Cinco de Mayo Recipes

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:

Appetizer Homemade Salsa Recipe
This is such an EASY homemade salsa recipe! All you have to do is throw diced tomatoes, rotel, cilantro, lime juice, onion powder, jalapeños, and cumin into your blender, and blend! It goes perfectly with tortilla chips, tacos, enchiladas, or any other Mexican food!
Total Time: 10 minutes
4.96 from 49 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Salsa Verde Recipe
Sweet Salsa Verde – a delicious salsa recipe that is sweet and takes just minutes to make. Ingredients include tomatillos, jalapenos, sugar, & cilantro.
Total Time: 6 minutes
4.97 from 26 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe
Black Bean and Corn Salsa – one of our favorite dips and appetizers. Everyone loves this salsa filled with tomatoes, avocados, corn and black beans!
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 10 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Guacamole Recipe
Spicy, Chunky Guacamole That You Won’t Be Able To Stop Eating! Filled With Avocados, Spices, Onion, Tomatoes, Garlic, Cilantro And More – This Easy But Addicting Dip Is Sure To Be A Crowd Pleaser.
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe
Appetizer 7 Layer Bean Dip Recipe
7 Layer Bean Dip – our family’s favorite recipe with loads of flavor and all your favorite dip ingredients including avocados, olives, tomatoes, cheese and more! It’s a must-have appetizer at most family functions.
Total Time: 10 minutes
4.91 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer, Side Dish Homemade Tortilla Chips Recipe
Homemade tortilla chips are crispy and sprinkled with salt. They are surprisingly quick and simple to whip up!
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe

Sides:

Appetizer Refried Beans Recipe
Get perfectly creamy restaurant style refried beans by adding just THREE extra ingredients to your canned beans! These refried beans are perfect served as a dip, side, or filling for burritos and tacos!
Total Time: 10 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Spanish Rice Recipe
Restaurant-Style Spanish Rice (aka Mexican Rice), that is easy to make and tastes like it came straight from the restaurant, and is the best side dish to any Mexican entree.
Total Time: 45 minutes
4.91 from 568 votes
Check out this recipe
Side Dish Cilantro Lime Rice Recipe
This recipe tastes just like Cafe Rio and Chipotle Cilantro Lime Rice! If you’ve ever been to either of these restaurants, you know how delicious cilantro rice is inside a salad, burrito, or taco. Now you can make this delicious lime rice from home! 
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.91 from 22 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe
Homemade Flour Tortillas made from 5 Ingredients – butter, warm water, flour, baking powder, and salt! They’re so soft, easy to make, and can be used for burritos, tacos, quesadillas, however you like!!
Total Time: 31 minutes
4.86 from 21 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Soup Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
The BEST slow cooker chicken tortilla soup is filled with chunks of chicken, beans & corn. It is easy to make and full of flavor!
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
5 from 34 votes
Check out this recipe

Main Dishes:

Main Course Chicken Taco Recipe
Delicious restaurant-style Chicken Tacos that are fried and perfect for any Mexican Meal.
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.96 from 23 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Carne Asada Recipe
Carne asada is the perfect Mexican flavored meat to add to tacos, burritos, salads, or quesadillas. It’s tender, flavorful, and juicy.
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
5 from 2 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Easy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
One of our favorite Mexican dishes – Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas recipe!! Corn tortillas stuffed with chicken, cheese, las palmas green chile enchilada sauce, sour cream, and green chiles, topped with more sauce and cheese! The whole family loves these easy chicken enchiladas!
Total Time: 40 minutes
4.95 from 203 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Cheese Enchilada Recipe
Restaurant-Style Red Cheese Enchiladas are an old family favorite recipe that is simply the best!! They are cheesy, saucy, and so yummy.
Total Time: 47 minutes
4.76 from 145 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer, Main Course Flautas Recipe
Delicious, crunchy flautas filled with shredded chicken (shredded beef works too), salsa, cheese, green chiles and more! They can be fried, air fried or even baked to be a delicious and easy dinner idea or appetizer.
5 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Chicken Chimichanga Recipe
Baked Chicken Chimichangas – stuffed with rice, chicken, cheese and more. Such a simple dinner recipe that everyone will love.
Total Time: 25 minutes
4.94 from 60 votes
Check out this recipe
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:

