18 Cinco De Mayo Recipes for a Fierce Fiesta

Jalapeno margarita

The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

We've got everything you need in order to throw the perfect fiesta for Cinco de Mayo. Whether you want to keep it low-key or go for an all-out bash, these recipes will make your spread on point. And don't worry if you have dietary restrictions-- we've got a little something for vegans and gluten-free folks, too.

  • 01 of 18

    Mexican-Inspired Pasta for Carb Fanatics

    Mexican pasta

    The Spruce / Valerie’s Kitchen 

    Carbaholics, have we got a Cinco de Mayo meal for you. This Mexican pasta dish tastes like a taco and lasagna had a delicious, cheesy baby. Curly campanelle pasta works best, but ziti or penne would taste great, too. When you can’t decide between Mexican or Italian, this dish lets you have your fiesta and eat it, too.

  • 02 of 18

    Make Meat-Free Festive

    Mini Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

     The Spruce / Show Me the Yummy

    Non-meat eaters don’t have to feel left out of the Cinco de Mayo fun with these easy tacos. Corn tortillas give these simple tacos a heartier corn flavor, but flour will suffice, too. Roasted corn lends the dish a smoky note and beans give them protein-staying power. You won’t be able to have just one!

  • 03 of 18

    Kick Up Your Margarita With Pineapple and Jalapeño

    Pineapple and Jalapeno margarita

    The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

    If you want to add a little pizzazz to your party, these pineapple jalapeño margarita will do the trick. While we all love a classic, this spicy-sweet variation is really something special. Pre-made sour mix works just fine, but these taste even better if you make your own. Don't get intimidated by the ingredient list: These creative cocktails are worth the effort.

  • 04 of 18

    Churro Ice Cream Cups Speak to Your Sweet Side

    Churro ice cream cup

    The Spruce / Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt 

    Cool off with these cute and easy churro cups that will take your ice cream sundae to the next level. Baking instead of frying makes them less greasy than some traditional churros. If you really want to get crafty, make your own ice cream to go with them. A little caramel and chocolate sauce drizzle really rounds it all out.

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  • 05 of 18

    Mexican Brownies

    Mexican Brownies

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Spiced up with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, these beautifully fudgy Mexican brownies are the perfect way to end your Cinco de Mayo festivities. If lack of time is a factor, use a box mix and add the spices.

  • 06 of 18

    Classic Seven Layer Dip Will Pump up Your Party

    Seven layer tip

     The Spruce / The Kittchen

    If you have ever thrown a tailgate party, you may already know the wonder that is seven layer dip. This recipe will wow the crowd and goes great with a movie night or on an appetizer spread. Make your own chips to go with it if you’re feeling ambitious.

  • 07 of 18

    Instant Pot Carnitas

    Instant Pot carnitas in flour tortillas.
    Diana Rattray

    The homemade pickled onions add a nice twist to these pork carnitas tacos, and the Instant Pot makes for a quick cooking time. Pork shoulder is browned and then cooked along with seasonings, onion, jalapeno, orange and lime juice, and chicken broth; the meat is shredded, broiled, and then spooned into soft tacos along with the pickled onions and other toppings of choice.

  • 08 of 18

    Fried Avocado Tacos Are a Twist on Avocado Toast

    Fried avocado taco

     The Spruce / Foodie Crush

    What’s better than trendy avocado toast? Fried avocado, of course! Impress your friends with this unique twist on tacos, for a light vegetarian meal or as a party starter. Make sure you get your avocados a bit on the firmer side, so they hold up in preparation.

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  • 09 of 18

    Sweeten the Deal With Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

    Fruit salsa

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    If you need a fresh and fruity appetizer for Cinco de Mayo, look no further than this simple fruit salsa. It comes together quickly, and you can substitute your favorite fruits, too. Pears and blueberries work great, but feel free to explore. If you do stick to the recipe and use apples, make sure you get a nice, firm apple like a Fuji or Granny Smith for that satisfying crunch.

