Spice Things Up With These 8 Terrific Tex-Mex Recipes

Photo: Christine Siracusa on Unsplash

These recipes will have everyone cheering (and drooling) for southwestern spices and cheesy bites.

Blend up some festive sips with these Jalapeno and Strawberry Margaritas.

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1. Bean & Chicken Tostada Cups

Traditionally, tostadas are flat, deep-fried tortillas topped with refried beans, cheese and other fixings. tasty, but try balancing a greasy “open face” taco in one hand while not spilling your drink from the other…awkward. We won ‘t let your fiesta flop—these tortilla cups mounded with Mexican-spiced chicken and creamy guacamole guarantee the only thing to hit the deck will be your Corona-crocked amigos.

Ingredients

Baked Tortilla Cups
4 (8-inch) tortilla wrappers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt

Shredded Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 small white onion, quartered
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 fresh mint leaves
1 dried bay leaf
1 tsp kosher salt

Saucy Bean Mixture
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup ketchup
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, chopped

Creamy Guacamole
2 large ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 large Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a standard size muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

2) Brush both sides of the tortillas with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. Working in batches, mold each tortilla triangle to fit the muffin cups and bake 7-8 minutes until crisp and golden. Remove from muffin tin and set aside.

3) For the chicken, in a large pot, combine chicken breasts, onion, garlic, parsley, mint, bay leaf and salt. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let sit covered an additional 10 minutes. Remove chicken from broth, allow to cool slightly and then shred chicken.

4) For the bean mixture, in a medium saucepan, heat oil over high heat. Add beans and cumin, stirring 1 minute. Add ketchup, honey, orange juice, soy sauce, sherry vinegar and chopped chipotles. Lower heat to medium and continue to cook until sauce is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add shredded chicken, stir to coat and remove from heat.

5) For the guacamole, cut avocados in large chunks and mash in a medium bowl with a fork. Stir in tomatoes, lime juice, lemon juice, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper.

6) To assemble, top each baked tortilla cup with a heaping spoonful of the chicken and bean mixture followed by a dollop of guacamole. Serve immediately.

Yield: 32 tostadas

tacos
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2. Primo Fish Tacos with Chipotle Dressing

How can you hold a whole meal in your hand? Simple, with these Primo Fish Tacos. Not only is tender cod marinated in spice and zesty lime, but it’s also baked to juicy perfection and folded in a tender tortilla with a spicy chipotle lime dressing and crunchy cabbage.

Ingredients

Marinade

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice 1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 (6oz) cod, tilapia or any white, flaky fish fillets

Chipotle Lime Dressing

½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, more if you like it extra spicy
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 cups shredded purple cabbage

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place fish in a shallow dish. To make the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour over fish and marinate 20 minutes.

2) For the dressing, in a food processor, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotle pepper and salt. Puree mixture for 10 seconds. Place in serving bowl, stir in parsley, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

3) Remove fish from marinade and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 9-11 minutes until fish is cooked through. Let fish rest for 5 minutes and then flake with a fork. Leave oven on to heat tortillas.

4) To assemble, divide tortillas into 2 stacks and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in heated oven for 3-5 minutes to heat through. Divide the flaked fish among the tortillas and garnish with green and purple cabbage. Drizzle with chipotle dressing and roll up around fillings. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

fries
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3. Chili Cheese Fries

How do you take a food truck and carnival classic and transform it into home fare? Simple. You put Chef Lisa on it and she creates these off-the-charts delicious Texas Chili Cheese Fries, a meal in itself. Spice-coated, crispy baked (not fried!) French fries are smothered in a ribbon-winning, hearty homemade chili, sprinkled with sharp cheddar cheese and finished with a spicy pico de gallo (tomatoes and jalapeños and parsley!) fresh salsa.

Ingredients

Beef Chili

2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ lbs ground beef
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup salsa
1 (19oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Oven-Baked Fries

6 large russet potatoes, skin on, scrubbed clean
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pico De Gallo

4 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp kosher salt

1 cup grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese

Directions

1) For the chili, in a small bowl, mix together chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Set aside. In a large pot, brown ground beef over medium-high heat, stirring to break up the meat. Drain off the fat and set beef aside. Using the same pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, red and green peppers, stirring about 5-6 minutes, until vegetables are softened. Add tomato paste and the seasoning mix and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add canned tomatoes, salsa, kidney beans and browned beef. Lower heat to a simmer and cook covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2) For the fries, preheat oven to 425ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut baking potatoes into ½-inch thick matchsticks. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt, chili powder, paprika and pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden and crisp, tossing a few times during cooking.

3) For the pico de gallo, combine tomatoes, jalapeno, parsley, lime juice and salt in a small bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate until ready to use.

4) To assemble, preheat broiler to high. Place fries on an oven safe dish, top with chili and sprinkle grated cheddar cheese over top. Place under the broiler to melt cheese. Remove from oven, top with pico de gallo and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8

nachos
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4. Loaded BBQ Chicken Nachos

Chips and cheese. Sounds pretty basic, right? Not when Chef Lisa gets her mitts on this classic combo. This easy recipe for BBQ Chicken Nachos, piled high with all the fixings (not to mention a great twist of subbing in BBQ sauce for salsa) are scrumptious. Get ready for love at first bite.

