Looking for a wide range of recipes to make your Cinco de Mayo celebration even more special? Look no further! Our round-up post features over 33+ delicious recipes, including appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts.
Whether you’re looking for traditional Mexican cuisine or new and exciting variations, we have something to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Get ready to impress your guests and make this Cinco de Mayo a memorable one with our extensive collection of recipes!
I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes below that would be wonderful to enjoy on May 5th. Choose from a fresh Black Bean and Corn Salsa to Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas to Taco Salad and so much more. And of course, you can keep this list handy so you can make these spicy and flavorful dishes all year around.
For the fifth, you could make a few of dips, a casserole or two, and some fresh fish tacos. Serve it all buffet-style with homemade guacamole and a few salsas for extra flavor. A big bowl of corn tortilla chips, either white or blue or a mix, is a must. And don’t forget the margaritas!
What Does Cinco de Mayo Celebrate?
Cinco de Mayo is not actually Mexican Independence Day – that’s commemorated each year on September 16 – but instead honors the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It’s a smaller holiday in Mexico that has evolved in North America into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage on the fifth of May each year. And what better way to celebrate the rich traditions of our southern neighbor than through food?
Recipes to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
I’ve organized the recipes below by appetizers, main dishes, sides, and desserts so you can easily find something for everyone.
Dips are the absolute best appetizer I can think of, and you can serve them with warm, fresh tortillas or a huge bowl of crunchy, salty tortilla chips (or both!). Or try my Taco Pinwheels, which are loaded with spicy beef and a cinch to put together.
1. Refried Bean Dip
Refried beans, sour cream, cream cheese and spices are blended together and served warm for the ultimate cheesy dip! You will definitely need a pile of tortillas for this one.
2. Black Bean and Corn Salsa
I really love this take on salsa – the fresh corn goes so well with citrusy lime juice and other fresh vegetables. It will be a hit with crispy tortilla chips!
3. Easy 4-Layer Fiesta Dip
This fiesta dip takes four layers of salsa, taco-seasoned sour cream, cheese, olives, and green onions for a spicy and decadent appetizer.
4. Taco Dip
Take all the flavors your love about tacos and make them into a dip! Baby carrots and slices of fresh bell peppers are perfect for scooping up this taco dip.
5. Queso Dip
It’s so easy to make queso dip – so go right ahead and plan to make this one on Cinco de Mayo! Plus it tastes so much better than store-bought, and you can garnish it with chopped cilantro, peppers, tomatoes, or anything else you like.
6. Corn Dip
Yes, more cheese! You’ll love this creamy corn dip that’s packed with yummy cheese and Mexican spices.
7. Taco Pinwheels
You can serve these taco pinwheels as a hearty appetizer or even as dinner! Take store-bought crescent roll dough and load it with seasoned ground beef and cheese for a taco-inspired treat.
8. Cheesy Taco Sticks
You can dip these taco sticks into one of the dips I’ve mentioned above, or just enjoy them plain. They are plenty flavorful just on their own, with lots of familiar taco seasoning to keep things interesting.
9. Taco Ring
This is a show-stopper of an appetizer! Seasoned taco meat and cheese is tucked into buttery crescent roll dough and piled with your favorite taco toppings! So good!
These main dishes are so hearty and satisfying, you’ll want to make them all year long. But they’re especially good on Cinco de Mayo. There’s a variety of options including several baked, cheesy casseroles as well as juicy shrimp tacos that are on the lighter. You’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for.
1. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas are slow-cooked with for hours in a blend of Mexican-inspired spices and citrus juice until they become tender and ultra flavorful. Use them as a base for burritos, soft tacos, and more.
2. Burrito Casserole
This burrito casserole is made with juicy, Tex-Mex-flavored beef that’s layered with flour tortillas and lots of delicious cheese. It takes 20 minutes or less to make!
3. Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
Crockpot your way to a Mexican-inspired dinner with these chicken fajitas. You can customize it however you like – but don’t skip the lime wedges alongside!
4. John Wayne Casserole
Here’s another of my favorite casseroles, that piles layers of taco-seasoned ground beef, veggies, cheese, and a creamy sauce over a biscuit dough base. It’s utterly irresistible.
