Authentic Cochinita Pibil Recipe

Inside: Learn how to make this delicious cochinita pibil recipe from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico the traditional way! In Mexico, flavor is king, and there is an endless number …

The post Authentic Cochinita Pibil Recipe appeared first on My Latina Table.

Inside: Learn how to make this delicious cochinita pibil recipe from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico the traditional way!

Cochinita Pibil with the fixings

In Mexico, flavor is king, and there is an endless number of ways to make delicious meals. As you can see from my other recipes, there are many different taco recipes using different meats including beef, pork shoulder, and more! Today, I am going to share one of my favorites – cochinita pibil – and more specifically, cochinita pibil tacos! These tacos have a distinct authentic Mexican flavor and combines tender meat with a tasty marinade which ends up being one of the most delicious dishes you will find.

What is Cochinita Pibil?

Traditional cochinita pibil has its origin in the Yucatan peninsula in southern Mexico. It starts with pork meat, marinated in a delicious red sauce made from a base of citrus juices, achiote paste and a variety of tasty spices. It is wrapped in banana leaves during the cooking process and traditionally is cooked in an earth oven over hot stones or wood, but today it is more common to cook it in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or a regular stove.

cochinita Pibil in a bowl

Cochinita pibil is said to have originated in the pre-hispanic era in Mexico and was often prepared for the dia de muertos (or day of the dead). In that time period, it was made with different types of meat, including deer, wild boar, and wild turkey.

Today, the traditional Mexican way to make this dish is using pork loin and then enjoying it for taco night (aka any night!). You can also use it for tortas, or on its own with rice and beans. Regardless of how you serve it, the cooking method is the same and you will end up a a tasty meal with a distinct flavor that you will not soon forget!

What is Achiote?

The star of this recipe is the achiote marinade, so you may be wondering what achiote is? Achiote is a traditional spice, with a natural reddish yellow color. It is made from achiote seeds and it adds great flavor to a number of dishes in Mexican cuisine. You can make your own achiote paste, but the pre-made version is also readily available in Mexico, or if you are in the United States, you can most likely find it at most latin markets.

cochinita pibil with achiote paste

How do you make Cochinita Pibil?

This recipe includes a lot of traditional Mexican flavors and ingredients, so if you are outside of Mexico, it is important to go to your local Mexican market to pick them up. I mentioned above that the meat is wrapped in a banana leaf before being cooked. If you are not able to find banana leaves, then you can omit them, but they do give it more flavor. Achiote, on the other hand, is indispensible in this recipe since it is the main ingredient, so you will want to make sure you do find it.

To make the recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Pork loin (pork butt, pork shoulder, or another type of pork meat works as well)
  • Banana leaves
  • Achiote Paste
  • Regular orange juice
  • Pork lard
  • Garlic
  • Lime juice (or lemon juice if you don’t have lime)
  • Onion
  • Cumin
  • Cloves
  • Pepper
  • Peppercorns
  • Oregano
  • Cinnamon Stick

Those are the ingredients for the marinade. Cochinita Pibil also is served with pickled onions, so for that you will also need the following:

  • Red onions
  • Habanero peppers
  • Lime juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Oregano
  • Salt

I usually start by making the pickled onions. To do this, cut the red onion into slices and add them to a bowl with the habanero peppers (cut into slices and with the seeds removed), the oregano, lime juice, orange juice and salt to taste and then let that rest while you prepare the meat.

For the meat, start by preparing the marinade. To do that, you will just add all of the ingredients from the first list above except the pork and banana leaves to a food processor or blender and blend until well combined. Next, add the meat, which should be cut into big pieces, to a large bowl with the marinade and then cover it. It is best to let it marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator, but overnight is even better.

If you are using banana leaves, you will now quickly pass them over the burner of a hot stove to soften them slightly.

For the pressure cooker method, add 1 liter of water and then add a steaming rack. On top of the steaming rack, put a layer of banana leaves. Finally, add the meat with the marinade on top of the banana leaves and cover with the remaining leaves before cooking it under high pressure for about an hour.

Once the meat is finished cooking, shred it add it to a large pan with a little bit of oil and cook for about 2 minutes before serving with warm corn tortillas and the pickled onions.

Let me know how it turns out!

Check out these other types of Mexican tacos

Print

Cochinita Pibil Recipe

This is an authentic recipe for cochinita pibil from the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Cochinita, Pibil, tacos
Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 10 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs pork loin
  • 2 Banana Leaves

For the Marinade

  • 3 bars Achiote Paste
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Lime Juice
  • 4 Tbsp Pork Lard
  • 1 Head Garlic
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/4 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 Tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 Tsp Oregano
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon

For the Pickled Onions

  • 1 Red Onion Julienned
  • 3 Habanero Peppers Seeds Removed
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • Salt To Taste

Instructions

For the Pickled Onions

  • Cut the red onion into slices and add them to a bowl with the habanero peppers (cut into slices and with the seeds removed), the oregano, lime juice, orange juice and salt to taste and then let that rest while you prepare the meat.

