Authentic Mexican Recipes: Oil-Free Plant-Based Vegan Dishes


Mexican Cooking centers around simple ingredients: corn, rice, beans, peppers, and avocado.  Authentic Mexican recipes focus on fresh flavors.  Tortillas are used to make tacos, enchiladas, and tostadas.  Dried chili peppers make smoky, spicy salsas.  Cilantro and lime add bright finishes that make you feel like your soaking up the sun on a warm Oaxacan day.

While many traditional dishes will use chicken, pork, or the local seafood, these vegan recipes make simple swaps to fit a plant-based diet.  These dishes honor the rich history of Mexican cuisine, with techniques and ingredients characteristic of the region.

Essential colors of Mexican Food Red Tomatoes, Green Lime, Jalapeno, and Cilantro, and Red Onion

Here are some of my favorite Authentic Mexican Recipes:

Red Quinoa Enchiladas Rojas

Dried Ancho chilies bring smoky heat to this authentic Mexican entrée. Healthy, gluten-free red quinoa provides the base for the hearty filling.  This makes the perfect vegan dinner for a crowd – they’ll be begging for more!

Red Quinoa Enchiladas Rojas – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan Mexican Spicy Dinner Recipe

Easy Vegan Lentil Tacos

Hearty lentils are cooked with flavorful Mexican spices for these easy, oil-free vegan tacos.  Serve these on a busy weeknight with salsa and diced avocado. Or use them as a starting point for a plant-based Taco Bar with Guacamole, Salsa, and Stewed Black Beans.  These are crowd-pleasers!

Lentil Tacos – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan Mexican Dinner Recipe

Stewed Black Beans

Black turtle beans are simmered with onion, garlic, bay, and dried chipotle pepper for this easy, essential Mexican recipe. The smells will transport you to el casa de una mujer en la puebla.  This is an essential recipe and pure comfort food.

Stewed Black Beans – Easy, Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Essential Vegan Mexican Recipe

Oaxacan Baked Tostadas with Tomatillo Serrano Guacamole

Based on a classic Oaxacan dish, this vegan version of tostadas uses smoky bulgur for healthy flavor.  Skip the grease and deep-frying by simply baking the tortillas in the oven.  A dollop of creamy, spicy Tomatillo Guacamole knocks this out of the park!  Serve these at your next party, enjoy for a Mexican breakfast, or simply enjoy for an easy, plant-based dinner!

Oaxacan Baked Tostadas with Tomatillo Serrano Guacamole – Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Spicy, Mexican, Vegan Appetizer and Dinner Recipe

Vegan Tortilla Soup with Hominy

Fire-roasted tomatoes and hominy make this an easy pantry meal, perfect for a weeknight dinner.  Authentic flavor comes from a Mexican sofrito: sautéed onion, garlic, lime zest, and spices.  Naturally gluten-free and packed with spicy flavor, this soup will help cure any sickness…or tequila overdose.

Tortilla Soup with Hominy – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free Spicy Mexican Recipe

Charred Mushroom Poblano Tacos

Hearty Portobello and Cremini mushrooms and spicy Poblano peppers come together for these easy, gluten-free vegan tacos. Everything is grilled for smoky, charred flavor, perfect for summer.  Top with Watermelon Salsa, or Pickled Red Onions.

Charred Mushroom Poblano Tacos – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Grilled, Vegan Mexican Entrée Recipe

“Tartas Pastores”: Mexican Shepherd’s Pies with Smoky Sweet Potato Crust

The traditional Shepherds Pie gets a Mexican twist with this spicy vegan recipe.  An oil-free filling of black beans and corn is topped with a smoky plant-based sweet potato crust for a comfort food dinner your family will love.

