45 Recipes for Healthy Mexican Food

Updated: May 16, 2024

From zesty fish tacos to fruit-packed salsa, healthy Mexican food means the recipes you love, loaded with good-for-you ingredients.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of options for healthy Mexican food. Whether it’s guacamole, tostadas, soup, beans or spicy shrimp, Mexican food is known for its use of fresh ingredients. Include plenty of beans and vegetables in your meal for fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

While too much cream or cheese will bump up the calories, fat and sodium, our healthy Mexican recipes are heavy on fresh ingredients like onions, peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, corn and protein, including chicken, fish, shrimp and beef. Whether you need a healthy meal-in-one or a bright salsa to dress up a main dish, read on for the right recipe.

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Chicken Burrito Skillet

We love Mexican night at our house, and I love to re-create dishes from our favorite restaurants. This burrito-inspired dish is ready for the table in almost no time! —Krista Marshall, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Homemade Guacamole

I always judge a Tex-Mex restaurant by its guacamole. And although it's simple to prepare, it can go wrong oh, so easily. I've spent many years perfecting mine, to the point where I think it's better than most restaurants. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Spinach 'n' Broccoli Enchiladas

I like to top this wonderful meatless meal with lettuce and serve it with extra picante sauce. It's quick, easy, filled with fresh flavor and definitely satisfying! —Lesley Tragesser, Charleston, Missouri
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Tender Salsa Beef

This is my Mexican-style twist on comfort food. To keep it kid-friendly, use mild salsa. —Stacie Stamper, North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
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Lime-Cilantro Tilapia

I have so much fun serving this Mexican-inspired tilapia at summer parties. Finish it off with a side of rice and a salad loaded with sliced avocadoes and tomatoes. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio
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Pepper and Salsa Cod

After tasting a similar dish at the grocery store, my husband figured out how to make this awesome cod topped with salsa and peppers. —Robyn Gallagher, Yorktown, Virginia
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Chicken Fajita Salad

This recipe came from Texas, which is famous for its Mexican food. I love to cook, even though it’s just for me and my husband now. I invite our grown kids over a lot, and they just love this chicken fajita salad. I’m happy to share it! —Lois Proudfit, Eugene, Oregon
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Lime-Chipotle Carnitas Tostadas

Here's a terrific recipe for your next weeknight dinner. Set out various toppings and garnishes so your family members can customize their own tostadas with the lime-kissed shredded pork. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Cantina Pinto Beans

Cumin, cilantro and red pepper flakes lend southwestern flair to tender pinto beans in this dish, which was inspired by one we had at a restaurant in Dallas. It makes a terrific Tex-Mex side or a filling lunch when served with cornbread. —L.R. Larson, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Grilled Street Corn

Mexican food is my grandmother’s favorite. I wanted a perfect side for her legendary tacos, and this chile-lime grilled corn turned out to be just right. —Ashley Crainshaw, Shawnee, Kansas
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Orange Shrimp Mojo

With jalapeno, orange and avocado, this enticing entree is spicy, tangy and fresh with every bite. The sauce beautifully glazes the shrimp. —Don Thompson, Houston, Ohio
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Black Bean & White Cheddar Frittata

This is one of my favorite comfort foods for breakfast or even a quick dinner. I like to make it with lime salsa. But if you're looking for something with more kick, use hot salsa or add some chipotle pepper. —Aysha Schurman, Ammon, Idaho
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Zippy Shrimp Skewers

These flavorful skewers deliver a mouthwatering kick with minimal effort. Fix them for your next party and watch them disappear. —Jalayne Luckett, Marion, Illinois
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Cilantro & Lime Chicken with Scoops

I came up with this recipe when I was preparing for a large party and wanted a healthy Tex-Mex chicken to serve in tortilla chip cups. You can make this party dish ahead of time to free yourself for time-sensitive dishes. Serve it in tortilla cups or any other savory, crispy cup you like. Enjoy the leftovers over salad greens or wrapped up in tender tortillas for burritos. —Lori Terry, Chicago, Illinois
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Black Bean Bulgur Salad

