The Ultimate Round Up of Cinco De Mayo Recipes


Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is a national day of celebration in Mexico. Like many national days around the world, this celebration has spread into other cultures. There are now many in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere celebrating the day through the enjoyment of Mexican food.

The day of celebration dates to 1862 when the Mexicans defeated the French. The main part of the celebration is in the food, which focuses on all things Mexican. These types of meals include quesadillas, tortillas, salsas, and much more.

When you want to celebration Cinco de Mayo, the best way is through some traditional recipes. The great thing about Mexican recipes is that they are easy to make at home. There’s no need to find a local Mexican restaurant that isn’t Taco Bell!

Here’s a roundup of the best Cinco de Mayo recipes to try out this year.

Don’t Go for the Frozen Kind!

Tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas are the main focuses on this day in Mexico. Think of everything national to the country. However, you want to make sure you make the meals just right.

It’s easy to cheat. You’ll find frozen margaritas that you can just pour into your glass, or you’ll be tempted to get the taco packs from the International Foods aisle in the grocery store. Stop yourself! These aren’t the foods and drinks that you would find in Mexico on this day.

To really make the most of the day, consider the types of meats and toppings that you’ll find in the country – more specifically in Puebla. This will help to bring more of a taste of Mexico to your meals.

Now it’s time to look at the Cinco de Mayo recipes that you really need to try.

Start with the Side Dishes

Side dishes help to turn your dish into a world of amazement. You get all sorts of flavors mixed into one! Here’s a look at some traditional dishes that you want to make this May 5. You’ll be tempted to cheat with some of these and buy from the store, but you’ll feel proud of yourself for making them at home – and many of them are extremely simple and will taste better.

Traditional Guacamole

Start with one of the most popular side dishes and toppings, guacamole. Instead of getting the store-bought options, make your own traditional one.


  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup of onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, fresh and chopped
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced and seeded (reduce or add more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1. Mash the avocados together in a bowl to create a creamy texture
  • 2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and mash until fully combined

Put the mixture into a serving dish for your family to grab whenever necessary.

Salsa Fresca

This is another popular side dish that people buy. The problem with the salsa in the store is that it can be runny. You want something that has plenty of vegetables and spices in it. This is what this recipe is for.


  • 1 cup of red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped finely (add to taste)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 ½ cups of plum tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup of cilantro, fresh and chopped
  • 1tsp salt


  • 1. Mix the onion and pepper in a bowl with lime, leaving for 5 minutes
  • 2. In another bowl mix the rest of the ingredients and then add in the marinated onion mixture
  • 3. Allow standing for 15 minutes, so all the flavors blend together
  • 4. Serve in a dish for everyone to grab as and when they need it

Coconut and Lime Black Beans

Black beans tend to be added into recipes, but they can also make an excellent side dish. This recipe will have your taste buds wanting more. It’s also one of the easiest side dishes you will ever make.


  • 2 cups of black beans, dried and rinsed
  • 2 cups of coconut water
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 green onions, sliced greens only
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight
  • 2. Drain and then place in a saucepan, covering with the coconut water and 3 cups of cold water
  • 3. Add salt to taste and bring the water to a boil for 2 minutes, before reducing to a simmer
  • 4. Cook the beans until tender – 30 to 45 minutes
  • 5. Add in the rest of the ingredients apart from the onions
  • 6. Service with a garnish of onions

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

This recipe could work as a dish on its own, but it’s popular as a side dish. The salad will accompany absolutely any other Mexican dish on Cinco de Mayo.

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3tbsp lime juice
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup of olive oil

Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/3 cups of corn kernels
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced and seeded
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced and seeded
  • ½ red onion, chopped finely
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, diced and pitted
  • ¼ cup of cilantro, fresh and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 1. Start with the dressing by smashing the garlic clove and sprinkling it with a pinch of salt
  • 2. With a knife, mash the garlic into a paste, then whisk it with the rest of the ingredients except the oil
  • 3. Gradually add in the oil, whisking to combine
  • 4. Mix the beans, bell peppers, corn, and onions from the salad together
  • 5. Add the dressing and coat completely
  • 6. Fold in the rest of the salad ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste
  • 7. Serve in a dish on the side or plate up for the vegetarian main meal

Main Dishes for Cinco de Mayo

Now it’s time to try out some main dishes for your day. There’s a range of options that you may not have tried before. They’re not your typical Taco Bell recipes!

Traditional Mexican Lasagne

Who said that you can only make your usual lasagne? This is a dish that you can create with a Mexican style. It’s perfect for those who want to try out something a little different this year. This dish is much quicker to cook than your usual lasagne and will likely be a lot healthier and better for weight loss!


