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Cooking Mexican for a Crowd

On the lookout for a dash of spice while cooking for a crowd? You'll find here a collection of typical Mexican recipes that will be total crowd pleasers.
Marian K

The Heat is On!

Chilies are well-known for their ability to induce weight loss by promoting the digestive system to get going. Mexican food helps you up the ante with chilies that help your system roll in no time!
Cooking Mexican for a crowd can have its fair amount of anxiety as well as make for one pleasant experience. You might have a herculean task at hand as you will have to worry about the quantity of the food to be served.
Unexpected guests can always put the host in a soup! Even if you are used to cooking traditional Mexican food recipes, the quantities can often get confusing.
In order to pull off the task of cooking Mexican for a crowd successfully, it is best to prepare some of the food on the previous day. Ideally, get the dish almost ready and refrigerate it after wrapping it. Hours before the guests are to arrive, you can take it out and bake it.
We at PartyJoys have put together a collection of popular recipes, so there's sure to be something tempting for you to try.

Mexican Recipes

Note: With one serving per head, the following recipes will serve 24 people. Modify the quantities according to the number of people you are expecting.
Mexican Chicken Enchiladas
Corn tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce, rolled up with cooked chicken, covered with more sauce and cheese―chicken enchilada is a dish that's really quick to assemble.
  • Corn tortillas, 24
  • Chicken breast (skinless; boneless), 2¼ pounds
  • Stewed tomatoes, 1½ cans
  • Frozen corn (thawed), 1½ cups
  • Cumin powder, 3 teaspoons
  • Enchilada sauce (canned), 2¼ cups
  • Cheddar and Jack cheeses (shredded), 1½ cups
  • Vegetable oil, 4½ tablespoons
  • Garlic powder, 3 teaspoons
  • All-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoon
  • Mexican spice blend, 1½ teaspoons
  • Canned whole green chilies (seeded and coarsely chopped), 7½
  • Red onions (chopped), 1½
  • Canned chipotle chilies (seeded and minced), 6
  • Garlic cloves (minced), 3
  • Salt and pepper
For Garnishing

  • Chopped scallions
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Chopped tomatoes
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Heat the oil into a large sauté pan. Poke the chicken with a fork multiple times, and then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Transfer the chicken to the pan, and cook on both sides for 7 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle cumin, garlic powder, and Mexican spices over it before turning.
Transfer the chicken to a platter, and let it stand. Place the onions and garlic in the same pan, and sauté until tender. Add the corn and chilies to the pan, and once cooked, add canned tomatoes. Cook for a minute, and remove the pan from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Shred the chicken breast into strips. Add these strips to the pan, and place it back on the heat. Stir it all together, and then dust the mixture with flour. Microwave the tortillas on high for 30 seconds. Cover the bottom of 3 (13 x 9'') pans with a scoop of enchilada sauce.
Lightly coat each tortilla with the enchilada sauce, and fill each tortilla with ¼ cup of the chicken mixture. Fold them over the filling, and with the seam side down, place 8 enchiladas in each pan. Coat them with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese melts, and garnish with the cilantro, scallion, sour cream, and tomatoes before serving. Serve them with Spanish rice and beans.
Carnitas is a traditional Mexican filling used in tacos and other dishes. Typically made with cuts of pork, the meat is rendered soft enough to melt in your mouth and can be served in two ways: (i) either alone garnished with chopped cilantro and diced onion and salsa; or (ii) as an ingredient in tamales, tacos, etc.
  • Ancho chili powder, 4 teaspoons
  • Pork shoulder (skin and bone removed), 6 pounds
  • Corn tortillas (warm), 24
  • Salt, 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves (roughly chopped), 4
  • Pepper
  • White onions (diced), 2 medium-sized
  • Water
  • Tropical avocado salsa
For Garnishing

  • Chopped scallions
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Chopped tomatoes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Slice the meat along with the fat into 1'' cubes. Place the meat in a wide pan and fill it with water, till the meat is barely covered. Sprinkle salt, and bring the water to a boil without covering.
When the water begins to bubble, lower the heat, and cook until all the water gets evaporated. By this time, the meat should be cooked through.

