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Cinco De Mayo Recipes

What’s a Cinco De Mayo celebration without a mouth-watering spread of colorful and flavorful dishes? Create the menu of your dreams with some of my favorite Cinco De Mayo recipes, perfect for any get-together or gathering.

A cover image for cinco de mayo recipes.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco De Mayo is a time of year when Americans celebrate all things Mexico!! The history behind the date commemorates the First Battle of Puebla – a battle between Mexico and France. Yet, the celebration of Cinco De Mayo is not as widespread in Mexico as it is in the U.S.

Nevertheless, let the party continue, and do so by learning about the history and culture of Mexico while enjoying delicious Cinco De Mayo recipes with family and friends.

How to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

1. Educate Learn about Mexican history and share the real story of Cinco De Mayo.
2. SupportAs you celebrate, put your money into the pockets of those you are celebrating – visit your local Mexican grocery store (or carniceria), a restaurant, a clothing store, or an artisan shop owned by Mexicans!
3. EatI’ve got you covered for this one because I spent the time collecting 45 of the best Cinco de Mayo recipes to try this year!

Cinco De Mayo Taco Recipes

1. Beef Barbacoa

Barbacoa tacos on a plate.

Tender beef barbacoa is bursting with flavor. Use the shredded beef to fill tacos, burritos, savory quesadillas, or as a topping for a salad or burrito bowl.

Photo Credit: Garnish and Glaze

2. Carne Asada Tacos

Three carne asada tacos with toppings.

Enjoy tender carne asada flap steak, marinated to perfection and expertly grilled to make carne asada tacos. Fill a warm corn tortilla with the seared steak and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and onion.

If you want more than tacos, make a carne asada platter with cotija cheese topped refried beans and Mexican rice!

3. Carnitas

Garnish our Instant Pot Carnitas with onion and cilantro.

Elevate your home-cooking game with easy-to-make Instant Pot carnitas featuring succulent pork flavored with chiles and warm spices. This recipe is one of my go-to’s for feeding a crowd on a budget.

4. Homemade Tacos

Homemade tacos with ground beef on a plate.

Ground beef, onions, and tomatoes combine with taco seasoning to make the perfect weeknight homemade tacos with ground beef.

Prepare a taco bar spread with shredded cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, guacamole, and Tapatio.

You can also include black olives, sliced jalapeños, diced onions, salsa verdechunky salsa, or pico de gallo.

5. Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Slaw

A plate of shrimp tacos.

Spicy shrimp tacos marinate in a chipotle chili sauce to produce a spicy, smoky flavor as they cook. Finish the tacos with a creamy cilantro slaw or homemade coleslaw with mint and cilantro for a quick 30-minute meal.

Photo Credit: The Dizzy Cook

6. Tacos De Adobada

Tacos on a plate.

Make delicious tacos de adobada. Juicy pork marinates in a tasty blend of roasted chili salsa, vinegar, and a secret ingredient (shawarma seasoning) that adds a flavorful Middle Eastern twist.

Photo Credit: Hilda’s Kitchen Blog

7. Beef Fajita Tacos

Beef fajita tacos on a tray.

Treat yourself to a classic comfort food. The beef marinates for several hours in a mix of chiles, herbs, and lime juice before being grilled, resulting in delicious fajita tacos. Serve them with tender vegetables and all your favorite toppings.

Photo Credit: Sweet and Thyme

Cinco de Mayo Meat Recipes

8. Chicken Tinga

A plate of chicken tinga with rice.

Instant Pot chicken tinga is a tasty addition to tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, nachos, rice bowls, or taco salads. Pressure-cooked and packed with flavor, this recipe is perfect as a make-ahead dinner.

Photo Credit: Paint the Kitchen Red

9. Chicken Mole

A bowl of chicken mole.

Chicken mole features layers of bold flavor. Traditionally prepared for special occasions and celebrations, mole is a staple dish in Mexican cuisine and represents the country’s rich culinary heritage. Enjoy it over warm rice and beans, wrapped in tortillas, or drizzled over your favorite tacos, nachos, and veggies.

Photo Credit: The Forked Spoon

10. Beef Machaca

Beef machaca on a plate.

Instant Pot beef machaca is the best filling for tacos, burritos, and nachos! Transform a basic chuck roast into the most flavorful shredded beef.

More Shredded Beef Recipes:

11. Chori Pollo

Three bowls of chori pollo.

Chori polli combines tender, juicy chicken and spicy chorizo smothered in a creamy cheese sauce for a dish that will have you licking your plate clean.

Photo Credit: Tabetha’s Table

12. Pork Tamales

A plate of pork tamales.

Make flavorful pork tamales in half the time using an Instant Pot! Mildly spicy red chili sauce perfectly complements tender and juicy pork, all wrapped up in a fluffy masa that will have you savoring every bite.

Photo Credit: Ranch Style Kitchen

13. Carne en su Jugo

Carne en su juego in a bowl.

Carne en su jugo is a cozy, homestyle meal that features tender beef simmered in its own juices, homemade salsa verde, and pinto beans. Enjoy the tasty comfort meal with arroz rojo and warm tortillas.

