Mexican-Themed Buffet Ideas for a Special Event

Mexican cuisine encompasses a wide range of foods, from full-flavored cheese dishes to healthy, low-fat dips, so it makes a good buffet theme for special events. You'll be able to please most of your guests by including a sampling of everything that they can pick and choose from throughout the celebration.  

Mexican appetizers, such as dips and other finger foods, are traditional party foods, so they'll be convenient for your attendees to eat and enjoy while mixing and mingling. You'll also be able to provide a combination of vegan, vegetarian, and traditional dishes to accommodate everyone on your guest list.

Mexican-themed buffets are ideal for almost every type of special event, including wedding receptions, bridal and baby showers, family and co-worker holiday parties, anniversary and birthday celebrations, and even romantic soirees. 

Here are some crowd-pleasing foods to consider serving on your Mexican buffet:


Many people will expect to see a few dips on a Mexican-themed buffet, so serve at least two different kinds. You can't go wrong with a smooth and creamy guacamole dip, prepared minutes prior to serving to ensure freshness. To accommodate everyone, make it mild and provide hot peppers on the side.

To complement the classic avocado dip, serve a selection of mild, medium, and hot salsas. You can either make them yourself using fresh or canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and whatever seasonings you'd like in your food processor, or buy them pre-made. Save time without sacrificing a homemade taste by purchasing the salsas in your grocery store's deli section.

As another option, consider serving a high-flavor, low-fat bean dip either with or without cheese. Place bowls of tortilla chips around the appetizer section of the buffet table for dipping. 

Main Courses 

If you're hosting an outdoor event, you can fire up the grill and treat your guests to Mexican-style skewers filled with fresh ingredients. You can marinate shrimp, scallops, or even tofu in a spicy chipotle lime sauce prior to grilling to create a robust flavor. Layer the protein onto skewer, alternating the pieces with green peppers and red onions, to create an easy-to-eat fajita-style meal. Serve with warm flour tortillas and sour cream.

If you prefer to make the food ahead of time and serve it family-style, make several batches of cheesy enchiladas in foil or aluminum chafing dishes and keep them warm over fires. Prepare a mix of vegetarian and chicken or beef enchiladas to please the crowd.


Mexican-inspired desserts that are ideal for serving buffet-style include individual cups of flan, cinnamon and sugar churros, and fresh fruit, such as mango and pineapple, served in cups. You can include lime wedges and chili powder so that guests can season the fruit in the traditional Mexican way if they desire.

For more ideas on Mexican fare to serve at your event, why not try here and other local restaurants?