Staff Favorites: Cinco de Mayo Recipes


with Emily Bishop
Savory Spice Team
April 30, 2018
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Staff Favorites: Cinco de Mayo Recipes

Like any holiday, Cinco de Mayo is a great reason to get in the kitchen and try new spices and recipes. At Savory, we all enjoy delicious traditions and celebrations. We reached out to some Savory team members to find out how they celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Check out their favorite tasty ways to celebrate for some inspiration that you can bring to your own kitchen. (Pictured above: Michelada)

Deb Smith
Spice Merchant at our warehouse in Denver, CO

Portrait of Deb

Every year, Deb’s family gets together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and Deb’s sister Barbara’s birthday. At the celebration, everyone “brings a special dish and creates a different salsa to share.” With 14 siblings, Deb’s family celebration always has quite the spread! Growing up in New Mexico Deb learned how to cook from her mother, which is something that means a lot to her. One of the things she learned while growing up was how to make her own tortillas and sopapillas from scratch, which she still does. Since she started working at Savory, Deb has continued to celebrate her traditions, while adding Savory flavor and flare.

Recipe Recommendation

Colorado Green Chili: Deb says she “makes it at least two to three times a week.”

Spice Recommendations

Crushed Aleppo Chiles: Try in chili to add fruity heat.

Crushed Red Pepper: Deb uses this “for everything!” It’s a staple in her cooking.


Lisa Cameron
Spice Merchant at the Santa Rosa, CA shop

Portrait of Lisa

In Santa Rosa, there is an abundance of delicious food and celebrations for Cinco de Mayo. Lisa always celebrates at her favorite restaurant, La Rosa. Lisa goes there with friends “during happy hour for the best fish tacos ever and margaritas on the rocks with salt.” Lisa also celebrates by making chilis and salsas. She likes to “use a variety of whole chiles such as Smoked SerranoBrown Chipotle, and Pasilla Negros, boiling until soft." She then adds “Tomato PowderGround Star Anise, lime or lemon zest, and some fresh herbs into a blender with stock or water to make unique sauces.” Lisa loves the tradition of enjoying tasty food and good times for Cinco de Mayo and is looking forward to this year’s celebration.

Recipe Recommendation

Southwestern Street Corn: Lisa recommends this recipe because it is “so delicious and sweet, it is just amazing with our seasonings.” Lisa also
recommends getting local corn to make this recipe even better.

Spice Recommendations

Smoked Serrano Chiles: Lisa is a “huge fan of homemade chili and salsas.” This is her go-to chile for chili and salsa recipes.

Tomato Powder: This unique product adds rich umami flavor to Mexican cuisine. Read more about it on our blog post “The Best Secret Ingredient You’re Not Using Yet.”


Ariana Cuadra
Senior Marketing Associate at our home office in Denver, CO 

Portrait of Ariana

Ariana says that her “mom is really, really big about holidays” and is “always looking for a reason to celebrate.” Growing up half-Cuban, Ariana’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations have always had a Cuban flare. Every year, Ariana celebrates Cinco de Mayo with her mom and boyfriend, Mike. They enjoy drinking mojitos (and margaritas) and cooking a Cuban classic dish of shredded beef and flavorful sauce, Ropa Vieja (which means “old clothes”). With delicious drinks and food, Cinco de Mayo is one of Ariana’s favorite holidays.

Recipe Recommendation

BBQ Style Street Corn: Ariana brings a twist to this recipe by adding Smoked Spanish Sweet Paprika and Mexican Style Adobo. She also adds a tablespoon of Onion & Garlic Tableside Sprinkle into the mayo.

Spice Recommendations

Cuban Island Spice: Ariana recently started adding this to her Ropa Vieja. Yum!

Cilantro: A jar of dried cilantro is a handy way to garnish any Mexican or Cuban dish.


Natasha Blackwood
Spice Merchant at the Charlotte, NC shop

Portrait of Natasha

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Natasha and her family “always go out to local Mexican restaurants” because they “like to support local businesses.” Natasha, who eats a vegan diet, also enjoys spending time in the kitchen and like “to take recipes and turn them into plant-based masterpieces.” She plans to do just that with some Mexican dishes this year to celebrate.

Recipe Recommendation

Chicken Avocado Tortilla Soup: This is Natasha’s “all-time favorite and you can never go wrong with Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning.”

Spice Recommendations

Ground Cumin Seeds: Natasha loves this spice that is commonly found in Mexican cuisine.

Black Canyon Chili Powder: As a “spicy spice girl,” Natasha thinks this is a great blend.


Dan Baker
Test Kitchen Chef at our home office in Denver, CO

Portrait of Dan

While growing up, cooking Mexican cuisine always went back to spending time with family. Now Dan carries on that tradition, especially on Cinco de Mayo. Dan loves to make street tacos on his flat top grill every year. “It’s perfect because you can warm tortillas on the grill while doing so.” This year, he plans to make pollo asado street tacos while spending time with his lovely wife and daughter.

Recipe Recommendation

Erin’s Quick and Easy Guacamolé: Dan plans to make this with his street tacos, because it will “go fantastic with this meal.”

Spice Recommendations

Ancho Chile Powder: This is a signature ingredient for Dan when he’s creating his own spice blends at home.

Onion & Garlic Tableside Sprinkle: This blend is “perfect for making an easy red sauce.”


Shannon O’Hara
Manager of the Denver Platte St., CO shop

Portrait of Shannon

Shannon loves Mexican food, and living in Denver, she is surrounded by the cuisine. She’s also quite the chef, so working at Savory gives her many tasty ingredients to play with. This Cinco de Mayo, Shannon plans to spend time with friends and a favorite recipe that she “grew up eating all the time” - Mexican Chicken Casserole. Shannon got this simple recipe of chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cheese, and green chiles layered with tortillas from her mom and dad, but she’s added her own spin on it with spices over the years (see her additions below!).

Recipe Recommendation

Green Chile Mac & Cheese: Shannon says: “this is definitely my style,” and everyone knows Shannon has excellent style.

Spice Recommendations

Peruvian Chile Lime Seasoning: Perfect for any Mexican cuisine, such as guacamole or tamales - and that Mexican Chicken Casserole.

Whiskey Barrel Smoked Black Pepper: Shannon also now adds this to her Mexican Chicken Casserole for a smoky twist.


What Mexican spices or recipes do you love? Tell us in the comments below!

Comments on this Article

(guest), on May 01, 2018

Magical Margaritas & Guacamole with the MAKRUT LIME SEA SALT ;-P ~OLE' !

(guest), on May 12, 2018

(guest), on May 14, 2018

Hi Savory Spice! Speaking of Mexican flavors--- a long time ago I purchased some dried and hickory smoked jalapeño chiles, aka chipotles, at a farmer's market. Adding only one to a stew, soup or sauce gave the dish a wonderful and unique flavor. I think smoking jalapenos in either mesquite or apple wood would be delicious. I hope you find a source for these as I think they'd be a popular addition to your store. Thanks, Mary S.

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