From taco recipes stuffed with any filling you can imagine to food trucks parked on city streets selling arepas, Hispanic food is a huge part of the culture in the United States.
Hispanic cuisine refers to dishes from Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico and Spanish-speaking South American, Central American and Caribbean countries. It encompasses unique regional recipes as well as popular foods enjoyed throughout the world (crispy cinnamon churros, we're looking at you!). It does not always include your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes, which draw inspiration from Mexican cuisine but tend to be more Americanized.
While there are far too many Hispanic dishes to sum up in one article, we rounded up some of our favorites, including zesty Argentinian chimichurri, flavorful Mexican mole and crowd-pleasing Spanish paella. So whether you're looking to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (it starts on Wednesday, September 15 this year — mark your calendars!) or you're just looking for an easy dinner recipe, these flavorful, fun ideas are a great place to get started.
Refresh yourself with an invigorating agua fresca, the thirst-quenching Mexican drink made from a combo of fruit (you can use almost any type) blended with lime juice, a sweetener and water and served over ice.
Originally from Mexican cuisine, enchiladas can be filled with almost anything, from meats and cheeses to beans and veggies. Try this version with chicken and salsa verde.
Chimichurri is a classic Argentinian sauce or marinade that turns everything it touches into flavor gold — especially perfectly charred, juicy grilled steak.
Shrimp ceviche generally calls for raw shrimp marinated in lime juice, but we used cooked shrimp instead for extra weeknight (or weekend!) ease.
Traditional mole sauce from Mexico, made with many ingredients and simmered for hours, is a delicious culinary feat. Our version takes a few shortcuts for a flavorful dinner you can make in an hour.
This crunchy, cinnamon sugar-dusted fried dough only gets better dipped in a salted chocolate-caramel sauce.
Use fresh tomatoes, spicy jalapeños and plenty of cilantro for a bright, bold topping or dip.
Paella is a Spanish rice dish made with vegetables, meat or seafood (or a combo!) that dates back to the early 1800s. This version uses just seafood and vegetables, but feel free to add extra meat or veggies to your liking!
Arepas are Venezuelan fried corn cakes stuffed with tasty fillings, like this creamy, zesty chicken and avocado salad.
Perfect any time of day, this classic dish is made with eggs, potatoes, olive oil, onion and parsley. That's it!
When it comes to taco fillings, there are no rules. Try this zesty steak version marinated in tequila and fresh lime juice.
Fresh grapes, brown sugar and sliced ginger bring sweet-spicy flavor to this wine-based cocktail.
Tostones are green plantain slices fried until golden and crispy. Serve as a tasty side, app or snack.
These El Salvadorian corn cakes are stuffed with roasted squash, pickled jalapeños and mozzarella cheese and topped with a tangy cabbage slaw. Yum!
Keep it simple — these tamales are made with just corn and spices.
Serve up fried tortillas topped with salsa and a sunny-side up egg at your next brunch.