Superfast Mexican Recipes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 meal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This breakfast-for-dinner skillet gets heat from spicy Mexican chorizo. Don't stir the potatoes too much as they cook so they crisp in the pan. If you like your eggs more firm, cook them longer, or stir them in for a scramble.