16 Mexican Recipes That Would Make Your Abuela Proud
In the age of culinary fusion, Mexican food has experienced its fair share of new interpretations and experimentation. But nothing beats traditional Mexican dishes packed with flavor and nostalgia. Here are our top no-frills, time-tested authentic Mexican recipes sure to get your abuela's stamp of approval.
Pico de Gallo
This salsa fresca is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Diced tomatoes, raw onion and jalapeño are combined with cilantro and lime to create a bright and zesty salsa that goes with just about any dish.
Avocados have recently found themselves in the brunch menu limelight, but guacamole is proof that they have always been worthy of every bit of our attention. This 5-star guacamole recipe has been reviewed by more than 4,000 home cooks, so we'll let the numbers speak for themselves.
The combination of citrus, spices and aromatics transform thin cuts of steak into an incredible protein for tacos or eating on its own. Don't be daunted by the 24-hour long marinade for this carne asada recipe. It is time well spent as it makes for tender meat and unbeatable flavor.
Authentic Enchiladas Verdes
"These enchiladas are made with a fresh green salsa, just like you would find in a Mexican restaurant or better yet, in a Mexican home," said recipe developer PattiVerde. The secret to this recipe is in the sauce. Tortillas are slightly fried and then dipped in salsa verde for extra flavor before being filled with chicken and cheese.
Real Chiles Rellenos
For chiles rellenos, poblano peppers are roasted and blistered before being stuffed with cheese. They're then battered and fried until crispy and golden. This dish is comfort food at its finest.
Arroz Rojo (Maria's Mexican Rice)
"Look no further for an authentic Mexican rice recipe," said reviewer tychicken. "This is it. My mother ran a very successful Mexican restaurant with my aunt in Chihuahua Mexico for many years before marrying my dad and this is the recipe she uses to this day."
While refried beans are typically made by frying mashed pinto beans in lard, this recipe skips the fat without sacrificing any flavor. Plus, it's all done in a slow cooker, which means this recipe is about as hands-off as it gets.
Pozole Rojo in a Slow Cooker
Pozole, or posole, is a classic Mexican stew typically eaten on New Year's Eve. It is made with hominy cooked in broth with meat and chile peppers. This easy slow cooker version is a hit among reviewers.
Real Homemade Tamales
This recipe proves that good homemade tamales don't have to be daunting and labor intensive. Pork is used for the tamale filling in this preparation, but chicken or beef can easily be substituted in its place.
Carne en su Jugo
Carne en su Jugo, which translates to "meat in its juices," is one of Guadalajara's favorite dishes, according to recipe developer Crema. "Small pieces of flank steak are cooked in their juices, then mixed with whole beans and crispy crumbled bacon. It makes me feel at home!"
Guisado de Puerco con Tomatillos (Pork Stew in Green Salsa)
"This is a delicious, not too spicy, authentic Mexican pork stew that is easy to make and a recipe that everyone in your family will enjoy,” said recipe creator PLATO712. "Serve with Spanish rice and warm tortillas."
Slow Cooker Carnitas
Carnitas, which is made by cooking pork confit-style until tender, comes from Michoacan and is served everywhere from street vendors to upscale restaurants. This slow cooker recipe yields juicy, aromatic meat by using boneless pork shoulder and the winning combination of cumin, coriander and bay leaves.
Zanahorias en Escabeche (Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots)
Spicy pickled carrots and peppers are a taqueria staple. Here's an easy guide for making batches of this condiment at home.
"Closest to the real thing. I lived in Mexico for about 22 years and this is by far the one recipe with the most similarities to the churros from the corner ‘puestos,’" said reviewer karlovsky. "A serious treat!"
Tres Leches (Milk Cake)
Tres Leches is a yellow cake soaked in evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream to create a rich, indulgent dessert. This particular recipe, shared by Stephanie Watts, has become a go-to for hundreds of reviewers.
Flan Mexicano (Mexican Flan)
Recipe contributor Amy Shurts said she begged her mother-in-law from Durango, Mexico, to share this flan recipe with her for years, and it's now one of the most popular flan recipes on our site. The silky custard dessert has a layer of syrupy caramel and this recipe incorporates a citrus twist.