Zesty south-of-the-border flavor is easy to achieve with these 20-minute recipes.
Lime's bright acidity and the citrusy herbalness of cilantro are common partners in Mexican dishes. This 13-minute recipe
uses the combination to flavor tender and lean pork tenderloin. Drain and rinse a can of black beans, then heat with a bit
of cumin and rep pepper for a nice side to these and any tacos.
View Recipe: Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos
Talk about an easy dinner: Chicken, salt, chipotle chile powder, grill. The easy salsa adds fresh flavor and cools the chicken's
heat a bit, but it's not strictly necessary―the chicken can pair with almost any combination of fresh veggies lightly cooked
or raw in a salad. A chicken breast plus a large helping of salsa has only 243 calories, so you can even indulge in dessert
without guilt afterward.
View Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Avocado, Tomato, and Cucumber Salsa
Ground beef is almost certainly America's favorite taco filling, and this simple recipe updates the basic fast-food taco with
more taste and better nutrition. Corn, black beans, and chipotles deliver flavor, but each large taco has just 266 calories.
Serve with homemade tortilla chips and guacamole.
View Recipe: Tex-Mex Beef Tacos
Shellfish might not leap to mind as typical Mexican cuisine, but this simple preparation with spice, garlic, and lime is an
ideal way to highlight shrimp as well as scallops, clams, mussels, or even lobster. Serve as is, with roasted potatoes, over
rice, or inside tacos.
View Recipe: Border-Style Shrimp
To make these quesadillas kid-friendly, omit the pickled jalapeño peppers. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
View Recipe: Spicy Chicken Quesadillas
Keep your tortillas soft by wrapping them in foil and keeping them in a warm oven.
View Recipe: Mushroom, Corn, and Poblano Tacos
Crunchy cilantro slaw and cool, fresh avocado cream are all the dressing these chicken tacos will need.
View Recipe: Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream
With nachos, the more healthful toppings you can pile on top, the better. This dish delivers, with spicy chipotle, beans,
tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, onion, cheese, sour cream, and more. The vegetarian crumbles are almost indistinguishable from
ground beef (except in the nutrition department), but die-hard carnivores can replace it with lean ground beef.
View Recipe: Vegetarian Chipotle Nachos
Starchy plantains get sweeter and develop brown spots on the peel as they ripen, so choose pure yellow specimens for this
savory dish. The unique flavor of plantain is more like potato than banana, and gives some depth to the more delicate fish
and spicy salsa. A generous portion has only 307 calories.
View Recipe: Grilled Grouper with Plantains and Salsa Verde
A combination of convenience items―boil-in-bag rice, bottled salsa, canned beans, and bean dip―and fresh flavor―avocado, cilantro,
and lime―makes this recipe the perfect combination of speed and taste. The burritos come together in about 5 minutes and taste
great. Roll tightly and wrap in foil for an on-the-go meal with taqueria authenticity.
View Recipe: Double-Bean Burritos
Crema mexicana is a thinner, tangier version of sour cream that you can find in most Mexican markets. Use it in place of the sour cream
and mayo for authentic flavor in this recipe. Snapper's delicious flavor is excellent for fish tacos, but almost any flaky
white fish, like tilapia, mahimahi, or halibut, will work.
View Recipe: Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Crema
Sweet caramelized onion, spicy jalapeño, earthy mushrooms, and tangy sour cream give these tacos a whole spectrum of flavors,
but they're still quick and easy to cook. Top with a little chopped raw onion or radish for crunch to add even more interest.
View Recipe: Chicken and Mushroom Tacos
This dish takes an all-American classic south of the border by adding intensely spicy and smoky chipotle chile. The topping
of deeply caramelized onions adds a counterpoint of sweetness to tame the heat. Serve with a salad or slaw, like this Citrus-Spiked Jicama and Carrot Slaw.
