Mexican Fiesta Food
One of the best, if not THE best, part of any party is the food. There are a lot of options to choose from. You can decide to serve finger foods, a variety of options, a single main course, and so on.
Make-your-own tacos: set up a table or several tables as a DIY taco stand. Have your plates, shells, vegetables, meat, and garnishes available for people to make their own. It's a great way for people to have fun and choose which toppings they want and how much they want to eat.
Nachos: There are a ton of ways to make nachos - you can serve the chips plain and simply have a bowl of salsa, guacamole, sour cream, or other dips. You can also cover them with cheese and bake them, or add a number of other toppings. Don't load your toppings too much or it won't bake properly! You can have a couple different nacho dishes if you can't decide. Maybe you can try a vegetarian version and a meat option.
Layered Dip: You can decide how many layers you actually want to add, then all you need are some tortilla chips. Usually a layered dip consists of refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and grated cheese on top.
To layer your dip, put the heaviest or densest ingredients at the bottom. Depending on which ones you choose, the order would go (starting from the bottom) beans, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, grated cheese.
Pico de Gallo (Salsa): This salsa is so good with chips and goes well on a lot of other dishes too, like tacos.
Easy Pico de Gallo recipe:
2 medium sized tomatoes
1/2 onion (your preference of onion, sweet is best)
1 jalepeno (optional)
2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Using a medium-large bowl, dice the onions and tomatoes into small pieces and finely chop the jalapeno. Add chopped cilantro and squeeze juice from lime into mixture. Gently toss the pico de gallo with a spoon until mixed.
This will serve anywhere from about 1-4 people depending on how hungry they are.
Guacamole: This is another Mexican staple and a must-have at any Cinco de Mayo party. You can buy it already made at most grocery stores or you can make your own.
Easy Guacamole recipe:
3 ripe avocados (roughly chopped or mashed)
1/2 white onion (finely diced)
1 medium sized tomato (finely chopped)
1/2 chopped cilantro
1 lime (juiced)
dash of salt
Mash all ingredients together in a bowl until it reaches the consistency you prefer.
Salsa Stand and Chips: Rather than having just one or two dips to choose from, you can set up a salsa or dip stand with multiple options. There are a lot to choose from - pico de gallo, corn salsa, bean dip, guacamole, sour cream, mild or hot salsa, and the list goes on!
You can also provide different chips - white corn chips, blue, red, whole wheat, etc.
Corn with Butter and Cilantro: Corn on the cob would be easiest for this. You just make your corn with butter, a little salt, and fresh cilantro. If making corn on the cob, cutting them in half makes it easier to handle for your guests.
Spanish or Mexican Rice: You can buy these ready-to-serve and you simply put the bag in a microwave, or you can prepare it fresh.
A super simple way to make this is to use cooked white rice and add salsa. You can use jarred salsa or make your own fresh. It's amazing!
Shrimp: Shrimp is an easy appetizer to prepare in a lot of different ways and is a hit at any party. Try spicy barbecue shrimp with lime juice. CLICK HERE for a really good recipe.
Baked Jalapenos with Cheese and Bacon: If you've never tried one of these you're missing out. They are the best things in the world. They're halved jalapenos filled with cream cheese and cheddar, then wrapped in bacon and baked in the oven.
CLICK HERE for a recipe.
Cinnamon & Sugar Chips: These are made by cutting soft tortilla shells, frying the pieces in oil, then coating them in cinnamon sugar. CLICK HERE for a recipe.
Don't forget your salsa and your limes! These are staples of Cinco de Mayo and Mexican fiesta themed parties.
Mexican Fiesta Drinks
Beverages are another important part of a party. It's good to have a variety of drinks available but it's also fun to have a themed drink or signature cocktail.
Tequila Shots: Tequila shots are pretty typical for Mexican fiestas and they're simple and fun enough to have at your party. You could go the classic route and supply salt and lime slices, or you can add additional garnishes or use flavored tequilas.
Corona Beer: Lots of people like beer and it's a super easy choice. To go with the theme of your party, add some Coronas and lime wedges.
Margarita: The margarita is a classic Mexican drink. You can make them with ice in a blender or, if you don't own a blender, just make liquid ones which work as well. You can usually find a margarita mix at the store, then you just need the tequila and some cups or margarita glasses rimmed with salt.
Classic Margarita Recipe:
3 ounces tequila.
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice.
1 ounce Simple Syrup
Rim a glass, add ice (optional)
Although the traditional margarita is lime flavored, you can find margarita recipes with a variety a flavors such as strawberry or mango.
Tequila Sunrise: A tasty and attractive cocktail that is perfect for a fiesta.
Classic Tequila Sunrise Recipe:
2 oz Tequila
4 oz Orange juice
3/4 oz Grenadine syrup
Mix orange juice and tequila in a Collins or cocktail glass of your choice. Pour grenadine slowly along the inside-side of glass so that it gently falls to the bottom. Garnish with an orange or pineapple and cherry.
Prickly Cactus: A delicious and easy drink that'll put a hair on your chest.
Prickly Cactus Recipe:
2 oz Tequila
3-4 oz Grapefruit juice
Dash of Tabasco Sauce
Jell-O Cactus Shooter: A Jell-O shooter with a fun theme. You can find disposable shooter cups online at Amazon.com or eBay.com or from party supply stores.
