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Whether you’re throwing a big fiesta or just celebrating with your family, this collection has all the Cinco de Mayo Recipes you’ll need! From entrees and appetizers to desserts and drinks, we have you covered!

For more collections: Mexican Sides, Mexican Desserts, Mexican Soups, Mexican Beef Recipes, Mexican Appetizers

Collage of our favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes

A Day to Celebrate!

Cinco de Mayo (The Fifth of May) is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. It’s also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

While it’s somewhat of a minor holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States, especially in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

Growing up in Arizona, and having a Mexican mother myself, we’ve ALWAYS made a big deal of Cinco de Mayo and celebrate every year with lots of amazing homemade Mexican food. I’ve compiled this list of all our favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes, including entrees, sides, appetizers, drinks, and desserts!

Cinco de Mayo Party Tips

Like any dinner party, you’ll want to plan your menu beforehand.

  • Decide which dishes you want to make fresh and which dishes can be made ahead of time. (See the individual recipes for more storage and reheating information.)
  • Mix in traditional favorites with a couple new dishes. Be sure to try out the new dishes beforehand to work out any recipe kinks.
  • Use dishes with different flavors and textures.
    • Be mindful that while some people love spicy hot Mexican food, others prefer a more mild dish. I suggest labeling which dishes are spicy and which ones are more mild. A great way around this is to prepare more mild dishes, but have hot sauce set out for those who want to give their plates a bit more kick

Typically, for a meal with guests we like to have the following:

  • APPETIZERS – 1-2 (Salsas + Dips can be made ahead of time.)
  • SIDES – 1 (Rice is a great one that can be made ahead and kept WARM in the slow cooker or chafing dish)
  • MAIN DISHES – 1-2 (That can be made ahead of time). Anything Fried is usually made right before serving.
  • DESSERTS – 1 (Usually made ahead of time and extended with ice cream) 😉
  • DRINKS – 1-2 (Including water). It’s nice to have a flavored beverage (or two!), but make sure you have either plain or flavored water as well.
Decorations for Cinco de Mayo Party

FAVORITE Cinco de Mayo DECORATIONS

When I think of Mexican decorations, I think of bold, bright, contrasting colors. I always use red, green, and white (yes, some yellows, reds, pinks, blues and more!) since those are the colors of the Mexican flag, from there choose 3 more colors that can be repeated throughout the decor.

  • Paper Picado Banners strung from above and around tables.
  • Large Tissue Paper Flowers are beautiful and easy to make. Children especially enjoy helping make these.
  • Sombreros are fun to have both for decor and for picture opportunities.
  • Piñata, In my opinion, is a must for any Mexican party. Fill with candies or small toys.
  • Salsa cans are great for holding decor, flowers and succulents
  • Candles – You can usually find these for cheap at the dollar store and they go great with the decor.

So much decor can be found online and on Amazon, so be sure to check those out and then store for future uses. 😉

Carne asada on a plate with avocado

Best Cinco de Mayo Recipes

These are some of our go-to Mexican recipes that we think are the BEST! A lot of these classic dishes are perfect for big gatherings (like Cinco de Mayo parties).

We’ve included are favorite appetizers, sides, and entrees! And typically, we like to pick one or two from each section to create our menu.

Appetizers:

1 Salsa Recipe

Appetizer Salsa Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 112 votes
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2 Salsa Verde Recipe

Appetizer Salsa Verde Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 50 votes
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3 Black Bean Corn Salsa

Appetizer Black Bean Corn Salsa
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 21 votes
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4 How to Make Guacamole

Appetizer How to Make Guacamole
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 13 votes
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5 7 Layer Bean Dip Recipe

Appetizer 7 Layer Bean Dip Recipe
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 45 votes
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6 Tortilla Chip Recipe

Appetizer, Side Dish Tortilla Chip Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 9 votes
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Sides:

7 Canned Refried Beans

Appetizer Canned Refried Beans
Total Time: 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 47 votes
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8 Spanish Rice Recipe

