27 Amazing Mexican Appetizers

From juicy tacos and spicy dips to raw tuna tostadas and vegan nachos, these Mexican appetizers and finger food ideas are perfect for sharing and will get you in the mood for fiesta. Vamos!


Mexican Appetizers

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Let’s Talk ‘Mexican Appetizers’

Mexican appetizers go beyond the beloved guacamole and chips (although I do love a good guac!). That’s why I wanted to curate a collection of delicious and inspiring finger food and canapé ideas that are great for sharing at a Mexican dinner party or to serve with a few margaritas and cold beers on Cinco De Mayo (or on any sunny afternoon).

With staples like cumin, lime, chipotle, and cilantro, Mexican cuisine boasts a distinct heat and smokiness, artfully balanced by cooling and fresh ingredients. These dishes encapsulate the essence of these flavours as well as lovely textures and colours.

Get ready to explore the culinary fiesta that is Mexican appetizers. I’ve divided this collection into simple categories covering dips, salsas, tacos, bite-size options and vegetarian delights.

👉 Check out my other collections: 🫒 Vegetarian appetizers, 🍤 seafood appetizers, 🧆Mediterranean, 🛞 pinwheel sandwiches, 🥐 puff pastry appetizers, 🍣 Asian appetizers, 🍗Paleo appetizers.


Dips, Salsas & Chips

Guacamole
This simple guac is a vibrant starter paired with tortilla chips. It couldn’t be easier to make your own with a few avocados and simple ingredients, and the freshness will set it apart from store-bought. Recipe from Isabel Eats.
Calories: 120
Carbs: 7 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cooking time: 10 minutes.
Get the recipe here
Guacamole
Charred Roasted Salsa (Salsa Tatemada)
Roasted salsa with tomatoes, onions, garlic and chile inspired by the Mexican charred salsa tatemada – rich, smoky and complex. Get the recipe on my blog.
Get the recipe here
Roasted Salsa Tatemada Recipe
Queso Fundido with Chorizo
Queso has many variations, especially in Mexican fusion cuisine. If you want to elevate a traditional queso blanco, this cheese dip is incredible with some chorizo in the mix. Serve with tortilla chips. Recipe from The Defined Dish.
Calories: 368
Carbs: 5.5 grams
Protein: 20 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Queso Fundido with Chorizo
Queso Blanco
In this recipe, you can use Oaxacan cheese for an authentic take on simple Mexican cheese dip, or sub it out for cheddar. Either way, this recipe is a winner. Who can deny the joy of tucking into gooey, spicy queso with crispy tortilla? Recipe from Ahead of Thyme.
Calories: 231
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
Pico de Gallo
Pico, a salsa bar classic, boasts a chunky blend of tomato, onion, jalapeño, a generous splash of lime, and cilantro tailored to your preference. Give this authentic recipe a spin and keep a batch in the fridge for effortless snacking or enhancing the flavors of your beloved Mexican dishes. Recipe from Get Inspired Everyday.
Calories: 29
Carbs: 6 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Green tomatoes are the base of this quintessential Mexican salsa. Bright and herby, it’s perfect for dipping or making enchiladas. Recipe from Maricruz Avalos.
Calories: 74
Carbs: 14 grams
Protein: 3 grams
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
Low Carb Tortilla Chips
Salsas and cheese dips make for ideal low-carb appetizers, but the traditional tortilla chip falls short. If you seek a grain-free, keto-friendly alternative that captures the familiar crispy, salty bite, try this recipe that hits the nail on the head. Recipe from Keto Cooking Christian.
Calories: 183
Carbs: 11 grams
Protein: 8 grams
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Get the recipe here
Keto Tortilla Chips
Chicharrones De Harina
These fried chips are a favourite snack across Mexico, often referred to as the “Mexican Dorito.” Whip up a batch of these for a fun alternative to tortilla chips. Recipe from Muy Delish.
Calories: 170
Carbs: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
Chicharrones De Harina
Aguachile (Mexican Style Shrimp Ceviche)
Ceviche is a fresh blend of raw fish marinated in citrus not only making it safe to eat, but downright addictive. Ceviche can be found with regional variations all over Central and South America. Try this Mexican-style dish featuring shrimp. Recipe from Chili Pepper Madness.
Calories: 35
Carbs: 9 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Sheet Pan Nachos Supreme
The star of the show in these easy sheet pan nachos is a rich, homemade cheese sauce. Amp up the flavour with seasoned beef, creating a party platter that earns high praise from all who indulge. Recipe from Olive and Mango.
Calories: 325
Carbs: 20 grams
Protein: 18 grams
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Get the recipe here

