What Does Mexico Eat for Christmas? A Guide to Traditional Holiday Foods

What does Mexico eat for Christmas

Like almost every corner of the world, Christmas in Mexico is a magical moment for millions of families, but do you know What does Mexico eat for Christmas? In this article we will tell you in detail.

Christmas in Mexico is full of traditions and among the most outstanding is the gastronomic one, for that reason many people wonder What does Mexico eat for Christmas? That is why here we will talk about Mexican Christmas traditions and What does Mexico eat for Christmas ?

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Learn all about What does Mexico eat for Christmas?

Mexico is internationally known for its gastronomy and at Christmas time it does not fail to stand out because its traditional dishes are delicious and each region offers dishes that vary according to the customs of the area. That is why we will tell you What does Mexico eat for Christmas ?

If you are wondering What does Mexico eat for Christmas ? the first thing you should know is what are the Christmas traditions like in Mexico? This season is special for millions of Mexican families who get together to have fun, where lights, flavors and sounds stand out and show the importance of the cultural heritage for Mexicans.

It is also worth mentioning that the Christmas season starts on December 16 with the posadas, so you have the opportunity to enjoy your Christmas meals from that date on. In the posadas, besides living unforgettable experiences with good music, colorful atmosphere and gastronomy, a colorful piñata with seven peaks filled with fruits and sweets is usually broken.

Christmas Eve is considered the heart of Christmas celebrations, therefore, besides waiting for the birth of Jesus, Mexicans enjoy exquisite dishes full of culinary variety that changes depending on the region.

So what does Mexico eat for Christmas? The truth is that due to the great variety of Mexican culinary heritage, the typical Mexican food varies according to the region, while in the center Mexicans usually eat cod, romeritos and turkey, in the north of the country the most important are the tamales in corn husks and the south stands out for the traditional cochinita pibil.

What does Mexico eat for Christmas

Traditional Christmas dinner : What does Mexico eat for Christmas?

The culinary richness that Mexico offers is reflected in its variety of Christmas dishes that represent the identity of each of its regions. Therefore, if you want to know What does Mexico eat for Christmas? You should keep in mind that Christmas dishes always vary according to the region where you are, for example, cod is the main option in some houses in Mexico, turkey in all its preparations, pork leg and loin, romeritos with shrimp pancakes, fish and seafood that are common in the coastal area of Mexico, punch, the variety of tamales and atoles, fruit salad, soups and stews, and menudo are dishes made in different parts of the territory.

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On the other hand, Mexican gastronomy has great importance in the territory, where its main protagonists are traditional grilled meats, vegetables intertwined with salty or sweet ingredients, steamed tamales, bubbling pots and pozole soup. There are also delicious desserts, such as fritters, pineapple turnovers, hot chocolate with cinnamon and drinks such as Christmas punch.

All the foods that are part of the Christmas meal are of great importance and provide the essence of every Mexican citizen. That is precisely why we will tell you in detail What does Mexico eat for Christmas?

Typical Christmas dishes in Mexico

When the Christmas season arrives, it brings with it a great variety of Christmas meals and family traditions whose main objective is to promote family togetherness regardless of race, color or status. Each of Mexico’s regions has an essence that characterizes them, so their dishes and customs are not usually the same, here we will talk about What does Mexico eat for Christmas in each region of the country:

The Christmas turkey

The traditional roasted stuffed turkey is one of the favorite dishes of many Mexicans and over the years they have created other variations such as the grilled stuffed turkey (quite similar to the roasted one) and stuffed breasts.

This type of meat is seasoned with spices such as achiote and cumin, it has ground pork and some people make it sweet and sour, they add almonds, prunes, apples, pine nuts, walnuts, orange juice, white wine and varnished with butter.

What does Mexico eat for Christmas


The first thing to keep in mind is that tamales cannot be missing in any Christmas dinner in Mexico, where they are a very popular dish, however, they vary by region and there are approximately 500 varieties of tamales.

For example, in the north of the country tamales are thinner and smaller, while in the south they are larger and heavier, in states like Oaxaca they are wrapped in banana leaves and their dough is thinner, but has layers.

