40 Easy, Cheesy Cinco de Mayo Recipes for a Fiesta at Home
Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico's unlikely victory against the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While the holiday isn't celebrated far beyond Puebla in Mexico (it isn't even a federally recognized holiday there), it's beyond popular stateside. Whether you’re looking to celebrate with tacos, salsa, guacamole or all of the above, we rounded up 40 foolproof Cinco de Mayo recipes to get your fiesta started, including ideas both traditional and modern.
1. Chicken Tinga Tacos
What's the secret ingredient that gives the chicken all its flavor, you ask? Canned chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce.
2. Spicy Turkey Enchiladas with Pumpkin Seeds
Aka one of the most ingenious ways to repurpose leftovers. Sub in shredded rotisserie chicken if you can’t find turkey.
3. Butter-Baked Cucumber Tostadas
Presenting our new favorite way to cook cukes. They're brushed with butter, seasoned and roasted to perfection. The creamy homemade slaw takes things to the next level.
4. Mango Guacamole
It may strike you as unconventional, but this sweet, juicy tropical fruit balances the acidic lime juice and spicy serrano chilis like a charm.
5. Crispy Baked Fish Tacos
A dozen tacos with fresh-baked tilapia and cabbage slaw for less than $20? Don't mind if we do. Tip: To shortcut these, swap in frozen fish sticks.
6. Breakfast Nachos
Once the kids see this mess of frozen waffle quarters, gooey cheese, crispy bacon and traditional Mexican fixings, they definitely won't mind starting the party early.
7. Mexican Street Corn Dip
This elote-inspired appetizer has it all, from charred corn and crumbled cotija to lime juice and fresh cilantro. Cool if we fall in face first?
8. Salmon Fajita Salad Boats
In case you're wondering how to squeeze something healthy onto your Cinco de Mayo menu between all the queso dip and tortilla chips.
9. Baking Sheet Quesadillas
Why make individual servings when you could just make one enormous one instead? You can likely find rectangular tortillas in the deli section of your supermarket.
10. Skillet Nacho Dip
The only downside to nachos is that they get soggy after being buried under the toppings for a while. This way, your dip stays hot and your chips stay crispy. Extra cheese, por favor.
12. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Blue Cheese Crema
You won’t even miss the beef, we promise.
13. Huevos Rancheros
This Tex-Mex dish can make any morning a good one. (Especially because it only takes seven ingredients and 25 minutes to make.)
14. Cauliflower Tortillas
If anyone at your Cinco de Mayo table is gluten-free, look no further than this five-ingredient substitute. Cauliflower can really do anything, huh?
15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Dig into it with chips or serve it by the scoop with a side of taco-sized tortillas.
16. Green Chili Veggie Burgers
Each bite of this chickpea-based handheld is like a trip to the Southwest. Might we suggest washing it down with your favorite Mexican-style lager?
17. Beef Empanadas
Finger food = the best food. Serve these savory gems with a bowl of mayoketchup, also known as salsa rosada.
18. Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
Close your eyes and you’re on a tropical getaway. If the weather permits, feel free to grill the shrimp instead of sautéing it.
19. Mini Nachos
Finally, the proper topping-to-chip ratio. Go ham with whatever toppings you love, like refried beans or salsa verde.
20. Slow-Cooker Corn and Jalapeño Dip
So good, you’ll want to eat it solo with a spoon. You have our full support.
21. 5-Ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
Taquitos are similar to Mexican flautas, except they're usually made with corn tortillas instead of flour.
22. Flank Steak Tacos with Cucumber Salsa
We can't decide what we love more: the impeccably seasoned grilled steak or the mind-blowingly refreshing cucumber-scallion topping.
23, Carnitas Mexican Pizza
Two dinnertime favorites, united on a single crispy tortilla.
24. Skillet Chicken Fajitas
Sorry, Chili's, not tonight. Our cast-iron skillet has it covered.
25. Grilled Mango Salsa
You'll want to bookmark this recipe for every future barbecue you ever host or attend. The charred mangoes taste just as heavenly on tortilla chips as they do on grilled fish.
26. Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs
C'mon, how freaking adorable are these tiny handhelds? They also happen to be super simple to whip up (it'll only take you 40 minutes).
27. Camarones al Mojo de Ajo (Shrimp in Garlic Sauce)
It doesn't get more traditional than this old-school crowd-pleaser. Serve it with plenty of white rice and bread so you have something to soak up all the lemon-garlic butter.
28. Roasted Poblano and Corn Guacamole
Psst, wanna know a secret? This smoky, zesty guac is prime for Cinco de Mayo, but you can pull it off any time of year by swapping fresh corn for frozen corn kernels.
29. Crispy Cauliflower Tacos
Vegetarian tacos can be *so* much more than a pile of roasted veggies and queso fresco. This take stars crispy baked cauliflower coated in taco-seasoned breading and homemade queso.
30. Mexican Posole
It's a soul-warming soup with all the magical healing powers of chicken noodle (and ten times the flavor).
31. Fish Taco Salad
Isn't she lovely? Think sautéed tilapia fillets atop crunchy fresh slaw, topped with pico de gallo, avocado and crushed tortilla chips.
33. Crispy Baked Chicken Burritos
Each recipe makes about ten burritos. Feel free to prepare a double batch and store the leftovers in the freezer for up to a month.
34. Chilaquiles Verdes
Salsa-soaked tortilla chips + queso fresco + fried egg = the breakfast of our dreams. We'll take ours with a generous scoop of sour cream, please.
35. Easy Refried Beans
They're vegan, gluten-free, loaded with protein and ready in 25 minutes—any questions?
36. Birria Tacos
This traditional Mexican stew-turned-taco is having quite a moment. Whether you serve the stew over rice, in tacos or inside a quesadilla, make sure to serve it with a piping-hot cup of consomé (the stew broth), topped with chopped white onions and a lime wedge.
37. Loaded Veggie Nachos
Ground beef? We don't know her. The chips are piled high with pinto beans, red bell peppers, jalapeños, onions and radishes, not to mention three types of cheese.
38. Green Chicken Enchiladas
Oh, to be a creamy, dreamy chicken enchilada tucked under a blanket of Monterey jack cheese. We're jealous.
39. Homemade Tortilla Chips
If you're pulling out all the stops for Cinco de Mayo, trading store-bought chips for your own is an easy way to show off.
40. Churro Bites with Chocolate Sauce
How could we forget about dessert? Bonus points for serving them with chocolate sauce and decadent dulce de leche.