30 Mexican-Inspired Recipes

While a minor holiday in Mexico except in the state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a day that celebrates Mexican heritage, food and culture in the United States.

Mexican cuisine is incredibly diverse and varies by region and family traditions. That rich culture has made it a beloved cuisine that is enjoyed around the globe. Mexican cuisine has something for everyone and continues to influence and inspire chefs all over the world.

These 30 Mexican-Inspired Recipes are easy to make with readily available ingredients. They incorporate traditional ingredients and cooking techniques of Mexico, the American Southwest and California for dishes with bold and vibrant flavors.

Collage of four Mexican-inspired recipes: Cauliflower Tacos, Shrimp Cocktail, Beef Barbacoa and Chicken Fajitas.

Appetizers

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail, otherwise known as Cóctel de Camarónes, doesn't resemble an American shrimp cocktail at all.  This cool, elegant version is chock full of crunchy vegetables and shrimp in a spicy, tangy tomato sauce that's refreshing with just the right amount of heat! Perfect for hot weather dining!
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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail in glass garnished with lime wedge and shrimp.
Creamy Shrimp Salsa Dip
Creamy Shrimp Salsa Dip is super easy, super tasty and will be the hit of your party! It has a touch of elegance and totally elevates chips and salsa to a whole new level!
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Shrimp Salsa Dip - Overhead close-up shot of dip garnished with shrimp, green onions and chips
Crab Mango and Avocado Salad with Chile-Lime Dressing in Endive
Crab Mango and Avocado Salad with Chile Lime Dressing in Endive is a flavor explosion!  It’s the perfect appetizer to make all spring and summer long!
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Crab Mango and Avocado Salad with Chile Lime Dressing in Endive - Overhead hero shot on pink salt block

Salads

Southwestern Orzo Pasta Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing
Southwestern Orzo Pasta Salad with Cilantro – Lime Dressing is a fun, colorful and super flavorful addition to your Southwestern or Mexican-inspired meal!
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Southwestern Layered Salad Recipe
Layered Southwestern Salad is a fun, updated twist on the traditional layered salad! Crispy lettuce, creamy avocado, crunchy tortilla chips, black beans, corn, juicy tomatoes, and an easy three-ingredient buttermilk dressing provide a delightful combination of textures in every bite!
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Southwestern Layered Salad in glass footed bowl with salad dressing in glass jar.
Black-Eyed Pea Salad
Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Salad is a light and fresh twist on classic Southern comfort food. Bring it to your next picnic, or serve it with anything you’re grilling this summer. The ingredients can even be prepped ahead of time, making for a healthy and convenient lunch that you can pack and take to work.
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Black-Eyed Pea Salad in white bowl with lemon wedges and cilantro in bowls.

Main Dishes

Meat

Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Chorizo and Brown Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers are spicy, comforting and a great make-ahead meal for a festive late-fall family dinner or for casual entertaining.
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Chorizo and Brown Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Overhead hero shot of stuffed peppers in white baking dish garnished with limes and cilantro sprigs
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa are tender, succulent, spicy and delicious!  Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice is the perfect accompaniment!
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Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice - Close-up in green serving bowl garnished with cilantro and lime
Southwestern Beef and Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers
Southwestern Beef and Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers are a spicy twist on traditional stuffed bell peppers you and your family will love!
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Spaghetti Squash Fideos
Spaghetti Squash Fideos is a spaghetti squash dish you'll really love!  Spaghetti squash subs for the fideos traditionally used for a spicy, meaty delicious low-carb dish!
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Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce
Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs with Chipotle Sauce ooze with cheesy goodness.  Definitely NOT your average meatball!
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Chicken

