35+ Healthy Mexican Recipes

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Mexican food that’s colorful, calorie-friendly and very flavorful. Get inspired with these healthy Mexican recipes.

Mexican food is delicious, flavorful and everyone loves it. Although there are a ton of options when it comes to healthy Mexican recipes, it can be a tad difficult to keep things on the lighter side when dining at a Mexican restaurant.

The typical scenario: you’re on your way to the restaurant and have all intentions of sticking with healthy options. Then you arrive, the server puts a sombrero on your head and your plan gets thrown out the window faster than you can say tamale!

Collage of four photos: chicken enchiladas, black bean soup, taco salad and guacamole.

Hello unlimited chips and salsa — can’t stop, won’t stop! Sure, I’ll have a margarita. And what the heck, why not get the Guadalajara Especial and then some fried ice cream to finish off the meal. You’re all fiesta, fiesta at the restaurant and end up leaving feeling a little tipsy and ready for a siesta. 😉

Okay, that example is a little over the top, but I also know that it happens. Been there, done that!

But it doesn’t have to be. there are plenty of lightened up to choose from. From tacos and drinks to dips and soups, these recipes are sure to satisfy your craving for Mexican in a healthy way. There’s a little something for everyone and as you’ll see many of the recipes are vegan and gluten-free.

Dips & Appetizers

An overhead view of a serving bowl of guacamole.
5 from 4 votes

Guacamole

The best guacamole recipe made with avocado, grape tomatoes, garlic, red onion, jalapeño, fresh lime juice and cilantro. It comes together quickly and is the perfect appetizer with chips or topping for tacos, burritos and so much more.
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Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of guacamole.
4.37 from 22 votes

Healthy Guacamole (with Frozen Peas)

This healthy guacamole with frozen peas is lower in fat and calories, but tastes just as delicious as the real deal. The peas add a subtle sweetness and give the guac a vibrant green color!
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A bowl of vegan queso.
5 from 10 votes

Vegan Queso

Creamy vegan queso made with cashews, sweet potatoes, nutritional yeast, green chilis and a blend of spices. Drizzle it on your favorite dish or serve it as a dip with tortilla chips! 
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A bowl of black bean dip surrounded by tortilla chips.
4.47 from 13 votes

Easy Black Bean Dip

Healthy and easy black bean dip that takes only 15 minutes to make. It's the perfect appetizer or snack served with veggies and tortilla chips for game day. It's creamy, packed with flavor and vegan!
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Southwest sweet potato dip with corn beans, sweet potato, cilantro, avocado and purple onion in a bowl. A chip is sitting in the bowl and a few are on the table.
5 from 2 votes

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Dip

A delicious southwestern dip with a mix of roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, corn, red onion and cilantro. Perfect served with tortilla chips as a dip, as a side or topping for salads and tacos.
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Mexican shrimp cocktail in a small glass with red background.
4.38 from 24 votes

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

A healthy and flavorful dish with chilled shrimp in a tomato sauce with cucumber, avocado and cilantro. Serve cold with tortilla chips for a festive party appetizer or a quick weeknight meal.
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Square dish of Mexican layer dip with tortilla chips in the dip.
4.86 from 7 votes

Healthy 7 Layer Dip

This layer dip starts with a base of refried beans and is packed with fresh veggies. It’s the perfect dip for healthy game-day snacking!
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Easy corn salsa served in a blue bowl with crispy tortilla chips scattered around the bowl.
5 from 4 votes

Easy Corn Salsa

This easy corn salsa tastes like Chipotle's corn salsa and comes together in a flash using a bag of frozen sweet yellow corn. It's delicious served as a snack with tortilla chips or as a topping on your favorite Mexican dish.
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Bowl of pineapple salsa next to a bowl of plantain chips, cilantro sprigs and a slice of lime.
4.88 from 8 votes

Pineapple Salsa

This sweet and fresh pineapple salsa is so easy to make! Pair it with tortilla chips for a flavorful appetizer or use as a topping for tacos, grilled chicken or fish.
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Salads

This healthy taco salad is made with ground turkey taco meat instead of beef and is packed with veggies. It comes together quickly making it perfect for a weeknight meal.
4.23 from 48 votes