For the Achiote Marinade

  • Add all of the ingredients for the marinade to a food processor or blender and blend until well combined.
  • Add the meat, which should be cut into big pieces, to a large bowl with the marinade and then cover it. It is best to let it marinate for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator, but overnight is even better.

For the Cochinita Pibil (pressure cooker)

  • If you are using banana leaves, you will now quickly pass them over the burner of a hot stove to soften them slightly.
  • Add 1 liter of water and then add a steaming rack. On top of the steaming rack, put a layer of banana leaves.
  • Add the meat with the marinade on top of the banana leaves and cover with the remaining leaves before cooking it under high pressure for about an hour.
  • Once the meat is finished cooking, shred it add it to a large pan with a little bit of oil and cook for about 2 minutes before serving with warm corn tortillas and the pickled onions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving

The post Authentic Cochinita Pibil Recipe appeared first on My Latina Table.

Easy Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos.

We love these honey chipotle shrimp tacos! Tender, juicy shrimp is cooked in a honey chipotle mixture until sticky and delicious. Served on soft flour tortillas and topped with crumbled cotija cheese and crunchy lime slaw, these are a huge hit every time! These sticky shrimp tacos are a serious new favorite over here. Tender, […]

The post Easy Honey Chipotle Shrimp Tacos. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

We love these honey chipotle shrimp tacos! Tender, juicy shrimp is cooked in a honey chipotle mixture until sticky and delicious. Served on soft flour tortillas and topped with crumbled cotija cheese and crunchy lime slaw, these are a huge hit every time!

These sticky shrimp tacos are a serious new favorite over here.

honey chipotle shrimp tacos

Tender, juicy shrimp in a sticky honey chipotle sauce are served in crispy flour tortillas with crumbly cotija cheese and the crunchiest lime slaw. The texture! The crunch! And the flavor is just unreal. 

This is my kind of taco.

honey chipotle shrimp

I’m always on the search for new taco recipes. These days, my kids are obsessed with my baked turkey tacos, and while I love them too, I want them to have some taco variety in their life!

I’ve talked about it before but we had taco night every week in our house growing up – the classic ground beef tacos made with that old el paso taco seasoning. Sometimes we did hard shells, other times we did soft flour tortillas or even nachos. There were always bowls of chopped tomatoes, lettuce and shredded cheddar as well as copious amounts of sour cream.

The filling was always the same though: that classic 90s seasoned ground beef taco mix. It was delicious, but week after week it got a bit old at times. 

lime slaw

That’s why I love doing different variations of tacos here at home… that way the kids are exposed to all sorts of flavors and textures. I will put nearly anything in a taco, of course. 

honey chipotle shrimp

If we go out to a restaurant and get tacos, Max tends to order chicken and Emilia loves anything with carnitas or pulled pork. I love a good fish taco and even better – a perfect shrimp taco. Eddie LOVES a shrimp version – or anything seafood. They can be hard to find though, so we love making them at home.

lime slaw

My lime sheet pan shrimp fajitas are one of the most-made recipes here on the blog. I took some inspiration from those and made a sticky honey chipotle shrimp in a skillet, then topped the taco with a super crunchy lime slaw. SO delicious.

I also did a quick pan-fry for my tortilla, because it doesn’t get much better than that. Added some crumbly cotija cheese for a creamy punch and

OH
MY
GOSH.

honey chipotle shrimp in a skillet

These tacos are divine. 

tortillas with chipotle honey shrimp

They are also super easy. Are you ready for this? The shrimp only has two ingredients in the sauce: chipotles in adobo sauce and honey. That is it. Of course, add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, but the flavor is all there. Sticky, sweet, a touch of heat and they’re done. (P.S. if you’re making this for kids and want to avoid super spicy, leave the actual chipotles out and just do the adobo sauce!) 

The key is only cooking the shrimp for 30 seconds to 1 minute or so. Of course, this depends on the size of your shrimp, but the quickest way to make shrimp tough is by overcooking. So I say undercook them in the pan just a bit, and then add the sauce and let them simmer away to finish cooking. The sauce gets so sticky and wonderful – it’s hard not to eat the shrimp right from the skillet. 

honey chipotle shrimp tacos

Also super easy: the slaw! I need to share a recipe post soon with our favorite slaw recipe. It comes from Lacy and it’s the slaw we make for just about anything: tacos, sandwiches, a salad base – all the things. It’s very neutral but flavorful at the same time and can work with many dishes.

I find it to work exceptionally well with all meats and seafood too.  (more…)

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Weeknight Baked Turkey Tacos.

