Our Most Popular Tex-Mex Recipes Make For an Easy Dinner

Ryan Nadolny | Ryan Eats Everything

Here at Food Fanatic, some of our most popular recipes come from our collection of Tex-Mex recipes. It's easy to understand why!

Tex-Mex recipes are tasty, crowd-pleasing dishes that also make an easy dinner that's equally delicious a cinch to whip up any night of the week.

Fusion recipes and restaurants are all the rage right now, combining multiple cultures into one tasty dish. One of the most popular styles of late is the mash up of French and Asian cuisine.

Before this ever became a viral fad though, we had Tex-Mex. Can we talk about Tex-Mex for a minute? It may be the most perfect culinary experience you'll ever have.

What is Tex-Mex Cuisine?

The Tex-Mex name sort of explains what this beloved style of food is all about, but not entirely. It's literally a hybrid of Texas and Mexican after all.

Tex-Mex is derived from the Tejano people, those who were living in Texas that were of Mexican or Spanish heritage before Texas became a republic.

This style of cuisine would later expand and ultimately explode into its own fad in the 1990s with brands and restaurants popping up everywhere in the US.

If you’re like me and spent your entire life in the northern Midwest, then Tex-Mex was the closest thing you had to authentic Mexican cuisine.

Tell me you loved Chi-Chi’s without telling me you loved Chi-Chi’s! I’ll go first. Fried ice cream!

Fajitas, nachos, ground beef, and black beans are all examples of beloved Tex-Mex fare.

Unlike authentic or traditional Mexican food, you see a lot of melted yellow cheese used in certain Tex-Mex dishes.

These ingredients aren’t very popular or readily available south of the Rio Grande, but you know us Northerners love our yellow cheese!

Today I'm sharing a baker's dozen of our most popular Tex-Mex dishes. Try a new version of old favorite or discover something entirely new.

Either way, dinner will be ready in a hurry and taste mighty tasty, too!

Make Tex-Mex Your Way

I find cooking without rules is the best way to indulge. Should I put pickles on my peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Why not?! Honey drizzled on pizza? I say go for it!

You can go a more traditional route with Enfrijoladas, which are like the younger sibling to Enchiladas.

Instead of using a chili sauce, they’re dunked in a bean sauce. Vegan friendly and so very tasty!

Or you can go off the rails and make yourself a Tex-Mex pizza! This recipe incorporates all your favorite flavors into one crispy and flavorful meal.

Another great dish to get the whole family involved and let everyone make their own pie. Cook with your heart and don’t be afraid to bend the “rules”!

1. Tex Mex Enchilada Meatballs Recipe

Who doesn’t love a good meatball?! These little things are bursting with flavor and make the perfect appetizer or pair them with some refried beans and rice for a meal that’s sure to leave you with a full belly. This recipe adds a little spicy chorizo to the beef for an added zip. This recipe includes one for homemade enchilada sauce, however, if you’re short on time canned sauce will work just fine.

2. Mexican Rice Skillet Recipe

It’s the middle of the week and you need to get dinner on the table in the next half hour. This is the recipe for you. Utilizing a single pan makes cleanup a breeze. It calls for ground beef, but you could use any meat or even a meat substitute. To make this dish even quicker, use leftover rotisserie chicken and microwaveable rice instead of uncooked. Also, I keep frozen chopped onions for when I really have no time to spare. You may achieve different results using pre-cooked foods, but your kids are going to hate anything you cook, so don’t stress it!

3. Chile Relleno Recipe

Somehow, it took 35 years for me to discover Chile Relleno. How did this happen? I can’t leave our local Mexican joint without having one now. It’s a simple recipe of cheese stuffed in a poblano pepper and fried. Feel free to add meat or rice to it but understand that it doesn’t need it. It’s absolute perfection. The sauce is also very simple to make but rich and decadent in flavor. I’m confident you’ll find many uses for it.

4. Carne Asada Steak Tacos with Fries Recipe

Vegetarians can skip to the next recipe. It’s much more your speed. This recipe is for us red meat eaters only. Steak to be specific! Who doesn’t love steak?! Well, probably those vegetarians reading the next recipe. I love steak in all forms and fashions. This recipe is no exception. Packed with all sorts of seasonings and spices, giving you multiple layers of robust flavor. The spice from the peppers comes through heavily, so eater beware. With the addition of brown sugar, you end up with a well-balanced and decadent marinade/sauce. The fries add another depth of flavor that is unexpected. My biggest tip concerning the fries is to make sure they are crispy! No one likes soggy limp fries. Not even the vegetarians! (I kid, I kid) I highly suggest giving these a try on your next taco night. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the least!

5. Black Beans and Rice Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

Welcome back, vegetarians! You’re probably wondering why I would recommend this dish to you, considering it calls for ground turkey. No need to fear, my darling plant poacher, this dish comes together beautifully without meat or by using a meat substitute. More cheese and rice would fill that spot nicely! This dish uses a black bean and rice dinner mix, which is great for getting a full dinner out in less time. Less time cooking = More time for a bubble bath and a glass of wine.

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