19 Recipes You Have to Make for Cinco de Mayo

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, straight from The Food Channel kitchens, and some of our favorite contributors, we're here to help you craft your Cinco de Mayo fiesta! We have rounded up 19 of our favorite Cinco recipes and are excited to share our culturally-inspired food and cocktail recipes with all of you, our friends. ¡Viva México! Sangrita//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

19 Recipes You Have to Make for Cinco de Mayo

Food & Drink

19 Recipes You Have to Make for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the fifth of May, is a date that is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862!

According to Wikipedia, Cinco de Mayo took on a significance in the United States beyond that in Mexico. The date is associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture and it does not signify Mexico’s Independence Day, as some may suggest. In fact, the holiday is virtually ignored in Mexico today, really only being celebrated in Puebla by military parades.

Taking Off in Popularity

In North America, the holiday didn’t gain national popularity until the mid-1980s when marketers, particularly beer companies, capitalized on the celebration and began to promote it as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the larger, more integrated, parts of the U.S. such as Los Angeles. Today, we celebrate the holiday with food, music, and specialty cocktails!

In celebration, straight from The Food Channel kitchens, and some of our favorite contributors, we’re here to help you craft your Cinco de Mayo fiesta! We have rounded up 19 of our favorite Cinco recipes and are excited to share our culturally-inspired food and cocktail recipes with all of you, our friends. ¡Viva México!

Marinated and Grilled Mexican Chorizo

Marinating the chorizo in a dark Mexican beer renders the meat more delicate and adds a great malty flavor. Add it to any entree or eat it alone - so delicious!

Marinated and Grilled Mexican Chorizo//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Marinating the chorizo in a dark Mexican beer renders the meat more delicate and adds a great malty flavor. Add it to any entree or eat it alone – so delicious!

Margaritas for a Crowd

A margarita is a traditional cocktail made with tequila, triple sec and lime juice served either on the rocks, blended with ice or straight up. The earliest mention of the Margarita was in 1938 by Carlos "Danny" Herrera in Mexico, which was created for a customer who was allergic to all other spirits but tequila.

Margaritas for a Crowd//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Instead of purchasing a jug of premixed margaritas, treat your guests to a freshly made pitcher! Freshly-made margaritas add a refreshing and spirited touch to any party.

Avocado Red Onion Salsa and Mango Onion Salsa

These two fresh and homemade salsa recipes, Avocado Red Onion and Mango Onion, are the perfect dips for your chips and make an amazing topping any fish or chicken taco entree.

Avocado Onion and Mango Onion Salsas by National Onion Association

These two fresh and homemade salsa recipes, Avocado Red Onion and Mango Onion, are the perfect dips for your chips and make an amazing topping for any fish or chicken taco entree!

Flank Steak Street Tacos

These "street" tacos are small, portable and handheld, with flavor influences from beer, orange juice, and fresh lime juice! Taco lovers often find their favorite tacos in trucks, now you can make them at home.

Flank Steak Street Tacos//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

These “street” tacos are small, portable and handheld, with flavor influences from beer, orange juice, and fresh lime juice! Taco lovers often find their favorite tacos in trucks, now you can make them at home.

Golden Peach Margaritas

This summer cocktail combines the perfect balance of sour lime with the smooth richness of a fresh peach and kick of tequila.

Golden Peach Margaritas//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

This summer cocktail combines the perfect balance of sour lime with the smooth richness of a fresh peach and kick of tequila.

Spicy Mexican Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail

A shrimp cocktail with a spicy Mexican twist, made with fresh ingredients such as avocados, onions, and jalapenos! This dish is a fiesta for the senses.

Spicy Mexican Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

A shrimp cocktail with a spicy Mexican twist, made with fresh ingredients such as avocados, onions, and jalapenos! This dish is a fiesta for the senses.

Navajo Taco Bread

A huge trend in food right now is what we call “cultural diets,” where we are returning to our roots for fresh, wholesome ingredients. This Navajo taco is a great example.

Navajo Taco Bread//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

A huge trend in food right now is what we call “cultural diets,” where we are returning to our roots for fresh, wholesome ingredients. This Navajo taco is a great example.

Traditional Pork Pozole

Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that is incredibly rich, flavorful and made with hominy, a Mexican corn that gives the stew an authentic flavor and crunch.

Traditional Pork Pozole by Roni Proter

Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that is incredibly rich, flavorful and made with hominy, a Mexican corn that gives the stew an authentic flavor and crunch!