Everyone adores these baked ground turkey tacos! These are perfect to make on a busy weeknight and so delicious. Cheesy, warm and topped with lettuce, avocado and pico de gallo, they are great for a family meal. This is our family’s most favorite taco recipe at the moment. They’re crunchy, cheesy and loaded with all […]

The post Weeknight Baked Turkey Tacos. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Everyone adores these baked ground turkey tacos! These are perfect to make on a busy weeknight and so delicious. Cheesy, warm and topped with lettuce, avocado and pico de gallo, they are great for a family meal.

This is our family’s most favorite taco recipe at the moment.

weeknight baked turkey tacos

They’re crunchy, cheesy and loaded with all the good toppings.

taco shells stuffed with ground turkey

Tacos have changed a bit in our house! Much to my excitement, one of Max’s current favorite foods happens to be tacos. It makes me so happy and honestly… shocked. 

It’s not just any tacos though. And it’s not a version of a street taco or anything fancy.  

It’s that classic hard shell taco, which I find hilarious because it had been YEARS since I bought hard corn shells. Years. It’s basically the kind of taco I ate as a kid. 

He really loves tortilla chips and I’m not sure when, but he had a taco in a hard corn shell and put cheese, salsa and lettuce on it and was thrilled. Now he asks for them almost every single week. We even ate them the night before school as our special dinner.

ground turkey tacos with cheese

I make these many different ways, but this is the no-fuss version that happens often when we’re busy during the week. Especially now with school back in session, our weekdays are packed. I want dinner to be easy, delicious and something that everyone looks forward to.

These tacos are ALWAYS a winner. Everyone gets excited at the thought of them.

cheesy ground turkey taco

I have many turkey taco recipes here on the blog. And I have our favorite weeknight ground beef tacos too.

I almost exclusively use ground turkey for our tacos, but of course that is interchangeable with ground beef. Use whichever you have or love. I brown the ground turkey and add my own taco seasoning. It’s something that I make so often that I don’t even measure it anymore – but it is a bit smoky and not very cumin heavy. We enjoy it so much and use the seasoning mix any time we make nachos or taco salads too. 

quick pico de gallo

Once the ground turkey is ready, I stuff the shells. The kids love to help with this part too. This is what I’ve found: now that we have five solid eaters in this house, it’s great to make a big baking dish full of these tacos. It’s simple, easy and gets the job done. Plus, everything gets warm and melty and tastes so good together!

(P.S. can I just say that it’s crazy that we have FIVE eaters in this house? I seriously feel like it was just Eddie and I a few weeks ago, and I was cooking whatever, whenever I wanted and we ate whatever, whenever we wanted. My mind is blown!) 

weeknight baked turkey tacos

So, back to the tacos. I line up the shells in a 9×13 baking dish. This works best for our family but if you are feeding fewer people, use an 8×8 or 9×9 dish. Regardless of size, the taco shells won’t fit perfectly in dish. That’s okay! Just make them work and don’t smash them.

The delicious secret is to add some cheese to the bottom of the hard shell. This makes everything extra cheesy. I love to use chihuahua cheese (I find it at my local grocery store) because it melts perfectly. You can also use cheddar. Sprinkle in some cheese, then top with a few spoonfuls of the seasoned ground turkey. There is no right or wrong here, no way to overfill or underfill. Fill them as much as you wish, based on the toppings you want to add on.

weeknight baked turkey tacos

Of course, the next step is to add another little sprinkle of cheese. Cheese on both ends please! Then I add shredded lettuce. My kids love lettuce for some reason. They don’t really eat salad, but they ask for lettuce on their burgers and lettuce on their tacos! I am not complaining. 

Next comes a salsa or in this case, my quick homemade pico. This is Eddie’s favorite part of any taco-ish meal that we have, so I always make it. We use it for topping and use it as a chunky salsa too. I make it a few hours ahead of time if possible and it gets better as it sits in the fridge. I also throw in some avocado if I have it.

Then I bake ‘em. 400 degrees for 10 or 15 minutes, just until everything is crisp, warm, melty and marrying together in flavor. 

weeknight baked turkey tacos

Baking these in a dish like this makes them so incredibly easy to serve, especially to kids. This way we can all sit and eat at one time, as opposed to them eating one taco, then asking for help with another and so on. It’s convenient, delicious and also a great way to utilize the leftovers!

If we happen to have leftovers for this meal, I will wrap the tacos up in foil and store them in the fridge. A quick reheat in the oven makes them taste brand new.  (more…)

The post Weeknight Baked Turkey Tacos. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Weeknight Taco Stuffed Avocados.

These taco stuffed avocados are super delicious! Halved avocados filled with seasoned ground beef, chopped tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and crushed tortilla chips for the ultimate weeknight meal. We’re making cute little taco avocados today!!  These taco avocados are filled with seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and crunchy crushed tortilla chips for that […]

The post Weeknight Taco Stuffed Avocados. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These taco stuffed avocados are super delicious! Halved avocados filled with seasoned ground beef, chopped tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and crushed tortilla chips for the ultimate weeknight meal.