Appetizer, Main Course Chicken Quesadilla Recipe
These easy, cheesy Chicken Quesadillas are not only filled with cheese and chicken, but a delicious homemade sauce that makes these hand-held goodies irresistible!
Total Time: 12 minutes
4.87 from 52 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
Spicy fried jalapeño poppers are a classic appetizer that everyone wants! Bite into these cheesy poppers for a flavor explosion!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 14 votes
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Appetizer Loaded Nachos Recipe
These Loaded Nachos Are Piled High With Chips, Beef, Beans, Cheese, Pico De Gallo, And Avocado. They’re The Perfect Game Day Food, Are Easy To Make And Are So Easy To Customize Based Off Of Your Favorite Nacho Toppings.
Total Time: 27 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Appetizer Queso Blanco Recipe
The best and easiest queso blanco recipe out there. This delicious dip is made in no time, and will be the perfect addition at your next get together, especially served with tortilla chips and veggies.
Total Time: 15 minutes
4.83 from 23 votes
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Appetizer Crock Pot Bean Dip Recipe
This cheesy and delicious crock pot bean dip is made with hardly any effort! SO easy, convenient, and perfect for holiday parties! Grab those chips and get dippin'.
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Cream Cheese Bean Dip Recipe
This Cream Cheese Bean Dip recipe is our new favorite Mexican dip! With sour cream, cream cheese, Mexican cheese, refried beans, and salsa, it is the perfect dip to eat with chips, tacos, or any other Mexican dish! SOO good!!
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.95 from 51 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Chili’s Salsa Recipe
The restaurant salsa you know and love, made at home anytime you like! This Chili's Salsa copycat recipe is literally made in minutes with the help of a blender.
Total Time: 3 minutes
4.67 from 12 votes
Check out this recipe
Appetizer Mango Salsa Recipe
This sweet and savory Mango Salsa is perfect with chips or any Mexican meal. It’s filled with sweet pineapple, cilantro, mangoes, onion, cilantro and jalapenos making it full of flavor and simple to make.
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 1 vote
Check out this recipe

Sides & salads:

Side Dish Esquites Recipe
Esquites is a tasty corn salad topped with chili and cotija cheese. It's incredibly delicious and easy to whip up!
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Side Dish Mexican Street Corn Recipe
Delicious Mexican Street Corn – a copycat version from Torchy’s Tacos filled with butter, cheese, chili powder and cilantro. 
Total Time: 13 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Check out this recipe
Bread Mexican Cornbread Recipe
This Mexican Cornbread (AKA jalapeño cornbread) is light and fluffy and is filled with cheddar cheese and jalapeño. It has a bit of a nip and a lot of flavor.
Total Time: 50 minutes
5 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Sopa de Fideo Recipe
This quick, simple and delicious Sopa (soup) de fideo is a family favorite. It's also cheesy and flavorful! Just 5 Ingredients and you'll have dinner in no time. 
5 from 19 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course, Soup Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
Crock Pot Green Chile Enchilada Soup is a new favorite soup packed with chicken, green chiles, corn, rice, and mixed with lots of spices and cheeses. 
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
4.86 from 64 votes
Check out this recipe
Soup Taco Soup Recipe
One of the EASIEST dinner recipes of all time! This super easy Taco Soup is made from canned chili, beans, corn, tomatoes, and green chiles, plus ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning. All you have to do is dump everything in a pan and simmer. It’s ready in under 20 minutes!
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 13 votes
Check out this recipe
Salad Chicken Taco Salad Recipe
Crunchy and fresh chicken taco salad is a weeknight dinner dream! Easy, flavorful, and a recipe that everyone will enjoy.
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Salad Taco Pasta Salad Recipe
Delicious Taco Pasta Salad filled with beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and more!!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 7 votes
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Salad Southwest Caprese Salad Recipe
Southwest caprese salad substitutes queso fresco and a bright cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette to add some flair. It is fresh, vibrant, and full of flavor!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 6 votes
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Salad Southwest Salad Recipe
Simple and delicious Southwestern Chopped Salad filled with chicken, peppers, beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado and topped with a homemade cilantro ranch dressing.
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 10 votes
Check out this recipe

