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How to Make Mixiotes

Mixiotes is a traditional Mexican dish originating from the central region of Mexico, particularly popular in the state of Mexico. It consists of marinated meat, often lamb or chicken, cooked slowly in a flavorful sauce and then wrapped in a pouch made from the maguey or banana leaves.

Texture-wise, Mixiotes involves marinating the meat, usually lamb or chicken, in a rich, well-spiced sauce made from a blend of dried chilies (such as guajillo, pasilla, or ancho), garlic, herbs like thyme or marjoram, cumin, cloves, and other seasonings. The meat absorbs these flavors, resulting in tender and succulent textures while cooking.

Once marinated, the meat is placed in the center of maguey or banana leaves, along with some of the marinade, and then folded and tied into pouches. The pouches are traditionally steamed or slow-cooked, allowing the meat to cook slowly while absorbing the flavors of the marinade and becoming tender.

The slow cooking process inside the leaves infuses the meat with the flavors of the sauce while keeping it moist and tender. This cooking technique also gives the dish a distinctive aroma and taste.

Mixiotes are typically served by unwrapping the cooked meat from the leaves and can be accompanied by tortillas, rice, beans, salsa, and garnishes such as diced onions, cilantro, and lime wedges.

This dish is loved for its tender, flavorful meat, and the unique cooking method that infuses it with rich and aromatic flavors, making it a cherished part of Mexican cuisine, especially in central regions.

Key Takeaways

  • Who this meal appeals to: Adventurous food enthusiasts, those craving a taste of authentic Mexican cuisine, anyone seeking a special and aromatic dining experience.
  • Estimated duration: A flavorful creation ready in approximately 2 hours, including marinating time and cooking.
  • Nutrition facts: A protein-rich dish with a blend of aromatic herbs and spices.

About this Recipe

Mixiotes is a dish rooted in pre-Hispanic traditions, showcasing the ingenious use of maguey leaves for cooking. This recipe offers a modern adaptation, allowing you to experience the unique combination of flavors and textures that define Mixiotes.

Equipment Required

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Steamer or large pot with a steamer basket
  • Maguey leaves or parchment paper
  • Kitchen twine or banana leaves (optional)



  • 3 dried guajillo chilies, seeded and soaked
  • 2 dried ancho chilies, seeded and soaked
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 pounds beef, lamb, or chicken, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced


  1. Prepare the marinade: In a blender or food processor, combine soaked guajillo and ancho chilies, orange juice, white vinegar, minced garlic, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
  2. Marinate the meat: In a large mixing bowl, combine the meat chunks with the marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Prepare the maguey leaves: If using maguey leaves, soften them by quickly passing them over an open flame. Alternatively, use parchment paper or banana leaves as a substitute.
  4. Assemble the mixiotes: Lay a maguey leaf or parchment paper on a flat surface. Place a portion of marinated meat, potato slices, carrot slices, and onion slices in the center. Wrap the mixture tightly in the maguey leaf or parchment paper, securing with kitchen twine or banana leaves if needed.
  5. Steam the mixiotes: Arrange the wrapped mixiotes in a steamer or large pot with a steamer basket. Steam for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the meat is tender and cooked through.
  6. Serve: Unwrap the mixiotes and serve the flavorful meat, potatoes, and carrots together.

Side Dishes

  • Salsa verde or red salsa
  • Fresh cilantro and lime wedges
  • Warm tortillas or rice

Storage Options

Mixiotes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a steamer or microwave to retain its tenderness.

Ingredient Substitutes

  • Meat: Experiment with different proteins like lamb, chicken, or even fish.
  • Maguey leaves: If unavailable, parchment paper or banana leaves can be used.

Alternatives to this Meal

Transform your Mixiotes into tacos, burritos, or a hearty stew by shredding the cooked meat and serving it with your favorite accompaniments.


Mixiotes brings the ancient cooking technique of wrapping meat in maguey leaves to your table, offering a taste of tradition and a symphony of unique flavors. Whether shared with loved ones or savored as a solo meal, this recipe promises a culinary journey through the rich tapestry of Mexican cuisine. ¬°Buen provecho!