The only cooking in this easy bulgur salad is heating the broth and bulgur. You can adapt the recipe to your preference; if you want to add chopped cooked chicken, use chicken broth in place of vegetable broth. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Fabulous Fajitas

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a girl growing up in the Southwest. When friends call to ask me for new recipes to try, I suggest these flavorful fajitas. It's wonderful to put the beef in the slow cooker before church and come home to a hot delicious main dish. —Janie Reitz, Rochester, Minnesota
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Carne Guisada

While living away from Texas for a while, my boyfriend and I grew homesick for the spicy flavors of home. We've made this recipe a few times now, and it goes really well with homemade flour tortillas. We love it over rice, too. —Kelly Evans, Denton, Texas
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Mojito-Style Yellow Tomato Salsa

With grilled tomatoes, crunchy peppers and a sprinkle of mint, this fresh salsa is good on just about everything. Try it in fish tacos, on tortilla chips or by the spoonful! —Patterson Watkins, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Chili-Lime Mushroom Tacos

I used to make this dish with beef, but substituting with portobella mushrooms turned it into my family's vegetarian favorite. It's quick, nutritious, low fat and tasty. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Beef Burritos with Green Chiles

I created this recipe years ago, and it has become such a favorite that the wonderful aroma of it cooking makes my family instantly happy. It is hearty, flavorful and easy to prepare, and it uses the long, slow-cooking method that truly defines comfort food. —Sally Pahler, Palisade, Colorado
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Easy Fish Tacos

Searching for a lighter alternative to traditional fried fish, I came up with this crispy, crunchy fish tacos recipe. It's a hit with friends and family. —Jennifer Palmer, Rancho Cucamonga, California
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Flavorful Chicken Fajitas

This chicken fajitas recipe is definitely on my weeknight dinner rotation. The marinated chicken in these popular wraps is mouthwatering. The fajitas go together in a snap and always get raves! —Julie Sterchi, Campbellsville, Kentucky
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Taco Salad

We use this super-duper chicken across several meals, including it in tacos, sandwiches, omelets and enchiladas. My little guys love helping to measure the seasonings. —Karie Houghton, Lynnwood, Washington
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Smoky Quinoa with Mushrooms

Add quinoa cooked with smoked paprika to your list of top sides. To warm the spinach leaves, quickly saute if desired. —Ellen Kanner, Miami, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

Our fun, simple recipe is perfect for taco Tuesdays or a relaxing dinner with friends. If we have any leftover filling, I toss it into a garden-fresh taco salad. —Tracy Gunter, Boise, Idaho
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Warm Rice & Pintos Salad

During my undergrad years, my roommate taught me how to cook vegetarian dishes like brown rice with pintos. It's so versatile; you can turn it into a wrap or casserole. —Natalie Van Apeldoorn, Vancouver, British Columbia
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Black Bean & Corn Quinoa

Some vegan quinoa recipes are boring, but this one definitely isn't. My daughter’s college asked parents for the best quinoa recipes to use in the dining halls. This healthy quinoa recipe fits the bill. —Lindsay McSweeney, Winchester, Massachusetts
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Strawberry Corn Salsa

This recipe makes art in a bowl! All the colors of summer are captured in this salsa with a fresh, light flavor perfect for snacking between swims or to kick off a backyard barbecue. This can be served with chips or alone as a side dish. —Catherine Goza, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Fiery Stuffed Poblanos

I love Southwest-inspired cuisine, but the dishes are often unhealthy. As a dietitian, I try to come up with nutritious twists on recipes, which is how my stuffed peppers dish was born. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Tasty Lentil Tacos

When my husband's cholesterol numbers rose, I quickly lowered the fat in our family's diet. Finding dishes that were healthy for him and yummy for our five children was a challenge, but this fun taco recipe was a huge hit with everyone. —Michelle Thomas, Bangor, Maine
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Cucumber Fruit Salsa