Main Dishes:

Main Course Tostada Recipe
Open face tostadas topped with all of your favorite Mexican ingredients! These tasty tostadas are a frequent meal in this house!
Total Time: 20 minutes
5 from 10 votes
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Main Course Sweet Pork Barbacoa Recipe
Sweet Pork Barbacoa is the best slow cooker pulled pork recipe you will ever try. Better than Cafe Rio—you better make a double batch!
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 16 votes
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Main Course Carnitas Recipe
Carnitas AKA Mexican Slow Cooker Pulled Pork takes minutes to prep and is great in tacos, bean burritos, quesadillas, chimichangas and more!
5 from 7 votes
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Main Course Mexican Chicken Recipe
Mexican chicken is topped with salsa and cheese for a tasty quick meal. It takes chicken to the next spice level!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Salsa Chicken Recipe
Salsa chicken is your ticket to a 30-minute meal that the whole family will love! And it's all baked in one pan for easy clean up!
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 14 votes
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Main Course Green Chili Chicken Recipe
Green chili chicken is easy and delicious. Topped with cheese and green chili sauce guarantees it will become a new favorite in no time!!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 4 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Green Chile Burritos Recipe
The easiest Green Chile Burritos require just a few ingredients, including a seasoned chuck roast and 505 green chile sauce. The whole family loves them!
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
green chili smothered burrito with olives, cilantro and avocado on plate
Main Course Green Chili Smothered Burritos Recipe
Pull together canned items in your pantry to make super easy green chili smothered burritos. This flavorful meal comes together in a pinch!
Total Time: 35 minutes
4.75 from 4 votes
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Main Course Bean Burrito Recipe
Cheesy bean burritos are so easy to whip up for dinner! These are perfect for making ahead of time, or freezing for later.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Beef Flautas Recipe
Tortillas filled with meat and cheese and fried to perfection! Crispy, flavorful flautas are a delicious dinner for everyone!
Total Time: 25 minutes
5 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Pork Tacos Recipe
Pork tacos made simple using slow cooker pork and all of your favorite taco toppings! These tacos are flavorful, easy to make, and a big crowd pleaser.
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Ground Beef Tacos Recipe
One of our favorite versions of tacos – ground beef tacos!! They're filled with meat and cheese, fried until golden and topped with lettuce and tomatoes.
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Taco Casserole Recipe
This delicious Taco Casserole is like a taco salad in casserole form! With a ground beef and biscuit base, plus layers of sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and olives, this casserole is the perfect way to switch up your dinner routine.
Total Time: 40 minutes
4.89 from 80 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Beef Enchiladas Recipe
Shredded Beef Enchiladas Made with Just 6 ingredients! This easy dinner idea is a crowd pleaser and is filled with corn, beef, green chiles, cheese and covered in red sauce.
Total Time: 30 minutes
4.9 from 19 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas Recipe
Hot and cheesy Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas to feed your family any day of the week! So easy to throw all the ingredients in and let the crock pot do the work for you.
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
5 from 13 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Creamy Chicken Enchilada Recipe
Green chile chicken enchiladas made from chicken, sour cream, cream cheese and more stuffed into a soft flour tortilla. These are the creamiest chicken enchiladas you will ever find!
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
4.94 from 29 votes
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Main Course Chicken Enchilada Casserole Recipe
Everything you love about chicken enchiladas and casseroles combined into one tasty dinner dish. This simple recipe is a crowd pleaser and will become one of your weekly dinner rotations.
Total Time: 1 hour
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Main Course Mexican Lasagna Recipe
Flour tortillas layered with tons of cheese, shredded chicken, las palmas green chile enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, and lots of seasonings!!
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Check out this recipe
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!