Cinco De Mayo Chili Recipes

14. Pozole Rojo

A bowl of pozole.

Are you looking for a hearty stew to make your holiday celebration even more special? Try my beloved family Instant Pot pozole rojo recipe that we whip up for holidays like Cinco De Mayo, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.

Authentic pozole features succulent pork shoulder, hominy, and a chili-spiced broth. Pile your bowl high with fresh toppings like sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, shredded cabbage, onions, and Mexican oregano.

15. Chili Con Carne

Chili in a small bowl.

Warm up with a heaping bowl of savory, southwest-style chili. Authentic chili con carne with beans combines hearty beef chuck, black beans (gasp! I know), and a delicious combination of chiles.

Appetizer Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

16. Tachos

Tachos on a plate.

Ditch regular corn tortilla chips and replace them with crispy tater tots to make sheet-pan tachos, also known as tater tot nachos.

Pick your favorite tater tots, seasoned ground beef, and gooey nacho cheese. Plus, all your favorite toppings like avocado lime crema, pico de gallo, and sour cream.

17. Elotes Mexicanos

Elotes Mexicano on a serving plate.

Elotes Mexicano, or Mexican corn, features juicy corn on the cob charred on the grill and covered in a creamy sauce. Cotija cheese and chili powder put the finishing touches on the elotes, a classic street food in Mexico – and one of my favorites!

Whether you’re hosting a backyard get-together or looking to spice up your weeknight dinner routine, smoked elote is the perfect side dish or appetizer that will have everyone asking for seconds. Serve it alongside grilled chicken drumsticks to make it a complete meal. 

18. Birria Nachos

A chip of the birria nachos dipped in consome.

When you need a crowd-pleasing appetizer, make fully loaded birria nachos! Layer tortilla chips with juicy beef birria, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and pickled onions for the ultimate nacho experience.

19. Ceviche de Camaron Tostada

Ceviche de Camaron Tostada on a plate.

Ceviche de camaron tostada or shrimp ceviche tostadas is a classic Mexican dish that combines the zesty fresh flavors of ceviche with crispy tostada shells for an easy-to-make dinner or appetizer.

20. Taco Ring

A large taco ring on a serving plate.

The quick and easy taco ring dinner incorporates flaky crescent roll dough, taco meat, cheese, black beans, corn, and all your favorite taco toppings. Perfect for holiday parties, game nights, and Cinco De Mayo.

Photo Credit: Midwestern Home Life

21. Hatch Green Chile Cheese Dip

Hatch green chili dip in a small bowl.

Hatch green chile cheese dip is a perfect appetizer! Gooey cheese and roasted peppers make an easy snack perfect for entertaining guests.

Photo Credit: Three Olives Branch

22. Taco Stuffed Peppers

Taco stuffed peppers on a cutting board.

Taco stuffed peppers are an easy weeknight meal the whole family will love and a perfect appetizer for social gatherings. With a few simple ingredients, you will have a delicious treat on the table in no time! Plus, you can dip them into ancho aioli or avocado lime crema.

Photo Credit: Crystal and Comp

23. Vegetarian Mexican Casserole

A scoop of Mexican casserole on a plate.

Healthy vegetarian Mexican casserole with rice and beans is easy to make and filled with cheesy goodness, brown rice, and loads of veggies. Serve it as a meal or appetizer at your next dinner party.

Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry

Cinco de Mayo Side Dish Recipes

24. Mexican Rice

Vegan Mexican rice in a serving dish with lime wedges.

Vegan Mexican rice simmers with tomatoes, vegetable broth, fresh jalapeños, and garlic to make a highly concentrated and flavorful side dish.

25. Refried Beans

Refried beans in a serving bowl.

Forget canned refried beans and start making them at home with a few easy steps. Homemade refried beans are a must for any Cinco de Mayo gathering.

Photo Credit: Oh Sweet Culture Shock

26. Cilantro Lime Rice

A bowl of cilantro lime rice.

Are you looking for a flavorful side dish? Try simple cilantro lime rice! The light, bright, versatile side is full of fresh flavors.

Photo Credit: Resplendent Kitchen

27. Refried Beans

A bowl of refried beans.

Instant Pot refried beans feature dry pinto beans that simmer for about an hour for maximum flavor.

Photo Credit: Simply Happy Foodie

Cinco de Mayo Breakfast Recipes

28. Chilaquiles 

A plate of vegan chilaquiles.

Make hearty, flavorful, and protein-packed vegan chilaquiles combining crispy corn tortilla strips with scrambled tofu, onion, beans, and salsa. A quick, easy, affordable, and super-filling breakfast that is ready in under 30 minutes!

Photo Credit: Plant Based on a Budget

29. Tres Leches Pancakes

A stack of dulce de leche pancakes.

Tres leches pancakes are super soft and fluffy. Finish them with a decadent three-milk syrup, extra caramel or dulce de leche, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and whipped cream.

Photo Credit: Aubrey’s Kitchen

30. Mexican Eggs Benedict

Homemade sauce over mexican eggs benedict.

Mexican eggs benedict is a breakfast favorite! The combination of spicy chorizo, smashed avocado, jalapeños, and chipotle hollandaise is insanely delicious!

