Favorite Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes 🌶 From nachos to tacos to pico de gallo, here are a few of our top picks & tips for enjoying a festive fiesta at home!
Originally published April 1, 2021 8:04 pm
Those of us who live in the Southwestern United States are fortunate to be surrounded by the influence of the Mexican people and culture that has shaped our region. From the architecture, music, and folk art, the terra cotta brick, colorful tiles, hand blown glassware, gorgeous textiles, and Talavera pottery - the rich history and heritage of Mexico is a part of our everyday lives. And the food. Oh, the food.
Few foods have captured the popularity and collective appetites of people in the U.S. like that, which a plate of enchiladas, tacos, beans and rice can command. When I get a food craving, it's usually for Mexican food. It's not always easy to find restaurants that prepare dishes with all vegan ingredients. Over the years, my husband and I have figured out ways to 'veganize' many of our favorites, which I am sharing with you in this vegan Cinco de Mayo recipe roundup.
One of the great things about Mexican food is it's perfect for serving at parties and large groups, particularly when the weather is warm and comfortable for outdoor entertaining. A Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) event can the perfect kick-off for patio party season!
- 🌶 Top tips for a fun fiesta!
- Fabulous 4 Bean Fiesta Salad
- Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce for Nachos
- Easy Cheesy Pepper Poppers
- Fresh & Easy Watermelon Pico de Gallo
- Vegan Potato Tacos with Cabbage
- Easy Garden Fresh Gazpacho
- Southwestern Quinoa Salad
- Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Easy Vegan Mexican Rice
- Easy Vegan Chili
- Easy Vegan Potato Enchilada Casserole
- Vegan Palmier or Orejas Pastries
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo is a very popular holiday, but do you know why it is celebrated?
There is a common misconception that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day. Instead, it commemorates a single battle in Mexico's history. According to history.com
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. That day, which occurred on May 5, 1862, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.
How to celebrate a vegan Cinco de Mayo
Here in San Diego, where I live, Cinco de Mayo events are extremely popular. If you're planning on celebrating, here are a few of my top tips and favorite vegan Cinco de Mayo recipes to take to a potluck or serve at your own festive fiesta!
🌶 Top tips for a fun fiesta!
Tip #1 Load up on fresh tortilla chips, avocados, limes, & salsas
🥑 Want to make the best guacamole? Simply mash up a few fresh, ripe avocados. Stir in some freshly squeezed lime juice & salt. That's it. Sure, you can always add chopped tomato, onions, and cilantro etc., but not everyone likes the same things. If you're serving a lot of guests, keep it easy on yourself & everybody will be happy.
Tip # 2 Put together a Nachos Bar!
What's more fun than a build-your-own nachos bar? This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. All you need is a countertop or table draped in a colorful cloth or serape blanket. Add a basket of fresh (preferably warm) tortilla chips and an assortment of toppings such as:
- Refried pinto beans or black beans (see below for our quick & easy recipes)
- Vegan cheese sauce
- Diced tomatoes
- Sliced black olives
- Sliced jalapeños
- Diced green or white onions
- Vegan sour cream
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- A variety of salsas
- Pico de gallo
- Slices of fresh lime
- Tajin or chile lime salt
Tip #3 Serve vegan beans such as black beans and pinto beans (frijoles).
No Cinco de Mayo celebration is complete without beans! Particularly for vegans, since beans are such an easy and delish protein source.
Just like making your own guacamole, whipping up a batch of beans is a lot easier than you might think. Once again, simple is best. Since you'll likely have a variety of toppings like vegan cheese, salsas, guacamole, etc, you don't need to add a lot of seasonings or spices to beans. I often don't add any seasonings to beans, other than a bit of salt.
Preparing beans from scratch (using dried beans) is a good way to save money. If you use an Instant Pot, you might already know how to cook them quickly. I'll be honest, I have an Instant Pot but have yet to try it. One of these days I will pull it out of the box and give it a try. I'm sure I'll kick myself for not testing it out sooner.
🌶 Here's how we prepare quick & easy black beans and frijoles
At our house we typically stock a variety of canned pre-cooked beans, including black beans, and pinto beans, which are ideal for Cinco de Mayo. Depending on the number of guests, I'll use one 15 oz. can of beans per 2 people.