Healthy Taco Salad

This healthy taco salad is made with ground turkey taco meat instead of beef and is packed with veggies. It comes together quickly making it perfect for a weeknight meal.
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Close up photo of a white bowl and gold fork with a Mexican street corn and kale grilled chicken salad. The salad is topped with slices of avocado. Ingredients in the salad are sprinkled on the table.
4.37 from 38 votes

Kale Mexican Street Corn Salad

This Mexican street corn kale salad turns esquites into a meal-sized salad with shredded kale, grilled chicken, avocado and tortilla chips! 
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Serving bowl with avocado and tomato salad garnished with lime and cilantro. A spoon is in the bowl.
4.29 from 7 votes

Avocado Salad

This easy avocado salad combines creamy avocado with ripe tomatoes, red onions and a zesty lime dressing. It's the perfect healthy side dish.
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Serving bowl with black bean and corn salad. Spoon is in the bowl.
4.01 from 103 votes

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Meet your new go-to cookout dish! This colorful black bean and corn salad is super healthy and takes only minutes to prepare.
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Bird's eye view photo of a bowl of Mexican Street Corn Salad topped with lime and fresh cilantro. Bowl is resting on a striped napkin and next to a gold spoon and bowl of cheese.
4.53 from 155 votes

Mexican Street Corn Salad

An easy lightened-up Mexican street corn salad that can be made with fresh or frozen corn. This salad is creamy, delicious and perfect for summer cookouts.
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Layers of black bean fiesta mason jar salad, in two jars.
4.47 from 13 votes

Black Bean Fiesta Mason Jar Salad

This black bean fiesta mason jar salad makes for a colorful, convenient meal that will satisfy your craving for Mexican food! The lime jalapeño dressing is zesty and really ties the whole salad together.
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Jicama slaw in a bowl with lime halves, cilantro, dressing and a fork on the side.
4.73 from 48 votes

Mango Jicama Slaw

This mango jicama slaw with a spicy and sweet mango dressing is a copycat recipe for the Trader Joe’s slaw. It’s light, refreshing and makes a perfect summer side or topping for tacos or burgers.
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Spoon with a spoonful of cilantro lime dressing.
4.86 from 14 votes

Cilantro Lime Dressing

This cilantro lime dressing is loaded with flavor and takes no time to whip up. It’s the perfect zesty vinaigrette to use for salads, tacos, chicken, fish and more!
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Chopt Mexican Goddess with tomatillos and avocado in a mason jar.
4.63 from 45 votes

Tomatillo Avocado Dressing

A creamy tomatillo avocado dressing that’s just like the Mexican Goddess dressing you can find at the Chopt Creative Salad Co. restaurant chain! It’s perfect as a dip, sauce or dressing. Vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly.
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Soups

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with avocado, line, jalapeno and chips as garnish.
4.49 from 58 votes

Chicken Fajita Soup

Whip up this slow cooker chicken fajita soup for a comforting and healthy meal that’s packed with flavor and a hint of spice.
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A bowl of chicken enchilada soup, topped with shredded cheese, avocado slices and fresh cilantro.
5 from 5 votes

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

This chicken enchilada soup is packed with flavor and a hint of spice. It tastes just like traditional chicken enchiladas but with a fraction of the effort and can easily be made in your slow cooker, Instant Pot or over the stove top. 
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A bowl of Mexican sweet potato chicken soup topped with sliced radish, cilantro, avocado, and a lime wedge.
4.91 from 11 votes

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

This hearty Mexican sweet potato chicken soup is loaded with veggies, lean protein and has a smoky, sweet flavor from dried guajillo Mexican peppers. Grain/gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and whole30 friendly.
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A bowl of taco soup topped with avocado chunks, shredded cheese and sour cream with tortilla chips.
5 from 12 votes

Taco Soup

This easy taco soup recipe combines all your favorite taco ingredients in one pot – ground turkey, beans, corn, tomatoes and taco seasoning. It's packed with flavor and a hint of spice and is perfect for meal prep.
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A bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, lime and vegan sour cream served alongside tortilla chips.
4.35 from 61 votes

Easy Black Bean Soup

The perfect vegan black bean soup recipe! It's healthy, easy to toss together and super flavorful. Instructions included for the slow cooker and stovetop.
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Breakfast

Overhead view of red chilaquiles with egg and avocado in a pan.
5 from 3 votes

Red Chilaquiles

This Red Chilaquiles recipe is a classic Mexican dish that combines crispy tortilla chips in a red tomato sauce topped with a fried egg. It comes together in under 30 minutes and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
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Lunch & Dinner