We’re making cute little taco avocados today!! 

weeknight taco stuffed avocados

These taco avocados are filled with seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and crunchy crushed tortilla chips for that classic taco flavor. They are irresistible! 

weeknight taco stuffed avocados

I love these avocados because you can make them for one, or for a family. You can make them with leftover taco ingredients from taco night and you can add whatever toppings you love. There is no wrong way to make them. You just have to find a nice ripe avocado and you’re set. 

seasoned ground beef

I’ve made stuffed avocados before – both times with chicken! I’ve done cheesy chicken stuffed avocados AND chicken salad stuffed avocados, so I love this new little twist.

In fact, I wanted to call these “walking taco avocados” but I realize that completely defeats the purpose of the walking taco in a bag of chips. My thinking was that all the toppings are actually ON the avocado. So yeah, the name is cute but it’s a no go because none of us are literally walking around with a stuffed avocado in our hands. Whomp whomp. 

avocados

Anyway, let’s talk filling!

I use my seasoned ground beef from my weeknight ground beef tacos. I keep the beef mixture on the drier side (but not in a bad way!) for the avocados so they aren’t as messy. My mom always made a saucier ground beef mixture for tacos and I often do too, but the drier version works so well here. I do include the saucier version below as well, so you can choose whichever you like.

sliced avocados with taco meat

Below, you will also find the homemade seasoning mixture for the tacos. I love it because it doesn’t taste like straight 100% cumin and salt. There’s a bit more smoky flavor. Now if you have a taco seasoning packet you adore – use that! Keep it simple.

weeknight taco stuffed avocados

For the rest of the toppings, I like to do a really classic taco.

Think like a ground beef taco from the 90s.

Shredded lettuce.

Shredded cheddar,

Chopped tomatoes.

Maybe even some taco sauce if you have it. (I do have it: an excellent recipe for it is in Everyday Dinners!). 

Crushed tortilla chips of course!

We all love these, aside from Eddie who isn’t the biggest avocado fan. The kids though? Totally sold on them.

They are easy, great for leftovers and can come together fast. I like to serve them with the beef warm (so the cheese melts slightly too!), but you can also serve them completely cold. They are super flavorful and very satisfying thanks to the avocado. A must make! (more…)

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Tuna Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw

These ahi tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These ahi tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle crema.

Tuna tacos

Love a good fish taco? Here’s a new spin that you’ll fall for just as hard: Ahi Tuna Tacos! Meaty tuna steak is the ideal filling for a taco, contrasted with fresh cilantro lime slaw. Top it off with chipotle sauce and another sprinkle of cilantro, and it’s a little bit of everything: savory, spicy, fresh, cool, and creamy. It’s ideal for an easy weeknight meal, but impressive enough for entertaining. If you’re a tuna steak lover like we are, you’ll love this unique way to serve this versatile fish.

Elements in tuna tacos

These tuna tacos are a spin on the fish taco, invented in the 1950s in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. In fact, both the cities of Ensenada and San Felipe, Mexico claim to have invented the fish taco! The idea then quickly spread across the border to San Diego, where they became popular in America in the 1980’s (much in part to a restaurant called Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill).

This recipe seeks to honor the traditional Mexican flavors, using seared tuna instead of the typical breaded fish and pairing it with a zingy fresh slaw. Here are the elements in these ahi tuna tacos:

  • Ahi tuna steaks
  • Spices: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder
  • Cilantro lime slaw
  • Chipotle crema (or alternative sauce; see below)
  • Tortillas
  • Red onion (for garnish)
Ahi Tuna Tacos

Tips for buying ahi tuna steak

Ahi tuna, aka yellowfin tuna or bigeye tuna, is a mild, lean fish commonly served as sushi, in poke bowls, or cooked rare or medium-rare. Here’s what to look for when buying tuna steaks for these tuna tacos:

  • Make sure it’s sushi or sashimi grade. There are no specific regulations around the label “sushi-grade,” but it means it’s a high quality fish that is safe to be eaten raw.
  • Check at the fish counter. You should be able to find ahi tuna steaks at your local grocery counter.
  • Look for frozen steaks. Or, it’s possible that your grocery might have frozen steaks. These can be even fresher than fresh tuna if they’re flash frozen right when they’re caught. You’ll just need to thaw the night before in the refrigerator.
  • Find wild caught. Fish that is wild caught is usually a sustainable choice. There are also quality options in well-regulated farms; see Seafood Watch Consumer Guide.

