15 Easy Cinco de Mayo Recipes for a Homemade Fiesta
Cook up an easy Cinco de Mayo party with simple recipes that deliver big flavor without a whole lot of fuss. Here's everything you'll need to feed your fiesta, from a main dish that cooks itself and side dishes that come together in minutes, to a make-ahead dessert and a big pitcher of drinks. Just add your favorite chips and maybe a piñata.
Slow Cooker Carnitas
Thanks to the magic of your slow cooker, you can turn a few everyday ingredients and a boneless pork shoulder into a fragrant pot of fork-tender meat to stuff into soft tacos. Just load up the cooker in the morning and it's ready to party by the end of the day.
Quick and Easy Refried Beans
It takes a mere 20 minutes to transform ordinary canned pinto beans into a flavorful side dish. You can spice it up or calm it down to suit your taste.
Ex-Girlfriend's Mom's Salsa Fresca (Pico de Gallo)
Only five ingredients go into this super-fresh salsa, but you'll love how it picks up all the rest of the dishes on your menu and makes them dance. It needs to stand for 20 minutes to let the flavors blossom, so make this one before you tackle the guacamole.
Traditional Mexican Guacamole
Freshly made guacamole beats store-bought every time, and with a simple 10-minute prep, you'll have a bowl of guac everyone will rave about.
Arroz Rojo (Mexican Red Rice)
This popular recipe takes only 15 minutes to prep and 25 minutes to simmer. You can make beans, guacamole, and salsa while the rice is cooking.
A big pitcher of margaritas is a whole lot easier to serve to a crowd. You can line up a bar-load of glasses ahead of time and rim the edges with salt, then let everyone help themselves.
Tres Leches Pina Colada Cake
Make this moist and tasty cake the night before and let it chill until you're ready to serve it up come party time.
Chicken Fajita Melts
A tray of these fajita-inspired melts won't last long at a party. The dish takes 35 minutes from prep to finish, including the five minutes it takes for the cheese to melt and brown in the broiler.
Elotes (Mexican Corn in a Cup)
You just need 15 minutes and five ingredients to prep this party-perfect dish. Top each cup with mayonnaise, Parmesan, chile-lime seasoning, and lime juice.
Lime and Tequila Infused Strawberries
These boozy strawberries average five-star reviews and take just 15 minutes to prep. So, waiting an hour for the berries to absorb the lime juice and tequila is worth it. Just don't sneak too many of 'em while you're waiting.
White Cheese Dip
If you're a fan of queso blanco dips at Mexican restaurants, you'll want to add this six-ingredient, 25-minute recipe to your Cinco de Mayo lineup.
Ridiculously Easy Queso Fresco "Dip"
"It's so ridiculously easy and looks much more refined than classic chile con queso," recipe creator Jillian Eileen says. "Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy."
Apple Enchilada Dessert
"I have used this recipe several times and love how quick and easy it is. I can put them in the oven just before we start eating dinner, and dessert is ready when we are," home cook Nikki says.
Sheet Pan Nachos
Cook ground beef in a skillet before piling it onto tortilla chips alongside cheese, olives, and jalapeños. Bake it for 20 minutes, and bam. You've found your new go-to appetizer.
Micheladas with Tajin
Have five minutes? Spice up dark beer with ingredients like chile-lime seasoning, hot pepper sauce, Worcestershire, and tomato juice to create your own micheladas.