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Cinco De Mayo At Home: Recipes, Cocktails, and Desserts

Apr 28, 2020 12:03PM ● By Erin Frisch
Cinco De Mayo may be spent celebrating at home this year, but that doesn't mean it has to be any less fun. Put some bright colors on, grab a Margarita, and let the celebrations begin.


Color - Changing Margarita

photo from Pinterest

 Recipe from

  • 2 cup sliced purple cabbage
  • 4 cup boiling water
  • 8 oz. Tequila
  • 4 oz. Triple sec
  • 3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 4 lime wedges, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or coarse sea salt, for rim


Place cabbage in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the cabbage and let sit until the water turns deep blue 5 minutes. Strain out cabbage and let the water cool.

When water is no longer hot, transfer to ice trays. Freeze until solid, 4 hours.

In a medium pitcher or measuring cup, combine tequila with triple sec, lime juice, and lemonade. Wet rims of glasses with a lime wedge and dip in salt.

Place purple ice cubes in glasses and divide margarita between them. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

Dole Whip Margarita

Recipe from

  • Lime wedge, for rimming glass
  • Tajín or chili powder, for rimming glass
  • 4 cups of frozen pineapple
  • 4 oz. white tequila
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus one wedge for rim of glass
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Pineapple wedges, for garnish


Rim 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in Tajín. 

Blend frozen pineapple, tequila, coconut milk, lime juice, and sugar in a blender until smooth. 

Pour into glasses or place mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ¾" tip and swirl margarita into glass like frozen yogurt. Garnish each with a pineapple wedge. Serve immediately.

Classic Margarita

Recipe from

  • 2 lime wedges, for rimming glasses and garnish
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or coarse sea salt, for rimming glasses
  • 4 oz. Tequila
  • 2 oz. Triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice


Place salt on small shallow plate. Rim two glasses with lime wedge, then dip in salt to coat rim.

Divide tequila, triple sec, and lime juice between 2 glasses and stir to combine. Top with ice, garnish with lime, and serve.

Now let's move on to the food...

The Feast

Easy Queso Dip

 Recipe from

  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeño, minced
  • 12 oz. American cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Pepper Jack, shredded
  • 1 cup milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 (4-oz.) can green chilis
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add cheeses and milk and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, green chilis, and cilantro.

Serve immediately with chips.

Shrimp Tostada Bites

Photo from Pinterest, Ethan Calabrese.

 For a video on this recipe go to


For the Shrimp:
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Juice of 3 limes
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp.paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen
For the Guac:
  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp.freshly chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • Tortilla scoops, for serving


Make Shrimp Tostada Bites

In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, honey, garlic, paprika, and cayenne and season with salt. Add shrimp and toss until fully coated, then cover and let marinate in the fridge at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook shrimp until pink and completely opaque, 2 minutes per side. 

Make Guac

In a medium bowl, mash avocados with lime juice, red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro and season generously with salt.

Dollop a tablespoon of guac into tortilla scoops, top with shrimp, and garnish with cilantro before serving.

Mexican Street Corn 'Elote'

Recipe from

  • 6 ears corn, shucked and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Chili powder
  • 1/3 cup Grated cotija cheese
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill corn, turning often, until slightly charred all over, about 10 minutes. 

Brush corn with a layer of mayonnaise and sprinkle with chili powder, cotija, and cilantro. Serve warm with lime wedges.

Cheesy Beef Empanadas

Recipe from


For the dough
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg

For the beef filling

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Cheddar
  • 1 1/4 cups Shredded Monterey Jack
  • Egg wash, for brushing 
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for serving


Make Dough

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut butter into flour using your hands or a pastry cutter until pea-sized. Add water and egg and mix until a dough forms. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For Oven

Preheat oven to 400° and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook, breaking meat up with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes. Drain fat.

Return pan to medium heat, and stir tomato paste into beef. Add oregano, cumin, and paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and jalapeños and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and divide in half.  Roll one half out to ¼” thick. Using a 4.5” round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Repeat with remaining dough. Reroll scraps once to cut out more rounds. 

