If you want to switch up your Christmas menu this year, why don’t you try making some traditional Mexican recipes?
They are packed with flavors and warm spices that are perfect for getting you into the Christmas spirit.
We have put together this list of the best Mexican Christmas recipes for you to make at home.
Tamales are a bit like soft tacos – there is a soft shell that has a lovely, juicy filling inside.
However, they are steamed which makes them more moist. In this recipe the tamale itself is made from corn and the filling is made out of pork.
These are a very traditional Mexican Christmas food and they are surprisingly easy to make. This particular flavor is popular in Southern Mexico where it is sold by many street vendors.
2. Red Pozole
Pozole is a type of Mexican stew and it comes in many different flavors. This red pozole is made with pork in a red chili broth.
It is packed with delicious vegetables like cabbages and radishes. It is topped with fresh cilantro and creamy avocado and is a very comforting meal.
The meat is really tender and melts in your mouth, and the zesty lime lifts the dish and adds an exciting, zingy flavor.
3. Carne Asada
Carne Asada is a type of beef taco called a taqueria, The spiced steak is served in soft taco shells rather than hard taco shells.
The steak is marinated in various flavors including garlic, chili, cumin, oregano, paprika and lime.
When the tacos are assembled, the meat is topped with a delicious homemade salad and a tangy onion relish.
You can also add some grated cheese of your choice to the top of your taqueria.
Concha is a type of Mexican sweet bread that is often enjoyed as a breakfast food or a light snack in Mexico.
It is similar to brioche – a fluffy milk bread – and comes in different flavors and shapes.
You will find a plate of conchas at most traditional Mexican Christmas gatherings, so this is a great recipe to learn how to make.
The dough is flavored with a little cinnamon to give it some warmth and a festive flavor.
This is another version of a Mexican Pozole, this time with chicken and a green chili broth. It is nice and spicy, with plenty of heat from the jalapenos.
This hearty dish only takes an hour to make and is perfect for warming you up on a cold winter night.
It is nourishing yet comforting, and can add whatever toppings you fancy – grated cheese, soured cream, avocado or fresh herbs.
6. Beef Tamales
Tamales come in lots of different flavors and one of the most popular is beef. The tender beef is wrapped in corn dough and then steamed until all of the ingredients are cooked through.
The beef filling is spicy, with various types of peppers and a good hit of garlic. It also contains carrots and potatoes which makes it nice and filling.
Try to use good quality ground beef, grass fed if possible.
You want it to have some fat as the juices will be released during cooking and make the meat moist. If the meat is too fatty then the filling will be too runny.
Champurrado is a thick, sweet drink that you can enjoy over the Christmas holidays. It is made with Mexican chocolate, milk, water, masa harina, cinnamon and vanilla.
It’s a bit thicker than hot chocolate with a more complex flavor. Masa harina is a thickening agent that is widely used in Mexico in recipes like corn dough.
You need to use piloncillo if you want to achieve an authentic flavor, as this whole cane sugar has a very caramelized taste which is distinctive to champurrado.
Pork tenderloin is a joint of meat that is often enjoyed as part of a Mexican Christmas feast. It is traditional to flavor the tenderloin with chipotle seasoning so that it forms a nice crust as it cooks.
It is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavors to complement the pork.
You should let the chipotle flavorings sit on the pork for at least 20 minutes before cooking, but preferably longer if you have the time to wait.
If you want your pork to be even spicier then add more chili powder.
Horchata is a drink traditionally enjoyed at Christmas time in Mexico. It is made with a blended mixture of soaked rice, lime juice, almonds and cinnamon and is sweetened with sugar.
The result is a milky drink that is served over ice. It has an unusual flavor – the nuts and the rice make the drink quite creamy, and the starch from the rice acts as thickener.
You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon when serving along with a cinnamon stick.
10. Cinnamon Cookies
Cinnamon cookies are a simple Mexican treat that are perfect for the festive period.
They are buttery and sweet with warm spices and can be enjoyed on their own, with a coffee, or even with a cup of horchata or a mug of champurrado.
