Sizzling Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes
Slow-Cooker Carnitas Tacos
Cumin- and orange-perfumed pulled pork tastes great topped with sliced green onion, jicama and our salsa verde.
Grilled Steak Fajitas
All you need is a steak, a three-ingredient marinade, a few veggies and tortillas heated right on the grill. Boom.
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.
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.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
Doctored with onion, chili powder and cocoa, canned sauce becomes a stepping-stone to something deeper.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
No-Cook Salsa Verde
The avocado in this piquant puree of lime, cilantro, onion and tomatillos gives the salsa some richness and body.
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!)
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 Chicken Salad
A tiny bit of taco seasoning mix packs big flavor in this south-of-the-border twist on traditional chicken salad. Try it in a tortilla wrap with crisp romaine lettuce.
Blackened Tomato Salsa
Chipotle peppers and broiled tomatoes make for a bold, smoky challenge to standard salsa.
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.
Mexican Citrus Salad with Avocado
It's not just a salad-it's a crunchy, juicy, sweet, salty, tart, buttery, nutty potluck dazzler.
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.
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.
Simple Salsa Skillet
For a change in routine, substitute green salsa for red in this easy Mexican-inspired meal.
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.
Tilapia Tacos with Chipotle Cream
Cumin and cinnamon spice up ordinary frozen tilapia fillets for a fragrant pan-fried fish taco filling. Just add margaritas for the full restaurant experience.
Mexican Winter Chili
Cook pork in a blend of cocoa powder, cumin, cinnamon, pumpkin and poblano pepper for a rich, hearty chili.
Mexican Polenta Pie
Great for a potluck or family dinner, this 12-serving casserole combines polenta with ground turkey, spices, black beans, tomatoes and Monterey Jack cheese.
24-Hour Tex-Mex Salad
Based on Tex-Mex ingredients, this layered salad can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. For a fun presentation, assemble individual servings in clear jelly jars, dressing and all, then refrigerate.
Tortilla-Black Bean Casserole
Layer a tomato-bean mixture, cheese and tortillas for a casserole with south-of-the-border flavor. Let each guest top their portion with chopped tomato, shredded lettuce, green onions, olives and/or sour cream.
Black Bean Salsa
This salsa does double duty as a tortilla dip or a meat topper. Serve with a slotted spoon over grilled pork, smoked bratwursts or sausages, grilled chicken or salmon.
Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa and Ranch Taco Sauce
Fresh tomatillos and jicama add authentic tartness and crunch to this made-in-minutes dinner. You can find both veggies at large supermarkets or Latin groceries.
Bonanza Bean Dip
Lime- and jalapeno-spiced guacamole adds a kick to layers of refried beans, cheese, tomatoes and onions. Serve seasoned tortilla chips on the side.