Vegan Cinco de Mayo Celebration

| 04/27/2015 | Reply

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican cultural celebration, but here in California we’re all Mexican for a day on May 5th. May 5th is set aside to commemorate the 1862 victory by Mexican troops against French troops led by Napoleon Bonaparte in La Batalla de Puebla. Though historically the victory was made insignificant by a second attack by the French a year later (which they won), the pride the Mexican people feel over winning a battle against what was arguably the greatest army in the world with odds thought to be insurmountable is quite meaningful.Cinco de Mayo is celebrated with parades and dancers in brightly colored traditional costumes

So here, people of Latin descent and everyone else heads to the Mission District of San Francisco to celebrate the Battle of Puebla with parades, dancing, colorful decorations, Mariachi bands, and of course, delicious Mexican food.

However, all over the country, people join in the Cinco de Mayo festivities at bars and restaurants, enjoying Mexican beer and margaritas, guacamole and chips, grilled meats and seafood, tacos, burritos, fajitas, tamales, quesadillas, pan dulce, and more.

Though the traditional cuisine of Mexico is often heavy in animal products, vegans and vegetarians can have just as much fun, and enjoy just as many delicious treats on Cinco de Mayo as omnivores – and with a clean conscience.

To help you out, we’ve scoured the web and collected more than a dozen nutritious and tasty plant-based recipes that we believe you and your guests will love. For a crowd-pleasing party menu, choose one to three items from each category and enjoy!

Cinco de Mayo Appetizers

Best Quacamole Dip Ever (Vegan)

guacamole dip for Cinco de Mayo

This recipe for guacamole from the California Avocado Commission features our West Coast favorite, the Hass avocado. The Hass is easily identified by its rough, bumpy outer peel, and its sweet, buttery fruit. No Cinco de Mayo celebration would be complete without a huge bowl of freshly made guac!

Click here for the recipe.

Queso Fundido con Tequila (Vegetarian)

Chef Rick Bayless Queso Fundido con Tequila

This simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion and a hit of tequila is just the thing to satisfy a sudden craving for something warm, salty and gooey.

Click here for recipe.

Pico de Gallo Salsa (Vegan)

pico de gallo recipe for Cinco de Mayo party

A simple but delicious pico de gallo salsa full of sun ripened tomatoes, fresh cilantro, flavorful red onions and lime juice. Serve it on your tacos, burritos and tostadas, or eat it right out of the bowl with your favorite tortilla chips. Make a double or triple batch for a crowd, as it goes fast.

Click here for recipe

Citrus, Avocado and Escarole Lettuce Salad (Vegan)

citrus avocado and escarole salad for Cinco do Mayo

Right here in Sausalito, California, chefs Joanne Weir and Gonzalo Rivera get their hands on some of the best citrus fruits available, so they created this deliciously fresh salad to showcase it. Here, oranges and grapefruits are served with Mexican-inspired dressing and garnishes.

Click here for the recipe.

Fiesta Nachos (Vegan)

vegan nachos for Cinco de Mayo

Grab a pie pan and layer in your toppings to craft some seriously craveable, super colorful nachos. This party-approved platter includes spicy nacho cheese sauce, diced veggies, and some homemade cashew sour cream.

Click here to get the recipe.

Sweet Chili Mustard Quesadillas (Vegan)

sweet chili mustard quesadilla for cinco de mayo

Instead of a traditional quesadilla filled with cheese, these unique party starters are filled with rice, roasted bell peppers, tomatoes and an awesome sweet chili sauce. They are super easy to make – the recipe requires just eight ingredients.

Click here for the recipe.

Cinco de Mayo Main and Side Dishes

Chipotle Seitan Tacos (Vegan)

vegan chipotle vegan taco for Cinco de Mayo

This hodge-podge soft taco—piled high with luscious beer-marinated seitan, chewy roasted potatoes, and crunchy cabbage—makes fabulous eating for a casual sit-down weeknight dinner or hearty weekend lunch. The Chipotle peppers add an authentic spiciness.

Click here for recipe.

Barracho (Drunken) Beans (Vegan)

vegan borracho beans recipe for Cinco de Mayo

Cooked with beer, barracho beans are tender and flavorful, and make a great side dish.

Click for the recipe right here.

Poblano Pepper, Potato and Mushroom Tacos (Vegetarian/Vegan)

Vegan tacos for Cinco de Mayo

Yummy Yukon Gold potatoes, crimini mushrooms and poblano peppers come together for a tasty vegetarian taco. To make it vegan replace the butter with Earth Balance vegan buttery spread or coconut oil. Vegan sour cream is also commercially available to replace the animal based version.

Click here for recipe.

