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The Mexican Christmas Recipes Your Holiday Is Missing

Mexican food is spicy, flavorful and delicious. Whether it’s been part of your holiday tradition forever or you’re looking to add it now, these are the recipes that will wow everyone around your holiday table.

From a festive punch to an assembly-line of tamales to cinnamon-sugar tortillas, enjoy these tasty traditional recipes.

Mexican Christmas punch (ponche Navideño Mexicano)

Image: The Mija Chronicles

If you are keen on a good mulled cider, you are going to love this Mexican punch. Traditional recipes call for cinnamon, tejocotes (a small yellow fruit that resembles crabapples), piloncillo (raw sugar cane), and seasonal fruits like guavas, apples, pears and oranges — and it’s served piping hot.

The Mija Chronicles recipe is perfect for those chilly December nights.

More: White Christmas sangria will get you in the holiday spirit, snow or no snow


Tamale parties are a huge Christmas tradition in many Mexican families. Family members gather together to form an assembly line in the kitchen to joyfully roll tamales before enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Yvette of Muy Bueno walks you through how to make tamales step by step in the video above.

Christmas salted cod (bacalao Navideño)

Image: Patti Jinich

Bacalao Navideño is a mouth-watering combo of cod slow-simmered with roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions, olives, parsley, and raisins — and it’s commonly served for Christmas Eve dinner. Not unlike its Christmas turkey and ham counterparts, bacalao Navideño leftovers make for an amazing sandwich!

Just be aware that getting bacalao Navideño right takes a little time — Pati Jinich’s recipe suggests you begin preparing your salt cod 48 hours before you wish to make the dish.

Roasted pork leg in adobo sauce (pierna de puerco adobada)

Image: Mexico in My Kitchen

Roasted pork in adobo sauce truly melts in your mouth. The tastes of roasted garlic, bay leaves, oregano, black pepper, cumin and orange blend perfectly with the juicy pork — and the combination of Mexico in My Kitchen’s recipe with tamales is out of this world.

Easy cinnamon buñuelos recipe

Image: La Cocina De Leslie

No Christmas feast is complete without dessert, and buñuelos hit the spot.

Buñuelos are crispy, flaky, golden fried tortillas covered with cinnamon and sugar. They’re traditionally a bit tricky to make, but La Cocina De Leslie’s recipe is pretty easy to whip up, and it goes perfectly with her café con leche.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil.
  3. Carefully place a tortilla in the hot oil.
  4. Fry the tortilla until light golden brown on both sides.
  5. Transfer the fried tortilla to a plate lined with paper towels.
  6. Let it sit for a minute to absorb the excess oil, then place the tortilla in the bowl with the cinnamon and sugar.
  7. Sprinkle the sugar mixture over the tortilla, making sure both sides are evenly coated.
  8. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Originally published December 2011. Updated November 2017.

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