Cinco De Mayo Menu IDEAS

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Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday celebrating the May 5, 1862, victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. This festive Cinco de Mayo menu has all the recipes you need for a tasty celebration.


Image with 8 festive Cinco de Mayo recipes for Mexican party food.

I live half the year in Mexico where parties are an important part of Mexican culture. Through years of experience I’ve become an expert at party planning. Here’s how to make your Cinco de Mayo fiesta a huge success!

Poster-type image for Cinco de Mayo Menu round-up of the best Mexican recipes.


This collection of Mexican recipes is the ONLY resource you need for planning the menu for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Here’s how to determine how many recipes you’ll need depending on the size of your party.

  • APPETIZERS: For small parties up to 8 guests, select 2 to 3 appetizers. For larger gatherings, select at least 4 appetizers.
  • CONDIMENTS: For fiestas of all sizes, include a red salsa or pico de gallo, plus salsa verde. Buy a few different bottles of hot sauce. For serving, you’ll want to have bowls of guacamole and sour cream.
  • ENTREES: For small parties up to 8 guests, one main entree is enough. For larger parties, 2 or 3 main entrees will have guests happy. Make sure to select a non-meat option for any vegetarians in the group.
  • DESSERT: Although a dessert is not necessary, it’s nice to have a little something sweet to serve like homemade churros.
  • DRINKS: For fiestas of all sizes, serve at least 1 festive alcoholic drink like Margaritas, plus 2 non-alcoholic beverages and bottles of water.
  • OTHER: Have plenty of tortilla chips on hand. Let the party begin!


Authentic Mexican Guacamole served in a large Mexican molcajete.

This authentic Mexican guacamole is so darn good. I’ll show you how we make this recipe south of the border, where I live in on the west coast of Mexico half of the year.

Learn how to select perfectly-ripe avocados, and the ingredients to use for the best guacamole. This Mexican specialty is a must-have appetizer for Cinco de Mayo fiestas. Bring out the chips!


Cheesy bean dip served in a wide bowl with crispy corn tortilla chips.

This cheesy Rotel bean dip is savory, creamy and delicious. This popular appetizer delivers that authentic Mexican restaurant taste we all crave. It’s perfect for your festive Cinco de Mayo menu.

Garnish with diced tomatoes, black olives, and green onions. If desired, add some avocado and sour cream. It’s so flavorful.

Serve this tasty bean dip with thick crispy tortilla chips that can support all this tasty goodness.


Authentic pico de gallo served in a bowl with restaurant-style tortilla chips.

Add this fresh colorful Mexican recipe to your Cinco de Mayo menu. Made with fresh raw ingredients, you can assemble this flavorful dish in 5 minutes flat using just a cutting board, knife and a bowl.

Enjoy as a garnish for Mexican entrees, or as an appetizer chip dip. With the colors of the Mexican flag (red, green, white) it’s the ideal dish for a festive Mexican celebration.

This make-ahead recipe can be assembled in the morning and refrigerated until serving time.

carne asada fries

Mexican carne asada fries on a Cinco de Mayo table decorated with mini sombreros.

This border town favorite has an authentic festive Mexican flair! It’s a fantastic appetizer for Cinco de Mayo parties.

It features arrachera (thinly-sliced skirt steak) and thick crispy fries. Loaded with fresh tasty toppings and garnishes you’ll want to pull out the appetizer plates and forks!

Serve alongside guacamole and pico de gallo. This Mexican appetizer is a great teaser in lead-up to the main course on your Cinco de Mayo menu.


Jalapeno deviled eggs on a white ceramic egg tray.

This spicy recipe is no ordinary appetizer. These creamy, delicious, jalapeño bacon deviled eggs have a clear Mexican vibe.

The egg filling includes sour cream, but you can substitute Mexican crema for a more authentic taste. Want to turn up the heat? Add some hot sauce to the egg filling mixture.

Serve these Cinco de Mayo small bites with a pinch bowl of cayenne pepper. Once you top the eggs with their jalapeño this festive dish is ready to be served.


