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Mexican Dinner Party

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Traditionally in Mexico, dinner is a lighter meal than lunch. It’s eaten around 8 pm and consists of something simple such as lunch leftovers piled into a soft flour tortilla, or a light taco. Therefore this Mexican Dinner Party blog is aimed at Fiesta nights! Alternatively any night you fancy making lots of Mexican food for your friends and loved ones. Here we will give you a little help in deciding how to plan it, some inspiration on recipe ideas, as well as some tried and tested dinner party tips. Enjoy!

Its time to throw a Mexican Dinner Party!

First things first, you need to decide on the vibe that your Mexican dinner party is going to have. It will depend on the number of people that are coming. To make things simple, we would suggest two different choices.

For numbers over 8 people, we would suggest an informal and very casual DIY style Mexican buffet feel, with appetisers that your loved ones can pick at, and a big Taco or Fajita spread for the main course. There is nothing to stop you from doing this for smaller numbers too! However, the second option would be a sit-down affair, and more formal. This is better suited to a group of 8 or less, and could involve a proper starter for each guest, and then a main Mexican showstopper of a dish!

The Casual Mexican Buffet

If you’ve decided on an informal and very casual Mexican dinner party, check this out for a perfect Mexican buffet Menu:

The Starter

Do an appetiser spread. This would be displayed on a table in your living room, kitchen, or outside terrace/garden (wherever everyone is having pre-dinner drinks). The idea being that everyone would pick at it whilst enjoying drinks. Completely laid back!
It would involve any of the following:

Mexican Sharing Platter

Tortilla Chips to dip into the following:
*Homemade Guacamole 

*Chipotle Salsa
*Pico de Gallo
*Queso Fundido

Served With

*Mexican Corn
* Chilli Beef Nachos

The Main Course

For the Mexican buffet main course the easiest thing to do is to is decide whether you are going to do Tacos or Fajitas and do a big buffet spread on the kitchen table, so that everyone can help themselves! They can each do this sitting down, and easily help themselves to more without having to keep getting up. Of course, if your table isn’t big enough, you can have a separate DIY station very close by. Alternatively (if it’s tacos), though a bit more work for you, would be to pre-arrange the tacos on big platters and allow your guests to help themselves.
Trying to attempt both Tacos and Fajitas of course is possible, but be warned its a lot of work!

TOP TIP: Make sure you keep your flour tortillas and sides nice and toasty by covering with tin foil until everyone is ready to tuck in! Chop and prep all of your toppings in small bowls, with a spoon in each one.

The Taco Menu

Fried Chicken Tacos
Baja Fish Tacos
Crunchy Short Rib Tacos
Vegan Tacos

Served With
Refried Beans
Mexican Salad

For more ideas check out:

Our Taco Recipes
What To Serve With Tacos

Pork Pibil Tacos
Pork Pibil Tacos

The Fajita Menu

Fajita Sharing Platter
Chipotle Chicken Fajitas
Mushroom Sheet pan Fajitas

Served With
Chipotle Rice
Baked Mexican Elotes

For more ideas check out:

Our Fajita Recipes
What To Serve With Fajitas

Mushroom Sheet Pan Fajitas
Mushroom Fajitas

The Pudding

Lets be honest, there is a lot of food above. We doubt your guests will have much space for anything else.! But as I’m sure you will agree there’s always room for a little something! A fun and easy pudding for a Mexican buffet, albeit Spanish (not Mexican), is to make a big homemade batch of Churros! Take a look here for a sublime Churros recipe.


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Formal (Sit Down) Mexican Dinner Party

No Mexican dinner party can start without Margaritas, chips and salsa. We, therefore, recommend kicking off your formal dinner party by offering each guest an icy Chipotle Margarita when they arrive.

They are amazing when paired with some Chipotle Salsa, Tomatillo Salsa and Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips.


