13 Tasty Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Smarter Ways to "Fiesta"
Try a lighter take on these Mexican-inspired favorites.

1 / 12 Smarter Ways to "Fiesta"

Planning a party for Cinco de Mayo? You CAN enjoy guacamole, burritos and other popular foods, drinks and dips without worrying about blowing your diet. 

Check out our full day’s worth of Mexican-inspired recipes, filled with smart, lower-cal food swaps.

They're still packed with authentic flavors -- without the extra fat or calories.

Breakfast: Burritos or Tofu Egg Scramble

2 / 12 Breakfast: Burritos or Tofu Egg Scramble

Start your Mexican food feast with a high-protein egg breakfast One egg has seven grams of protein but just 72 calories.  

More good news: Eggs are actually 25 percent lower in cholesterol than previously thought.

Two options for your morning meal include a breakfast burrito and veggie-packed scrambled egg dish. Either one will keep you full until lunchtime!

Get the Recipe: South of the Border Breakfast Burritos

Get the Recipe: Garden Eggs and Tofu with Salsa

Lunch: Garden Taco Salad

3 / 12 Lunch: Garden Taco Salad

Taco salads are a delicious way to bust out of the same-old-salad rut, but watch out for potential calorie bombs. Limit added cheese or use low-fat cheddar and top the salad with vinaigrette or salsa instead of a creamy dressing.

This recipe packs an extra protein punch by adding seasoned lean ground beef and kidney beans. Swap out ground turkey for beef to trim calories even further.

Get the Recipe: Garden Taco Salad

Lunch: Black Bean Quesadilla

4 / 12 Lunch: Black Bean Quesadilla

Did you know that a typical restaurant-style cheese quesadilla can pack anywhere from 500 to 1,200 calories? Keep lunch healthy with our lighter version. Black beans and tofu are great sources of plant-based protein. Firm tofu absorbs natural flavors from vegetables and olive oil as it cooks. Top with creamy nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

This yummy dish is easy to store if you’re brown-bagging lunch.

Get the Recipe: Black Bean and Tofu Quesadilla

Happy Hour: Margarita Time!

5 / 12 Happy Hour: Margarita Time!

What would a Cinco de Mayo celebration be without a margarita? You can indulge without blowing your diet. Sharecare expert Lisa Lillien, aka “Hungry Girl,” says a typical (massive!) frozen margarita at your favorite cantina may contain up to 500 calories.

Her low-cal version makes some smart ingredient swaps and has just 115 calories per serving. Prefer a virgin margarita? Skip the tequila and enjoy a salty lime drink for just 20 calories!

Related: How “Hungry Girl” Cuts Calories from Wine, Beer & Mixed Drinks

Appetizer: Sassy Salsas

6 / 12 Appetizer: Sassy Salsas

Make salsa the star of your fiesta. It’s fat free and antioxidant rich: Just one-half cup counts as a full serving of veggies. Tomatoes provide lycopene, a carotene that reduces cancer risks and protects vision. Fresh cilantro can help reduce blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels. Make it spicy: Capsaicin is the chemical that gives peppers their heat, and it can temporarily speed up metabolism and cause you to burn more calories. 

Try these creative twists on the classic dip.

Get the Recipe: Mango Salsa

Get the Recipe: Avocado Salsa with Sweet Corn

Appetizer: Go for the Guacamole!

7 / 12 Appetizer: Go for the Guacamole!

Like margaritas, it’s not 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 heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. This fruit (not veggie!) is also packed with folate, vitamins E, C and B6, potassium and fiber.

For a quick dip, mix your favorite salsa with two ripe avocados, lime juice and salt to taste.

Or try a tropical twist with this recipe: 

Get the Recipe: Guacamole Piña

Dinner: Dr. Oz’s Taco Makeover

8 / 12 Dinner: Dr. Oz’s Taco Makeover

Classic California-style tacos usually include fish, which may sound healthy, but not if dinner comes swimming in deep-fried fat. Frying can double the calorie count of the fish and the taco shells.

See how Sharecare’s Mehmet Oz, MD transforms tacos by sautéing tilapia filets, leaving out the high-fat cheese and not deep-frying the tortillas.

Get the Recipe: California Taco Makeover

Dinner: Tuna Tostadas

9 / 12 Dinner: 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 this dish, 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.

Get the Recipe: Mexican Tuna Tostadas

Dinner: Flank Steak Fajitas

10 / 12 Dinner: Flank Steak Fajitas

Fajitas can be a healthy main dish choice for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. But if you're eating out, think about choosing chicken or shrimp fajitas to keep calories down. A restaurant may use high-fat cuts of beef for steak fajitas.

At home you can go for the beef, just choose lower-fat flank steak. Try this recipe from Sharecare expert and NASM Elite Trainer James Conroy.

Get the Recipe: Flank Steak Fajitas

Dinner: Wrap It Up with Burritos

11 / 12 Dinner: Wrap It Up with Burritos

The burrito (“little donkey” in Spanish) started as street food in Northern Mexico. Authentic Mexican burritos are typically small and include just a few ingredients such as meat or fish and rice, beans or cheese.

Americans have embraced the burrito, often mega-sizing this simple tortilla-wrapped dish with double the ingredients -- and calories.  Control your portion sizes and try these two healthier burrito options:

Get the Recipe: Chicken Burritos

Get the Recipe: Dairy-free Veggie Bean Burrito

Top Tips: Healthy Choices at Mexican Restaurants

12 / 12 Top Tips: Healthy Choices at Mexican Restaurants

With 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.

Related: How to Order Healthy Mexican Food

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