30+ Mexican Recipes Perfect for Cinco de Mayo

The tastiest Mexican recipes for Cinco De Mayo! I’ve got tacos every which way, the best guacamole and salsa, and burrito bowls loaded with fresh flavor. Plus, a few ice cold margaritas! This list has everything you need for your Mexican fiesta. 

Barbacoa tacos on a plate with cilantro and lime wedges.

As a Southern California native and lover of Mexican food, Cinco de Mayo is by far my favorite foodie holiday. But interestingly enough, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (as some believe). Rather, it commemorates the victory of the Mexican military over France in 1862, and in fact, it’s not widely celebrated in Mexico.

But in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has morphed into a heritage and cultural celebration of Mexico. So, what better way to celebrate this beautiful culture than with the best of Mexican recipes, fiestas, mariachi music and perhaps a margarita.

Best Mexican Recipes for Cinco de Mayo

Below is a list of my Mexican or Mexican-inspired recipes (I do take some liberties to make things Downshiftology appropriate). Case in point, the use of cassava flour to replace more traditional flour tortillas. But trust me, everything is so good, you won’t even know it’s gluten-free.

Guacamole and salsa for Mexican recipes

Essential Mexican Salsas and Dips

A table full of salsas and dips is a non-negotiable when it comes to the best fiestas. They’re perfect for dipping, dolloping, and creating layers of flavor.

  • Best Ever Guacamole: I’m not lying when I say this is the best guacamole recipe you’ll ever have. It’s perfectly creamy, chunky, and full of the freshest ingredients. 
  • Pico De Gallo: The classic chunky salsa. It’s a cinch to whip up!
  • Creamy Pico De Gallo: This one isn’t as traditional, but adding a bit of Greek yogurt to your pico de gallo turns it into a creamy delight!
  • Best Salsa Recipe: This restaurant-style salsa is smooth and more liquidy than pico de gallo. Perfect for drizzling.
  • Avocado Salsa: If you can’t decide between guacamole or salsa, combine the flavors to make this insanely delicious avocado salsa! 
  • Mango Salsa: Come mango season, this fruit forward salsa is a given. It’s sweet and fresh with a little kick. Plus it tastes amazing with seafood. 
  • Chipotle Sauce: Made with chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s creamy, smoky, and perfect for adding a little heat to your meals. 
  • Lime Crema: A refreshing, zesty sauce that’s perfectly creamy and tangy.
Barbacoa and cilantro lime chicken for Mexican recipes

The Best Mexican Chicken, Beef, and Pork Recipes

These are your must-make staple Mexican recipes. I’ll show you the best way to cook beef (carne asada and barbacoa), pork (carnitas), and chicken (cilantro lime chicken) with mouthwatering results. Once you master these, you can create dozens of other recipes on this list.

  • Carne Asada: This tried and true recipe will have people coming back for seconds thanks to my easy and fresh carne asada marinade. 
  • Barbacoa: Spicy shredded beef that’s fall-apart tender is super easy in a slow cooker or Crockpot.
  • Carnitas: If you’re a pork lover like me, this recipe cooks up the most juicy, tender, and crisp carnitas. Guaranteed to be a crowd favorite.
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken: These juicy, golden chicken thighs are coated in garlicky cilantro lime goodness, with a hint of sticky sweetness – yes please!
Carnitas tacos on a plate.

Flavorful Mexican Taco Recipes

It’s not a fiesta without the ultimate taco spread! Now that you know how to whip up the meat basics listed above, these tacos are a cinch to make with warmed up tortillas and a few other fresh ingredients. Here’s a few ideas for taco night.

  • Carne Asada Tacos: You can never go wrong with carne asada tacos! Just dice up your steak into small pieces and top your tacos with guacamole, cilantro, onions, and cotija cheese for the final touch. 
  • Carnitas Tacos: Tacos made with meltingly tender pork, cilantro, chopped red onions, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. My favorite!
  • Shrimp Tacos: For a Baja take on tacos, these shrimp tacos can’t be beat with cilantro lime bacon slaw and a drizzle of lime crema. 
  • Barbacoa Tacos: Layer juicy barbacoa into quick and easy tacos with onions, cilantro, and lime juice. 
  • Grilled Fish Tacos: If seafood tacos are more your thing, add grilled Alaskan wild cod into the mix. It’s the perfect summer taco! 
Chicken fajitas in a pan on a table with toppings.

Favorite Fajita Recipes

Sizzling skillet fajitas are incredibly easy to make with my homemade fajita seasoning, and can be served a variety of delicious ways. All you need are a few sides (rice, guac, salsa, cheese) and tortillas. Done!

  • Chicken Fajitas: Nothing beats this colorful pan bursting with flavors from perfectly seared chicken breasts, bell peppers, onion, and fresh lime juice. 
  • Shrimp Fajitas: Amp up juicy jumbo shrimp in this fajita recipe that’s loaded with bold Mexican spices!
  • Steak Fajitas: Come grilling season, these steak fajitas are sure to be a summertime ritual.
Mexican recipes with halibut ceviche and carne asada fries

Crowd-Pleasing Mexican Appetizers

If you’re planning a big party with lots of mouths to feed, it’s always smart to throw some appetizers into the mix! These recipes are fun, fresh, and extra tasty.  

