35+ Healthy Mexican Recipes

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

Guacamole

5 from 2 votes
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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An overhead view of a serving bowl of guacamole.

Healthy Guacamole (with Frozen Peas)

4.34 from 21 votes
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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Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of guacamole.

Vegan Queso

5 from 3 votes
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 vegan queso.

Easy Black Bean Dip

4.13 from 8 votes
Healthy and easy black bean dip that's perfect for parties, game day or Mexican night. Serve with veggies or tortilla chips! Vegan and gluten-free.
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Ceramic bowl of black bean dip, garnished with cilantro and purple onion. A persons hand is holding a tortilla chip with bean dip in front of the bowl. A smaller bowl of round carrot slices, cans of La Croix and some tortilla chips are in the background.

Southwest Sweet Potato Black Bean Dip

5 from 2 votes
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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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.

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

4.32 from 22 votes
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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Mexican shrimp cocktail in a small glass with red background.

Healthy 7 Layer Dip

4.67 from 3 votes
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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Square dish of Mexican layer dip with tortilla chips in the dip.

Easy Corn Salsa

5 from 1 vote
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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Easy corn salsa served in a blue bowl with crispy tortilla chips scattered around the bowl.

Pineapple Salsa

4.75 from 4 votes
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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Bowl of pineapple salsa next to a bowl of plantain chips, cilantro sprigs and a slice of lime.

Salads

Healthy Taco Salad

4.03 from 38 votes
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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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.

Kale Mexican Street Corn Salad

4.30 from 34 votes
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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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.

Avocado Salad

4.45 from 9 votes
This healthy avocado salad is like deconstructed guacamole with avocado, tomatoes and a lime dressing. Serve as a healthy side or top with grilled protein for a meal-sized salad. 
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Serving bowl with avocado and tomato salad garnished with lime and cilantro. A spoon is in the bowl.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

3.87 from 90 votes
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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Serving bowl with black bean and corn salad. Spoon is in the bowl.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

4.41 from 120 votes
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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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.

Corn, Avocado and Quinoa Salad

5 from 1 vote
A delicious quinoa salad with corn, avocado, basil and fresh lime juice. Perfect for summer and can be served as a salad or dip! Vegan + gluten-free.
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Fresh Corn, Avocado and Quinoa Salad (or dip) in a blue bowl.

Black Bean Fiesta Mason Jar Salad

4.42 from 12 votes
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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Layers of black bean fiesta mason jar salad, in two jars.

Mango Jicama Slaw

4.65 from 37 votes
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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Jicama slaw in a bowl with lime halves, cilantro, dressing and a fork on the side.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

4.75 from 8 votes
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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Spoon with a spoonful of cilantro lime dressing.

Tomatillo Avocado Dressing

4.56 from 38 votes
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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Chopt Mexican Goddess with tomatillos and avocado in a mason jar.

Soups

Chicken Fajita Soup

4.40 from 48 votes
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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Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with avocado, line, jalapeno and chips as garnish.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

5 from 3 votes
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 chicken enchilada soup, topped with shredded cheese, avocado slices and fresh cilantro.

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

4.80 from 5 votes
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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Two bowls of Mexican sweet potato chicken soup with avocado, radishes, and cilantro. Half an avocado, limes, and cilantro on the side.

Easy Black Bean Soup

4.20 from 50 votes
The perfect 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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Bowl of black bean soup topped with avocado, cilantro, red cabbage, and lime.

Breakfast

Red Chilaquiles

5 from 2 votes
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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Overhead view of red chilaquiles with egg and avocado in a pan.

Lunch & Dinner

Healthy Chicken Enchiladas

4.27 from 199 votes
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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Two chicken enchiladas on a plate topped with cheese and cilantro with a fork on the plate.

Vegan Enchiladas

5 from 4 votes
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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Vegan enchiladas in a baking dish topped with green onions and jalapeños.

Copycat Chipotle Sofritas

4.46 from 33 votes
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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Sofritas in a skillet with a spoon.

