Sizzling Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes
Rajas with Corn Tacos
Up your taco game with rajas, a classic Mexican taco filling made of charred poblano peppers steeped in seasoned cream. Sweet corn balances the smoke and spice.
Pork and Tomatillo Pozole
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup thickened with hominy. This version, from Karen Bell, chef and owner of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee, only gets better the next day, so keep extra slaw around for round two.
Related: Simmering Soups and Stews
Chicken en Chile Verde Tamales
Tamales are a project, but so worth it—especially with friends or family helping with assembly. This recipe comes from chef Jorge Guzmán of Petite León in Minneapolis.
Related: Chef Jorge Guzmán's Step-by-Step Guide to Making Tamales
Better-For-You Taco Meat
Nutrient-filled mushrooms replace some of the beef in this family-friendly taco filling, but they're finely chopped, so you won't even notice they're there! Use the meat for tacos, or on nachos or baked potatoes. (And feel free to trade the ground beef for pork or turkey.)
Beef en Chile Rojo Tamales
Chef Jorge Guzmán of Petite León in Minneapolis uses two kinds of toasted dried chiles in the braised brisket filling for these tamales, creating deep, layered flavor.
At Des Moines restaurant Tacos Mariana's, the classic avocado-lime-cilantro mash is doctored with cucumber, Cotija cheese, and chiles—the result is one of the best guacs we've ever tasted.
Related: Easy Dip Recipes
Roasted Tomato Chilaquiles
Our shortcut chilaquiles use corn chips to avoid frying tortillas. The sauce is a quick puree of canned fire-roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic and chipotle peppers. Serve with fried eggs, quick-pickled radishes, and an appetite for adventure.
Grilled Steak Fajitas
All you need is a steak, a three-ingredient marinade, a few veggies and tortillas heated right on the grill. Boom.
Roasted Mushrooms con Queso Tamales
Tamales often feature meaty fillings, but this earthy recipe from chef Jorge Guzmán of Petite León in Minneapolis is vegetarian. The dark color comes from huitlacoche, a fungus that grows on corn and has been used in Mexican cooking for centuries. (You can buy it canned online or at some Mexican markets.)
The secret to whipping out these deliciously cheesy chicken- and potato-filled pockets for your next game night or tailgate? Frozen, pre-cut empanada wrappers. The recipe comes from Minnesota chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard.
Beer-Battered Fish Tacos
Jose Alarcon, owner of Centro restaurant and the bakery-cafe and market Vivir in Minneapolis, shares his recipe for perfectly crispy fish tacos.
Related: Great Taco Recipes
A traditional margarita calls for tequila, orange liqueur and a tart jolt of lime juice (plus a sweetener, if you like). Stop at that—or start playing. Our any-flavor recipe has you covered!
Tres Leches Cake
A Mexican standard and guaranteed backyard crowd-pleaser, our brown-sugar sheet cake is soaked in milky syrup, chilled, then topped with whipped cream and berries.
Mexican Potato Soup
A favorite comfort food gets a bit of a kick with spicy chorizo sausage and chiles. This recipe is quick enough for a weeknight.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Doctored with onion, chili powder and cocoa, canned sauce becomes a stepping-stone to something deeper.
Chicken Carnitas Tacos
These crazy-good fried chicken tacos aren't for weeknights—but they aren't hard at all. Save them for a weekend party, when you'll have time to make TV host and author Andrew Zimmern's Tomatillo-Avocado and Grilled Pineapple salsas, too.
Traditionally, this sweet drink is made by soaking rice (and sometimes blanched almonds, too) overnight in water, then pureeing and straining the mixture. We kept the seductively sweet, authentic taste, but skipped the drawn-out process. Our shortcut version uses purchased rice milk, and we could barely tell it apart from the real deal in side-by-side tests.
Mexican Citrus Salad with Avocado
It's not just a salad—it's a crunchy, juicy, sweet, salty, tart, buttery, nutty potluck dazzler.
Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
Cumin- and orange-perfumed pulled pork tastes great topped with sliced green onion, jicama and our salsa verde.
Related: So-Good Slow-Cooker Recipes
No-Cook Salsa Verde
The avocado in this piquant puree of lime, cilantro, onion and tomatillos gives the salsa some richness and body.