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Creamy and cheesy, this is a dish the whole family will love; it’s got just enough kick from the chiles and it’s loaded with tender pulled chicken breast and gooey cheese.

Mexican Chicken Casserole//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Creamy and cheesy, this is a dish the whole family will love; it’s got just enough kick from the chiles and it’s loaded with tender pulled chicken breast and gooey cheese.

Pork Carnitas Tacos with Mango, Tomatillo, and Chipotle Salsa

This recipe for mouthwatering pork carnitas tacos serves 10, two tacos each, and is so packed with authentic flavor, you'll have everyone begging for more.

Pork Carnitas Tacos with Mango, Tomatillo, and Chipotle Salsa by the National Mango Board

This recipe for mouthwatering pork carnitas tacos serves 10, two tacos each, and is so packed with authentic flavor, you’ll have everyone begging for more.

Seared Skirt Steak with Dark Beer Pan Sauce

Pan sauces typically require wine to lift up the browned bits from pan-seared meats and vegetables. For a Cinco de Mayo twist, this recipe uses a dark beer, Negra Modelo, which works wonders with skirt steak.

Seared Skirt Steak with Dark Beer Pan Sauce//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Pan sauces typically require wine to lift up the browned bits from pan-seared meats and vegetables. For a Cinco de Mayo twist, this recipe uses a dark beer, Negra Modelo, which works wonders with skirt steak.

The Classic Margarita

The margarita includes ingredients that should stimulate the four primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. This recipe achieves a nice balance of these tastes.

The Classic Margarita. Photo//Lance Mellenbruch

The margarita includes ingredients that should stimulate the four primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. This recipe achieves a nice balance of these tastes.

Beer Battered Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are one thing, but when you beer batter and fry the tacos, the flavor is next-level! The fish taco craze has spread from Mexico to California, and across the U.S. It's the perfect dish to serve!

Beer Battered Fish Tacos//Lance Mellenbruch

Fish tacos are one thing, but when you beer batter and fry the tacos, the flavor is next-level! The fish taco craze has spread from Mexico to California, and across the U.S. It’s the perfect dish to serve!

Mango and Plantain Flambé

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo dessert, this Mango and Plantain Flambé is a caramelized mango-banana dream made with citrus, mezcal, turbinado sugar, and butter.

Mango and Plantain Flambé by National Mango Board

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo dessert, this Mango and Plantain Flambé is a caramelized mango-banana dream made with citrus, mezcal, turbinado sugar, and butter.

Traditional Red Chile Pork Tamales

Tender pulled pork, smoky red chile sauce, rich corn masa—this traditional Mexican tamale recipe is a true labor of love; but definitely worth the effort.

Traditional Red Chile Pork Tamales//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Tender pulled pork, smoky red chile sauce, rich corn masa—this traditional Mexican tamale recipe is a true labor of love; but definitely worth the effort.

Chiles Toreados

The term ‘toreados’ comes from the action of sautéing peppers until they brown and blister on all sides. Enjoy these with your favorite grilled item or in any taco!

Chiles Toreados//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

The term ‘toreados’ comes from the action of sautéing peppers until they brown and blister on all sides. Enjoy these with your favorite grilled item or in any taco!

Sangrita

This bright red Mexican-style cocktail has a spicy kick to it. To celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th. Consider serving it alongside a shot of tequila and lime juice to mirror the colors of the Mexican flag!

Sangrita//Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

This bright red Mexican-style cocktail has a spicy kick to it. To celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th. Consider serving it alongside a shot of tequila and lime juice to mirror the colors of the Mexican flag!

Spicy Breakfast Tacos

Corn tortillas packed with spicy chorizo and scrambled eggs topped with a tomatillo salsa, Mexican cheese, ripe avocado, and cilantro. These breakfast tacos are inexpensive, quick and so tasty.

Spicy Breakfast Tacos// Photo by Lance Mellenbruch

Corn tortillas packed with spicy chorizo and scrambled eggs topped with a tomatillo salsa, Mexican cheese, ripe avocado, and cilantro. These breakfast tacos are inexpensive, quick and so tasty.

Mollete: Mexican Open-Faced Sandwich

A Mollete is a traditional sandwich of Mexico that is typically served open-faced. It's a comforting dish that can be compared to the American grilled cheese. 

Molletes by La Palomilla by Orquídea Macedo

A Mollete is a traditional sandwich of Mexico that is typically served open-faced. Made with common fridge-held items such as butter, refried beans, and a few types of gooey, melty cheeses, this sandwich is perfect when paired with a cold Mexican-style cocktail on Cinco de Mayo.

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