Maybe they’re a little more warranted right about now. Not just because May 5 is approaching, but because springtime means flowers blooming and picnics galore—and these are perfect recipes to eat (and sometimes make) outside. That said, if you’re still dealing with lingering snowstorms and April showers (the toughest reality of spring), you might need some perking up, and these vibrant recipes are just the thing.
Get inspired by the flavors of Mexico to spice up your meals–and your mood. And if the weather is finally fine, definitely take them outdoors for a Cinco de Mayo feast al fresco. No matter where you eat them, though, you’ll be happy.
Barbecued chicken takes a south-of-the-border turn with a marinade made from chopped cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, lime, orange juice, and the spice mixture known as achiote paste. Get our Mexican BBQ Chicken recipe.
El Yucateco Achiote Paste, $3.99 on Amazon
Annatto seeds lend flavor and vibrant orange color to this seasoning paste.
This easy baked tilapia dish–fish fillets made with onions, peppers, garlic, chile powder, tomatoes, olives, capers, and cilantro–is a variation of a traditional Mexican dish, huachinango a la Veracruzana. Get our Mexican Baked Tilapia recipe.
It’s worth it to make your own Mexican adobo sauce, because you can add it to just about anything, and it’s easy, since you basically just throw everything into the blender. Drop a dollop into tortilla soup for a smoky infusion, add it to a batch of carnitas, or use it as the base of a deeply flavorful enchiladas sauce. Get our Mexican Adobo Sauce recipe.
Put a spin on the usual steak salad by swapping mixed greens, blue cheese, and balsamic for cherry tomatoes, avocado, queso fresco, and a cool avocado-yogurt dressing. Get our Mexican Grilled Steak Salad recipe.
Keep chicken salad on the healthy side by using Greek yogurt in lieu of mayonnaise. Add cilantro, jalapeño, and a generous squeeze of lime, and your chicken salad sandwich will be demure no more. Get our Mexican Chicken Salad recipe.
Between the filled, rolled tortillas and complex sauce, enchiladas can seem like a lengthy dinner proposition. But thanks to our make-ahead tomatillo sauce and a store-bought rotisserie chicken, this dish can be on the dinner table any night of the week. Get our Easy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes recipe.
You’ve probably already got garlic, oil, chiles, and spices at home. Just pick up a rotisserie chicken, salsa (our favorite is the borracha, above), and fresh corn tortillas, and you’re set for the world’s easiest chicken taco dinner. Get our Quick Chicken Tacos recipe.
Forget about shrimp cocktail as a simple combo of cooked seafood and tangy dipping sauce; Mexican shrimp cocktail tosses the tender shrimp with a spicy, tangy tomato sauce and plenty of chunky extras, like avocado, cucumber, and onion. Serve with tortilla chips for the ultimate appetizer experience. Get our Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe.
11. Mexican Churros and Mexican Hot Chocolate
A deep-fry thermometer and a heavy pot are all the equipment you really need to make churros, the sweetest possible finish to any Mexican meal. And while the crisp, sugar-dusted churros are great on their own, they’re even better paired with cinnamon-y Mexican hot chocolate for dunking—so good that we’re counting them as one entity. (Be sure to make a large batch–the drink is even better when reheated for breakfast the next day.) Get our Mexican Churros recipe, and our Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe.
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