70 Regional Mexican Foods to Make at Home

While tacos and enchiladas are staples in Mexican restaurants, you see the richness of Mexican cuisine when you explore the country's different states—where the salsas have deep, rich flavor, and the tortillas are oh-so-fresh. In this collection, check out food and drink recipes ranging from tried-and-true classics to spicy specialties.

Curated by Ethan Johns

Baja Fish Tacos

"Just like a big fish, this recipe is 'a keeper.' I love it because it's easy to make ahead of time, so I spend less time when we come back from fishing. Just heat the oil, batter the fish and done! The 'secret sauce' is so refreshing and pairs perfectly.



"This is the way to make a great margarita. Another assurance is to make it with good tequila. There are many different kinds (some of them are really expensive, which are better for drinking straight) but for a margarita, I usually use Cuervo."


Menudo Rojo

This Mexican "caldo" (soup) from Chihuahua in northern Mexico is made with tripe, and is filled out with hominy, chilis, onion and lime. According to popular legend, menudo can be consumed as a cure for hangovers.


"This recipe is from Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, where the broth is served with everything, even sandwiches on the street. Jalisco prides itself on being the home of this spicy chili-based broth."


Machaca con Huevo Breakfast Burrito

"Mmm! This is great stuff! Most machaca burritos have green bell peppers in them, but this recipe doesn't. Add it if you like—sliced—and cook with the onions."

-Miss Diggy

Chicken Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles—tortilla chips that are coated in salsa and then baked—are generally eaten as a breakfast food, but of course, you can eat them whenever and however you'd like.

Nopal Breakfast

Get a taste of Spain with this decadent breakfast. It’s both filling and satisfying!

Watermelon Agua Fresca

"When I made this, I used club soda instead of water. I just added it at the end; it was fantastic. Very refreshing on this hot, humid day, and it didn't make me feel guilty after I hit the gym!"

-Miss Erin C.


"This is a super-easy bean and cheese enchilada! My husband is from Colima, Mexico, and he loves these! I make this as a side with chicken and rice but you can also turn this into a main course."


Morisqueta con Chorizo

"I made this to go with the shrimp I made for dinner last night, and we enjoyed it. My husband was especially happy with this rice since he's from Michoacán."

-Muffin Goddess


"Similar to sopes or huaraches, memelas are thin, grilled masa cakes topped with beans, salsa, cabbage, guacamole and cheese. The toppings vary from recipe to recipe and it's a good recipe to improvise on using your favorites."


Authentic Fried Pork Carnitas

Making traditional carnitas can be a slow process, but it yields remarkable results. Pork is fried slowly in lard until it has a crispy crust and a moist interior.

Molcajete Stew

While you might recognize the molcajete as the receptacle that holds guacamole at your local Mexican restaurant, the basalt mortar can also be used as a baking dish since it holds heat so well. This molcajete stew—made from a base of beef and chicken stock—features mushrooms, tomatoes and a dash of cocoa powder for deep flavor.

Fish Tacos

These battered-and-fried fish tacos are made with a wonderful array of zesty salsas, including salsa verde, salsa roja, salsa Mexicana and guacamole.


Capirotada is a bread pudding commonly consumed during Lent in northeastern Mexico. Sweet, cinnamon-infused syrup gets mixed with bread (and even cheese!) in this version of the recipe.

Mole Coloradito

Mole sauce is so important to the cuisine of Oaxaca, that the Mexican state is often referred to as the "land of the seven moles." This Mole Coloradito features a wide, rich variety of ingredients—from ancho chili and cinnamon to chocolate and almonds.

Cuernitos Menonitas

The Mennonite population in Mexico is just as known for its cheese as it is for its fashion. These croissant-like sandwiches are made with ingredients from the immigrant community, which has mainly installed itself in and around the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

Cabrito in Red Gravy

Cabrito (goat) entered into the gastronomic cannon of northern Mexico with the immigration of Spanish Jews during the country's colonial period. This simple stew recipe features chunks of goat meat seasoned with cumin and chili powder. An onion is thrown in for good measure.

Guava & Cheese Flan

Aguascalientes is a leading producer of guava in Mexico. This regional flan recipe mixes the tropical fruit into cheesy, eggy custard to create a sweet and rich dessert.


"This, folks, is the real deal—like we drink it in Jalisco... We even use Clamato juice down there! We also use Jugo Maggi instead of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce."


Chicken Pozole

Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup typically made with pork and hominy, a type of corn known as “maiz pozolero.” This is a leaner version made with chicken instead of pork, but just as delicious.

Shrimp Aguachile

Aguachile is fresh shrimp topped with a zesty marinade of chili peppers, limes and herbs. So what makes it different from ceviche? While ceviche marinates for up to 30 minutes before being served, aguachile can be eaten immediately.


Fried dough coated in sugar may seem like the simplest thing in the world, but pay attention to the temperature of your frying oil—you don't want an undercooked center.


While not quite traditional, this Mexican street corn on the cob is deliciously amped-up. Slathered in spicy, cheesy mayonnaise, you can put these on a stick and garnish with cilantro before chowing down.

