7 of the best Tex-Mex dishes you can make at home

If you’re tired of the same old dishes day in and day out, there’s nothing like authentic Tex-Mex to liven up your family’s dinner, believe me. That’s why in today’s piece, we’ve decided to take a look at 7 of the best Tex-Mex dishes you can make at home.

Before I was able to write full time, I worked the line in many kitchens in and around the island of Montréal, as I’ve mentioned before, and one local place I worked at was a bistro under a fashion company. Now if you know anything about the fashion district in Montréal, then you know that those individuals like their lunches interesting, as their days are pretty hectic, and when lunchtime comes around, they like to unwind with a meal that takes them away from the day to day grind of big business fashion.

Anyways, I was charged with the sandwich side of the operation and after hearing a few complaints of the same old tired menu of club sandwiches, burgers and chicken Cesar wraps, I brought up the idea to my chef that Tex-Mex would probably go over big time. He agreed and I got started, offering up some of the items on this list. I found a few others online you’ve just gotta try.

So with a few recipes of my own and a few I found online, here are 7 of the best Tex-Mex dishes you can make at home

7. Taco Salad

Now talk about easy but flavorful. This one won’t keep you in the kitchen for all that long, but will still offer a different type of dish you can serve your family or whip up for yourself as you prepare for that Chopped marathon on the Food Network. And yeah, it’s the healthier option, which goes a long way, folks.

What you’ll need: Sautéed and seasoned ground beef, diced lettuce (your choice of lettuce), diced tomatoes, diced scallions, chopped avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, olive oil, lime juice and salt to taste.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. You can compartmentalize each of the ingredients on the dish—very much like a Cobb Salad—dress it with the olive oil and lemon juice, and even top with a few tortilla chips (crushed) as the croutons.

6. Sopapillas

Many Latin countries have this recipe. The one I’ve made I learned from a Mexican/Canadian chef I worked with in my youth. It worked well for me in that bistro in the fashion district, let me tell you, and it’ll work just as well for you. Make these at your next party and your guests will go away happy.

Essentially it’s fried dough and last I checked, fried dough kind of works. I mean doughnuts, ponki (polish donut)…you get what I’m saying. Dig this recipe from YouTube Channel, Marcy Inspired and give them a try today.

5. Grilled Salmon topped with Tex-Mex Fruity Salsa

This one did exceptionally well with the executives I cooked for at the aforementioned fashion company who were trying to watch their weight and yes, the models in particular. Mostly men that modeled suits for catalogues, and when modeling a suit, the waistline needs to be trim. So the grilled salmon option was a big one when photo shoots were in session upstairs. That and a heck of a lot of egg whites during the breakfast shift….

The grilled salmon is easy I hope. You can brush a little olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle a little salt atop and have the grill do it’s wonders, but the magic here is in the salsa…the fruity salsa. By now we all know and love a classic tomato-based salsa, but this one kicks it up a notch, to borrow a line from the legendary Emeril Lagasse.

For the fruity salsa: Diced red onion, diced watermelon, diced mango, diced green bell pepper, lemon juice, parsley, salt; place atop the grilled fish and your salmon will be brought to that next level of taste, trust me.

4. Chilaquiles

Typically a breakfast dish in its native Mexico, this one offers a dish of fried tortillas topped with salsa, cheese and sometimes chicken and/or eggs. For this recipe I went with the master blaster himself, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Mexican legendary chef, Aron Sanchez briefly appears in the video. Gordon whips up this classic Mexican dish and so can you.

3. Fish Tacos

I mean we all know the classic taco and burrito. But what about freshening things up a tad? There are a lot of fish taco ideas out there, but in my mind, you can’t go wrong when pairing cod and shrimp.

Use the typical tacos found at your local grocery store. For the cod, I like to use a salt cod variety that I let soak in the fridge for up to 5 days completely submerged in water, to remove all of the curing salts.

I then roast it with olive oil and when done I cut it into strips so the texture is still there when biting into the taco. I combine grilled shrimp and mix both the shrimp and the cod with diced scallions, diced lettuce, red bell pepper, parsley, lemon juice and a wee bit of salt to taste…mixing it all like a salad, and I place it fresh into a warmed taco.

An excellent idea for your next summer backyard party and a variation on a classic Mexican dish your guests will absolutely love.

2. Huevos Rancheros

A small portion of society doesn’t like eggs. For the rest of us, if we didn’t have to worry about cholesterol, we’d probably hunker down to a plate of eggs every single day, for breakfast lunch and dinner. Can I get an Amen?

Well, this one is a top dish that you can’t mess up, no matter how hard you try. Essentially it’s eggs and salsa atop a tortilla, but the end result is a lot more impressive than just that.

I have my own recipe for this but found a great one on YouTube, where by the way, there is a bounty of epic recipes. For this one, I went with YouTuber Cowboy Keith Collins, whose recipes are always delicious every time I try them. They’re authentic and his channel is at just over 2 million subscribers. I mean 2 million subscribers can’t be wrong, now can they?

1. Chimichanga

Oh man…why have a burrito when you can have a Chimichanga? This one here is the burrito’s evil cousin. Why so? Because it’s deep fried.

What to do: Take a tortilla. Stuff it with a sauté of minced meat, rice (boil rice first then sauté with this medley), diced onion and multicolored bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Obviously sauté the meat first; set aside, and also have the boiled rice set aside. Then sauté the onion and bell peppers, then combine and season.

Once the tortilla is stuffed with the sauté, role the tortilla, careful to close it at both ends; stick some toothpicks inside so it stays together and deep fry that monstrosity until golden brown. Top it with some salsa and Crème fraîche and man oh man, are you there.

You’re family and friends will thank you and always remember what you made them. They’ll probably even beg you to keep making it, so be careful with this one. As the saying goes: “With great power comes great responsibility,” and wielding an ace-level of know-how in the kitchen is great power indeed…especially when it comes to Tex-Mex, dear readers.

Do you have any classic Mexican recipes you’d like to share with a Texan flair? Let us know, Guilty Eaters.