Mexican food is a serious favorite in our house. We make all kinds of Mexican dishes at home all year round, but it’s particularly fun to go all out for Cinco de Mayo (Fifth of May).
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday in Mexico that commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. While it’s not the country’s independence day, and the holiday isn’t actually widely celebrated in Mexico, it was happily embraced by Americans due to a creative ad campaign in the 60s and we now use it as a reason to celebrate with food.
I’ve just renamed Cinco de Mayo to Mexican Food Day. If you’re on board with that, see below for our 8 favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes you should make at home to celebrate.
> And if you need even more, check out all our Mexican food recipes.
Favorite Mexican Dishes
Easy Homemade Guacamole
There’s nothing better than a bowl of guacamole and tortilla chips. It’s the perfect snack for any occasion. The only problem is that so many pre-made guacamole are terrible, and not many people try making it fresh. I want to change that for you now. No more store-bought guacamole!
Fresh guacamole has all the goodness and none of the extra preservatives that store-bought versions have. Sure, it wont last long because avocado oxidized quickly (turns brown), but that doesn’t matter because you should only be making what you’re going to eat in one sitting anyway. Guacamole should always be made fresh.
Mexican Street Corn
Mexican Street Corn is one of my favorite quick and tasty foods that can be found at street stands all over Mexico. The ears of corn are tossed on the grill to get tender and sweet, then they’re lathered up with a mixture of mayo and sour cream, and topped with cotija (Mexican cheese), chili powder, and cilantro.
Instead of serving plain old corn on the cob, try this Mexican street corn version to add some excitement and flavor to your dinner. It will quickly become one of your favorites, once you see how well all these flavors enhance the corn. It’s addictive, really.
Chilaquiles can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a versatile, filling, and flavorful snack or meal. This easy Chilaquiles recipe leaves the chips crunchy and full of flavor.
If you like nachos and enchiladas, you’ll love Chilaquiles – the harmonious marriage between these two great dishes. The salsa verde brings it all together, as it coats the tortilla chips to add immense flavor to every bite. If you want to add meat, you can add in some shredded chicken or beef.
Chicken Chilaquiles are the most popular. But they are often just eaten without meat. I make them both ways, depending on whether it’s a snack or a meal.
This Mexican-style chicken flautas recipe makes a great appetizer or main dish. Top it with with shredded lettuce and fresh pico de gallo for the perfect dish. A flauta, which actually means ‘flute’ in Spanish, is a small, rolled-up corn tortilla that includes a filling usually made with beef, chicken or pork that is stewed in tomato and onion.
Flautas are very versatile. Make them with chicken, beef, pork, beans or even just cheese. Use corn or flour tortillas, It’s up to you!
Chicken or Beef Fajitas
Fajitas can be made with chicken or beef, or even just with veggies. Pack the flavorful strips of meat and peppers onto a soft and chewy flour tortilla, top it with some cheese and cilantro and you have the perfect Mexican meal.
We make fajitas at home all the time. It’s one of the easiest meals to make and everyone’s happy. I don’t use a packet of spices to season these fajitas. Instead I make a spice blend that is way more flavorful, without the sugar and other flavoring agents that are used in the big name brands.
I’m also a huge fan of the 100% grass-fed beef and free-range chicken from ButcherBox. It’s a meat subscription box that’s delivered to your door monthly with the cuts of meat you choose. All the meat is humanely raised and never given antibiotics or added hormones. I appreciate the peace of mind that gives.
Chipotle Beef Barbacoa
Beef Barbacoa is so tasty and versatile that it can be used in just about any dish you want. We even make Barbacoa Burgers out of it. It’s the perfect addition to tacos, burritos, even nachos. When you see how easy it is to make, you might just add it to your regular dinner rotation.
If you love Mexican food, you’ll definitely want to start making beef barbacoa at home. It’s the perfect slow cooker or Instant Pot recipe, because these two methods of cooking allow the sauce to really meld with the meat, and for the meat to break down into melt in your mouth little morsels. The best part: the leftovers can be used for days in different dishes, so you won’t have to cook again for a few days, if you don’t want to.
Verde Wet Burritos
These Verde Wet Burritos feature slow-cooked carnitas with spicy Mexican rice and beans and melted cheddar cheese. A lot of what makes a burrito so good is in the ingredients. Second-rate flour tortillas and inferior rice can only lead to a dry and bland burrito. But I’ve also learned that there are some really good products that are super easy to find that make for a really delicious burrito.
The ingredients we use for this recipe include Old El Paso flour tortillas, Las Palmas green chile enchilada sauce, Uncle Ben’s Mexican-style rice and Rositas Refried Beans. It’s as close to the burritos we get at our favorite Mexican restaurant as possible.
This Mexican Carnitas recipe is about as good as it gets. The tender pieces of pork are like little morsels of savory magic, and they can be used in so many different Mexican dishes, making this a very versatile recipe.
Authentic carnitas really should be cooked on the stovetop in lard, but you can get away with cooking them in their own fat (using a pork shoulder that has the fat cap attached). Add some orange juice, cumin, and Coke (yes, that’s correct!), and you have the best batch of carnitas you’ve ever eaten.
All of these dishes are perfect for your Cindo de Mayo party or celebration. They can be made in small or large batches, depending on the size of your party.