Prickly Pear Breakfast Burritos (Nopalitos con Huevos)

"This is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts to eat, as when I was in college, I ate nopalito and egg tacos often. It brings back great memories. Sometimes, I like to eat it along with fresh seasonal fruit."

-Blue Peacock

Albondigas Soup

"My roommates are from Oaxaca; they loved this soup and scarfed it all down. I think this recipe must be fairly authentic because my roommates often compare food to the way it's made in Oaxaca, but they thought this recipe was excellent. It is a keeper."



A refreshing beverage made from a mash of cooked almonds and rice, horchata is flavored with cinnamon and sugar, often served blended with ice.


"This is one terrific recipe! I love that it uses cumin because most recipes call for cilantro and it's not always on hand. I placed all the ingredients in a large zip lock bag and squished it. Snip the corner and pipe into a serving bowl. No dirty dishes to clean up!"

-Cucina Casalingo

Sopa de Lima (Lime Soup)

"This soup is bursting with zesty lime flavor, yet is light and spicy. Wonderful for a cool evening!"


Pico de Gallo

"Wow! This is the best fresh salsa I have ever tasted. I used fresh tomatoes, onions and jalapeños from my garden... I will make a lot more of this."


Tamarind Agua Fresca

"Aguas frescas, mainly made of fruit in season, are so popular in Mexico, that you'll see more agua fresca stands than taco eateries in any Mexican community. Noon meals on family tables are always accompanied by these delicious fruit-ades. Tamarind 'water' is one of the most popular."


Slow-Cooked Carnitas

Easier than frying your pork for four hours, all that this simple carnitas recipe requires is a cooking liquid and just three spices—plus fixings if you want to make tacos.

Caldo de Pollo

"I'm Latina and I love this soup! It reminds me of the soup my mom made when I was little on a cold winter night. When you have a cold, the spiciness of this soup really helps! The only thing I add to my bowl is fresh chunks of avocado and I serve it with a side of warm corn tortillas."

-The Happy Housewife

Roasted Carnitas

"Never ask your half-Hispanic mother-in-law for any advice on carnitas! She says, 'You cook them in the slow cooker? We ALWAYS fry ours.' Sorry, love ya Mom, but the slow cooker is the way to go. These are the best things I have ever made."


Classic Caesar Salad

Once upon a time (in 1924, as legend has it), the Caesar's restaurant at the Hotel Cesar in Tijuana ran out of lunch. To solve the problem, the crafty restaurateur Caesar Cardini threw together a romaine salad with croutons, cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, egg, and so much more. Thus was born the (technically Mexican) Caesar Salad.

Corn Tortillas

The corn tortilla is one of the most essential parts of Mexican cuisine. Made of ground, nixtamalized corn that has been turned into dough, pressed flat and heated, they are used to hold tacos, to wrap enchiladas and to dip in sauces.


Curious about incorporating other kinds of protein into your diet? Chapulines (grasshoppers) are a favorite snack in Oaxaca, and are commonly eaten in tacos. In this recipe, the chapulines are fried up and served on warm tortillas with guacamole, mojo de ajo and a tomatillo-chipotle salsa.


Think of the tlayuda as a Mexican pizza. A tortilla is fried or baked, then smothered in refried beans, topped with Oaxacan cheese and garnished with anything from avocados and fresh vegetables to stewed or roasted meats.

Oaxacan Wedding Cake

The cakes made for Oaxacan weddings are traditionally sponge cakes made with tres leches—heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk. This version features a vanilla cake base, topped with crème Chantilly and fresh strawberries.

Tacos Al Pastor

If you walk into a taqueria and see seasoned meats rotating slowly on a spit, you're looking at what's about to go into your tacos al pastor. The "shepherd-like" cooking style was brought to Mexico by Middle Eastern immigrants, which explains why it might look a bit like a kebab.

Hoja Santa-Wrapped Fish

Hoja santa—or Mexican pepperleaf—has an earthy, herbal flavor unlike any other. In this dish, the "sacred leaf" is used to conceal white fish fillets, which are served with cheesy corn flour balls and plantain salsa.

Chorizo Enchiladas

Homemade pork chorizo, fried and then wrapped up in a toasty tortilla. Sounds like paradise on a plate. Especially when you add plenty of queso fresco.

Mole Poblano with Chicken

While Puebla has the most legitimate claim to mole poblano, the rich, nutty, sweet sauce is often known as Mexico's national dish. This recipe puts the sauce all over chicken, which you can prepare however you'd like.

Blue Corn Quesadillas with Mushroom

Forget those sorry flour tortillas stuffed with mozzarella that you make when there's nothing left in the fridge; blue corn makes these quesadillas pop, while queso fresco adds melty creaminess and epazote (a Mexican herb) provides the zing.

Pollo Pipian

What makes pipian sauce special is its main ingredient: pumpkin seeds. Chicken poached with garlic and onion is perfectly complemented by this rich sauce, which also contains chilis, cinnamon, cloves and sesame.

Habanero Hot Sauce

Habanero peppers sure are spicy, but in this salsa they get an even richer, sweeter flavor after being roasted with onions and garlic. Blend with vinegar and dab it on anything and everything that needs a bit of heat.