The cookies are dusted with cinnamon sugar which you can lick off your fingers afterwards! You only need 6 ingredients to make these cookies.
An alternative to serving pork tenderloin at Christmas is to serve a roasted pork leg instead.
The marinade for this recipe is inspired by a traditional recipe from the Yucatan region, with some clear influence from Caribbean cooking.
The pork leg is slow roasted which means that the meat is incredibly soft and tender.
It falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Once you have mastered this recipe you can use the pork meat for all sorts of dishes – tacos, tamales, pozoles, nachos and much more.
12. Christmas Ponche
Mexican Ponche is a spiced fruit punch that is perfect for drinking at Christmas time. It is made with apples, pears, guavas and oranges which creates an exciting combination of flavors.
The punch is seasoned with cinnamon, hibiscus, tamarind and cloves which gives the drink a spiced, festive flavor.
This drink is best served in clear mugs with a cinnamon stick so you can see the lovely, warm color of the drink.
This is perfect for gathering around the fire after a cold winter walk or for a relaxing drink before you go to bed.
This is a Mexican style stew made with dried, salted cod.
It is traditionally from the basque region of Spain, but has become part of Mexican Christmas tradition as well as being enjoyed in various Latin American countries.
The cod fish needs to be soaked for 8 hours, but once this is done it only takes about an hour for the rest of the meal to come together.
As well as the fish, the stew contains hard boiled eggs, onions, bell peppers, golden raisins, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, capers, and white wine.
The main seasoning comes from the garlic and the bay leaves.
14. Pork Posole
This pork stew is a great meal to make to feed the family on a cold winter day. It has deliciously soft pork and tasty sausage as well as tomatoes, hominy, and spicy jalapeno peppers.
The base of the stew is made with chicken stock, and it is flavored with plenty of garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin.
You can top this stew with torn up corn tortillas, fresh cilantro, diced onion and wedges of fresh lime if you want to make this dish really special.
These traditional cookies are enjoyed at weddings, birthdays, christenings, and other festive occasions like Christmas.
The soft, sweet cookies are buttery with a touch of warm cinnamon. They are heavily dusted with powdered sugar which gives them a white color.
They melt in your mouth with a satisfying crumbly texture and you will definitely find yourself coming back for seconds or even thirds – it’s impossible to eat just one!
Make sure you whip up a big batch of these cookies to get you through the festive season.
16. Beef Birria
Beef birria is a classic Mexican recipe that is enjoyed all year round, not just at Christmas. It is served at lots of gatherings like Christenings, weddings, and baptism sundays.
It is a deliciously flavored beef broth which you can eat on its own or use as a filling for tacos and other dishes.
Beef birria is traditionally served with white rice and salsa verde, and topped with fresh cilantro and wedges of lime or avocado.
This recipe uses a combination of beef shank and beef chuck roast along with two different types of peppers, onions, cinnamon, tomatoes, cloves, cumin seeds, garlic, oregano, marjoram, and some salt and pepper.
You will also need a bit of white vinegar as this adds a sour note to the broth which counteracts the sweetness of the tomatoes and the cinnamon.
Bunuelos are one of the most traditional Mexican desserts eaten at Christmas. It is a disc of fried dough that is dusted with cinnamon sugar.
It has a similar flavor to churros, but is much simpler to make. As you make this recipe your kitchen will fill with an irresistible smell, similar to fresh donuts at a fair.
You can serve these bunuelos with different sauces like dulce de leche and chili chocolate.
You can even serve them with fresh fruit as well. This is a family favorite in Mexico, and is also widely available from street vendors.
These pig shaped cookies are a fun festive treat. It might seem like a strange shape for a Christmas cookie, but they are a traditional Mexican treat.
These cookies are often compared to gingerbread men, but they don’t actually contain any ginger or cinnamon. Instead, they get their caramelized color and flavor from molasses sugar.
If you want to try an alternative version of this recipe then try adding some ground ginger to the recipe. You could also use a milk wash instead of a milk wash to give the cookies their glazed appearance.
Mexican tea cookies are a crumbly, buttery cookie that the whole family will love. This recipe uses a dulce de leche buttercream to make them a bit more exciting and festive.
