Our Best Texan Recipes Will Help You Lasso Hearts and Stomachs

Bring your appetite—everything's bigger in Texas

Texas is one of the most exciting places to eat. Sharing a border with Mexico, the Lone Star State knows its way around both traditional Mexican recipes as well as the Texan-Mexican fusion that's become so popular you can easily find Tex-Mex cooking in the other 49 states. And while Texas cuisine will forever be known for its signature, smoky style of barbecue, it's also adopted influences from its Cajun neighbors and its diverse immigrant groups, ranging from Vietnamese to Indian. From beef fajitas to cheesy nachos, here are some of our favorite recipes that have come out of big Texas.

Red Chile Enchilada

Red Chile Enchiladas
Red Chile EnchiladasMatt Taylor-Gross

The Gonzalez family in Las Cruces, near El Paso, makes enchiladas similar to these using an old family recipe. Get the recipe for Red Chile Enchilada »

Mustard-Glazed Ham Ribs

Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Ribs
RibsDrew Anthony Smith

A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon. Get the recipe for Mustard-Glazed Ham Ribs »

Charred Cabbage Slaw

Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Cabbage Slaw
Charred Cabbage SlawDrew Anthony Smith

In this offbeat slaw, raw red cabbage adds a textural contrast to the grilled green cabbage, and a zippy, spicy-sweet-salty dressing goes well with the charred bits. Get the recipe for Charred Cabbage Slaw »

Chile con Queso

Chile con Queso
Chile con QuesoMatt Taylor-Gross

This classic Tex-Mex dip comes from Lisa Fain (a.k.a. The Homesick Texan). With both serrano chiles and jalapeños, the dip has a bright spiciness that cuts through the richness of two cheeses. The tangy sour cream added at the end brings it over the top. Get the recipe for Chile con Queso »

Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef

black bean nacho recipe, game day recipes, football recipes, bar food
Black Bean NachosFarideh Sadeghin

This appetizer is loaded with spicy chorizo, assorted chiles, and hearty black beans. Get the recipe for Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato SalsaTodd Coleman

Sweet papaya and tart ruby red grapefruit juice tame the heat of the Scotch bonnet pepper in the marinade for the steak, while the vegetables for the accompanying jalapeño-laced salsa get charred on the fire along with the meat. Get the recipe for Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa »

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne
Chili con CarneLandon Nordeman

You won't find beans or tomatoes in a true Texan chili con carne—just tender cubes of beef and pork, fiery chiles, and plenty of garlic, onion, oregano, and cumin for flavor. A little bacon fat gives this one a rich and smoky undertone. Get the recipe for Chili con Carne »

Longhorn Bull Shot

Bullshot
BullshotMichael Kraus

This drink is a distinctly Texan riff on the classic beef-broth cocktail known as a bull shot. Get the recipe for Longhorn Bull Shot »

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles
Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade PicklesJoseph De Leo

Adding sriracha to the chunky pimento cheese recipe in this sandwich ups the spice factor and helps to offset the creaminess of the cheddar. Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles »

Barbecue Rub

BBQ rub
BBQ rubTodd Coleman

Spice rubs like this one are essential to Texas-style barbecued beef brisket. Get the recipe for Barbecue Rub »

Steak Fajitas with Green Sauce

Green Sauce Fajitas
Green Sauce FajitasAndré Baranowski

Green sauce, the spicy avocado cream sauce that is originally from Ninfa's in Houston, is a Texas standby. Get the recipe for Steak Fajitas with Green Sauce »

Frito Pie

Frito Pie
Frito PieWayne Truong

Texans and New Mexicans have locked horns for decades over who can lay claim to the irresistible creation that is Frito pie. Making it is a simple matter of topping a pile of Fritos corn chips with chili, cheddar, onions, and sliced jalapeños. It's often served right inside the Fritos bag, but it's equally appealing in an old-fashioned paper boat, garnished with cilantro and scallions. Get the recipe for Frito Pie »

Gordon's Chili

Texas Chili
Texas ChiliLaurie Smith

Stuffed with beef chuck, chiles, and rich tomato sauce—but never beans!—this hearty chili is thickened with masa harina. Get the reciep for Gordon's Chili »

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar
Texas CaviarAndré Baranowski

Throughout the American south, black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight, in the hopes of a new year filled with prosperity. This is salad is a lighter, fresher take on black-eyed peas. Get the recipe for Texas Caviar »

Mexican Chocolate

mexican chocolate
Mexican chocolateTodd Coleman

This Mexican chocolate tablet recipe comes from Hugo and Ruben Ortega of Hugo's restaurant in Houston, TX. The hardened chocolate tablets can be used to make hot chocolate for drinking with churros or in savory dishes like mole poblano. Get the recipe for Mexican Chocolate »

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf
Southwest Turkey MeatloafSAVEUR

The recipe for this spicy, cheese-topped meat loaf comes from home cook Matt Gibbs of Houston, Texas. Get the recipe for Southwest Turkey Meatloaf »

Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo)

Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo)
Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo)Todd Coleman

These classic Oaxacan-style enchiladas are stuffed with chicken and doused in a sweet chile-and-garlic sauce. Get the recipe for Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo) »

Smoked Prime Rib with Peach-Chipotle Sauce

Smoked Prime Rib
Smoked Prime RibTodd Coleman

Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef and partner of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City, gave us this recipe for succulent, smoked prime rib and a spicy-sweet complementary sauce (which we like to make with homemade peach preserves). Get the recipe for Smoked Prime Rib with Peach-Chipotle Sauce »

Homemade Jalapeño Poppers

Homemade Jalapeño Poppers
Homemade Jalapeño PoppersTodd Coleman

Packed with a spicy, cheesy filling, roasted and fried jalapeños gain depth from charring under the broiler and a crispy crust from the bread crumb coating. Get the recipe for Homemade Jalapeño Poppers

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad
German Potato SaladTodd Coleman

A hearty German potato salad like this one makes an ideal accompaniment for smoked brisket. The dish is a legacy of German immigrants who settled in Central Texas. Get the recipe for German Potato Salad »

Barbecued Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket
Beef BrisketO. Rufus Lovett

The rub on this classic Texas beef brisket forms a flavorful crust on its exterior. Get the recipe for Barbecued Beef Brisket »