Tips on Eating Plant-Based at a Mexican Restaurant

Mexican food is loved for its meat and cheese, but most Mexican-food lovers enjoy the freshness of vegetables and herbs included in a Mexican meal. Plant-based Mexican food has exploded across the board which brings Mexican cuisine into its traditional roots.

In fact, there are more Mexican restaurants today than a decade ago. This makes plant-based Mexican food more accessible.

We are lucky that Mexican staple ingredients, beans, and rice, are quite affordable, fresh and typically accessible. You can easily assure that your Mexican food is healthy.

Plant-based Ingredients of Vegan Mexican Dishes

It is easy to customize a vegan Mexican dish that is ordered in a Mexican restaurant as long as the fresh ingredients are available. Vegan Mexican dishes are often based on rice, beans, fresh ingredients, and tortillas.

This is what authentic Mexican food is really all about. Let’s take a look at the plant-based ingredients of traditional Mexican dishes:

1. Rice

Cooked rice with parsely-Elrincon

Mexican cuisine will not be complete without this staple plant-based ingredient. Rice is vegetarian-friendly. Sometimes rice is prepared with chicken stock. You can request plain rice or hold the rice if you are not given an easy meat-free option. But most Mexican restaurants will customize to make meat-free rice and beans for you.

2. Beans

Frijoles mexican beans with rice and sauces-Elrincon

Choose beans that are not refried if you are strict on your diet. Beans are usually fried with lard, which is not very healthy for a vegan meal.

Mexican restaurants can alter their recipes to become vegetarian-friendly so they would fry their beans with vegetable shortening or oil instead of animal-based lard.

When refried beans are not plant-based, a great alternative will be asking for pinto beans or black beans instead. You can also swap out the meat in your order for beans of a burrito, tacos, or torta so that you can enjoy a vegan meal.

3. Tortillas

Tortilla mexican food-Elrincon

In Mexican restaurants, you can sometimes have the option of ordering corn or flour tortillas. Choose corn tortillas that are safer and healthier because they are just made with water and salt.

Some flour tortillas are made with lard. Be sure to check if their homemade corn tortillas are also made with lard to make sure you are getting the plant-based Mexican food you want.

Packaged corn tortillas are pretty much always vegan similar to packaged flour tortillas. You can always ask what kind of tortillas they are using.

4. Vegetables

Guacamole with corn chips-Elrincon

Take a close look at the side dishes being served. You will often find grilled zucchini, fajita vegetables, corn, and guacamole. You can always ask them to leave off the cheese and sour cream or substitute with other plant-based ingredients like guacamole or salsa.

Mexican restaurants will also be willing to add some fresh ingredients like lettuce and tomatoes to some dishes to make Mexican food for vegetarians.

5. Salsas

Stick to tomato-based salsas instead of the dairy type if you are aiming for a vegan Mexican dish. An authentic Mexican dip that is available just about anywhere and is a little milder in flavor is Pico de Gallo.

This amazing and delicious traditional Mexican dish is made with tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños, onions, and lime. You can eat it with tortilla chips and enjoy an easy vegan Mexican recipe.

Vegan Mexican Dishes

It is encouraging to take the plunge into the surprisingly diverse range of vegan Mexican dishes that are available in Mexican restaurants. You can even prepare these easy vegan Mexican recipes at home. Mexican food makes it easier for you to eat vegan, really.

Here are all the best vegan Mexican dishes that you can order at a Mexican restaurant:

1. Mole

Enchiladas in mole sauce-Elrincon

This great Mexican concoction or sauce is made with cocoa and spicy peppers. No other vegan cuisine has anything resembling this Mexican sauce. It is unique and authentic to Mexico, unlike most famous dishes which have close counterparts with other dishes in other regions.

This rich sauce contains bitter chocolate that plays off against tangy seasonings. When you eat at a Mexican restaurant, you can ask how this is prepared because some make it with lard and chicken stock.

2. Burritos

Authentic Mexican burritos are prepared with beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole, making it a perfect vegan meal. It is often enjoyed as a classic Mexican dish.

Since most Tex-Mex restaurants prepare it with lots of meat and cheese, customize your burrito to fit your vegan diet, and just choose rice, beans, vegetables, and guacamole for its ingredients.

3. Tacos

Pepper corn black bean quinoa burritos-Elrincon

A perfect Mexican vegan food is tacos that are prepared with fillings similar to the burritos, except the rice. If you prefer vegan tacos, you can have them with lettuce and chopped tomatoes. There are typically two options for tacos: hard and soft. Hard tacos are served with deep-fried corn tortillas shells while soft tacos are served with soft corn or wheat flour tortilla.

4. Enchiladas

Baked enchiladas mexican food-Elrincon

Although typically prepared with heavy meat filling wrapped in a corn tortilla and then covered with spicy red sauce, you can opt to make this a vegan Mexican dish. You can order enchiladas made with vegan meat, seasoned tofu, and vegan cheese as the enchilada’s filling.

5. Enfrijoladas


Traditional enfrijoladas are made with grilled meat and eggs wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with a bean-based sauce. You can have the vegan counterpart of this delicious Mexican dish by having it prepared with mashed potatoes or grilled vegetables in place of the meat and eggs.

This is the way vegan enfrijoladas are prepared. You can have bean sauce and corn tortillas to even make it a more remarkably healthful and substantial vegan Mexican dish.

Ordering Vegan at a Mexican Restaurant

Most Mexican restaurants have a pretty good mix of fresh ingredients that are plant-based and completely suited for vegetarian. When eating at a Mexican restaurant, you can always ask questions about how the meals are prepared.

You can also suggest changes to make your meal plant-based. Ask if they have a vegetarian options and have some questions prepared when it’s time to order.

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El Rincon Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar or known as El Rincon among the locals around the restaurant serves Mexican food and drink made from the freshest ingredients. El Rincon is an authentic Mexican restaurant in Texas, visit us now!

Besides serving food for our customers in Carrollton and Addison we’re also active in communities across Texas. Contact us today to know more details!

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