Ingredients

4 cups roasted, shredded chicken breasts
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder

Tortilla chips
2½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Tomatoes, chopped
Jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
Barbeque sauce
Guacamole
Sour Cream

Directions

1) In a medium saucepan, combine chicken, barbeque sauce, lime juice, cumin and chili powder over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

2) Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Spread a single layer of tortilla chips on the baking sheet and top with half the chicken mixture and 1¼ cups cheese. Place another layer of chips over cheese and top with remaining chicken and cheese. Bake for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown. Garnish nachos with chopped tomatoes, jalapenos and barbeque sauce. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

Serves 4-6

burger

5. Chipotle Burger with Creamy Coleslaw

If you can stand the heat and want to get out of the kitchen, it’s time to go outside and get grilling these fiery fantastic Chipotle Burgers. Infused with smoky chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and cumin, these tasty beef burgers are topped with a kickin’ creamy coleslaw and a spicy special sauce. Yes Siree, spice up your life and bring on the heat with these easy and delicious Southwestern-style burgers!

Ingredients

Chipotle Burger

1½lbs ground beef
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tsp adobo sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Creamy Coleslaw

4 cups shredded coleslaw mix
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
2 tsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp adobo sauce
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Spicy Special Sauce

¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup salsa
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder

4 hamburger buns
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced

Directions

1) For the hamburger, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place ground beef, chopped chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt, cumin and pepper in a large bowl. Mix all ingredients together using your hands, taking care not to handle the meat too much. Form the meat into 4-6oz. patties. Lightly oil the grilling surface and place patties on the preheated grill. Cook for about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Remove from grill.

2) For the coleslaw, while the burgers are cooking, in a large bowl, combine coleslaw, mayonnaise, parsley, lime juice, adobo sauce, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine well. Set aside until ready to assemble burgers.

3) For the burger sauce, in a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, salsa, mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar, cumin and chili powder until well combined.

4) To assemble the burgers, spread the burger sauce onto the insides of the top and bottom of the buns. Place a layer of coleslaw on the bottom bun followed by the cooked burger, a large slice of avocado, a tomato slice, another layer of coleslaw and the top bun. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

fajitas
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6. Beef Fajitas with Southwestern Rice

These Beef Fajitas are one fiesta you’re not going to want to miss…steak that has marinated in a lime, tequila and Mexican-spiced sauce is sautéed with mixed vegetables and wrapped up with Southwestern rice in a soft tortilla. One bite and you too will be saying muchísimas gracias to Chef Lisa!

Ingredients

2 lbs sirloin strip steak

Mexican Marinade

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Mixed Vegetables

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Southwestern Rice

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup bottled salsa

8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup bottled salsa

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 325°F.

2) Trim visible fat from steaks and set aside.

3) In a large bowl, whisk lime juice, tequila, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano and pepper. Add steak to marinade, turning to coat well. Marinate covered and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

4) Drain marinade from the meat and discard. Pat steaks dry with paper towel and season with 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Cut the meat across the grain, diagonally, into thin, finger-length strips. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over high heat. Add sliced steak and stir for 2-3 minutes until desired doneness. Remove beef from skillet and set aside.

5) Add remaining 1 tbsp vegetable oil to skillet over high heat. Add onion, red pepper and yellow pepper, sautéing just until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Season mixture with 1/2 tsp salt. Add beef, stir to combine and remove from heat.

6) Warm tortillas by sealing them in an aluminum foil packet. Place them in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Keep wrapped until ready to assemble.

7) For the rice, in a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, green peppers and garlic, sauté 3 minutes until vegetables have softened. Stir in chicken broth, rice, cumin and chili powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Remove cover and stir in black beans and salsa.

8) To serve, place a spoonful of rice on the bottom of each warmed tortilla. Top with meat mixture. Add a spoonful of sour cream and salsa. Fold 2 sides of the tortilla in and roll up into a cylinder.

Serves 6-8

salad
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7. Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad

Looking for a fiesta in a bowl? You’ve found it with this Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad, a tasty combination of chunky avocado, roasted chicken, shredded cheese and crunchy tortilla chips all tossed in a spicy salsa dressing.

Ingredients

1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1 roasted deli chicken, breast meat shredded
3/4 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Creamy Salsa Dressing

1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup canned chopped green chilies
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder

2 cups crumbled tortilla chips, for topping

Directions

1) Place lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, chicken and grated cheese in a large bowl.

2) For the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk sour cream, salsa, mayonnaise, chopped green chilies, lime juice, sugar, cumin and chili powder.

3) Add dressing to salad bowl, tossing well to coat. Sprinkle salad with crumbled tortilla chips.

Serves 4

enchiladas
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8. Easy & Cheesy Chicken Enchilada

Bite Me More is spicing up your life with this amazing Chicken Enchilada recipe, an easy (and super cheesy) way to bring Mexican flavors to the table. Tender tortillas are rolled around zesty rice and shredded chicken and topped with a homemade enchilada sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. Your friends and family will devour this dish faster than you can say ¡Olé!

Ingredients

Enchilada Sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth

Mexican Rice

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
¾ cup long grain rice, uncooked
2½ cups chicken broth

Chicken Mixture

3 roasted chicken breasts, shredded
½ cup enchilada sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup sour cream

1 cup salsa
8 (10-inch) flour tortillas
¾ cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Garnish

Sliced jalapenos
Guacamole
Salsa

Directions

1) For the enchilada sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk continuously for 30 seconds. Whisk in chili powder, cumin and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in the tomato sauce and chicken broth, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

2) For the rice, in a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook stirring for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir well to coat. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer about 18 minutes, until rice is cooked. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, ½ cup enchilada sauce, lime juice, 1 cup cheese, sour cream and cooked rice. Stir well to combine.

3) To assemble, preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 13×9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the bottom with 1 cup salsa. Place tortilla wrappers on a flat service and spoon about ½ cup chicken and rice mixture in the center of the wrapper. Fold up and place in prepared dish with the seam side down. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with ¾ cup cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped jalapenos and serve with guacamole and salsa.

Serves 8

Authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me, Bite Me Too and Lick Your Plate, saucy sisters Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat love eating, feeding, entertaining and dishing up easy recipes at BiteMeMore.com.

 

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