Dust off that blender and get ready to whip up those margaritas, because Cinco de Mayo is upon us. Take advantage of the holiday to throw a Mexican celebration of epic proportions.
From flavorful tacos to cool, refreshing salads to guac, we've got the recipes you need to make your fiesta the most happenin' one on the block. What are you making? Tweet us @Shape_Magazine, tag us on @Instagram, or comment below.
Apps and Dips
1. Chunky Guacamole
Of course this has to be first on the list. There are endless guac possibilities (guacamole with fruit in it...guacamole with cumin...poblano peppers!), but when in doubt, keep it simple. This classic and chunky recipe from chef Richard Sandoval uses minimal ingredients in the perfect amounts to let avocados star front and center.
2. Pico de Gallo
You could run to the store and pick up the pre-made kind...or you could quickly chop up tomatoes, onions, and cilantro and make your own. This recipe is super simple and positively sings with fresh flavor and heat. You won't regret DIY-ing this one.
3. Guacamole Cups
They're just as cute as they sound and couldn't be easier. Simply throw together your favorite guac recipe and scoop into "cups" made from baked wonton wrappers for bite-sized guacamole and chips. Want to try your hand at a slightly more upscale version? Go with these veggie taco cups, which double as a healthy breakfast.
4. Fresh Herb and Tomato Salsa with Smoked Cheese
We know that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday, but this chunky salsa recipe is so flavorful, we're willing to break the rules and slip a little Italian-inspired dish into the mix. Serve the Caprese-salad-inspired mix on its own, or turn into a robust side or main dish by adding shredded chicken to it.
Combine fish (or shrimp) with lime juice and spicy chiles with this recipe from Rick Bayless and take your tastebuds on a refreshing trip south of the border. Bonus: It's perfect for those experimenting with the paleo diet or who eat gluten-free. For an upscale splurge, try this lobster ceviche from "Lobster de Mayo" chef Howard Kalachnikoff.
6. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cooks is a little labor-intensive, but the finished product is positively gorgeous and bursting with dimension and flavor thanks to cumin, chili powder, and garlic spicing up the chicken. Make extra for tomorrow's lunch or another night, and experience even richer tastes when you dig into the leftovers.
7. Southwestern Black Bean Salad
This spicy, colorful salad makes the perfect warm-weather side dish. Loaded with black beans, corn, tomatoes, jalapeños, and avocados for a mix of crunchy, soft, sweet, and heat, it's rich in antioxidants, low in calories.
8. Chickpea, Avocado, and Feta Salad
When you're hosting a get-together, you need to get food on the table fast. This recipe is just the thing. Serve up a heart-healthy, filling combination of nutty garbanzo beans, buttery avocado, zesty lime, and salty, tangy feta to get the party started.
9. Grilled Corn on the Cob with Pesto
Liven up corn on the cob by throwing it on the grill and slathering it with delicious Mexican pesto. Made with pumpkin seeds, robust cotija, and cilantro, the piquant sauce with a touch of spice makes a great topping for meat and fish too.
10. Fiesta Lime Rice
Easy, easy, easy: Throw together leftover rice, canned black beans, tomatoes, scallions, and onions, and you have a fiesta-worthy side dish to balance out all the meat- and cheese-heavy dishes you'll be serving for Cinco. It can also do double-duty in this stuffed peppers recipe.