11 Cinco de Mayo Recipes for the Perfect Party

Jalapeno margarita

The Spruce / Jennifer Perillo 

We've got everything you need in order to throw the perfect party 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 11

    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, a pineapple jalapeño margarita will do the trick. While we all love a classic, this spicy-sweet variation is really something special. Premade 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.

  • 02 of 11

    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.

  • 03 of 11

    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, jalapeño, 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.

  • 04 of 11

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Roll Up the Fun With Mini Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

    Mini Chipotle Chicken Taquitos

     The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    We love finger foods for fun gatherings, 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.

  • 06 of 11

    Versatile Tomato Salsa Keeps Things Fresh

    Tomato salsa (Pico de Gallo Salsa)

     Debbi Smirnoff / Getty Images

    This fresh and flavorful 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 chiles. Go ahead and get creative with the proportions. With this simple, springy recipe, you really can't go wrong.

  • 07 of 11

    Get Started Early With Crock Pot 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.

  • 08 of 11

    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.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    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.

  • 10 of 11

    We've Never Met a Better Guacamole Than This One


     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.

  • 11 of 11

    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 non-dairy substitute) will really round these out.