This free Mexican Cooking Survival Guide is the quickest and easiest way to get your home kitchen pumping out the best Mexican food in town. You'll be shocked at the quality and range of dishes you can make just by keeping these key ingredients on hand.
Take this pantry list with you next time you go to the grocery store. The items are easy to find and surprisingly cheap, and you've probably got many of them on hand already.
Once your kitchen is stocked you'll have the option of making any of the 27 recipes listed below. Yup, all 27 authentic Mexican recipes can be made using this simple pantry list.
Note that chicken is listed as my preferred protein source, but feel free to get creative as nearly all of these recipes can be made with your protein of choice: tofu, pork, lentils, steak, beans. And I've listed item amounts for two people but you can adjust accordingly for family size kitchens.
I've made each of the recipes below multiple times and can vouch for all of them as the real deal. Don't worry if you've never made Mexican food at home before, it's easy and all of these recipes offer great reward for very little effort (why isn't all of life like that?). Get in the habit of keeping these ingredients on hand and you'll always have authentic Mexican cuisine at your fingertips.
Clicking on the link or pic will take you to a recipe page on this site that has step-by-step instructions and a recipe box that can be printed out for future use. I'll also put a downloadable PDF of the pantry list here. The PDF also contains ingredient explanations, storage tips, and links to the 27 recipes. And if you want to see a slideshow of all 27 recipes click here.
I'll be adding recipes to the Guide regularly. I want it to be a genuinely valuable resource for anyone who thinks life is better with Mexican food in it, so please send me your feedback and suggestions on how I can make it even better. Bueno?
P.S. Please share this resource with friends and family who may benefit from it. You can Pin It here or use the sharing buttons at the top of this page to share on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thank you!
Okay, here are all 27 recipes....
Tomato Jalapeno Salsa
This is the Mother of all Mexican Salsas. If you're new to making homemade salsa you are in for a treat. Roasting the tomatoes changes the game and makes this one of the most versatile sauces to have in your repertoire.
Huevos Ahogados -- Eggs Drowned in Salsa
If you've never had eggs poached in homemade salsa before then wait no longer! You simply cannot beat the flavor of eggs cooked in a vibrant homemade salsa.
Chicken Tinga Tacos
Chicken Tinga is becoming more common north of the border, and for good reason. This version use tomatillos and chipotles to create some Tinga Tacos that are loaded with flavor and easily qualify as Tingalicious!
Salsa Verde -- Tomatillo Serrano Salsa
A homemade green salsa can transform eggs, carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly. Getting good at whipping up this authentic Salsa Verde opens up loads of possibilities.
Enchiladas Suizas -- Creamy Green Sauce Enchiladas
An authentic version of Enchiladas Suizas is always near the top of my list -- this recipe stars cheesy chicken enchiladas that are drenched in a creamy green sauce made from tomatillos and poblanos.
The Only Guacamole Recipe You'll Ever Need
This recipe proves how good Guacamole can be when using onion, lime, salt and avocado in balanced proportions -- also includes an onion smooshing tip to enhance flavor.
Huevos a la Mexicana -- Mexican Scrambled Eggs
These Mexican Scrambled Eggs are perfect for lazy weekend mornings: well-balanced, easy to make, and they have real kick. Try draining the tomatoes before adding them to the pan, so much better!
Tomato Chipotle Salsa
This Tomato Chipotle Salsa has a rich, smoky flavor from the delightful chipotles in adobo. And if you roast the tomatoes you end up with a warm, authentic salsa -- so good!
Easy Red Sauce Enchiladas
This is my go-to recipe for red sauce enchiladas. Fast, incredible flavor, and stress free to make. Sound too good to be true? Roasted tomatoes, cumin, and chipotles in adobo create a rich, authentic flavor that keeps me coming back for more.
Arroz Rojo -- Simple Mexican Rice
You'll be amazed how much flavor you get in this delicious Mexican Rice using such a simple ingredient list. It's my default rice dish and couldn't be easier to make.
Chicken Burrito with Tomato Chipotle Salsa
This Chicken Guacamole Burrito relies on a Tomato Chipotle Salsa to create a rich, full flavor. Don't forget to roast those tomatoes. So good!
Avocado Salsa Verde
Adding fresh avocados to an authentic salsa verde creates something magical. Eat it early and often because it's always the star of the dinner table and will disappear fast.
