20 Mexican Catering Foods Ideas

Menu Planning for your next event is a very important part of the planning process. And trust us. We know how daunting selecting what to eat is.

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Firstly, you want to make sure you have enough food on hand so that no one goes hungry. However, you don’t want to spend too much money either. Well, the good news is that there are some great options out there when it comes to Mexican catering food ideas.

If you want to experience the very best street food Mexico has to offer and you are not Mexican yourself, then the best thing you can do is hire a catering service specialising in Mexican cuisine.

Luckily, there are plenty of them out there, so all you have to do is have an idea of what you want to serve at your event. And that’s why we are here!

Here are 20 Mexican catering food ideas that will help you plan an amazing menu for any type of party or event:

1. Tacos

When it comes to tacos, they really are just about everywhere in Mexico.

Tacos - Mexican food

They come in all shapes and sizes, from simple ones made with corn tortillas to more elaborate versions made with flour tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, beans, etc. If you’re looking for something quick and easy, then look no further than taco trucks.

One of the great things about Mexican food is that items like corn tortillas are gluten-free. See here for Gluten-Free Chickpea Flatbread Recipes and Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Mousse Cake Recipes

2. Empanadas

These little turnovers filled with savoury fillings like beef, chicken, pork and cheese, are another staple of Mexican cuisine. There are many different types of empanadas, including sweet ones, which are often served as dessert after dinner.

Empanadas - Mexican street food

You can also cater to your vegetarian and vegan guests and ask for some empanadas filled with vegetables.

3. Chilaquiles

A typical Mexican breakfast food, this dish consists of fried tortillas topped with eggs covered in salsa verde (green sauce) and avocado slices. You can also add beans, if you wish.

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It is a delicious dish that is both easy to prepare and pleasant to eat during an event or a party.

Do you need to organise food for a wake? See our Catering food Ideas For Funerals

4. Quesadillas

These cheesy pocket sandwiches are usually filled with ground beef, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sometimes even jalapenos. They’re a popular choice at fiestas because they’re both filling and inexpensive.

Quesadillas - Mexican food

For lunchtime snacks, and they’re perfect for parties because they can easily be cut into bite-sized pieces.

5. Ensalada De Frijol Y Pollo

Beans and chicken salad is really popular in Mexico. It’s a classic combo that is typically served cold, but it’s also great when served warm.

Alternatively, if you want to keep your salads simpler and leave the chicken and meat for the rest of the dishes, you can serve an Ensalada de Jícama y Habas. This salad features shredded jicama root mixed with boiled habas (broad beans).

It’s a refreshing side dish that will fill you up without weighing you down.

A third option would be to make an Ensalada Mixta, which is exactly what it sounds like – a mixed salad.

Mixed salad greens are a popular side dish in Mexico. Depending on what’s available, people may add avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radishes, bell peppers, onions and jalapeños. Feel free to be creative with it.

Considering serving finger foods? Check our post, Finger Food Catering: Everything You Need To Know.

6. Panuchos

A traditional Mexican sandwich, this open-faced sandwich is loaded with pulled pork and toppings like tomatoes, onions, cilantro, olives and pickled jalapeños. It’s usually eaten for lunch, but it’d be a great addition to your dinner buffet table.

Panuchos

Wondering what to do with Leftover Pork? Try one of our recipes

7. Guacamole

Here at Eatability, we feel that guacamole is one of the greatest dips on the planet. And we’ll fight anyone who feels otherwise!

This avocado dip is a favourite appetiser in Mexico and around the world and is extremely versatile.

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It can be used as a dip, spread, or garnish. All you have to do is put it on the table and we are certain that people will add it to all their dishes.

Looking for more Popular Catering Dishes? We’ve got you covered.

8. Tostones

Welcome to the delicious world of tostones – fried green plantains that are a traditional snack in Mexico. They’ve become somewhat of a trendy food item in the United States lately and we reckon they’ll be popping up here in Australia too soon.

They’re usually eaten plain or dipped in guacamole, coriander (cilantro), and olives. Whilst they are generally served hot, you can also have them cold.

Tostones - Mexican food

As an extra option, you can have tostones con pollo, which are crispy fried plantains stuffed with pieces of chicken and covered in a sweet pineapple juice glaze.

Want more Finger Food Catering Ideas? Then read on.

9. Torta Ahogada

A torta ahogada (or ‘drowned sandwich’ in English) is a Mexican sandwich cooked with pork carnitas and red onions on a crusty bread roll that’s similar to a baguette. It’s served with fresh lime wedges and dipped or “drowned” in a red chilli sauce. 

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Confused about how much food you need? See our post on A Simple Way To Calculate Finger Food Quantities

10. Tamales

The Latin American version of a pitta-wrapped food, tamales are intriguing parcels of tastiness. Made of corn leaves and stuffed with delicious ingredients like chicken, pork, beef, chilli, vegetables, cheese, or a combination of things, they are delicious.