Street corn dip on an appetizer table with jalapeños, limes, chips and Margaritas.

This is the BEST Mexican street corn dip. It can be made with grilled ears of corn, or canned or frozen corn pan-seared in butter.

The authentic Mexican flavors and textures will have your taste buds dancing. To dial up the heat, add a sprinkling of hot sauce or cayenne pepper, or minced jalapeños.

For a creamier dip, process in a blender with sour cream and mayo.

Serve with thick tortilla chips. Or use as a garnish for carne asada.


Tex-Mex Cheese Quesadillas served with sides of pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and black olives.

Cheese quesadillas are a guaranteed crowd pleaser for kids and adults. It’s also an ideal Cinco de Mayo recipe for party guests who don’t eat meat.

This recipe was made with Grandma Mercie’s flour tortilla recipe. But you can use store-bought tortillas instead.

For an appetizer, make the quesadilla with an extra-large flour tortilla. Then slice into triangles and serve on a platter with pico de gallo, sour cream and guacamole.


These adorable wonton taco cups are a fun spin on the traditional taco. They’re ideal appetizers for large fiestas, or a satisfying entree for small gatherings.

Quick and easy to make, these mini tacos are baked, not fried. They can be made with ground beef or ground chicken. At my house, these are a Cinco de Mayo favorite!

Garnish the taco cups with diced tomatoes, sliced green onion, sour cream and black olives. Serve with juicy wedges of lime and hot sauce.


Fiesta taco dip served on an authentic Mexican plate alongside tortilla chips.

This savory fiesta taco dip is creamy, luscious and over-the-top delicious. It’s packed with vibrant Mexican colors and flavors.

Assemble this easy Cinco de Mayo appetizer with just 4 simple ingredients. To add some heat, add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

You can up the festive vibe with tasty garnishes like shredded cheese, diced tomato, black olives and chopped cilantro. Serve with thick, crispy, restaurant-style tortilla chips.


Mexican 7-layer dip in a large bowl and in a mini bowl with crispy tortilla chips.

This easy 7-layer dip is a party favorite! Serve in a large bowl with a long-handled spoon, or in a wide bowl or casserole dish.

When I throw Cinco de Mayo parties, I enjoy creating mini single-serving bowls with the dip, plus a large bowl for refilling.

The base layer can be refried beans or black beans. For the layer of sour cream you can use full-fat or reduced fat. For a colorful festive vibe, select vine-ripe Roma tomatoes that are vibrant red.


Chips and salsa served in authentic Mexican handmade serveware.

This recipe for authentic Mexican salsa is straight from Mexico! It’s served at a famous restaurant in Old Town Puerto Vallarta.

With fresh ingredients found at any market, you can make this delicious dip and garnish at home.

Like my Mexican grandmother, I prepare this recipe with a mortar and pestle, but you can use a bowl, cutting board, knife and fork.

Assemble this flavorful salsa in 15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Salsa Verde

Salsa verde, tomatilla avocado salsa, served with restaurant-quality tortilla chips on a white tabletop.

This authentic salsa verde recipe, (salsa verde cruda) was made famous by Chef Gabriela Cámara from Contramar, Mexico City’s celebrated farm-to-fork restaurant.

It’s made with delicious, easy-to-find ingredients to include small tomatillos, avocado, and serrano chilies. A full ingredient list is included in this post.

This condiment is a must-have for any complete Cinco de Mayo fiesta! Serve it alongside chunky red salsa.

Mexican Pickled Onions

Mexican pickled onions served on an authentic Mexican condiment tray made of clay.

Mexican pickled onions are a taco bar staple. They’re a tasty topping or garnish for Mexican recipes.

With a few simple ingredients you can assemble this no-cook recipe in no time flat. With their vibrant hot pink color they’re a perfect choice for your Cinco de Mayo table.

Serve them on a condiment tray with grilled chiles, pickled jalapenos (find these in a can), sliced radishes, and a variety of salsas or Mexican hot sauce. Include some juicy wedges of lime.