  • Ceviche: Serve up citrus shrimp ceviche or mango halibut ceviche in individual glasses (for an elegant touch) or in a large bowl for scooping with chips. 
  • Ultimate Nachos: When can you ever go wrong with a sheet pan overflowing with loaded nachos?
  • Carne Asada Fries: While this is more of an American appetizer, these loaded fries sure are tasty! Golden fries are topped with carne asada pieces, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.
  • Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats: Enjoy your favorite taco flavors in stuffed zucchini boats! It’s light, fresh, easy to make, and looks great served on a platter.
Black bean soup in a bowl next to a napkin

Quick and Easy Mexican Recipes

If you need some quick “throw together” recipe ideas with ingredients you have on hand, these simple options have just the right amount of Mexican flair. 

  • Barbacoa Burrito Bowl: With leftover barbacoa you can create hearty burrito bowls. Just add cilantro lime rice (or Mexican rice), beans, corn, salsa, and avocado. 
  • Taco Soup: When it’s chilly out, enjoy the best taco flavors in one warming soup! 
  • Black Bean Soup: Grab a few extra cans of black beans to make this easy soup layered with spiced and savory flavors.
  • Mexican Chicken Zucchini Noodles: For a light, refreshing, low-carb meal, zucchini noodles are mixed with chicken and pico de gallo.
Mexican recipes with carnitas stuffed poblano peppers.
Pouring strawberry margarita into a glass.

The Best Margarita Recipes

There’s nothing like a chilled margarita to amp up a fiesta! And if you’ve got more than a handful of people, these recipes can easily be tripled or quadrupled to make a large pitcher. Bottoms up my friends! 

  • Classic Margarita: You can never ever go wrong with this classic version. It’s easy, timeless, and simply delicious. 
  • Mango Margarita: With sweet, juicy mangos, this fruity blend will surely be a summer favorite. 
  • Strawberry Margarita: While there’s many ways to make a frozen margarita, this strawberry version is always a win! 
  • Pomegranate Margarita: For a festive holiday touch, mix in some pomegranate juice for a beautiful pop of red sweetness. 
Horchata in a glass with cinnamon stick.

Refreshing Mexican Non-Alcoholic Drinks

For my non-alcoholic drinkers, these delicious Mexican drinks are always thirst quenchers on sweltering days! 

  • The Best Horchata: Who doesn’t love horchata? It’s creamy, cinnamon-y, refreshing, and perfect for serving in a pitcher. 
  • Agua Fresca: Turn in-season fruit from the farmer’s market into the most refreshing, all-natural fruit juice. 

Want more recipe roundups? Check out my best easy dinner ideas, easy salmon recipes, and best chicken thigh recipes.

If you make any of these Mexican recipes, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

30+ Mexican Recipes Perfect for Cinco de Mayo

5 from 6 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 6 tacos
Author: Lisa Bryan
The tastiest Mexican recipes for your Cinco De Mayo fiesta, including these juicy, tender, barbacoa tacos!



  • 4 pound beef chuck roast, cut into 3-inch chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 bay leaves

Taco Ingredients

  • tortillas
  • diced onion
  • avocado slices
  • chopped cilantro
  • sour cream or cheese


  • Add all of the ingredients, except the bay leaves, to the bowl of a slow cooker.
  • Gently toss and mix it all together. Then add the bay leaves, and cover. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. The beef should be tender and fall apart easily when shredded with a fork. If it doesn't shred easily, cook it a bit longer.
  • Remove the beef and use forks to shred it on a cutting board.
  • Place the shredded beef back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and let it soak up all the juices.
  • Use tongs to remove a serving from the slow cooker, top it on a tortilla, and garnish with diced onion, avocado, cilantro, and other toppings.


Calories: 730kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 63g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 209mg, Sodium: 1512mg, Potassium: 1245mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 78IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 138mg, Iron: 9mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Cinco De Mayo Recipes, Mexican Recipes
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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23 comments on “30+ Mexican Recipes Perfect for Cinco de Mayo”

  1. The lime Crema was fantastic! I couldn’t get enough of it and I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you!5 stars

  2. This is such a great round-up, I can never have enough Mexican food! So many great ideas here and I love that they are healthy too!5 stars

  3. Oh wow – so much delicious choice. I really want the taco with the egg on it.5 stars

  4. Mexican is my ultimate favourite cuisine!! I could eat something from this awesome collection every single day. So many ideas here and plenty of flavour packed dishes, I can’t wait to try a couple of them!5 stars

    • Hi Adrianne- It’s my favorite cuisine as well! You can’t go wrong with any of these dishes :)

  5. Having moved to New Zealand from the states many years ago, good Mexican food is one of the things I miss most. We always make it ourselves and welcome new recipes. Lots of options to choose from here, but I am starting with either your pulled pork or shrimp tacos. Yummy! Thanks for all these options.5 stars

    • Hi Rhonda- Luckily New Zealand is full of fresh ingredients, where these Mexican recipes can easily be made right at home! The pulled pork and shrimp tacos are a great start to this list :)

  6. Pantry staple and affordable recipe. Thanks for sharing.5 stars

  7. looks amazing

  8. I love anything with a Mexican inspired twist, especially when they’re better for me. Can’t wait to try these out over the weekend!! Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Mexican is my favourite!! I especially love the Black Bean Vegetarian Pizza, it sounds fabulous.

    • The Black Bean Vegetarian Pizza is one of my favorites! Thanks for the kind comment, Adrienne! :)

  10. I’m a huge fan of Mexican ingredients and I’m always happy to discover new recipes, especially healthy ones!

    • Thanks, Corina! Yep, these recipes are all delicious Mexican or Mexican-inspired dishes!

  11. This is a great collection! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. All of these Cinco De Mayo recipes look amazing! I really love the mango margarita and Carne Asada Fries.