There is also the traditional green or red sauce tamale, which are the most popular in Mexico City, and are prepared with corn dough, stuffed with pork or chicken and green tomato sauce with green chile or red chile guajillo tomato sauce. The stone tamale, which is eaten in the central valleys and has a thin layer of corn with bean broth and is wrapped in avocado leaf.

The tamal norteño, which stands out for its size (small), is filled with shredded meat or grilled cheese and seasoned with dried chiles. Another of the most outstanding is the tamal ranchero, which is made with the traditional corn dough and is filled with pork or chicken seasoned with chile morita.

Codfish and romeritos

This dish is quite popular in central and southern Mexico and has its origin in New Spain, which is a mixture of fish with vizcaína sauce, which little by little was added more ingredients characteristic of Mexico as the sauce with tomato ball, garlic, onion, parsley, capers, olives and chiles güeros tanned.

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In addition to this dish, there are the romeritos, which are used to flavor dishes, usually added to stews and served with cod, mole and potatoes.

Russian salad

One of the most popular side dishes in Mexican food, especially in the north of the country, is the Russian salad.

This salad has potatoes and vegetables with a mayonnaise dressing and is usually an excellent side dish for Christmas parties. It has potatoes, carrots, peas, Mexican cream, mayonnaise, teaspoon salt, celery stalks and chives.

Christmas Eve Salad

It is another delicacy that stands out in Mexico and is characterized by fruits such as oranges, apples, bananas and limes. It also contains beets, jicama, Castilla cane, lettuce, sugar, vinegar, salt and peanuts.

To prepare the Christmas Eve salad, clean the beets and cook them with water, then slice them and leave them in the water where they were cooked and add the lettuce. On the other hand, you must cut the oranges and limes into cubes, peel the jicama and bananas and then chop them into cubes, peel the sugar cane cut it into strips and mix all the ingredients, add salt, sugar and vinegar and finally add the peanuts.


This soup or stew is quite popular in the Mexican celebratory seasons and that is why at Christmas time it is served in the morning hours in many Mexican tables. This dish contains tripe (spicy beef tripe), corn kernels and a variety of seasonings.

In the north of the country (where menudo is believed to come from) a clear broth is served, so it is known as menudo blando, while in the center and south of the Mexican territory it is served with red and dry chiles.

Its cultural importance is directly related to the mixture of cultures that characterizes the country and it is believed that menudo originated during the Spanish conquest, a time when many pre-Columbian dishes were mixed with traditional Spanish food.

Christmas Desserts / Volteado de Piña (Pineapple Turnip)

One of the most popular Christmas desserts is the volteado de piña, this dessert is traditional during the Christmas season mainly in Sonora, where it is considered the typical dessert. Its roots come from ancient culinary techniques.

It is called volteado de piña, because at the end of its elaboration the cake is turned over a plate. This dessert has the following ingredients:

  • can (20 oz) pineapple slices in juice
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Maraschino cherries, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Nowadays this cake is made in the oven, but some years ago it was made with cast iron pans, so the fruits and sugar were caramelized to decorate the cake.

Other popular Christmas desserts are churros and buñuelos. On the one hand, churros in Mexico stand out for having a soft texture and are covered with sugar and cinnamon, churros are filled or spread with dulce de leche, cajeta or chocolate, while buñuelos are a fried tortilla with sugar sprinkled on top. During the Christmas season, Mexicans also eat dried fruit pies and soufflés.

Drinks / Christmas Punch

If you want to know What does Mexico eat for Christmas? The drink is also important and the most outstanding is the Christmas punch, which is made with sugar cane, cinnamon, prunes, guava, hibiscus flowers, apple, piloncillo, pineapple, tejocote and tamarind. It is prepared by simmering its fruits with piloncillo and is served warm on Christmas Eve, and there is also an adult version with tequila or rum.

At Christmas time they also serve pozol, which is made with cocoa, sangria, which is one of the favorites because it is made with cut fruits, clericot and guava atole, which is very typical in Zacatecas.

You already know What does Mexico eat for Christmas? Now tell us, do you feel like celebrating your Christmas with a table full of typical Mexican Christmas dishes?

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