Two chicken enchiladas on a plate topped with cheese and cilantro with a fork on the plate.
4.38 from 235 votes

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

These healthy chicken enchiladas are packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients! The homemade enchilada sauce is the star of this recipe.
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Chicken tacos arranged on a plate.
5 from 5 votes

Healthy Chicken Tacos

These healthy chicken tacos come together in about 30 minutes, making them perfect for busy weeknights. They're packed with flavor and totally customizable!
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Vegan enchiladas in a baking dish topped with green onions and jalapeños.
5 from 10 votes

Vegan Enchiladas

These healthy vegan enchiladas are packed with flavor and nutritious ingredients. They're stuffed with black beans and corn and topped with a delicious creamy vegan queso!
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Five ground turkey tacos served in tortillas and topped with lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes and cilantro.
4.80 from 5 votes

Ground Turkey Tacos

These ground turkey tacos are juicy and packed with tons of flavor. They come together in about 20 minutes for a quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love!
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Sofritas in a skillet with a spoon.
4.48 from 34 votes

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas

A delicious copycat recipe for Chipotle's tofu sofritas that's loaded with flavor and a hint of spice. It makes a great vegan protein option for homemade burrito bowls!
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Overhead shot of a bowl of cilantro rice with a serving spoon.
4.08 from 25 votes

Cilantro Rice

This cilantro rice recipe gives white rice a ton of flavor with lime juice and fresh cilantro! It's great as a base for burrito bowls and taco salads.
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Plate with a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole topped with jalapenos slices, avocado, and cilantro.
4.75 from 40 votes

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

This vegetarian Mexican quinoa casserole is a dish the whole family will love. It’s packed with veggies, black beans and lots of cheesy goodness.
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Overhead view of a fish taco on a piece of parchment paper.
5 from 3 votes

Healthy Fish Tacos

These healthy fish tacos are made with grilled white fish and topped with a cabbage slaw and avocado crema. They make for such a quick and easy weeknight meal!
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Three fajitas on a serving platter.
4.55 from 51 votes

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

These sheet pan shrimp fajitas are packed with Mexican flavor and perfect for busy weeknights. Simply bake your shrimp, peppers and onions together on one sheet, load up your tortillas and enjoy!
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Three tempeh tacos with avocado and tomatillo dressing on a plate.
4.67 from 3 votes

Tempeh Tacos

These easy tempeh tacos are loaded with flavor! Create a taco bar and let everyone load up the tacos with their favorite toppings.
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Bowl of cheesy low carb spaghetti squash taco bake topped with veggies.
4.40 from 171 votes

Spaghetti Squash Taco Bake

This spaghetti squash taco bake combines low-carb spaghetti squash with ground turkey, taco seasoning, salsa and cheese for a delicious, healthy and easy dinner.
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View from above of baking dish filled with turkey taco zucchini boats topped with avocado, jalapeño and tomato. Dish on a kitchen towel.
5 from 7 votes

Taco Zucchini Boats

Protein packed and dairy-free, these taco zucchini boats are perfect for a quick and easy healthy weeknight dinner. 
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Slice of sweet potato black bean enchilada bake layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce with slices of avocado on the side. Remaining enchilada bake in baking dish behind.
4.89 from 43 votes

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake

Layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
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Vegetarian Mexican quinoa casserole in a slow cooker topped with melted cheese, sliced jalapeno, green onions and cilantro.
4.30 from 85 votes

Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa Casserole

A vegetarian Mexican quinoa casserole made entirely in the slow cooker. Packed with sweet potatoes, black beans and taco seasoning, this is sure to be a family favorite! Vegetarian and gluten-free.
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Loaded sweet potato nacho salad bowls bowls with sweet potato chips, baby spinach, jalapeño and fresh herbs.
5 from 3 votes

Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Salad Bowls

These sweet potato nacho salad bowls are perfect when you’re craving crispy cheesy nachos but also feel like your body needs some greens. Gluten-free and vegetarian.
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Close up of cauliflower nachos baked on a sheet pan and topped with beans, cheese, onions, peppers and cilantro.
4.27 from 172 votes

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

These low-carb cauliflower nachos are cheesy, delicious and loaded with extra veggies like tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onions and avocado.
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Drinks

Paloma cocktail with ice and a lime wedge and a rim of salt.
4.12 from 68 votes

Skinny Paloma (no sugar added)

A lightened up skinny Paloma made with freshly juiced grapefruit, tequila, lime juice and sparkling water.
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Glass of a skinny margarita with slices of lime and orange.
4.41 from 10 votes

Skinny Margarita

This skinny margarita is low calorie, but still delicious. It’s made with fresh juice and has no added sugar!
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Chili Lime Mango Margaritas by Minimalist Baker.

