15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (2024)

These vibrant Mexican recipes come from celebrated Mexican chefs, including Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York City; Elena Reygadas of Rosetta and La Panadería de Rosetta in Mexico City; and Marcela Valladolid, host of Food Network's Mexican Made Easy. The experts are making classic Mexican recipes new with extra spice, flavor-building techniques, and a little sweetness. Plus, Paola Briseño González shares the secret to perfect tamales, and Fermín Núñez packs bonus recipes for corn tortillas and salsa with his grilled chicken tacos.

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Morisqueta con Costillas de Res en Salsa Roja (Rice with Saucy Braised Beef Ribs)

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (1)

Morisqueta is Mexico's unsung rice-bowl hero found in regions along the Pacific, specifically Michoacán. It's essentially a taco in rice form: rice topped with a saucy pork, beef, or seafood guisado, beans, raw cabbage for texture, and some crema to pull it all together.

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Pollo al Pastor with Charred Tomato Salsa

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (2)

In this flavor-packed chicken, Juan Pablo Loza, director of culinary operations at Rosewood Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, shares his passion for the al pastor style of cooking.

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Spicy Paloma Shandy

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (3)

Use a crisp Mexican lager like Good People Beerito for this update to the classic Paloma co*cktail from Rick Martinez, author of Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico. Try Tajín Clásico Seasoning for the chili-lime salt.

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Coctél de Camarón (Mexican Shrimp co*cktail) with Saffron

Javier Cabral and Paola Briseño González update a replenishing family recipe for coctélby charring vegetables for an umami-packed stock and adding saffron.

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Banana Leaf-Wrapped Lamb Shank Tamales with Morita Chile Salsa

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (5)

These smoky braised-lamb tamales, favorite at event producer Paola Briseño González's holiday tamale parties, get a pop of freshness from bright cilantro-onion relish, while a wrapper of banana leaves perfumes the masa with a softly sweet aroma as they steam — masa recipe included.

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Charred Chile–Marinated Grilled Chicken Tacos

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (6)

To help build deep layers of flavor in these tacos, 2021 F&W Best New Chef Fermín Núñez begins his marinade by toasting and charring aromatics: dried chiles, cinnamon, allspice, and onions all hit the heat before soaking with juicy chicken thighs for an hour, imparting smoky flavor before they cook quickly on the grill or in the oven.

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Xeni Atapakua (Three-Seed Pipián with Sorrel)

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (7)

Atapakua is a Purhépecha term that refers to whole range of stew-like dishes thickened with masa. In this version from Imelda Campos Sebastián (also known as doña Mela) of Michoacan, Mexico, sorrel adds bright acidity to the masa-thickened sauce made of a blend of seeds and vegetables.

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Spicy Pea Guacamole

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (8)

Enrique Olvera, chef and owner of Pujol in Mexico City, adds a lovely sweetness to his guacamole with green peas. He doesn’t use lime juice — he likes to show off the flavor of the avocado — but you can add a squeeze if you prefer.

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Crispy Pork Belly Tacos with Pico de Gallo

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (9)

Also the chef-owner of Cosme in New York City, Enrique Olvera stuffs tacos with crispy pork belly, confited in fat, and serves them with a tangy salsa spiked with Mexican beer.

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Al Pastor Fish Tacos

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (10)

Swap pork for flaky white fish in this riff on sweet and spicy al pastor tacos from Marcela Valladolid, host of Food Network's Mexican Made Easy.

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Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (11)

Oaxaca is famous for its complex mole sauces, often made with more than 20 ingredients, like unsweetened chocolate, seeds, and chiles. Since moles are so time-consuming to make, most Mexican cooks rely on the prepared pastes sold at the outdoor markets, and Mexican chef Alejando Ruíz Olmedo is no exception. Instead of stewing chicken in the mole, he takes a more elegant approach: He roasts chicken breasts until the skin is crisp and serves the mole alongside.

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Pork and Chorizo Pozole

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (12)

Chopped judge Aarón Sánchez streamlines his pozole — the slow-simmered, elaborately spiced Mexican stew made with hominy — by using two time-saving ingredients: fresh chorizo (which is already spiced) and pork cut into small, quick-cooking cubes.

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Vanilla-Sugar Conchas

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (13)

"For me, experimenting with the Mexican tradition of sweet bread has always been fundamental," says chef Elena Reygadas of Panaderia Rosetta in Mexico City. She enriches her dough with eggs and butter and lets the dough rise slowly overnight, with airy results.

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Oaxacan Coffee

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (14)

With a float of whipped cream and just enough sweetness to temper the bitter coffee and herbal notes in the mezcal, this spiked coffee co*cktail from Yana Volfson is well-balanced and fortifying.

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Strawberry-Mango Paletas

15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (15)

Mexican chef and cookbook author Fany Gerson brings bright paletas from her company La Newyorkina to Brooklyn. These bright, red-and-orange-hued ice pops are perfect to make in May when juicy strawberries are at their peak.

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15 Must-Try Mexican Recipes (2024)
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