Easy Burrito Bowls with Creamy Avocado Sauce
These Easy Burrito Bowls have a secret weapon that can instantly save your day: creamy avocado sauce with some zip from a jalapeno. So good! You can also customize these burrito bowls ad infinitum.
Simple, Epic Refried Beans
Here's a convenient way to make killer refried beans using either homemade or canned beans. Loads of flavor and can be used for tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, etc.
Huevos Rancheros Skillet
Refried beans, potatoes and a homemade Tomato Chipotle Salsa make it easy to please everyone with this Huevos Rancheros Skillet. Lots of ways to customize this for picky eaters too.
Authentic, Well-Balanced Pico de Gallo
Every kitchen needs a versatile Pico de Gallo to rely on. This recipe keeps the tomatoes in check by using plenty of onion and seasoning.
Mexican Black Bean Soup
Chipotles in adobo and roasted tomatoes give this Mexican Black Bean Soup incredible flavor. I like it best when the heat is subtle, but you can always amp it up a notch.
Baked Taquitos dipped in Tomato Chipotle Salsa
Dipping a crispy taquito into a bowl of homemade salsa can transport any dinner table straight to the heart of Mexico. This recipe uses a warm Tomato Chipotle Salsa that is delicioso.
Cilantro Lime Rice
By keeping just a few ingredients on hand you'll always have the option of whipping up this light, effervescent Cilantro Lime Rice. Works well in burrito bowls but also tastes great on its own.
Corn tortillas drenched in a Chipotle infused Black Bean puree? I'm in! These Vegetarian Enfrijoladas have a surprisingly full flavor and can be customized to your liking.
Roasted Poblano Quesadilla
The perfect example of the rich, otherworldly flavor that Mexican cuisine can generate by using just a few simple ingredients. Don't forget to roast the poblanos!
Mexican Breakfast Taquitos
These Baked Taquitos make for a quick Mexican infused meal when you are short on time and knee deep in hunger.
Torta de Milanesa -- Breaded Chicken Cutlet Sandwich
This Baked Milanesa Torta is loaded with avocado, Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Mayo. Yowsa! No frying either, just bread the chicken cutlets and give 'em 12 minutes in the oven.
Tingadillas -- Cheesy Chicken Tinga Quesadillas
Got leftover Tinga? Make Tingadillas! These Cheesy Chicken Tinga Quesadillas with Green Sauce will change the course of your day for the better -- includes recipe for making Tinga from scratch.
Crispy Chicken Tacos
This delight uses Chicken Milanesa strips to create a unique, satiating meal. Homemade Chipotle Crema drizzled over fresh guacamole turns it into a keeper.
Wet Poblano Burrito
Think of this as the ultimate comfort food. A chicken guacamole burrito swimming in a creamy, goopy poblano sauce with otherworldly flavor. Don't forget to roast those poblano peppers!
Spicy Black Bean Nachos
It's tough to beat the combo of warm tortilla chips, melted cheese, and spicy black beans. In other words, NACHOS!! These beans have some kick built into them from chipotles in adobo and they are beyond delicious.
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Hola! I am so happy that I found your website! I lived in Santa Fe for 5 years and my stepmother is hispanic. I loved the meals she made, but wouldn't give up some of her recipes. Lol (I used sneaky ninja stealth mode to obtain a few) I've made a few of your recipes, and I'm loving them. Sooooooooo good! I light my bf up with my Enchiladas now. Hah!
I've moved to Canada, and the options for mexican are so bad. Grocery stores hardly stock decent items. I ordered from My Spice Sage. I'm pleased so far. I'm going to call El Protero and see if they can ship to me. Otherwise I'll have it shipped to my son, and hopefully he will send it to me and not keep it for himself.
Thank you so much for creating your website! And sharing with us.
Hola Stephanie! Thanks much for your note -- I'm so glad you are finding some keeper recipes on the site.
I'm with you on that one, I lived in Vancouver for a couple years and had a hard time finding all the right ingredients. And shipping costs across the border are crazy right? If by chance you are in Vancouver let me know and I can offer up some recommendations on where to buy ingredients in town. Good luck!
Hi! Love your page and all the good tips I could find here. I'm a Mexican girl trying some new recipes and discover there are some that use chicken buttermilk, however I've utterly failed to find it in Mexico. By any chance do you have a very clever way to replace this for the recipes? Just like the taco seasoning which my the way I'm very thankful for it. Thank you for your kindly help
Hi Isis thanks much for your note! I'm glad you are finding some keeper recipes on the site.
