With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, here are some of my favorite EASY Mexican food recipes for Cinco de Mayo! Gluten free ideas, vegetarian recipes, and tons of appetizers are all included.
Two more days!
Until taco day, which feels wildly culturally appropriating and also I could eat Mexican food three or more times per week and be completely fine with it. The flavors plus ability to go super fresh and healthy is so appealing, plus avocado+cilantro+lime on everything is the best flavor combination ever. Aaaaaand now I want Mexican for lunch. And dinner. And breakfast....
Favorite chicken cordon bleu flavors in these utterly delicious and simple Chicken Cordon Bleu Meatballs! Lean ground chicken and a little Swiss cheese get blended quickly with some ham (leftover glazed ham or deli ham!) and easy pantry spices for major flavor in this tender ground chicken meatball. There's an easy sour cream dip with mustard for dipping + extra credit.
These are chicken balls with ham and cheese.
They were, as all good ideas on this blog are, Jay's idea, and they were a fantastic one. I love the nostalgic flavors of chicken cordon bleu, crispy exterior, gooey interior, but the process is pretty arduous and a meatball is just so friendly and celebratory, right?
For the sake of holidays or parties, you can totally make these in advance, bake them, then reheat them in the oven until the cheese melts again so all the mess + raw meat nonsense can happen well in advance of serving these.
The ingredients are simple, and you can use deli ham or leftover holiday ham from Easter or Thanksgiving if you ever have any lying around....
Delicious Mexican ground beef that can be used in tacos, burritos, or over nachos! This is one of those foolproof recipes that is delicious, and features your own homemade taco seasoning, hard shell tacos with no seasoning packet! This ground beef is extra delicious with sour cream guacamole.
For Taco Tuesday hard-shell tacos, DUH.
We are a week away from Cinco de Mayo! This is excellent news because MEXICAN FOOD OBVS. Mexican and Indian are my true all the time, tried and true, even love the leftovers, favorite cuisines of all time. We eat a variation of each at least once per week, and I love that Mexican food specifically lends itself to so many different types of foods, uses for extra veggies, all of the good stuff. Plus: flavor. condiments. cilantro....
This sour cream guacamole features grated onion and garlic for tons of flavor + no chunks, and lime juice and fresh tomatoes for delicious pico + guac flavor mixed into one. If you love guacamole, you will LOVE this version.
My friend Heather and I have had some pretty extensive happy hours, and over the years we have expanded our "let's just set out some cheese and crackers" offerings to tons of different appetizers, snacks, and spreads. We do breads, cheeses, these tomatoes, fruits and veggies, all in the name of "absorbing the wine." It works for us.
Once we were having one such important business meeting and she said "I made guacamole! But with lots of sour cream." And BOY did she mean it. This was a recipe invented out of necessity, she had half an avocado and other flavorful things that didn't quiiiiite make more than a few chipfulls of regular guac, so this dip came about.
Mostly sour cream, some avocado, flavors for eons. We've both been making it for various other people ever since, and it's been a massive hit with everyone who has tried it. So, while I can't take all the credit for this recipe, it needed to be one that you started making right. this. moment. If you hate guacamole you'll LOVE this. And if you love guacamole you're probably already drooling....
Chili lime salmon with honey is a DELICIOUS version of my best ever cast iron skillet salmon. Just 6 ingredients, 15 minutes, and gluten free, dairy free salmon dinner can be yours!
It's 6 ingredients of love, basically. How are we feeling about a 20 minute salmon dinner that feels slightly Mexican, slightly fine for any side dish you like, slightly practically perfect in every way?
We feel great about it, right?...
Yummy, EASY mini puff pastry cinnamon rolls made in a mini-muffin tin! These shortcut cinnamon rolls are perfect for a small dessert or snack for a baby shower or Mother's Day brunch. They have all the flavor of cinnamon rolls in flaky crust with no yeast, rising, or kneading.
What's it called when it's definitely baking in that we turn the oven on, but very low effort?
That's what I think of every time I use frozen puff pastry....