Spicy Chipotle and Black Bean Soft Tacos or Burritos (Vegan)

chipotle salsa spicy black beans black bean soft tacos

This spicy black bean mixture from BlacksGoingVegan.Com is the business! Topped with brown rice, lettuce, Daiya cheese and whatever else you want, you won’t be disappointed. If spicy food isn’t your thing, this is not the recipe for you.

The recipe can be found here.

Roasted Chile and Corn Tamales (Vegan)

roasted green chiles and corn tamales

Tamales are a great dish to make with a couple of friends, as the assembly process can be rather tedious. However, the end results are worth it!

Click here for the recipe

Southwestern Chili Cheese Burrito

southwestern chili cheese burrito vegan

This chili cheese burrito is made with quinoa, spicy Southwestern Bean Chili, and Creamy Cauliflower Queso, which gets its creaminess from Great Northern beans and cauliflower. Then you add in cheesiness from nutritional yeast flakes and miso, smother it over spicy chili and quinoa, and wrap it up in a whole wheat tortilla!

Click here for the recipe.

Authentic Mexican Arroz Rojo or Red Rice (Vegan)

authentic mexican red rice recipe for Cinco de Mayo

A must-have side dish to have on hand for burritos, tacos, or to eat with black beans or alone topped with salsa and avocado. Red rice is a staple item in our home even when we aren’t eating Mexican food, as it is very flavorful on its own.

Click here to get the recipe.

Fajitas Vegetarianias con Tofu (Vegetarian/Vegan)

vegetarian fajitas with tofu for Cinco de Mayo

Made with tofu, fresh vegetables and a bit of cheese, this recipe brings the flavor of grilled fajitas to your Cinco de Mayo party without the meat. To make this vegan, substitute commercial vegan cheese or make your own! The site is written in Spanish – just hit the “translate site” button on your Google Chrome browser and you should be good to go.

Get the recipe here.

 Tacos with Grilled Plantains (Vegan)

grilled vegetarian plantain tacos for Cinco de Mayo

Nowhere NEAR traditional Mexican fare, this interesting and different take on “tacos” got my attention. Filled with plantains that you char on the grill (or on a grill pan on the stove), then toss in fresh lime juice, salt and ancho chili powder — is surprisingly tasty. Combine the spiced and grilled plantain with red cabbage, salsa verde and pumpkin seeds, these tacos don’t need much else.

Find the recipe here.

Easy Burrito Bowls (Vegan)

vegan burrito bowls low carb Mexican food recipe for Cinco de Mayo

If you will be alone or hanging with just a friend or two, you might prefer a more low key and easy to prepare Cinco de Mayo meal. Here’s a low-carb burrito in a bowl full of black beans, corn, grilled onions, tomatoes, grilled mushrooms and rice dish that will get you in the spirit.

Get the recipe here.

Cinco de Mayo Desserts

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cookies dessert for Cinco de Mayo

Just six ingredients which include delicious pecans. Mexican wedding cookies are great for parties as they don’t require cutting or serving – guests just help themselves.

Click here to get the recipe.


Mexican dessert for Cinco de Mayo

An authentic Mexican recipe that combines flour, sugar, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla together, baked up into crispy sweet rounds that are perfect with soy or almond milk or rice milk “ice cream.” To make the recipe vegan, switch the egg to a flax egg or a commercial egg replacer, and use Earth Balance butter. Includes a recipe for the fruity guava topping called piloncillo syrup.

Click here to get the recipe.

Cinco de Mayo Beverages

Mango-Citrus Daiquiri (Alcoholic)

mango citrus daiquiri

This frosty refreshing daiquiri can be served virgin or not. Vibrant fresh citrus flavor with every sip. From the kitchen of world famous chef Emeril Lagasse.

Get the recipe here.

Piña Coladas (Virgin or Alcoholic)

pina colada drink recipe for Cindo de Mayo

Piña coladas are a popular summer drink originally created in Puerto Rico.  Serving it without rum makes it a tasty treat for teetotalers, and even children. The best drinks are from freshly made pineapple juice, which should work since they’re in season right now. This recipe is from a Spanish website – just click the Google Translate button on your browser for English. The recipe as written makes 350 mL which is about two six-ounce drinks, so multiply it accordingly based on the number of guests you’ll be serving.

Click here to get the recipe.

Watermelon Aqua Fresca (Vegan)

watermelon aqua fresca for Cinco de Mayo

This refreshing drink is served by roadside vendors all over Mexico. Not too much fruit, not too much sugar, just a beautiful way to quench your thirst on a warm day. Add a shot of tequila or rum if you want to make it more adult.

Get the recipe here.


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Category: Entrees, Plant Based Recipes

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