How to cook tuna steak

Once you’ve got a great piece of fish, the hardest part of this recipe is searing the tuna. Here are a few tips on how to cook tuna steaks:

  • Allow it to come to room temperature first! This is important: otherwise the inside is still cold when the exterior is cooked! Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking. You can use this time to prepare the slaw and sauce, then sear the fish right before serving.
  • Use a food thermometer to assess temperature (130 degrees Fahrenheit). Add the steaks to a skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare the inside. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point.
  • Rest for 2 minutes. This helps it to set and become easier to cut.
Cilantro Lime Slaw

For the cilantro lime slaw

A great fish taco often has a creamy slaw, and this one is no exception! The cilantro lime slaw in these tacos is so good, you’ll find yourself continually sneaking bites. This recipe has a bit of a shortcut so you’re not spending too much time chopping. Use a bag of coleslaw mix, then combine it with shredded red cabbage! It makes for a lovely mix of color and texture.

Tip: Got any leftover cilantro lime slaw? Eat it as a side dish for the tacos!

Sauces for tuna tacos

These tuna tacos are fantastic drizzled with chipotle crema, which adds a savory creaminess and a bit of smoky heat. Mix it up while your tuna comes to room temp, or try one of these alternative sauces based on your preferences and what you have on hand:

  • Chipotle crema: A sour cream-based sauce with adobo sauce, garlic and lime
  • Chipotle sauce: A zingy vegan sauce with tahini, adobo sauce and lime
  • Yum Yum sauce: A mayo-based savory sweet sauce that originated at Japanese steakhouses (not spicy)
Chipotle Crema

More tuna recipes

Tuna is one versatile fish! Here are a few more great tuna steak recipes with ideas for how to cook it:

Print
Tuna tacos

Tuna Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 (8 tacos)

Description

These tuna tacos are bursting with flavor! They pair seared ahi tuna with cilantro lime slaw and creamy chipotle crema.


Ingredients

For the cilantro lime slaw

  • 14 ounce bag coleslaw mix (7 cups)
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • ¾ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

For the tuna tacos


Instructions

  1. Allow the tuna steak to come to room temperature by letting it stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the slaw: Shred the red cabbage and chop the cilantro. Place it in a large bowl with the coleslaw mix. Mix in the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, lime juice, maple syrup, chili powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Make the sauce: Make the Chipotle Crema, Chipotle Sauce or Yum Yum Sauce.
  4. Cook the tuna: When ready to cook, pat the tuna dry. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder. Sprinkle the seasoning mix liberally on all sides of the tuna. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add the tuna steak and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned on the outside but still rare the inside. The tuna will continue cooking while sitting. For a medium-rare tuna steak, the internal temperature should be 130 degrees Fahrenheit when measured with a food thermometer at the thickest point. Cool for 2 minutes. Then slice the tuna against the grain into ½-inch slices. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  5. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  6. Assemble the tacos: Add generous spoonfuls of cilantro lime slaw, then slices of tuna. Top with Chipotle Sauce and more fresh cilantro. Enjoy immediately. 

Notes

*Frozen is okay, just thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: Tuna tacos, ahi tuna tacos

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Smoky Chipotle Layered Taco Dip.

Here’s a spin on the classic taco dip! I make a smoky chipotle beef, layer it with beans and sour cream and salsa verde and load it up with toppings for the perfect layered taco dip. It’s so delicious! Raise your hand if you’d like to eat layered taco dip for dinner! Or let’s be […]

The post Smoky Chipotle Layered Taco Dip. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here’s a spin on the classic taco dip! I make a smoky chipotle beef, layer it with beans and sour cream and salsa verde and load it up with toppings for the perfect layered taco dip. It’s so delicious!

Raise your hand if you’d like to eat layered taco dip for dinner!

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Or let’s be real – just about every single meal. It is the best.

Sign me up for bottomless chips, margaritas and a plate of this deliciousness. I am a happy girl! 

seasoned taco ground beef

This is my slightly elevated version of the layered taco dip that we all grew up eating and loved so much.

You know – beans, sour cream, guac, olives, tomatoes? That one?

I do like that one, but I make one that we like a little more. Especially Eddie, considering the guac and olives are a no go for him. 

This version is a bit more satisfying, a little fancier and kind of even reminds me of my turkey taco nacho skillet

refried beans + sour cream + salsa verde

I can’t even express how good this is! It is SO flavorful, the perfect party plate and something you’ll want to make over and over. Game day, BBQ, dinner party – the works! Make it for all the things. 

This dip has lots of texture, tons of flavor and looks super pretty on a plate too. I like to serve it on a platter where you can actually see some of the layers and colors, but you could throw it in a baking dish too! 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

This is how we layer!

I start with the classic refried beans layer. I LOVE refried beans. They make the best base layer, especially because they are heavier than everything else. 

Next, I do a layer of sour cream and salsa verde, combined. YES. This is so super delicious. I simply stir together some salsa verde and sour cream and spread it on top of the refried beans.

The next layer is our smoky chipotle ground beef. You could do ground turkey, chicken or even a plant based version. I sprinkle it all over the sour cream. This is amazing for the texture and of course, flavor. 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Cheese! Sharp cheddar is my go-to, but you can choose your favorite here. What do you love on a taco? Grate it and sprinkle it all over the beef layer. 

