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36 Recipes for Mexican Christmas Food

Raise your horchata to a very Feliz Navidad with these 40 festive, spicy recipes for Mexican Christmas food.

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Tamales

This traditional Mexican dish may take time to prepare, but tamales are actually easy enough for most cooks. Our Test Kitchen teaches you how to make tamales, with step-by-step images to guide you.

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Conchas Seashells  Exps Rc20mz 253519 B08 26 1b 12

Conchas

Concha (Mexican sweet bread) is a breakfast or snack pastry found all over Mexico. It has a fluffy brioche-like dough with a crispy streusel topping, scored to resemble a shell. The pastry can come in a variety of colors and other shapes, but I prefer the plain and chocolate streusel. —Johnna Johnson, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Horchata

In this Horchata recipe, the mixture of ground rice and almonds is accented with a hint of lime. Depending on your preference, you can use more or less water for a thinner or creamier beverage. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

My extended family shares a meal every Sunday. The aunts and uncles take turns bringing everything from main dishes to desserts like this traditional Mexican cinnamon cookie called reganadas. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Easy Pork Posole

Looking for a meal in a bowl? Sit down to a Mexican classic full of cubed pork, sliced sausage, hominy and more. It all goes into the slow cooker, so you can come home at night to a table-ready dinner. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican Tea Cookies

Mexican tea cookies are a holiday favorite in our family. I updated the recipe by frosting them with a buttercream made with dulce de leche. They are tender, crumbly cookies that everyone enjoys. —David Ross, Spokane Valley, Washington
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Creamy Caramel Flan

A small slice of this impressively rich, creamy, caramel flan dessert goes a long way. What a delightful finish for a special meal or holiday celebration. —Pat Forete, Miami, Florida
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Mexican Hot Chocolate

This delicious, not-too-sweet Mexican hot chocolate is richly flavored with cocoa and delicately seasoned with spices. The whole-stick cinnamon stirrers come in handy, as the old-fashioned chocolate mixture settles if not stirred before drinking. The blend of cinnamon and chocolate flavors is wonderful! —Kathy Young, Weatherford, Texas
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Chicken Mole

If you’re not familiar with chicken mole (pronounced mo-LAY), don’t be afraid of this versatile Mexican sauce. I love sharing this chicken mole recipe because it’s a great one to experiment with. —Darlene Morris, Franklinton, Louisiana
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Cranberry-Jalapeno Martini

I describe this cocktail as slightly tart, a little sassy and completely delicious. I make a big batch when I'm hosting a party because it tends to disappear quickly. Garnish with fresh mint and cranberries for an extra-special touch. —Kelli Haetinger, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Sopaipillas

Light, crispy pastry puffs, sopaipillas are a sweet way to round out a spicy meal. They make a nice winter dessert served warm and topped with honey or sugar. —Mary Anne McWhirter, Pearland, Texas
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Ramona's Chilaquiles

A dear neighbor shared this recipe. She used to make it from scratch, but my version takes a few shortcuts. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Shortcut Tres Leches Cake

My mom's favorite cake is tres leches, a butter cake soaked in three kinds of milk. I developed a no-fuss version that’s rich and tender. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Pork Chile Verde

Pork slowly stews with jalapenos, onion, green enchilada sauce and spices in this flavor-packed Mexican dish. It's wonderful on its own or stuffed in a warm tortilla with sour cream, grated cheese or olives on the side. —Kimberly Burke, Chico, California
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Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin Flan

I love pumpkin and decided to add it to a traditional recipe for flan. It's an interesting change of pace from the usual holiday pie. —Alisha Rodrigues, Tetonia, Idaho
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Mini Chicken Empanadas

Refrigerated pie crust makes quick work of assembling these bite-sized appetizers loaded with chicken and cheese. I've made them several times since receiving the recipe from a friend. —Betty Fulks, Onia, Arkansas
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Land of Enchantment Posole

My family named this spicy soup after our state moniker, “New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.” We usually make it around Christmas when we have lots of family over…and we never have leftovers. —Suzanne Caldwell Artesia, New Mexico
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Slow Cooker Tamale Pie

Canned beans and cornbread muffin mix speed up the prep on this crowd-pleasing main dish that’s perfect for busy evenings and carry-in dinners. —Jill Pokrivka, York, Pennsylvania
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Homemade Churros

These fried cinnamon-sugar goodies are best when fresh and hot. Try them with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Don't be surprised if people start dunking...and then go back for more fritters.
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Slow-Cooked Beef Enchiladas

Enchiladas get a beefy boost of goodness from slow-cooked roast. When the meat is done, assemble with tortillas and bake. Top with lettuce and tomatoes if desired. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Lime-Chipotle Carnitas Tostadas

Here's a terrific recipe for your next weeknight dinner. Set out various toppings and garnishes so your family members can customize their own tostadas with the lime-kissed shredded pork. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Mexican Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

These chewy chocolate cookies get a cozy kick from cinnamon and nutmeg. Oh, and the touch of rum in the batter adds some serious fun factor, too. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Fiesta Tamales

I love tamales, but I don't like spending days making them, so I've come up with a simple and delicious tamale recipe. When you taste my flavorful tamales, you will be surprised how great they truly are!—Donna Wilkinson, Lakeside, California
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Baked Chicken Chalupas

I wanted an easy alternative to deep-fried chalupas, so I bake them with filling on top. —Magdalena Flores, Abilene, Texas
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Green Chile Ribs

I like my food with a spicy kick; my wife does not. These ribs with green chiles suit her taste. For more firepower, add cayenne or jalapenos. —Guy Newton, Nederland, Colorado
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Mole Poblano

You'll love this rich, thick mole sauce with it's authentic flavor. The result is well worth the prep. mdash; Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

I make this heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy often. It's a filling recipe of lightly spiced comfort. —Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina
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Fresh Lime Margaritas

This basic fresh margarita recipe is easy to modify to your tastes. Try it frozen or with strawberries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick Tacos al Pastor

We loved the pork and pineapple tacos from a food truck in Hawaii. My husband, a high school football referee, gives my version a thumb’s up. —Lori McLain, Denton, Texas
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Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California
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Baked Beans Mole

My son and husband love this hearty side dish that is quick and easy to prepare but yet so flavorful. Chocolate, chili and honey mingle to create a rich, savory flavor that's not too spicy and not too sweet. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Cinnamon-Sugar Sweet Potato Pastries

We always have leftover mashed sweet potatoes after our Thanksgiving feast. I take what’s left to make an indulgent filling for sweet potato empanadas. Convenient crescent roll dough makes this recipe easy as pie. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Mexican Wedding Cakes

As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister's wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas
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Mole New Mexican Wedding Cookies

Heat and sweet is such an amazing combination. I added chili powder and chocolate chips to give a new twist to traditional Mexican cookies. They melt in your mouth, and then the spice hits you. I just love them. — Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Sweet and simple, this arroz con leche recipe is real comfort food in any language. You’ll love the warm raisin and cinnamon flavors. It’s great served cold, too. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Baked Chicken Fajitas

I can't remember when or where I found this oven-baked fajitas recipe, but I've used it nearly every week since. We like it with hot sauce for added spice. —Amy Trinkle, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.
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