Traditional Mexican Holiday Recipes

Foods to Celebrate the Holidays From Your Mexican Kitchen

In Mexico, the women all gather together and cook large amounts of food for holiday festivities. They make all sorts of authentic Mexican dishes, sometimes spending days in the kitchen. Even if you don't have that kind of time, making even one or two of these delicious recipes will bring the flavors of Mexico to your holiday celebrations.

  • 01 of 09


    Slivinski Photo / Getty Images

    You may be surprised to find out that tamales top the list of favorite holiday fare in Mexico. It's because they require so much time to make and so they are usually only made a few times a year in very large batches. Steaming hot tamales are a perfect food for the holidays and you have to unwrap them like a little present.

  • 02 of 09

    Mexican Wedding Cakes (Cookies)

    Mexican Wedding Cookies
    Getty Images/John Block

    One of the first things that come to mind when you think of holidays is baking cookies. These Mexican wedding cakes will make a perfect new addition to your favorite cookies list with their delicate shortbread texture and flavor of roasted pecans.

  • 03 of 09

    Rosca de Reyes- "Three Kings Bread"

    Three kings bread
    Paty Aranda / Getty Images

    Made for Posadas in late December or Día de los Santos Reyes on January 6th, this sweet holiday bread is shaped like a wreath and decorated with candied figs, lemon, cherries, and mango. A little baby Jesus doll is baked into the bread and whoever gets the piece of bread with the doll in it has to provide food for the next party which is for Candelaria or Candlemas on February 2nd.

  • 04 of 09


    Mexican hot drink with cinnamon stick
    Getty Images/Andrea Gomez

    This thick, rich porridge-like drink is a traditional holiday staple in Mexico. Served for breakfast or with lunch or dinner, it is satisfying and filling. Sweetened with brown sugar, cinnamon and topped with fruit. The holidays just wouldn't be complete without a steaming mug of authentic atole. Try it and you'll see why this Mexican drink is a holiday favorite.

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  • 05 of 09

    Pan Dulce

    Pan dulce in basket
    Getty Images/Jupiterimages

    These sweet Mexican rolls are made fresh daily in local panaderias. Almost like a Mexican doughnut, they make a great addition to your morning cup of coffee and a festive addition to your holiday menu. You can color the topping red or green or use colored sugar sprinkles to decorate them.

  • 06 of 09


    Homemade Mexican capirotada
    Getty Images/Laura Natividad

    Capirotada is a thick, rich Mexican bread pudding. This recipe flavors the capirotada with apples, pecans, cinnamon, and raisins. A piloncillo (or brown sugar) syrup sweetens the dish which can be topped with whipped cream.

  • 07 of 09


    Festive red cup & saucer of egg nog with Christmas baubles
    Getty Images/tacojim

    Rompope is a thick, frothy drink similar to eggnog. It is flavored with rum and cinnamon and uses almonds to thicken it. It is a truly delicious beverage.

  • 08 of 09

    Arroz con Leche

    Arroz con Leche
    Gary Conner / Getty Images

    Arroz con leche is a wonderfully thick and rich rice pudding flavored with cinnamon and condensed milk. Serve it hot, topped with cinnamon and butter. This is a great holiday recipe to serve for breakfast, or as a dessert and good for any chilly day.

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  • 09 of 09


    Champurrado with churros
    Getty Images/Brian Leatart

    Whether you're waking up on a freezing cold morning or enjoying time with family next to a cozy warm fire in the fireplace, a cup of this warm chocolate drink is perfect to sip on and enjoy during the holidays.