This Beloved (and Affordable) Mexican Dish Makes the Best Leftovers

September 28, 2022

Everyone should have one of those back-pocket recipes that’s quick to put together, made with pantry staples you almost always have on hand, and stick-to-your-ribs satisfying. 

This take on sopa de fideo from Chef Alan Delgado is exactly that. Delgado is the former chef and head of Research and Development at Brooklyn’s Michelin-starred Oxomoco, as well as a 2022 Food Network “Chopped” champion. His cuisine ranges from conceptual dishes that riff on Mexican classics to simple, hearty fare inspired by his upbringing in the border territory between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Fideo is essentially Mexican pasta, and was first introduced to Mexico during the Spanish colonization, Delgado told us. “Today, a version of this dish is served in Mexican households throughout the world.”

There’s a lot to love about this homestyle Mexican dish: For one thing, it’s a breeze to make, and the simple ingredients won’t ding your budget. Plus, Delgado says, “[fideo] is the type of food that is better made in a bigger batch, and is the best kind of leftovers to have.”

Start with Delgado’s recipe below, then remix it however you like. “Fideos can be topped with fried eggs to make a delicious breakfast. They can be added to a taco and eaten as a quick snack, or crisped up and sandwiched between telera bread to make a fantastic torta.” Provechito!

Chef Alan Delgado’s Fire Roasted Fideo Recipe

Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
½ a white onion, roughly chopped
1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper

For the beef:

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
8 ounces ground beef (or sub Beyond Beef)
1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
1 teaspoon salt

For the fideo:

6 ounces brown rice spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
2 cups vegetable broth 
2 bay leaves
1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped + 3 tablespoons adobo sauce from the can

Optional toppings:

Nutritional yeast
Mexican crema or crème fraiche
Avocado slices
Shaved red onion
Cilantro, finely chopped
Queso cotija
Fresh lime juice

Instructions

Add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil to a pan set to medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until soft and translucent (usually about 5 minutes), stirring often to prevent burning. Once the vegetables are cooked, add them to a blender with the roasted tomatoes. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ground pepper, then blend on high until smooth. Set aside while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.

Add 1 tablespoon of  grapeseed oil to a pan set to medium-high heat. Carefully spread 8 ounces of ground beef across the bottom of the pan, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of fajita seasoning and  1 teaspoon of salt on top. Allow the beef to cook unbothered for 2 to 3 minutes to achieve a nice char before stirring. Stir the meat and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil to a clean pan and set to medium-high heat. Add the 6 ounces of broken spaghetti and toast for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the pasta starts to brown.

Once the pasta is toasted, pour the tomato sauce over the pasta and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning, until the sauce thickens and the color has darkened. Add 2 cups vegetable stock, 2 bay leaves and 1 chopped chipotle with 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients, then cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat. Continue to stir often to keep the pasta from sticking and burning. 

Once the sauce has reduced by half, discard the bay leaves and add the cooked ground beef. Stir to thoroughly incorporate all of the ingredients, then cook for another 2 minutes. Garnish and serve.

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Kirby Stirland

Kirby Stirland is a writer, editor, and New York transplant living in Los Angeles.

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