We all know that Cinco de Mayo is a holiday filled with festivities, delicious food, and colorful drinks. But do you know what it’s really about? Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the courageous Mexican people who fought during the Battle of Puebla. On May 5, 1862, 4,500 untrained Mexican men defeated a much bigger army of 6,500 trained French soldiers. The battle became a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a day for everyone to celebrate, no matter what their heritage. And one of our favorite ways to celebrate is to enjoy delicious Mexican food. Filled with rice, beans, veggies, and fruits, Mexican food at its core is healthy. It’s also packed with flavor from the onions, peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and lime that are used in so many recipes.
We have plenty of recipes to share with you. Take a look at these 38 Vegan Recipes to Party Like It’s Cinco de Mayo and these 10 Super Simple, Spicy Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes. Then, get ready for a fiesta with these 20 zesty recipes for Cinco de Mayo.
1. Spicy Mexican Hearts of Palm Ceviche
This Spicy Mexican Hearts of Palm Ceviche is Mexico’s version of the seafood dish with a twist. Hearts of palm stand in for fish along with bold spices, avocado, and lime. It’s great as an appetizer served with crispy tostadas, baked corn chips, or it can be eaten as a side with the main course.
2. Lime-Marinated Mushrooms
Everyone will love these colorful and delicious Lime-Marinated Mushrooms. The recipe uses mildly-spiced, sautéed baby Bella mushrooms which soak up all the flavors of the sweet and salty lime sauce. Serve this dish at your party and even the mushroom haters will love it.
3. Black Lentil Chili With Pico de Gallo and Shoestring Fries
This Black Lentil Chili With Pico de Gallo and Shoestring Fries is a bowl filled with roasted pepper and tomato goodness with a burst of fresh lime juice. Who wouldn’t love a bowl of crispy shoestring fries, flavorful black lentils, and an incredible, crunchy, and a fresh and colorful Pico de Gallo? You can eat this chili with chips or add it to quesadillas, burritos, tacos, and salads.
4. Easy Smoked Tofu Fajitas
There is nothing like the smell of fajitas cooking and these Easy Smoked Tofu Fajitas are going to delight all your senses. Baked marinated tofu, sauteed onions and peppers, guacamole and salsa all get wrapped in warm tortillas. This colorful dish is crunchy, fresh, and smoky. Plus, if the weather is nice, all the components can be grilled outside!
5. Chiles Rellenos
Can anything be better than Chiles Rellenos? We say no! These hatch chile fritters are stuffed with melted homemade cashew cheese and roasted corn and then fried in a crispy beer batter. Topped with a spicy sauce, these are like little packages of fried gold, compliments of Mexico. Thank you, Mexico!
6. Mexican Pizza
Turn Cinco de Mayo into the best pizza night ever with this Mexican Pizza. It’s a delicious combination of everything you would put in a taco, only on homemade pizza dough. Starting with a chunky tomato, the pizza gets topped with charred corn, mushrooms, beans, endless avocado, gooey vegan cheese, tomatoes, lime juice, and fresh coriander. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
7. Enchilada Casserole
Combine the best of Mexican and American comfort food with this Enchilada Casserole. Soft corn tortillas are filled with sautéed onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and topped with beans. The enchiladas are then arranged in a baking dish, covered with a homemade salsa, and baked in the oven until warm and bubbly. This dish will be a hit at home or at any potluck.
8. Baja Tofu Tacos
Taco Tuesday just got better because this year, Cinco de Mayo falls on Tuesday and it’s a perfect day to make these Bajacos. Tortillas are filled with savory and crispy baked tofu, crunchy cabbage, creamy avocado, and a garlicky lime sauce. A little hot sauce brings the heat to this amazing taco dish.
9. Lime Sugar Churros With Caramel Sauce
Churros are a favorite treat at outdoor festivals and these Lime Sugar Churros With Caramel Sauce will make any party festive. This recipe puts a twist on the traditional churro flavor by replacing the cinnamon with a tangy lime sugar. The usual chocolate dip that accompanies fluffy churros is also traded in for a coconut-milk based caramel sauce that is to die for!
10. Hibiscus Tacos de Jamaica
These Hibiscus Tacos de Jamaica are a popular dish among veggie lovers in Mexico. Hibiscus flowers are cooked with onions, chilis, and garlic and flavored with savory, umami-filled soy sauce, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Serve in tortillas with your favorite toppings and a refreshing pitcher of hibiscus agua fresca.
11. Skillet Eggplant and BBQ Mushroom Tacos
It’s definitely going to be a party when you set down a platter of these Skillet Eggplant and BBQ Mushroom Tacos. These tangy and savory tacos include meaty eggplant slices and mushrooms, onion, avocado, and an amazingly flavorful BBQ sauce. Serve these with your favorite toppings and get the party started!
12. Eggplant Fajita Tacos
Can’t choose between fajitas and tacos? You don’t have to with these Eggplant Fajita Tacos. Marinated eggplant is sauteed with onions and peppers until it’s tender, “meaty,” and delicious. Serve in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings.
