Choosing Healthier Food Options

5 Mexican Special Occasion Dishes You Need To Know About

There's a lot more to Mexican food than tacos and tortillas. Mexico has a rich culinary tradition dating back to prehistoric times -- in fact, Mexican cuisine has been designated as a cultural treasure by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Try any one of the following four special occasion dishes and you'll understand why this designation has been well-earned.  


Pozole is a richly spiced stew that's simmered low and slow for hours in order to allow the flavors to mellow and meld until they've reached just the right level of deliciousness. It's main ingredients are chorizo, pork, and hominy. Other ingredients often depend on the preferences of the chef but often include garlic, tomatoes, tomatillas, hot chiles, and onions. Oregano and bay leaves are the major spices used in the creation of this dish.

Sweet Potato Tamales

Tamales are traditionally made with a wide variety of ingredients, including various combinations of meats, cheeses, and vegetables, but winter holiday tables frequently feature sweet potato tamales after the sweet potatoes ripen in late fall. This are so rich they can be served as a dessert, but they're usually served as a side dish at special occasion dinners.

Dulce de Leche Layer Cake

This cake is the ultimate in south-of-the-border desserts and is sure to have an honored place on any celebratory table. As its name implies, it's a layer cake. The Dulce de Leche is made from heating condensed milk until it's transformed into a creamy caramel. It's then blended with flour, eggs, vanilla, and butter to create a moist, light cake. Some chefs add hazelnut liqueur to the mix. Dulce de Leche cake is traditionally frosted with an airy, super-sweet meringue. 

Chiles en Nogada 

Often served on patriotic holidays, Chiles en Nogada features the three colors of Mexico's flag. The mixture of chiles, meat, and fruit represent the green, the pomegranate seeds represent the red, and cream sauce represents the white.

Sopa Azteca 

Sopa Azteca has its roots in prehistoric times. The precise origin remains unknown, but most historians agree that it came from somewhere in the Tlaxcala state. It's a tomato based soup with chili peppers, avocados, crunchy pieces of fried tortillas, cream, and cheese. This dish provides a strong glimpse into the foods of ancient civilization and is often served as a first course of formal dinners.

To learn more about traditional Mexican cuisine, visit your local Mexican restaurant like El Molinito Restaurant & Catering and ask them what's on their special occasion menu.