20 Fresh Mexican and Tex-Mex Recipes to Spice Up Mealtime

updated Feb 3, 2020
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Some of these recipes are authentic, and some are simply inspired by the Mexican dishes we know and love. But either way, they know just how to bring you a flavorful, (sometimes) spicy, and delicious meal. From breakfast to dessert, these 20 Mexican and Tex-Mex recipes will liven up your table.

Esquites is the sibling of elote, a popular Mexican street food dish. Elote is basically grilled corn on the cob that is served with a variety of condiments — including mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime juice, and chili powder — while esquites is pretty much the same thing, just served in a bowl.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This makes two hefty tacos per person, piled high with scrambled eggs, well-seasoned pinto beans, crunchy home fries, and all the fixings.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

Migas are made with tortillas or corn chips, scrambled eggs, and, in true Tex-Mex fashion, plenty of cheese. It’s nothing fancy — just great, hearty comfort food for breakfast, late night, or any time, really.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The slow cooker stew requires a little upfront prep, but the tender, smoky meat and bold-flavored sauce you’re rewarded with are well worth your efforts.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

I like serving this tender pork — smothered in a charred tomatillo sauce — with toasted tortillas, Mexican red rice, bacon-y black beans, and a stiff margarita to wash it all down.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The textural contrast between lightly crisped fish, supple corn tortillas, and soft avocado is a big part of this simple recipe’s success.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

If you’ve ever attempted your favorite Mexican restaurant’s rice at home and failed, raise your hand. Well, you can put it down now, because this one is our all-time family favorite, and I think it will become yours, too.

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Filled with warm spices, fresh cilantro, creamy avocado, and tortilla strips, this is the kind of chicken soup you can eat with ease all year long.

(Image credit: Danielle Tsi)

These tacos come together in a flash — maybe 15 minutes, tops. I love them for a quick weeknight meal, but they also make a fantastic party appetizer. Just set out platters of everything and let guests help themselves.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The key to this whole dish is the cheese. Cooked long and slow, the cheese melts into the rice and forms a crust on the bottom of the pan. The whole dish becomes infused with rich, smoky, caramelized cheddar — it’s heavenly.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

Inspired by tomato-tinged Mexican rice, this veggie-heavy version comes together in a flash for a quick side dish or the base of your burrito bowl.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

These burritos are kind of like a hybrid burrito and enchilada, but are really simple to make — and great for vegetarians. If you’re a meat lover, go ahead and use lean ground beef or turkey as a stand-in for the beans.

(Image credit: Nick Evans)

This recipe is sort of a cross between a hard-shell taco and a quesadilla. Once you master the method, you’ll never go back.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

This casserole could be likened to a Tex-Mex lasagna: layers of toasted flour tortillas are smothered in a cumin- and chili powder-spiked cream sauce, along with heaps of grated cheese. What’s not to like?

(Image credit: Sarah Rae Smith)

Barbacoa is a simple dish that can be made into all sorts of meals. You might make tacos, burritos, extreme nachos, or even hash for breakfast in the morning. Once it’s prepared, the uses are endless; knowing you have some on hand always makes for good eats.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Posole is basically a kicked-up chicken soup. Its real magic lies in the garnishes. Stirred into the hot broth, these raw vegetables give a crunchy, fresh backdrop to the chewy hominy and bites of tender chicken.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

The only thing better than twice-baked potatoes is this amped-up version, filled with beef, corn, beans, plenty of seasoning, and of course, lots of cheese.

(Image credit: Dana Velden)

There are almost as many variations of Mexican horchata as there are people who make it. Our version was passed on from a good friend who was born and raised in Mexico. It contains almonds and sweetened condensed milk, which give it a deliciously rich creaminess.

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Usually a light, buttery shortbread that’s not too sweet on the inside, the cookie dough is formed into a ball and rolled in powdered sugar. This version has extra spices and gives an almond extract option to bump up the nutty flavors.

(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

This sweet treat is everything you love about Mexican hot chocolate in a cool, summery dessert.