13. Raw Spicy Lime Balls
For a tangy and spicy energy burst, you have to try these energy-boosting Raw Spicy Lime Balls! Made of dates, cashews, almonds, almond butter, and flavored with lime and chili pepper, they’re truly a unique snack. Put out a platter of these balls at your Cinco de Mayo party and watch them disappear.
14. Hearts of Palm Carnitas
If you haven’t cooked with hearts of palm yet, start with these Hearts of Palm Carnitas. The hearts of palm are simmered in a flavorful marinade until they take on a texture that’s similar to pulled pork. They’re tangy, saucy, “meaty,” and so delicious. Serve in tortillas with your favorite toppings.
15. Portobello Tostadas With Chipotle Cream
These Mexican-inspired Portobello Tostadas couldn’t be more delicious! Portobello mushrooms, avocado, creamy refried beans, and cashew-chipotle cream all together on a crispy tortilla? What could possibly be better? Nothing we can think of!
16. Cauliflower Ceviche
Ceviche differs from country to country; this Cauliflower Ceviche is closest to the Mexican version which contains onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Cucumber, cilantro, and lime juice have also been added to create a spicy, tangy, and refreshing appetizer. Serve in an avocado for a fun presentation and with plenty of tostadas or chips!
17. Mexican Elotes Bisque With Lime Crema
This creamy Mexican Elotes Bisque was inspired by the flavors of elotes, a popular Mexican street food of grilled corn on the cob with warm spices like cumin and chile powder. The medley of flavors, including garlic, onion, and jalapeno, makes this dish a fiesta in your mouth. Serve with the lime crema for a bit of cool citrus.
18. Chorizo Torta
A torta is a Mexican sandwich and this Chorizo Torta is incredible. A bolillo, or French-style roll, is spread with refried beans and creamy avocado and then filled with a spicy chorizo center, tomato, and a couple of slices of onion. The whole thing is then toasted on a griddle, similar to how you would make a panini. Serve this delicious, zesty, and warm sandwich with pickled jalapeños for an extra kick.
19. Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos With Crisp Apple and Chipotle Lime Drizzle
These Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos With Crisp Apple and Chipotle Lime Drizzle are a creative twist on tacos. Tortillas are filled with sweet, creamy roasted butternut squash, peppers, and black beans with crisp apple slices for an unexpected crunch. The chipotle-lime dressing kicks it up a notch with spicy adobo.
20. Mexican Jicama Energy Bites
These Mexican Jicama Energy Bites are inspired by Mexican jicama candy. Shredded toasted coconut and jicama are combined with orange juice and brown sugar until sticky-sweet. They’re then coated in a smooth, rich dark chocolate that contrasts the citrus-y and coconut flavors of the energy bites. If you’re ever at a loss for what to do with jicama, then this simple snack recipe is a must-try.
21. Olive Oil Tamales
Tamales are made by steaming masa, a corn-based dough, inside a corn husk until tender. These Olive Oil Tamales skip the traditional vegetable shortening for a healthier option. The homemade masa is paired with a delicious tomato-chile sauce and vegan cheese for an amazing dish.
22. Mexican Black Bean Soup With Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips and Avocado Cream
This Mexican Black Bean Soup With Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips and Avocado Cream is like no other tortilla soup you’ve had before. The soup is richly infused with sweet tomatoes, spicy chili, tangy lime juice, and fragrant coriander for authentic Mexican flavor. This perfectly balanced soup, topped with avocado cream and crispy baked tortilla chips, makes for a hearty and healthy every-day meal, or serve it in shot glasses for Cinco de Mayo fun.
23. Mexican-Style Pickled Veggies
Give your veggies an extra kick with jalapeños, oregano, and black peppercorns like these Mexican-Style Pickled Veggies. Carrots, radishes, and onions are pickled until they’re tender-crisp, tangy delicious. These would taste great on top of tacos, inside burritos, on a salad, or even just by themselves.
24. Hot n’ Spicy Mexican Street Corn
This Hot n’ Spicy Mexican Street Corn is a favorite street food in Mexico. Grilled sweet corn is sprinkled with cayenne pepper, drizzled with chipotle-spiked sauce, and topped with fresh cilantro for one spicy bite! Traditional street corn is served with cotija cheese, a seasonal cheese named after a town in Mexico. Beware — this sauce is hot, hot, hot … so go lightly if you’re not ready for the heat!
25. Mexican Quinoa Wraps
These Mexican Quinoa Wraps are lovely fresh gems. Perfect for your Cinco de Mayo party, all you need to make these is a bunch of tortillas, lots of vegetables, black beans, and some cooked quinoa. Add avocado, vegan cheese or sour cream, and your favorite toppings.
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that’s all about Mexican pride and courage. Make sure your celebration is filled with fresh and delicious dishes that honor Mexico and its people.
Lead image source: Easy Smoked Tofu Fajitas