Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo and looking for authentic Mexican recipes for your menu? You’ve come to the right place!
But first, a quick history lesson about what Cinco de Mayo is—and isn’t.
Cinco de Mayo IS a holiday that commemorates the Battle of Puebla, which took place May 5, 1862 and was a Mexican army victory over the occupying French soldiers. Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day (that’s in September).
While many people in the U.S. might “celebrate” this day, it’s more of a bank holiday kind of day in Mexico. Only some areas observe it as an actual holiday. And while I’m all for celebrating Mexican culture and cuisine, celebrating Cinco de Mayo is more of an opportunity for me to share authentic Mexican recipes that can actually teach you more about the diverse cuisine rather than just give you an excuse to eat chips and salsa and drink margaritas.
I’m sharing with you 20 of my favorite recipes that you can make with little time on your hands to prepare for Cinco de Mayo, or any day of the year.
And my No. 1 tip that you’ll want to keep bookmarked to share with everyone you know: How to keep your guacamole fresh and green
(Because friends don’t let friends put water, milk or anything else weird in their guacamole.)
- Agua de jamaica – hibiscus flower agua fresca
- Agua de piña – pineapple agua fresca
- Paloma – a grapefruit margarita
- Queso fundido with chorizo
- Esquites – Mexican street corn in a cup
- Chicharron de queso – a classic taquería appetizer that’s a big, crispy piece of griddled cheese
- Orejas – also known as palmiers
- Garibaldi – the famous mini cakes from El Globo, bathed in apricot jam and covered in nonpareils
- Chiles toreados – a classic taquería side dish of blistered chiles and onion, soy sauce and lime
- Cebollitas cambray – grilled spring onions with a special salsa Maggi and lime sauce
- Sopa de fideo – the quintessential Mexican comfort dish, a tomato broth soup with noodles
- Frijoles charros – a hearty bean stew that’s often served in taquerías
- Tinga de pollo – shredded chicken stewed with tomatoes, tomatillos, chipotle chile, chorizo and spices
- Baked taquitos de pollo – a healthy take on the fried dish of shredded chicken rolled in a tortilla and served with salsa on top
- Chilaquiles verdes – shredded chicken over tortilla chips, with salsa verde, crema mexicana and cotija cheese
- Albóndigas en salsa chipotle – Mexican meatballs served in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce, served over black beans and rice
- Pozole rojo – a hearty pork stew with hominy, spices, and garnished with radish, onion, Mexican oregano, lettuce and lime juice
- Mangonadas – a mango and orange juice frozen treat, similar to a smoothie, mixed with chamoy and Tajín
- Paletas de fresas con crema – an ice pop spin on the classic strawberries and cream
- Raspados de piña – pineapple ice sorbet topped with chamoy and Tajín
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