View Recipe: Chipotle Sloppy Joes
This is a decidedly different twist on the cheesy favorite, combining sweet fresh peach with mild and creamy brie. As is,
it's an appetizer, but add cooked pork (which pairs excellently with peaches) to make it a meal, or serve alongside some tasty
rice and beans.
View Recipe: Peach and Brie Quesadillas with Lime-Honey Dipping Sauce
Shrimp are a favorite weeknight staple because they cook quickly, taste great, and are an excellent protein source. The spice
mixture in this dish includes sugar to get a nice browned color and charred flavor in just three minutes of cooking, while
cumin and chipotle add big flavor. Sliced avocado in the finished tacos gives them a lovely creamy texture that takes the
place of less-healthful sour cream or cheese.
View Recipe: Chipotle Shrimp Tacos
The combination of textures―creamy avocado, crunchy jicama, juicy pomegranate―give this salad its appeal. It makes a great
starter or light lunch, but you can add some chopped cooked chicken, a can of tuna, or sliced tofu to make it a more filling
View Recipe: Mexican Salad with Pomegranate-Lime Dressing
Steaming-hot soup is an ideal cold-weather dinner, and this recipe brings in completely different flavors than your traditional
chicken noodle. Luckily, it also cooks in about eight minutes. Sliced chicken or pork work just as well as turkey, and you
can also chop and add any other favorite veggies, like tomato, onion, or radish.
View Recipe: Chipotle Turkey and Corn Soup
This hearty dish, with eggs, beans, and cheese, is good for any meal. Add a little cooked chicken or ground beef for a filling
breakfast-for-dinner option, or cook the eggs ahead and pack each ingredient separately for an assemble-at-work lunch. It's
also good for kids to make themselves, as everything cooks quickly in the microwave, no stove necessary.
View Recipe: Quick Breakfast Tostada
Inexpensive catfish is good for more than just frying. Here it's combined with lots of vegetables for a fresh fajita. Try
replacing the pico de gallo with fresh guacamole for a great variation, or ditch the tortillas and serve the fish over rice and beans.
View Recipe: Catfish Fajitas
Ancho chile powder has a much smokier flavor than regular chile powder, and is a pantry must-have for Southwestern food lovers.
This simple rub adds tons of flavor to the steak and also gives it a nice caramelized crust. Serve with roasted potato or sweet potato wedges, or for a more Mexican feel, rice and beans.
View Recipe: Ancho-Rubbed Flank Steak
The warm and nutty taste of cumin, present in both the chicken and salsa here, is key to Mexican dishes. The easy spice rub
works just as well with pork chops or even slices of tofu, and you can easily slice the cooked chicken and make into tacos
or quesadillas, topped with the salsa if you like.
View Recipe: Chicken with Southwestern Salsa
Traditional mole sauces can contain dozens of different spices and require long simmering to achieve their deep, complex,
and incomparable flavor. Our rub of cocoa powder, chiles, and other spices imitates that taste, and does so in just six minutes
of cooking. Chocolate and pork might sound odd together, but the spicy, smoky flavor of mole goes perfectly with meat. This
recipe works just as well with chicken breasts or thighs.
View Recipe: Mole-Style Pork Chops
Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. The flavors of both are important in Mexican cuisine, and both appear in this
quick dish. Cook the tuna to medium-rare over relatively high heat for best results: The contrast between a crisp spice crust
on the outside and meltingly tender fish inside is a lovely one. The versatile, fiber-rich salsa is a good choice for almost
any Mexican or Southwestern dish.
View Recipe: Coriander-Crusted Tuna with Black Bean Salsa
While the sauce cooks, shred the chicken. For a spicy kick, top with chopped jalapeños.
View Recipe: 20-Minute Chicken Enchiladas
Tossing the shrimp in a little honey before cooking helps to create tasty grill marks.
View Recipe: Shrimp Tacos with Corn Salsa
Canned beans that are already seasoned help bring these tacos together in a flash.
View Photo: Black Bean Tacos with Feta Slaw