Cinco de Mayo Appetizers

Serve up some savory "antojitos" or Cinco de Mayo appetizers as refreshing munchables in between rounds of margaritas. We have compiled cinco (five) Mexican-inspired recipes that are delicious and make appetizing displays as a plus. 

Serve bite-sized selections on silver trays passed from guest to guest for an extra touch at any occasion. You may also designate a serving area for dips and trays when not in circulation. 

Decorate the serving trays with fun, themed decorations to show off your attention to detail, like a miniature Mexican Charro Sombrero, Red Parrot or Metal Saguaro Cactus Votive Candle Holder. Serve guacamole and dips with Chili Pepper Handle Cheese Spreaders.

Chicken-Lime Taquitos

Advance prep:  Day before party.
Last-minute prep:  Bake about 10 minutes.
Makes 48 Hors d'oeuvres

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, julienned
  • 1/3 cup pasilla chile, julienned
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, julienned
  • 1/3 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
  • 18 small corn tortillas (6-inch or less)
  • Vegetable oil to brush on taquitos
  1. Combine salt, chili powder, garlic powder, oil, and lime juice for marinade.
  2. Add chicken and marinate overnight.
  3. Drain chicken and grill (indoor or outdoor) until done. 
  4. Allow to cool and shred chicken into small pieces.
  5. Place chicken in bowl and sprinkle with salt and minced garlic. Mix well.
  6. Add red pepper, pasilla, onion, cheese and 1/2 ounce lime juice. Mix thoroughly.
  7. To assemble, warm tortillas on griddle or microwave according to directions, until soft and pliable. If necessary, add a little oil to the pan to help soften the tortillas.
  8. Spoon 2 ounces of chicken filling down the center almost to each edge. 
  9. Roll tightly and place on a foil-lined baking sheet with the seam sides down. 
  10. Refrigerate in an air tight container, until ready to prepare and serve.
To serve:  Brush the taquitos lightly with vegetable oil, then bake them until the filling is heated through and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Cut each tortilla into 3 bite-sized pieces and insert a Mexican flag toothpick into each bite.

10-minute Guacamole

Last-minute prep:  10 minutes prior to party
Serves 6-8 guests

  • 3 avocados
  • 1 cup of fresh tomato, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Dice the avocado for a chunky-style dip, or add to food processor for smooth version. Juice the lime, and add to the mixing bowl or blender. 
  2. Blend until desired consistency. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Swizzle Tip: Prepare the avocado last, as it will start to brown immediately without the lime juice. Cilantro is optional and to taste.

How to Cut an Avocado:

Slice the avocado longways into halves, then twist and pull apart.  Remove the pit by embedding the knife blade into it and twisting to remove. Score the flesh into cubes inside of the skin without cutting through. Then scoop out the fruit with a spoon and place into bowl/blender. Serve with tortilla chips.

Shredded Pork Sopitas (Miniature Sopas)

Advance prep:  Day before party.
Last-minute prep:  Assemble ingredients & garnish.
More Difficult
Makes 48 Hors d'oeuvres


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder or your preference
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups masa harina ("masa mix") such as Maseca or Quaker
  • 1 cup warm water
  • Vegetable oil or butter for cooking
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped fine
  • 1/3 cup white onion, chopped fine
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & chopped fine
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish
Instructions for pork (up to 1 day before)
  1. Remove any skin and cut off from the bone.
  2. Cut into 2-inch pieces keeping the fat.
  3. Place in a large skillet and barely cover with water.
  4. Add salt and bay leaves.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates (about 1-1/2 hours).
  7. When the water evaporates the pork will begin to fry. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until pork is very tender (about 1 hour).
  8. Let cool, then cut off fat and shred meat.
  9. Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to serve.
Instructions for Sopas (up to 6 hours before)
  1. Combine the masa and warm water in a mixing bowl. Add more water, if needed, so dough holds together well.
  2. Form into a ball and cover.
  3. Heat a griddle or skillet and add butter or vegetable oil, as needed.
  4. Pinch off dough and make a ball about 1-inch in diameter.
  5. Flatten to a circle about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
  6. Using your fingers, push up the sides of the circle to form a "retaining" wall. The sopita should be about 1-inch in diameter or bite-sized.
  7. Make 5 or 6 and place flat side down on the griddle.
  8. Cook until golden with brown spots, about 1 minute.
  9. Flip and cook 1 more minute.
  10. Remove to drain and cool on paper towels.
  11. Repeat until all dough is used.
  12. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
Instructions for salsa (up to 4 hours before)
  1. Stir together ingredients.
  2. Adjust seasoning.
  3. To serve:
  4. Bring pork to room temperature or heat slightly.
  5. To reheat sopitas, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Place a tiny amount of butter in the center of each sopita.
  7. Bake on an ungreased baking sheet for about 5 minutes.
  8. Place a small amount of shredded pork in the center of each sopita.
  9. Top with salsa.
  10. Garnish with a cilantro leaf.
Source: This recipe was modified from Leslie Brenner's The Art Of The Cocktail Party (highly recommended).

Coconut Shrimp with Mango Sauce

Advance prep:  Sauce can be made the day before 
Last-minute prep:  Coat shrimp and bake 10-12 minutes
Makes 28 shrimp bites

  • 2 mangoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1lb fresh or frozen (unthaw before cooking) large peeled shrimp (26/30 ct)
  • Salt
  • 4-5 oz of unsweetened flaked coconut
  1. Finely shred 1 tablespoon of lime zest from the lime and set aside. 
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine chopped mango, juice from lime, garlic, honey, and cayenne pepper. Process until smooth.
  3. Pour about ¼ cup of the mango sauce onto a plate or shallow dish. 
  4. Pour remaining sauce into a bowl, top with lime zest, garnish with cilantro and set aside for dipping.
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
  6. Rinse shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel, and lightly sprinkle with salt. Place flaked coconut on a large plate or shallow dish next to the mango sauce you poured out earlier.
  7. Dip shrimp in the mango sauce and then press into the coconut on both sides until coated. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until coconut starts to turn a light golden brown.
  8. Stick Mexican Flag or Frilly Cellophane toothpicks in each shrimp to serve with ease.
  9. Garnish with cilantro or additional lime wedges and serve alongside mango sauce.
Swizzle Tip: Do not try to use the sweetened coconut from the baking aisle. It is not a replacement for coconut flake.

Melon Balls With Ham

Last-minute prep:  10 minutes prior to party
Makes 36 bites
  • 12 thin slices Serrano ham
  • 1 cantaloupe or honeydew melon, halved & seeded
  1. Depending on the width of the slices of ham, cut them into 2 - 3 slices lengthwise so that they are about 1-1/2 inches thick. 
  2. Using a melon baller, cut 24 balls from the melon flesh. 
  3. Wrap each ball in a piece of ham and secure the ends with a Mexican Flag toothpick.
Swizzle Tip: To get nice round melon balls, twist the melon baller 2-3 times before removing it.

Check out more Mexican Fiesta ideas, products, and recipes here.
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Cinco de Mayo
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