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Mexican cookbooks featuring traditional and modern recipe interpretations can help you easily bring the fiery flavors to your dinner table.
For a cuisine marked by regional variations, simple and complex cooking techniques, the voices of Mexican cookbook authors are especially resourceful.
A few authors stand out when it comes to the best Mexican cookbooks and recipes.
From famous chefs to Mexican food experts, we spotlight a variety of cookbook authors. Each of them share stories and chronicles of Mexican food from their own unique perspective.
While some Mexican dishes are similar, they can change from region to region and family to family.
Therefore, the stories and recipes in these Mexican cookbooks are all unique based on the discoveries and tastes of each author.
If you are looking to add more Mexican dishes and a latin flair to your cooking, check out our favorite Mexican cookbooks.
For incredibly flavorful recipes, new and experienced home cooks can deepen their Mexican culinary knowledge with any of these Mexican cookbooks.
Diana Kennedy Best Mexican Cookbooks
When you talk about experts on classic Mexican cuisine, the mention of Diana Kennedy is a given.
A British national, she has spent over fifty years in Mexico researching regional foods. Her efforts to share this knowledge earned her the highest Mexican award given to foreigners, the order of the Aztec Eagle.
Diana Kennedy, an award-winning author and MBE recipient, has written eight Mexican cookbooks. She became a popular face of Mexican culture and cooking ever since her first cookbook was published in 1989.
What makes her work impressive is her ability to reveal the secrets and techniques behind the bold and varied Mexican flavors.
When it comes to authentic Mexican recipes, we recommend two Mexican cookbooks from Diana Kennedy.
1 – The Art of Mexican Cooking
Art of Mexican Cooking, her first cookbook is considered one of the most comprehensive works on authentic Mexican cooking.
This recipe book tackles the range and depth of Mexican regional cuisines and covers the entire gamut of recipes from simple to complicated.
You’ll learn the basics of cooking and techniques that provide real flavor to traditional foods. The author also provides fascinating insights into Mexican food history and culture.
With this book, Diana Kennedy shows you how to balance flavors and use specific processes to create sophisticated dishes.
This cookbook has over 200 recipes including plenty of casual recipes for anyone interested in cooking simple traditional Mexican food.
+ Who Is It For: A detailed and well-documented cookbook for experienced home cooks familiar with Mexican foods and who want to dive deeper into the recipes.
– Not For: Someone who is new to Mexican foods and has no access to specific ingredients.
2 – Oaxaca al Gusto
Another classic cookbook by Diana, Oaxaca al Gusto is a cooking reference about traditional foods from the famed Oaxaca region.
Oaxaca’s regional food has been influenced by indigenous communities and later, Spanish settlers. The cuisine is also shaped by the microclimates within the state.
In this book, Diana has carefully recorded food recipes from her visits to villages throughout the state.
Many of the recipes have been passed down by generations of indigenous home cooks. With over three hundred recipes, this book covers a wide variety of popular and little-known Oaxaca foods.
What fascinated us the most was hearing local Oaxaca chefs refer to this cookbook as their personal reference for Oaxaca food.
While exploring the local regional cuisine, this book was also a guide for us in understanding the traditional ingredients.
More than just recipes, the notes in this recipe book provides insights into traditional Mexican food from Oaxaca.
You’ll find references to ancient cooking techniques, local ingredients, and the role of food in the vibrant indigenous communities.
The stunning photography will transport you to Oaxaca with the clearly illustrated step by step recipes.
+ Who Is It For: If you are looking to learn everything about Oaxacan cuisine, this book is for you.
– Not For: Someone seeking a Mexican everyday cookbook or looking for recipes with easy to find ingredients.
Rick Bayless Mexican Cooking
Unlike Diana Kennedy who is known for her cookbooks, Rick Bayless is foremost a chef and owner of multiple Mexican restaurants.
This first season winner of Top Chef Masters and host of Mexico: One Plate at a Time has six James Beard awards to his credit.
Rick is one of the few foreign chefs to receive Mexico’s highest honor, Order of the Aztec Eagle.
He co-owns popular restaurants with wife Deann and has written nine cookbooks in collaboration with her.
The Chef provides a modern interpretation of Mexican cuisine in his cookbooks. He also introduces you to basic techniques and ingredients to cook Mexican food easily at home.
3 – Mexican Everyday
This cookbook helps you create Mexican dishes with minimal effort and easy-to-find ingredients.
For home cooks whose knowledge is limited to Tex-Mex foods, this book offers superior recipes with options to substitute ingredients.
Mexican Everyday offers a good balance of flavors with delicious recipes from different parts of Mexico.
This book impressed us by showing us a healthier and quicker way to make weekend meals.
+ Who Is It For: If you are new to Mexican cooking, this provides straightforward recipes to get you started.
– Not For: Someone looking for a comprehensive authentic Mexican cookbook or interested in the subtleties of the cuisine.
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Having a good cookbook holder makes a difference when following recipes in your kitchen. See our review of The 10 Best Cookbook Holders To Have in Your Kitchen
Pati Jinich Cookbook Mexican
Pati’s journey from a policy analyst and soccer mom to a chef and cookbook author is both surprising and inspiring.
