80+ Delicious Recipes for a Mexican Fiesta | givinguponperfect.com

Over the past few months Annalyn has found a new favorite hobby: interviewing me. Of course, yes, that’s just a fancy way of saying she asks me inane questions, over and over, day after day, scribbling my answers in notebooks and on backs of coloring sheets after being told for the forty-seventh time to SOUND IT OUT.

I’m not sure if this reflects her desire to become a writer, a journalist, a detective or a scientist. Knowing her, it’s some mish-mash of all of the above – and then some. Regardless, the girl loves asking me questions. And she especially loves asking about my favorites. What’s my favorite color, my favorite baby name, my favorite kid (see how she slips THAT in?), my favorite number, my favorite type of cloud.

And always, always – what’s my favorite food? Always, always, I tell her Mexican food. Occasionally she’ll ask for specifics so I say burritos or nachos, but I am steadfast in my love for Mexican food.

No surprise there, right? After all, my love of everything wrapped in a tortilla or piled on chips-made-of-tortilla is well-documented around these parts. And when you combine that with my love of lists, it was just a matter of time before I compiled my favorite Mexican food recipes into one epic post, wasn’t it?

So here we are with an incredible roundup of recipes and HOLY GUACAOMOLE, you all. I just ate lunch, but after looking at these posts, I AM STARVING. And the only thing that will satisfy me will surely have a pepper, a tomato and a whole lot of cheese.

Mexican Food Recipe Roundup

Just as I did when writing my appetizer recipe roundup, I struggled to categorize these posts. I mean, you have authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex. You have tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and more. You have chicken and beef – and don’t forget pork! You have dips and casseroles and pizzas and soups. And SO MANY chicken enchilada-themed foods. (A close second in that themed category is jalapeno popper. Apparently the people of the internet love jalapeno popper-themed foods – and I can’t blame them!)

In the end I split these recipes up the way they made sense to me, even though many of them could fit into more than one category. That means you must scroll all the way through so you don’t miss any cheesy, spicy, Mexican goodness!




Mmmmm…dips! Dips are my favorite part of any meal, but especially a Mexican fiesta kind of meal! And you know what I found when I was rounding up these delicious recipes? SOME DIPS can even be healthy. Yeah. It’s true.

Case in point? Cowboy Caviar from Down South Saving, Guacamole Salsa from Sublime Reflection, and this vegan recipe for Sweet Potato Seven Layer Dip from Namely Marly. And just look at all the servings of veggies you can get with Jen’s Pico de Gallo, Shannan’s Zucchini & Corn Salsa and Homemade Salsa, and my Restaurant Style Salsa (courtesy of a Pioneer Woman recipe).



Now, if you’re craving something creamier or cheesier (or both), I’ve got you covered in that department, too. Try any of these – or all of them!

Finally (for dips, that is), we’ve got a couple of quasi-famous jalapeno popper-themed dips. My Jalapeno Popper Dip has been raved about and requested and, to be honest, copied far and wide. Or at least as far and wide as my friends reach. Because this dip? IS DELICIOUS. But don’t stop there. Make sure you give Dani’s {locally} famous Fritos Jalapeno Poppers, too!

Carne Asada Nachos in skillet


If I had to pick one appetizer to have every day for the rest of my life, nachos would win, hands down. That’s because the possibilities are endless with nachos. Nachos can be made so many different ways! Chicken, beef, veggies, shredded cheese, crumbled cheese, liquid cheese. (Yeah. Liquid cheese. You cannot make me feel bad about loving liquid cheese.)

The funny thing is that despite the bajillions of ways to fix nachos, I didn’t actually have a lot of recipes pinned and bookmarked. Apparently I think I can figure it out on my own. (Then why do I end up with a bag of chips and jar of store queso so often? Hmmm….)

ANYWAY. Amy and I both made our nachos with chicken: Chicken Salsa Nachos (hers) and Chicken Nachos (mine). And Stephanie turned it up a LOT of notches with steak in her Carne Asada Skillet Nachos.

(Heh. Nacho notches. That’s funny. To me. Anyway. Moving on. Again.)


Cooking Tips

And then there were the posts that didn’t necessarily fit into a recipe category but seem absolutely requisite before preparing a Mexican fiesta. So, I present to you how-tos and shortcuts to make you an even finer Mexican chef than you already were:

Smothered Bean & Rice Burritos


Burritos are probably my favorite of all when it comes to Mexican food. One day I confessed here that I’d had a burrito FOR EVERY MEAL. No joke. And no surprise since, as I found when I perused the interwebs for recipes, you can pretty much throw anything inside a tortilla and call it a burrito. (Or an enchilada. I think we may all be a little fuzzy on what distinguishes the two foods these days. But that’s a topic for another day.) Here are just a few varieties:


Tacos & Taco-Related Foods

In the past couple of years I’ve started eating tacos. Before that, I refused. Tacos are messy, and I don’t like to get messy. But somewhere along the way, tacos won me over. They’re still messy, but I deal with it. I don’t necessarily have to, though, because there are plenty of non-messy ways to enjoy tacos.

