It’s a joke around my house that my fall-back meal is always Mexican. I often find myself scouring my shelves to find any random ingredients that can create a Mexican meal.
All I need is a can of black beans, and then I know that Mexican is on the menu ;-). The awesome thing about Mexican cuisine is that most of their meals center around just a few main ingredients.
Pretend like you are standing in line at a Chipotle restaurant. What do you see? About 5-8 main ingredients and dozens of different meals that can be made from those combinations. So, this is what I do weekly. I grab a few ingredients – and just pretend like I’m at Chipotle!
This is all you need to create easy Mexican food:
A Protein: You don’t need a perfectly cooked flank steak. You only need one of these and you are good to go!
- A cooked meat – leftover Rotisserie chicken, leftover ground beef, shredded pork, or even ground Turkey
- A can of beans – black beans, pinto beans, refried beans
- Shrimp or fried fish (You can even cook up some kiddo fish sticks for the perfect fish taco!)
- Go vegetarian and grab some tofu!
A base: anything to hold the ingredients together:
- Tortillas, of course
- A bowl (add some rice to bind everything together?)
- Lettuce for a Taco Salad
- Tortilla Chips for a Taco Salad
- Hollowed-out green peppers for stuffed Mexican peppers!
Easy Dinner! Throw all the ingredients (except your base) in a microwave-safe dish. Top with cheese and microwave until the cheese melts. Serve with tortilla chips or over rice. Easiest 10 minute dinner!
A form of Tomato: Again, you don’t need the custom can of Enchilada Sauce to make Enchiladas – use any of these!
- Salsa – I always keep 2-3 jars of these on hand
- A red Enchilada or Taco Sauce
- Diced Tomatoes (add in some cumin and garlic salt and you are good to go!)
- a 4 oz. can of tomato sauce (again, add in the seasonings)
A vegetable: Grab what you have!
- Canned corn
- Fresh corn
- Grilled or sautéed peppers and onions
- Avocado or Guacamole
- Chopped Lettuce and Tomato – serve on the side or on top of hot ingredients
- Anything that is flavored cilantro lime (slaw, salad, etc.) — serve on the side to main dish
- Tomatoes and cucumbers — serve on the side
Seasoning: just mix and match here
- Taco Seasoning
- Cumin + Garlic Powder + Salt and Pepper (see official recipe here)
- Salsa – Just add it to anything and your flavor is there!
Cheese: you’ve got to have it!
- Shredded Mozzarella
- Shredded Cheddar
- Shredded “Mexican flavored” cheese
- Nacho Cheese
Hint! Don’t have taco seasoning on hand? Just mix in some salsa and your taco meat will be perfect!
Here are some of my favorite Mexican meals:
- Mexican Melt Over Rice (see recipe above)
- Mexican Bowl (all ingredients over rice)
- Taco Salad (all ingredients over lettuce or tortilla chips)
- Stuffed Mexican Peppers (clean out green peppers, fill with ingredients, top with cheese and cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees)
- Nachos (all ingredients over chips)
- Mexican Pizzas (tortillas topped with refried beans, protein and cheese melted in oven – served with salsa and lettuce/tomato on top)
- Enchiladas or Burritos
As I speak, I have some enchiladas cooking in the oven and my house is full of all the smells! Please leave a comment and share your fast easy Mexican food tip – we want to hear it!
My favorite for Mexican Pizza: