Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
On Cinco de Mayo, keep things colorful and casual at home with an afternoon of food, family, and fun. We give you tips for party presentation along with our best Mexican party recipes.
Cinco de Mayo Place Setting
Keep your party table bright and fun with a creative place setting. Place a plain white plate atop a circular woven mat, and add a colorful charger on top of a burnt orange cloth napkin for a burst of color. Two green rhumba shakers make fun additions, as does a red, blue, and green striped placemat.
Place single stems of bright sunflowers in old glass jars to set the mood for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Let the party begin!
Adults-Only Bar Table
Set up a bar area with colorful decanters arranged on a bold tablecloth. For added ambiance, string outdoor party lights around the deck.
Try these sparkling margaritas at your Cinco de Mayo party -- the secret ingredient is a splash of champagne.
Tag Your Drink
Make it easy for friends to remember which glass is theirs with monogrammed limes. Simply use a zester to initial a lime wedge for each guest's drink.
Tasty Appetizer Spread
A Cinco de Mayo buffet is a simple way to keep with the party's casual tone. Offer guests an array of salsas and sauces to try. Arrange miniature tortillas on a colorful napkin next to the sauces for guests to use when sampling flavors. Use sturdy margarita glasses to serve homemade salsa or guacamole, or any suitable appetizer, salad, or soup that fits your Cinco de Mayo menu.
Editor's Tip: Use gravy boats to hold salsa and sauces, and label hot sauces to warn guests which ones have a bite.
Garlic, red onion, and plum tomatoes make up this coarsely mashed crowd-pleasing Mexican appetizer.
Editor's Tip: If you're making the guacamole ahead of time, use plenty of lime juice and store covered in the fridge. The acidity in the lime juice will give it a zesty kick and keep it fresh; covering the guacamole with plastic wrap will keep out air -- which is what causes it to turn brown if not eaten immediately after preparation.
Makes: 16 servings
Yield: 2 cups
Prep: 20 mins
Chill: 1 hr
Tex-Mex Taco Dip
Try this flavorful taco dip at your Cinco de Mayo celebration, made from layers of ground turkey breast, cheese, refried beans, avocados, green onions, and chopped tomatoes. Serve with scoop-shape tortilla chips.
Makes: 24 servings
Prep: 30 mins
Bake: 25 mins 325°F
Chorizo-Pepper Hand Pies
Perfect as an appetizer for a large crowd (the recipe makes 24), these hand pies are made with chorizo sausage, sweet yellow pepper, tomato, and onion.
Yield: 24 hand pies
Prep: 45 mins
Bake: 12 mins 400°F
Cook: 17 mins
Grilled Vegetable Tostadas with Quick Mole Sauce
For a dinner-focused Cinco de Mayo party, these tasty tostadas -- with zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, and avocado -- are the perfect make-it-yourself option. Lay out the corn tortillas and all the toppings (you'll just need to pre-grill the vegetables), and let guests put together their own.
Prep: 1 hr
Cook: 10 mins
Grill: 5 mins
Enchiladas with Fresh Mango Salsa
These vegetarian enchiladas have a lot to offer: onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers flavor tofu cubes with black beans, and the mixture is wrapped in tortillas with asadero cheese and mole sauce. For a fresh and fruity kick, top the enchiladas with mango salsa.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 40 mins
Bake: 40 mins 350°F
Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Chile Pepper Slaw
These tacos are bursting with flavor from halibut, tomatillos, orange and lime peel; do the prep work ahead of time, then pop them in the oven for 10 minutes once your guests arrive.
Makes: 6 servings
Prep: 40 mins
Bake: 10 mins to 12 mins 400°F
Line your deck or porch railing with cacti in terra-cotta pots and lanterns or luminarias with brightly colored candles.
Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Favors
An inexpensive cactus plant wrapped in tissue paper makes an easy, creative party favor. Tie a coordinating ribbon around the plant and tissue paper. Use the original plant stakes to attach tags printed with the word besos (Spanish for kisses).