Southwestern Chicken Skillet
Here's an easy family dinner sure to put a smile on everyone's face! Made with simple ingredients you may already have on hand, saucy and cheesy Southwestern Skillet Chicken can be on the table in about 45 minutes! All you need is some seasoned cauliflower rice on the side!
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Finished Southwestern Chicken Skillet on wood trivet.
Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Tajin Seasoning
With its mild heat and kick of lime, Tajin is the perfect seasoning to add to fajitas. Juicy, tender and flavorful Grilled Chicken Fajitas with Tajin Seasoning with grilled peppers and onions are a fun, festive meal that's sure to put a smile on everyone's face!
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Grilled Tajin-Seasoned Chicken Fajitas on wood board with all the accompaniments.
Chicken and Spanish Rice Stuffed Peppers
Chicken and Spanish Rice Stuffed Peppers Peppers are loaded with flavor and make a fun, festive dinner anytime!  They can be made ahead of time and they're also freezer-friendly.
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Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers - Overhead close-up shot of peppers in white baking dish with white serving spoon
Chicken Tostadas
Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Guacamole and Salsa Fresca are perfect for a fun dinner or festive addition to your Cinco de Mayo party!  They’re piled high with guacamole, marinated grilled chicken, fresh salsa, lettuce and queso fresco cheese.
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Chicken Tostadas with Black Bean Guacamole and Salsa Fresca - Another overhead angle on wooden tray
Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet
Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet is an easy and festive stovetop dinner that’s perfect for a weeknight!  Your family will ask for it again and again!
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Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet - Close-up hero shot with wooden spoon and red and white towel on blue background
Mexican Chicken Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
Mexican Chicken, Poblano and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole is easy, cheesy and perfect for when the Mexican food craving strikes!  Make it ahead and bake it later!
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Mexican Chicken Tortilla Casserole in white baking dish with some removed.
Chicken Brown Rice and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos
Chicken, Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos!  Chicken, brown rice and two types of cheese are enveloped in earthy, roasted Poblano peppers, topped with a red chile sauce and yes, more cheese for the win!
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Fish and Seafood

Baked Veracruz Fish (Pescado A La Veracruzana)
Baked Veracruz Fish (Pescado A La Veracruzana) is an easy, light, colorful and super-flavorful dish perfect for a weeknight or date night!
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Baked Veracruz-Style Fish (Pescado A La Veracruzana) - Overhead hero shot of dish in white baking dish
Grilled Citrus Chili Shrimp with Mango Pineapple Salsa
Grilled Citrus Chili Shrimp with Mango Pineapple Salsa is a quick and simple summer appetizer or just the right amount for a lovely dinner for two.
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Salmon Tostadas with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Crema
Salmon and Black Bean Tostadas with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Crema are full of lively flavors for the perfect date night dinner for two.  They may even turn a salmon hater into a salmon lover!
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Shrimp and Corn Tortilla Soup
Fun, festive, flavorful Mexican-inspired Shrimp and Corn Tortilla Soup is a surefire way to bring a smile to everyone at the table–especially the seafood lovers! A spicy, tomatoey broth kicked up with fresh lime juice is the perfect pairing with shrimp while corn adds a touch of sweetness to the tangy base. Once prepped, it comes together quickly.
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Bowl of Shrimp and Corn Tortilla Soup with spoon.

Vegetarian / Vegan / Meatless

Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos with Chipotle Lime Slaw
Cauliflower and Chickpea Tacos are an easy delicious, fresh nutritious meatless way to enjoy a Mexican favorite! The Chipotle Lime Slaw adds extra flavor, crunch and creaminess!
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Overhead close-up shot of three tacos on round platter
Black Bean and Yellow Squash Enchilada Casserole
Black Bean and Yellow Squash Enchilada Casserole is a hearty meatless Mexican-inspired dish even non-vegetarians will love!
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Black Bean and Yellow Squash Enchilada Casserole - Overhead hero shot of casserole in white ceramic baking dish on pale blue background
Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake
Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake is cheesy, delicious meatless comfort food even a carnivore will love and is super easy to prepare!  Simply combine everything in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and let it bake away while you do other things.
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Southwestern Lentil and Brown Rice Bake - Overhead shot on blue background with some served up into bowls
Vegetarian Sheet Pan Quesadillas
Vegetarian Sheet Pan Quesadillas with Sweet Potatoes, Poblanos and Black Beans with Chipotle Sour Cream are a delicious light vegetarian meal or appetizer!
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Sheet Pan Sweet Potat, Poblano and Black Bean Quesadillas with Chipotle Sour Cream Hero Shot
Quinoa Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Quinoa Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos is the best kind of vegetarian comfort food!  Protein-rich quinoa, corn, black beans, stuffed into smoky roasted peppers with a green chile sauce and plenty of CHEESE!
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Quinoa Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Lima Bean and Potato Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce
Lima Bean and Potato Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce!  Oh, yes, you did just read “lima bean” and “enchiladas” in the same sentence.  Your enchilada life will never be the same!
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Lima Bean and Potato Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chile Sauce in white rectangular baking dish.
Tofu Black Bean Tacos
Tofu and Black Bean Tacos are easy, delicious, packed with protein and a healthful way to enjoy tacos.  Even a diehard carnivore won't miss the meat!
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Two Tofu and Black Bean Tacos on wood cutting board.
Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes in Roasted Red Pepper Mole
Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes in Roasted Red Pepper Mole is a hearty, lively Mexican-inspired vegan dish with complex flavors!
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