Mexican Main Courses from the Yucatan

Mexican Recipes

You will find over 30 excellent Mexican recipes on our recipe pages.

Though still Mexican, typical Yucatan food is very different to that of the rest of Mexico.

Partly due to the regions isolation that the Sierra Nevada mountain range once ensured, and partly due to the ancient Mayans influence Yucatecan food has it's own distinct dishes and flavours.

Forget your burritos and enchiladas and try some pollo pibil, some sopa de lima or a fresh tikin xic!

Tamales de Frijoles (Bean Tamales)

Mexican Recipes - Black Beans

Black Beans

  • 4 guajillo chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 16 dried corn husks
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 cup chicken stock hot
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups cooked and drained black beans
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup queso anejo
  • crema or sour cream
  • tomatillo sauce

Soak chiles in a bowl of hot water for about 1 hour until soft. D Throw away stems and seeds and then puree with garlic, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a blender. Set aside. Put husks into a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak about 1 hour until pliable. Put masa harina in the bowl of a standing mixer and beating at low speed, add the chicken stock. Increase to medium high speed and beat for 5 minutes. Gradually add lard and salt and continue beating until the dough is soft and light. Dissolve baking powder into 2 tbsp water and add to dough. Mix on high until dough is fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mash together the black beans, lime juice and cilantro in a bowl. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the beans and pureed chiles and cook, stirring several times until thickened, about 10 minutes. Overlap 2 pieces of plastic on your work surface and flatten dough into a 10 inch by 18 inch rectangle. Spread the bean paste onto the dough working in small batches to make it easier to spread. Sprinkle with queso anejo. Roll up dough in a jelly roll style, about an 18 inch roll. Cut into 12even pieces. Tear 2 of the soaked husks into 24 thin ribbons. Place 12 husk, concave side up, on your work surface with the widest nearest you. Place 1 piece of filling 1 1/2 inches in from the husks wide end. Fold long sides over the filling and then fold pointed end over seam so that it meets the wide end. Tie 1 husk ribbon loosely around each end of the tamale to close. Repeat with each husk.

Makes 12 tamales.

Fried Pork Chops

Mexican Recipes - Pork

Pork Chops

  • 8 5-7 ounce pork chops
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp lard or vegetable oil

Generously season both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp of lard or vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, fry the pork chops until golden brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Turn pork chops over and fry for 2-3 minutes more. Add 1 tbsp of lard or vegetable oil in between batches of pork chops. Serve with yellow hot relish Serves 4-8

Pollo en Mole (chicken in mole sauce)

Mexican Recipes - Chicken


  • 3 lbs chicken
  • 2 tbs creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tbs chocolate syrup
  • 3 tbs chili powder
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup peas

Wash chicken and cut into 8 pieces. Remove the skin if you want. Place in a pot with enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove all of the broth and add back 1 2/3 cup of that broth to the pot. Mix together the peanut butter, chocolate syrup, chili powder, tomato sauce, cloves, cinnamon, paprika and salt in a bowl and then add to the pot. Mix well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat and cook for about 25 minutes. Add the peas and cook for about 5 minutes more.

Serve with warm tortillas.

Tequila Shrimp

Mexican Recipes - Shrimp


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 shrimp, peeled, deveined, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a medium saute pan with the olive oil, saute the onions and garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the shrimp and continue to saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the tequila and burn off the alcohol. Add the tomatoes and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lime juice when the shrimp is cooked half way.
When shrimp is fully cooked, fold in the cilantro and avocado. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chicken Pibil

Mexican Recipes - Spices


  • 1/4 cup Achiote paste
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
  • 6 chicken legs with thigh, ankle joint removed, scored to the bone and skin removed
  • 2 onions, cut into 3 slices each, plus 2 onions diced
  • 3 Italian Roma tomatoes, cut in 4 slices
  • 6 banana leaves (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock

In a blender combine Achiote paste, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into a nonreactive baking pan, add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a heated, dry, cast iron skillet char onion slices until blackened on both sides. Remove and char tomato slices until blackened on both sides. Reserve. Cut six 16 x 14-inch sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Take banana leaves, and cut into 10-inch squares. Toast squares over a burner to soften, about 2 seconds on each side . Place banana leaves on top of each piece of foil. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade, and place a piece on each foil piece or banana leaf. Top each with two tomato slices and one onion slice. Wrap and seal banana leaf and the foil to enclose. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in saucepan melt butter. Saute the diced onions until golden brown. Stir in the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes longer. When the chicken in ready, remove from oven and open the packets. Transfer the chicken, with the banana leaves if using, to serving plates. Pour any excess juice from the pan into the sauce. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Many thanks to Karan Horan for permission to reproduce some of her favorite dishes here at CancunCare.