This list of the best Cinco de Mayo recipes has your Mexican party menu covered, from appetizers and drinks to tacos and desserts! Everything you need to celebrate the occasion is right here, so pick a few of your favorites, and let’s get cooking!
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday commemorating the Mexican army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Though it’s not as important as Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16, the holiday has become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States and is often marked with parades, music, and, most importantly, food!
35 Cinco de Mayo Recipes
When it comes to Cinco de Mayo recipes, there are a few classic dishes that you can’t go wrong with. These recipes have been enjoyed for generations and will surely be a hit at any Cinco de Mayo celebration!
Whether you’re keeping the festivities small this year or feeding a crowd, everyone will find something they love on this list.
If the recipes below aren’t quite what you’re looking for, be sure to check out the full collection of 140+ Cinco de Mayo recipes!
To start your celebration, here are some of my favorites to make for the big day.
Carnitas: These tender and juicy pieces of slow-cooked pork are a staple in Mexican cuisine. They’re perfect for making tacos, burritos, gorditas, tostadas, sopes, nachos, and so much more! This foolproof recipe includes instructions for making carnitas in the slow cooker, oven, and Instant Pot.
Flautas: These crispy and satisfying flautas are made from rolled tortillas filled with juicy chicken and topped with salsa, sour cream, cheese, and more! Fry, bake, or air fry them for an easy weeknight dinner or party appetizer!
Mexican Rice: This authentic Mexican rice recipe is easy to make, made with simple ingredients, and way better than rice you’ll find at a Mexican restaurant! It’s the perfect side dish for all your favorite Mexican recipes.
Elotes (Mexican Street Corn): This popular Mexican street food is made from fresh corn covered in creamy mayonnaise, lime juice for some brightness, cotija cheese, cilantro, and a dash of chili powder to give everything a little kick. It’s finger-licking good and always a hit with the family.
Guacamole: Ready in only 10 minutes, this guacamole is a delicious Mexican classic that will quickly become a staple in your kitchen. Serve it with tortilla chips, on a salad, in tacos, on toast, and more!
Barbacoa: This beef barbacoa recipe combines juicy and tender slow-cooked beef with the most delicious spices and seasonings. Pile it onto tortillas or stuff in burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, and more!
Sheet Pan Nachos: Ready from start to finish in only 25 minutes, sheet pan nachos are one of the quickest and easiest appetizers everyone will love!
Chicken Tacos: These simple yet flavorful chicken tacos are easy to make and filled with super juicy and delicious chicken! Perfect for weeknight meals and makes great leftovers!
Roasted Tomato Salsa: Made from tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Better than store-bought, this roasted salsa is delicious and served with tortilla chips or in tacos and burritos.
Chicken Pozole Verde: This comforting Mexican stew is filled with shredded chicken and hominy in a delicious green chile broth made from tomatillos, jalapeños, and cilantro. It’s easy to make, hearty, and ready in only one hour!
Refried Beans: How to make refried beans just like your favorite Mexican restaurant, but even better! Includes stovetop, slow cooker, and canned beans instructions.
Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas: The perfect quick and easy dinner. Simply toss the steak and vegetables in an easy Mexican seasoning and roast everything on one sheet pan.
Corn Tortillas: Everything you need to know about how to make corn tortillas at home! What you need, step-by-step process from start to finish, and how to keep them warm. They’re easy to make and perfect for taco night!
Queso Fundido: Cheesy and gooey queso fundido combines melted cheese, chorizo, and peppers in a hot skillet. This restaurant-worthy appetizer is easy to make and done in under 30 minutes! Don’t forget the tortilla chips for dipping!
Mexican Wedding Cookies: Rich, buttery, and crumbly cookies made from a mixture of nuts, flour, butter, and powdered sugar that melt in your mouth.
Chicken Enchiladas: Stuffed with shredded chicken and cheese, topped with an easy red enchilada sauce, and baked for 20 minutes. This homemade classic is an all-time family favorite that’s great for easy weeknight meals.