Black beans - drain the liquid. Begin heating beans in a pan with a small amount of cooking oil or vegan butter. Add a pinch or two of salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice (to taste). That's it! If you want to make them more interesting, add a can of diced tomatoes or a spoonful or two of fresh tomato pico de gallo, some cumin and chili powder. Remove from heat and serve.
Pinto beans (for frijoles) - I first drain the pinto beans (reserving the liquid in a cup) and then heat them in a pan with a small amount of vegan butter or oil (you can also skip the oil, just use a small amount of the liquid from the can). Add a pinch or two of salt to taste and mash them with a potato masher or large fork. Add liquid as needed until they're the consistency you like. I don't like to over-mash them, keeping a few whole beans along with the mashed beans. Remove from heat and serve.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! 🌶
Fabulous 4 Bean Fiesta Salad
Fabulous 4 Bean Fiesta Salad 🌱 A festive, flavorful and colorful combo of delicious beans, peppers, red onion, corn and cilantro in a light & zesty citrus dressing. Perfect for potlucks, patio parties, picnics & outdoor entertaining! GF. Oil-free option.
Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce for Nachos
Easy Vegan Cheese Sauce for Nachos 🌶 Make the creamiest, dreamiest, tastiest cheese sauce made with healthy plant-based ingredients like cashews, carrots, potatoes and fresh lemon. Gluten-free and oil-free.
Easy Cheesy Pepper Poppers
Easy Cheesy Vegan Pepper Poppers 🌶 Get the party started with these roasted mini sweet bell peppers loaded with plant-based cheeses, spices, herbs & topped with toasty crisp breadcrumbs.
Fresh & Easy Watermelon Pico de Gallo
Fresh & Easy Watermelon Pico de Gallo 🍉 This spicy, sweet and refreshing combo of fresh watermelon, cucumber, lime and mango will brighten up any patio party, potluck, or picnic. Oil-free & gluten-free.
Vegan Potato Tacos with Cabbage
Vegan Potato Tacos with Cabbage 🌮 Crispy corn tortilla taco shells filled with lightly seasoned mashed potatoes and savory sautéed cabbage generously topped with rich and creamy vegan cheese.
Easy Garden Fresh Gazpacho
Easy Garden Fresh Gazpacho! 🍅 This healthy & refreshing chilled soup is loaded with fresh veggies right from the garden! Ripe red tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, celery, and a splash of citrus make this vibrant 100% vegan garden fresh gazpacho so flavorful! Yes, this is a Spanish recipe, but the ingredients lend themselves perfectly to a Cinco de Mayo theme. Gluten-free.
Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Southwestern Quinoa Salad 🌱 Super food. Super good. This vibrant colorful salad is full of bright, fantastic flavor, protein & fresh, nutrient-rich ingredients. You’ll love this easy and healthy vegan recipe. Oil-free option & gluten-free.
Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers
Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers 🌱 Bright & colorful roasted peppers filled with veggies, brown rice and plant-based protein in a savory rich tomato-based sauce. Stuff them with our Mexican Rice (see below) for a traditional flavor!
Easy Vegan Mexican Rice
Easy Vegan Mexican Rice Recipe 🌶 This recipe continues to be a fan favorite. An easy & delicious plant-based dish made with rice, vibrant veggies, peppers & zesty bright flavor! GF and oil-free option.
Easy Vegan Chili
Easy Vegan Chili ❤️ A budget-friendly hearty, delicious & nutritious one-pot vegan recipe that will be ready to eat in under 30 minutes! This is the perfect easy & satisfying to feed a crowd. Oil-free option. GF
Easy Vegan Potato Enchilada Casserole
Easy Vegan Potato Enchilada Casserole 🌶 This zesty festive dish is like a party on your plate! Add a side of beans, rice & salad and you’ll have the whole enchilada! Easy to prepare & gluten-free.
Vegan Palmier or Orejas Pastries
Vegan Palmier Heart Pastries 💚 A simple traditional caramelized pastry enjoyed around the world, including Mexico where they are popularly known as Orejas or "ears".
Favorite Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes 🌶
Did you enjoy these recipes? I’d love to know about it!
Please rate them on the recipe pages. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks a bunch!🥕
very vegan 🌱 very good