15 Planet-Friendly Mexican Recipes, from Enchiladas to Nachos

"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 it 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 dairy-free options over dairy. Other times that means choosing beans or tofu over meat. It also means choosing more sustainable animal proteins (like chicken and ethically-sourced fish) over options that are more damaging to the planet (like pork, beef, and lamb).

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?

15 Planet-Friendly Mexican Recipes

1. Vegan Chilaquiles Rojos

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

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

Another great plant-based recipe to try is this mango salsa! The sweet mango blends perfectly with spicy jalapeño, zesty onion, and lime juice in this easy-to-make salsa. Plus, it’s the perfect summer side dish.

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. For a meatless option, swap chicken for black beans. Enjoy it 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.

8. Cauliflower and Fried Halloumi Tacos

Photo: Half Baked Harvest

These tacos are the definition of veggie tacos! There’s no meat needed in these cauliflower tacos. And they’re loaded with pan-fried Halloumi cheese and a spicy avocado basil salsa. Yum!

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. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner and can even be reheated for later.

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 our sustainable seafood guide to help you choose the most planet-friendly 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 going bad. What doesn’t taste good with a tortilla and cheese?

13. Chicken and White Bean Tostada Stacks

Photo: Urban Foodie Kitchen

Another great recipe to try is these tostada stacks that 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.

14. Vegan Mexican Tortilla Roll-Ups

Photo: The Stingy Vegan

If you’re having friends and family over for the occasion, these vegan roll-ups are the perfect appetizer! You can use hummus or vegan cream cheese to hold them together. Stuff with veggies and roll—and you’ve got yourself a quick and easy snack.

15. Veggie Chorizo Burger

Photo: Namely Marly

With warming days ahead, you may want to grill up some veggie burgers this Cinco de Mayo! And this veggie chorizo burger recipe is here to save the day. It only takes about 20 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook. Smear some vegan mayo or hummus on the bun and you’ve got a delicious vegan burger.

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

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