Vegetarian dishes are becoming increasingly popular these days and with more and more people switching to meat-free lifestyles, it's also in accordance that many restaurants are offering meatless options. With that being said, it can still be somewhat of a challenge to find dishes throughout every cuisine or at every restaurant that appeal to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Of all the cuisines in the world, Mexican is one that happens to do vegetable-based dishes exceptionally well. And trust us, you won't be missing any meat when it comes to these foods.
Full of flavor and flair, Mexican cuisine is one that's beloved by many, and as such, it has made its way outside of Mexico, through the U.S., and even to other parts of the world. This cuisine holds something for everyone from bold spice to meat that's cooked low and slow, teeming with the best marinades and sauces. Each dish offers something new and exciting and the most authentic restaurants are the ones which are sharing both the tradition and culture of this culinary-centered country. Those seeking meat-free dishes will be happy to know that many vegetable-based dishes have become the cornerstones of Mexican cuisine, starting with these.
If you haven't tried nopales yet, then we're about to explain every reason why you should. Otherwise known as cactus, nopales are easily found in Mexico at the grocery store and while these cactus 'leaves' are tougher to find fresh outside of the country, they can be found jarred or canned, where they're called nopalitos.
They're often used in a salad where they're mixed with fresh tomatoes, onions, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and occasionally queso fresco, to create the most flavorful, refreshing summer dish.
Plain tamales are anything but and this original, traditional recipe incorporating corn dough is nothing short of delicious. It's a satisfying meal that will certainly fill you up but incorporates plenty of fresh, subtly sweet flavor that will have you saying goodbye to meat-filled tamales.
These are commonly found on Mexican restaurant menus so they're always a great go-to option when you're looking for something that will fill you up and is meat-free.
Traditionally, Chile Relleno is a poblano that's stuffed with cheese and fried in a light batter. This dish originated in Puebla and has since become a beloved item on many restaurant menus, due to its unique flavor and sweet, bold tomato sauce topping.
When served over rice, it's the perfect lunch or dinner with just enough flavor, multiple textures to make it interesting, and the perfect amount of heat.
Many people think that a quesadilla is one of the only dishes on the menu that can be vegetarian-friendly but that's far from true. With that being said, a good quesadilla can be sorely underestimated - when it's stuffed with roasted vegetables, it can be absolutely delicious.
Whether this is ordered as a starter or a main dish, there is nothing nearly as comforting as melted cheese and perfectly cooked veggies.
Guacamole is practically a dish all on its own especially if it's prepared using an in-house recipe. Just like a good quesadilla shouldn't be underestimated, a good bowl of guacamole shouldn't be, either.
This is the best way to celebrate avocados in many people's opinions, and it's vegetarian and vegan-friendly. With a side of chips or even a quesadilla for dipping (this is a great way to pair the two), guacamole has the potential to elevate any dish.
Chilaquiles is a unique dish because it can really be eaten at any time of the day. The dish starts with freshly made tortilla chips which are followed by a spicy tomato sauce (occasionally other sauces depending on where it's ordered), fried eggs, and a sprinkling of queso fresco.
The result is a dish that will wake you up and have you appreciating fried eggs in a whole new way. It's basically like eating nachos for breakfast, except so much better.
Made with bolillos - a type of Mexican roll - molletes are similar to an open-faced sandwich. Anything can be piled on top of them from cheese to a layer of refried beans, similar to toast.
Pico de gallo is a popular topping and many others include avocado, fresh black beans, and even more cheese such as queso fresco. There aren't necessarily any rules when it comes to molletes except that they should be delicious.