14 Different Types of Mexican Meat

Different Types of Mexican Meat 
Photo by Shutterbug75

Mexican food isn’t just beans and rice, but those are delicious too! Mexican food comes in many forms, including meat that could turn any meat-lover into a carnivore in no time. 

Read on to learn about the different types of Mexican meat you should try at least once in your life!

Mexico is one of those places that has a culinary vibe all its own. Authentic Mexican food and Mexican meat are some of their specialties. 

Furthermore, the country’s cuisine reflects its rich history. It is a blend of Spanish and indigenous influences with lots of local ingredients thrown in for good measure. 

Tacos and burritos are two everyday dishes you may be familiar with from fast-food chains like Taco Bell or Chipotle. There are so many other delicious options to try. 

If you’re traveling through Mexico or cooking up your meals at home, get inspired by trying these few authentic different types of Mexican meat you need to try!

1. Carnitas

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Pork Carnitas is a pulled pork dish prepared in lard or oil, flavored with garlic and other spices. Carnitas are traditionally cooked in large metal drums and eaten with corn tortillas. 

In addition, it’s also common for people to use leftovers for breakfast tacos or burritos.

The key to great carnitas is long, slow cooking over low heat. If you’re a person that likes pork chops, you’ll love carnitas! 

Furthermore, the word carnitas means little meats in Spanish. Carnitas can be made from chicken, beef, or even lamb!

There are many ways to make carnitas. You can roast them whole and cut them into chunks (like at our restaurant). 

You can also chop up stew meat and sauté it all day long. As you can see, there are endless possibilities when making your delicious homemade carnitas. It is one of the unique types of Mexican meat you should try.

2. Barbacoa

by HK-DMZ is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Mayans used various techniques for cooking meat, including stone ovens, hot stones in pots, and barriers. Their most unique method was something called barbacoa. 

The process involved digging pits in volcanic soil. Who would think that one of the different types of Mexican meat you should try would be made this way?

The holes would then be filled with wood, which would be burned down until hot coals formed. 

Furthermore, it was customary to cook lamb or goat whole in these pits. It could be for as long as six hours until it was ready.

Today, barbacoa is still made across Mexico. Its unique flavor comes from smoking and spicing with chipotle chiles and other herbs.

3. Birria

Another one on our list of delicious and different types of Mexican meats you should try is Birria.

While it’s not as well-known in many parts of Mexico as other meats, birria can be found throughout. It is a type of goat stew cooked with regional spices. 

Birria is commonly served with warm tortillas and spicy salsa. If you can’t get your hands on birria during your visit to Mexico City, don’t fret. You can check out El Califa in New York City. 

Their tacos de birria will transport you directly to Jalisco without leaving Manhattan. Just don’t forget a margarita or two.

4. Costillas de Puerco

Costillas de Puerco is a savory and one of the different Mexican meat you should try.

A recipe for Pollo Asado is simple, but it’s all about timing. The chicken is marinated in citrus juice and spices and then grilled over charcoal.

It is served with roasted chiles (and tortillas if you want to do it right).To make an unforgettable dinner for a crowd, serve Pollo Asado with traditional mole sauce. 

Although mole does take some time to prepare from scratch, there are plenty of ready-made options at grocery stores. This will save you hours but allow you to create an authentic meal. 

However, if your guests prefer lighter fare, serve them rice, beans, or corn tortillas. Either way, they’ll have a memorable meal that they won’t soon forget!

5. Chorizo

While often referred to as a Mexican sausage in English, Chorizo is more like a Spanish version of Italian ground pork sausages.

The dish originated in Spain centuries ago but has been adopted by many cultures worldwide. It was assumed for a good reason! 

Furthermore, Chorizo can be used in many different dishes. It is used in breakfast burritos and quesadillas for main courses like flautas and enchiladas.

If you’re looking for a spicy kick with your meat, look no further than Chorizo.

Trust me when I say it’s a different type of Mexican meat you should try. Chorizo is in a class of its own and is very delicious.

6. Trips

While you may not have heard of trips (the Spanish word for guts), you probably know they’re pretty strange-sounding. 

However, their off-putting name doesn’t do them justice. After all, how many other kinds of organ meat taste like crispy pork belly?

Tripas are delicious when prepared properly and can be enjoyed on their own or added to dishes for a bit more texture. 

In addition, when buying trips at your local grocery store or butcher shop, ask for new organs. They should be pink and white as opposed to dried-out ones. 

If you don’t like taking a chance with something new, order your next taco salad with beef tripas instead!

Consider Tripas one of the different Mexican meats you should try during your stay in Mexico!

7. Zapata

If you find yourself in Mexico, Zapata is a distinctively different type of Mexican meat you should try. It’s not a delicacy you should miss!

The most popular meat option in Mexico is carne asada. Carne asada is steak marinated in lime juice and served with roasted onions. 

It’s a flavorful and easy meal you can prepare at home or order at a restaurant. The name Zapata comes from its popularity at Cinco de Mayo.

