Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration that takes place on May 5. This celebration honors the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla of 1862. Since then, this celebration has become more widely recognized especially in the U.S. as a holiday to enjoy delicious food and drink.

You could enjoy subpar drinks and food but nothing quite compares to traditional Mexican dishes that will allow you to experience that delicious authentic flavor. Whether you’re planning a big Cinco de Mayo celebration with friends, or simply looking to make dinner time fun with the family, check out these traditional Mexican foods and recipes that are perfect for Cinco de Mayo.

1. Pitcher Margaritas

To kick off your celebrations why not make a pitcher of delicious margaritas. This easy recipe combines simple ingredients to make a memorable drink. It is worth noting that these are strong margaritas!

According to the recipe, you’ll need tequila, triple sec, and fresh lime juice. The recipe also provides a few helpful tips to ensure you get the best flavor. If you prefer a sweeter drink you may want to add simple syrup or sweetened lime juice to your mixture. Further, to prevent your margaritas from being watered down, you can store the pitcher in the fridge and pour the drinks over ice.

2. Chicken Tostadas

Tostada is a Spanish word that means toasted. In Mexico and other parts of Latin America, Tostadas usually refers to a dish that consists of flat (or bowl-shaped) tortillas that are toasted. This recipe proves how easy they are to make at home!

These chicken tostadas are full of flavor thanks to a homemade taco seasoning and creamy cilantro sauce. The recipe provides you with thorough instructions to make everything from the seasoning and chicken to the cilantro sauce and how to assemble the tostadas.

 3. Flan

Flan, also known as crème caramel, is a creamy custard dessert that is topped with caramel. It’s popular in Mexico, Spain, and Latin America and would be an excellent dessert to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo.

This recipe proves how easy it is to make at home. Not only is it easy to make but this flan recipe also requires just 5 simple ingredients too. To make the dessert you’ll need eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and sugar.

4. Pinto Bean Salsa Salad

Pinto Bean Salsa Salad is light, fresh, and full of flavor. It would make an excellent side dish to share on Cinco de Mayo.

Not only is this salad full of flavor but it’s chock full of protein and fiber too — a great healthy option for everyone. To make the salad you’ll need a few fresh ingredients such as bell peppers, tomatoes, and green onions. In addition to the fresh ingredients, you’ll also need a can of pinto beans. The punch of flavor is provided from a dash of salt and pepper, olive oil, and jalapenos!

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5. Churros

Churros are such a fun dessert. And nothing quite compares to the homemade version! These homemade churros are perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside and would be an excellent treat to serve on Cinco de Mayo.

According to the recipe, you’ll need a few ingredients from your pantry that you’ll likely already have on hand. You’ll also enjoy that the recipe comes equipped with thorough step-by-step instructions. As a bonus, these churros can come together in just 35 minutes!

6. Chicken Mole Enchiladas

For those that don’t know, Mole is a traditional sauce used in Mexican cuisine. This recipe combines tender chicken and mole to help you make the most delicious enchiladas ever.

First, you’ll need to follow the instruction to make the homemade mole. Then, to help these enchiladas come together quickly and effortlessly is it recommend that you use pre-cooked shredded chicken whether that be leftovers or store-bought. All in all, these delicious homemade enchiladas still come together in under an hour.

7. Guacamole

It doesn’t matter what day of the week it is, you can never go wrong with a delicious bowl of homemade guacamole and chips! For those that don’t know how to make guacamole already, this is a great beginner recipe to get you started.

This recipe features flavorful ingredients like cilantro, jalapenos, fresh lime juice, and a few other ingredients. You can enjoy guacamole as a dip with chips, as a condiment on tacos, or paired with any other dishes you enjoy.

8. Gorditas

Gorditas are a popular Mexican dish which features a homemade pastry stuffed with cheese, meat, or other fillings. You can often find them sold at markets, street food stands, and of course, made at home. These savory gorditas pack a ton of flavor and would be an excellent dish to share on Cinco de Mayo.

This recipe provides you easy instructions to make everything from the homemade corn tortillas to the savory filling. The filling is made from 2 simple ingredients, refried beans, and pork in salsa Verde. Alternatively, the recipe also states you can use any other type of filling you have on hand.

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9. Pozole

Pozole is a traditional pork-based soup/stew from Mexican cuisine. This recipe provides you with thorough instructions to make an authentic pozole Rojo, also known as Mexican pork and hominy stew.

To make this stew you’ll need pork, a can of white hominy, cumin, garlic, and a few other ingredients. While your pozole is cooking you can prepare the delicious garnishes. Some great toppings are avocado, cilantro, and sliced cabbage. Even though making homemade pozole does require quite a few steps, the flavor will be well worth the wait!

10. Mexican Street Tacos

Tacos are another traditional Mexican food and are a crowd-pleaser. This is a quick and easy authentic street taco recipe that you can make in the comfort of your own home. These Mexican street tacos are packed with so much flavor that you’ll find yourself craving them every week.

To ensure your tacos are packed with flavor you’ll first need to marinate the steak for one to four hours. Then you’ll simply need to cook the steak with the marinade in a skillet. Finally, serve the steak in tortillas, homemade or storebought will do, and top with onion, cilantro, and fresh lime juice — delicious!

11. Easy Chicken Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of fried tortilla strips and is often topped with tomato sauce and cheese. This recipe takes traditional chilaquiles to a whole new level as they are loaded with tender shredded chicken and loads of savory flavor.

To help make this recipe quick and easy, be sure to use pre-cooked shredded chicken. You can use store-bought or leftovers — your choice! This dish consists of two layers of soft tortillas, shredded chicken, fresh cilantro, and ooey-gooey cheese. All in all, this dish can come together and be ready to eat in just 45 minutes!

12. Chili Colorado 

You can never go wrong with a big pot of chili colorado! This traditional Mexican dish consists of pork or beef stewed in a savory red chili sauce. In fact, colorado means “colored red” which is how this dish got its name.

This chili is cooked low and slow which helps to achieve the most delicious flavor. The recipe provides you with instructions to make the red chili sauce and the chili. Once cooked, serve it with white cheese, fresh herbs, and tortillas.

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13. Easy Chicken Flautas

For those that don’t know, flautas consist of rolled tacos that are fried until they’re perfectly golden. It is said that their name comes from the Spanish word for flute. This traditional Mexican dish can be found in many restaurants throughout Mexico and would certainly be a great dish to share on Cinco de Mayo.

If you want to cut down on time, the recipe recommends preparing the filling in advance. This will help this dish come together in under 30 minutes! Once prepared, serve these golden flutes with avocado, shredded lettuce, and crema.

14. How To Make Tamales

Tamales are a traditional South American dish that is made of masa or dough and is steamed in a corn husk. The husk can either be discarded before eating or it can be used as a plate.

This recipe proves how easy it is to make tamales at home through their step-by-step tutorial. They are also easy to customize too! You can fill your tamales with chicken, beef, pork, or a vegetarian filling — your choice. The different filling options are included in the recipe to ensure your tamale making experience is easy and stress-free!

15. Elotes

For those that don’t know, elotes are grilled Mexican street corn. What makes this sweet corn special is its slathered in a mouth-watering mixture of mayonnaise, crema (or sour cream), and loads of delicious seasonings.

Elotes is a traditional Mexican side dish and would be an excellent dish to share on Cinco de Mayo. You’ll enjoy that this recipe provides thorough step-by-step instructions which prove how easy they are to make at home. These elotes will surely be a hit! Make them for Cinco de Mayo and you’ll find yourself craving them again!

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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