Tailor your feast with guacamole, salsa, red rice, refried beans, chipotle grilled corn, and more.

So your Cinco de Mayo plans are coming along. You’ve got your heavy apps set, or a casserole for a crowd, and your cocktail menu is on point. What’s missing? Maybe one of these sides.  Any one of these can add variety and spark to a party spread. These recipes can mostly be prepared well ahead of time, don’t take all day, and best of all, go with just about anything.

Whip up a big batch of Mexican red rice—it makes a delicious bed for appetizers and soaks up delicious sauces. Guacamole is just about mandatory at, well at any Western party, really, but especially on Cinco de Mayo, and we’ve got one of the most delicious versions ever. Salsa, of course, has to be part of the spread, and we’ve got a trio for you—one red, one green, and one unusual fruit/tomato hybrid version.

If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, don’t go anywhere; we’ve got a few more involved options, like grilled oysters (which are not actually hard, but your guests might think they are), or deviled shrimp. (The shrimp, incidentally, pair well with that Mexican rice.)

And if you feel like vegetables might be missing, corn counts in our book, at least at a party. For honest to goodness verduras, try this lime-spiked tomato salad, or a bowl of avocados and poblano chiles. Another lighter option is this fruit cocktail, which comes with a holiday-appropriate tequila-flavored dressing. It’s sure to make you feel better about all the agave-based cocktails you’re undoubtedly about to imbibe.

Great Mexican Sides

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