Mexican Independence Day Food: 56 Delicious Recipes

Mexican Independence Day 2023 is September 16 and it falls on a Saturday. Here are some delectable and traditional Mexican Independence Day food to help you celebrate.

A plate of Mexican stuffed poblano peppers with a creamy walnut sauce, called chiles en nogada. They are a traditional Mexican Independence Day food.
Chiles en Nogada Recipe

When is Mexican Independence Day 2023

Outside of Mexico there’s a common misconception that 5 de Mayo is our day of independence.

It’s actually the 16th of September and this year it falls on a Saturday. So you can have a whole weekend of fun celebrations!

Did you know that Mexican Independence Day celebrations start the evening of the 15th? They continue into the early hours of the 16th.

Watch this fun video below to learn a little bit more.

Mexican Independence Day Food

If you want to join in on the fun celebrations pick some of these authentic and traditional Mexican Independence Day foods.

I have you covered from the most typical dishes to other less common but still delicious recipes. There’s something for everyone!

Is Mexican Independence Day Food Vegan?

No, many of it is not – but don’t worry because I’ve got you covered!

The recipes in this collection are both vegetarian and vegan Mexican Independence Day food. Best of all you can also share with meat eaters and I promise they’ll also enjoy these flavorful, traditional dishes.

Main Dishes for Mexican Independence Day

A plate of Mexican stuffed poblano peppers with a creamy walnut sauce.
Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en nogada or peppers in walnut sauce are the star dish of Mexican Independence Day. To the point that when Mexican’s think Mexican Independence Day food, chiles en nogada is in the top 2 foods that comes to their minds.

These delectable stuffed poblano peppers are a very Baroque-era dish typical of the cuisine of Mexico’s melting pot of cultures during those times.

The filling is traditionally made with minced pork and beef, but of course my recipe uses a vegan meat. Fruits and pine nuts are cooked with the meat as well as some aromatic spices.

Then the peppers are battered and fried before being drizzled with the creamy walnut -goat cheese sauce, and topped with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

My vegetarian recipe is not the 100% authentic original one, but it’s as close as you could get it. Even so, it’s an amazing dish that is so worth a try. I’ve made it for carnivores and they devoured them!

Get my vegetarian chiles en nogada recipe by clicking here.

A bowl of vegan pozolo rojo with lettuce and radish slices as the toping.
Vegan Pozole Rojo

Pozole Rojo

If you want an easier and vegan dish, then make vegan pozole rojo.

Pozole is another one of the most common foods served for the celebrations. Well, pozole is usually a dish Mexican families make for just about any celebration.

My pozole rojo is vegan and instead of meat uses mushrooms. It’s incredibly satisfying for those who are missing pozole since going meatless. The broth is full of delicious flavors.

Serve with some tostadas, crema and salsa for the ultimate dinner.

Get my vegan pozole rojo recipe by clicking here.

Authentic vegan pozole verde served in a Mexican bowl and topped with lettuce, radishes, and avocado.
Vegan Pozole Verde

Pozole Verde

If pozole rojo isn’t your favorite then give my vegan pozole verde a try.

This stew gets it’s vibrant green color from the peppers, tomatillos, herbs and pepitas used to make the sauce. It’s an incredibly medley of flavors.

Traditionally pozole verde is made with pork or chicken. To make this a 100% vegan posole recipe we are going to use oyster mushrooms or jackfruit or a mix of both.

Just like the red pozole you can serve the green one with tostadas, crema, shredded lettuce, radishes, avocado, lime juice and anything else you’d like.

Get my vegan pozole verde recipe by clicking here.

Three enchiladas Michoacanas or cheese filled enchiladas rojas topped with potato and carrot and Mexican crema.
Enchiladas Rojas


Enchiladas are another great Mexican Independence Day food.

You can make them rojas or red, like these enchiladas michoacanas which are filled with crumbled cheese and onion, then topped with sautéed potato and carrot. So yummy!

There’s also enchiladas verdes that are made with a tomatillo salsa. Traditionally they are filled with chicken, but mine are made vegetarian.

Get my enchiladas rojas recipe by clicking here.

Get my enchiladas verdes recipe by clicking here.

A small white and blue bowl filled with Mexican vegan birria. In the background there's also a stack of vegan birria tacos.
Vegan Birria Tacos

Vegan Birria Tacos & Birria

Birria has become all the rage the last few years. Its incredibly delicious flavor is why everyone loves this scrumptious dish.

I can’t tell you how often people send me photos of them making my vegan birra tacos on Instagram. The feedback is always amazing too.

You can make birra broth and you can also make vegan birra tacos, or quesadillas called quesabirria tacos. Heck you can even make birria tamales!

