13 Planet-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Recipes, from Enchiladas to Nachos

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"Get the party started with these planet-friendly Cinco de Mayo recipes!"

Happy Cinco de Mayo! The holiday celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It’s a day of celebration centered around honoring Mexican culture and heritage, and includes festivities, colorful drinks, and—of course—delicious Cinco de Mayo recipes. 

Celebrating with Cinco de Mayo recipes is an absolute must for this festive holiday. While many options include animal products (which have a higher carbon footprint than plant-based options), these dishes are incredibly versatile, making it easy to make planet-friendly swaps. Sometimes that means choosing beans over beef, and other times that means choosing more sustainable animal proteins (like chicken and ethically-sourced fish).

Here are some delicious Cinco de Mayo recipes to try, including enchiladas, nachos, dips, and more. Aside from being packed with flavor, they’re also better options for Mother Earth. So, who’s ready to celebrate?

13 Planet-Friendly Cinco de Mayo Recipes

1. Vegan Chilaquiles Rojos

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: Dora’s Table

Chilaquiles—a traditional Mexican breakfast dish—typically involves salsa, crema, and cheese. This plant-based version uses almond crema, is loaded with veggies, and is topped with a vegan queso.

2. Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Photo: Isabel Eats

Out of all the different meat options, chicken has one of the lowest carbon footprints. When you’re buying it, pay close attention to the labels to ensure it’s produced as sustainably and ethically as possible. Want a meatless version instead? Swap in crumbled tofu.

3. Summer Garden Guacamole

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: Half Baked Harvest

A twist on your average guacamole, this Cinco de Mayo recipe is loaded with everything summer has to offer. Serve it with a bowl of tortilla chips and enjoy.

4. Portobello Mushroom Fajitas

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: The Modern Proper

Fajitas are so easy to make plant-based. Just leave out the meat! This option uses meaty and flavorful portobello mushrooms instead.

5. Easy Mango Salsa

Photo: Minimalist Baker

Sweet mango blends perfectly with spicy jalapeño, zesty onion, and lime juice in this easy-to-make salsa.

6. Tortilla Soup

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: Cookie + Kate

Earthy, fresh, and flavorful, this recipe can be made with or without meat. Enjoy is as an entrée or a hearty side.

7. Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Photo: Minimalist Baker

These fun and colorful quinoa-stuffed peppers are entirely vegan and gluten-free. Aside from being easy to make, they’re also super nutritious: The quinoa filling is loaded with protein and fiber.


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8. Cauliflower and Fried Halloumi Tacos

Photo: Half Baked Harvest

There’s no meat needed in these cauliflower tacos that are loaded with pan-fried Halloumi cheese and a spicy avocado basil salsa.

9. Loaded Vegan Nachos

Photo: Very Veganish

You’d never guess these nachos are entirely vegan. The tortilla chips are topped with dairy-free queso and sour cream, black beans, pico de gallo, and more.

10. Vegan Burrito

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: The Simple Veganista

Stuffed with a black bean and corn sofrito mix, rice, guacamole, and crisp shredded lettuce, you’ll want to make this flavor-packed burrito every single day.

11. Baja Fish Tacos

plant-based cinco de mayo recipes
Photo: Mexican Food Memories

Fish tacos typically use flakey white fish, like cod, halibut, or tilapia. Before buying one of those varieties, use this guide that will help you choose the most sustainable option.

12. Grilled Veggie Quesadillas

Photo: Spiced

This quesadilla is loaded with flavor, all thanks to the variety of vegetables stuffed inside. It’s also a great way to use up produce that’s about go bad. What doesn’t taste good with a tortilla and cheese?

13. Chicken and White Bean Tostada Stacks

Photo: Urban Foodie Kitchen

Last but not least on our list of Cinco de Mayo recipes, these tostada stacks include both animal and plant protein: chicken and white beans. Grab a crispy tortilla, add your toppings and a drizzle of cilantro lime sauce, and you’re good to go.

Get the party started with these planet-friendly Cinco de Mayo recipes!

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