Side Dish Spanish Rice Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 5734 votes
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9 Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe

cropped-cilantro-lime-rice-resize-2.jpg
Side Dish Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 62 votes
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10 Flour Tortilla Recipe

Side Dish Flour Tortilla Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 71 votes
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11 Chicken Tortilla Soup

Main Course, Soup Chicken Tortilla Soup
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 380 votes
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Main Dishes:

12 Chicken Tacos Recipe

Main Course Chicken Tacos Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 84 votes
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13 Carne Asada Recipe

Main Course Carne Asada Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 10 votes
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14 Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Main Course Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 654 votes
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15 Cheese Enchilada

Main Course Cheese Enchilada
Total Time: 47 minutes

Recipe Video

4.96 from 754 votes
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16 Chicken Flautas Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Chicken Flautas Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 78 votes
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17 Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe

Main Course Baked Chicken Chimichanga Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 126 votes
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Esquites in a plastic cup to eat for Cinco de Mayo

Easy Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Even though we’ve shared our go-to’s for Cinco de Mayo, we wanted to make sure you had the complete list of simple recipes to make for your celebration.

From appetizers to sides to main dishes, we’ve got you covered. And best part is all of these recipes are easy with quick preparation, or few ingredients. What’s not to love about simple, yummy recipes?!

Appetizers:

18 Quesadilla Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Quesadilla Recipe
Total Time: 12 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 308 votes
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19 Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Appetizer Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 54 votes
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20 Loaded Nachos Recipe

Appetizer, Main Course Loaded Nachos Recipe
Total Time: 27 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 23 votes
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21 Queso Blanco Recipe

Appetizer Queso Blanco Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 93 votes
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22 Crock Pot Bean Dip Recipe

Appetizer Crock Pot Bean Dip Recipe
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
5 from 40 votes
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23 Bean Dip Recipe

Appetizer Bean Dip Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 378 votes
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24 Chili’s Salsa Recipe

Appetizer Chili’s Salsa Recipe
Total Time: 3 minutes
4.92 from 46 votes
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25 Mango Salsa Recipe

Appetizer Mango Salsa Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 12 votes
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Sides & salads:

26 Esquites

Side Dish Esquites
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 35 votes
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27 Mexican Street Corn Recipe

Side Dish Mexican Street Corn Recipe
Total Time: 13 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 557 votes
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28 Mexican Cornbread Recipe

Bread Mexican Cornbread Recipe
Total Time: 50 minutes

Recipe Video

4.97 from 109 votes
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29 Sopa de Fideo

Soup Sopa de Fideo
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 270 votes
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30 Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

Main Course, Soup Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 155 votes
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31 Taco Soup Recipe

Soup Taco Soup Recipe
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 29 votes
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32 Chicken Taco Salad Recipe

Salad Chicken Taco Salad Recipe
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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33 Taco Pasta Salad Recipe

Salad Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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34 Southwest Caprese Salad Recipe

Salad Southwest Caprese Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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35 Southwest Salad Recipe

Salad Southwest Salad Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 18 votes
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Main Dishes:

36 Tostada

Main Course Tostada
Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 22 votes
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37 Sweet Pork Barbacoa Recipe

Main Course Sweet Pork Barbacoa Recipe
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 23 votes
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38 Carnitas Recipe

Main Course Carnitas Recipe
Total Time: 9 hours 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 8 votes
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39 Mexican Chicken

Main Course Mexican Chicken
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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40 Salsa Chicken Recipe

Main Course Salsa Chicken Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 19 votes
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41 Green Chili Chicken Recipe

Main Course Green Chili Chicken Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 17 votes
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42 Green Chile Burritos Recipe

Main Course Green Chile Burritos Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 35 votes
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43 Green Chili Smothered Burritos Recipe

green chili smothered burrito with olives, cilantro and avocado on plate
Main Course Green Chili Smothered Burritos Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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44 Burrito Recipe

Main Course Burrito Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 52 votes
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45 Flautas

Appetizer, Main Course Flautas
Total Time: 25 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 62 votes
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46 Pork Tacos Recipe

