Earlier this week I made one of my favorite recipes: fresh homemade salsa verde. I made it as a treat for my family to snack on with chips, but of course I had to make a double batch so we could enjoy one of our favorite weeknight dinners the next day: salsa verde chicken enchiladas.
Chicken enchiladas are a staple in our house. Red enchilada sauce is my personal favorite, but my husband absolutely loves salsa verde on anything, especially enchiladas. This is one of my favorite chicken enchilada recipes because it’s easy, quick, and filled with cheesy, saucy goodness. These enchiladas only have 5 main ingredients, and they’re things I almost always have on hand.
I love salsa: salsa roja, corn salsa, pico de gallo, mango salsa, I’d be happy to eat salsa every single day. But I think salsa verde might just be my favorite. I bought salsa verde for years without thinking about making it myself, for some reason I always thought it was going to be difficult or require complicated ingredients. Last year my family planted a large garden for the first time and we made salsa verde from our own homegrown tomatillos. It was hands down the best salsa verde I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was. After that summer I’ve never gone back to store-bought salsa verde.
While traditional red salsa is tomato based, salsa verde is tomatillo based. If you’ve never cooked with or purchased tomatillos, they’re those small green tomatoes with husks on them. They’re not actually tomatoes, just a member of the tomato family and they have a bright, fruity flavor that I think comes out especially well when they’re roasted.
Everybody likes a dish they can customize, and that might be one of the reasons Mexican posole is trending in California and other parts of the U.S. Posole is certainly not new, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. Like Vietnamese pho, posole is a flavorful soup that individual diners top with fresh vegetables at the table. There are green chile and red chile versions of posole, usually made with chicken or pork.
This easy green posole recipe is made with fresh chiles and tomatillos, so it’s not as quick as my red posole, which gets its chile flavor from canned enchilada sauce. I still call it easy, though, especially because you can cook it hands-free using an electric pressure cooker or crock-pot. This recipe makes a big batch of soup, so you can freeze some of it in small containers for individual meals, or freeze half to serve for dinner later on a night you don’t have time to cook.
Meet my new obsession: Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Lime Sauce. Born out of my favorite Best Ever Mexican Black Beans, this meal is easy, quick, and seriously delicious.
I love black beans in almost any form, but to me the real star of this recipe is the Avocado-Lime Sauce. Think of it as a cross between cilantro-lime dressing and guacamole. It’s absolutely perfect for dipping these tacos, or as a topping for burritos or salads.
I always seem to have the ingredients for this recipe in my kitchen, so this one is perfect for weeknights when I’m short on time. I love that the tacos are rich and crunchy, and the sauce is packed with fresh flavors.
If you want to try a sour cream-based sauce, or maybe serve two different sauces, these black bean tacos also taste great with Chipotle Lime Crema.
This recipe makes 12 tacos – enough for 6 servings, plus a little extra sauce. If 12 tacos is too many, this recipe is really easy to cut in half. But is there really such a thing as too many tacos?
I’ve been using a pressure cooker for years – the old-fashioned kind with a rattly weight that sits on the top and a 1950s-looking pressure gauge. I love it for its ability to make food taste like it’s been cooking for hours, even when it’s only been cooking for 30 minutes or so. This past Christmas, I got a fancy electric pressure cooker, and it’s my favorite new toy. So far, I’ve mostly used the electric pressure cooker to make soup, including this easy red posole.
Posole (or pozole) is a classic Mexican soup or stew of meat, vegetables, chiles and hominy. If you’re not familiar with hominy, it’s big kernels of corn that have the outer husk removed. Hominy doesn’t taste like sweet corn, but more like the maize used to make tortillas or tortilla chips.
There are red versions of posole, usually made with pork, and green versions, usually made with chicken. Diners add fresh toppings – often sliced radishes, cabbage, diced onion, avocado, fresh cilantro or lime wedges – to their bowls of hot soup.
Traditional posole recipes involve soaking dried hominy and dried chiles, and stewing bony cuts of pork. This quick and easy version uses canned hominy and boneless pork loin, and it gets much of its flavor from a can of enchilada sauce. Pressure cooking makes this soup taste like it’s been simmering for hours. If you prefer, you can get the same effect from a slow cooker.
Lately, it’s been hard to get the whole family to sit down to dinner together. With two teenagers who are always at theatre rehearsals or basketball practice, schedules are unpredictable. I’ve started looking for recipes I can freeze in individual portions so the kids can prepare them easily and (I hope) eat less fast food when they’re ravenous after a long day. These green chile chicken taquitos have been a huge hit. They’re spicy, satisfying and crunchy, but baked instead of fried with about 300 calories each.