Beer-battered fish tacos on a serving plate with fresh cilantro and lime.

Baja fish tacos are enjoyed in Baja California and along the salty shores of western Mexico. These authentic beer-battered fish tacos are golden, light and fluffy.

In Mexico, I head to the fish market where there’s mahi-mahi for sale when the fishermen arrive on their boats. But you can head to the grocery store to buy your fish there!

Dip the fish fillets into a delicious Mexican beer batter. Fry until light and crispy. Wrap in tortillas and garnish with coleslaw and lime.

Mexican chicken and rice

Mexican Chicken and Rice with melted cheese, garnished with cilantro, tomatoes and black olives.

Mexican chicken and rice is an easy one-pot meal that’s perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Healthy and satisfying, it’s also super festive. The colorful garnishes give it an authentic Mexican look. Before serving, add a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of Mexican crema.

Pair this tasty meal with a creamy bean dip, flour tortillas, and a fresh green salad. The delicious south-of-the-border dinner will transport your taste buds to Mexico.

steak fajitas

An individual serving of sizzling steak fajitas on a cast-iron platter with wooden base.

A south-of-the-border favorite these sizzling steak fajitas are commonly served at Mexican restaurants in Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona.

With their fabulous taste, aroma and colorful grilled veggies, this festive entree is a fabulous choice for your Cinco de Mayo menu.

Serve with warm and bendable corn or flour tortillas, shredded cheese, salsas, guacamole, sour cream, and wedges of lime.

Chicken Taquitos

A plate of chicken taquitos with colorful garnishes on a blue-white Mexican table runner.

These crispy chicken taquitos are super easy to make. I learned how to make them from my Mexican grandmother. They’re ideal for Cinco de Mayo. Top with cheese and fresh produce. Experience a festive crunch with every bite!

For appetizer taquitos, use small corn tortillas. At the grocery store, look for packages of tortillas labeled “street tacos.” Tinier ones can be found at a Mexican market.

As an entree, make this dish with standard-size large corn tortillas.


Air fryer chicken taquitos served in a bowl and garnished with fresh produce.

This air fryer recipe is a healthier spin on the traditional favorite that’s deep fried in oil.

These chicken-and-cheese rolled tacos are golden and crunchy and easy to assemble. Because they can be air fried in advance and frozen for later, this is a fantastic choice for your Cinco de Mayo menu!

Just before the party begins, reheat frozen taquitos in the air fryer. Store them in a warm oven to keep them nice and crisp. Serve with your favorite toppings.


Four crunchy ground beef tacos on a serving plate.

Tacos are a staple offering at Cinco de Mayo parties. These crunchy ground beef tacos are very simple to make at home.

Use store-bought taco shells or make your own. The delicious ground beef mixture features a savory homemade taco seasoning. But you can use a store-bought packet of taco seasoning.

Garnish the tacos with cheese, fresh produce, hot sauce and sour cream. These tacos are a guaranteed a real crowd pleaser!

Crispy pork carnitas

Carnitas tacos served with fresh salsa, cilantro and slices of lime.

Crispy pork carnitas are a Mexican favorite. Wow your Cinco de Mayo party guests with this deeply-flavorful recipe.

Instead of cooking the pork in a large caldron over a fire pit, we’re making these delicious carnitas in an Instant Pot then crisping them up in a heavy skillet on stovetop.

Serve on a plate with rice, beans and warm tortillas. Or keep the meat warm in a crockpot and let people assemble their own tacos and garnish them as desired.


Spicy grilled lime shrimp skewers served with avocado lime dipping sauce and wedges of lime.

Now here’s a huge party favorite! Spicy grilled lime shrimp is a much-requested dish on both sides of the border. You can serve them on skewers, or in wide bowl or platter.

This authentic Mexican recipe includes a fabulous marinade, and instructions for assembling the avocado dipping sauce.