The Mexican American chef is best known for her television series, “Pati’s Mexican Table.”
Her show has helped many discover the joys of cooking Mexican, regional styles and the traditions involved.
Her show is the recipient of two EMMY nominations, an IACP award and three James Beard Awards.
Her cookbook reveals her passion to develop modern recipes that are simple, affordable and brimming with flavor.
4 – Pati’s Mexican Table – The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking
The Mexican Table helps you make contemporary recipes with easily available ingredients.
The recipes in the book require little in terms of time and commitment, and can be easily recreated in your home kitchen.
With a handful of everyday ingredients, you can add a creative spin to classic and authentic Mexican dishes.
The book has a mix of everyday meals, special dinners, holiday recipes and scrumptious dessert. And, not to forget a decent amount of vegetarian fare.
What we appreciate the most from Pati’s Mexican Table cookbook is the simplicity of the recipes, substitutions, and cooking suggestions.
The sidenotes provide additional contextual information told in an approachable and conversational style.
Pati’s evocative and mouth watering pictures will have rushing to the kitchen whip up tasty Mexican dishes.
+ Who Is It For: If you are relatively new to Mexican cooking, this book helps you master the basics and get a taste of the cuisine.
– Not For: Someone who is proficient in Mexican cooking and looking for an in-depth cookbook.
Enrique Olvera Mexican Cookbook
He was featured in the Discovery series, Chef’s Table for his culinary expertise. Recipient of multiple gastronomy and restaurant awards, the chef is credited with bringing global fame and praise to Mexican fare.
He has co-authored this book with protégé Daniela Soto-Innes, winner of Vodka World’s Best Female Chef 2019
With this cookbook, his first on home cooking, Enrique Olvera combines his signature cooking style with regular home cooking.
5 – Tu Casa Mi Casa – Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook
At the heart of the cookbook is good authentic Mexican home cooking. The recipes reflect the simplicity and freshness of basic dishes you will find in most Mexican homes.
The book’s strong point is its beautiful food photography, especially images that capture step-step instructions for making moles, salsa, masa, tamale and tortilla wraps.
The 100 recipes are a combination of basic Mexican everyday dishes to contemporary twists on traditional Mexican food.
Tu Casa Mi Casa offers you a tantalizing glimpse into modern and family-centric Mexican meals that come together quickly.
+ Who Is It For: If you are familiar with Enrique Olvera or have eaten at any of his restaurants in Mexico or in the US, you’ll enjoy this book. The recipes are personally curated by him to help you bring a taste of Mexican cooking home.
– Not For: You have to have a basic understanding of what’s involved when cooking Mexican food. This recipe book is not for someone who doesn’t already know Mexican cuisine.
Gonzalo Guzmán Best Mexican Cookbooks
Gonzalo Guzmán is the executive chef and owner of the famous Mexican restaurant in San Francisco, Nopalito.
His culinary skills have won him the prestigious James Beard award for international cuisine.
Gonzalo Guzmán’s knowledge and love for authentic Mexican food is evident from the recipes he has developed for the restaurant.
His cookbook is an ode to regional Mexican foods and features popular restaurant favorites served at Nopalito.
6 – Nopalito – A Mexican Kitchen
True to its name, this Mexican cookbook puts the spotlight on restaurant favorite recipes.
Nopalito – A Mexican Kitchen is not just a collection of recipes. The chef-author provides details on fundamental Mexican cooking and expands your knowledge on the rich culture and food.
Gonzalo Guzman draws inspiration from the land and sea. He shows you how to transform ordinary ingredients into bright and flavored dishes.
You will find one hundred recipes broken down into starters, mains, salads, soups, cocktails and desserts.
One of the best aspects of the food recipes is the focus on “batch cooking.”
Dishes like pozole, Guadalajara’s iconic soup and other stews are presented with simple instructions for simmering and feeding dozens.
+ Who Is It For: For those interested in building their Mexican pantry and creating vibrant meals from across Mexico, at home.
– Not For: Someone who is a beginner cook and hasn’t explored the world of Mexican foods.
Fany Gerson Mexican Cooking Book
Fany Gerson is a celebrated pastry chef from Mexico who has spent years traveling across her homeland sampling sweets.
Her cookbook weaves together the rich history and food tradition of Mexico with its signature desserts.
This book is a culmination of her journey across Mexico in search of delicious dulces or desserts.
7 – My Sweet Mexico
While every cuisine has its share of popular and comfort foods, desserts are its true soul.
Fany Gerson’s cookbook is a celebration of everything sweet in Mexico. My Sweet Mexico is devoted to different Mexican treats including bread, pastries, candies, beverages, frozen treats, and modern desserts.
Fany Gerson showcases native ingredients including local fruits and how they transformed into delectable baked or frozen ice pops.
While exploring authentic food specialities in Mexico, this was another one of the very resourceful Mexican cookbooks we relied on.
Tantalizing pictures, the history of Mexican desserts and their stories all come to life in this sweet book from the heart of Mexico.
Detailed instructions are well laid out to help you recreate these delicacies in your own home kitchen.