Relleno Negro (Black Turkey Stew)

This interesting dish features a combination of turkey and a ground beef "boot" (a Scotch egg of sorts, made with tomatoes, onions, hard-boiled eggs and epazote) in a blackened chili sauce.

Tuna Machaca

It's like the traditional beef machaca, but with fish! Fry up some fresh tuna, shredding it as you go, and add salt, spice and zest for a tasty tradition from Cabo.


Traditional barbacoa is made by putting a goat in the ground, covering it with maguey leaves and burying it with hot coals until it has cooked slowly over the course of several hours. This recipe adapts the traditional method so it can be made simply in your kitchen.

Torta Ahogada

This spicy pork sandwich is special because it comes served in a bag, completely drenched in sauce. The torta ahogada is hugely popular in the city of Guadalajara.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

"I have tried several salsa verde recipes, but this is the best. I used all three herbs: cilantro, parsley, and fresh basil. I really liked the complexity of flavors. The chipotle chili gave just the perfect hint of smokiness."


Refried Beans

"Easy and very yummy! I used rinsed, canned pinto beans, garlic, onion and bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet. The back of a spoon worked fine for mashing the beans and a little chicken stock helped me achieve the desired texture."

-Debs Recipes

Pork Tortas with Cilantro Aioli & Chiles Curtidos

Tortas are a traditional Mexican sandwich with layers of flavors and ingredients stacked on a big fluffy roll known as a bolillo, tortero or pan francés depending on the region. This torta fuses in some Asian flavors all wrapped around a succulent marinated pork loin.

Chicken Aguascalientes

"Delicious! I made this as directed except for doubling the cinnamon as suggested by another reviewer. Thank you for a great recipe."


Beef Machaca

The arid climate of Mexico's northern region is more suitable for raising livestock than growing crops. This recipe takes machaca—a dish of seasoned, dried, then rehydrated beef—and tweaks it for the slow cooker.

Tamales de Pollo

Corn is one of the most important ingredients in Mexican cuisine, but it is particularly common in Chiapas, where it is used to make corn cakes called tamales. Corn dough is molded around seasoned meat, wrapped in corn husks and then cooked.

Cajeta (Dulce de Leche)

"If you use pasteurized goat's milk it doesn't take as long to make. It is only towards the end that you have to stand right there and stir constantly. Goat's milk doesn't burn as easily as cow's milk."

-Terri W.

Grilled Arrachera (Skirt Steak) with Garlic & Lemon

"Carne asada is a typical Mexican flank steak, marinated, then cooked rapidly at high heat. Finally, it is splashed with the zing of fresh lime... Que delisioso!"


Enchiladas Zacatecanas

"While my husband was watching me make the sauce, he thought adding flour tortillas to the blender was really unusual... But the flavor? Awesome!"

-Sooz Cooks

Flour Tortillas

Popular in Northern Mexico, the flour tortilla is a variation of the original corn tortilla. Due to the proximity to the U.S.-Mexican border, they are used in American Tex-Mex cuisine.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

"Very rich with a wonderfully complex flavor. The orange zest and saffron add a nice 'grown-up' taste to this and keep it from being too sweet. Very decadent though; half a cup was enough for me."


Cochinita Pibil

This traditional slow-roasted pork preparation from Yucatán features a spicy recado paste made with habanero and lime, as well as a mild onion salsa made with fresh oranges.

Chocolate Clams & Salsa

Chocolate clams get their name from the rich, brown color of their shells. They're best when grilled over a fire, then topped with fresh salsa and a creamy mustard dressing.

Salsa Borracha

The name says everything about this sauce. Salsa borracha—drunk salsa—is made with a healthy pour of your favorite Mexican beer, as well as some spicy chilis. Serve it warm as a dip or as a sauce for your tacos and enchiladas.

Huachinango a la Veracruzana

"Holy mackerel... or snapper, or rock fish! This recipe is gorgeous. Don't leave out the capers. This was so fresh tasting and the leftovers were even better the next day."

-Montana Ma

Yucután Marinade

The cuisine of this Gulf state features tropical influences due to the climate and proximity to the Caribbean. That explains the fresh citrus in this marinade recipe, which is mixed with jalapeño peppers and other spices.

Papadzules (Mayan Egg Enchiladas)

"This is a pre-Hispanic recipe. Warm corn tortillas are filled with hard-boiled eggs and topped with a creamy pumpkin seed sauce and accompanied with Chiltomate—a spicy habanero and tomato salsa."

-Mami J

Strawberry Agua Fresca

"What a great way to serve strawberries! Very refreshing and a great natural juice!"

-Bev I Am

Apricot Chamoy

Part jam, part hot sauce, chamoy can be added to all of your favorite snacks, from fresh fruit to ice cream to chips.

Pickled Red Onions

"These are wonderful and so easy to make! I did toss in a few crushed red pepper flakes to satisfy our craving for heat. Right after they cooled, I made a brisket sandwich and topped it with these onions. Super! These will find a permanent home in my fridge."