65 Recipes for Traditional Mexican Food

Learn how to make all your restaurant favorites at home.

chiles rellenos

Whether it's Taco Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, or a Friday night, these recipes are fun enough for a party, and easy enough to make for an anytime dinner. Check out our 65 traditional Mexican food recipes—including snacks, drinks and main dishes—for inspiration!

When it comes to Mexican food, we’re sure you’re familiar with the classics, like tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. We’ve included lots of our favorites, like our fish tacos, chicken quesadillas, and cheesy baked burritos, as well as some Tex-Mex/Southern spins, like our chicken enchilada casserole or tamale pie. If your experience with Mexican food has been largely limited to fast food, no judgement— we’ve got you too. Check out our Taco Bell copycats, like a crunchwrap, quesadilla, or stackers. Make sure to branch out and try some of our more traditional Mexican dishes too, like chilaquiles (kind of like nachos for breakfast, yes please), queso fundido, and chiles rellenos.

And we can’t forget about dessert. If you’ve never tried flan, you’re missing out—it's a Mexican classic. Arroz con lèche (or rice pudding) is a great comfort food (we eat it for breakfast too—try it with non dairy milk or raisins to change it up!) Another classic is churros. We love cinnamon sugar EVERYTHING, and this OG recipe is surprisingly easy to make at home.

To truly make your Mexican meal complete, you’re going to need some drinks: try our creamy, nutty horchata, spiced Mexican hot chocolate, or a refreshing margarita. Want more tequila? Check out all our favorite Cinco De Mayo tequila drinks too.

taquitos   delishcom
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Spicy Chicken Taquitos

A taquito is essentially a rolled taco with many of the topping like guacamole and sour cream on the outside. They are traditionally shallow fried to get that beautifully crisp exterior. Our version is baked with an option to make them in the air fryer!

Get the Spicy Chicken Taquitos recipe.

mexican rice
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Mexican Rice

This side dish is addictively delicious enough for us to eat for breakfast (maybe stuffed into a breakfast burrito), lunch (alongside a Mexican corn salad), and dinner (tossed into a bonus layer of this cheesy taco casserole).

Get the Mexican Rice recipe.

mexican street corn   delishcom
Parker Feierbach
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Elote: Mexican Street Corn

Elote is an unbelievably popular antojito (little craving) that you can find sold on the street in Mexico. It's often served on a stick, though you could skip the skewer and make it right on the grill.

Get the Elote: Mexican Street Corn recipe.

chiles rellenos
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Chiles Rellenos

To keep the flavors clean, our version is baked and not fried. We broil the poblanos until they're blackened for an extra-smoky vibe, then fill them with a cheesy rice mixture that's honestly so delicious, it can be eaten on its own. Once baked to perfection, top it all off with tangy sour cream, fresh salsa, and cilantro—now that's a good stuffed pepper, upgraded.

Get the Chiles Rellenos recipe.

closeup of chilaquiles verdes
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Chilaquiles Verde

For the ultimate breakfast, try this green salsa-smothered take on chilaquiles. How could you go wrong with a dish that’s essentially crisped-up tortillas tossed in a brothy salsa? Rather than fried eggs (a traditional topping for chilaquiles), we skipped the extra skillet and baked them right into the dish, lending more of a breakfast casserole feel than a saucy chip concoction.

Get the Chilaquiles Verde recipe.

chicken quesadillas
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Chicken Quesadilla

You don't really need a recipe to make this insanely popular Mexican dish. Top a tortilla with cheese (and whatever else you've got), then fold it in half and cook until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melty. But if you're looking for some guidance, especially in cooking up some quick and easy chicken to stuff inside, this recipe won't let you down.

Get the Chicken Quesadilla recipe.

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Perfect Fish Tacos

The fish—we use cod, but any flaky variety, like tilapia, works—marinates in a mixture of lime juice, chili powder, and cumin that will become your standard. But the real gem of this recipe is the cabbage slaw—don't skip it. It takes just a few minutes to toss together and its brightness is the perfect condiment to the spiced cod.

