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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a Mexican Food Fiesta

A table loaded with different traditional Mexican dishes.
Plateresca/Shutterstock

Cinco de Mayo is almost here, and what better way to celebrate than with an at-home fiesta? We’ll help you set up the menu and get the party started.

We’ll also teach you how to create the perfect food setup for your family, including lists of meats, veggies, toppings, and side dishes. Let’s get started!

Choose Your Menu

Before we jump in, you’ll need to decide which foods you want to make. Think about how many people you’ll be serving, and what your family members (or guests) enjoy or can eat.

Be sure to set all your dishes up buffet-style, so your family or guests can serve themselves without you. Choose a taco, burrito, fajita, or quesadilla bar, or build a massive nachos platter tailored to everyone’s taste buds.

After you’ve chosen what you want to serve, take a look at our lists of protein options, fillings, and side dishes you can make for this yummy feast. Keep reading and create your menu using the options below.

A Taco Bar

Every taco adventure starts with either a crunchy or soft tortilla, but we say go all out and offer both! You’ll need meat and veggies, as well as the toppings of your choice.

Simply set up your taco bar with a plate full of taco shells, and a large platter with all the cold toppings. Any wet ingredients (like beans or meat) should be placed in individual bowls to ensure they don’t cause other foods to wilt or become soggy.

A Quesadilla Bar

A quesadilla bar with toppings, ground beef, grilled chicken, and chips with guacamole.
Emilee Unterkoefler

A quesadilla bar is another excellent option for a fiesta. All you’ll need is some large flour tortillas, cheese, and your favorite fillings. Never made a quesadilla before? No problem! Check out this helpful tutorial to learn how it’s done.

A Burrito Bar

Rolling a burrito might seem intimidating, but with a bit of guidance and practice, it’s easier than you think. Set up your burrito bar just like the taco bar, but this time offer large flour tortillas.

Learn how to build and accurately roll a burrito by checking out this helpful tutorial.

A Fajitas Bar

Fajitas are another Mexican favorite perfect for a fiesta or dinner party. Go traditional by filling them with carne asada—a skirt steak cut against the grain into strips. Also, be sure to slice an onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms, and then marinate everything.

The best way to cook up your fajitas’ filling is right on the grill. For an in-depth tutorial, and a recipe for a tasty marinade, check out this five-star recipe.

A Nachos Platter

A nachos platter is by far the easiest to put together. Simply lay out some tortilla chips on a large sheet pan, and then sprinkle them with Monterey Jack (or cheddar) cheese. Add whichever type of meat (or sautéed veggies) you want, plus all other hot ingredients.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and then bake for about six to eight minutes or until the cheese has melted. Arrange a large platter with cold toppings, like tomatoes, black olives, jalapeños, and lettuce.

Allow your guests to make their own plates and finish off their nachos with any cold toppings they desire.

Protein Options and Hot Fillings

There are so many delicious options when it comes to choosing which type of meat or plant-based protein you’d like for any of these food bars.

Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Grilled or shredded chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Tofu
  • Pork carnitas
  • Grilled steak
  • Beef barbacoa
  • Black or pinto beans
  • Refried beans
  • Sautéed veggies

Tasty Toppings

Plates full of diced tomatoes, lettuce, rice, beans, sautéed peppers and mushrooms, and shredded cheese, for any Mexican food bar.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Choosing toppings is a bit more complicated because they’re all so tasty! Plus, there are so many to choose from.

Here are a few you can try:

  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Lettuce or spinach
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced onions
  • Grilled corn or corn Salsa
  • Salsa or salsa verde
  • Black olives
  • Minced fresh jalapeños
  • Diced pickled jalapeños
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

Choose a Few Sides

We mustn’t forget about all the glorious side dishes Mexico has to offer. From homemade salsa to Mexican rice, each packs a punch of flavor.

We always suggest tortilla chips with homemade guacamole and Pico de Gallo. However, if you want to go all out, make some Mexican Street Corn.

Set Your Scene

There’s no reason to stop once your menu is all set up. Now, it’s time to select some fun music and decorate your home in vibrant colors that complement the bright flavors of your food.

You don’t have to go overboard. Don’t worry about perfectly matching plates and glasses. Keep it easygoing with this fun Mexican Fiesta Décor Set.

If you want to be a little extra, get a piñata and fill it with all sorts of candy and fun little treats.


Since we’re all stuck indoors (especially during the rainy spring), a Mexican food fiesta is a sure way to have fun with the whole family.

So, grab a few Dos Equis or shake up a classic margarita, and enjoy the party!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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