The Menu

To Nibble On
Chips and Salsa
Home Made Guacamole
Chipotle Cheese Straw

To Start
Mexican Chicken Soup

Main Course
Beef Short Rib Enchiladas

Cactus Salad

Mexican Salad

Orange and Tequila Crème Caramel

Formal Starter

For your formal Mexican dinner party starter, you could serve a Mexican Chicken Soup. This would be a very authentic Mexican dish, and great for a cold and rainy day, as a kind of Mexican-inspired gazpacho. If you would like it lighter, just take out the chicken.

If the above soup isn’t really your thing then here are some other starters that you try.

Formal Main Course

The main course needs to be a real showstopper of a dish! Something that is bound to impress your guests and have them asking for seconds. For this, we would recommend making Enchiladas. Aside from being an authentic Mexican dish, it’s great because most of the work is done in advance, so there is no last-minute cooking or tidying to do. All you do is slip the dish you prepared earlier into the oven and hey presto! A bubbling, oozing, gorgeous smelling work of art emerges from the oven before your guests’ eyes. You’ll have them gasping at the sight of it!

Our Enchilada Lasagne With Beef Short Ribs would be a real crowd-pleaser.

If the above Enchilada recipe doesn’t do it for you then here are some other ones that you could try:

Formal Side Dishes

Mexican Salad

This dinner party has some pretty heavy food in it. So we recommend a salad on the side. Our favourite is either this Mexican Salad or a Cactus Salad. For more ideas check out: Mexican Side Dishes.

Formal Pudding

Thinking of a more formal Mexican dinner party pudding, why not go for something like Thomasina Miers‘ Orange and Tequila Crème Caramel.

Creme Caramel

Other Ideas

Mexican Dinner Party Tips

  • Figure out which parts of your various dishes can be prepared the day before the party, and then the morning of the party. This will seriously help your workload on the day!
  • Heating up already cooked meat: remove it from the fridge and bring it to room temperature (approx. 30 minutes), then transfer to a shallow pan. It’ll then go directly from the oven to the table.
  • Heating up already cooked beans: reheat over a medium heat on the hob. Our Mexican Rice recipe can be reheated in the microwave.
  • Don’t forget, guests can easily be a mix of vegetarian & meat-eaters, with allergies or food intolerances. You need to make sure you have asked ahead, and that there will be something for everyone.
  • Finally, relax! The great thing about soup and Enchiladas is that it can be made in advance. A taco spread can be mainly all laid out in advance too. Avoid anything that’s going to keep you in the kitchen too long during the party and fluster you out!

Mexican Dinner Party Tableware

Mexican Tableware

Once all of the food has been chosen, you can then start decorating! Albeit much nearer the time. Of course you can go all out with your tableware, as the Mexican’s like to do. Here is a beautiful image that might help inspire you to find anything and everything you can in your house to add bold colour to the table and help to present your dishes in style! If you own any Talavera pottery, ramekins, colourful glassware and napkins, vintage or handmade figurines, candles and cactus’, and anything that will give your table that look and feel of authentic Mexico.

Music Ideas

Finally, we couldn’t finish without giving you a few tunes to get the party started! Make a little playlist on Spotify, call it Taco Tuesday or Nacho Playlist, and download these:

  • Paco De Lucia, Entre Dos Aguas
  • The Champs, Tequila Song
  • James Taylor, Mexico
  • Gypsy Kings, Bamboleo
  • Los Rancheros, El Che y Los Rolling Stones
  • No Llores Mas Morena, Pedro Suarez-Vertiz
  • La Flaca, Jarabe de Palo
  • Willy Ferrer, Dejame
  • Ruben Blades, Plastico
  • Mana, Oye Mi Amor

That’s it for our Mexican Dinner Party blog! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this one, and it’s inspired you to throw that dinner party that you’ve been meaning to for a while. Having said that, numbers will be small for the time being! If you do have one, be sure to tag us #granluchito

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