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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 federally recognized there), it’s beyond popular stateside. Whether you’re looking to scarf down all the tacos, salsa and guacamole you can eat or you’re really only showing up for the margaritas, we rounded up 40 foolproof Cinco de Mayo recipes to get your fiesta started, including ideas both traditional and modern.

57 Taco Recipe Ideas to Get You Through Every Tuesday of the Year


1. Chicken Tinga Tacos

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pan

What's the secret ingredient that gives the dish all its flavor, you ask? Canned chipotle peppers packed in adobo sauce. No one will ever guess you started with precooked rotisserie chicken.

2. Spicy Turkey Enchiladas With Pumpkin Seeds

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein

Aka one of the most ingenious ways to repurpose leftovers. Sub in shredded chicken if you don't have cooked turkey on hand.

3. Butter-baked Cucumber Tostadas

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly, vegetarian

Presenting our new favorite way to cook cukes (because yes, you can cook them). They're brushed with butter, seasoned and roasted to perfection. The creamy homemade slaw takes things to the next level.

4. Mango Guacamole

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook, kid-friendly

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

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein, pescatarian, kid-friendly

A dozen tacos with fresh-baked tilapia and cabbage slaw for less than $20? Don't mind if we do. Tip: For a shortcut these, swap in frozen fish sticks.

6. Breakfast Nachos

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, one pan

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

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, one pan, crowd-pleaser

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

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, pescatarian

In case you're wondering how to squeeze something healthy onto your Cinco de Mayo menu between all the queso and tortilla chips.

9. Baking Sheet Quesadillas

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, vegetarian, <10 ingredients

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

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, one pan

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.

11. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

  • Time Commitment: 7 hours and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, slow cooker recipe

It all starts with pork shoulder, which turns melt-in-your-mouth tender in the Crockpot. Let the meat shine with simple toppings like red onion, cilantro and a spritz of lime.

12. Sweet Potato And Black Bean Tacos With Blue Cheese Crema

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, beginner-friendly

You won’t even miss the beef, we promise.

13. Huevos Rancheros

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, high protein, vegetarian

This dish has the power to make any morning a good one. (Especially because it only takes seven ingredients and 25 minutes to prepare.)

14. Cauliflower Tortillas

  • Time Commitments: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low carb, keto-friendly, vegetarian, gluten free

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

  • Time Commitment: 6 hours and 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pot, slow cooker recipe, high protein, kid-friendly, crowd-pleaser

Dig into it with chips or serve it by the scoop with a side of taco-sized tortillas.

mexican green chili veggie burgers recipe
Minimalist Baker

16. Green Chili Veggie Burgers

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, gluten free, make ahead

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

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients

Finger food = the best food. Serve these savory gems with a bowl of mayoketchup, also known as salsa rosada.

18. Spicy Shrimp Tacos With Mango Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, pescatarian, high protein

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

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, one pan

Finally, the proper topping-to-chip ratio. Go ham with whatever fixings you love, like refried beans or salsa verde.

20. Slow Cooker Corn And Jalapeño Dip

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours and 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, one pan, crowd-pleaser

So good, you’ll want to eat it solo with a spoon. You have our full support.

21. 5-ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, beginner-friendly

Taquitos are similar to Mexican flautas, except they're usually made with corn tortillas instead of flour. Serve them with pico de gallo, cotija cheese, salsa verde and sour cream.

22. Flank Steak Tacos With Cucumber Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion-worthy, high protein

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

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

Two dinnertime favorites, united on a single crispy tortilla. The time doesn't account for making the carnitas, so feel free to start with store-bought if you want to keep it a 15-minute project.

24. Skillet Chicken Fajitas

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: high protein, one pan

Sorry, Chili's, not tonight. Our cast iron skillet has it covered.

25. Grilled Mango Salsa

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan

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

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian

C'mon, how freaking adorable are these tiny eggs? They also happen to be super simple to whip up, despite their impressive appearance.

27. Camarones Al Mojo De Ajo (shrimp In Garlic Sauce)

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

It doesn't get more traditional than this old-school dish. 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

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, beginner-friendly

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

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, one pan, kid-friendly

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

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, one pot

It's a soul-warming soup with all the magical healing powers of chicken noodle (and ten times the flavor).

31. Fish Taco Salad

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: pescatarian, special occasion-worthy, high protein

Isn't she lovely? Think sautéed tilapia fillets atop crunchy fresh slaw, crowned with pico de gallo, avocado and crushed tortilla chips.

32. Avocado Rice

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, <30 minutes, vegan

This citrus-kissed beauty gives Chipotle's cilantro-lime rice a run for its money.

33. Crispy Baked Chicken Burritos

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly, make ahead

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

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, vegetarian, beginner-friendly, <30 minutes

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

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, <10 ingredients, high protein, vegan

They're vegan, gluten-free, loaded with protein and ready in 25 minutes—any questions?

36. Birria Tacos

  • Time Commitment: 2 hours
  • Why We Love It: high protein, crowd-pleaser, Instant Pot recipe, special occasion-worthy

This traditional Mexican stew-turned-taco is having quite a moment in the U.S. 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

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, vegetarian, one pan

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

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <30 minutes, gluten free, one pan, <10 ingredients

Oh, to be a creamy, dreamy chicken enchilada tucked under a blanket of Monterey jack cheese. We're jealous.

39. Homemade Tortilla Chips

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegan, crowd-pleaser

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

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, special occasion-worthy

How could we forget about dessert? Bonus points for serving the churros with chocolate sauce and decadent dulce de leche.


For even more great recipes, check out our first cookbook, Only the Good Stuff.


taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...