7 Tasty Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Try a lighter take on these Mexican-inspired favorites.

Updated on April 13, 2022

a pair of female friends enjoys eating chips and guacamole at a Mexican restaurant
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Planning a party for Cinco de Mayo? With a few smart swaps, you can enjoy all your favorite treats—guacamole, burritos, and more—with fewer calories. These versions are still packed with authentic flavor, without the extra fat or calories.

breakfast burrito on a plate
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Breakfast Burritos

Start your day right with a high-protein egg breakfast. One egg has 7 grams of protein but just 72 calories. Two options for your morning meal include a breakfast burrito with black beans, scallions, and salsa and one with broccoli, spinach, and avocado.

tortilla salad
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Garden Taco Salad

Taco salads are a delicious way to bust out of the same-old-salad rut. Just remember to limit cheese or use low-fat cheddar and top your greens with vinaigrette or salsa instead of a creamy dressing. This garden taco salad recipe packs an extra protein punch by adding seasoned lean ground beef and kidney beans. You can also swap out the beef for ground turkey to trim calories even further.

a non-alcoholic frozen watermelon mocktail
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Margarita Time!

Looking for a tangy, refreshing drink without the alcohol? Try a frozen watermelon mocktail. You’ll save calories over the typical (massive!) restaurant-style frozen margarita, which can contain up to 500 calories.

bowl of guacamole
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Go for the Guacamole!

It’s simply never Cinco de Mayo without guacamole. Enjoy this traditional Mexican avocado dip with low-fat, baked tortilla chips. Avocados are high in fat, but it’s the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. This fruit (it’s not a veggie, really!) is also packed with folate, vitamins E, C and B6, potassium and fiber.

For a quick dip, mix up a healthy batch with a ripe avocado, plus plenty of veggies and spices to round out the flavor.

plate of fish tacos
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Taco Makeover

Think outside the standard ground beef filling. You can make a perfectly filling taco using only beans, or try a fresh option with fish, salsa, and coleslaw.

open-faced tuna tostada sandwiches with a variety of fresh toppings
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Tuna Tostadas

A tostada is like an open-faced taco, with ingredients piled high on a flat tortilla. If you’re ready to take your Cinco de Mayo up a culinary notch or two, try tostadas made with sushi-grade tuna. Tuna provides high-quality protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats, while chipotle (a smoke-dried jalapeño pepper) and adobo sauce provide the heat. You can usually find them canned in international food grocery sections.

plate of vegetarian fajitas
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Veggie Fajitas

Fajitas can be a healthy main dish choice for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. If you're eating out, think about choosing chicken or shrimp instead of beef to keep calories down. If you want to reduce calories even more and up your veggie quotient, try these vegetarian fajitas, which use eggplant, zucchini, and peppers as the focal point instead of meat.

a happy couple enjoys dinner at an open-air Mexican restaurant
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Healthy Choices at Mexican Restaurants

If you’re celebrating at a restaurant, between the guac, chips, and margaritas arriving minutes after you sit down, your healthy Cinco de Mayo dinner could be over before it starts. Make smart choices with these tips:

  • Skip the chips and start with broth-based soup
  • Go easy on rice or order brown rice
  • Pick black beans over fat-filled refried beans
  • Top entrees with salsa instead of sour cream or heavy cheese.


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