Then it’s time to load on the toppings. I like to do tomatoes, then shredded lettuce, some cilantro and green onions. I kind of toss it all together and throw it on.

Finally, pickled onions for the win! You know I can’t live without these. Pretty pink color and a wonderful tangy bite. They are one of my most favorite ingredients of all time. 

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

Because I make this for get-togethers, I usually skip an avocado layer. I KNOW! I know that sounds crazy. There are a few reasons for that. First, I just don’t love store-bought guac. I can’t ever get into it. And that’s what people usually use for the guac layer.

And second, I like to prep this ahead of time or let it sit for a bit and the avocado browning just brings down the vibe. I like to keep it vibrant and pretty!

smoky chipotle layered taco dip

When I add avocado, I just cube it and sprinkle it on top with the lettuce and scallions and tomatoes right before serving. 

And the other option I love is to serve a bowl of guac on the side so you have the best of both worlds. Layered taco dip AND guac. No need to play favorites here. 

Serve this with lots of chips, an icy beer or a margarita on the rocks. HEAVEN.  (more…)

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Quick Chickpea Tacos

These chickpea tacos are a fast way to dinner! This crowd pleaser pairs a flavorful filling of garbanzos with guacamole,…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These chickpea tacos are a fast way to dinner! This crowd pleaser pairs a flavorful filling of garbanzos with guacamole, pico and slaw.

Chickpea tacos

Here’s a dinner idea for when you’re not sure what to cook: Chickpea Tacos! This plant based recipe does heavy lifting with a short cook time and big flavors. Garbanzo beans might not strike you as a taco filling (and honestly, Alex was a little wary here). But they make a flavorful filling coated in cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, punched up with a hit of zesty lime. Throw it all in a tortilla with guacamole and toppings, and this fast weeknight dinner is done in 20 minutes. PS, it’s plant-based, too!

Elements in chickpea tacos

Need dinner ideas for tonight? These chickpea tacos are designed as a workhorse recipe to get quick, nourishing food on the table fast. We love recipes like this: simple to whip up and full of big flavors. (In fact, we wrote a whole book about it!) These

  • Red cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Chickpeas
  • Spices: cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Sour cream (or cashew cream or omit for vegan)
  • Guacamole
  • Pico de gallo
Chickpea tacos

Making the chickpea filling

The chickpea filling in these tacos is loaded with savory spices to make these legumes sing! It’s possible these tacos could convert people who are chickpea wary, but this recipe is intended for chickpea lovers (like ourselves!). Here are a few notes on what makes the filling work:

  • The blend of spices is similar to a fajita blend. Make sure to find smoked paprika: its subtly smoky flavor brings an essential nuance.
  • Sour cream adds necessary richness. The chickpeas taste a little dry without a little more richness like a standard taco filling. For vegan, try vegan butter, cashew cream, vegan yogurt or vegan sour cream as a stand in. You can omit it, but it evens out the texture.
  • Fresh lime seals the deal. The hint of citrus takes it up a few notches.

You may have extra chickpeas left over after eating these tacos, depending on how many you add to each taco. Store any leftover filling refrigerated for up to 3 days. The recipe makes 3 cups of filling, which can stretch to 8 to 10 tacos.

Guacamole is required

Texture is everything when it comes to a taco. For these chickpea tacos, you need extra gooey, creamy elements to balance out the chickpeas. A smear of guacamole on the taco is required here, before you add the chickpeas.

You could substitute other creamy spreads or sauce (like refried beans), but we think zingy, creamy guacamole works best under these legumes. For quick meals we like to purchase it, but you can also try our homemade guacamole.

Chickpea tacos

Sides for chickpea tacos

When it comes to quick weeknight meals, often we skip sides for these chickpeas tacos (they’re pretty filling!). But if you’re looking for something simple to serve alongside, here are some ideas:

More chickpea recipes

These chickpeas tacos are a great way to use the mighty garbanzo bean! Here are a few more chickpea recipes you might enjoy:

This chickpea tacos recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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Chickpea tacos

Chickpea Tacos


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 14 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 tacos

Description

These chickpea tacos are a fast way to dinner! This crowd pleaser pairs a flavorful filling of garbanzos with guacamole, pico and slaw.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder and smoked paprika (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (or vegan butter or cashew cream), plus more for serving if desired
  • Guacamole (required!)
  • Pico de gallo or fresh salsa, for serving (purchased)
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the quick slaw: Shred the red cabbage and shred the carrot. Place them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon lime juice and 2 pinches of kosher salt.
  2. Cook the chickpeas: Drain and rinse the chickpeas, shaking off as much water as possible. Combine spices and salt in a small bowl. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and spices and sauté, stirring frequently, until warm and the chickpeas are evenly coated, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and the sour cream and cook 1 more minute until warmed through and tender.
  3. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  4. Assemble the tacos: Add a generous spoonful of guacamole, spoonfuls of chickpeas, slaw, and pico de gallo. If desired, top with sour cream (or cashew cream) and/or fresh chopped cilantro. Store any leftover filling refrigerated for up to 3 days.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Chickpea tacos

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas.