Tartas Pastores – Mexican Shepherds Pies – Healthy, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Comfort Food, Spicy Casserole Dinner Recipe

Chipotle Black Bean Soup

Smoky, creamy, satisfying black bean soup — there’s nothing quite like it.  This easy, healthy, fat-free vegan recipe gets smoky spice from dried chipotle peppers and Mexican flavors from cumin and marjoram.  Packed with healthy vegetarian protein and gluten-free fiber, make a big batch of this in your Slow Cooker for a future meals.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup – Easy, Healthy, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Mexican Spicy Recipe

5 Minute Guacamole: Essential Vegan Recipe

Nothing says fiesta quite like simple Guacamole, an essential Mexican recipe.  This healthy 5-ingredient recipe comes together with fresh flavor from avocados, lime, and cilantro.  Enjoy this oil-free recipe with jicama chips or use over Mushroom Poblano Tacos, Southwestern Black Bean Burgers, or a big bowl of Hearty Lentil Chili.

5 Minute Essential Guacamole – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Mexican Avocado Easy Dip Recipe

5 Minute Pico de Gallo

Nothing says fiesta quite like simple Pico de Gallo, an essential Mexican recipe.  This healthy 5-ingredient recipe comes together in just 5 minutes for fresh authentic flavor.  Use the freshest tomatoes for natural delicious flavor.  Enjoy it over Mushroom Poblano Tacos, Easy Vegan Lentil Tacos, or a big bowl of White Poblano Chili.

Pico de Gallo – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Easy, Spicy, Vegan, Plant-Based Mexican Salsa Sauce Condiment Recipe

Spicy-Sweet Raw Pineapple Salsa

Who says salsa is only for tomatoes?  Swap out the tomatoes for golden pineapple.  The natural sweetness of the fruit works well with the Mexican trinity of cilantro, lime, and spicy jalapeno in this refreshing, easy recipe.

Sweet Spicy Raw Pineapple Salsa – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Oil-Free, Easy, Vegan Mexican Condiment Recipe

Moon and Stars Watermelon Calypso Bean Salad

Watermelon and beans?  Yes! Moon and Stars Watermelon is named for its “celestial” rind, with a design that looks like a star-filled night.  Heirloom Calypso beans add even more beautiful color.  The sweet flavor and crisp texture of the melon balance the rich, hearty flavor of the beans.  A spicy kick from jalapeno and fresh lime give this a Mexican flair.  Enjoy this healthy, gluten-free, oil-free salad as a side dish for any summer party.  Or use as a plant-based filling for vegan tacos and lettuce cups.

Sun and Moon Watermelon Calypso Bean Salad – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Vegan Recipe

Quinoa Fiesta Bowl with Beans, Pico de Gallo, and Avocado Lime Dressing

Mexican toasted quinoa, stewed black beans, fresh Pico de Gallo and oil-free Avocado Lime Dressing come together in this delicious bowl.  This is an explosion of flavors and textures!  Serve over crunchy Romaine lettuce for a satisfying, gluten-free, plant-based meal.

Quinoa Mexican Fiesta Bowl with Avocado Lime Dressing – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Meal for One

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce with Pineapple

This vegan Chocolate Sauce recipe gets some Mexican spice with cinnamon and chipotle powder.  Natural sweetness from dates and a side of pineapple make this a healthy, satisfying treat.  It’s gluten-free, oil-free, with no added sugars or syrups: Sophisticated flavor and guilt-free indulgence.
Mexican Chocolate Sauce with Pineapple – Healthy, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, No Sugar Added, Spicy Vegan Dessert Recipe

Simple Broiled Bananas with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs

Broiling bananas brings out their natural sugars and adds a crust reminiscent of campfire marshmallows.  A dusting of cinnamon and a crunch from bittersweet cocoa nibs finishes this easy, healthy, gluten-free, vegan dessert.

Broiled Banana with Cinnamon and Cocoa Nibs – Healthy, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo, Oil-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan Recipe

Want to Learn More?


Mexican Cooking 101: Chef’s Guide for Delicious, Plant-Based Authentic Flavor

Black Beans, Pinto, Mayo Coba, Giant Lima, and More: 16 Delicious Oil-Free Vegan Bean Recipes

Quinoa Cooking: Rinsing, Oil-Free Toasting, and How to Know When It’s Done


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