Mexican-Inspired Starters & Sandwiches

Mexican flavors are highlighted in these recipes. These small dishes include salsas, guacamoles, soups, salads, and sandwiches. They're perfect for appetizers, lunches, and starters.

Mango Salsa

Mango, the most popular fruit in the world, makes a colorful addition to this salsa. Mango's peachlike flavor and juiciness provides an interesting contrast to the lime juice in this refreshing salsa.

Chunky Guacamole

Lime juice adds the zing to this version of guacamole -- a party favorite any time of year. If you love guacamole on tortilla chips, try it on grilled sandwiches and alongside grilled meats and poultry.

Chipotle Chili Salsa

Chipotles are dried and smoked jalapeno peppers. This relishlike salsa has a hot, smoky flavor that comes from the chipotles.

Fresh Tomato Salsa

If you like a mild salsa, use the banana peppers. For a hot version, opt for one of the other pepper choices such as serrano or jalapeno.

Basil Guacamole

The addition of basil gives this guacamole a very refreshing flavor. Since basil is part of the mint family, this makes perfect sense.

Gazpacho Salsa

This salsa faithfully mirrors its soup namesake, gazpacho, with lots of fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, oil, vinegar, and garlic.

Black Bean Gazpacho

Great fresh flavor and convenience are matched perfectly in this recipe. A vegetable juice base and canned beans are combined with fresh garden tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, scallions, cucumber, and yellow squash in this spunky chilled soup.

Mexican Minestrone

Salsa and stewed tomatoes spice up minestrone, a popular Italian soup. There's no meat in this zesty soup but it's so full of flavor that you'll never miss it. Dollop each bowl with sour cream and pass warmed tortillas or tortilla chips.

Guacamole Soup

The buttery, rich, and slightly spicy kick of a guacamole dip is transformed here into a refreshing chilled soup. While the soup calls for chicken broth, if you want a vegetarian version, just substitute vegetable broth.

Black Bean and Sausage Posole

Add canned beans, hominy, and tomatoes to light sausage for this easy, off-the-shelf version of posole, a hearty Mexican soup. To add a little more authenticity, serve with garnishes of lettuce, onion, cheese, cilantro, and radish for people to add to their bowl as they wish.

Mexican Chicken-Tortilla Soup

This highly flavored soup is great for a starter or a main dish. It combines chicken, tomatoes, garlic, and south-of-the-border seasonings, and then is festively topped with fried tortilla strips and cheese.

Layered Taco Salad

This classic layered salad combines lots of tasty, texturally intriguing, and visually appealing ingredients -- black beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, olives, avocado, and tortilla chips. And those are just the main ingredients, not the extra flavors that make it a perennial favorite!

Mexican Fiesta Salad

Prepare this creamy chilled salad in the morining and look forward all day to a hearty, corn-and-bean-studded treat. Lime and cilantro infuse the sour cream dressing. This south-of-the-border salad offers a terrific dish for toting. When you're serving it at home, spoon the salad over a layer of tortilla chips.

Tri-Pepper Nachos

The bright colors in this updated nachos snack are lots of fun. Add even more color by using spinach or tomato tortillas.

Taco-Turkey Sandwiches

A plain turkey sandwich gets some spiked-up flavor by slathering the rolls with a spunky taco-seasoned olive-and-mayonnaise spread and adding both cheddar and pepper cheeses.

Chicken Enchilada Sandwiches

This is a hybrid sandwich from the Americas. Traditionally an enchilada is a tortilla rolled and stuffed with a mixture containing meat or cheese and served with a sauce spiced with chili. This one has the tortilla, if desired, poultry spiked with south-of-the-border spices, cheeses, cilantro, scallions, and a few other appropriate additions such as avocado slices.

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