Cinco de Mayo is on a Tuesday this year, which means you’re already considering a fun potluck (right?) with Cinco de Mayo finger foods, maybe some Mexican appetizer dip, to share among your family and friends. Everyone’s bringing something—maybe you’re the host or maybe you’re the visitor, but remember, it’s okay to take it easy! What does everyone love to eat, but doesn’t take too long to make? Dip and chips!
Entertaining for Cinco de Mayo should be easy-breezy. We have three popular and tasty dips so simple and easy to make, you won’t believe it. Make just one of these festive Cinco de mayo recipes or all three, but these are people-pleasers for sure: Queso, Salsa, and Guac! Olé!
- 1 1/2 c Monterey jack cheese, freshly shredded
- 4 oz can of green chiles, well drained
- 1/4 c Cacique Crema Mexicana or half-and-half
- 2 T onion, finely chopped
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1/2 t salt
- ½ fresh jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (This is still a mild queso, but you can leave it out if desired.)
- Optional: 2 T of Cacique queso fresco as garnish
- Optional: 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro as garnish
Choose your cooker:
- Double-boiler — Add all the ingredients into the top of a cold double-boiler. Turn heat to medium-low and heat through for 15-20 minutes, stirring often, until fully melted and well blended.
- Microwave – Into a microwave-safe bowl, add all ingredients at once. Nuke for 1 minute, stir. Nuke for another minute, stir. Keep stirring until smooth and combined. Avoid overheating.
- Slow-cooker – Add all ingredients into a cold crock. Turn on medium-low and heat for two hours, stirring occasionally, until fully melted and combined. If keeping the dip in the slow-cooker, turn heat to Keep Warm or Low, and stir occasionally.
- Stovetop (pictured) – Add all ingredients into a cold saucepan. Turn heat to medium-low. Stir often, making sure nothing is sticking to the pan. Fully melted and combined queso should take about 15-20 minutes at medium-low on the stove.
Spoon out queso dip into a serving bowl and top with chopped cilantro and queso fresco (I highly recommend this one-two punch of added flavor). Have plenty of tortilla chips on hand!
Serve hot and reheat occasionally as needed, if it sticks around long enough!
In queso emergency: When combining cheese with a liquid, it can seize up, just like chocolate. Bring these items to temperature at the same time so that you don’t “shock” the cheese. If it’s too thick and you need to add more liquid, don’t add it directly to the hot cheese mixture. Spoon out some of the hot cheese into a separate bowl and let sit for one minute. To this bowl add desired amount of liquid a tablespoon or so at a time while stirring. Then stream this into the main pot while whisking briskly.
Makes two cups.
Not a single thing is cooked or heated in this delicious salsa. It’s a powerhouse of tomato, garlic, and onion flavor, and it’s amazing immediately AND the next day (if it lasts that long). You can eat it chilled or room temperature and still be happy as the day is long. It’s as simple as getting all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender, whirrrr, then pour it out into a nice dish and VY-OH-LAY, salsa for dipping your favorite chips. This recipe is MILD, so add the pepper of your choice to get some heat. (Just remember it may get hotter the longer it sits.)
- 5 Roma tomatoes
- ¼ c. red onion, diced
- ⅛ c. red onion, sliced or chunks (will mix in later)
- ½ bunch of fresh cilantro, loosely chopped or scissored
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 heavy dashes of salt
- 3 t. lime juice
- Cut tomato stems off.
- Add all ingredients except diced onion into food processor or mixer.
- Puree until smooth.
- Pour into a serving bowl and stir in diced onion.
- Add additional salt to taste.
You may need to scrape down the sides of your blender or food processor in the middle to make sure all the ingredients get incorporated. Cilantro in particular has a tendency to stick to the sides.
Makes two cups.
Last but not least, guacamole. There is no American Mexican celebration complete without this fresh, creamy, flavorful green dip packed with diced tomato and onion. It goes great on tacos, with eggs, and especially on hearty tortilla chips. Fairly low carb on its own, dab a guilt-free spoonful of guac to go with your party fajita meat. Ah, can you taste it now?? Hnnnhhn.
Enough talk! Let’s look at how to turn these plump, emerald beauties into Renee’s favorite mild GUACAMOLE.
- 3 large, RIPE avocados
- 1/4 c. diced red (or purple) onion with skin removed
- 1 roma tomato, diced small (about 1/3 c)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped or scissored
- 3 T. lime juice
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. minced garlic
- 1 heavy dash cumin
- Dash cayenne pepper to taste
- Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit.
- Spoon avocado flesh into a medium-size bowl.
- Mash with a fork until they are a chunky mush (but not smooth like hummus).
- Stir in spices, cilantro, and lime juice. Taste-test: We always seem to need more salt at this stage, and occasionally a bit more lime, depending on the size of the avos.
- Add red onion and chopped tomato.
- Stir and serve in a festive bowl.
Makes two cups.
Make one or the whole trio, and your party is going on a great dip trip for Cinco de Mayo! Let us know if you've tried one or all and anything you changed to make it your own!