Chili Lime Mango Margaritas

This recipe is simple, requiring just 10 minutes and less than 10 ingredients! And it’s extremely customizable.
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Desserts

Healthy Baked Churro Donut Holes by Nutrition In The Kitch.

Healthy Baked Churro Donut Holes

These donut holes are sweet, cinnamony, fluffy on the inside, yet a little crispy on the outside… very churro-like, but healthy!
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How to Eat Healthy at a Mexican Restaurant:

Last but not least, here are some of my best tips for eating healthy when out at a Mexican restaurant:

  • Skip the chips — this one is so dang hard. But once you start munching on chips it’s really difficult to stop and often times you’ve eaten so many you’re too full to enjoy your meal.
  • Skip the margaritas and sangria — both are usually made with mixes and contain a shocking amount of calories and sugar. Lighter options include tequila with grapefruit juice and soda water or a light Mexican beer. You can also ask if they can make you a skinny margarita.
  • If you simply gotta have the chips or an adult beverage, here’s a good rule of thumb = pick one and enjoy it, just don’t do both.
  • Go with guacamole instead of queso — at least you’ll be loading up on healthy fats rather than processed cheese. Just watch your portions with the guac because one serving is only about 2 tablespoons.
  • Share a dish — Mexican restaurants usually serve massive portions. Order something you really want and spilt it with a friend. Bonus, you’ll save $ as well!
  • When looking at the menu, look for items that are baked, steamed, roasted or grilled and skip things that say fried (fritos), crispy, creamy or stuffed, covered or smothered. Chimichangas, taquitos, gorditas and tostadas are all fried. Enchiladas, burritos and tacos aren’t usually fried.
  • Ask for black beans as a side instead of refried beans.
  • Look for something with a grilled protein and lots of veggies — fajitas and salads fit the bill.
  • Keep it simple and stick with tacos. Grilled fish, shrimp or chicken tacos are great options. Pile on the lettuce, tomato and salsa and skimp on the cheese and sour cream.
  • Watch out for taco salads. They’re usually loaded with ground beef, cheese, sour cream and tortilla strips or served in a fried tortilla bowl. Ask for the salad without the tortilla strips and bowl, a grilled protein option, extra veggies, light cheese and pico de gallo or salsa for your dressing.
  • Even if you’re not gluten-free, opt for authentic corn tortillas over flour tortillas. They’re usually house-made and sans refined flour.

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5 from 1 vote

35+ Healthy Mexican Recipes + Mexican Quinoa Casserole

Healthy Mexican recipes that the whole family will love, plus my Mexican Quinoa Casserole that's packed with veggies, black beans and lots of cheesy goodness.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 3 cups sweet potato, peel and diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon McCormick Gluten-Free Taco Seasoning
  • One 14-oz can black soybeans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup sliced green onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups prepared salsa, mild, medium or hot
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2% Greek yogurt, avocado, extra green onion and cilantro (for topping)

Instructions 

  • Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the covered saucepan cool for 4-5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9″x 13″ dish and spread the sweet potato, bell pepper, and onion in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the taco seasoning.
  • In a bowl combine the beans, cooked quinoa, green onion, cilantro and 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning; mix well.
  • Place the bean and quinoa mixture over the veggies in the baking dish. Spread salsa on top of the quinoa mixture. Top with cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Removed cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until cheese has melted, the sweet potatoes are cooked and everything is hot throughout.
  • Serve immediately topped with greek yogurt, avocado slices, green onion and cilantro if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of recipe | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 15g | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: healthy mexican recipes
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Chicken fajita filling on a sheet pan with a wooden spoon. Tortillas are resting on the bottom of the sheet pan.
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15 Comments

  1. I loved that you said that you could consider tempeh tacos that are loaded with Mexican flavor. As you said, your favorite topping could be used to load them up. My husband and I are interested in eating at a Mexican restaurant with the kids for a bonding moment. Since we want something that everyone will enjoy, we will consider your tips.

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