Mexican Christmas dishes

With Christmas around the corner, it's time to start thinking about a menu for Christmas dinner!

What do Mexicans eat for Christmas?
Traditional Christmas dished include cod, pozole, tamales, ponche, and buñuelos – Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 16/12/2019 15:44 EL UNIVERSAL in English/Gretel Morales Mexico City Actualizada 15:45
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With Christmas around the corner, it's time to start thinking about a menu for Christmas dinner. In Mexico, the majority of families have a traditional Christmas dinner, with dishes cooked using family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. So if you have ever wondered what do Mexicans eat for Christmas or if you want to have a Mexican Christmas dinner, check this list:

Romeritos is one of the most popular dishes during the holiday season. It is made using romeritos, an edible plant. The seepweed is boiled, then dried shrimps, boiled potatoes, nopales, and mole are added. It is often accompanied with bread or tortillas.


Moreover, romeritos are a great option since they are quite healthy and rich in protein, amino acids, fiber, iron, potassium, vitamins A and C. Romeritos also help to control sugar and cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.

Cod a la Vizcaína
This dish is another star of the show during Christmas. Cod became a staple of Mexican cuisine after the Spanish colonization, who introduced salted cod.

This Mexican-style cod is cooked using olive oil, garlic, onion, olives, almonds, green chilies, potatoes, capers, parsley, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.

Although all families have their favorite dishes, many Mexicans have turkey on Christmas. In Mexico, people call it guajolote or pavo, Moreover, turkey is a product from Mexico, as the genus Meleagris gallpavo, also known as wild turkey and the Meleagris ocellata, known as Ocellated turkey, both come from the Yucatán Peninsula.

One of the most traditional turkey recipes includes minced beef and pork, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, plantain, raisins, olives, herbs, almonds, salt, and pepper.

Mexican-style ham
This dish is usually reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, and other important dates. It is usually filled with minced meat, onion, garlic, dried fruits, nuts, and covered in adobo or chile sauce.


Pozole is one of the most ancient and traditional dishes in Mexico, as it was consumed by the Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Nowadays, it is often part of the Christmas menu.

The recipe requires corn kernels, tomatoes, garlic, onion, chilies and it's garnished with chopped onions, radishes, lettuce, oregano, lime juice. It is also paired with tostadas.

Tamales are a favorite among Mexicans. Before the Spanish colonization, Indigenous communities ate tamales during the agricultural cycle and it was always seen as a ceremonial dish. Nowadays, tamales are eaten for breakfast, during parties, on Christmas, and on Candlemas.

Tamales are made using corn dough, which is spread on a corn or banana leaf, then it's filled up with sauces and meats or marmalade, fruits, or chocolate, and then they're cooked using the bain-marie method.

Although this delicious Christmas beverage is not from Mexican origin, it has become a Christmas staple all over Mexico. Its origin goes back to India, where it's known as “pãc”, which means five, because of the number of ingredients used on the original recipe: palm wine, sugar, lemon, tea, and water. Ponche was later brought to Mexico by the Spanish.

The Mexican ponche recipe includes brown sugar, apple, hawthorn, guava, sugarcane, hibiscus flower, tamarind, and cinnamon. This delicious beverage is also rich in vitamins A, B, and C.

Christmas apple salad
In most Mexican households, the dessert served on Christmas will be this delicious salad. It is made by mixing apples, nuts, raisins, pineapple, condensed milk, and sour cream. Other versions also include shredded carrots, grapes, or cherries.


Buñuelos are a traditional dish but they actually come from the Mozarabic tradition, which arrived in Mexico during the Spanish colonization.

The traditional recipe calls for buñuelos to be glazed in piloncillo honey, flavored with cinnamon, and clove.

Buñuelos are made with a mix of wheat flour, eggs, water, salt, and lard, which is left to rest, stretched and shaped. They are fried and sprinkled with sugar or glazed with piloncillo honey.

When it's time to have a toast, cider is the most popular option. It was introduced to Mexico by the Spanish. Nowadays, people drink it during Christmas and on New Year's Eve.



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