Christmas in Mexico is a time for family, tradition, and eating! There are many Mexican Christmas traditions, but one of the most important is the meal itself. This can change from family to family, depending on the region of Mexico you are in. In northern Mexico it’s more common to see turkey being served, but in the southern and central states a dish of salt cod is served as the main course. However, a couple of things remain consistent in all Mexican households, like tamales, pozole, and ponche.
Over the years I’ve perfected the vegan version of some of my favorite dishes, and I’d like to share some of my best vegan Mexican Christmas menu ideas with you. Enjoy!
This hot spiced punch is traditionally served without alcohol. A combination of cinnamon, guava, tejocotes, tamarind, raisins, oranges, sugar cane, piloncillo, prunes, pears, and raisins makes a heartwarming drink at family gatherings.
This is a pre-Columbian drink made with ground cacao beans, water, piloncillo, and is thickened with ground corn masa. It was drank by the Aztecs and the Mayans, and it is still drank today for breakfast, during el Día de los Muertos, and Christmas. It pairs perfectly with tamales!
Also a pre-Columbian dish, tamales are pockets of masa filled with stews, vegetables, or fruits. They are most commonly wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf, and then steamed. Tamales were, and still are, used as a portable food. In pre-Columbian times, they were taken on long trips for sustenance, and today they are eaten around the holidays and cold winter months, usually accompanied by an atole.
Noche Buena Salad
This recipe for Noche Buena salad (Christmas Eve Salad) is a classic Christmas dish. It is thought that this recipe (or variations of it) have been around since the 1830s. One thing is for sure – it brings a little bit of health into an otherwise indulgent season! Crispy romaine lettuce is topped with roasted beets, jicama, orange segments, apples, pomegranate, and peanuts, then drizzled with an orange vinaigrette.
Bacalao a la Vizcaina
A Mexican adaptation of a Spanish dish of stewed salt-cod. This vegan version uses jackfruit, but you can also use hearts of palm and artichoke hearts. The stew includes potatoes, tomatoes, capers, red bell peppers, and olives. It is served with crusty bread on Christmas Eve in some central and southern states.
Pozole is a hominy based soup served as a celebratory dish throughout Mexico. There are white, red, and green varieties, depending on the chile sauce used to season the soup. It is usually made with pork, but this vegan version is made with jackfruit or mushrooms. The toppings vary from state to state, but the most common ones are radish, lime juice, onion, cabbage, or lettuce.
Buñuelos are sweet and crunchy orange scented fritters served on Christmas Eve. They are two types: buñuelos de viento, and buñuelos de rodilla. Buñuelos de viento are formed into shapes and dusted with powdered or cinnamon sugar, while buñuelos de rodilla are rolled out like a tortilla then fried and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Both are equally delicious!
Have fun incorporating these vegan Mexican dishes into your Christmas recipe menu. Happy holidays!