You Know You’re from the Southwest If You’ve Had All These Foods

Spice up your life with these southwestern recipes. From traditional Tex-Mex to fiery fusion, dinner just got a whole lot tastier.

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Margarita Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas have never tasted as good as when they are filled with slightly sweet onions and peppers and topped with lime butter and salt. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savory. This version is the perfect recipe for a summer party—or a fantastic way to bring a little bit of summer into the cold winter months. —Stephanie Bright, Simpsonville, South Carolina
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Chicken Enchilada Bake

Your family is going to gobble up this cheesy, southwestern and easy chicken enchilada casserole…and will ask for it again and again. It’s real comfort food! —Melanie Burns, Pueblo West, Colorado
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Smothered Burritos

My brother-in-law teased that I only knew five ground beef recipes. I proved him wrong with my inventive spicy burritos. —Kim Kenyon, Greenwood, Missouri
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Baja Pork Tacos

This delicious pork tacos recipe is my copycat version of the most excellent Mexican food we ever had, when we were visiting Flagstaff, Arizona. The original recipe used beef instead of pork, but this comes mighty close to the same taste. —Ariella Winn, Mesquite, Texas
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Chili-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

While exploring Mexican restaurants, I tasted chiles rellenos and wanted to make them at home. My husband and I teamed up to create this stuffed poblano peppers recipe, which is one of our favorites. —Lorrie Grabczynski, Commerce Township, Michigan
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Baked Chicken Fajitas

I can't remember when or where I found this oven-baked fajitas recipe, but I've used it nearly every week since. We like it with hot sauce for added spice. —Amy Trinkle, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cilantro-Lime Rice

My family's favorite Mexican restaurant serves a similar rice as a side dish. I threw this together one night when I was making fajitas, and everyone loved it! It's such an easy side dish and pairs well with kabobs on the grill, too. —Robin Baskette, Lexington, Kentucky
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Cheesy Quesadillas

We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
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Southwestern Sauteed Corn

My mother-in-law came up with this corn skillet dish one night for dinner. Everyone who tries it absolutely loves it! —Chandy Ward, Aumsville, Oregon
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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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Beefy Huevos Rancheros

This quick, easy and oh-so-tasty recipe works for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is delightful served with fruit or salad and some flour tortillas. Guests can top the dish however they'd like. —Sandra Leonard, Peculiar, Missouri
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Chicken Burritos

This mouthwatering chicken burrito recipe makes enough for two casseroles, so you can enjoy one today and freeze the other for a busy weeknight. They're super to have on hand for quick meals or to take to potlucks. —Sonya Nightingale, Burley, Idaho.
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Texas Black Bean Soup

This hearty meatless stew made with convenient canned items is perfect for spicing up a family gathering on a cool day. It tastes as if it's made with love and yet it requires so little time and attention. —Pamela Scott, Garland, Texas.
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Chili Queso Dip

I’ve had this recipe for more than 42 years and have updated it from time to time. This is an easy party favorite, and everyone loves the taquito dippers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Black Bean and Beef Tostadas

You only need a handful of ingredients to make one of our family’s favorites. It's also easy to double for company! —Susan Brown, Kansas City, Kansas
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Southwestern Rice

I created this colorful side dish after eating something similar at a restaurant. It complements any Tex-Mex meal wonderfully. Sometimes I add cubes of grilled chicken breast to the rice to make it a meal in itself. —Michelle Dennis, Clarks Hill, Indiana
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Homemade Tortillas

I usually have to double this flour tortilla recipe because we go through them so quickly. The homemade tortillas are so tender and chewy, you’ll never use store-bought again after learning how to make tortillas. —Kristin Van Dyken, Kennewick, Washington
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Tomatillo Salsa

Dare to deviate from tomato salsa and try this tomatillo-based version for a deliciously addictive change of pace. It’s fantastic on its own with tortilla chips or served as a condiment alongside a variety of meats. —Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
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Skillet Beef Tamales

I found something similar to this years ago and have recently added my own spin. Here’s the outcome: an easy, cheesy meal your family can't get enough of. We don't have to tell them it's healthy. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Carne Adovada Sopes

I call this "dude food," as my husband and son would eat this weekly. The tender pork is great. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Annie's Original Salsa

I spent 5 years working on this recipe. Everyone loves it, and it's one of the few recipes that is actually mine, not inherited from someone else! It's been so popular that a friend canned 4 ounce jars and gave them as wedding favors. My oldest daughter asked me to do the same thing, and so we gifted wedding guests with 300 small jars of salsa at her autumn-themed wedding. —Angela Barnes, Big Rapids, Michigan
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Chorizo Burrito Bowls

I'm always on the hunt for fast and filling meals. Chicken sausage makes an awesome one-dish dinner by itself or served with brown rice in a burrito. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Enchilada Casser-Ole!