  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2lbs ground chicken
  • 2tbsp chili powder
  • 2tsp cumin, ground
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup of medium taco sauce
  • 1 cup of frozen corn kernels
  • 8 flour tortillas, cut into halves or quarters for laying easily
  • 2 ½ cups of cheddar/pepper jack cheese, grated
  • 2 scallions, chopped finely
  • Salt to taste


  • 1. Preheat oven to 425F
  • 2. Preheat a large skillet on a medium-high heat
  • 3. Add 2tbsp oil into the pan and swirl around
  • 4. Add in the chicken and season with the chili, cumin, and onion, cooking for 5 minutes
  • 5. Add the taco sauce, black beans, and corn, heating for 2-3 minutes
  • 6. Season to taste
  • 7. Coat a baking dish with the rest of the oil
  • 8. Build your lasagne as you would with pasta sheets but with the tortilla wraps instead – meat, tortilla, cheese, and repeat
  • 9. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cheese bubbles
  • 10. Top with the scallions and then serve

Slow Cooker “Little Meats.”

This dish is also known as caritas, the Mexican term for “little meats.” The traditional way of cooking is through frying and then braising, but this recipe is a bit of a cheat’s way to make it easier and more delicious for the whole family. You’ll get a filling that you can use in any way that you like – tacos and burritos are especially popular with this filling. It’s also extremely popular with BBQ sauce on buns, but that’s not quite Mexican…


  • 1tsp salt
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/2tsp oregano, dried
  • ½ tsp coriander, dried
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 4lb pork shoulder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth


  • 1. Mix the salt and herbs/spices together in a bowl and then coat the pork
  • 2. Put the bay leaves at the bottom of your slow cooker and then add in the pork
  • 3. Pour in the chicken broth around the sides, trying not to rinse off the spices
  • 4. Cover and cook for 10 hours, turning the meat after 5 hours
  • 5. Remove once tender and shred
  • 6. Use the liquid to moisten the pork as much as necessary

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

Make your own chicken enchiladas with this spicy mixture. The hardest and most time-consuming part with is the shredding of the chicken. Get the family to help, making them look forward to the dish more. This is delicious with the bean salad on the side.


  • 2lbs of skinless chicken, chunked
  • 1 can have condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 ¼ cups of sour cream
  • 1/4tsp chili powder
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can have chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 pack of mild taco seasoning
  • Handful of green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1tsp lime juice
  • 1/2tsp onion powder
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 5 tortilla wraps
  • 3 cups of cheese, grated, divide in half, so half is for sprinkling over the top of the enchiladas
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 can of black olives, sliced


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  • 2. Add the chicken to a large pot and cover with water, bringing to a boil before reducing to a medium-low heat and simmering for 10 minutes
  • 3. Shred the chicken and set aside
  • 4. Combine the soup, sour cream, and chili powder together in a saucepan, simmering on a low heat before turning off the heat and covering to remain warm
  • 5. Heat the butter in a skillet and then add the onion, cooking for about 5 minutes
  • 6. Add in the chicken, green chilies, seasoning, half the green onions, and water, and simmer for 10 minutes
  • 7. Stir in the lime juice, and garlic and onion powders, and simmer for another 10 minutes
  • 8. Stir in a cup of the soup mixture and spread the rest along the bottom of a baking dish
  • 9. Fill the tortillas with the chicken and sprinkle with cheese before folding
  • 10. Fold and then place in the dish
  • 11. Pour over the enchilada sauce and finish with the cheese, green onions, and olives
  • 12. Bake for 25 minutes, until the cheese, is bubbling

Dessert and Drinks

Finally, it’s time to enjoy something light to finish your meal. Of course, we can’t forget about the drinks either. You need a traditional margarita for Cinco de Mayo, right?

Mexican Brownies

Why not opt for Mexican brownies?


  • Your favorite boxed/homemade brownie mix
  • 3-4tsp ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon, plus a little for serving
  • Dulce de leech ice cream


  • 1. Make up your brownies as you usually would, adding the chili pepper and ground cinnamon to the mix
  • 2. Top with the ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Nobody must know you’ve cheated!

The Classic Margarita

Quite honestly, nobody will know you’ve cheated with the Mexican brownies when you offer them these traditional margaritas. Everyone will keep wanting more of it all!


  • Tequila
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Orange flavoured liqueur
  • Sugar


  • 1. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ingredients and shake well
  • 2. Rub the rim of your rock glasses with lip and then dip into coarse salt
  • 3. Pour the cocktail into the glasses and garnish with some lime wedges

We haven’t put the amount you need for your margaritas since you’ll want to make them taste.

Traditional Horchata

Of course, you don’t have to have a margarita. The horchata is another popular Mexican drink and is creamy in nature, due to the milk and the rice.


  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice
  • 1qt whole milk
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2tsp almond extract
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Whole cinnamon sticks for serving (optional)


  • 1. Place the rice and some warm water in a blender, blending for 1-2 minutes to break up the rice slightly
  • 2. Place in a fridge for 6+ hours
  • 3. Strain the rice mixture into a container to remove the rice solids and then pour back into a blender with the rest of the ingredients
  • 4. Blend everything together until smooth and serve over ice with the cinnamon sticks

We haven’t put the amount you need for your margaritas since you’ll want to make them taste.

Make a big deal about Cinco de Mayo this year with some traditional Mexican foods. It’s time to step away from what you think is from the country and focus on dishes that are homemade and full of aromas. With these dishes, you can throw a Cinco de Mayo party and know that you’re putting on the best show anyone has ever had around you! You’ll be the talk of the town for all the right reasons!

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