In Mexico, and many Hispanic households, Christmas Eve, or Nochebuena, is when the largest Christmas feast is eaten.
As far back as I can remember, my Luna family would gather on Christmas Eve and enjoy a spread of our favorite Mexican dishes. And because so many people love Mexican food, especially for the holidays, I wanted to share with you some of our favorite recipes for a traditional Mexican Christmas menu.
You just need a few sides, salsas, main dishes and you’re set in enjoying all the best Mexican Christmas food!
Tips for a festive Christmas Meal
Planning your meal: 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.
Also, 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.
Sit down or buffet style: The amount of guests may determine whether or not you host a sit down or a buffet style dinner. Sit down dinners work best with a smaller gathering whereas buffet style can work with 5 guests or 50. Mexican food, especially, makes a nice buffet spread. Also, I employ the use of Chaffing dishes and crock pots in keeping the dishes warm.
Decorating for our Noche Buena celebration always includes 2 things:
First, a Nativity. Traditionally, on Christmas Eve in Mexico children lead a procession into the church and place the baby Jesus into the manger. We don’t necessarily have a procession, but we always have the Nativity displayed.
Second, Poinsettias. My mother has them everywhere. Poinsettias bloom in southern Mexico during the winter and there is a heartfelt Christmas legend associated with the beautiful plant.
mexican christmas appetizers
Some of the best Mexican Christmas food is in the form of appetizers!
We love to have appetizers laid out as people come for holiday gatherings, and any of these recipes would be great for your Mexican Christmas dinner. And don’t forget the tortilla chips – our all-time fav are Juanita’s!
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.
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.
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!!
Now that you have your appetizers, you need some sides. We like to have at least one or two sides to serve with our Mexican meals. Our go-to’s always include a rice – Mexican or Cilantro Lime rice, and beans!
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!
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!!
This Mexican Cornbread (AKA jalapeño cornbread) is light and fluffy and is filled with cheddar cheese and jalapeño. With a bit a nip and a lot of flavor, this cornbread is the perfect side for any of your soups or chilis.
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!
We have so many delicious Mexican recipes we love to make, but for Christmas we always do at least 3 recipes, and it’s usually a taco of some sort, enchiladas of some sort and ALWAYS empanadas (they’re the family’s favorite!)
But all of the recipes below are winners, so give them a go and let us know what you think.
Open face tostadas topped with all of your favorite Mexican ingredients! These tasty tostadas are a frequent meal in this house!
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!
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!
Pick and choose a handful of recipes from each of these categories for the perfect Mexican Christmas Dinner! We promise you will love all of these recipes and that they are the best Mexican Christmas food.