Our garden always gives us way more cucumbers and tomatoes than we know what to do with. But we’ve learned how to handle the unexpected with a surprise of our own. This is our pretty, fresh way to use up the bounty. —Anna Davis, Springfield, Missouri
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Southwest Hash with Adobo-Lime Crema

Adobo sauce adds so much extra flavor that you won't even miss the smaller amounts of butter and egg yolks in this smoky hash. Here's a tip: Add a splash of white vinegar to the poaching water right before you drop in the eggs. It helps keep them from separating as they cook. —Brooke Keller, Lexington, Kentucky
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Feta Shrimp Tacos

A unique combination of taco seasoning and feta cheese works remarkably well in these refreshing tacos. It’s a goodthing you get two per serving, because you won’t want to stop at one! —Athena Russell, Florence, South Carolina
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Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadillas

Sweet potatoes and black beans roll up together for a quesadilla that’s easy, fast, fun and delicious. —Brittany Hubbard, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Southwest Hummus Dip

Not your ordinary hummus, this dip is a combination of two things I love—chick peas and Southwestern flavors. You can substitute 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed, for the grilled corn. —Cheray Buckalew, Cumberland, Maryland
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Black Bean Chicken with Rice

This spicy family favorite calls for just a few basic ingredients, including chicken, black beans and rice, so it’s quick and easy to stir up in your skillet on a weeknight. —Molly Newman, Portland, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Carnitas

Simmer up succulent pork the slow-cooker way. Sometimes, instead of using tortillas, I put the seasoned meat on top of shredded lettuce for a tasty salad. —Lisa Glogow, Aliso Viejo, California
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Cornbread-Topped Frijoles

My family often requests this economical slow-cooker favorite. It's loaded with fresh southwestern flavors. One batch makes eight servings—but they never last long at our house! —Suzanne Caldwell, Artesia, New Mexico
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Spicy Shrimp Salsa

Radishes add a wonderful crunch to this colorful salsa that is also superb over grilled fish. There's just enough jalapeno to give flavor without much of the heat. —Mary Beth Relyea, Canastota, New York
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Summer Garden Fish Tacos

I like to serve fish tacos with quinoa and black beans for a complete and satisfying meal. If you’ve got them, add colorful summer toppings like bright peppers, green onions or purple carrots. —Camille Parker, Chicago, Illinois
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Grilled Southwestern Steak Salad

Pasta salad loaded with steak, peppers and onions makes both my boyfriend and me happy. Plus, it’s versatile! We serve it hot, room temperature or cold. —Yvonne Starlin, Westmoreland, Tennessee
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Chorizo & Grits Breakfast Bowls

While growing up, I bonded with my dad over chorizo and eggs. My fresh approach combines them with grits and black beans for this chorizo breakfast bowl. You can even add a spoonful of pico de gallo. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Chicken Taco Pie

This is truly a family fave and is perfect for a busy night of rushing to soccer, swimming lessons or scouts. I put it together in the morning and pop it in the oven when we get home. —Karen Latimer, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos

Spicy butternut squash makes such a great base for these vegetarian tacos. I’m always looking for quick and nutritious weeknight dinners for my family. These fit the bill and are so delicious! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah

Healthy Mexican Food FAQ

Is Mexican food good for you?

Yes, Mexican food can be incredibly nutritious. Many recipes are rich in fiber and protein and feature plenty of fresh vegetables. However, any food that’s fried or features a lot of cheese, refried beans or cream may be higher in calories, saturated fat and sodium.

What is the best choice for a healthy Mexican recipe?

The best healthy Mexican food is a recipe with vegetables, beans and lean protein. Try a salad or burrito bowl topped with fresh salsa or guacamole!

For a healthy Mexican meal, what should I serve with the main dish?

To round out your healthy dinner, serve a fresh side like grilled cornstrawberry corn salsa or guacamole.