Mexican Recipes for Lent

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Growing up Catholic, Fridays meant Meatless Fridays even when it wasn’t the Lenten season.

Although I have not committed to that tradition year round, I still give up meat on Fridays during Lent. Following is a collection of my favorite Lent recipes which make me long for Lenten Fridays early in the week.

grandma in kitchen Jesusita Muy Bueno El Paso Texas grandma in front of stove

If you take part in Lent, remember you don’t have to substitute sabor during this time of reflection.

Red Enchiladas (Enchiladas Rojas)

Every Friday we all gathered at our grandma’s house for lunch or dinner for her famous Red Enchiladas. These homemade red enchiladas are full of authentic Mexican flavor! 

Recipe: Red Enchiladas (Enchiladas Rojas)

red enchiladas stacked by Muy Bueno with a tequila bottle in the background

Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)

(Substitute meat with cheese)
Freshly roasted green chile sauce over soft fried corn tortillas and topped with a mountain of cheese.

Recipe: Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)

Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas) rolled on a black plate drizzled with Crema sour cream

Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales

Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales – a traditional Mexican Lenten dish. Slightly spicy guajillo chile sauce is combined with cooked nopales served on shrimp patties! 

Recipe: Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales

Delicious tortitas served to the table in a big blue pan with a big batch of shrimp

Frijoles de la Olla

A fresh pot of pinto beans is always welcomed as a side dish.

Recipe: Frijoles de la Olla

frijoles de la olla i a wooden bowl with a wooden ladle

Refried Bean and Guacamole Tostadas

A dollop of guacamole spread over a crunchy corn tostada makes this the ideal go to meal in a hurry. If you have beans try frying them and spreading them over the other tostada. These two compliment each other like two peas in a pod.

Recipe: Refried Bean and Guacamole Tostadas

guacamole refried bean tostadas for lent on a white plate

Chiles Rellenos de Camarones y Queso (Cheese and Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos)

Chile rellenos perfected with shrimp and this ooey gooey cheese drizzle. Make plenty because no one eats just one.

Recipe: Chiles Rellenos de Camarones y Queso (Cheese and Shrimp Stuffed Poblanos)

chile relleno camarones poblanos shrimp on a teal plate with a cold beer on the side

Lentil Soup

My grandma made lentil soup often, especially during the Lenten season. This earthy soup is healthy and hearty with the addition of carrots, celery, tomatoes, and spinach.

Recipe: Lentil Soup

lentil soup in a Mexican bowl for Lent with a bolillo on the side

Nopales con Huevo

Nopales con huevo is a classic Mexican dish made with cactus paddles and scrambled eggs.

Recipe: Nopales con Huevo

Nopales con Huevo on a brown plate with a side of corn tortillas and coffee

Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

This has to be one of the oldest dishes in Mexican homes. According to my Grandma, everyone used to have a garden in their yards, even a small one, and, along with corn, squash was one of the staples harvested.

Recipe: Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn)

Calabacitas con Elote (Zucchini with Corn) in a cast iron skillet with fresh corn and zucchini

Chiles Rellenos Topped with Green Chile Salsa

These chiles rellenos are made with roasted poblano peppers filled with Oaxaca cheese and then dipped in a fluffy egg batter and deep-fried.

Recipe: Chiles Rellenos Topped with Green Chile Salsa

poblano Chiles Rellenos with a salsa on top with slices of avocado perfect for lent

Breakfast Migas Tacos

Its food for the soul folded in half and stuffed with eggs, fresh ingredients, and crunchy tortilla chips. Try this easy recipe for a taste of a Tex-Mex breakfast.

Recipe: Breakfast Migas Tacos

breakfast Migas tacos on a white place with slices of avocado

Sopa de Fideo

Sopa de fideo is an incredibly simple yet flavorful soup made with a tomato-based broth and toasted vermicelli noodles. Its simple and comforting but also because of the warm, fuzzy nostalgic feelings it brings!

Recipe: Sopa de Fideo

two bowls and a pot of soda de Fideo great lent dish

Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

This shrimp ceviche is served on tostada shells with a creamy, spicy, and flavorful avocado crema, and sprinkled with pepitas, making this the perfect dish for the Lenten season.

Recipe: Shrimp Ceviche Tostadas

shrimp Ceviche on a tostada with avocado Crema squeezing lime juice

Caldo de Pescado y Camaron (Fish and Shrimp Soup)

Excellent for a Lenten meal this fish stock and shrimp in a chipotle-tomato broth is slightly spicy and easy to prepare. 

Recipe: Caldo de Pescado y Camaron (Fish and Shrimp Soup)

Caldo de Pescado y Camaron (Fish and Shrimp Soup) lent meal

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Mexican beer-battered cod, fried to perfection topped with chipotle cream sauce and garnished with red cabbage, thinly sliced jalapeños and radishes, pico de gallo, and avocado.

Recipe: Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos great lent dish with all the toppings and garnishes

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

My mom used to make this spicy shrimp cocktail for Christmas Eve or New Years Eve parties, and during the Lenten season.

Recipe: Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail)

Coctel de Camarones (Mexican Shrimp Cocktail) in a large beer glass with saltine crackers on the side lent meal

Black Bean Salad

An easy go-to healthy and fresh cold salad. It can be used as a side dish or an appetizer served with corn chips. My kids lovvve this salad.

Recipe: Black Bean Salad

black bean salad cowboy caviar great side dish for lent

Elote en Vaso (Corn in a Cup)

Street food in a cup. The lime juice, cheese, crema, and corn are a surprisingly little treat any time of day.

Recipe: Elote en Vaso (Corn in a Cup)

elote en vaso corn cup Mexican street food made at home

Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales

Slightly spicy guajillo chile sauce is combined with cooked nopales served on shrimp patties! A traditional Mexican Lenten dish.

Recipe: Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales

Tortitas de Camarón con Nopales traditional meal for lent

Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)

My favorite dessert during Lent — This bread pudding tastes amazing warm or cold. The sweet notes of the piloncillo with the cinnamon give it its signature aroma.

Recipe: Capirotada (Mexican Bread Pudding)

capirotada Mexican bread pudding dessert for lent

Do you practice meatless Fridays during Lent?

Originally published: February 2012.