Cinco de Mayo Recipes 

Escaping the hustle and bustle of crowded Mexican restaurants on Cinco de Mayo can be a relief for many. Yet, the desire for authentic and flavorful Mexican cuisine remains strong. However, the prospect of investing time, effort, and creativity into homemade dishes often deters aspiring cooks. Fear not! Below, you’ll discover a handpicked selection of over 45 Mexican food recipes tailored perfectly for Cinco de Mayo. From beloved classics fit for a cozy dinner to fuss-free delights ideal for festive gatherings, I’ve got you covered.

A collage of Cinco de Mayo Food Ideas.

This post may contain affiliate links which I earn a small portion in sales if a purchase is made. Rest assured though, it is never at any additional cost to you.

Top Tips to Prepare for Cinco de Mayo Cooking

  • Plan Ahead– Planning is key when preparing Mexican food at home. Consider your menu, gather recipes, and make a shopping list in advance. This will help streamline the cooking process and ensure you have all the ingredients you need.
  • Fresh Ingredients– Whenever possible, opt for fresh, high-quality ingredients. Fresh herbs, ripe tomatoes, and crisp vegetables can make a world of difference in flavor and texture.
  • Prep in Advance– Many Mexican dishes involve chopping, marinating, and other prep work. To save time on the day of cooking, consider prepping ingredients in advance. For example, chop onions, marinate meat, or prepare sauces the night before.
  • Buy Avocados in Advance– Often grocery store avocados need time to ripen. Because of this, buying avocados in advance and allowing them to ripen at room temperature ensures they’ll be ready when you need them. Keep an eye on them and use them when they reach your desired level of ripeness.
  • Mise en Place– Mise en place, which means “everything in its place” in French, is a crucial practice in Mexican cooking. Before you start cooking, gather and prepare all your ingredients. Chop vegetables, measure out spices, and set up your workspace with all the tools you’ll need. This not only saves time during cooking but also ensures that you can focus on the cooking process without any last-minute scrambling.

Most Helpful Tools For Mexican Cooking

Each recipe has its own unique set of instructions. However, There are certain tools that I use time and time again when preparing Mexican food recipes. Here are some of my favorites.

  • Garlic Press– Makes preparing garlic cloves 1,000 times easier.
  • Chef’s Knife for Chopping– A quality and yet affordable chef’s knife make chopping onions, cilantro and meats a much easier job.
  • Citrus Press– Extract the juice with ease while leaving the seeds behind.
  • Pairing Knife– Using small pairing knife is a must when deveining and cleaning shrimp.
  • Tortilla Warmer– A tortilla warmer is a must for warming and keeping tortillas warm when sitting down to dinner.
  • Blender– It’s imperative to have a high speed blender because it helps to make Mexican sauces and salsa a much easier job.


These Cinco de Mayo appetizer recipes are the perfect way to kick off your fiesta in style. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with these irresistible starters!

Overhead photo of the prepared Pico de Gallo Recipe.

Fresh made tortillas on a white plate from Flour Tortillas Recipe.

Simple Healthy Guacamole Pinterest Image

Cucumber and Mango Salsa in a large bowl garnished with 3 lime slices.

Homemade Salsa Verde recipe has an incredibly easy assembly and livens up everyday dishes. Completely fat free and a fun way to get in extra veggies.

Up close photo of Mexican Coleslaw with Cilantro Lime Dressing.

Chip dipping into Ultra Creamy Nacho Cheese.

Refreshing and satisfying, Mango Shrimp Salsa is a fruity seafood feast that is perfect for parties or as a meal on hot summer nights.

Chunky Guacamole Salsa Pinterest Image

Light and refreshing, California Shrimp Ceviche makes a perfect appetizer or meal replacement. A wonderful companion to healthy chips or stuffed in a lettuce leaf.

Main Dishes

When it comes to the main event of your Cinco de Mayo feast, you can’t go wrong with these classic and creative Mexican entrées.

Overhead photos of Frozen Bean and Cheese Burritos piled in a roasting pan before freezing.

Up close photo of a bowl of Pork Pozole Verde.

Overhead photo of Shredded Chicken Nachos loaded with Pico de Gallo, Guacamole and sour cream.

Up close photo of freshly made Homemade Chorizo.

An open faced Guacamole Chickpea Salad Sandwich on a wooden cutting board.

Chicken Flautas on a plate garnished with tomatoes, cilantro and avocado.

Prawn and Chorizo Pasta in a blue bowl garnished with crumbled cheese.

Shredded Pork from Husband Approved Carnitas recipe.

Overhead photo of Chicken and Chorizo Casserole in a cast iron frying pan.

Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos sitting on a wooden table with lime wedges.

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup Pinterest Image

Cilantro Lime Confetti Orzo recipe unites the comfort of pasta with the fresh citrusy flavors of summer. A perfect make ahead dish for potlucks, lunches or hot summer nights.

Beautiful and hardy, Black Bean Soup is a vegetable and protein rich meal that is so good it is almost addictive.

Hearty Homemade Chili recipe is savory enough for the adults and mild enough for the kiddos. Satisfying and comforting, it is a family favorite and we always have to keep extra in the freezer.

White Bean Chicken Tomatillo Soup

Avocado Chicken Sandwich

One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice recipe is a simple, comforting meal bursting with flavor. An easy 15 minutes to prep and then pop in the oven to bake, this has become one of my favorite go to recipes that even children love. 

Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Pasta is a wonderfully comforting meal with marinated chicken, the crispness of cilantro and a slight smoky spiciness of jalapeño.

Strips of cut Carne Asada.

Easy Seared Chicken Guacamole resting on a cutting board.

Chorizo Pinto Bean Soup in a blue serving bowl.

Picture of Carne Asada Fries Recipe with all the fixings.

Healthier and Lighter Cinco de Mayo Meals

For those looking to keep things a bit lighter this Cinco de Mayo, these healthier main dish recipes allow you to enjoy all the bright, zesty flavors without the guilt.

Overhead photo of Baja Chicken Bowl sitting on a brown table.

Healthy Baked Tostadas Pinterest Image

Three Baja Chicken Tacos on white plate.

Tortilla and Beans is a family recipe dating back over 70 years. A crispy corn tortilla is topped with a hearty chili, simple coleslaw and black olives. Delicious, satisfying and budget friendly, this is a meal my husband can't get enough of.

Whole Cilantro Lime Mexican Roast Chicken with limes on a platter.

Veggie Loaded Low-Carb Taco Casserole

Cooked chicken on a platter from Baja Chicken Marinade recipe.

Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing in a salad dressing jar next to a bowl full of salad.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers recipe is completely Vegan and incredibly satisfying that even meat eaters love these. Made with quinoa, almonds, sweet potatoes and broccoli it is one of the best tasting and guilt-free meals around.

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