Add this easy crowd-pleasing dish to your festive Cinco de Mayo menu. And remember to serve the shrimp with wedges of juicy Mexican limes for squeezing.


Six chicken tostadas served on a wire rack during a Cinco de Mayo party.

Make these easy chicken tostadas in just 15 minutes! This delicious recipe is ideal for large Cinco de Mayo gatherings.

Purchase tostada shells at the grocery store, or if desired, make your own at home. Heat corn oil in a skillet and fry the corn tortillas.

Assemble the tostadas with refried beans, shredded chicken, and fresh produce. Drizzle with hot sauce.


A healthy burrito bowl with multi-color tortilla chips, condiments, deep-blue napkin and forks.

This healthy burrito bowl is filled to the brim with delicious ingredients. Similar to Chipotle, all you need to do is prep the meat, beans, rice, produce and toppings. Then let Cinco de Mayo guests prep their own bowls as desired.

This option is perfect when some party guests are vegetarian. Everyone eats the same type meal without anyone feeling left out.

Serve with warm tortillas or restaurant-style tortilla chips.

Sonoran Hot dog

Two metal food baskets with Sonoran Hot Dogs (Mexican Hot Dogs) with condiment bottles and chips.

These Mexican hot dogs are popular on both sides of the border. They’re a USA/Mexican hybrid. The “dogos” are sold from street carts and food trucks by vendors called “dogueros.”

Long wieners are wrapped in bacon and grilled to perfection over an open flame. They’re tucked inside Mexican bolillos (short puffy baguettes) or hot dog buns and piled high with tasty toppings.


Two crunchwrap supreme entrees on a metal serving tray with avocados and limes.

Serve this iconic Tex-Mex favorite at your south-of-the-border Cinco de Mayo celebration.

This crispy, crunchy, hand-held meal is packed with traditional Mexican goodness.

Make this crunchwrap supreme at home. All that’s needed are flour tortillas and basic ingredients found at any supermarket.

Serve with avocado, wedges of lime, and a pinch bowl filled with flaky sea salt for sprinkling.


Pineapple shrimp skewers on a serving tray with limes and grilled jalapeno peppers.

These pineapple shrimp kabobs are incredibly tasty. They’re filled with so much Mexican flavor. Easily adjust this recipe to the desired level of spiciness. Kick up the heat or tone things down to mild.

This easy recipe will feed a crowd. Inside the recipe card there’s a scale-up function for ingredients. It’ll help you easily double or triple the recipe as needed.

Serve pineapple shrimp skewers with juicy wedges of lime, grilled jalapeños and hot sauce options.


Loaded Mexican sweet potatoes on plates with taco toppings, served with Margaritas.

These loaded “taco potatoes” will feed a hungry crowd. The taco filling is packed with veggies, black beans and cheese. But you can add ground meat (beef, chicken or turkey) if desired.

Mexican potatoes are ideal for Cinco de Mayo. They’re fun, festive and can be prepped in advance.

Everyone can customize their own Mexican sweet potatoes with a variety of traditional toppings like guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese, and jalapeños.


Cilantro lime rice in a black pot with serving utensils.

Add this delicious Mexican side to your Cinco de Mayo menu. It’ll curb hunger while allowing your other entrees to stretch a bit further and feed more people.

Cilantro lime rice is fluffy and flavorful. It’s also easy to make in under 30 minutes. Serve alongside refried beans and other entrees.

It’s also an excellent vegetarian option, so there’s something for everyone. Non-meat eating guests can wrap beans and rice in soft tortilla and make a burrito.


Freshly-made flour tortillas inside a woven tortilla basket from Mexico.

Grandma Mercie’s authentic flour tortilla recipe is so delicious.

This tortilla recipe was written down for me by my Mexican grandma in her gorgeous handwriting. Now it’s here on the blog for everyone to enjoy!

For Cinco de Mayo, put warm tortillas inside a tortilla warmer. Set it beside refried beans, shredded cheese and hot sauce. Let people assemble their own bean and cheese burritos.


