Popular Mexican food takeout recipes to make at home from Food Network host Jamika Pessoa

PHOTO: Jamika Pessoas chicken tacos as seen on "GMA." PlayABC News
WATCH Takeout Fakeout: Food Network's Jamika Pessoa puts healthy spin on Mexican favorites

Food Network’s "Let’s Eat" host Jamika Pessoa is known for her bold flavors derived from her Caribbean roots.

The Southern belle has traveled the country to highlight innovative dishes so it's safe to say she knows how to enjoy reinvented classics that are full of flavor.

PHOTO: Food Network host Jamika Pessoa cooks two Mexican favorites on GMA, Jan. 17, 2019. ABC News
Food Network host Jamika Pessoa cooks two Mexican favorites on "GMA," Jan. 17, 2019.

For our Takeout Fakeout series, where "GMA" challenges chefs to turn top takeout dishes into recipes you can make at home, Pessoa offered her spin on two Mexican food favorites.

According to GrubHub, Mexican Caeser salad is one of the most ordered items for delivery in that cuisine.

Check out her Caeser salad and chicken taco recipes below to bring some south of the border flavors to your own kitchen.

Mexican Caeser Salad

PHOTO: Jamika Pessoas Mexican Caeser salad as seen on GMA. ABC News
Jamika Pessoa's Mexican Caeser salad as seen on "GMA."

Pessoa said Greek yogurt is her secret to a creamy dressing with lower fat. She also substitutes pepitas, pumpkin seeds, for crutons!

Serves: 2 people


2 heads Romaine lettuce, washed, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained, rinsed

1/2 cup grilled corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 red bell pepper, charred, seeded, diced

2 tablespoons roasted pepitas

1/2 cup cotija cheese


1 avocado, pitted

1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1 lime, juiced

1 clove garlic

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies

Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat grill pan to high.

In a small bowl, mix oil, chili powder, and garlic powder. Lightly brush both sides of romaine lettuce. Place lettuce cut side down on the grill for one to two minutes each side until grill marks are present.

Remove from grill and set aside.

In a bowl, combine black beans, corn, red bell pepper, and chili oil used previously on lettuce. Season with salt and pepper.

Blend dressing ingredients together in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. To assemble salad, place grilled romaine lettuce on a plate, spoon over vegetables, drizzle with dressing, and top with pepitas and crumbled cotija cheese.

Chicken Tacos

PHOTO: Jamika Pessoas chicken tacos as seen on GMA. ABC News
Jamika Pessoa's chicken tacos as seen on "GMA."

Serves: 4 people

4 chicken breasts, skinless boneless
2 cups salsa (your favorite jarred brand)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of half a lime
1 head Boston Bibb lettuce leaves, washed
1 cup pico de gallo or salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced


Place chicken breast inside of slow cooker. In a small bowl, mix salsa, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour salsa over chicken breast. Cover and cook chicken on high for 4 hours or on low for six to eight hours.

Using two forks, shred chicken in the slow cooker and toss until salsa and chicken are well-mixed.

In a small bowl, mix Greek yogurt, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and lime juice.

To assemble a taco, spoon shredded chicken into lettuce leaves (cups) and top with cheese, pico de gallo, green onions, and spoonful of yogurt. Enjoy!