Mexican Dishes That Don’t Include Tortillas

Mexican food and tortillas are basically synonymous to many people. Indeed, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and nachos are some of the most common Mexican foods in North America, and they all rely pretty heavily on tortillas as a main ingredient. However, there are Mexican dishes that are made without tortillas. If you're not in a tortilla mood or you simply do not like them, then you may want to order one of these tortilla-free dishes at a Mexican restaurant.


Tamales are a traditional dish consisting of a corn husk wrapped around various fillings. The most traditional filling is a combination of beef and cheese. However, you will see tamales stuffed with all sorts of things, from chicken to rice. One thing you won't find stuffed inside a tamale, though, is a tortilla.

Tamales have a really soft and appealing texture. The corn husk has a slight sweetness to it, which balances out the saltier flavors you typically find in the filling. One tamale is the perfect snack, but if ordering as a meal, you'll probably want at least three.

Carne Asada

People do order and enjoy carne asada tacos, but if you see just "carne asada" on a menu, then this is referring just to the meat. Carne asada is essentially grilled steak. But before grilling, it has been seasoned with a unique blend of Mexican spices, which gives it a distinct flavor. You may see carne asada served alongside rice and beans or Mexican salsa, but unless the menu specifies "tacos," there should not be any tortillas on your plate.


Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup. The key ingredients are pork and hominy corn, and so some refer to pozole as "Mexican corn chowder." It's a hearty dish and is typically topped with sour cream and cilantro before serving. Some restaurants may also add slices of avocado and tomato, but you won't see any tortillas.


Elote is Mexican street corn. Generally, it is served by vendors with small tents and food carts. The corn is seasoned with spices, grilled, and then topped with a mayonnaise-based spread. It's then sprinkled with chili powder, cheese, and lime juice. At a Mexican restaurant, elote is a great side dish or appetizer, and it's definitely tortilla-free.

Although most dishes at Mexican restaurants do contain tortillas, there are some exceptions. Order one of them the next time you decide to go tortilla-free! You can also contact a Mexican food restaurant for more information.