These sheet pan cauliflower fajitas are one of our favorite meals. Super simple and delicious, cauliflower, peppers, onions and black beans are roasted and served with warm tortillas, avocado and cotija cheese. So delicious Monday meals are my favorite!! Mondays in general may not be my favorite, but my Monday meals are absolutely the best. […]

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These sheet pan cauliflower fajitas are one of our favorite meals. Super simple and delicious, cauliflower, peppers, onions and black beans are roasted and served with warm tortillas, avocado and cotija cheese. So delicious

Monday meals are my favorite!!

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

Mondays in general may not be my favorite, but my Monday meals are absolutely the best. They are always flavorful, mostly simple and super crowd pleasing. The fajitas are exactly that. Caramely roasted vegetables, warm tortillas, creamy avocado, tangy cotjia cheese. I dream about flavors like this! 

peppers, onions, cauliflower

We are biiiiig sheet pan fajita fans over here.

I don’t always love sheet pan meals, but I find that fajitas are a recipe that turns out great – nearly identical to the smoky, searing hot skillet that they are made in. 

Plus, if you’re trying to feed a family, throwing everything on the sheet pan makes it even easier.

cauliflower and peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lime loaded shrimp sheet pan fajitas are one of the most popular recipes here on the blog! We love them and they are super simple.

I also have a sheet pan chicken fajita recipe, which is also fantastic. Seriously close in flavor to grilled fajitas, which is my #1 preferred way of making them. 

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

With most of my sheet pan recipes, I get around the whole sheet pan method by doing the vegetables first and then adding on the protein. Since ingredients need different cook times, this usually works great.

With this recipe, I do the vegetables and cauliflower at once. After they roast and get lots of nice flavor, I throw the black beans on the sheet pan and let them get warm in the oven. Sometimes they pop open a bit and the exterior gets crisp while the inside stays creamy. 

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

You can mix everything together but I prep to keep them separate, that way everyone can grab as much of what they like the most. For instance, I go heavy on the cauliflower and light on the black beans. Eddie is the opposite. The kids would go lighter on the peppers and onions. So this method keeps it easy for us to serve.

cauliflower and black bean sheet pan fajitas

My other must have sheet pan fajita ingredients:

  • Warm tortillas! Corn or flour work. Whichever you love, whichever you have on hand.
  • Avocado! Especially for this one. I like using sliced avocado on this over guacamole. Of course guac works too. 
  • Fresh cilantro and green onions. For a pop of color but also some refreshing flavor.
  • Lime wedges for spritzing! They add brightness and pop. 
  • Cotija cheese for sprinkling. I love this and it’s always in my fridge. A little sprinkle adds so much

(more…)

The post Roasted Cauliflower and Black Bean Sheet Pan Fajitas. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime win!

Salmon Tacos

If there’s one dinner that always goes over well in this house, it’s tacos. The Tex Mex or American spin on the Mexican classic has infinite riffs. So here’s a new favorite: these Salmon Tacos with creamy green avocado sauce! These tacos are bursting with fresh, zingy flavor, pairing blackened salmon with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. It’s an easy healthy dinner that tastes restaurant-style, but you can whip it up in about 30 minutes. Dinnertime win!

Elements in these salmon tacos

Salmon tacos can be made in a myriad of ways. Modern fish tacos came about in the 1950s in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula: both the cities of Ensenada and San Felipe claim to have invented the fish taco. The craze then quickly spread across the border to San Diego, where they became popular in the 1980’s (much in part to Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill).

These salmon tacos are a spin on the idea of a fish taco, but the fish is blackened instead of battered. The star? A quick avocado sauce that is the epitome of bright, creamy flavor. Here are the elements you’ll need:

  • Salmon
  • Spices: Cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder
  • Olive oil, butter and lime juice
  • Pineapple (optional)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado sauce: Avocado, Greek yogurt, lime, and cilantro
  • Tortillas
  • Red onion (for garnish)
Salmon Tacos

Tips for pan seared blackened salmon

The fish in this salmon tacos recipe is pan seared in a skillet, which makes the best exterior blackened crust of spices! It does require a few special things to keep in mind. Here are a few tips for blackened salmon:

