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!
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.
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. 😉
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.
AppetizerHomemade 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!
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.
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!
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!
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!!
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!
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.
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?!
Appetizer, Main CourseChicken 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!
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
DrinksMexican 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!
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!
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!