Recipe: 4 Mexican Dishes for a Vegan Cinco de Mayo

This holiday takes place annually to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on 5th May, 1862. The victory was so important because it symbolised Mexico’s ability to defeat France’s best-equipped army. This holiday has morphed into the much-loved American celebration of Mexican heritage, known as Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo is traditionally celebrated with brightly coloured decorations, Mexican food and music. The festivities stretch all around the world, from Canada to the Caribbean, Australia to Japan and everywhere in-between. Puebla in Mexico is the original hub for the festivities, since the battle took place there.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Puebla has always been considered Mexico’s culinary capital. This holiday certainly wouldn’t be the same without food to share with friends & family. The best part? Mexican food is great for sharing! Traditional dishes from Puebla include Mole Poblano, Chiles en Nogada, Chalupas, Cemitas and more. There’s no right or wrong way to celebrate the day, so we decided to cook up a feast with a few classics thrown in.

Our ultimate vegan Mexican feast consists of four dishes. A simple Mexican salad, with a lime-based dressing, enchiladas, plus guacamole to be enjoyed with tortilla chips. Last but not least, we veganised a recipe for Mole Poblano – a classic Pueblan dish.

Chef to impress, or throw a cooking party to make the food prep itself into a fiesta! I recommend prepping the salad first to set to one side. Then I recommend pressing the tofu and leaving half of it to soak up the Mexican marinade, while you knock up the guacamole. Make the enchilada sauce, then the filling before assembling & then you can cook the enchiladas and the marinated tofu for the mole poblano in the oven together. The mole poblano sauce is best prepared last.


For the Mexican Salad-

  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large beef tomato
  • 1 large mango
  • A handful of coriander
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 100g rice
  • 1/2 a 380g carton of black beans (170g)
  • 130g sweetcorn

For the salad dressing-

  • Jarred jalapenos
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsps agave syrup
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • Salt

For the Guacamole – 

  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • 1/2 of 1 beef tomato
  • A handful of coriander
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chilli flakes to taste

For the Enchiladas – 

  • 396g of tofu (Cauldron)
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Jarred jalapenos
  • 380g carton of black beans
  • 150g of spinach
  • 3 tbsps of nutritional yeast
  • Tortilla wraps
  • Lime & coriander to garnish

For the Enchilada Sauce – 

  • 30g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 3 tsps of cumin
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tbsps tomato puree
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

For the Mole Poblano – 

  • 396g of tofu (Cauldron)
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsps of chipotle powder
  • 2 tsps of cumin
  • 2 tsps of agave syrup

For the mole sauce –

  • 25g dried ancho chillies
  • 1 tbsp of sesame seeds + extra for garnish
  • 140g of almonds, raisins & cherries mix
  • 3 white onions
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 sticks of vegan chocolate (I used Willie’s Cacao Chocolate Stock)


For the salad & dressing –

  1. Chop up a generous handful of coriander & set it to one side. Cook 100g of rice, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of cumin. Add the coriander for the last few minutes of cooking.
  2. While the rice is cooking, chop up one red bell pepper, one large beef tomato and one mango. Add everything to the salad bowl.
  3. Drain the sweetcorn and black beans and add these to the salad bowl before mixing everything together.
  4. When the rice has cooled, gently stir it into the salad mix.
  5. Start to prep the dressing by finely chopping a small handful of pre-sliced jalapenos. There’s no rules here, simply go by how much heat you want to add.
  6. In a jug, mix the juice of two limes, two tablespoons of agave syrup, two tablespoons of olive oil, and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add some salt to taste and the chopped jalapenos. Give your salad dressing a mix and it’s ready to go.

For the guacamole –

  1. Scoop and mash up two avocados. Finely chop and add a quarter of a red onion, feel free to add more if you like your guacamole to be more onion-y.
  2. Juice one lime, and gently mix the juice into the avocado and red onion.
  3. Finely chop half of one beef tomato & a handful of coriander and add these to the mix. Everything needs to be finely chopped to ensure the flavours are well distributed.
  4. Season with chilli flakes, salt & pepper. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

For the enchilada sauce –

  1. Start by combining all the dry ingredients in a bowl. You’ll need 30g of plain flour, 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, three teaspoons of cumin, one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of cinnamon.
  2. Heat a glug of oil in a saucepan, until you can feel the heat rising when you place your hand above the pan. Gently pour the dry mix into the saucepan. Whisk consistently to prevent it sticking, until you can smell the ingredients.
  3. Add two tablespoons of tomato puree and whisk into the mixture. Slowly add the vegetable stock. You may not need the full 500ml, so stir in gradually to make sure you’re creating a wet but thick sauce. Continue stirring for 5-10 minutes, whilst the sauce simmers for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve left your sauce to simmer and have removed from the heat, stir in one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and place your sauce to one side while you prep the enchiladas.

