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Mexican Food Ideas for Cinco de Mayo

DINING | Published on 19/04/2021
Optimizada mole poblano cinco de mayo food

Traditional Cinco de Mayo food history dates back to the Battle of Puebla in 1862, a fight between the invading French army and a ragtag militia of indigenous Mexicans. The holiday celebrates this important win for the city of Puebla and the entire country of Mexico. In the US, it’s a celebration of Mexican strength and heritage, a day to cook authentic Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo. The cuisine of Mexico reflects the diversity of the country, from the coastal shores to the deep jungles, and Cinco de Mayo traditions come from the city of Puebla in the heart of the country. Experience the unique flavors of the region with these Cinco de Mayo food ideas.

Mole Poblano

Mole is a unique and flavorful authentic Mexican food, and according to legend, the dish was created by a group of nuns who had to throw together a last-minute dish for an arriving bishop. Mole sauce is made from a variety of roasted chiles and chocolate, giving it its rich flavor. With over twenty ingredients, no two mole sauces are alike, and mole poblano is unique to the city of Puebla. While you can buy the sauce at the store, learning to make this dish brings you closer to traditional Cinco de Mayo food history.


While some fast-food chains in the US have their own versions of chalupas, the city of Puebla has its own, and they’re some of the best Cinco de Mayo food ideas. These chalupas are unique to Puebla and traditional Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo. Made on thick, fried tortillas, they’re topped with sour cream, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and meat and covered with salsa. Once you’ve made the base, the rest is fairly easy to assemble, and with different topping options, it’s one of the Cinco de Mayo food traditions that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 


Enchiladas are a favorite Mexican food for Cinco de Mayo, and since they’re not hard to make, you can easily bake them for a weeknight dinner. Because enchiladas are so versatile, they’re also easy vegetarian Cinco de Mayo food ideas. They can be stuffed with anything from shredded beef to black beans and potatoes.

Chiles en Nogada

These chiles stuffed with beef and vegetables and topped with a walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds is an important part of traditional Cinco de Mayo food history, with the colors matching the Mexican flag. While it’s not the easiest dish to make, chiles en nogada is a rich and classic authentic Mexican food, and taking time to learn how to make them will help you get a better taste for Mexican culture this year.

Mexican Desserts for Cinco de Mayo

Your Cinco de Mayo food traditions won’t be complete without a little something sweet, and these Mexican desserts are sure to hit the spot. In your own kitchen, bake a tres leches cake that’s soft and moist, or whip up a sweet, creamy flan. In the city of Puebla, churros are a warm favorite treat to grab after dinner. Any of these Mexican desserts will help you top off your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

These Cinco de Mayo food traditions showcase the flavors and culture of the city of Puebla and the heart of Mexico. Whether you go with the bold and spicy or the sweet and creamy recipes, taking the time to cook your own Mexican dishes will make your Cinco de Mayo extra special, and celebrating this historic battle with authentic Mexican food is the tastiest way to appreciate and learn more about Mexican traditions and history.

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