This collection of Cinco de Mayo recipes will enhance your celebration with mouthwatering Mexican food to satisfy a wide range of palates. From drinks to desserts and everything in between, this guide will help you build the perfect Cinco de Mayo menu for family and friends.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican Army's victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. But in this day and age, most people who "celebrate" this holiday do so in order to enjoy delectable Mexican dishes and libations.
Whether you're born and bred Mexican, or simply someone who appreciates the culture and food, there are many ways to celebrate this date in history.
As an American, I enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine and also Tex-Mex food. This is more of a hybrid, Americanized variation using some non-authentic ingredients and techniques. Regardless of the authenticity of these recipes, I can assure you they are delicious! Any combination would be a welcome addition to your Cinco de Mayo menu.
Planning your Cinco de Mayo menu
Putting together a menu for any occasion can be a daunting task, but it doesn't need to be. I love planning theme-specific dinner parties that span the globe. My Cinco de Mayo recipes are perfect for any Mexican fiesta, big or small.
Depending on the year, Cinco de Mayo may fall on a weekday or weekend. If it falls on a weekday, you may be tempted to "celebrate" the occasion on the weekend because it's easier to plan a menu. Keep in mind that there are a lot of make-ahead Cinco de Mayo recipes that can make a weekday celebration just as easy.
For chicken enchiladas you can use a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket to save time. Then just shred the meat, roll it up in corn tortillas, top with sauce, cheese, and bake!
Various salsas and sauces can also be made in advance and refrigerated for days before serving. If anything the flavor will improve with time!
To build a good Cinco de Mayo menu, first determine if you'd like a simple dinner or a party. If it's just your family or a few close friends, a single entree or maybe two options will suffice. You can expand your menu with a delicious margarita and a festive dessert.
If you want to go big, and plan a party for a large group, might I suggest a taco bar. Yes, it's not a novel idea, but it's popular! People love tacos. I share several taco varieties below, and you can easily mix and match fillings and toppings. I also love doing a nacho bar for parties. Homemade nacho cheese sauce is great for make-your-own nachos.
Although I love a classic margarita, it's fun to change things up. When I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant I usually order flavored margaritas depending on my mood. It's so easy to think outside the box with these great margarita recipes in all different colors and flavors.
Salsa, Sauce, and Dip Recipes
Regardless of the size of your party, there's always room on the menu for salsa, guacamole, and other delicious sauces and dips. When I claim my guacamole recipe is the world's best, I really mean it. The combination of garlic and ground coriander somehow create the most magical, flavorful guac I've ever tasted. Give it a try!
The mole poblano is a bit of a project compared to the other quick and easy recipes below. You'll need to plan a day to make it, but it makes a lot and freezes really well! If you plan ahead you can whip up enmoladas (enchiladas with mole sauce) on a weeknight with hardly any last minute effort on your part.
Nacho and Soup Recipes
If you're hosting friends, I've got some really fun composed nacho recipes for you to try. I also highly recommend the easy and comforting sopa de lima (or lime soup) which follows. I actually prefer to to a classic tortilla soup, but I'll let you be the judge.
Chicken Taco Recipes
Tacos are my jam. You'll find that there are a lot of taco recipes on Mission Food Adventure. They are extremely versatile and popular for people of all ages and food preferences. You can also take any of the following taco fillings and turn them into taco bowls. Just make some rice for the base, or use lettuce to make more of a taco salad bowl. Then add whatever else you like and dig in!
Chicken is one of my favorite proteins for tacos since it's relatively lean, readily available, cooks fast, and is considerably cheap (compared to beef short ribs for example). You can grill, saute, or braise it for the fillings that follow.
Beef Taco Recipes
Beef tacos are totally classic! Ground beef filling is a standard for easy weeknight tacos. You can make your own taco seasoning with a well-stocked spice rack. If you want a more decadent beef filling, give these braised short rib tacos a try!
Seafood Taco Recipes
In my taco cooking repertoire, seafood tacos were a bit late to the game, but I fell in love hard and fast. My grilled fish tacos are a "copycat" Disney recipe, and one of my all-time favorites. They are super easy, and extremely delicious! My shrimp tacos are fast and easy, and quite light. You really can't go wrong with either.
Vegetarian Taco Recipes
I have plenty of love on the Cinco de Mayo menu for my vegetarian friends. These meatless tacos are full of flavor and creativity. The mushroom tacos in particular are very fast to make, while the sweet potato and cauliflower taco recipes provide layered, complex flavors.
Enchilada & Burrito Recipes
Although I spent a lot of time discussing a myriad of taco options, I also have some delicious Cinco de Mayo recipes at your disposal for enchiladas and burritos. A couple of these enchilada recipes are Americanized, with BBQ and Buffalo chicken flavors, but they are a lot of fun especially if your guests are novice Mexican food eaters.
Meanwhile, the chicken burritos mojados are truly outstanding, and worth the extra work involved. You can make all the filling components in advance, and assemble and bake your burritos the day of your Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Other Mexican Entree Recipes
Just because this is an "other" category doesn't diminish how awesome these recipes are! In fact these are a few of my absolute favorites on this list. This pepito (or Mexican steak sandwich) is shockingly delicious and very easy to make. The beef cooks so quickly too, making these a wonderful weeknight option that thinks outside the box of typical Mexican cuisine.
The Mexican Hot Pockets hail from Disney Cruise Line. They are one of my favorite DCL recipes, and one I am so thrilled to be able to make myself at home. Meanwhile, the Veracruz-style fish is absolutely phenomenal, and also considerably quick-cooking and easy to make. I truly can't think of a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with any of these recipes.
Mexican Dessert Recipes
For a sweet finish, I've got some fun dessert options that are great for any Mexican-themed gathering. Whether you're into cupcakes or pies, I've got you covered with these straight-forward and delicious recipes.
What are your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes? Do you plan something special every year? Leave me a note in the comments! And don't forget to Pin this post or share it with your friends on Facebook using the social share buttons below.