheese before frying.

Get the Recipe: Chiles Rellenos

Double-Feature Cupcakes with Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate cupcakes are topped with a cream cheese and chocolate frosting for a decadent hand-held treat.

Get the Recipe: Double Feature Cupcakes with Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting

Chicken Tostadas

Fry tortillas until very crispy (otherwise they will become rubbery), then top them with a mixture of chicken, beans, avocado, lettuce and salsa.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Tostadas

Alex's Brisket Tacos with Red Cabbage

A crunchy red cabbage slaw will make your eyes pop as you bite into Alex's tender brisket tacos seasoned with garlic, paprika and chili powder.

Get the Recipe: Brisket Tacos With Red Cabbage

Yellow Rice

Adding onions, bell peppers and ground annatto seed to long-grain rice means this side dish will have enough flavor to hold its own against black beans.

Get the Recipe: Yellow Rice and Black Beans

Guava Empanadas

Packaged empanada wrappers, which can be found in the frozen aisles of your grocery store, are used here to save time and energy.

Get the Recipe: Guava Empanadas

Red Chile Short Rib Tacos

Bobby's tacos pack a big punch in a small package by using three different types of chiles: dried ancho chile peppers, New Mexico chile peppers and cascabel chile peppers.

Get the Recipe: Red Chile Short Rib Tacos

Churros with Coconut Sauce

Churros, a Spanish fried-dough dessert, are rolled in sugar and drizzled with a sweet combination of condensed milk and unsweetened coconut milk.

Get the Recipe: Churros With Coconut Sauce

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Skip store-bought salsa and make Ree's version that requires only 15 minutes' prep time.

Get the Recipe: Restaurant-Style Salsa


These mini masa cakes take a bit of work but are so worth it — once you get the technique down you can use them as the base for any variety of your favorite toppings.

Get the Recipe: Sopes

Crackling Fish Tacos with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

Ingrid's tacos are crunchy, creamy and full of flavor.

Get the Recipe: Crackling Fish Tacos with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

Refried Beans

Make Ellie's lighter refried beans in just 19 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Refried Beans

Crispy Chicken Mini Tacos

Roll shredded chicken in a corn tortilla and fry until golden brown. Top with a freshly made salsa, a drizzle of Mexican crema and a sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco.

Get the Recipe: Crispy Chicken Mini-Tacos

Mexican Brownies

Aaron's brownies get their kick from Mexican cinnamon and pequin chile powder. If you can't find pequin, just substitute cayenne pepper.

Get the Recipe: Aaron Sanchez's Mexican Brownies

Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Traditionally barbacoa-style cooking involves steaming and smoking meat for an intense flavor. This beef chuck is simmered until very tender in a Dutch oven.

Get the Recipe: Beef Barbacoa Tacos

Chiles Rellenos in Tomato Broth

Deep-fried poblano chiles are stuffed with Muenster cheese and soak up a savory tomato broth.

Get the Recipe: Chiles Rellenos in Tomato Broth

Shrimp Tacos with Mango Slaw

Great for Cinco de Mayo or any weeknight dinner, these shrimp-and-coleslaw-filled tacos have great flavor and a wonderful crunch.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp Tacos With Mango Slaw

Tyler's Chunky Guacamole

Tyler's guac is creamy and spicy thanks to sliced serrano chiles. Keep it cool in the fridge before serving, but don't forget to cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent browning.

Get the Recipe: Chunky Guacamole

Wine-Braised Pork Tacos

You'll need extra napkins on hand to wipe up all the juices from Melissa's three-hour-braised pork tacos.

Get the Recipe: Wine-Braised Pork Tacos

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Tyler makes a traditional Mexican favorite with Mexican seasoning and just the right amount of heat from whole green chiles.

Get the Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa

Pork Carnitas Tacos

The meat for these tacos cooks all in one Dutch oven. Just top with pickled red onions when you're ready to serve.

Get the Recipe: Pork Carnitas Tacos

Sopaipillas with Chocolate Sauce

Sopaipillas are fried pockets of dough, a specialty in New Mexico. Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, these are drizzled with a chocolate sauce.

Get the Recipe: Fried Tortillas With Chocolate Sauce

Beef and Bean Burritos

Ree keeps the prep work to a minimum for these burritos thanks to a few key store-bought ingredients: canned Mexican tomato sauce and canned refried beans.

Get the Recipe: Beef and Bean Burritos

Enchiladas de Pollo en Mole Coloradito

An enchilada stuffed with juicy chicken and covered with mole sauce is an excellent way to showcase mole coloradito, one of the seven moles of Oaxaca. Coloradito typically calls for brioche or other bread to thicken the sauce; I like using sourdough for the slightly funky flavor it brings to the mole. Chocolate and plantains are common in this version as well, but I prefer mine without these to emphasize the flavors of the other ingredients. This recipe is a great way to demonstrate one of my favorite Mexican cooking techniques: refrying. Refrying is the process of cooking something again in an extremely hot saucepot to give it more character and depth of flavor.

Get the Recipe: Enchiladas de Pollo en Mole Coloradito

Sopa de Lima

The most famous soup from the Yucatan, sopa de lima highlights the subtle, sweet, bergamot-like flavor of limas, a type of citrus from the region. Meyer lemon is a close second from what we can find in the U.S. The soup is traditionally seasoned with a classic recado, a mixture of warm spices, garlic and bitter orange (naranja agria) juice, and the chicken is usually boiled plain. In this rendition, the chicken gets a recado rub and is marinated for a few hours to capture the essence of the spices. Browning the chicken until crispy and then cooking it through in the soup builds on the flavors that keep you coming back for more.

Get the Recipe: Sopa de Lima

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