Cilantro Rice

3.73 from 18 votes
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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Overhead shot of a bowl of cilantro rice with a serving spoon.

Mexican Quinoa Casserole

4.73 from 36 votes
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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Plate with a cheesy Mexican quinoa casserole topped with jalapenos slices, avocado, and cilantro.

Healthy Fish Tacos

5 from 2 votes
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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Overhead view of a fish taco on a piece of parchment paper.

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

4.43 from 40 votes
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 fajitas on a serving platter.

Tempeh Tacos

4.50 from 2 votes
These gluten-free and vegan tempeh tacos are perfect for summer entertaining! Create a taco bar and let everyone load up the tacos with their favorite toppings. 
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Three tempeh tacos with avocado and tomatillo dressing on a plate.

Spaghetti Squash Taco Bake

4.33 from 153 votes
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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Bowl of cheesy low carb spaghetti squash taco bake topped with veggies.

Taco Zucchini Boats

5 from 7 votes
Protein packed and dairy-free, these taco zucchini boats are perfect for a quick and easy healthy weeknight 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.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake

4.83 from 28 votes
Layered with tortillas, sweet potatoes, black beans, cheese and a homemade enchilada sauce. Vegetarian, gluten-free and absolutely delicious!
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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.

Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa Casserole

4.11 from 67 votes
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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Vegetarian Mexican quinoa casserole in a slow cooker topped with melted cheese, sliced jalapeno, green onions and cilantro.

Loaded Sweet Potato Nacho Salad Bowls

5 from 3 votes
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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Loaded sweet potato nacho salad bowls bowls with sweet potato chips, baby spinach, jalapeño and fresh herbs.

Cheesy Cauliflower Nachos

4.16 from 149 votes
These low-carb cauliflower nachos are cheesy, delicious and loaded with extra veggies like tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, onions and avocado.
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Close up of cauliflower nachos baked on a sheet pan and topped with beans, cheese, onions, peppers and cilantro.

Drinks

Skinny Paloma (no sugar added)

3.95 from 57 votes
A lightened up skinny Paloma made with freshly juiced grapefruit, tequila, lime juice and sparkling water.
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Paloma cocktail with ice and a lime wedge and a rim of salt.

Skinny Margarita

4.15 from 7 votes
This skinny margarita is low calorie, but still delicious. It’s made with fresh juice and has no added sugar!
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Glass of a skinny margarita with slices of lime and orange.

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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Chili Lime Mango Margaritas by Minimalist Baker.

Desserts

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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Healthy Baked Churro Donut Holes by Nutrition In The Kitch.

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.

35+ Healthy Mexican Recipes + Mexican Quinoa Casserole

5 from 1 vote
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.
Plate and fork with a portion of a Mexican quinoa casserole topped with avocado and cilantro.
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
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: healthy mexican recipes

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Recipe Rating




    15 comments
    1. Shammy Peterson
      September 18, 2021 AT 1:14 am

      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.

    2. Home Page
      December 9, 2018 AT 4:23 pm

      This is a toppic that’s near to my heart… Many thanks!
      Exactly where are ypur contact details though?

    3. Roshani
      January 13, 2017 AT 6:28 am

      This looks great! Thanks for sharing it and the other recipes at the Pinterest Power Party – we’ll be featuring this in tomorrow’s party!

    4. Adam Bockler
      December 30, 2015 AT 6:55 pm

      Thanks for your advice about how to enjoy healthy Mexican food. I really like your suggestion about looking for something that has a grilled protein and lots of vegetables. Grilled vegetables can have a very rich and nuanced flavor. I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m at a Mexican restaurant.

    5. Courtney Bentley
      May 5, 2015 AT 8:18 am

      My favorite mexican dish is fajitas loaded veggies like mushrooms, peppers, onions, jicama and topped with guacamole! YUM! Thanks for sharing all of these tips and awesome recipes xo C

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