Main Course Pork Tacos Recipe
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 8 votes
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47 Ground Beef Tacos Recipe

Main Course Ground Beef Tacos Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 19 votes
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48 Taco Casserole Recipe

Main Course Taco Casserole Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 110 votes

49 Beef Enchiladas

Main Course Beef Enchiladas
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

4.93 from 78 votes
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50 Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Main Course Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Recipe Video

4.98 from 42 votes
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51 Creamy Chicken Enchilada Recipe

Main Course Creamy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.99 from 149 votes
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52 Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Main Course Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour

Recipe Video

5 from 85 votes
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53 Mexican Lasagna Recipe

Main Course Mexican Lasagna Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

4.95 from 53 votes
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Fried ice cream on a plate with whipped cream and strawberries for Cinco de Mayo dessert

Cinco de Mayo Dessert Recipes

There are so many traditional Mexican desserts you can make to accompany your Cinco de Mayo meal besides the classic cinnamon churro.

All of them are pretty simple to make and will pair perfectly with whatever entree you decide to serve!

54 Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Appetizer, Dessert Cinnamon Tortilla Chips
Total Time: 15 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 35 votes
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55 Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe

Dessert Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 26 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 28 votes
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56 Sopapilla Cheesecake Recipe

Dessert Sopapilla Cheesecake Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 15 votes
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57 Mexican Fried Ice Cream Recipe

Dessert Mexican Fried Ice Cream Recipe
Total Time: 4 hours 17 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 19 votes
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58 Arroz con Leche Recipe

Dessert Arroz con Leche Recipe
Total Time: 45 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 403 votes
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59 Sopapilla Recipe

Dessert Sopapilla Recipe
Total Time: 40 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 60 votes
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60 Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches Cake
Dessert Tres Leches Cake
Total Time: 5 hours

Recipe Video

5 from 37 votes
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61 Churro Recipe

Dessert Churro Recipe
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 39 votes
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62 How to Make Flan Recipe

Dessert How to Make Flan Recipe
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Recipe Video

4.94 from 16 votes
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63 Churro Cheesecake Bars

Dessert Churro Cheesecake Bars
Total Time: 35 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 250 votes
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Mango smoothie in a glass with a straw for a Cinco de Mayo drink

Cinco de Mayo Drink Recipes

The most well known Mexican style drink is probably Horchata, but we also love Mexican hot chocolate (you can turn it into a cold drink by preparing it like our Frozen Hot Chocolate). You can also serve juices or smoothies with refreshing fruit flavors like mango, peach, or strawberry.

64 Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Drinks Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe
Total Time: 30 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 25 votes
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65 Horchata Recipe

Drinks Horchata Recipe
Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes

Recipe Video

5 from 32 votes
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66 Peach Mango Smoothie Recipe

Drinks Peach Mango Smoothie Recipe
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 9 votes
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We hope these Mexican recipes help you in creating the perfect Cinco de Mayo menu!

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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9 Comments

  1. Debbie Harris says:

    Oh my goodness!!! So much good food – and the presentation is wonderful. I am planning a Cinco de Mayo party for my family. I will definitely use your recipes. Especially the salsa and enchilada recipe. By the way – I love all of your ideas – food, family, and life. You are so refreshing and positive. Thank you for being a light in a sometimes dark world! Debbie

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Thank you so much for all of these kind words! That means so much! Glad you can use the ideas/recipes for your party!!

  2. Merideth says:

    Love these recipes!

  3. Laura Reese says:

    5 stars
    This post is full of delicious recipes! My favorite is the salsa. It’s the easiest recipe ever.

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Thank you! Yes, that salsa is so quick and easy. I love when recipes are fast to make and delicious!

  4. Beth says:

    These look amazing and so delicious! My family and I are going to love these recipes! Can’t wait!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Thank you!! I hope you enjoy them!

  5. Katie says:

    These are all so fun! And look so tasty. We love to celebrate cinco de mayo, so we will definitely use some of these!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Same! Cinco de Mayo is so fun to celebrate… especially because there is such great food to enjoy! 🙂