My husband loves this casserole, so it never lasts too long in our house. Packed with black beans, cheese, tomatoes and southwestern flavor, it's an impressive-looking entree that's as simple as it is delicious. —Marsha Wills, Homosassa, Florida
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Turkey Posole

I love making this soup because it makes good use of leftovers from Thanksgiving. And it's quick, easy and tasty. No one feels as if they're eating leftovers because this soup is nothing like traditional turkey with gravy. —Margee Berry, White Salmon, Washington
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Fiesta Grilled Corn

We love Mexican food and corn on the cob. So I combined them into something fresh and spicy. For Italian flair, I make this corn with basil and oregano butter and Parmesan cheese.—MacKenzie Severson, Germantown, Maryland
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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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Chili Cornbread Salad

A co-worker brought this wonderful dish to a potluck several years ago. She had copies of the recipe next to the pan. Now I make it for get-togethers and also supply copies of the recipe. I never have any leftover salad or recipes. —Kelly Newsom, Jenks, Oklahoma
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Veggie Tacos

These vegetarian tacos are stuffed with a blend of sauteed cabbage, peppers and black beans so filling, you won't miss the meat. Top with avocado, cheese or a dollop of sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pork Taquitos

These taquitos freeze very well, so you can make a big batch and enjoy them anytime. Microwave the tortillas before filling for easier rolling. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Weeknight Taco Soup

This soup turned out delicious on the first try, when I was working without a recipe. You could also add cooked ground beef or cubed stew meat dredged in seasoned flour and browned for a heartier meal. —Amanda Swartz, Goderich, Ontario
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Green Chile Chicken Chili

The prep work for this chili is easy thanks to several pantry staples. It’s loaded with shredded chicken and beans. The spicy heat can be tamed a bit with cool sour cream. —Fred Lockwood, Plano, Texas
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Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Carnitas

I came up with this beef carnitas recipe while trying to figure out what I could do with a pot roast that had been in the freezer. Now I keep the rub in a plastic bag, ready and waiting in my cupboard, and I can get the roast in the slow cooker in less than 15 minutes. —Ann Piscitelli, Nokomis, Florida
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Steak Fajitas

Zesty salsa and tender strips of steak make these traditional fajitas extra special. —Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Cheesy Corn Spoon Bread

Homey and comforting, this custardlike side dish is a much-requested recipe at potlucks and holiday dinners. The jalapeno adds just the right bite. Second helpings of this tasty casserole are common—leftovers aren't. —Katherine Franklin, Carbondale, Illinois
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Bean & Cheese Quesadillas

My son doesn't eat meat, so I created this recipe as a way for me to cook one meal for the family instead of two. It's so easy, my toddler grandson helps me make it! —Tina McMullen, Salina, Kansas
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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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Tilapia with Corn Salsa

My family loves fish, and this quick and tasty dish is very popular at my house. Though it tastes like it takes a long time, it cooks in minutes under the broiler. We enjoy it with lemon wedges with couscous on the side. —Brenda Coffey, Singer Island, Florida
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Grilled Beef Chimichangas

I created this recipe when I didn't have the ingredients for my go-to dish. After making this, it became my new favorite! —Jackie Burns, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Tamale Pie

The amount of spice in this recipe is just right for my family—we prefer things on the mild side. Make it once with these measurements, then spice it up a little more if you like! —Ruth Aden, Polson, Montana
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Texas-Style Brisket

This is the quintessential Texas-style brisket. Even my husband’s six-generation Texas family is impressed by it! Grilling with wood chips takes a little extra effort, but I promise you'll be glad you did. Each bite tastes like heaven on a plate. —Renee Morgan, Taylor, Texas
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Easy Chicken Enchiladas

This chicken enchiladas recipe is so quick and easy, and I always receive a ton of compliments. It quickly becomes a favorite of friends whenever I share the recipe. Modify the spiciness with the intensity of the salsa and the green chiles to suit your taste. —Kristi Black, Harrison Township, Michigan
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Fiesta Coleslaw

Coleslaw with a touch of heat makes a zesty side for barbecued chicken or pork. I also pile it on fish tacos and po'boys. —Fay Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Taco Salad Casserole

This taco casserole recipe tastes like a taco salad and is a breeze to assemble. I crush tortilla chips to form a bottom layer, then spread on refried beans, a spicy meat mixture and cheese. —Rhonda McKee, Greensburg, Kansas
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Frito Pie

Frito pie is legendary in the Southwest for being spicy, salty and cheesy fabulous. Here’s my easy take on this crunchy classic. —Jan Moon, Alamogordo, New Mexico
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Shredded Beef Burrito Filling

Make your next office party a taco bar or burrito bar! Set out the beef in the slow cooker on warm, along with tortillas, bowls of shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and chopped lettuce, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes. For a variation, I make Beef & Bean burritos by mixing a can of refried beans into 3 or 4 cups of cooked beef filling. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio
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Spicy Enchilada Casserole

Chili powder, tortillas, cheese and ground beef combine for a winning Tex-Mex casserole. Choose a salsa that suits your family's taste—mild, medium or hot.—Julie Huffman, New Lebanon, Ohio

Amanda Tarlton
Amanda has more than a decade of media experience, specifically in product testing in the cooking and lifestyle space. As a freelancer for Taste of Home, Amanda writes mostly about foodie finds, home and lifestyle goods and cooking and baking utensils that make life easier (and more fun!). Outside of freelancing, Amanda is the executive editor of commerce at Field & Stream.
When she's not working, Amanda is on the lookout for the best pizzas in town or testing out secret menu items at restaurants and coffee shops.