Photo Credit: Every Last Bite

Cinco de Mayo Dip Recipes

31. Pico De Gallo

Pico de gallo in a serving bowl.

Get fresh pico de gallo on the table with just five ingredients: ripe tomatoes, white onion, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice combined to make a perfect topping or garnish.

32. Chunky Salsa

Chucky salsa on a serving tray.

Skip a trip to the store and make chunky salsa with cilantro and avocado at home. This fresh dip uses simple ingredients and can be ready in just 20 minutes!

33. Guacamole

Guacamole without tomato in a bowl.

Fresh and easy guacamole without tomato is ready in 10 minutes! All you need is a handful of ingredients! Serve it as a dip, or use it to dress up your favorite entree.

34. Mango Pico De Gallo

Mango pico de gallo in a bowl.

Serve this fresh mango pico de gallo recipe as a tasty dip or topping for chicken or fish. The sweet and spicy salsa tastes so good you may just eat it with a spoon! 

35. Serrano Crema

Serrano crema in a bowl.

Serrano crema contains fiery serrano peppers, fresh cilantro, garlic, and a combination of sour cream and yogurt for a creamy sauce you will want to put on everything.

36. Chipotle Corn Salsa

A bowl of chipotle corn salsa.

Chipotle corn salsa is an ideal accompaniment for Mexican food. The sweet roasted corn pairs perfectly with smoky chipotle peppers for a fresh topping for summer gatherings and Cinco de Mayo!

Photo Credit: Happy Kitchen

37. Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde with Romatillo in a dish.

Make restaurant-style salsa verde with tomatillo to serve alongside comfort meals like tacostostadas, and enchiladas or as a dip for tortilla chips.

Dessert Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

38. Mexican Ice Cream

Mexican ice cream scoops with toppings.

Making Mexican ice cream is easier than you think! Skip the fryer and make these easy, three-ingredient treats in 10 minutes. And you can finish the frozen dessert with a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, and a cherry on top!

Photo Credit: Princess Pinky Girl

39. Mexican Flan

Flan on a cake stand.

Flan is a popular dessert consisting of a vanilla custard topped with a caramel sauce.

Photo Credit: In Mama Maggies Kitchen

40. Sopapillas

Sopaipillas on a plate with honey.

Sopapillas are light, fried dough pieces coated with delicious cinnamon sugar. Whether they are for Cinco De Mayo or a tasty dessert to share with family and friends, sopaipillas are a perfect choice.

Photo Credit: I Heart Eating

41. Empanadas

Empanadas opened on a plate.

Mexican empanadas de cajeta are easy to make and tasty! The soft dough is coated with cinnamon and sugar and stuffed with sweet dulce de leche or caramel.

Photo Credit: Flavor Mosaic

42. Baked Churro Chips

Baked churro chips on a plate with dip.

These crunchy and delicious baked churro chips come together quickly and are easy to eat!

Photo Credit: Simply Scrumptious Eats

Cinco de Mayo Drink Recipes

43. Spicy Jalapeno Margarita Mocktail

Enjoy this spicy Jalapeno Margarita Mocktail recipes.

Spicy jalapeño margarita mocktails are tart, sweet, and have the perfect heat. The refreshing drink takes minutes to make – no fancy equipment is required! Try this and more of our tasty mocktail recipes for a sober, good time!

Photo Credit: Entirely Elizabeth

44. Agua de Fresca

Three glasses of aqua de leche.

This agua de fresca con leche is delicious and perfect for a hot day. The creamy and fruity drink is a popular choice among children and adults, and it’s an excellent way to use fresh strawberries.

Photo Credit: M.A. Kitchen

45. Horchata de Arroz

Three glasses of horchata.

Homemade horchata de arroz is a simple and refreshing drink made with rice water and condensed milk accented by a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Photo Credit: Dish N’ the Kitchen

46. Pineapple Mojito Mocktail

Sparking pinapple mojito in a glass.

It only takes 10 minutes to make a delicious sparkling pineapple mojito mocktail whenever you crave a refreshing, non-alcoholic drink.

Photo Credit: My Chef’s Apron

Creative Cinco de Mayo Recipes

47. Fajita Bar

A table of fajitas and their toppings.

A fajita bar is a delicious build-your-own dinner that the pickiest kids and the hungriest adults will enjoy.

Fixings for the Bar:

Photo Credit: Foxes Love Lemons

48. Mexican Charcuterie Board

A Mexican charcuterie board.

A Mexican charcuterie board is the perfect way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Buy or make your favorite Mexican recipes, display them on a table or board with a little fiesta-inspired flair, and let everyone grab their favorite!

Include recipes like taquitos, quesadillas, and mini tacos.

Photo Credit: Play, Party, Plan

49. Taco Sugar Cookies

A plate of sugar cookies shaped liked Tacos.

How cute are these taco sugar cookies? Plus, they are perfect for Cinco de Mayo or Taco Tuesday with your family and friends.

Photo Credit: Homemade Heather

More Mexican Recipes:

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Sunday 1st of May 2022

Yum! I want to try everything!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

I feel the same way!