Jell-O Cactus Shooter Recipe:
Lime flavored Jell-O
1/2 cup Tequila
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup boiling water
Popping candy (Pop Rocks) or sugar sprinkles.
Mix lime Jell-O with 1 cup boiling water and mix until dissolved. Add 1/2 cup tequila and 1/2 cup cold water and mix. Pout into shot glasses and solidify in the fridge. Once solid, sprinkle the popping candy or sprinkles in top of each shot.
Mexican Fiesta Decorations and Props
To liven up your party and make it more festive and memorable, you can add some fun Mexican decorations or fiesta party props.
Maracas: Maracas are always fun and you can usually find them for a good price. You can get them really cheap if you get the plastic toy/party ones. Dollar stores, party stores, and online are great places to look.
Mexican Flags: You can find flag toothpicks online that you can use to decorate your food items, handheld flags, or even large, official-sized flags. You might be able to find napkins, cups, tablecloths, and other party items as well as various party stores, eBay.com or Amazon.com.
Colors: You can add to your theme by simply using the appropriate colors. The Mexican flag is red, green, and white, but fiesta colors are often bright and colorful so you may choose to use a white tablecloth with red and green table settings, or a mixture of several colors to make it vibrant and fun.
You can buy chiffon, lace, or other cloth with your party's colors and drape it across chairs or around doorways.
Inflatable Cactus: These are a lot of fun and can really add to the theme of your party. You can find these online or in party stores.
Pinata: A pinata is fun for any party but it really suits the theme of a fiesta. There are a lot of places you can find these including Walmart and Amazon.com.
The classic fiesta pinata is a colorful donkey.
Sombreros: You can find authentic, real sombreros as well as decorative ones. It depends on your budget but it would be a fun party if several people wore these.
Print-Outs: Do not underestimate print-outs that you can find online and print yourself. If you're finding it hard to find decorations or you're on a tight budget this is great. They can really add to the decor. It can also add depth to your other decorations.
Find some images you like in Google Images, print them out, cut them to size and hang them on your wall.
Music: It's not necessary to play themed music at your party but it could be fun. You can create a playlist with Mexican instrumental music or party music.
Check out the pictures below to see if they can inspire your next Cinco de Mayo or Mexican fiesta party.
Mexican Fiesta Games
Games are always fun at parties and there are millions to choose from.
Although it depends on your party's atmosphere, it's likely that you'll want to include some simple and short games that people can have fun with but easily walk away from.
Entertainment and Game ideas:
Pin the Tail on the Donkey: This is classic game that pretty much everyone knows how to play. You simply have a large picture of a donkey and people take turns being blindfolded while attempting to pin a "tail" on the donkey.
You can print out your own picture of a donkey and create some tails (each person that plays can have their own tail or you can use a single one and mark the area on the donkey where people pinned the tail). There are multiple versions of this game as well.
Pinata: A pinata is a fun addition to any party but they're really great for fiestas. You can find pinatas in a variety of shapes, colors, and themes, but the traditional one for a fiesta or Cinco de Mayo party is a colorful donkey.
You can fill them with any number of smalls things - candy and small toys for kids or mini liquor bottles, party favors, money, lotto tickets, or any number of items for adults.
Karaoke with Songs in Spanish: Karaoke is always fun but it's extra fun when you have non Spanish speakers attempting to sing the songs in Spanish. You can have a contest where your guests vote on who performed the best.
Sombrero Frisbee: The name of the game pretty much speaks for itself but ultimately you use a nice-sized sombrero and use it as a Frisbee. Of course you're going to need room for this so it's best for outdoor parties.
Pass the Piquante (Pass the Chili): There are a couple of versions of this game. You will need to get a few spicy chili peppers.
1. You pass one around the room and each person that gets it must say a Spanish word of their choice. If they cannot think of a word they must take a bit of the chili pepper.
2. You have someone control the music and randomly stop it. A chili pepper is passed around the group and whenever the music stops, the person holding the chili pepper has to take a bite.
How Many Beans: This is a simple game that doesn't take much effort from the players. Count out a bunch of beans and add them to a jar. So you won't need hundreds or thousands of beans you can fill the jar partially with limes, a maraca, or something else that will take up a bit of space. Then your guests have to try and guess how many beans are in the jar.
Fiesta Photo Booth: Set up an area with a camera. You can make your own photo props by printing them and attaching them to sticks so you can hold them to your face (such as a mustache) or add some props such as sombreros, ponchos, maracas, or other props.
If you had a printer with photo paper you could print your guest's photos for them before they leave. Otherwise, make sure to send your digital copies to them.
Don't forget to check out Pinterest.com for some more party ideas. The website is full of drink recipes, food recipes, and decoration ideas. You'll be amazed at what you can find. Create a board that's just for your party, call it "Mexican Fiesta" or "Cinco de Mayo" and put all of your Pins in there. That can help narrow down your ideas and you can share them with others.
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 09, 2018:
Great article and wonderful suggestions on food. I love cooking and enjoy eating those yummy foods, which you have mentioned above.
I think everyone loves delicious foods and if they are made at home, that’s the best. A little bit of planning and creativity can create some awesome recipes. Such mouth watering food pictures in your article.
Music, games and other entertainment ideas add more enthusiasm and enjoyment to the party.
Thanks for sharing this excellent article!
Nira Perkins (author) on April 06, 2018:
Thank you very much!
Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on April 06, 2018:
You have an awesome party plan which will be very successful! Party on Nira!