Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a two-day festival characterized by traditional costumes, parades, food, music and dance. The holiday originated from Mesoamerican roots and later came to incorporate European religion and Spanish culture. Celebrated throughout the Latino community with strong ties to Mexican culture, Dia de los Muertos is a time where families celebrate their deceased relatives and honor their memories.
According to tradition, it is believed that from October 31 – November 2, the border between the spirit world and the real world dissolves allowing the souls of the dead to awaken and return to the living world to feast, drink, dance and play music with their loved ones. Family members treat the deceased as honored guests, leaving offerings such as food at gravesites or on ofrendas in the family’s home.
The holiday is often known for its colorful displays and iconic symbols, such as the calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls).
With food at the center of this holiday, today we are sharing a few Dia de los Muertos recipes. Share these traditional recipes with friends and family this Dia de los Muertos.
Calabaza en Tacha (Candied Pumpkin)
This candied pumpkin recipe brings all the sweet and spicy flavors of autumn we love. Latina food blogger Yvette of @muybuenocooking writes: “If you’re a fan of sweet potato casserole, you’re going to love this classic Mexican dish of candied pumpkin. Creamy sweet pumpkin is cooked with warming spices, covered in a brown sugar syrup, then drizzled with sweetened condensed milk. Give this Calabaza en Tacha recipe a try next time you’re craving a sweet side!”
Blood Orange Marigold Margarita
This blood orange marigold margarita is tart, vibrant, and flavorful. Dia de los Muertos is a holiday known for it’s colorful, vibrant spirit and this drink perfectly captures that. Yvette writes, “Tart blood orange juice makes a brilliantly colored cocktail and not to mention very uplifting. For a touch of Dia de los Muertos spirit, spike with marigold infused tequila for an additional layer of flavor.“
Pumpkin Spice Tamales
A unique seasonal twist on the traditional tamale, these pumpkin spice tamales combine autumnal flavors for a perfect holiday treat. Yvette describes them as, “If a classic American pumpkin pie and Mexican tamales had a baby. These Pumpkin Spice Tamales are great to serve as dessert or breakfast with a hot cup of coffee. They taste very similar to pumpkin bread with chopped pecans — sweet, but not overly sweet.”
Pan de Muerto
A Dia de los Muertos staple, Pan de Muerto is a classic recipe of the holiday. “A Dia de los Muertos fiesta is not complete without the sweet, buttery bread, pan de muerto (bread of the dead). This traditional round loaf of bread has strips of dough rolled out and attached on top to resemble bones. This bread is traditionally eaten and left on gravesites or on altars as part of the festivities,” Yvette writes.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Rich and creamy, this Mexican hot chocolate is a drink you definitely want to try. “This easy Mexican Hot Chocolate will warm you up from the inside out. Made with canela (cinnamon sticks) steeped in water to infuse flavor, warmly spiced Mexican chocolate, and the milk of your choice, this cozy beverage is the perfect pick for sweater season,” says Yvette.
Want more Mexican recipes? Check out: The Mexican Home Kitchen: Traditional Home-Style Recipes That Capture the Flavors and Memories of Mexico
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