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Hispanic father and daughter cooking together in kitchen, with dad chopping various colorful bell peppers and daughter smiling

There’s no denying it. Food is the unrivaled king of almost any celebration. Think about it: birthdays, holidays, graduations and weddings — what kind of event would each be without your favorite sweet and savory snacks? (Other than a chance to hear about Aunt Harriet’s Hawaiian vacation, that is.)

That’s why we’re celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 with five muy delicioso recipes to share with your friends and family. There’s one recipe for every Saturday, from the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month on September 15 to its end on October 15…or, frankly, whenever you want!

While some people may feel like family meals are slipping away (people have fewer family meals today than they did growing up), we think National Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together for an inviting, flavorful meal and some well-deserved amor.

Find your favorite recipe below and start cooking with your mom, dad, grandmother, or child by your side, and check out how Direct Auto Insurance is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Three outstanding high school students will win big and if the student you nominate is selected, you’ll receive a $100 gift card too! Nominate an outstanding high school student today!

Note: The recipes below cover a wide array of dinners, serve between 4 to 12 people, and are available via Foodista.com.

Sweet Mole Sauce for Chicken (Serves: 8)


  • 8–10 whole chiles (dried or fresh)
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic (diced)
  • 1 Roma tomato (medium size, cut into sections)
  • 2 pieces whole wheat bread (toasted, cut into cubes)
  • 2 tbsp dates (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp pecans (shelled)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 2 oz “Xocai Nuggets,” melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 dash salt, to taste
  • 3–4 cups chicken broth


  1. Remove the stem and seeds from the chilies and fry in oil until tender.
  2. Blend the chilies and water in a food processor to form a paste.
  3. Add all ingredients — except the broth — and blend to make a thick sauce.
  4. If it gets too thick, add some broth to make it thinner.
  5. Transfer the blended sauce into a heavy saucepan and add the rest of the broth.
  6. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours until thick and all of the flavors are incorporated.
  7. Pour sauce over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Vegetable Tamales (Serves: 4)


  • 4 corn ears still in husk
  • 6–8 parsnips
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Remove corn from husk, leaving husk intact, and discard corn silk. Cut kernels from cob and reserve.
  2. Boil salted water in a saucepan. Place parsnips in boiling water and cook until tender; drain and puree through a food mill. You should have 2 cups of puree.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet and sauté onion, pepper and celery for 1 minute. Add garlic and corn, season to taste and toss well.
  4. Fold vegetables into parsnips.
  5. Pull back leaves of husk, fill with vegetable puree and tie shut with a piece of string.
  6. Arrange a rack in a shallow pan or use a bamboo steamer. Place tamales in steamer and add enough water to steam, but not enough to get tamales wet. Cover tightly with a lid or with foil and steam for 40 minutes.

Cuban-Style Picadillo (Serves: 6)


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 smalls potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 10 green olives, pitted
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for sautéing


  1. Combine the ground beef, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.
  2. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions, green pepper and garlic in a sauté pan until soft.
  3. Add the ground beef mixture, beef stock and tomato sauce. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the diced potato; cover and cook until the potatoes are done (about 15 minutes).
  5. Add the olives and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the liquid is fully evaporated.

Abuelo’s Pozole (Servings: 12)


  • 4 cups soaked hominy
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 inch carrot, sliced in 1/4 slices
  • 2 inches zucchini, sliced in 1/4 rounds
  • 2 cups finely sliced cabbage
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp dried chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 pounds pork steaks or other heavily marbled cut (optional)
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced white onion, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 4 stale corn tortillas, sliced and fried into strips
  • 2 avocados, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 limes cut into wedges


  1. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or thick-bottom stock pot over medium high. When hot, sear pork, 3–4 minutes per side until golden brown.
  2. Remove and set aside.
  3. Remove all but 3 tbsp of rendered fat, reduce to medium heat and sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add spices and sauté for 1 more minute, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add pork, hominy and stock.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until pork is fork tender. Remove pork, break into bite-sized chunks and return to pot with cabbage, zucchini and carrots.
  7. Cook for another 5–10 minutes, until carrots are tender.
  8. Serve in bowls with radishes, onion, cilantro, tortillas and avocados as garnish.
  9. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime wedge over each bowl before serving.

Chiles Rellenos (Serves: 4)


  • 10 Anaheim or Poblano chiles
  • 1 pound Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying


  1. Char peppers over a gas flame or under broiler, turning to blacken all over.
  2. Place peppers in a deep bowl, cover with a plate and allow to cool completely before removing from bowl, about 15–20 minutes.
  3. Rub off charred skin; do not rinse, as this would remove all of the flavor developed.
  4. Cut a slit lengthwise, stopping about ½ inch from the tip. Remove seeds and veins.

Stuffing Preparation

  1. Stuff each chile with shredded cheese. Use toothpicks to skewer sides or the filling will fall out. Dredge chiles in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Separate eggs. Beat whites until foamy, add salt and beat until stiff. Beat yolks, then fold into whites.
  2. Working quickly, dip chiles in eggs to coat.
  3. Fry chiles in 1 inch of hot corn or peanut oil in a large skillet, turning to brown evenly. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Serve with tomato sauce.

Now it’s time to grab a bebida and head to the kitchen! Which recipe is your favorite? Let us know in a comment below or share your favorite family recipe for our community to try! As always, happy eating!


*All recipes are from Foodista.com and posted under Creative Commons Attribution License. Each was modified to achieve consistency with their presentation and to provide greater clarity as to each step in the cooking process.
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