Now, lower the heat slightly, and continue to cook the meat until all the fat has rendered out of it. To ensure that it gets evenly browned, keep turning the meat.
The entire process from the start to now should take about two hours. Transfer the meat to a separate container, and drain all the oil except for 2 tablespoons. Place the pan with the reserved fat over low heat, and sauté the onions in it. When translucent, add garlic, reserved meat, and chili powder to the pan.
Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture over the corn tortillas, and serve with tropical avocado salsa. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, sour cream, chopped scallions, chopped tomatoes and serve.
Mexican Fiesta Casserole
Say "hola" to this cheesy-baked casserole that's loaded with Mexican flavors, layered with chicken meat, Garbanzo beans, tortilla chips, to sweet corn and tomato sauce. It's tasty, easy to prepare, and it's good for the crowd!
  • Corn kernels (drained),
    3 cans
  • Garbanzo beans (drained),
    3 cans
  • Sharp cheddar cheese (grated), 18 ounces
  • Roast chicken meat (cooked and shredded),
    3 pounds
  • Monterey Jack cheese (grated), 18 ounces
  • Kidney beans (drained),
    3 cans
  • Tomato sauce, 3 cans 
  • Tortilla chips (crushed), 4½ cups
  • Prepared salsa, 3 cups
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (chopped), ¾ cup
  • Red onions (chopped),
    3 cups
  • Garlic (minced),
    3 tablespoons
  • Green bell peppers
    (diced into ¼'' pieces), 3
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Ripe tomatoes (diced into ¼'' pieces), 6 cups
  • Sour cream, 3 cups
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (chopped), 1½ cups
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat a 13x9'' baking dish with oil and then cover the base with a thin layer of crushed tortilla chips. In a bowl, mix the chicken, beans, corn, tomato sauce, salsa, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper together.
Spread half of it as a layer over the layer of crushed chips. Mix the cheeses, and sprinkle half of them over the mixture. Add another layer of the chicken and bean mixture using up the remaining half. Cover this layer with the remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes, and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish the dish with the cilantro leaves, diced tomatoes, and sour cream, and serve. Garnish with chopped ripe tomatoes, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves.
Mexican Layered Dip
It's a seven-layer salad, but with zesty Mexican ingredients that you can easily tuck into with chips. The crowd will love this platter for sure and will take less time to devour it as compared to the time required to dish it out.
  • Taco seasoning mix, 1 package
  • Refried beans, 14 ounces
  • Sour cream, 14 ounces
  • Cheddar cheese, 2 cups
  • Tomatoes (diced), 1 cup
  • Guacamole, 1 cup
  • Black olives (chopped), 1 can
  • Chilis (diced), ½ can
  • Bell pepper (chopped), 1
Total Time: 30 minutes
Blend the taco seasoning mix with the refried beans, and spread this mixture in a layer in a serving platter. Layer the sour cream over the beans.
Then, top this with a layer of the guacamole, followed by the bell pepper, tomatoes, chilis, and black olives. Cover the platter with the cheddar cheese finally, and serve the dip with tortillas.
Mexican Churros
Here's a fresh spin-off of doughnuts; pipe them Mexican-style and serve with a thick and indulgent dark chocolate sauce. All the crowd has to do is grab, dip, (read: drench), and devour.
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
  • Granulated sugar, ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
  • All-purpose flour, 2 cups
  • Water, 2 cups
  • Eggs, 3
  • Butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
With these recipes, you will no longer dread cooking Mexican for a crowd. Ensure to get a bulk of the work done before the day of the party so that you will be able to entertain your guests without any hassles.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Pour the water into a pan, and place it over medium heat. Add ¼ cup of the sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil.
Remove the pan from heat, and stir the all-purpose flour into the mixture. Mix thoroughly, and then add in the eggs, one at a time. Blend until you get a smooth and glossy dough.