The caramel flavors go perfectly with the crunchy, chopped pecans and the dough itself is sweetened with vanilla extract.
20. Mexican Flan
If you are looking for a showstopper of a dessert that is right at home at a traditional Mexican Christmas then this recipe is for you. It is a creamy, set custard dessert with a rich caramel sauce.
It only takes 5 ingredients to make this flan and it will impress your guests with its fancy appearance and rich, indulgent texture. Make sure you serve this dessert at the table.
You can even top it with fresh fruit if you want to make it look more appealing.
For a slight variation on the traditional recipe, add some orange juice and orange zest to the custard to give it a festive flavor.
21. Pavo Relleno
This is a traditional Mexican recipe for boneless stuffed turkey.
It’s really easy to slice and serve and the savory stuffing is made out of ground beef, ground pork, smoked bacon, almonds, raisins, prunes, wine and vegetables.
The turkey is moist and tender and can be enjoyed alongside lots of different side dishes as part of your Mexican Crheistmas feast.
Cookies are a very popular sweet treat in Mexico during the Christmas season, and here is another recipe that you might want to try.
These chocolate crinkle cookies are soft and chewy and dusted with powdered sugar.
They make a nice change from the cinnamon flavored cookies and are perfect for the chocoholics in your family. Try adding a bit of chili to the mixture if you are feeling brave.
23. Rosca De Reyes
This traditional Mexican bread is one of the more time consuming recipes on this list, but it will make the perfect centerpiece for your traditional Mexican Christmas celebrations.
It will sit in the middle of your table and your guests can rip off pieces as they want to. It is colorful and appetizing and will impress your family and friends.
24. Chicken Mole
This well known Mexican dish is popular because it has warmth but without being too spicy.
It is very versatile and can be served with lots of different side dishes, which is why it is a popular choice at Christmas. If you want to make this dish even milder, use less chipotle chili.
Sopaipillas are a type of fried dough that can be sweet or savory depending on the fillings and toppings.
Drizzle them with honey or dust them with cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat, or fill them with meat and vegetables for a savory snack.
One of the tastiest sweet fillings is a mixture of cream cheese and powdered sugar, with a little bit of vanilla extract. This creates a dessert that tastes like a deep-fried cheesecake.
26. Salted Cod
Salted fish is a traditional Mexican dish that is enjoyed at Christmas time.
The strong flavors can sometimes be too much for younger children, but it is a real treat for the adults. The rich tomato flavors cut through the saltiness of the cod.
This is a festive take on traditional Mexican food. The pumpkin filling is lightly spiced and encased in a sweet, fluffy dough.
You can easily eat these with your hands, perfect for gathering round the fireplace as a family.
28. Tres Leches Cake
Tres leches cake, or three milk cake, is one of the most popular Mexican desserts.
It is no surprise that this indulgent, sweet dessert is a big hit at Christmas. The sponge is super moist and creamy.
Are There any Similarities Between Filipino and Mexican Christmas Foods?
Are There any Similarities Between Filipino and Mexican Christmas Foods? Both Filipino and Mexican Christmas festivities feature a wide array of mouthwatering delicacies. From flavorful dishes like lechon, bibingka, and puto bumbong to rich desserts such as tsokolate eh and fruitcake, these traditional treats are treasured filipino christmas food favorites, similar to the beloved Mexican dishes like tamales, bacalao, and bunuelos. The combination of cultural heritage and festive flavors make both cuisines a delight during the holiday season.
These delicious recipes are perfect for adding a Mexican spin to your Christmas celebrations.
Frequently Asked Questions
In Mexico, Christmas Eve is called Noche Buena which means ‘The Good Night’. This is a night of feasting with lots of homemade, traditional recipes that are shared as a family.
A lot of Mexican Christmas recipes are quite spicy, but you can make them more mild by reducing the amount of chili that you put in the recipe. There are also plenty of sweet recipes to choose from.
Meat is featured quite heavily in a lot of the savory Mexican Christmas recipes. However, you can adapt these recipes by taking the flavors and using them to season vegetables or meat replacements instead if you want to cater for vegetarians.