Meat, Seafood & Cheese Mexican Appetizers

Beef Birria Tacos (with Keto Option)
Make sure you’ve got napkins handy for these saucy birria tacos! Budget-friendly chuck roast is simmered until tender for the filling, held together in tortillas with a generous layer of cheese. Recipe from Mad Creations Hub.
Calories: 191
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 18 grams
Cooking time: 4 hours
Get the recipe here
Birria Tacos.
Baja Fish Tacos
Take a cruise down the Baja coast with this crispy fish taco. This is the perfect addition to a proper taco bar with all the best fixings – some pico, some slaw, some avocado cream, and of course, flaky fried cod. Recipe from The Recipe Critic.
Calories: 304
Carbs: 40 grams
Protein: 26 grams
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Get the recipe here
Ahi Tuna Tostadas
These crispy, crunchy tuna tostadas are my riff off of my favorite tostadas from Tacolicious in San Francisco – and even better, they come together in just 40 minutes! Recipe from Kale Junkie.
Get the recipe here
tuna tostadas
Best Tostadas
Tostadas are your taco's flat and crispy cousin, ready to be decked out with all your favourite toppings or meat. In this recipe, this recipe takes it up a notch by simmering beef to perfection, and here's the secret ingredient: a splash of cerveza. Recipe from How to Feed a Loon.
Calories: 589
Carbs: 45 grams
Protein: 28 grams
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Get the recipe here
Tostada
Empanadas with Mexican Picadillo and Cheese
Empanadas make delightful hand pies, perfect for any appetizer spread. This recipe features a savoury Mexican picadillo, boasting a hearty mix of beef, potato, and cheese in each flavourful bite. Recipe from Muy Bueno Blog.
Calories: 448
Carbs: 28 grams
Protein: 19 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour
Get the recipe here
Empanadas
Mexican Shrimp Bites
This recipe for Mexican shrimp bites is seared shrimp and guacamole layered onto individual potato chips. A super easy appetizer! Recipe from Dinner At The Zoo.
Calories (per bite): 66kcal 
Carbs: 2g
Protein: 13g 
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Get the recipe here
Mexican shrimp bites
Authentic Red Tamales
Tamales are made with fresh masa or corn flour, with the filling steamed inside of corn husks for a beautiful blend of flavour and gorgeous presentation alike. Try this authentic recipe using beef, or swap for veggies or chicken. Recipe from Muy Delish.
Calories: 145
Carbs: 16 grams
Protein: 9 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour
Get the recipe here
Tamales
Molletes (Bean and Cheese Sandwiches)
Savour the rich flavors of molettes. The medley of beans, melted cheese, and fresh pico de gallo creates a harmonious blend in each delicious bite. Recipe from Mexican Please.
Calories: 440
Carbs: 58 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Molettes
Mexican Sopes
Sopes refer to a thick corn cake crafted with masa. This recipe takes you through the basics. Then, you can fill them with anything you’d like – chorizo, shredded chicken, guac, you name it! Recipe from Isabel Eats.
Calories: 62
Carbs: 12 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
Sopes
Flautas De Pollo
These flautas – essentially a rolled and fried taco – are packed with juicy chicken thigh and topped with cotijia and cilantro to serve. You may be tempted to buy the frozen flautas, but you’ll be impressed with the ease of making your own. Recipe from Fusion Craftiness.
Calories: 254
Carbs: 23 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Get the recipe here
Flautas de Pollo
Mini Green Chile, Cheese, & Bean Taquitos
Taquitos – mini rolled tacos – are perfect for making ahead of time for grab-and-go ease. Try this vegetarian version with a creamy refried bean and cheese blend inside. Recipe from The Cookie Rookie.
Calories: 29
Carbs: 2 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
Taquitos
Chicharrones (Fried Pork Cracklings)
When it comes to a single-ingredient appetizer that will disappear into hungry hands with haste, fried pork belly is a sure bet. Try this Mexican-style chicarrones recipe and see for yourself! Recipe from Maricruz Avalos.
Calories: 1180
Carbs: 2 grams
Protein: 21 grams
Cooking time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Get the recipe here
Mexican Chicharrones

Vegetable Appetizers

Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
Corn on the cob is the perfect side at any summer barbecue. Coat grilled corn with cotija cheese, cilantro, lime juice, and a sprinkle of chili powder and you’ve got yourself a Mexican street food essential. Recipe from Isabel Eats.
Calories: 246
Carbs: 21 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
Vegan Hearts of Palm Ceviche
This plant-based ceviche uses the ever-versatile hearts of palm which effortlessly recreate the texture and soak up the traditional citrus flavour of a classic shrimp or tuna-based recipe. Recipe from Dora’s Table.
Calories: 115
Carbs: 7 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Get the recipe here
Chile Relleno
Chile rellenos is the definition of comfort food. Cheesy, deep-fried, and smothered, these stuffed and breaded poblanos are certain to be a hit with any crowd. Recipe from The Recipe Critic.
Calories: 183
Carbs: 12 grams
Protein: 11 grams
Cooking time: 1 hour
Get the recipe here
Chile Relleno
Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels
Mexican Street Corn Pinwheels recipe uses elote flavors of chili powder, cotija cheese, corn, and lime in a roll-up appetizer that is fast and easy to make. Recipe from Three Olives Branch.
Calories: 45 (per pinwheel)
Carbs: 4 g
Protein: 1 g
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Get the recipe here
mexican street corn pinwheels
The Best Damn Vegan Nachos
The heartiest, most delicious vegan nachos I’ve ever had. Salty, crunchy tortilla chips, fresh guacamole, black beans, and salsa all covered in a healthy layer of cashew-less vegan queso! Recipe from The Minimalist Baker.
Calories: 563 (large serve) or 280 (small)
Carbs: 75.8 g (large serve) or 38.5 g (small)
Protein: 14.4 g (large) or 7.2 g (small)
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Get the recipe here
vegan nachos
Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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