For the enchiladas –

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and start by preparing the enchilada filling. It’s advisable to have pressed the tofu for at least an hour before getting started, as it removes much of the moisture.
  2. Shred the tofu with your hands, and season it with half a teaspoon of turmeric, half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, plus salt & pepper to taste. Mix it all together.
  3. Chop one white onion, one red bell pepper and a handful of ready-prepped jalapenos. Again, add as little or as many jalapenos as you like.
  4. Heat a glug of oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapenos. Cook until the ingredients are wilted and fragrant.
  5. Add the shredded & seasoned tofu to the saucepan and cook until the tofu has absorbed the seasoning.
  6. Reduce the heat to prevent the mix from overcooking, as it still has to go in the oven. Add the drained 380g carton of black beans, 150g of spinach and three tablespoons of nutritional yeast. Gently heat to combine.
  7. Use a deep rectangular dish, a lasagne dish might work well. Start by spreading a thin layer of the enchilada sauce along the bottom. This will prevent your wraps from sticking.
  8. You want to cram the whole dish with as many enchilada wraps as possible. Placce a wrap in your hand or on a plate, and spread the tofu mixture across the middle of the wrap. Tightly fold the tops and sides of the wrap inwards, but place the seam (the folded side) of the wrap, face down in the dish. This means the wraps cannot fall open while cooking. Repeat this process until your dish is full of wraps.
  9. Spread the rest of the enchilada sauce along the middle of the wraps. Allow it to drizzle down to the sides for more flavour around your wraps.
  10. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Garnish with lime and chopped coriander. I also love a bit of sliced avocado on top too.

For the mole poblano –

  1. Once again, for best results I recommend pressing your tofu for at least one hour to remove some moisture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180c. Start by slightly carving the edges off your tofu block – this just makes it look less like a block and a little more like a meat substitute.
  3. Prepare the tofu rub by combining half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, two teaspoons of chipotle powder, two teaspoons of cumin and two teaspoons of agave syrup. Mix the ingredients together, using a splash of water here and there until you’ve created a paste.
  4. Use your hands to spread the paste across the tofu block. Leave it to marinade while you prep the sauce.
  5. Boil the kettle and gently toast the dried ancho chilies in a frying pan for 30 seconds to soften them. Decant the chilies onto a bowl and steep them in boiling water for 20 minutes.
  6. Wrap the marinated tofu in foil and cook in the oven for half an hour.
  7. Pop one tablespoon of sesame seeds into the frying pan and gently toast them until they’re golden. Be sure to take them off the heat as soon as they’ve toasted. Chop three white onions.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, place the 140g of almonds, raisins & cherries mix. Add the sesame seeds, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of oregano, the chopped onions and half (350ml) of the vegetable stock.
  9. Drain the chilies, remove the stems & seeds before roughly chopping into small pieces & adding to the mixing bowl. Use a hand blender or a food processor and blend everything together until smooth.
  10. Remove the tofu from the oven and place in a deep dish. Put to one side.
  11. Heat a glug of olive oil into the frying pan, before adding the mole paste you’ve created. Stir the paste until most of the liquid has been cooked off, and then gradually add the rest of the vegetable stock to thicken into a sauce.
  12. Add one teaspoon of sugar and some salt to taste. Finally, melt in some chopped vegan chocolate. I used two pieces of Willie’s Cacao vegan chocolate stock. If you’re using regular vegan chocolate, I recommend using two sticks for the right amount of sweetness.
  13. Once your sauce has reached a similar consistency to the enchilada sauce (running but thick), pour over the tofu. Season with sesame seeds, a few sprigs of coriander and serve!

There are a lot of parts to making this spread, but it’s well worth the trouble. The beauty of Mexican cuisine is that so many dishes have overlapping ingredients, which can help make the cooking process simpler. Remember to try prepping and setting aside the simpler dishes first, and you’ll have whipped up a Mexican feast before you know it.


Sam xx

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