It’s so delicious!

Get my vegan birria tacos recipe by clicking here.

How to Make Vegan Birria Tamales
Vegan Birria Tamales

Vegan Birria Tamales

These tamales are very unique and are incredibly delicious. Serve them with a little of the birria broth on the side.

They’re easy to make and you can make a large batch to serve for your fiesta or freeze to use later.

Get my vegan birria tamales recipe by clicking here.

How to Make Pambazos


Pambazos are tortas that are dipped in a mild red salsa and then lightly fried before stuffing. They’re filled with chorizo and potatoes, salsa, lettuce, sour cream and cheese.

Pambazos are quite unique and definitely a must try. Perfect for any fiesta!

Get my pambazos recipe by clicking here.

Mexican crema being drizzled over crispy potato tacos.
Tacos de Papa

Tacos de Papa

Crispy potato tacos are great party food. They’re easy to make, very budget friendly, can feed a crowd — be it vegan, vegetarian or even meat eaters love them.

Get my tacos de papa recipe by clicking here.

If you don’t like potato tacos then surely one of my other taco recipes will be perfect Mexican Independence Day food for you and your family.

Tamales for Mexican Independence Day

Homemade jalapeno and Chihuahua cheese tamales ready to be steamed.
Cheese and Jalapeno Tamales

Vegan Tamales for Mexican Independence Day

Oh delicious tamales!

They too are a special meal for many Mexican holidays and for Mexican families. We always had them for different celebrations in my family.

Did you know I wrote a whole cookbook dedicated entirely to making tamales?

It’s called Mexican Tamales Made Meatless and you can buy a paperback on Amazon as well as a Kindle version or a digital version directly from me. Click the links below.

Mexican Tamales Cookbook with Vegan Tamales Recipes
Mexican Tamales Made Meatless

Click to Buy The eBook Version | Click to Buy Paperback | Click to Buy Kindle Version

Vegan tamales rojos or red tamales served with salsa verde.
Vegan Tamales Rojos with Salsa Verde

What to Serve with Your Tamales

Though in my family we never served a side dish, I do know that many people like to serve a side dish with tamales. You can serve with rice and beans. Salsas are a great addition though. A salsa like a molcajete one, or a salsa verde or even a simple tomato with chile de arbol would pair well with the tamales.

More Main Dishes for Mexican Independence Day

Vegan tinga tostadas served with crema, avocado slices and radishes.
Vegan Tostadas de Tinga

Vegan Tinga Tostadas

Tostadas are another great food for celebrations. These vegan tinga tostadas are always a hit when I serve them, I think you’ll really enjoy them.

Traditionally made with shredded chicken my version uses shredded cabbage and carrots. In lieu of the carrots you could use 2 cans of prepared jackfruit to give you that “meaty” look and texture.

Click here to get my vegan tinga tostadas recipe.

If tinga isn’t your favorite then you can top your tostadas with either my Ensalada de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Salad Made Vegan) or my Mexican Vegan Tuna Salad Recipe (Ensalada de Atun).

A white and blue bowl filled with Mexican frijoles charros which is a cowboy bean stew.
Frijoles Charros

Frijoles Charros

This hearty bean stew is easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd.

You won’t miss the meat at all in these vegan frijoles charros.

Get my vegan frijoles charros recipe by clicking here.

Homemade Mexican gorditas filled with chorizo and nopales.
Gorditas and Sopes

Gorditas and Sopes

These masa pockets and little masa boats are perfect party food.

You can fill them with whatever fillings and toppings you’d like or have at home.

Get my gorditas and sopes recipes by clicking here.

A vegan mollete Mexican open faced sandwich with refried beans and melted cheese and topped with salsa.

More Main Dishes

I have countless recipe options for you to eat on Mexican Independence Day. You can go to my “Mexican Main Dishes” archives.

But be sure not to skip over:

Dessert for Mexican Independence Day

Carlota de Limon served on a grey plate with a slice of lime. This Mexican lime cake is a no bake dessert made with 5 ingredients.
Carlota de Limon

Carlota de Limon

This Mexican lime icebox cake is one of my most favorite desserts ever and also one of the most raved about here on my blog.

It’s light, airy, creamy, tart and sweet and just melts in your mouth. So, so delicious!

You can make this the day before and leave it in the refrigerator to set and use the next day.

Click to get the carlota de limon recipe here.

Glass full of Mexican fresas con crema or strawberries and cream.
Fresas con Crema

Fresas con Crema

Mexican strawberries and cream, or fresas con crema, is a whole different level of decadent and mouthwatering dessert.