Homemade corn tortillas in a red tortilla warmer next to a cast-iron press.

You can buy corn tortillas at the market or make a fresh batch at home. They are super simple to make with just 3 basic ingredients.

If pork carnitas is part of your Cinco de Mayo menu, or if you’re making tacos, tostadas or your own homemade tortilla chips, this is a recipe you’ll want to save for later!

You can use a tortilla press for perfectly round tortillas, or a standard wooden board and rolling pin. Freshly-made corn tortillas taste amazing.


Mexican churros served in a black cast iron dish with chocolate sauce for dipping.

These authentic Mexican churros are crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside. To up the Mexican taste, add a splash of Mexican vanilla extract to the churro batter.

All that’s needed for this easy recipe are common pantry and refrigerator items. Pipe the churros with a pastry bag or zip-top bag fitted with an open-star piping tip.

For churros con chocolate, serve this delicious dessert with chocolate sauce for dipping.


Blue Margarita in a blown-glass Mexican Margarita glass with a blue rim.

Blue margaritas are delicious tequila cocktails that are easy to assemble at home. You don’t need a blender or expensive barware to make and enjoy this authentic Mexican drink recipe.

Half the year I live on the beach, down from all-inclusive resorts. A bartender who blends drinks all day was willing to share the resort’s custom recipe.

This is a must-make drink for parties of all sizes. Add it to your festive Cinco de Mayo menu.


Bloody Maria tequila cocktails served with festive garnishes for a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

A Bloody Maria is a delicious twist on the classic Bloody Mary. These festive tequila drinks turn casual gatherings into fun fiestas!

This is an ideal choice for Cinco de Mayo. You can make these Mexican cocktails in 5 minutes or less. They’re a party in a glass.

So this year get ready to mix things up. Offer party guests the choice of Margaritas or Bloody Marias!

And remember: drink responsibly. Assign a designated driver.


Two homemade pina colada. Glasses are garnished with pineapple, cherries and a bamboo straw.

This fabulous rum cocktail recipe was shared with me by a bartender who works at a luxury beach resort in Mexico. It has the perfect taste and consistency. The best I’ve tried.

Its celebratory tropical vibe is ideal for festive parties. If you have a high-speed blender, this piña colada recipe is super easy to make. all you need are 4 basic ingredients plus ice and garnishes.

round out your Cinco de Mayo menu with this delicious adult beverage. It’s a party in a glass.


Pineapple fruit punch served in a pineapple-shaped glass jar container on a beverage stand.

Pineapple fruit punch is a refreshing drink that staves off the heat during active (think dancing), festive Cinco de Mayo parties.

This delicious family-friendly beverage can easily be turned into a popular adult drink. Spiked with rum, this yummy pineapple lemonade turns into rum punch.

Mix up a batch of this thirst-quencher with common ingredients in just 10 minutes. It’s a low-cost recipe that keeps your Cinco de Mayo menu affordable.


Three tall glasses of Agua de Jamaica Hibiscus Tea. Glasses are garnished with mint and lime.

Also known as hibiscus tea, agua de Jamaica is a very popular beverage in Mexico. It’s commonly served at eateries and street stands.

This healthy iced tea is made with dried hibiscus flowers. It’s super easy to make in advance. Boil 10 minutes on stovetop, then let the mixture cool to room temperature and strain. Store the concentrate in the fridge until ready to use.

Serve this family-friendly beverage over ice. Garnish with fresh mint and slices of lime.


Mexican horchata served in a pitcher with 2 glasses and garnished with long cinnamon sticks.

This Mexican agua fresca is one of my favorite non-alcoholic drinks. Made with milk, rice, cinnamon and vanilla, it’s creamy and delicious.

Thirst-quenching and lightly sweet, this beverage is the ideal choice for parties and celebrations of all sizes.

Make it in advance and refrigerate. During the party, store it in a large beverage container. Just pour it over ice. Let people serve it themselves. If desired, next to the beverage jar set out some long cinnamon sticks for garnishing.

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