Between immense deserts and mountain ranges and in the midst of an extreme climate of high temperatures on summer days and frosty winter nights, Chihuahua has developed a fabulous gastronomy, underpinned by its strong livestock production, its artisanal cheeses and some agricultural items ( such as apples and nuts) in which it has national leadership.

This selection with the best of the typical food of Chihuahua will leave you wanting to go to the north of Mexico to enjoy such appetizing Mexican dishes.

1. Chihuahuan burritos

When talking about the typical dishes of Chihuahua and their history, that of burritos and their origin is controversial. A widespread version indicates that the name originated during the Mexican Revolution, when a man from Ciudad Juárez, named Juan Méndez, used his donkey to sell rolled tacos with a filling inside.

However, this story does not stand up, as the 1895 Dictionary of Mejicanismos by Félix Ramos y Duarte accurately describes the burrito as a rolled-up tortilla with a filling. In any case, the burrito is one of the iconic dishes of Chihuahua and wherever there is a colony of Chihuahuans or Mexicans, there are stalls selling burritos.

One of its variants is the burro percherón, invented in the state of Sonora and prepared with a large tortilla and stuffed with charcoal-grilled or grilled meat, avocado, mayonnaise, and cheese, usually Chihuahua or Manchego.

The large tortillas of the burro percherón are called “sobaqueras”. Despite being relatively recent, these great burritos have spread rapidly and there are franchises that offer them.

2. Chihuahua-style discada tacos

The information on the typical food of Chihuahua indicates that the discada owes its name to the fact that it is traditionally prepared in the field, over a wood fire, in disused plow discs, which are recovered as large metal griddles.

The main ingredients of the discada are chopped beef and bacon, chorizo, jalapeño peppers, tomato, onion, garlic, pepper and salt. Its flavor improves if dark beer and/or white tequila is added during cooking, allowing the alcohol to evaporate.

As getting a plow disc to make the typical discada is not easy, it can be replaced by a comal or a large frying pan. Once the stew is done, you just have to put it on hot corn tortillas to have some delicious discada tacos.

The discada is also prepared in Nuevo León and Durango and the recipe dates back to colonial times and the viceroyalty, when the main activity in northern Mexico was agriculture. In the past venison was widely used.

3. Machaca with egg

Among the 10 most popular Chihuahua recipes, we must note the machaca with egg. Machaca is a dried meat, softened and crumbled with stones, very popular in northern Mexico. It is also called aporreadillo and machacado and the usual meats are beef and venison dehydrated with salt, sun and wind.

The way the meat is prepared gives it a peculiar flavor and in times past, people who made long trips through the vast territories of northern Mexico would take their supplies of machaca with them to eat along the way with wild quail eggs.

The recipe is prepared by frying onion, tomatoes and jalapeño peppers, then adding the dried and shredded meat. Finally, add the slightly beaten eggs and cook until tender, seasoning to taste.

4. Ham

Among all the typical food of Chihuahua, the jamoncillo stands out as one of the most popular sweets. This light brown candy made of milk and sugar is common in Chihuahua and other northern states of Mexico. It is usually decorated with nuts.

The most famous are those of Hidalgo del Parral, a historic Chihuahuan city where several important episodes of the Mexican Revolution took place, including the assassination of Pancho Villa. This town is known for its fantastic sweet shop.

Making jamoncillos is very easy. Just put whole cow’s milk, sugar, honey, vanilla extract, and a pinch of baking soda in a pot.

The mixture is cooked over medium heat and when cool enough to handle, sticks or small cones of candy form. The typical jamoncillos have some grooves that are made with a toothpick.

5. Red chili tacos with dried meat

The red chili from Chihuahua is called chilacate in Jalisco and Colima and long red in Sonora. It is also known as Anaheim chili when it is fresh (it owes its name to the fact that it is very well known in that Californian city), chili de sarta and chili Magdalena.

In Chihuahua, Sonora and other northern Mexican states, the red chili is used to make a sauce. This is combined with dried beef to make the filling for some tasty tacos, very easy to prepare, that contain all the flavor of the Chihuahuan land.

The filling of the tacos is made by cooking the dried and shredded meat with potato cubes, salt and pepper. The sauce is made with red chilies softened in boiling water and then crushed with garlic, pepper, salt and other seasonings to taste.

6. middlings

Harinillas are pinole corn cookies that they prepare in Chihuahua, especially during Lent and Easter. Pinole is roasted and ground fat corn and the food of the same name, sweetened with piloncillo, was an important component of the indigenous diet in pre-Hispanic Mexico.

