Here you will find our collection of traditional Mexican recipes along with recommendations for sides and toppings to complete your meal. These authentic and traditional dishes use fresh and humble ingredients and feature some of Mexican cuisine’s most delicious flavours.
GRAN LUCHITO's FAVOURITE
Our traditional Mexican recipes are the authentic dishes you will find bubbling away in the kitchens of Mexican homes. They are steeped in history, full of fresh ingredients and lots of flavour. There are some recipes that take centre stage at special occasions and others that are perfect for the everyday. Here are a few of our favourites we make time and time again!
When we think of authentic Mexican food, tacos are definitely one of the first things that come to mind, but there is so much more to Mexican food! Fresh, homemade guacamole and pico de gallo, slow cooked pulled pork, and whole fish Mexican style are just a few traditional dishes. Here we are sharing our favourite traditional Mexican recipes, we hope we inspire you to try a few!
These are chicken flautas and they’re an amazing little Mexican street food snack that hit the spot every time.... See full recipe
Gran Luchito Authentic
Here we delve deeper into our top 10 signature dishes of Mexico. These are the unmistakably authentic dishes you will find as part of everyday life or special occasions in Mexico. We also have some recommendations on what to pair with these signature dishes with – delicious sides and toppings to bring your Mexican feast to life!
1. Salsas and Guacamole
You will find salsas served with just about every meal in Mexico.
Street stalls offer a range of delicious choices with staples including green salsa made with tomatillos and salsa roja which is a red salsa made with fresh tomatoes.
Pico de Gallo (translated means rooster’s beak) is made with fresh tomato, chilli & coriander; and, of course, guacamole made with lovely ripe avocados.
Salsa in Mexico is typically quite spicy and who can blame them as they have so many wonderful chilli peppers to choose from.
One of the most symbolic dishes in Mexico is Carnitas.
Spanish settlers introduced pork into Mexican cuisine along with beef, sheep, chicken, goat, garlic, tomatoes and rice. Carnitas originates from Michoacán in Mexico and translated means “little meats”, referring to the little bite-sized crispy bits of meat that are braised and then fried.
Carnitas is a dish in its own right but our favourite way to enjoy it is wrapped up in tortillas.
3. Carne Asada
Carne Asada translated means “grilled meats” and it is grilled thinly sliced steak often found as a filling in tacos and burritos in Mexico.
What makes this steak so delicious is the authentic carne asada marinade made with lime juice which brings a fresh brightness and tenderises the meat. We like to add a sprinkle of Gran Luchito Smoky Chipotle Fajita & Taco Mix for an added depth of flavour.
The carne asada is then dressed simply in wraps with a bit of guacamole and salsa to allow the beautiful steak flavour to come through.
Barbacoa is a tender, slow-cooked beef or lamb which often features on the menu for special celebrations and occasions.
Traditionally cooked in a hole in the ground, lined with rocks and filled with wood. The meat cooks in a pot on top along with chillies, garlic, onion and is covered with maguey leaves for extra flavour until tender.
Pork Pibil, traditionally from the Yucatán Peninsula, uses a Pib to cook the pork – the Mayan oven made with a hole in the ground lined with hot stones.
The distinctive pork pibil marinade is made with bitter oranges, spices, and annatto seeds which give the vibrant burnt orange colour to this dish brings the magic to this dish.
In our Pork Pibil Tacos recipe the pork shoulder steaks are marinated overnight and cooked low and slow for incredible tasting, tender meat.
9. Tostadas & Sopes
Tostadas are like a crunchy taco but flat. Using a comal (a smooth, flat griddle pan from Mexico), corn tortillas are heated until crispy. A tasty and crunchy cracker-like base, you can top them with almost anything.
Similar to a tortilla, sopes tend to be softer and thicker and frequently served with beans, sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce and sometimes meat.
Our favourite tostada has to be the tuna tostada with crispy leeks like the ones you will find at Contramar in Mexico City – pure culinary heaven!
We’re guessing the last thing you think of when looking at a cactus is “let me put this in my mouth!” Surprisingly though, cactus is a staple in authentic Mexican cooking.
Known as Nopales or Prickly Pear, the thorns of the cactus are carefully removed from the pads and then sliced.
Nopales have a bright, sour taste and there are so many uses. You will find them in tacos on their own or as an accompaniment. But you’ll also find Nopales as a topping in salads and stews, stuffed into quesadillas, scrambled with eggs, layered over chorizo nachos or as a side dish.
Epic Side Dishes for our authentic Mexican dishes
These Mexican side dishes are full of flavour and pair well with so many traditional Mexican mains:
Frijoles and Mexican Black Beans are made with our Cantina Beans. both Mexican sides are delicious with pork dishes including our Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Delicious toppings to complete authentic Mexican dishes
These are some of our favourite toppings, these are the perfect finishing touches for an epic Mexican feast:
We love to serve dishes with bowls of Homemade Guacamole, fresh uncooked tomato salsa known as Pico de Gallo, and a smoky Chipotle Crema made with sour cream, creme fraîche or Greek yoghurt and a dollop of Chipotle Paste for a contrast of tastes.
Sign Up For Our Free Guide to Mexican Classics
Free Mexican Classics Cookbook to download
Save £10 on our Ultimate Mexican Bundle Box (UK only)
Monthly newsletters with our latest recipes and special offers
Do you have some questions regarding traditional Mexican dishes? We’ve put together some FAQ answers below. If you want to learn even more be sure to check out the Gran Luchito Youtube Channel.
What are traditional Mexican dishes?
Mexican cuisine varies greatly by region but we think some of the greats include mole, elotes (Mexican corn on the cob), enchiladas, tacos (our favourites are Al Pastor and Baja), breakfast dishes such as chilaquiles and huevos rancheros, and no list would be complete without guacamole!
What is Mexico's national dish?
Mole (pronounced mōh-lāy) is officially the national dish of Mexico. Like most Mexican cuisine, mole varies quite a bit by region but the common elements include a fruit, chillies, nuts and spices.
Are enchiladas considered authentic Mexican food?
Yes, enchiladas originate from Mexico where the practice of rolling tortillas around various fillings dates back to the Mayan times. In their original form as street food you would find them as corn tortillas dipped in a red chilli sauce. In Spanish, the word Enchilar, a derivative of enchilada, means to season with chilli peppers. Now there are many different variations of enchiladas which reflect the influence different cultures have had on Mexican cuisine.
Is traditional Mexican food healthy?
Many of the traditional Mexican dishes which use lard, fattier cuts of meat, and cheese are not considered healthy, but Mexican food is diversifying and innovating. You will find many dishes that are more healthy - corn and wheat tortillas are naturally lower in fat so tacos can be a great option as are grilled meats. Mexican dishes also often have lots of interesting veggies and flavourings.
What do Mexicans eat on special occasions?
Food lies at the heart of Mexican culture so it's no surprise there are lots of dishes eaten on the various holidays and festivals in Mexico. These include Tamales, Chile en Nogada, Mole, Pozole and Buñuelos.