Appetizer Cinnamon Chips Recipe
The perfect baked snack to dip in sweet desserts, frosting, salsas and more! Super easy to make a bunch and serve with your favorite dessert dip!
Total Time: 15 minutes
5 from 11 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Mexican Wedding Cookies Recipe
Super easy Mexican Wedding Cookies are soft and buttery with almonds in every bite! These powdered sugar covered cookies are your new favorite.
Total Time: 1 hour 21 minutes
5 from 9 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Sopapilla Cheesecake Recipe
This decadent dessert is inspired by the Mexican treat—sopapillas! All of the flavors of fried dough and creamy cheesecake combine to make these decadent Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars. 
Total Time: 40 minutes
5 from 6 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Fried Ice Cream Recipe
Crunchy on the outside, and smooth and creamy on the inside—fried ice cream is the BEST dessert! It's a flavor bomb in your mouth and such a fun and unique treat idea.
Total Time: 4 hours 17 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Arroz Con Leche Recipe
Classic Arroz Con Leche – a variation of rice pudding that is sweet and cooked with milk, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk and topped with cinnamon. 
Total Time: 40 minutes
4.92 from 24 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Sopapilla Recipe
Puffy and pillowy sopapillas are fried to perfection and topped with honey. Sprinkle a little powdered sugar on top of this simple Mexican dessert!
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 5 votes
Check out this recipe
Tres Leches Cake
Dessert Tres Leches Cake Recipe
This easy Tres Leches Cake recipe is a cool, sweet treat made from a tasty sponge cake, a creamy mixture of three different milks, and homemade whipped topping. Serve Tres Leches Cake with fresh fruit for an extra refreshing dessert!
Total Time: 50 minutes
5 from 18 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Churros Recipe
Delicious, homemade, covered in cinnamon and sugar churros are a family favorite! It's hard NOT to love this delicious treat when it reminds you of the Happiest Place on Earth!
5 from 12 votes
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Dessert Flan Recipe
This creamy, decadent flan is a latin inspired custard dessert topped with an irresistible caramel coating. It's also surprisingly easy to make!
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
5 from 7 votes
Check out this recipe
Dessert Churro Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Flaky & delicious Churro Cheesecake bars are covered in cinnamon and sugar filled with a sweet cream cheese layer.
Total Time: 35 minutes
5 from 12 votes
Check out this recipe
Mango smoothie in a glass with a straw for a Cinco de Mayo drink

Cinco de Mayo Drink Recipes

Horchata is probably the most well known Mexican style drink, 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.

Drinks Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe
Curl up with a good book, blanket, and this Mexican hot chocolate. One cozy cup of this hot chocolate and you’ll be hooked with its yummy spices and delicious cinnamon cocoa flavor!
Total Time: 30 minutes
5 from 13 votes
Check out this recipe
Drinks Horchata Recipe
A creamy, refreshing, cinnamon flavored drink that will knock your socks off with flavor! It’s festive and perfect for any occasion.
4.93 from 14 votes
Check out this recipe
Drinks Peach Mango Smoothie Recipe
A tasty 5-ingredient smoothie, perfect for breakfast or a cool refreshing drink on a hot summer day. With peaches, mangos, peach yogurt, and Orange Peach Mango juice, the flavor is undeniably delicious!
Total Time: 5 minutes
5 from 8 votes
Check out this recipe

We hope these Mexican recipes help you in creating the perfect Cinco de Mayo menu!

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

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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Comments:

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

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