Get the Perfect Fish Tacos recipe.

mexican corn salad
Ethan Calabrese
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Mexican Corn Salad

Looking for ways to use up that sweet summer corn? Look no further! This simple salad hits all the right notes: creamy, spicy, salty, and citrusy, just like the beloved Mexican street food dish elote (grilled sweet corn coated in mayo, cotija cheese and spices) that it is inspired by.

Get the Mexican Corn Salad recipe.

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Tamales aren’t just fun to eat, they’re a great solo or group project for anyone who loves to cook. Make it a party by involving your friends, enlist your partner or spouse for a different kind of date night, or get the whole family involved. Tamale making is a joy, and tamales are a great canvas for different kinds of fillings.

Get the Tamales recipe.

birria tacos recipe
Lucy Schaeffer
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Birria Quesatacos

Although birria can be served in countless ways, we love making quesatacos stained red with the fat of the birria and seared until almost crispy. This helps melt queso oaxaca and create what is essentially a mini quesadilla. What's not to love?

Get the Birria Quesatacos recipe.

nachos supreme   delishcom
Parker Feierbach
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Nachos Supreme

In 1943, some wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in Eagle Pass, Texas, were on a shopping trip in the bordering city of Piedras Negras, Mexico. They stopped at a just-closed restaurant. Not wanting to disappoint his customers, the maître d’, Ignacio "El Nacho" Anaya, was determined to whip something up for them. He made due with what was left in the kitchen—tortillas, cheese, and pickled jalapeños—and served what would go on to be called "Nacho's especiales".

Get the Nachos Supreme recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, taquito, ingredient, produce, staple food, nem rán, appetizer, chimichanga,
Parker Feierbach
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Beef Enchiladas

These easy enchiladas are packed with ground beef, black beans made really cheesy and delicious with a sprinkling of Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese. If you've got the extra time, give the dish an upgrade with our homemade enchilada sauce.

Get the Beef Enchiladas recipe.

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Best-Ever Guacamole

Everyone has opinions about Mexico's most famous avocado-based dip: guacamole. Some, like us, keep it simple. We prefer to let the flavor of our avos shine. Others like to go crazy on the mix-ins: spices, tomatoes, garlic, etc. If that's your thing, this guacamole is the perfect jumping off point. Add whatever you like!

Get the Best-Ever Guacamole recipe.

Park Feierbach
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Best-Ever Migas

This Mexican traditional breakfast is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Crispy fried tortillas meet scrambled eggs, creating that magical crisp-gone-soggy texture that's irresistibly satisfying. Topped with radishes and cilantro for freshness, cotija for a pop of salt, and avocado for creaminess, this skillet breakfast is more than enough reason to get out of bed. (A mimosa margarita wouldn't hurt either!)

Get the Best-Ever Migas recipe.

queso fundido
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Queso Fundido

Queso fundido is a true party trick. It’s likely the lowest effort, highest reward party dip. Go for Mexican chorizo here instead of the Spanish, which is usually dried.

Get the Queso Fundido recipe.

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Easy Churros

We don't often feel like getting a deep fry going. But when you have an easy churro recipe this delicious, it's absolutely worth it. They only take a few minutes to fry and will actually still taste good at room temp, making them a great party dessert!

Get the Easy Churros recipe.

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Air Fryer Chimichanga

Chimichangas are essentially fried burritos, which, don't get us wrong, we absolutely LOVE. What we don't always care for is the excess oil or the mess of deep frying. Make your chicken chimichangas in the air fryer instead for an exceptionally crispy burrito!

Get the Air Fryer Chimichanga recipe.

chicken enchiladas
Parker Feierbach
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Chicken Enchiladas

Originally a Mexican street food, enchiladas began simply as rolled tortillas dipped in chili sauce. As Mexican immigrants moved into Texas, they brought their culinary traditions with them, adapting them along the way into what we now know as Tex-Mex. These enchiladas fall somewhere in between; they're definitely Tex-Mex at their core, but we went with corn tortillas in place of traditional flour (you do you, though!) They may not be authentic by, well, anyone's standards, but they are quick, easy, filling, and delicious.

