15 Mexican-Inspired Feasts

Nothing beats a truly delicious and hearty Mexican meal. Mexican food is highly satisfying, and the flavors never disappoint. It’s hard to ignore a really good taco, burrito, or quesadilla. But there is more available than these classic dishes. In fact, you can let Mexican flavors and spices inspire many different types of dishes, from breakfast through dessert, and you are likely to have a pretty tasty outcome. These fifteen Mexican-inspired feasts are a delicious way to either start or end your day with truly delicious flavors, textures, and comfort levels. Because, let’s face it, Mexican food is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

1. Breakfast Quesadillas

A stack of a cut breakfast quesadilla on a cutting board next to a white bowl of salsa.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Breakfast quesadillas are a simple dish made with a flour tortilla and various breakfast ingredients for a filling. They can be meal-prepped or easily taken along with you in the car in the mornings, although you will need some type of dish to transport them in. They have delicious bacon, soft, fluffy scrambled eggs, and plenty of melty cheese to start your day off right.

2. Mexican Chicken Salad

A white bowl sits filled with Mexican Chicken Salad on a wood table. A smaller white bowl of avocado dressing sits next to it.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Light and delicious, this Mexican chicken salad is a great way to level up your usual lunch or dinner salad. It’s full of fresh and bold flavors that can be paired with tacos, burgers, burritos, soups, and pasta. If you want side dishes, try some refried beans and Mexican rice, but this works great as a stand-alone meal. The dressing is creamy and delicious and truly compliments the salad ingredients.

3. Mexican Rice

A hand spoons some Mexican rice out of a white bowl full of it.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This wonderfully simple Mexican rice recipe is the perfect side dish for Taco Tuesdays. It’s also great inside of burritos. Pretty much any dish you can order in a Mexican restaurant comes with a side of rice, and for good reason. Add another side of simple refried beans, and whatever main course you are having is then complete.

4. Mexican Lasagna

A closeup of a piece of Mexican lasagna.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This Mexican-flavored lasagna is a delicious twist on the traditional Italian pasta dish. A comforting meal that the whole family is sure to enjoy, and it’s healthy, too. You can even prep this meal ahead of time and freeze it for a busy weeknight meal. It has luscious layers of ground meat, corn, tomatoes, noodles, and wonderful Mexican spices. All this could possibly need is a side salad to round out the meal.

5. Instant Pot Mexican Chicken

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with instant pot Mexican chicken topped with fresh tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

For Instant Pot Mexican chicken, you only need chicken breasts, your favorite salsa, black beans, and a few spices. Once the chicken is cooked, you can use it to make burritos or tacos, use it as a nacho topping, or serve it over a bed of rice for a quick and easy meal. It’s hearty and filling and a great way to enjoy a few different types of meals. It’s also a perfect recipe for meal prep if you like meal prepping ahead for the week. 

6. Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers

A single Mexican stuffed bell pepper sits in a white, fluted bowl with fresh cilantro for garnish.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Stuffed bell peppers are often a family-favorite meal, and these are no different; they just have some Mexican flare! Ground turkey, tomato sauce or salsa, onions, bell peppers, and corn make a tasty filling for these Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers. With or without cheese as a topping, the whole family will love this recipe! 

7. Sheet Pan Mexican Dinner

A portion of Mexican chicken dinner served on a white plate.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Sheet pan dinners made with frozen ingredients are an easy way to prep dinner ahead of time so that you can get it on the table quickly. You can freeze this Mexican sheet pan dinner or put it in the fridge for later in the week. Chicken breasts, frozen veggies, and a few spices mean that even the prep on this one is quick. Serve it as is with rice, or use it to stuff tacos or burritos. It even makes a great topping over a bed of lettuce for a fast and healthy lunchtime salad.

8. Taco Burgers

A taco burger sitting on a cutting board.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Everybody loves burgers, and these taco burgers are definitely one to love. Giving your turkey burgers a Mexican twist with delicious seasoning is super easy when you include your favorite salsa and some seasonings. You can grill these tasty burgers, cook them on the stovetop griddle, or in the oven on a busy weeknight. Make a big batch ahead of time and freeze them raw so you have easy access to a quick dinner any night of the week.

9. Skillet Taco Salad

An overhead view of a cast iron skillet holding a skillet taco salad topped with shredded cheese and halved grape tomatoes.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This one-pot skillet taco salad is one that the whole family will love. Cook the meat, and then add your toppings and melt your cheese in the oven. Once the cheese is melted, add your spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, and your other favorite taco toppings. You can do this in separate skillets so everyone can make their taco salad the way they like best. You can do this in any oven-safe dish, but the skillet makes things easy to handle.

10. Refried Bean Soup

A small bowl of Refried Bean Soup on a wood table. A wood spoon lays next to the bowl.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Refried bean soup is a one-pot dinner that you can cook in your Instant Pot or on the stove. This simple soup has a rich and creamy texture, and the flavor is so good the whole family will want seconds. Garnish this soup with any of your favorite taco toppings, like sour cream, cheese, or green onions. 

11. Mexican Zpaghetti

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Mexican Zpaghetti sitting on a red and white checkered placemat.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Why not serve up some zucchini noodles with a Mexican twist the next time you have a craving for a Mexican dinner? This Mexican Zpaghetti uses zucchini in place of pasta noodles, ground turkey, some seasonings, and salsa for a quick and delicious lower-carb dinner. It’s light but still hearty and filling.

12. Mexican Coleslaw

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with Mexican Coleslaw.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Mexican coleslaw is a wonderful and refreshing side dish that pairs perfectly with most Mexican dishes. It’s also great as a garnish on many dishes, including tacos, burritos, and even taco salad. It adds flavor and texture that plain lettuce just can’t accomplish. It’s a wonderfully tasty way to get some more veggies into your eating plan.

13. Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

A closeup of a slice of Mexican Shepherds Pie on a white background.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

This layered casserole is Shepherd’s pie with a Mexican twist. Taco meat, corn, black beans, tomatoes, and potatoes make a hearty dish that the whole family will enjoy. The leftovers make a tasty lunch the next day, and you can even put them in a wrap with some lettuce for a tasty lunch the next day.

14. Corn Salsa

An overhead view of a white bowl filled with corn salsa. It sits on a white cloth with a sprig of fresh cilantro to the left side.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

If salsa is going to be part of the meal, don’t miss out on this corn salsa. It’s super easy to toss this together, requires minimal prep, and adds amazing flavor to anything you add it to. You can serve this the traditional way with corn chips, or you can use this as a garnish for tacos or stuffing for burritos. This is a great all-purpose dish that can be used in many different Mexican dishes.

15. Mexican Rice Pudding

A glass filled with Mexican rice pudding sits on a white countertop.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Don’t skip dessert. This Mexican rice pudding is a simple dessert you’ll love making again and again. This is true Mexican comfort food, and you only need a few basic ingredients to make it. Enjoy it after dinner or even for breakfast the next morning. This cinnamon-flavored dessert is the type of dessert that everyone will adore.

More From The Gracious Pantry

A dutch oven with a cooked whole chicken topped with rosemary twigs.
Photo Credit: The Gracious Pantry.

Need more ideas for dinner tonight? Try one of these chicken dinners or a ground turkey recipe that is sure to please.

This originally appeared on The Gracious Pantry.

Author: Tiffany McCauley

Title: Food and Travel Journalist

Expertise: Food, cooking, travel


Tiffany McCauley is a nationally syndicated journalist and an award-winning cookbook author and food blogger. She has been featured on MSN, Huffington Post, Country Living Magazine, HealthLine, Redbook, and many more. Her food specialty is healthy comfort food recipes.

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