The typical middlings are made with a mixture of pinole and wheat flour and are shaped like round and flat cookies, although there are those who make them square, rhomboid and other shapes. The sweetness of middlings is provided by piloncillo and cloves and cinnamon contribute to its tasty aroma.

They are traditionally cooked in earth ovens in the patios of the houses. When there are only a few days left before the beginning of Lent, it is possible to see many Chihuahuans repairing and preparing their earthen ovens to prepare middlings and other typical dishes of the Lenten season and Holy Week.

7. Roast meat

Chihuahua is the largest federal entity in Mexico and also the first in exporting cattle. The peculiarities of the regional territory, with many rough lands and mountains, make agricultural activities difficult but allow extensive cattle ranching, which is one of its economic mainstays.

Meat has traditionally been an essential component in the Chihuahuan diet, and its climate of extreme variations between hot and cold led its first settlers to invent conservation methods such as dehydration by drying in the sun.

In the typical food of Chihuahua, the asado is a classic of the state. It is prepared with any cut, lean or bone, such as flank steak, T-bone, Top Sirloin, rib, needle, picaña and ribeye, and the traditional method of grilling over mesquite wood.

The fattiest meat is roasted with the first fire and when it decreases in intensity, the leanest cuts are cooked. The usual accompaniments are potatoes, onions, roasted chilaca chili, pico de gallo sauce and guacamole.

8. Jackals

Jackals are predatory mammals that live on several continents but not in America, and their equivalents in Chihuahua would be coyotes. However, Chihuahuans have their particular jackals, which are broken corn kernels.

Many young people in the state grew up without knowing them, but older people have not forgotten how to prepare jackals in the traditional Chihuahua style.

The work is laborious and begins months before, when the corn is harvested and roasted, and then the corn is shelled and broken. The broken beans are dried in the sun for at least 2 months and are ready to prepare in various ways.

To make the Chihuahua-style jackals, the corn is broken up a little more in the grinder (without grinding it too much) and softened over the fire in a pot of water. Then, the jackals are finished cooking in a fried sauce of red chilies, garlic, salt, and water. They are served hot with grated Chihuahua cheese on top.

9. Bear broth

With almost 248 thousand km 2 , Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico, but it does not have a sea coast. However, Chihuahuans do not deprive themselves of eating fresh fish, which they catch in dams such as La Boquilla, Luis L. León, Madero, San Gabriel and Chihuahua.

The Chihuahuan bear broth is not plantigrade but fish, specifically catfish. When the La Boquilla dam was being built, the workers ate catfish to satiety. They called the soup with the fish “hateful broth” and then the name changed to “bear broth”.

The catfish is cut into pieces, seasoned with salt and pepper and browned in butter in the same pot used to make the broth. The fish is removed from the pot to make a sauce of tomato, onion, garlic and green onion and potato and carrot pieces are added.

Next, add water with salt and herbs to taste (celery, marjoram, coriander, bay leaf) and when it is boiling, add the fish and finish cooking.

10. Chihuahua Cheese

The cheese that bears the name of the state is another emblem of Chihuahuan cuisine. Its origin is linked to the arrival of a Mennonite colony in Chihuahua in the early 1920s. These peaceful Anabaptist Christians brought their agricultural and livestock traditions to Mexico and began the production of the cheese that over time was called Chihuahua.

Chihuahuans call it Mennonite cheese, although Mennonites themselves prefer to call it Cheddar cheese and Chester cheese.

The Chihuahua cheese denomination is common outside the state. It is shaped like an oblate cylinder or a rectangular bar. It is a soft, golden yellow cheese, easy to slice, with a creamy taste and a milky aroma.

There are two types, the one made with minimally skimmed raw milk and the one with pasteurized milk. It is widely used to make quesadillas and for sandwiches, cheesecakes, and as an ingredient in refried beans.

11. Hooded

The capirotada is a traditional dessert from Chihuahua and other Mexican states, made with bread, nuts, fruit, piloncillo and cheese, although the recipe varies from place to place. It is a sweet prepared particularly in Lent and Easter.

A typical Chihuahuan capirotada is made with hard rolls that are sliced ​​and browned in butter. Then a syrup is prepared with piloncillo, cinnamon and dry sherry wine.

Grease a baking dish and alternate layers of bread, Chihuahua cheese, raisins and nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts). Finally it is covered with the syrup and baked.

The capirotada is also typical of many other Mexican states (Durango, Nayarit, Sonora, Zacatecas, Nuevo León, among others) and the US state of New Mexico.