Get the Chicken Enchiladas recipe.

tacos al pastor
Parker Feierbach
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Tacos Al Pastor

Traditional tacos al pastor are made on a vertical rotisserie just like chicken shawarma. The method was used by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico and the tacos adapted to fit the culinary scene of Mexico with their spices and quickly became a popular street food. Serve these up with some queso and call it a fiesta.

Get the Tacos Al Pastor recipe.

red posole
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Best-Ever Pozole

Don't let the time commitment on this fantastically flavorful pozole recipe scare you. It's as easy as bringing water to a boil and letting it simmer away while you multitask on other things going on in your life. The longer you let the soup simmer, the better it will be. With time, the meat will turn tender, soft, and buttery, the aromas will deepen, and the color will become as rich as the soup tastes.

Get the Best-Ever Pozole recipe.

chicken flautas
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Chicken Flautas

Made with shredded chicken wrapped in flour tortillas and then pan-fried, flautas lie somewhere between taquitos and chimichangas. They come together quickly, making them perfect party appetizers or a great weeknight meal served with Mexican rice and beans.

Get the Chicken Flautas recipe.

salt rimmed margarita with a lime wedge
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Classic Margaritas

The margarita, now one of the most popular cocktails in the world, is thought to have started out as the variation on another prohibition-era drink called the "Daisy". Spanish for "daisy", the marg swapped in tequila for the requisite brandy and lime juice for lemon juice, and a classic was born.

Get the Classic Margaritas recipe.

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Best-Ever Mexican Tostadas

Tostada shells can be tricky to find, so we made our own! Hot and fresh, there's so much more flavor. All that said, these insanely creamy beans + quick pickled onions would taste amazing on anything, including a packaged tostada shell. 😉

Get the Best-Ever Mexican Tostadas recipe.

cheesy beef empanadas
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Cheesy Beef Empanadas

This filling is loosely based on a very traditional Mexican (top-secret!) recipe. It’s delicious as is, but if you want to give it even more pizzaz, we highly recommend adding a splash of red wine vinegar, finely chopped capers and green olives, and a good squeeze yellow mustard. Once you've got the pastry down, you can pretty much stuff them with anything!

Get the Cheesy Beef Empanadas recipe.

dish, food, cuisine, ingredient, comfort food, produce, vegetable, staple food, recipe, flatbread,
Parker Feierbach
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Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Instead of rolling all of the enchiladas this casserole untraditionally speeds up the process by layering everything together in the pan. Skip the store-bought and make your own homemade enchilada sauce. You can adjust the heat up or down according to your preference and the flavor is 10x better.

Get the Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe.

instant pot street corn queso
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Instant Pot Street Corn Queso

Everyone loves a good queso dip. We love this Mexican street corn variety, it's got crunch, spice, and even MORE cheese as garnish.

Get the Instant Pot Street Corn Queso recipe.

instant pot carnitas tacos
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Instant Pot Carnitas

This recipe helps you use your Instant Pot to turn pork shoulder into tender, juicy, and flavorful carnitas with only 35 minutes of cooking time. Crisping them up in the oven afterwards add a nice layer of caramelized bits that will stand out in your tacos. Top them with your favorite toppings like picked red onions, guac, cabbage and homemade salsa.

Get the Instant Pot Carnitas recipe.

salsa verde enchiladas
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Salsa Verde Enchiladas

Cheesy, savory enchiladas that have a super green sauce sound like a project. But mixing store-bought ingredients with fresh stuff speeds everything up without sacrificing flavor. The major “hack” here is using jarred salsa verde but punching up the flavor (and nutrients!) by adding a whole bunch of cilantro, fresh garlic, and jalapeños. It gives it a made-from-scratch taste but in a fraction of the time.

Get the Salsa Verde Enchiladas recipe.

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Chipotle-Lime Chilaquiles

These are basically nachos for breakfast, and we are HERE FOR IT. They're also perfect for salvaging stale tortilla chips.

Get the Chipotle-Lime Chilaquiles recipe.

horchata de arroz
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Horchata de Arroz

This classic Mexican drink is made by soaking rice and almonds with cinnamon and blending everything together with milk and sweetener. You can easily make it vegan by sticking with water or a nut milk, and if you want to make it a more decadent treat, add more sugar!

Get the Horchata de Arroz recipe.

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