Lightly moisten outer edge of a dough round with water and place about 2 tablespoons filling in center and top with cheddar and Monterey. Fold dough in half overfilling. Use a fork to crimp edges together. Repeat with remaining filling and dough.

Place empanadas on prepared baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Bake until golden and filling is warmed through, about 25 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

Fish Taco


For the Taco
  • 1 pound white flaky fish, such as mahi mahi
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 8 flour tortillas

  • Shredded white cabbage
  • Hot sauce
  • Crema or sour cream
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Thinly sliced green onion
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Pureed Tomato Salsa, recipe follows

Pureed Tomato Salsa
  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the fish from the marinade place onto a hot grill, flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork.

Place the tortillas on the grill and grill for 20 seconds. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

Pureed Tomato Salsa
Preheat grill or use side burners of the grill. Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes, serrano, and jalapeno and cook until tomatoes are soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the mixture with a hand-held immersion blender until smooth and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro, and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Mexican Rice Casserole

 Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 whole large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups long grain rice
  • Two 14.5-ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • One 10-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles, such as Rotel
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 6 to 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven and add the garlic and onions. Cook, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the rice. Stir constantly, making sure the rice doesn't burn. Cook over low heat, about 3 minutes.

Next, add the whole tomatoes, diced tomatoes, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne and turmeric. Stir to combine and let cook, about 2 minutes. Finally, add the chicken broth and stir the mixture together. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Cover, and simmer until the rice is not quite done, 10 to 15 minutes.

Top with the cheese, and then bake with the lid off until the cheese is melted and the rice fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro.

Sweet Treats

Margarita Bars

Recipe from


For the crust
  • 2 c. Crushed Pretzels
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. granulated sugar

For the filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. lime zest
  • 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. tequila
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Salt, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9”-x-9” baking dish with parchment paper.

Make the crust: In a large bowl, mix together crushed pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into your prepared baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Place on a baking rack to cool while you make your filling.

Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, zest, lime juice, tequila and flour. Pour over crust and bake until the filling is set, 33 to 35 minutes.

Let cool, then slice and dust with powdered sugar. Top with limes wedges dipped in salt for garnish.

Easy Churros

Recipe courtesy of Patricia Heaton Parties

  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 1/4 cups pancake mix 
  • Pinch allspice 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • Chocolate syrup, for dipping, optional


Fill a large, wide pot with about 1 1/2 inches of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 365 degrees F on a deep-fry thermometer.

Meanwhile, whisk together the pancake mix, allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the hot water and whisk until well combined. Spoon the dough into a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip.

Combine the sugar and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon in a small bowl, then transfer to a sugar shaker (or use a small mesh strainer).

When the oil has reached temperature, carefully pipe approximately 3-inch tubes of batter directly into the oil, working in batches if necessary and using a knife to cut the dough between churros. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain the churros very briefly on a paper-towel-lined plate, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Serve immediately with chocolate sauce on the side for dipping if using.

Mexican Flan

Recipe by Food Network

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of of milk


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt 1 cup of the sugar in a saucepan over low heat and cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Watch the sugar carefully as it can burn quickly (adding 2 tablespoons of water to the sugar will also help it not burn). Put the caramel into custard cups to cover the bottom.

In a mixing bowl add the remaining 1 cup sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Boil the milk, then slowly add to sugar egg mix whisking well. Strain through a fine strainer. Ladle the mixture into the caramel-coated custard cups, filling 3/4 full. Put the filled cups into a water bath and cover. Cook for about 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To serve, run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto plates.

We hope you enjoy these fun recipes which inspire you to get creative in the kitchen. However, if you don't feel like cooking (we don't blame you), please consider supporting local businesses during this time. Gusanoz Mexican Restaurant, Revolution Cantina, and Boloco are open for pick up and some are open for delivery. Happy Cinco De Mayo Everyone!

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