Each federal entity has its own particular recipe, which includes ingredients such as plantain, guava, biznaga, coconut, tomato, onion, meringue and assorted cheeses.

12. Fried mojarra

The Chihuahua dam was built in the 1960s on the course of the Chuviscar River, to supply water to the capital. Traditionally, Chihuahuan fishermen gather once a year to stock fish in the dam.

One of the planted species is mojarra, which is later captured by sport fishermen and for food purposes. Fried mojarra is a simple and tasty dish and one of the favorites of fish-loving Chihuahuans.

Cross-sectional cuts are made on both sides of the specimens to be fried so that the dressing to be applied penetrates. Then they are fried on both sides in very hot oil and sauced with a mortar dressing based on onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns and lemon juice.

13. Chihuahua-style apple pie

The expression that “Chihuahua smells like an apple” is fully justified. The great northern state is the fundamental producer of apples in Mexico, accumulating 85% of the total. In the municipalities of Cuauhtémoc, Guerrero, Carichí and others in the state there are more than 33,000 apple orchards that harvest the symbolic Chihuahuan fruit.

These municipalities meet ideal climate, latitude and altitude conditions to produce sweet and juicy apples to eat fresh and make juices and various recipes, among which the pie stands out. This is prepared with sliced ​​apples that are placed in a pie pan along with sugar, a little flour and cinnamon.

The mold is previously covered with a crust made with a mass of flour, baking powder, butter, beaten egg, a touch of vinegar and cold water. Finally, the apple pie is baked.

14. Grilled cheese

Asadero cheese is one of the most representative of the typical food of Chihuahua. It is a fresh spun cheese (processed thermally and mechanically to align its fibers) of artisanal production in the state, particularly in the municipality of Villa Ahumada.

The municipal seat, called Villa Ahumada, is the main center for cheese production. This town is located on Federal Highway 45 that connects Ciudad Juárez with the city of Chihuahua, 124 km south of the former and 238 km north of the state capital.

There are two types of artisanal asadero cheese, the one made with commercial rennet and the one made with trompillo, a regional wild plant that provides a coagulating enzyme. There are no significant differences in flavor between the two types of cheese, although the one made with trompillo is a little softer.

Its usual presentations are in a ball to unravel and in the form of thin cakes. Asadero cheese is used abundantly by Chihuahuans to make burritos, tacos montados, quesadillas and chiles rellenos. It is also good for snacking, melted and spread on tortilla chips or cookies.

15. Chihuahuan beef broth

This dish is traditionally prepared in Chihuahua with the beef chamorro (also known as osobuco, chambarete, jarrete, lizard with bone, canilla and morcillo), part found in the legs between the calf and the hamstring, including the bone with marrow. and the meat around.

The special touch to the Chihuahuan recipe is given by the tree chili. It also has onion, skinless and crushed tomato, bay leaf, carrot, potato, cabbage, parsley and dill. It is convenient to previously soften the chamorro in a pressure cooker so that the preparation is shorter.

This beef broth seems to miraculously recover many Chihuahuans who go for drinks during the Santa Rita fairs, the Matachic festival, Santa Bárbara day and other festive events and state celebrations.

16. Empanadas of Santa Rita

These delicious empanadas are named after Santa Rita de Casia, patron saint of the city of Chihuahua, whose day is celebrated on May 22. It is a delicious game of flavors to accompany with a fresh water or a beer.

The empanada dough is prepared with flour, milk, anise and butter and the unique touch is given by tequesquite, the Mexican mineral salt that has been used since pre-Hispanic times.

The typical filling of Santa Rita empanadas is made with ground pork loin, lard, onion, raisins, almonds, sugar, cinnamon powder, ground cloves, and salt and pepper to taste.

The Santa Rita fairs are the most important festivals in Chihuahua and usually run from mid-May to early June. It is an excellent opportunity to enjoy impressive agricultural exhibitions, music, mechanical games and a gastronomic corridor to eat all the traditional dishes and cravings of the state.

17. Tejuino

Tejuino or tesguino is a kind of corn beer that is drunk by various Mexican ethnic groups. It is the most important ceremonial and social drink for the Tarahumara or Rarámuris indigenous people who live in the mountains of Chihuahua, Sonora and Durango, and for the Huicholes or Wixárikas who live in Nayarit, Jalisco and Zacatecas.

In these Amerindian towns the tesguino fulfills several functions. It is used as a base for the preparation of natural medicines, consumed as an alcoholic beverage, used as a means of payment and, diluted in water, taken as food by nursing mothers and children.