It refers to Emiliano Zapata, a famous Mexican revolutionary who led an armed rebellion against President Porfirio Diaz. 

Furthermore, This recipe uses skirt steak, but flank works well too. Marinate your skirt steak for about 4 hours before cooking (if you want it extra spicy, add some habanero pepper). Cook over medium-high heat until done to your liking.

However, you may need to add oil since skirt steaks are so lean. This recipe serves six people and takes about 30 minutes to make.

8. Lengua

Lengua is a beef tongue. Don’t freak out, it’s still simply a different type of Mexican meat you should try.

A unique beef tongue cut is commonly boiled and served in tacos. If you’re a lamb or duck tongue fan, you should try lengua.

Also, It has a vibrant, meaty taste (you know what I mean if you eat it) and is known for being chewy.

This cut is standard in Mexican cuisine but not particularly popular here in America

It would be best if you got past your cultural expectations about eating tongue lamb/duck tongue.

Then you’re good to go. If you love lamb or duck tongue, you should try Lengua!

9. Pollo Asado

The delicious and different types of Mexican meat you should try and where you can find them are Pollo Asado. This delicious meal consists of grilled chicken marinated in a spicy adobo sauce.

This salad is made from peppers and spices like garlic, cumin, and oregano. Since it is grilled on an open fire, ask your server how fresh it is before ordering.

Also, Pollo Asado is typically served with rice, black beans, and corn tortillas for making tacos or burritos. 

If you have access to authentic Mexican food, one bite into a burrito bursting with flavor is all you need. It will send your taste buds on a journey they won’t soon forget.

10. Suadero

One of Mexico’s tastiest meats, suadero, is made from lean beef. It has been butterflied and slow-cooked until it falls apart. It also happens to be an excellent cut for turning into tacos! 

To get started, marinate your sliced suadero in a combination of lime juice and white vinegar overnight. Next, grill over high heat until it caramelizes on both sides. 

Finally, finish it off by covering it in a chipotle adobo sauce. It is perfect for serving with tortillas and toppings like guacamole and pico de gallo; for more great ways to spice up your next taco night?

If you’ve tried other Mexican meats, suadero is a different type of Mexican meat you should try too! It’s worth it!

11. Arrachera

The really delicious and different type of Mexican meat you should try in Mexico is arrachera. The translation means hitched up or strapped up meat. 

This meat ly a standing rib roast that has been sliced thin before serving. Arracheras are not as tender as other cuts and tend to be fatty. 

However, these two characteristics give them an almost melt-in-your-mouth texture. It is unlike any other cut available at your butcher shop. 

A thin arrachera taco will leave you craving more. It would also take away from the intense flavor that beef can sometimes have if not properly cooked.

12. Lechos

Another popular Latin American meat is lechos. This pork-based meat is exceptionally tender and is served in various ways. It’s typically served as sandwich meat or with ham and cheese. 

The best way to serve it is as carnitas, chopped up, fried, and mixed with vegetables. You can also grill it and add salsa on top. 

A popular dish made with lechos is tacos al pastor. These are simply tacos filled with lechos that have been cooked on a vertical spit over hot coals. Lechos can usually be found at your local Hispanic grocery store.

Lechos are satisfying different types of Mexican meats you should try if you want to treat yourself to a feast!

13. Carne Asada

Carne Asada is commonly translated as grilled meat and is one of Mexico’s favorite ways to eat beef.

According to Mexican food expert Maricel Presilla, carne asada consists of thin slices of flank steak marinated in lime juice. After it is marinated in lime juice, it is then grilled.

Furthermore, It is often served with a side dish called cebollas en salsa. This side dish consists of sliced onions in a delicious sauce that usually contains almonds.

What a delightful and strikingly different type of Mexican meat you should try!

Another popular way to serve carne asada is with tortillas or flatbread tacos piled high with cilantro, onion, and hot sauce. In addition to beef, carne asada can also be made from pork and chicken.

14. Tinga

Tinga is a great way to preserve meat. If you’re looking for a different type of Mexican meat, you should try it, and tinga is your best bet.

You can make it at home or order it in restaurants. Things are made with chicken, pork, or lamb and simmer in chipotle chilies. 

Most people don’t know what things are because they aren’t prevalent in North America.

However, they are gaining popularity because they are a delicious way to preserve meat without freezing it.

Furthermore, this method has been practiced for hundreds of years by ancient Aztec civilizations and is still used today.

The most popular types of tingas include Carne al pastor, carnitas, alambre and pozole. All these meats have in common that they are super flavorful.


Keep in mind that every country has its specialty in meat dishes. From beef and lamb to seafood and pork, choosing which kinds you want to eat can be challenging.

 In fact, with so many choices, it’s not surprising you’d be a little overwhelmed! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite types, so you don’t have to.

We hope they inspire you to plan your next Mexican food vacation! Maybe even try them all yourself.

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