15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (2024)

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15. In honor, here are some of our favorite recipes to try throughout the month.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (1)

Luke Beard

Each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. The month is marked with parades, festivals, demonstrations, and, of course, lots of food. As noted by the National Parks Service, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates people from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua, among other nations from Latin America and Iberia.

With dishes like carnitas and al pastor from Mexico, to pupusas and tamales originating in El Salvador, some of our favorite things to eat in the West are to be celebrated this month.

First dubbed a federal event as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, the celebration was amended two decades later to include an entire month. Why does it begin in the middle of September, you ask? That’s in part due to other holidays in the 31-day period. Sept. 15 marks the independence of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala from Spain. Mexico’s Independence Day falls on Sept. 16, and Chile’s is on Sept. 18.

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With so many holidays back to back, it’s time to get up and get into the kitchen! We’ve gathered recipes from across the region to help guide your taste buds through Hispanic Heritage Month. Get some friends together and whip up some boozy beverages to get the gathering going, and keep an eye out for special events and celebrations going on throughout the month.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (2)

1 of 15Dave Lauridsen

Bean-Dipped Tortillas (Enfrijoladas)

In many parts of Mexico, enfrijoladas are often fresh tortillas dipped in a bean sauce and folded over. Lupe Romero Vidal and her friend Chabela Cortés García of Hidalgo filled theirs with chorizo or leftover barbecued chicken and served them for brunch when we visited, but just about any leftover meat would be delicious—or even scrambled eggs. You’ll have leftover bean sauce, which happens to make an excellent dip for tortilla chips.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (3)

2 of 15Thomas J. Story

Corn Tortillas

A visit to the Santa Fe School of Cooking reminded us how amazing—and easy—homemade tortillas can be (try them with ourSpicy Lamb Tacos).

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (4)

3 of 15Thomas J. Story

Blackened Guajillo Chile Mushroom Tacos

These unusual, wonderful tacos are the creation of chef Donnie Masterton at Taco Lab by Tacolicious, inSan Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Rich, savory, and pleasantly chewy, they hit the spot even for meat lovers.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (5)

4 of 15Iain Bagwell

Pineapple Al Pastor Pico de Gallo

Masterson’s recipe focuses on just the pineapple, first slathered with al pastor paste and then roasted. He then chops it up and blends it with ordinary pico de gallo to create something extraordinary. Use the extra spice paste to slather on meaty mushrooms like maitake before roasting, or on pork shoulder before braising.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (6)

5 of 15Thomas J. Story

Basic Tamale Method

This general recipe can work with infinite fillings. Dream big!

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (7)

6 of 15Victor Protasio

Slow Cooker Carnitas

Tip: If you have leftover pork, add it to eggs for a hearty brunch or freeze as a future gift to yourself. Best eaten with a Mexican co*ke!

7 of 15Thomas J. Story

Pork and Red Chile Tamale Filling

Cookbook author Marcela Valladolid showed us how to put on a tamalada—a tamale-making party—at her house near San Diego; this was one of the several tamales that day. Dried guajillo chiles have a rich, fruity flavor and mild heat. Look for chiles as supple as soft leather—they are fresher and better-tasting than dried-out crackly ones.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (9)

8 of 15Shani Jones-Taye

Fried Plantains

Perfectly cooked plantains require ripe fruit. If these starchy cooking bananas stand until they have plenty of black spots and are moderately soft, they’ll fry up nice and sweet and caramelize outside as they brown.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (10)

9 of 15Thomas J. Story

Carne Asade with Nopales

Vidal Mozqueda, a backyard griller in San Francisco who works as a busser in the city’s Acquerello restaurant, buys a thinly sliced skirt steak at a carnicería. He grills it over a searing mesquite lump-charcoal fire.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (11)

10 of 15Ren Fuller

Packable Pozole

Take this hearty, smoky, pozole rojo on the go. If you want to skip the added time and effort of cooking dried hominy, feel free to use canned (we won’t tell!).

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (12)

11 of 15Thomas J. Story

Chicken and Green Tomatillo Tamale Filling

Valladolid shows how to make these tangy green tomatillo tamales. Use fewer jalapeños and/or seed them if you want a mild filling.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (13)

12 of 15China Poblano

Mole de Pollo Maria Cruz

Unlike most traditional moles that use chocolate to sweeten the dish, this one is bright red and is full of both flavor and extra spice because of the variety of chiles and spices added to the dish. This recipe comes to us from Carlos Cruz-Santos of China Poblano restaurant in Las Vegas and is inspired by his mother.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (14)

13 of 15La Cocina

Black Bean Tamale

Alicia Villanueva, owner of Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas, writes about this filling recipe saying, “The best thing about selling in the street was getting to know the people. More than anything they had an interest in Mexican culture, and they loved the tamales. You have this imagination about what the world is like, but then you come here, and there are so many different people. It’s something beautiful to me to see so many cultures. They wanted more vegetarian food! And I just wanted everyone to try it.”

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (15)

14 of 15Alex Farnum

Quick Pickled Tomatillos

Pickled tomatillos are fantastic in a Bloody Mary or with charcuterie for a unique bite.

15 Recipes to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (16)

15 of 15

Mexican Cheese Crisps (Chicharrónes de Queso)

Blocks from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood location of ¡Lotería! Grill, wow guests withchicharrón de quesoshaped into a golden pyramid. Executive chef Jimmy Shaw and team cook the Mexico City-style treats on a giant griddle; for guaranteed success at home, we baked smaller versions on parchment. Shaw says to think of them like a huge version of the toasted cheese you get when your grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla spills onto the griddle.You can break it off to use as a chip, crumble it into a tortilla, or add it to a salad.

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