5. Taco Spaghetti
This one-skillet meal is so hearty and satisfying. Take everything you love about tacos, fold it into spaghetti, add lots of hot sauce, and dig in!
6. Taco Stuffed Shells
Stuffed shells get elevated with spiced ground beef and cool sour cream for a Mexican take on an Italian classic.
7. Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Juicy shrimp are marinated with lime juice, garlic, and spices, then grilled to perfection and tucked into soft tortillas with a creamy sauce. Taco Tuesday never looked so good!
8. Fish Tacos
Fresh and flavorful fish tacos are sure to please. Plus they’re a little lighter than some of the other options on this list – seasoned white fish is wrapped in warm corn tortillas with a tangy crema, crunchy cabbage, and other favorite taco toppings.
9. Shrimp Tacos
Another take on shrimp tacos, this simple yet delicious recipe is quick to make and will surely satisfy. Juicy shrimp is paired with raw cabbage and seasoned with cotija cheese and onion.
10. Walking Tacos
Chips plus taco toppings, what could be better? They’re called “walking tacos” for a reason – you can pile in the taco goodness and take this for a stroll. The chip bag will keep everything contained within. These are also great as fun party appetizers.
11. Crock-Pot Chicken Tacos
The crockpot does most of the hard work in this recipe, which results in tender, flavorful chicken that’s perfect to fold into tacos. Top with lots of spicy salsa.
12. Pulled Pork Tacos
Pulled pork is wonderful in tacos when you want to try something different. Make a fresh tomato and cilantro salsa to serve on top, and be generous with the avocado slices.
13. Fish Tacos with Jalapeno Mango Slaw
The spicy mango slaw really makes this recipe stand out! The fish is a neutral base that holds up well to the juicy fruit and crisp onion. You won’t want to miss this one!
14. King Ranch Chicken Casserole
I love a good casserole and this one is no exception. It takes everything I love about Tex-Mex, and turns it into a homey, cheesy casserole that is hearty and nourishing.
15. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This one-bowl meal is so satisfying! Loaded with shredded chicken and black beans, this soup is all you need to make a celebratory Cinco de Mayo meal. Make sure to top with crispy tortilla strips and have more tortilla chips and guacamole on the table.
These side dishes go so well with the mains listed above! Or make several side dishes and dips, add lots of crispy tortilla chips, and you’ll be all set for your own Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
1. Mexican Cauliflower Rice
You could make this cauliflower rice as a side or as a lighter dinner, you decide! It’s full of tasty seasonings, hearty ground beef, and healthy veggies.
2. Mexican Corn
Elotes, or Mexican street corn, takes charred grilled corn and tosses it with a creamy, spicy sauce, cotija cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This is my take on it, and it is utterly delicious.
3. Taco Salad
Ground beef, taco seasonings, and fresh vegetables make up this taco salad. Put a big bowl on the table and let everyone help themselves!
4. Doritos Taco Salad
Yes, you read that right – we’re adding doritos to taco salad and we have no regrets. This is a crowd-pleaser, and because there are some veggies in it we can still call it a salad. Your kids will love this!
I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite desserts that would be perfect to finish off a Cinco de Mayo celebration, starting with sopapilla cheesecake bars, which have their origins south of the border. Or try a creamy coconut cake or a pineapple cake. Whichever on you choose to make, I know you won’t be disappointed.
1. Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
Take crescent rolls and top them with cream cheese filling and lots of sweet cinnamon sugar for a Mexican-inspired dessert. These are hard to resist, and why should you?
2. Coconut Tres Leches Cake
A “three milk” cake that’s infused with coconut for creamy sweetness – yes please! This super flavorful, tender cake is sure to make everyone happy.
3. Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake
The easiest pineapple upside-down dump cake, this cake is is sweet, fruity, and fluffy. I like to top it with dollops of homemade whipped cream or Cool Whip.
4. Coconut Cream Cake
Start with a box cake to keep things easy, and then up the ante with cream of coconut and sweetened shredded coconut for loads of coconut flavor. This coconut cream cake lives up to its name and then some.
5. Coconut Cake
Another coconut cake, this classic, from-scratch coconut cake will make the perfect sweet ending to your Cinco de Mayo celebration. It makes enough for a crowd, or just stash the leftovers for yourself after the party’s over.