+ Who Is It For: For enthusiastic Mexican home cooks seeking to uncover the secrets of churros, tres leches cake, paletas, and much more.
– Not For: Those who are unfamiliar with Mexican traditional desserts and flavors.
Gabriela Cámara Mexican Cookbook
Gabriela Cámara was already a celebrated chef and restaurant owner before becoming a bestseller author.
Her restaurant, Contramar in Mexico City, is her flagship restaurant with other ventures in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
She is considered a leading female authority voice when it comes to sophisticated and contemporary Mexican food.
Her innovative cooking and trend-setting style has earned her a spot in Time’s list of “100 most influential people in the world.”
Considered one of the best cookbooks by premier food publications, the recipes in this book reflect the modern food scene of Mexico.
8 – My Mexico City Kitchen
Most of the recipes in My Mexico City Kitchen are simple and effortless for home cooks to make in their kitchens.
This well-designed cookbook with gorgeous food images contains one hundred and fifty tasty suggestions.
From classic traditional Mexican breakfast recipes to Mezcal cocktails, find a wide selection in this Mexican cookbook.
The recipes in My Mexico City Kitchen are neatly organized and easy to follow. Simple chapters like basics, breakfasts, starters, mains, and deserts are easy-to-follow references.
These simple and innovative cuisines of Mexico recipe ideas easily double up as everyday foods.
Besides having visited Contramar in Mexico, what we like about this modern Mexican cookbook is the focus on sustainable fresh ingredients.
Gabriela Cámara’s writing style is also very personal and filled with tips and stories that define her cooking style.
+ Who Is It For: Beginner and experienced home cooks who want to experience modern and contemporary Mexican flavors.
– Not For: Someone who is looking for authentic Mexican recipes similar to ones made by abuelita or grandma.
Marcela Valladolid Cookbook Mexican
From recipe editor for Bon Appétit Magazine to hosting her own cooking shows, Marcela’s culinary journey is steeped in Mexican food.
A successful author, she brings the best of her Mexican American heritage to her books filled with easy Mexican cooking and inspiring stories.
What elevates Marcela Valladolid’s work is her ability to make Mexican food easy and fun for everyone.
Her passion and love come through in this cookbook featuring vibrant photos of food and family
Mexican made Easy is a companion book released for her television show by the same name.
9 – Mexican Made Easy – Everyday Ingredients, Extraordinary Flavor – A Cookbook
Mexican Made Easy does exactly what it says. The cookbook provides you with quick and fun recipes made with fresh and easily available ingredients
The recipes are approachable, and the author provides detailed instructions that are easy to follow.
Chile de Arbol Salsa, Coconut Flan, Baja-Style Braised chicken thighs are some of the simple and beautiful dishes you’ll learn to create.
Marcela Valladolid showcases one hundred delicious Mexican American recipes that are family friendly and importantly, kid-friendly too.
+ Who Is It For: Best for home cooks looking for everyday innovative and easy Mexican recipes.
– Not For: Someone looking for complex Mexican techniques or very traditional regional recipes.
Susana Trilling Best Mexican Cookbooks
Cookbook author and chef Susana Trilling, is considered a leading expert on regional Mexican Oaxaca cuisine.
Susana, an ex-New Yorker, is the owner of Seasons of my Heart cooking school in Oaxaca and is a leading authority on the food.
We had the pleasure of meeting Susana Trilling in Oaxaca when we attended a fascinating talk she gave about “PreHispanic Mexican Cuisine.”
Not only is she deeply versed in the cuisines of Mexico, she is a fun and entertaining speaker bringing her experience into her books.
Her cookbooks, including the PBS series, reflect her passion for traditional Mexican cuisines and cooking traditions.
10 – Seasons of My Heart – A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca, Mexico
There are fascinating stories in Seasons of my Heart about Oaxaca’s culture, its contemporary foods, and the people who create these delicious meals.
The collection of food recipes bring contemporary Oaxacan cooking to life. Together with the vivid imagery and notes, you will be transported to the indigeneous and modern communities within the state.
Seasons of My Heart is categorized into regional recipes with additional sections dedicated to essential ingredients, moles, and her original creations.
Recipes for mole, Oaxaca’s most famous dish are painstakingly detailed. For example, making mole coloradito at home will take about four and a half hours.
What we like about this cookbook especially after having spent about 6 months in Oaxaca is the level of detail and authenticity.
+ Who Is It For: For cooks experienced with Mexican cuisine looking to replicate the unique flavors of Oaxaca in their kitchen. A heavy dose of patience is a huge plus.
– Not For: Beginner cooks or someone who wants an all-encompassing book on Mexican cooking.
Do you have any favorite Mexican cookbooks? Please let us know in the comments below!
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Rosemary is the editor-in-chief and strategist at Authentic Food Quest.
Traveling slow since 2015 with her partner, Claire, she has explored the cuisine in 45 countries and more than 240+ culinary cities.
Her writing about local food specialties has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post.
As a food and travel writer, Rosemary has co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
Rosemary is an avid runner when she’s not eating and exploring new destinations. She has run ten marathons and counting.
Before Authentic Food Quest, Rosemary held senior-level strategy positions in advertising.
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