The 8 Best Mexican Cookbooks to Buy in 2018

Make the real deal with these collections of authentic recipes

Mexican Street Tacos
Marianna Massey / Getty Images

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When you imagine eating authentic Mexican food, you probably think you need to go to a specialty restaurant or travel to the country itself. You may cook Mexican food at home, but it is most likely limited to ground beef with taco seasoning in a tortilla or a simple rice-and-beans dish. (And we’re not judging—both of those can be delicious.)

But there’s a whole slew of cookbooks out there that can help you bring the authentic flavors of Mexico into your home—even if you don’t live near a bodega stocked with all the right ingredients. From books that focus on nothing but tacos to books that pull together hundreds of recipes from every corner of Mexico, you will be creating tasty, true Mexican dishes in no time.

  • 01 of 08

    Best for Authenticity: Nopalito: A Mexican Kitchen

    Nopalito is a well-known Mexican restaurant in San Francisco that celebrates traditional Mexican cooking through local, organic and sustainable ingredients. The cookbook of the same name brings that food right to your kitchen no matter where you live.

    Nopalito teaches you the foundational techniques that make Mexican cuisine what it is. You’ll learn how to turn basic ingredients into delicious creations like toasted corn with crema, tacos de pescado al pastor and crispy red quesadillas with braised pork and pork rinds. The recipes for cocktails and desserts will round out your meal and set the stage for a festive dinner party.

  • 02 of 08

    Best Foolproof Recipes: The Best Mexican Recipes

    This is the first Mexican cookbook from the folks at America’s Test Kitchen. As always, the editors and cooks test recipes until they're blue in the face. They find out what works and what doesn't, so you don't have to do all of the experimentation in your own kitchen.

    This cookbook is perfect for a family who loves the familiar Mexican favorites, like enchiladas and tamales, plus popular regional dishes and street food. The meal ideas adapt the techniques and ingredient lists to be convenient for you (and your busy schedule)​ while keeping the flavors authentic.

  • 03 of 08

    Best All-in-One Cookbook: Mexico: The Cookbook

    Chef Margarita Carrillo Arronte has dedicated decades of her life to bringing authentic Mexican food to every corner of the world, and with this one book, you can bring all of her expertise into your kitchen. At 704 pages and over 700 recipes, we’re talking about a lot of knowledge here!

    Mexico: The Cookbook includes everything from favorite snacks and street food to a perfect pastel tres leches. Plus, each recipe includes notes on its origins, which is bound to give you something to talk about at the dinner table. As one Amazon reviewer put it, “I thought I needed more than one Mexican cookbook, but after getting/looking through this one, I found that this one is the only one I need.”

  • 04 of 08

    Best Fusion: Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

    In 2010, two sisters and their mother started the Muy Bueno Cookbook blog to honor their grandmother Jesusita’s memory and keep a record of family recipes, stories and photography. The blog soon had a massive following, and two years later the three women published their first cookbook.

    The book’s recipes (over 100 of them) aren’t all strictly Mexican — they’re a combination of the foods of northern Mexico, which were Jesusita’s specialty, and the Southwestern U.S., where the three authors spent most of their lives. This merging of cultures results in a collection of dishes that will make you say, “Muy bueno!”

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best for Weeknight Cooking: Mexican Everyday

    There are two big barriers to cooking authentic Mexican cuisine at home: It can be hard to find some of the key ingredients, and many favorite recipes take a long time to prepare. Chef Rick Bayless set out to overcome both ​obstacles with this book. The result is a collection of 90 delicious Mexican recipes, each utilizing easy-to-find ingredients in place of more exotic ones and all of them taking 30 minutes or less to prepare. That’s perfect for home cooks who want to dive into the arena of Mexican cooking without a lot of time and prep.

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Taco Lovers: Tacos: Recipes and Provocations

    Renowned chef Alex Stupak fell so in love with Mexican food that he quit his job as an ultra-successful, fine-dining pastry chef to open his restaurant Empellón Taqueria in New York City. In this book, Alex focuses on tacos, and throughout its 240 pages, you can really feel his reverence for this street-food favorite. He delves deeply into each of the components that make up a taco — the tortilla, the salsa and the fillings — and provides lots of options and variations on each, including out-of-the-ordinary fillings like pineapple-topped pork and pastrami with mustard seeds. 

  • 07 of 08

    Best for Slow Cooker: Mexican Slow Cooker Cookbook

    There are plenty of Mexican dishes that roast or simmer for hours to develop deep flavor, but that doesn't mean you need to spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen just to get a meal on the table. Thankfully, you can use this slow cooker-focused cookbook to make those recipes without a lot of effort. The book covers dishes that range from filling soups to tamale-inspired casseroles. There's even a section that gives you an overview of well-known Mexican foods, and another that suggests must-have pantry items needed to cook Mexican recipes on the fly.

  • 08 of 08

    Best for Desserts: Paletas

    Many Mexican cookbooks center around ideas for dinner — tacos, enchiladas, tamales and more — but this one puts a spotlight on warm-weather treats. More specifically, it focuses on paletas (Mexican ice pops), shaved ice (called raspados) and aguas frescas (drinks).

    The easy recipes give you the perfect excuse to use up any unclaimed fruit in your fridge and try flavor combinations that are fun for the whole family. Kids will love classic paletas like watermelon and strawberry, and adults will get a kick out of the more imaginative flavors like avocado or apricot-chamomile.