Our 100% favorite plant-based weeknight dinner that we eat at least every other week! Perfect spicy peanut sauce (make it in advance!), crispy pan fried tofu, and slaw with whatever greens you have make for the most delicious vegan rice bowl dinner that is healthy and comforting.
I don't think I've ever said this about anything before (I probably have), but this is hands down our favorite dinner.
We have other things that we love, other things that are in regular rotation, for sure, but this is our dinner. One that we've tweaked and crafted over the years and every time we have it we kind of sink into this "it's healthy but comforting" haze of joy....
This old fashioned pimento cheese recipe is absolutely perfect! I love to have pimento cheese homemade with lots of storebought ingredients (crackers, cheese, pickles, etc) for an easy cheese board at a party or for a snack plate dinner! This is extra delicious paired with some homemade focaccia for dunking.
Let us discuss the glory that is pimento cheese, since it's Master's Weekend and we live in the South. Since I started this blog I've made a LOT of pimento cheese, and have tweaked the recipe over the years to a combination that I absolutely adore.
Other people adore it too, and that's not something I say about a lot of the food I make, because I'm insecure. Pimento cheese homemade, though, is something that people of all walks of life really enjoy when it is good. Back when we used to cater this was one of our most-ordered recipes, hands down....
Easy ham and cheese quiche recipe with my favorite basic quiche recipe! Use your favorite melty cheese, some savory ham, and enjoy this brunch recipe that is done in just about an hour (mostly hands off). I serve this with my favorite green salad, but this is also a great addition to a Mother's Day Brunch or Easter Brunch spread!
Ooohhhh I'm loving this spring, friends.
Spring is a really nice time for a pandemic to think about ending, you know? We're still in it, for sure, but we're also seeing signs of life. A little more color, a little more vibrancy, all around.
Spring is a great time to bring out some new brunch recipes because Easter and Mother's Day just really go great with a nice brunch, you know? I LOVE a quiche for any kind of brunch (or lunch, or dinner), but ham and cheese quiche may very well be one of my favorite flavors....
This raw bok choy salad with asparagus and peas is the most delicious easy salad! A no-dressing dressing with lemon juice and olive oil + some fresh parmesan rounds out this gluten free side or main dish. Round this spring salad out with some favorite grilled chicken and shortcut focaccia, or serve this as a cold vegetable side dish!
It's another non-dressing salad, aka my favorite way to throw together a super quick and fresh meal.
Farmer's markets are finally coming back, which means we are in Spring Greens heaven, and so many of these ingredients are able to be found locally right now.
The gist is this: raw greens, fresh herbs, and a few choice veggies blanched super quickly in salted water that get cooled and served on top. Salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan top the dish for flavor, so we don't need to mess with making a dressing.
I LOVE salads like this this time of year, because you can customize them based on what you like or have in your fridge that needs to be used up. Literally any veggie, herb, or cheese can be swapped out here, this is just a combination that I love....
The best buddha bowls with cauliflower and tahini sauce! These are so delicious for a make ahead lunch, and the pickled onions and tahini sauce can be made in advance for a quick throw-together meal. These bowls are vegetarian, gluten free, and can be served hot, cold, or at room temperature.
When it comes to "healthy" food, I'm careful to not use words like "cheat, guilt, good, bad," and so on. I think that thought pattern surrounding food can be so damaging, but also I agree that in terms of physical health there are foods that are better for our bodies than others, if we're talking lentils vs cheetos.
I love lentils for the cheap + toothsome + nutrition-packed punch they pack in a bowl like this. They are SO flavorful (because salt) and honestly I could eat a bowl of them on their own.
We made this into a fun bowl with bright pink pickled onions, a shortcut gremolata, and toasty roasty cauliflower, one of my favorite substitutes for meat because when roasted it has just the best texture....
Homemade chicken cutlets for the feezer! These thin-sliced chicken breasts are breaded then cooked right from frozen for the best meal prep entree ever. These can be pan-fried OR baked, and both cooking methods result in crispy, juicy chicken that is absolutely delicious. Think of this as a grown up version of my baked breaded chicken tenders.
Let us make ourselves some chicken cutlets, keep them in the freezer, and call it good. I am so, so into freshly fried or baked crispy chicken without any effort....