Related: Fresh Salsa Recipes
Garlicky Fish Tacos
Our pan-fried tilapia is drizzled with garlic butter and lime juice. We garnished ours with fresh cilantro, fresh parsley and sliced pickled red onion. To quick pickle the onions, combine a sliced red onion with a generous pour of cider vinegar, a spoonful of brown sugar, toasted cumin seeds and a bit of salt. Let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
Related: Fish Recipes for Dinner Tonight
Pepper and Portobello Fajitas
Portobellos have such a meaty texture, you might not miss a traditional protein in these simple grilled veggie fajitas—but there's enough marinade to dress a steak, if you want. (Plus the recipe, which comes from the book Pretty Simple Cooking, includes a simple bean side dish to make on the grill, too!)
Frozen Strawberry-Mango Margarita
The fastest way to downgrade a margarita (or any drink) isn't cheap tequila; it's bottled lime juice. Dig out that squeezer and pull up your sleeves. It's worth it.
Related: Cool Summer Drinks
Beer-Braised Brisket Tacos
Season fork-tender meat with oregano, cinnamon and coriander. Then, for an extra easy-yet-authentic flavor boost, top with cabbage, radish and queso fresco.
Rotisserie chicken, melty cheese or spicy chorizo? Your choice.
Quick Green Chili and Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken tenders, Mexican-style four-cheese blend, green chile peppers and bottled green salsa fill these easy enchiladas. Buy hot or mild chilies to suit your family's taste for heat.
Spicy Queso Blanco
If American cheese has a purpose in life, this kicky, ultracreamy dip is it.
Mexican Tacos Carnitas
Slow-cook pork shoulder roast and Mexican spices to tender goodness, then serve with corn tortillas. Fresh cilantro, green onion and bottled green salsa add the finishing touches.
Blackened Tomato Salsa
Chipotle peppers and broiled tomatoes make for a bold, smoky challenge to standard salsa.
Cucumber Habanero Margaritas
David Fries, an amateur barbecue competitor from the Twin Cities, loves to serve this refreshing and subtly spicy margarita at family cookouts.
Pineapple-Cucumber Salsa Pico de Gallo
This salsa is the zestiest way to get your five a day. For the best results, chop the fruit and vegetables evenly into a 1/4-inch dice.
Fall Vegetable Fajitas
Thinly slicing tougher cuts of meat, such as beef chuck eye steak, flank steak and skirt steak, ensures tenderness. Tip: Pop the steak in the freezer for about 20 minutes before slicing-it should be firm but not frozen. Hold a chef's knife at a 45-degree angle to the meat and thinly cut across the grain.
Any-Fruit Agua Fresca
Once you have the method down, you can improvise aguas frescas with almost any soft fruit.
Mexican Mac and Cheese
Pair Mexican flavors with pasta for this comfort-food casserole that includes sausage, salsa and Monterey Jack cheese.
Shredded Pork Tacos
Root beer and chipotle peppers yield pulled pork that's sweet, spicy, smoky and marvelously tender—perfect for wrapping in a tortilla with cheese and vegetables.
Rice and Red Bean Salad
Chili powder and cumin flavor this hearty, nutritious Tex-Mex dish from The Spice House in Milwaukee.
Mexican Sweet Potato-Veggie Medley
Create a meatless main dish in minutes by sauteing sweet potatoes, then adding canned corn and black beans. Top with a chipotle-flavor sour cream, avocado slices and fresh cilantro.
Chicken Enchiladas Adobo
Wrap meat in multigrain tortillas with adobo sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes for a fresh take on chicken enchiladas.
Mexican Meatball Stew
This easy slow-cooker meal has just five ingredients, all packaged or canned. Toss it together in minutes in the morning, and come home to a finished meal in the afternoon.
Fresh herbs, tomatoes and avocados create a refreshing salsa. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.
Light and Layered Taco Dip
Ground turkey, reduced-sodium and light ingredients, and a confetti of crisp, colorful veggies make this potluck staple more nutritious than a typical layered dip—but every bit as tasty.
Related: Easy Appetizer Recipes