  • 10 of 18

    Lamb Tacos With Tequila-Soaked Raisins Feel Fancy

    Lamb tacos

    The Spruce /  Shared Appetite

    These sophisticated tacos make a nice change from the grocery store kits, for a taste of authenticity. Don’t be scared by the instructions — the recipe is much simpler than it looks. We recommend making a big batch of pickled onions for topping. They save well in the refrigerator and go great on salads and sandwiches.

  • 11 of 18

    Roll Up the Fun With Mini Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

    Mini Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    We love finger foods for a fun fiesta, and these chipotle taquitos do not skimp on flavor. Your party guests will love the zesty, cheesy, creamy filling. You can also make them ahead of time and reheat them right before the party starts, to make your life even easier. Now that's an app we can get behind!

  • 12 of 18

    Versatile Tomato Salsa Keeps Things Fresh

    Tomato salsa (Pico de Gallo Salsa)

     Debbi Smirnoff / Getty Images

    This fresh and flavorful c - or pico de gallo - will make you swear off the jarred variety for good. Make sure you get firm tomatoes for this recipe and adjust the spice level by adding more or less green chilies. Go ahead and get creative with the proportions. With this simple, springy recipe, you really can't go wrong.

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  • 13 of 18

    Get Started Early With Crockpot Breakfast Burritos

    Breakfast burrito

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

    Start your Cinco de Mayo off with a bang with these easy, spicy slow cooker breakfast burritos. This recipe will feed a crowd, but feel free to adjust the proportions to fit your family. Toss it all together the night before and wake up to a warm and filling breakfast. If you want to mix up the meat, this recipe works great with bacon or ham, instead.

  • 14 of 18

    Express Your Creativity With Customizable Tiny Tacos

    Taco cups

     The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

    Let's face it: Tacos do not make the best food for a crowd. They can get messy to eat while standing, and require some work to assemble on the fly. Try these endlessly versatile taco cups to solve all of those issues. Just like their larger cousins, these bite-sized tacos go great with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

  • 15 of 18

    Float Through Your Day With Fish Tacos

    Quick tuna taco recipe

    The Spruce 

    Most of us probably already have a can of tuna on hand to bring together these simple fish tacos in a flash. Add some chopped cabbage or a fresh slaw for authenticity, or dice up some peppers to lend it a little spice. As with any tacos, this recipe lends itself to whatever you want to add. If you don't love the flavor of canned fish, feel free to make it fresh.

  • 16 of 18

    We've Never Met a Better Guacamole Than This One

    Guacamole

     Marti Sans / Stocksy United

    It just wouldn't be Cinco de Mayo without the classic chips and guac. This easy guacamole recipe will get you started. If you like a chunkier dip, mash it up a little less. If you prefer it creamier, go ahead and blend it down. Fresh guacamole doesn't keep well, so try to eat it within a day or so. Store it covered tightly with plastic wrap to keep it from turning brown. And if it does, never fear: The discoloration won't hurt you.

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  • 17 of 18

    You Won't Say 'Where's the Meat?' With These Vegetarian Tempeh Tacos

    Vegetarian Tempeh tacos
      Sheri Giblin / Getty Images

    Carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans will all love these easy tempeh tacos. If you've never used tempeh before, prepare to be amazed. The meat substitute goes great in place of animal protein, and your family will never miss the beef. If you aren't eating vegan, a dollop of sour cream (or a nondairy substitute) will really round these out.

  • 18 of 18

    Enjoy a Twist on a Classic With Blueberry Margaritas

    Blueberry Basil margarity

     The Spruce / Domestic Superhero

    If you love a traditional margarita, try this fresh and fruity blueberry version. Canned limeade makes it simple to stir up an entire batch. This recipe will taste great if you get some sun to celebrate, or take you to the tropics in your glass if you don't. Garnish with a few fresh blueberries for extra pizzazz.