The following is a brief description of the unique aspect of Mexican cooking called antojitos mexicanos, which literally means Mexican Whims. It includes the corn and tortilla-based specialties like tacos, enchiladas, and tamales.
- Burritos consist of a filling, usually shredded or dried meat, often mixed with a chile sauce, wrapped in a large, thin flour tortilla. They are a specialty of the State of Sonora where they were often packed into saddlebags.
- Cazuelitas These are a specialty of Chilapa in the state of Guerrero. They are made by pressing a thin layer of tortilla dough around the outside of a small mold and then deep frying it to produce a crisp shallow corn cup. They are filled with shredded meat and other taco fillings.
- Chalupas are made by pressing tortilla dough into an elongated shape with a ridge around the edge, resembling the chalupas or canoes from which they take their name. They are cooked on a comal, and sometimes fried as well, then topped with shredded meat, cheese and similar fillings.
- Chilaquiles are made with totopos, the crisp fried tortilla quarters that are so familiar as complimentary appetizers in Mexican restaurants, although for this dish they are often cut into thin strips. The fried chips are mixed with either a red, green, or tomatillo-based chile sauce and heated, often with chicken and cheese as well, and served at breakfast.
- Chimichangas are deep-fried burritos.
- Empanadas are turnovers made with a dough of wheat flour and lard folded over a picadillo-type filling and sealed. They can be baked but are most often deep fried.
- Enchiladas consist of a corn tortilla that has been "softened" in hot oil and often dipped in a chile sauce, wrapped around a filling of either meat or cheese, then garnished with a little more sauce and cheese. Sonora-style enchiladas are made by covering a very thick corn tortilla with heated chile sauce and cheese. (In Mexican-American cooking, enchiladas are often made without the initial dipping in sauce and are heated after being topped with a large quantity of chile sauce and cheese, and sometimes sour cream, as well).
- Enfrijoladas are similar to enchiladas except that they are made by covering softened corn tortillas with thinned, refried beans, and then folding the bean-covered tortillas twice into triangle shapes and topping them with grated cheese.
- Entomatadas are enchiladas made by dipping the tortillas to be wrapped around the filling in a sauce, usually of tomato and chiles in the south, and more often one of tomatillos and chile in the north.
- Envueltos Another name for tacos that are filled and fried.
- Flautas are made by rolling a fairly large corn tortilla around a filling, usually shredded meat or chicken, and then deep frying it to a crisp golden brown. Also see taquitos.
- Gorditas are made with tortilla dough (occasionally with the addition of other ingredients such as wheat flour or potatoes) which is patted into circles of 2 - 4 inches then cooked on a comal and sometimes deep fried as well. The filling, often beans or shredded meat and cheese, is placed in the pocket formed when a small layer or skin of dough puffs up from the top and can be peeled open.
- Garnachas are a relative of the gordita and are made with the masa shaped into little "plates" with raised edges, then fried.
- Molletes are slices of bread topped with refried beans and cheese then baked in the oven until crispy. They are often served as snacks all over Mexico and for breakfast in parts of northern Mexico.
- Molotes vary form place to place, but often resemble fried quesadillas. The masa is filled with everything from cheese to potatoes to chorizo and pressed into various shapes, which are then fried until golden and crisp.
- Pambazo comes from pan bazo, which means brown bread. Originally this term referred to the crudest, most inferior bread. Now it is most often used in connection with two different antojitos: one made with unleavened wheat flour dough that is filled, rolled into an oblong shape, and fried. The other consists of a small torta made with a small version of either a bolillo or telera.
- Panuchos are a type of gordita from the Yucatan that are made by peeling back the thin skin that puffs from the tortilla as it cooks, filling it, sandwich style, with fried black beans and shredded meat, then frying it to a golden brown. It is then topped with shredded meat.
- Papadzules are enchiladas or soft tacos from the Yucatan that are filled with hardboiled egg and topped with both tomato and pumkin seed sauces.
- Pellizcadas A type of gordita or chalupa that is made by pinching (pellizcar means "to pinch") up the dough around the edges to create a raised border to help contain the filling.
- Picada is yet another regional name for gorditas.
- Quesadillas are tortillas, often corn but also flour, that are folded over a filling of cheese, sometimes with the addition of an epazote leaf, squash blossom or other ingredient, and cooked on a greased or ungreased griddle until the cheese is melted and the tortilla begins to become crisp. In some areas an uncooked corn tortilla is folded over the cheese and sealed like a turnover, then fried in oil until crisp
- Salbutes are made with corn masa, often with a little wheat flour flour added. The dough is formed into a small, fairly thick tortilla, fried until crisp and light, then topped with shredded meat and vegetables. A specialty of the Yucatan
- Sopes is another name for gorditas.
- Tacos are basically tortillas wrapped around a filling. They are usually defined by either the type of filling, the type of tortilla (corn or flour), and whether the taco is fried or not. (Tacos made with fried tortillas are often called tacos dorados, or golden tacos).
- Tacos al pastor are soft corn tortillas filled with thin slices of marinated pork cooked on vertical spits set beside charcoal, gas or electric heat sources.
- Tacos al carbón are a specialty of northern Mexico and refer to tacos, usually made with flour tortillas, that are filled with charbroiled meats.
- Tacos al vapor are often made from a cow or goat's head and steamed.
- Tacos de barbacoa are tacos filled with barbacoa.
- Tacos de carnitas are made with soft corn tortillas wrapped around carnitas and guacamole.
- Tacos de cazuela refer to tacos filled with ingredients, usually a stew of some sort, cooked in a cazuela.
- Tacos a la plancha are tacos made from meats cooked on a comal or griddle.
- Tacos dorados are tacos that are usually filled with shredded meat or poultry then fried to a crisp golden brown.
- Tacos sudados o de canasta. "Sweated or basket" tacos get their name from the fact that they are prepared, often with a stewed, shredded filling, then placed between towels in a basket to keep them warm until they are consumed.
- Tacos de maíz o harina refers to tacos made with corn or flour tortillas.
- Tamales. The original pre-Hispanic tamales were made by placing some uncooked masa (tortilla dough) on a fresh or dried and rehydrated corn husk, adding a filling of meat, seafood, insects, vegetables or fruit, wrapping the husk into a package and steaming it. Following the introduction of lard by the Spanish, this fat was added to the dough which makes it much lighter and more savory. Tamales verdes (green tamales) are made with fresh ground corn. In Esplendor y grandeza de la cocina mexicana, Sebastián Verti describes well over a hundred regional varieties made with almost every imaginable ingredient.
- Taquitos are essentially the same as flautas, but are often made with smaller tortillas.
- Tlacoyos are one of the oldest antojitos of all. They are made by patting tortilla dough around a filling, often of squash blossoms, huitlacoche or mushrooms, until fully enclosed into an elongated shape, which is then cooked on a comal
- Tortas compuestas are Mexico's version of the sandwich. Fillings, including various meats or stews and sometimes whole tamales are placed inside a roll, often a telera, from which some of the crumbs have been removed. Often tortas are named for the country where the filling originated, such as Torta Italia which may contain mortadella.