Tamales - classic Mexican street food

Is someone you know about to finish University? See our Catering Food Ideas For Graduation Parties.

11. Chochoyotes

Chochoyotes are little masa-based dough balls that are cooked in soup or broth. You may say that they are like meatballs but without the meat, or that they are somewhat steamed dumplings with no filling.

These days you can find them made with wheat flour, rice, potato, or even gluten-free flours, so feel free to ask for some extra options if you have, for example, gluten-intolerant guests invited. Served in a herby broth, shrimps are a great option to add to the bowl!

11. Flan

 A popular Mexican delicacy, flan is a creamy, rich, orange-scented custard topped with a golden, syrupy layer of caramelised sugar. If you have tried the French creation, creme caramel, it’s a close cousin.

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12. Sopes

Sopes are similar to little tortillas, but thicker around the edges to keep all the toppings on them. These small corn cakes are typically deep-fried, although they can also be baked if you want them to be healthier, and they’re most usually topped with shredded beef, pork, or chicken.

Got some Leftover Chicken in the fridge and unsure what to make with it? Check out our recipes.

Sopes - Mexican food

13. Ceviche

This raw seafood dish has been around for centuries in South America. It’s made by marinating fresh fish or shrimp in citrus juices, fruits, and spices.

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Hunting for a good Seafood Restaurant in Brisbane? Check our recommendations

14. Tacos Al Pastor

Next up we have Tacos al Pastor. These are tacos filled with succulent pork that has been marinated for hours and has been then gently grilled. This juicy pork is then cut into thin pieces, and served with fresh pineapple, cilantro, and chopped onions.

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Juicy, tender, and flavoursome, they will be gone before you know it. Why not try serving them alongside a salsa, such as pico de gallo?

Getting bored of your usual Pork Belly Recipes? Try one of ours.

15. Tortitas De Papa

Delicious potato fritters – deep-fried and crispy on the outside while remaining soft on the inside. Heaven.

Tortitas de papa is perfect as an appetiser or snack and goes well with all kinds of sauces.

Ever thought of doing mobile catering? See our post on Food Ideas For Catering Vans and Food Trucks

16. Mole Poblano

This rich chocolate sauce is traditionally made from dried chilies, nuts, seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla and more.

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It is thickened with ground almonds and/or oats.

While the word “mole” is used to refer to a variety of sauces in Mexico, mole poblano is a very thick, savoury, chilli and chocolate sauce. Surprisingly, some recipes include as many as 20 ingredients.

As a Top Tip, suggest that your guest soak the Tortitas Ahogadas in the mole poblano – they are a great combo!

Once you have exhausted Mexican food, perhaps you can try another cuisine? Check out our Filipino Catering Food Ideas for more fantastic dishes.

17. Paella Valenciana

Another classic Spanish rice dish, paella Valenciana includes chicken, rabbit, shellfish, clams, mussels, vegetables, etc. Famous around the world, you can easily treat your guests with some as it is one of the ‘safe’ choices when it comes to fussy taste buds.

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Step this idea one step further by using Paella Catering for your event.

18. Camarones Al Mojo De Achiote

If you want to add more spiciness to the buffet, this is the dish to do it. Camarones al mojo de achiote is shrimps, and optionally octopus, that is breaded and pan-seared in a fiery red mojo sauce containing aji (chilli) peppers, garlic, and herbs.

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Ideally, you want to serve the Camarones with some avocado slices on the side, some white rice, and a refreshing beer.

Feel like hanging our in the Best Beer Gardens in Melbourne when the weather is sunny? Check our guide.

19. Papas Rellenas Con Carne Asada

 Most people argue that Steak and mashed potatoes are a classic combination. However, they don’t get much better than this!

Soft and creamy jacket potatoes are loaded with ground beef or even slices of juicy grilled steak – all seared to perfection.

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Finally, top with some sour cream, and you have a match made in heaven!

20. Arroz Con Leche

Lastly, we have a dessert.

Rice pudding is a childhood favourite, and there’s no reason why you should grow out of it. This dish is made with milk instead of water, and cooked slowly until all the flavours meld together into a smooth texture.

Arroz con Leche - Mexican dessert

This is a famous dessert in countries like Germany too. Perhaps you’ve tried it somewhere? If you have, you know a dash or 2 of cinnamon on top will really amps up the flavours.

Interested in more Easy Rice Recipes? Here are 25 for you to try.

Summary

Now that you have 20 Mexican food ideas and plenty of alternatives to them, you can start getting that menu ready.

Since you Mexican food is the basis of the menu, don’t forget to bring some Mexican drinks to the party. As we all know, you can never go wrong with margaritas!

Dylan Cole

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