Everything Francia Raisa Cooks in a Day [Exclusive]

published May 9, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
graphic collage of Francia Raisa surrounded by chicken tacos, a protein shake, chicken thighs, and beans
Credit: Photos: (headshot) Getty Images, (tacos) Tara Donne, (chicken) Joe Lingeman, Shutterstock

Francia Raisa understands the importance of good food — especially Mexican food. The actress, known for roles in How I Met Your Father and Grown-ish, is an excellent cook. But, it wasn’t always that way.

“I started cooking when I was 18. I had moved out of my house, and I didn’t know how to make anything,” she tells The Kitchn. “I grew up eating homemade Mexican food, and I was like I’m going to eat Taco Bell from now on, screw all this homemade food. I didn’t understand the luxury that homemade food was before Postmates or any of that existed. I would wake up and look at my empty fridge and realize, “Oh my God, I don’t know how to make anything.”

So, she did what anyone would do and turned to her mom for help. “I went home, and I asked my mom, more like begged and cried and said, ‘Please teach me how to make salsa.’ That then led to Frijoles De La Hoya, and then it just kind of escalated to more things. I go on Pinterest a lot for inspiration and new recipe ideas. The more you start cooking, the more you just kind of get the hang of spices and flavors. Now I just play around with flavors. It’s really fun. I just hope and pray that I don’t poison anyone, and so far I haven’t. It’s been really great.”

Credit: Modelo

Raisa recently decided to partner with the alcohol brand to celebrate the launch and expansion of Modelo Spiked Aguas Frescas, a line of vibrant, spiked, flavored malt beverages expanding to new markets across the country. When asked why she decided to partner with the company, her answer is simple: “The fact that Modelo was giving back to the community. That alone just made me say yes. Also, it’s my favorite beer, so it wasn’t a question.”

For the second year in a row, Modelo chose to pay homage to the street vendors that helped inspire it and keep the beloved Mexican street drink tradition alive. Modelo and Raisa gave back to the street vendor community by surprising one street vendor with a brand new, custom street cart and a cash gift to help them further expand their business and continue to serve authentic aguas frescas in the community. “The surprise moment with the street vendor was so sweet,” she adds. “Salavdor and his wife saw the new street cart with the name of their company logo painted on it. I think it took them a second to realize exactly what was going on. And I just started doing my whole spiel. It was so sweet and at one point he did cry, which I was looking forward to. Sorry, Salvador, I heard you were an emotional person.”

For this edition of Cooking Diary, Francia Raisa walks us through her favorite meals to make, the snack she makes every week, and what friend Selena Gomez loves to eat.

What is your typical breakfast?

Oh, that’s an excellent question because I have been struggling with that lately. I’ve shared online, you know, I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome), and so I usually just have protein shakes for breakfast. But I’m learning how to eat an actual meal because of health and cortisol levels. The more you eat, the more energy your body has and the faster your metabolism is. So right now, I was forced to eat a breakfast sandwich, but generally for breakfast, it is usually something with hot sauce. I put it on everything, and if not, definitely add in my salsa!

What is your favorite food to eat for lunch?

My favorite food to eat for lunch is tacos or frijoles, but you know, I’m trying to be good and have a salad. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m like, my body’s changing. I need to do things differently, and I can’t eat after 6:30pm or I get heartburn. So we’re discovering right now.

What do you like to cook for dinner?

The other day I made cast iron chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and broccolini, and it was delicious. My friends came over and ate the rest of it, which I intended to have for leftovers. So really just any protein with a side dish and a veggie. Today I’m having salmon. I’m trying to be healthy if you’re catching my drift, but at times I want a smash burger.

Credit: Photos: Getty Images, Alex Lepe

What’s a food item that you always keep in your pantry or fridge?

Beans! I’m such a Mexican. I make beans every Sunday, so it’s like I eat it throughout the week with refried tacos. It’s like my favorite snack. I make bean tacos a lot. And don’t forget to pour some of my salsa on it. So good!

What is one dish you’re famous for in your family or with your friends?

My salsa! Funny enough, I asked a friend to come over and watch my dog. I was so excited to come back home and eat a homemade meal. I remembered I had just made a new dish. I was inspired by putting some of my salsa all over it. I looked in my fridge and was like, where is it? Guess what? My friend took it! Without saying anything.

You and Selena Gomez have been friends for years. Has she ever cooked for you? What dish do you most enjoy of hers?

I did all the cooking. Salsa mostly. Oh, and Tacos Dorados. Her favorite dish of mine is tacos. There’s also comfort food. This dish, it’s called Sopa De Fideos, which is like our version of chicken noodle soup. Everything is Mexican. Honestly, I think her love of Mexican food stemmed from this one.