5 Cheap Mexican Recipes

Karen Frazier
hearty corn chowder
Corn Chowder

Mexican food is delicious, but takeout can be expensive. Fortunately, you can make affordable Mexican recipes at home that won't break your budget.

Diablo Tequila Corn Chowder

This corn chowder is spicy with jalapeños. It uses inexpensive canned ingredients, so it is very easy on the budget. If you'd like to add protein to the soup, stir in a cup of pre-cooked chicken.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 11-ounce can Rotel tomatoes and peppers
  • 2 11-ounce cans crisp summer corn, drained
  • 1 lb red potatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch, dissolved into 3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Add onions, jalapeño, carrot, and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften and start to brown, about four to five minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it loses its raw flour scent, about three minutes.
  5. Add tequila and lime juice, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of your pot with the side of the spoon.
  6. Add chicken stock, Rotel, corn, potatoes, chipotle, and cumin.
  7. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.
  8. Simmer soup until potatoes soften, about 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in heavy cream.
  10. Dissolve cornstarch in chicken stock or water.
  11. Add to soup and turn heat up to medium high. Stir constantly until soup thickens.
  12. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pozole

Hearty dish of pozole
Hearty Dish of Pozole

This authentic Mexican recipe uses inexpensive pork shoulder and other affordable ingredients. It is made in a slow cooker, so you can prepare it in the morning and have delicious Mexican food for dinner when you get home from work.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulders, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic, through a press
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of enchilada sauce
  • 2 (15.5 ounce) cans of white hominy, drained
  • 2 cans (4.5 ounces each) chopped chilies, undrained
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Working in batches so you don't crowd the pan, add pork and cook until it is browned on all sides, about three minutes per side.
  3. Remove pork from fat with a slotted spoon and place in a slow cooker.
  4. Add onion to hot oil and cook until it softens, about three to four minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Put garlic and onions in slow cooker with meat. Add the remaining ingredients except cilantro and stir to combine well.
  7. Cover and set the slow cooker to high. Cook for six to seven hours, until the meat is soft.
  8. Stir in cilantro just before serving.

Migas

Making Migas
Making Migas

While Migas is a breakfast recipe, it is also good for dinner. It uses eggs as an inexpensive source of protein.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup oil
  • 5 corn tortillas
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 8 eggs, beaten well
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Working one or two tortillas at a time, depending on what will fit, fry tortillas until they are crispy. Add more oil as needed.
  3. Set the tortillas aside on a paper towel to drain, and then cut them into bite sized strips.
  4. Remove all but two tablespoons of oil from the pan.
  5. Add onion and bell pepper to the pan. Cook until they soften and begin to brown, about four to five minutes.
  6. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Stir in tomatoes, eggs, and tortilla strips.
  8. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggs are cooked and scrambled.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chicken Tostadas

Chicken Tostada
Chicken Tostada

This recipe not only uses inexpensive ingredients like corn tortillas and canned refried beans, but it is also easy because you use a whole roasted deli chicken.

Ingredients

  • 8 corn tortillas

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce jar of prepared salsa
  • 3 cups shredded cooked rotisserie chicken
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray on both sides. Place on cookie sheets and bake until they are crispy and lightly browned, about five minutes per side.
  3. Meanwhile, in skillet heat oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  4. Add onion slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, about four minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add salsa and chicken and cook until chicken and salsa warm through.
  7. To assemble the toastada, place two tortillas on each plate. Top each tortilla with chicken mixture, 1/4 cup shredded lettuce, 1/8 cup cheese, dollop of sour cream, and sliced avocados.

Huevos Rancheros With Chorizo

Huevos rancheros
Huevos Rancheros

Chorizo is an inexpensive yet hearty Mexican sausage. This traditional egg dish can be eaten for breakfast or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 8 ounces chorizo, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  2. Add the chorizo, breaking it up with the spoon as it cooks. Cook until chorizo browns, about five to six minutes.
  3. Remove chorizo from oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add onions and peppers to pan and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about five minutes.
  5. Add garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add tomatoes and juice and return chorizo to the pan.
  7. Stir in cumin.
  8. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Continue to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
  9. In another frying pan, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  10. Add corn tortillas and cook until they soften slightly. Remove from heat and wrap in a towel to keep warm.
  11. Add one more tablespoon of oil to the pan until it shimmers.
  12. Crack eggs carefully into the pan and cook until whites set and yolks are slightly runny, about three to four minutes. For over easy eggs, flip each egg carefully after yolk sets and remove pan from heat. Allow to sit for about one minute.
  13. To serve, place tortillas on a plate. Spoon sauce over the top and then top with the fried egg. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.

Enjoy Mexican Food Tonight

These spicy, delicious meals can add variety to the foods you serve, but they won't cost you an arm and a leg. With inexpensive but flavorful ingredients, these are recipes your entire family is sure to love.

5 Cheap Mexican Recipes