I think the most common buttermilk alternative is milk + acid. The acid can be either lemon juice or vinegar. To be honest I've never used this formula before but here are some tips on it:
One tablespoon of acid per cup of milk seems to be a common ratio. It might not thicken up like buttermilk but this could be a decent flavor alternative. Sour cream is a viable substitute for buttermilk in our Mexican Crema article, but I'm not sure if that would be a fit for the recipes you're working on. I hope that helps a little bit!
Hi, I just came across your site and I love it!
I have a question I hope you can answer. I used to eat at a restaurant years ago,it has since gone out of business.But they had the best soft cheese tacos.They were made with some kind of white creamy cheese sauce Ihave ever tasted.It was served on a flat soft corn tortillas.I was wondering if you might know the cheese they used. I have searched all recipes but none come close to it. Thanks so much!
Hi Debra thanks for stopping by 🙂
Tough question! Oaxaca cheese is a common melting cheese in Mexico and that is a possibility for the creamy cheese sauce you mention. I'll put a link to some details about Oaxaca cheese below. But the most likely scenario is that it was a combo of cheese, heavy cream (or Crema), and flavorings. I'm hoping to experiment with these white sauces in the future but haven't done so yet. Hope that helps a little bit 🙂
I know I'm replying to an old post, but have you perfected any white sauces lately?
Authentic cheese sauce is absolute magic but I have not come close to the real deal in my attempts to date.
Thanks for your great site. Goes to show that Canadians really know how to cook some excellent cuisine and I'll bury my old stereotype of bland foods up there.
Hi James thanks for your feedback! Hmmm sorry I don't have any white sauces on the site yet -- I've got one on my recipe to-do list and hope to fiddle with it soon. Cheers.
We have had similar food journeys. Your site is brilliant. I'm more than anything stoked to know about it so I can direct people toward it. I went through your 27-staples-ingredient list and it was fantastic to see that's it is essentially what I've learned to stock, slowly, over time in 20 years of loving and cooking mexican-oriented everyday food more and more. Bravo!
Hey, thanks much for the feedback I appreciate it! Good to know it's in line with your experience 🙂
I love the amount of versatility among the Mexican food options here! And it doesn't sound like it's a game changer to start switching out meat types either. I appreciate the ideas you've provided for different types of Mexican food.
Thanks Bernard! You're right, most of the recipes can accommodate your preferred meat type. Hope you find some new ideas. Cheers 🙂
These recipes have changed our (eating) life. My fiance and I hate to cook but love good Mexican food, but now we actually enjoy it. We high five each other when we make our own salsa instead of buying at the store and everyone at work is impressed with "my" authentic cooking. The pictures of the ingredients help so much and the recipes seem doable for us busy people. Thank you from Texas.
This is probably the most rewarding feedback I've ever gotten 🙂 Thanks so much Arleen for taking the time to post your comment, its very helpful. I hope you continue to enjoy working your way through the recipes, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions along the way 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing these recipes. So glad I found your site. Always on the lookout for good, authentic Mexican recipes and you have tons.
You're welcome Alan! Glad you found the site, let me know if you have any questions along the way. Cheers 🙂
Patrick, I am so grateful that I came upon your site and delicious recipes! I have researched Mexican recipes for years, many of which I've made. But NONE of them stand next to yours. You truly have a gift of making incredibly tasting Mexican dishes along with taking captivating photos. Mucas gracias!
Thanks so much for the feedback! Good to hear you are finding some new favorites for your kitchen. Feel free to get in touch if you ever have questions along the way. Cheers 🙂
Very very good, tankes????
Cheers Nasrin, thanks for the feedback!
I've been using Internet recipes profusely for years now. I cook mostly from scratch because I have a teenager and if I feel like it's my duty- not because I like cooking. I really don't. His main thing is Mexican food, so I make it about three times a week.
For some reason, I just now stumbled on your site. I am thoroughly impressed with your recipes. How did I miss your site all this time? How does a white boy have such excellent Mexican recipes?
Next week's required Mexican dinners are going to be all yours. I've printed out the planned recipes with glee. Even a breakfast one. My son is going to be so thrilled.
Hola Diana! Thanks for perusing through the site. I think your son is about to get spoiled by his mother's cooking, lucky boy 🙂 Send me any questions you have along the way and I will get back to you pronto.
P.S. Two years living in Cozumel will turn anyone who loves Mexican food into an expert 🙂