For example, in a Taco Casserole or a Crescent Roll Taco Ring. And Taco Salad Bags are a genius way to make tacos less messy and portable! Oh, and this one! I just know Oven Tacos would be less messy than regular ones, and I have been wanting to try them since I first spotted them on Pinterest. Amy’s Taco Sandwich sounds like it might be less messy, but since it’s basically a tostada with a lid, I’m pretty sure I’d make a mess out of it anyway. (A delicious mess, but a mess nonetheless.)

Here are a few other types of tacos to try:



Now it’s time to talk enchiladas. I think (THINK) the difference between burritos and enchiladas is the kind of tortilla used and the sauce on top. Or maybe burritos originally weren’t covered in a sauce. I don’t know. But I actually don’t like enchilada sauce OR corn tortillas, so I’m glad for the blurring of Mexican food definitions. Some of these are more traditional than others, but I think you’ll find an enchilada here you’ll like!

(I know. I said I don’t like enchiladas and then throw three recipes at you. In my defense none of them use corn tortillas OR red sauce…)

And then in the almost-a-category-but-not-quite, I found three delicious-looking recipes for chicken enchilada-related foods. They all look great!


Main Dishes

As it turns out, not every Mexican dish comes wrapped in, stuffed in or piled on a tortilla. And sometimes we can turn an Italian dish into a Mexican one by swapping a few ingredients (or more than a few). What am I talking about? Just some Southwest Chicken Spaghetti, Chicken Enchilada Lasagna (another chicken enchilada food!), or pizza – either this Layered Mexican Pizza or the slightly fancier Tlayuda: Mexican Pizza.


Or you can just southwesternize your chicken dishes:

mexican corn

Side Dishes and/or Appetizers

You know what I love about Mexican food? I mean, aside from the cheese and the spice (fine. the very medium-not-hot spice)? The carbs. Yep. Look at these side dishes (or appetizers, depending on your menu)! Rice and corn and bread and more corn. Yay for starchy goodness! :)

corn salad 2


Oh yeah. It’s not all carbs! Salads! There are Mexican salads! Southwestern salads! Vegetables!

Oh, except this Beefy Frito Taco Salad isnt exactly healthy (but talk about comfort food, am I right?). And I guess Southwest Pasta Salad is pretty carbalicious. But hello? Lisa put all sorts of veggies in there!

Which is good, since . . . all three of the other kinda-sorta healthy salads have corn. Just like those starchy sides. But we call them salads. You hear me? SALADS.



Spicy soups. Topped with chips and cheese and maybe a dollop of sour cream. Need I say more?

Fine, I’ll say that there are about a gajillion ways to make taco soup. Here are three:

And you can’t forget the chili recipes. My personal favorites are this Crock Pot Chili and this White Chicken Chili. Finally, I love making this Chicken Enchilada Soup (it’s great for freezing in individual servings for lunches!), and I can’t wait to try this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Soup and this Mexican White Queso Soup.


Drinks & Dessert

Obviously you can drink water or soda or whatever your usual beverage of choice is. But my friend Jo-Lynne has two drink recipes that go perfectly with any Mexican meal. Try her Ultimate Margarita or The Best Mojito for your next fiesta! (Or if you don’t care to drink or serve alcoholic drinks, Six Sisters Stuff has a gorgeous Strawberry Lemonade Slush that would be great, too!!)

And wait – don’t stuff yourself too much with all the main dishes and side dishes and spicy dishes and mild dishes. There’s still dessert to be had!

If you’ve been craving a grilled cheese sandwich, minus the cheese with a whopping helping of chocolate, then don’t miss these Grilled Mexican Hot Chocolate Sandwiches from The Vegan Crew. Or if you need chocolate but want something less gooey and bit more portable, try my Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies. Or, FINE, if you need a little fruit to balance out your delicious fiesta, try Apple Nachos or Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips. Yum.

Well, that’s all, folks! What’s YOUR favorite Mexican food to make (or eat)?


Need more help planning your fiesta? Get my ebook, Plan a Fabulous Party {Without Losing Your Mind}, for just $1.99 with the code PARTYRECIPES. It’s part how-to and part manifesto for avoiding any crazy party-planning meltdowns, and it will absolutely help you plan a fabulous party – with your sanity intact!

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