You can easily make it vegetarian or vegan. Both versions are delicious.

Get my vegetarian fresas con crema recipe here, or click here for the vegan version.

A slice of Mexican sweet corn cake dusted with powdered sugar.
Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

Mexican Sweet Corn Cake

This Mexican corn cake or cornbread is until anything you’ve ever tasted.

It’s sweet, creamy, dense, decadent, has hints of corn taste and vanilla flavor and it’s insanely delicious!

Click to get the here to get my Easy Pan de Elote or Mexican Sweet Corn Cake with Cream Cheese recipe.

Stuffed conchas can be made with Nutella or whipped cream and strawberries.
Stuffed Conchas

Stuffed Conchas

If you want THE quickest dessert recipe for your fiesta then make these stuffed conchas.

Literally all you do is take a concha and slice it in half then spread some whipped cream and layer sliced strawberries. The place the top layer of the concha slice and serve.

If you want a richer dessert than instead of whipped cream us Nutella and strawberries. Or you could also even use cajeta and strawberries. All so delicious and easy peasy!

Click here to get the full instructions for stuffed conchas here.

Large wooden plate  with 6 small dessert empanadas and on the side slices of guava paste and soft Manchego cheese.
Guava and Cheese Empanadas

Guava and Cheese Empanadas

These dessert empanadas combine sweet with savory for an incredibly delicious treat.

They are super easy to make and you can even make them ahead.

Click to get the empanadas recipe.

Glass full of Mexican arroz con leche and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Arroz con Leche

Arroz con Leche

Mexican rice pudding is not only delicious and creamy, it’s budget friendly and easy dessert for a crowd.

You can serve it warm or cold. You can make it vegan or vegetarian.

Click to get the vegan arroz con leche recipe here, and for the vegetarian recipe click here.

Drinks & Cocktails for Mexican Independence Day

A low-calorie or skinny paloma cocktail made with grapefruit and silver tequila.

Paloma Cocktail

This festive, refreshing, sweet and tart grapefruit and tequila cocktail is a must for Mexican Independence Day celebrations.

My recipe is a “skinny” version that you’re going to love!

Click to get the paloma cocktail recipe.

Glass filled with spicy cucumber cocktail made with Ancho Reyes liqueur.
Ancho Reyes Cocktail

Ancho Reyes Cocktail

This cocktail is made with a Mexican poblano pepper liqueur that’s smoky and a tad spicy.

It pairs perfectly with cucumber and lime — like the traditional pepino snack, that’s actually what inspired me to create this cocktail.

Click to get the Ancho Reyes cocktail recipe.

A mango chamoy margarita poured into a glass rimmed with Tajin powder.
Mango Chamoy Margarita

Mango Chamoy Margarita Recipe

This fruity, sweet, tart and a tad spicy margarita recipe is perfect for celebrating.

It also pairs well with so many of the main dishes listed above.

Click to get the Mango Chamoy Margarita Recipe.

A refreshing watermelon margarita made skinny and without simple syrup.
Skinny Watermelon Margarita

Skinny Watermelon Margarita

If you’re looking for a sweet cocktail I think you’ll love this skinny margarita.

It’s a refreshing watermelon margarita made without simple syrup and just very little sugar added — it really doesn’t need it if you have a sweet watermelon.

Click to get the watermelon cocktail recipe.

Tall glass filled with ice and a Mexican beer cocktail called chelada.
Chelada Beer Cocktail

Chelada Beer Cocktail

Cheladas are one of the easiest cocktails you can make. You literally only need 4 ingredients to make it.

It’s a refreshing drink that’s light enough to be served with just about any main dish.

Click to get the chelada recipe here.

A pitcher and glass of ice cold watermelon agua fresca.
Watermelon Agua Fresca

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Agua de sandia is one of the most classic agua fresca flavors. Now is a great time to use it before it completely goes out of season.

Click to get my watermelon agua fresca recipe.

A glass filled with agua de jamaica or Mexican hibiscus tea.
Agua de Jamaica

Agua de Jamaica

If you’d rather serve an agua fresca, then agua de jamaica is always a great choice.

This is made using dried hibiscus flowers. It’s a tart and tangy, refreshing drink that you’ll really enjoy with your meal.

Click here to get the agua de jamaica recipe here.

Pouring freshly made agua de pina into a tall glass with lots of ice cubes.
Pineapple Agua Fresca

Agua de Piña or Pineapple Agua Fresca

Pineapple makes delicious agua fresca. My recipe is sugar free but you can add sugar according to your taste.

If you’d like you could even spike it with some silver tequila for a refreshing cocktail.

Click to get the pineapple agua fresca recipe

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