You can use any kind of cooked chicken as the base for the filling for these taquitos. The day I made this recipe I used cooked rotisserie chicken breast meat I bought at Costco, but you could use any cooked chicken you have on hand. Allie’s Crock-Pot Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken works great in this recipe.
The cooked chicken is mixed with green salsa, canned green chiles, garlic and spices in a large sauté pan, and then simmered for a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. You want the filling to be fairly dry and not soupy. The filling gets its creamy texture and richness from a little bit of cream cheese, and a bright finish from fresh lime juice and cilantro.
Ah, Spanish Rice. It makes me think of one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in my home town – the type of place that serves huge combo plates of Spanish Rice, refried beans and carnitas, all covered in cheese. For years I ate Spanish Rice in restaurants and for some reason was overwhelmed by the idea of making it at home, but once I looked at a few recipes, I saw how easy it really was. When I finally made it myself, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it before.
Anyone who cooks for a family knows that a recipe everybody likes is a find. Whatever you decide to make, there’s usually at least one person who refuses to eat it. For our family, this smoky chipotle turkey chili is an exception. It’s a favorite with everyone, and it’s become a family tradition. We serve it even on special occasions, like Sunday dinner and birthdays. When my college-age daughters moved out of the house, it wasn’t long before they called home and asked for the recipe.
I know food bloggers are prone to hyperbole, but I really think these are the best ever Mexican Black Beans. I’m aware that it’s crazy to get excited about black beans, but that’s how much I really love this recipe. It’s super versatile and my family absolutely loves it. The recipe can be made in under 15 minutes and all you need is…
Honestly, I make these black beans so often that I don’t really use a recipe, I just make them from memory. Writing the recipe down reminded me how quick and easy it really is. One thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that it calls for a little less liquid than most Mexican black bean recipes and that means the consistency ends up being slightly different. There’s a little less liquid in the final product and it’s less (for lack of a better word) soupy. If you like you’r black beans served in a little more liquid, feel free to add more tomato juice. I think it is the tomato juice that is the real magic ingredient in this recipe. Most Mexican black bean recipes call for chicken or vegetable stock, but the tomato juice adds so much more flavor.
It was actually my toddler’s love of this recipe that led to it being made so often in our house. Not too long after his first birthday I made these for the first time. He ate them by the handful, and ended up covered in beans from head to toe. He started asking for beans every night for dinner and eventually I had to make a rule that we would only eat these once a week. He just turned two and still loves these just as much as the first time he ate them.
There is a certain Mexican restaurant that’s very popular in our hometown, and maybe in yours. Its also very popular in my house, and maybe in yours. Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salads? Creamy Tomatillo Dressing? Chile Roasted Beef Burritos? Ring a bell? Maybe you know what I’m talking about…
This recipe started out as a Copy-Cat Café Rio Chicken recipe, but in my kitchen it’s become so much more. This Cilantro Lime Chicken is a staple in my house, and I use it in many different ways.
In its most basic form, this recipe is something you’ve probably seen before: chicken breasts, salad dressing, and salsa cooked in a Crock-Pot then shredded. It’s so simple you don’t even really need a recipe. What sets this one apart is using a homemade marinade instead of pre-mixed store bought salad dressing. It takes only a few extra minutes, and it makes such a difference! One thing you won’t find in this recipe that you will find in most Copy-Cat Café Rio Chicken recipes is ranch dressing mix. I personally don’t really care for ranch dressing, and the marinade is so flavorful I don’t think it’s really necessary.
One of the things I love most about this recipe is that it produces such a large amount of chicken. It’s way too much for my family to eat in one sitting, so I always reserve at least half in the freezer and we still usually have leftovers. Then when the clock strikes 5 on yet another night that I’ve forgotten to plan something for dinner, I can just grab a bag of chicken out of the freezer and I’m ready to make simple tacos, enchiladas, burritos, nachos, salads, and Mexican haystacks.
- About 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I usually use frozen)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup salsa
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker.
- In a bowl combine water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salsa, and Italian seasoning. Pour marinade over chicken. Sprinkle chicken breasts with chili powder and then with garlic.
- Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
- When cooking in complete, gently move the chicken breasts from the slow cooker to a large bowl. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the liquid from the slow cooker and discard the rest. Pour the liquid over the chicken, then shred with two forks.
- Add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and continue to shred until combined.
- To freeze chicken, let it cool to room temperature then distribute meal sized portions of chicken into Ziploc bags and freeze for future use.
- Total Cost: $9.45 Cost Per Serving: $.94