It is also the common denominator of the tesguinadas, meetings to carry out community work or to make important decisions for the community.

It is made with corn kernels that are left to germinate in a dark environment and then ground on a metate and cooked in water. This preparation is allowed to ferment in the so-called tesguineras pots for variable periods of time that determine its alcohol content.

Low-alcohol tejuino is mixed with piloncillo and drunk like a soft drink. It is common to consume the drink in containers similar to ladles without a handle, made with the fruit of the guaje.

18. Chihuahua style beef birria

Birria is a popular Mexican dish identified with lamb or mutton meat in most states of the country, although the use of goat and beef is allowed.

It has a marinade of chili peppers, spices, aromatic herbs and other vegetables, using the most popular from each region, and a consommé made with tomatoes and the cooking juices of the meat.

In its traditional form, the birria is cooked slowly in containers embedded in holes made in the ground, surrounded by the bottom and the walls with wood embers and covered with maguey leaves.

Apart from chiles (ancho, pasilla, guajillo, puya, among others), the marinade can contain oregano, sesame, marjoram, bay leaf, thyme, garlic, pepper, ginger, onion and tomato.

Given the preponderance of cattle in Chihuahua, birria de res is common in the state, which can be prepared in the pit with embers by recipe purists or in gas or electric ovens and stoves.

A typical Chihuahuan birria is made with beef shoulder or rib, guajillo and pasilla chiles, garlic, oregano, thyme, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and salt.

19. Chicken in nogada

Nogada, also called picada, is a mixture of walnuts or almonds with spices, known as nous sauce in Catalan cuisine, which is used to stew fish. In the Spanish municipality of Castellón, nogada is used to cook potatoes.

During the Middle Ages it was already known in Sephardic cuisine and from Spain it passed to the New World, especially to New Spain (Mexico) and Peru. In Mexico, the most famous recipe is the chiles en nogada, one of the gastronomic symbols of the state of Puebla and the entire country along with the mole poblano.

The common walnut or Castile nut was brought to America by the conquerors and perfectly acclimatized in the state of Chihuahua, which is a world leader in the production and export of walnuts, with almost 100,000 tons a year.

The chicken in nogada is a Chihuahuan delicacy and is prepared by cooking the pieces of the animal with onion, chiles and salt and pepper to taste.

Then, the cooked chicken pieces are bathed in a nogada, prepared with crushed walnuts and tomatoes and cooked with oil, garlic, parsley and white wine. The nogada also goes very well with chicken.

20. Beef tongue in pipián

Although many people prefer not to prepare it because of its appearance, beef tongue is widely used in Mexican cuisine, eaten in tacos, burritos, and other recipes.

The tongue is one of the components of cattle with the fattest and prehistoric man learned to eat it, along with other organs, such as the brain, marrow and legs, for its great caloric intake that protected from the cold.

In this dish, the tongue is linked to a pre-Hispanic classic of Mexican cuisine, such as the pipian sauce, prepared with pumpkin seeds.

Chihuahua-style pipián or red pipián is made with red chiles that are softened in boiling water and then blended with pumpkin seeds, corn, garlic, salt, and other ingredients to taste.

The most common pipián recipe is with chicken, but this chihuahuense variant with beef tongue is also delicious. The cooked tongue (preferably in a pressure cooker) is cleaned and cut into slices and then stewed in the pipián sauce with a little oil or lard.

21. Chilaca chili

The chilaca chili is a star component of the typical food of Chihuahua. This fresh chili is called pasilla or black when dry. The chilaca can reach up to 22 cm and has a twisted shape that loses when dehydrated.

It is grown in several areas of Chihuahua, especially in the Delicias municipality, located in the central part of the state. It is not as hot as other Mexican chiles, so it is perfect for stuffing.

It is used to prepare the popular chili slices with cream, tomato, onion and cheese, and to make various molcajete sauces.

The pasilla chili, obtained by drying the chilaca in the sun for at least a month, is also part of the traditional cuisine of Chihuahua. In the state they use a particular method of dehydration; They first roast the chili to remove the skin and then dry it in the sun.

One of the typical Chihuahuan dishes that has pasilla chili is a meat stew with onions and tomatoes. Its name pasilla comes from the fact that it takes on the appearance of a plum or a raisin when dried. It is also called black and tight because of its dark color.

22. Izquiate

Izquiate or iskiate is a tasty natural fresh water made from chia seeds that Chihuahuans drink when the heat hits, in a state characterized by a climate of extreme temperatures that can exceed 33 °C in the heat of summer.