Carne Asada: Made from marinated flank steak or skirt steak, and grilled until tender and juicy. A great addition to any Mexican meal, this authentic recipe is made with olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, and other simple ingredients.
Salsa Verde: This recipe blends tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to form a tangy and vibrant Mexican green salsa. Spoon it onto tons of dishes to add a pop of flavor and color. You’ll never go back to store-bought versions again.
Chile Relleno: An authentic Mexican recipe made from roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, dipped in a fluffy egg batter, and fried until golden brown! This traditional dish is fun to make and better than any restaurant version you’ll ever try!
Tamales: Mexican red chile tamales made from tender pork shoulder that’s been simmered in a rich red chile sauce. The filling is enveloped in a light and addicting masa dough and then steamed in corn husks on the stovetop.
Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas: A favorite Mexican dinner recipe that’s ready in only 30 minutes. Seasoned chicken breast, bell peppers, and onions are baked on one sheet pan simultaneously!
Baja Fish Tacos: The best Baja Fish Tacos you’ll ever eat! They’re filled with crispy beer-battered fish, smoky chipotle mayo, and a creamy cabbage slaw!
Calabacitas: This beloved Mexican vegetable dish is made from sauteed zucchini and squash, corn, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. It’s healthy, comforting, and super satisfying, even for the biggest of meat lovers!
Flour Tortillas: Love those fresh and soft flour tortillas from your favorite Mexican restaurant? Now you can make your own at home! These delicious homemade flour tortillas are easy to make, pliable yet sturdy, won’t rip, and only require 5 ingredients!
Tres Leches Cake: A classic Mexican dessert, this cake is soaked in a mixture of three kinds of milk and topped with whipped cream and strawberries.
Fresas con Crema: The easiest Mexican dessert you’ll ever make! Made with fresh strawberries mixed into a sweet and creamy sauce, this recipe is ready to eat in only 10 minutes. Only 5 ingredients are needed!
Margarita Cupcakes: The cupcake base is made with lime zest, lime juice, and a little bit of tequila in it for that real margarita flavor, and the frosting is made with cream cheese and some more lime zest and juice.
Mexican Brownies: These fudgy and chocolatey Mexican Brownies have a pop of flavor thanks to a little cayenne and cinnamon. Rich in flavor, these seriously addicting brownies are best enjoyed fresh or can be frozen for later.
Marranitos: A popular Mexican pan dulce, or sweet bread, flavored with molasses and commonly found in Mexican bakeries. Best served with a cup of milk or coffee and eaten on weekend mornings!
Frozen Margaritas: Made with only 5 ingredients, this Frozen Margarita Recipe is cold, slushy, frosty, and delicious! Perfect for cooling down and relaxing on those hot, sunny days.
Classic Margaritas: Made with 3 simple ingredients, the classic margarita is the perfect balance of tequila, triple sec, and lime juice that makes a crisp and refreshing drink every single time.
Skinny Margaritas: Made with fresh lime juice, orange juice, tequila, and agave nectar for a refreshing, low-calorie cocktail! Make one or an entire pitcher for the perfect drink for summer entertaining or Cinco de Mayo.
Strawberry Margaritas: The perfect cocktail to enjoy on warm sunny days! Made with 5 simple ingredients, this drink is the perfect mix of sweet but not too sweet, boozy but not too boozy, and super refreshing. Frozen and on-the-rocks versions are included.
Watermelon Margaritas: Made with only 3 simple ingredients (yes, only 3!) and can be served frozen or on the rocks. Naturally sweetened with only fruit, this cocktail is sure to become a go-to every summer! Frozen and on-the-rocks versions are included.
Mango Margaritas: The most delicious fruity margarita you’ll ever make! It can be made frozen or on the rocks and is great for parties, celebrations, barbecues, or relaxing on warm, sunny days.