  • A cast iron or stainless steel skillet makes the best sear. The best way to get the blackened look to the outside of the fish is with cast iron or stainless, which cause the best maillard reaction (caramelization). Don’t worry if all you have is a non-stick skillet: it will still taste great! You just won’t get that lovely char.
  • Bring the salmon to room temperature first. This sounds like a skippable step for impatient cooks (like me!), but don’t be tempted! If you sear it right from the refrigerator, the inside will be cold while the outside of the fish will be cooked. You can save it, though (keep reading).
  • A food thermometer is helpful. It’s easiest to cook the salmon perfectly by checking the internal temperature in this process.
  • If the fish is not up to temp, finish in the oven. If it’s not quite to temp but the outsides are cooked, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and finish it in the oven until the temperature is reached.
Blackened salmon

For the avocado sauce

This easy avocado sauce is the crown jewel of this salmon tacos recipe! It’s quick and easy to make, and even better: it stays green in the fridge! Here are a few notes on this killer sauce recipe:

  • It’s only 4 ingredients! All you need are avocado, Greek yogurt, lime, and cilantro. (And salt, which we don’t count as an ingredient!) Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream makes it taste light and fresh, and cuts a few calories too.
  • Use a food processor or small blender. It’s not enough for a large blender — but you could try a double recipe in a standard-sized blender.
  • It stays green without special storage needs! That’s right: you don’t have to worry about it turning brown like guacamole. The acidity in the lime juice naturally makes the avocado stay green.
Salmon Tacos

Toppings for salmon tacos

The avocado sauce for these salmon tacos is required, in our opinion! The zingy flavor is just the right contrast to the spiced blackened fish. Otherwise, you can get creative with your toppings! We’ll share a few ideas of what we did, and some alternative options:

  • Pineapple pico: Make a quick pineapple pico by chopping up fresh pineapple rings and combining them with purchased pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa). The result is a burst of tropical flavor without too much extra effort! We love pineapple salsa, but it takes quite a while to chop.
  • Pico de gallo: If you’re feeling rushed, just use purchased pico de gallo (fresh salsa) from the refrigerated section of your local grocery.
  • Mango salsa or pineapple salsa: Got more time? Make homemade Mango Salsa or Pineapple Salsa, or grab it at the store.
  • Slaw: Salmon tacos are also great with Fish Taco Slaw or Mexican Coleslaw.

Tips on warming tortillas

The last thing about salmon tacos: make sure to warm the tortillas! You just can’t make a good taco with a cold, leathery tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner. Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side, turning with tongs. This lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas. You can also char them with a kitchen torch, if you’re a stickler for a charred tortilla like we are.

More taco recipes

Got tacos on the brain? Here are a few of our favorite taco recipes:

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Salmon Tacos

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos (4 servings)
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These salmon tacos are bursting with flavor, pairing blackened fish with pineapple pico and a creamy green avocado sauce. Dinnertime win!


Ingredients

For the salmon

  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon each chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus one drizzle
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or more olive oil for dairy free)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

For the tacos

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 handfuls fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa, available in the grocery refrigerated section)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple rings, optional (see Step 6)
  • 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • Red onion, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring the salmon to room temperature. (This is important so that it sears properly; otherwise the inside will be cold when the exterior is cooked. You can also do this by brining it, which helps to ensure there is no “white stuff” or albumin. In a large shallow dish, whisk together 4 cups room temperature water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt until dissolved. Place the salmon in the water and wait for 15 minutes.)
  2. Mix the cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and garlic powder in a bowl. Pat the salmon dry with a clean towel. Rub it with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle it with the ¾ teaspoon kosher salt divided between the filets, then the mix of seasoning.
  3. Heat a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet (not non-stick*) over medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add the salmon skin side up and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until cooked about halfway to the center of the thick part of the salmon.
  4. Flip the salmon (a fish spatula makes easy work of it). Tilt the pan down slightly and quickly spoon the pan juices over the top of the fish a few times. Drizzle with the lime juice and spoon the pan juices a few times again. Cook for 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness, until just tender and pink at the center (the internal temperature should be between 125 to 130 Fahrenheit in the center when removed)**. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then flake the salmon into large pieces with a fork. Taste and add additional pinches of salt if necessary. 
  5. Make the Easy Avocado Sauce: Cut the avocado in half, pit it, and scoop both halves into a food processor (or small blender). Add the Greek yogurt, lime juice, cilantro, and kosher salt, and blend until smooth. Store in a covered jar for up to 5 days refrigerated: it stays green for the entire storage!
  6. Make the pineapple pico (optional): Finely chop 1 cup pineapple rings. Then mix it with ½ cup pico de gallo, 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and a pinch of salt. Or, just use 1 cup pico de gallo to keep it simple! 
  7. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  8. Serve: Layer the tacos with salmon, salsa and avocado sauce. Top with minced red onion and chopped cilantro and serve. 

Notes

*You’ll get the best sear from a stainless steel or cast iron skillet.

**If the salmon is not up to temperature by the time the outside is cooked, set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and finish it in the oven until the temperature is reached.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Salmon tacos, salmon tacos recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.