Chia seeds are a superfood from the plant of the same name, which was cultivated by the Aztecs and was an important component of the pre-Hispanic diet in Central America.

They contain 31% healthy fats, 16% vegetable protein, and significant amounts of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, manganese, and zinc.

This drink, apart from being refreshing and nutritious, is prepared by soaking the washed seeds for at least an hour, stirring frequently. The chia water is then mixed with lemon and sugar and refrigerated or consumed chilled with ice.

During hot times in Chihuahua, this agüita is one of the best non-alcoholic beverage options.

23. Cilantro Rainbow Trout

This species of fresh and salt water has become very popular in the kitchen due to its flavor and its ability to adapt to different habitats. It has been introduced to a large number of bodies of water where it is captured to be sold fresh, frozen, salted, smoked and canned.

In the mountains of Chihuahua there is a native species called golden trout, which would also be perfect for eating, although it is not easily obtained.

The trout are cleaned and opened in a butterfly and put in the oven with a touch of salt. When there are a few minutes left to be cooked, add vegetables (potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, peppers) previously sautéed in butter.

When serving, the trout are sauced with a whipped and heated dressing, based on fish broth, milk cream, coriander and salt.

24. Dried fruit

Dried apricots are an excellent way to take advantage of the abundance of seasonal fruits and their advantages for a healthy diet. They are dehydrated fruits in the sun or by artificial means, with which they lose about 90% of water, concentrating their sweetness and nutrients.

Dried apricots allow fruits to be preserved for longer and delight children for their sweet taste and texture that can resemble that of gummies. In this way, the little ones happily ingest important doses of vitamins and fiber.

There are many fruits that you can make dried apricots, such as peaches, plums, apricots, peaches, and apples. In Chihuahua, the apple option is cheap, considering the abundance of the fruit in the state.

Similarly, dried apricots can be incorporated into salads, meat dishes, pasta and desserts, making the daily diet a different experience in variety, flavors and textures.

25. Quince box

Quince is another fruit that grows very well in Chihuahua, especially in the municipalities of Allende and Aldama, where there is an artisanal tradition of making jams and cajetas or ates.

Quince ate is a sweet native to Portugal and Spain and the conquerors brought it to America. It is prepared by mixing equal parts of quince pulp and sugar, which are cooked until smooth. Let it cool and chop into bars that are the cajetas.

Although often referred to as a single fruit, guava and quince are two similar but different species. Guava is much richer in vitamins, but quince contains more natural sugars, so it is better for sweets.

What is the typical drink of Chihuahua?

Among the typical drinks of Chihuahua, one of the most traditional is sotol, prepared with a pineapple from a species of agave that grows in the deserts of Chihuahua and other northern Mexican states. The Rarámuri or Tarahumara call this agave sereque. Sotol is known in Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila and Durango and in several states in the southern United States, such as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Its alcoholic content can reach 45%.

What are the typical sweets of Chihuahua?

The jamoncillos, some types of middlings, the capirotada, the apple pie, the dried apricots and the quince jelly are among the most appreciated sweets in Chihuahua. Another great Chihuahuan candy is caramelized apples, in which these fresh, whole fruits are dipped into a liquid caramel made by cooking a mixture of sugar, butter, a little water and lemon juice, and red food coloring.

Typical food of Chihuahua recipes

Some typical recipes from Chihuahua are the nopalitos in red chili sauce, the mounted tacos, the chicken in Chihuahua cheese sauce, the pasilla chili with asadero cheese, the jellied rabbit, the tornare de chivo, the torrejas, the corn roll , milk with pinole and atole with cilantro. Another popular drink is tepache, similar to a sweet beer and prepared with slightly fermented pineapple juice, cinnamon and a touch of pepper.

Typical food of Chihuahua : images and videos

Images of typical food of Chihuahua:

Burritos, an iconic dish from Chihuahua

chihuahuan calligraphy

Machaca with egg, a traditional dish from Chihuahua

Videos of typical food from Chihuahua:

Preparation of homemade dried meat

Delicious food at the Chihuahua market stalls


Which of these dishes of the typical food of Chihuahua have you liked the most? We hope that very soon you can go to the great state of northern Mexico to enjoy them.

See also:

  • Read our ultimate guide to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua – Magical Town
  • Click here for our ultimate guide to Batopilas, Chihuahua – Magical Town
  • We leave you our definitive guide to Creel, Chihuahua – Magical Town

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