Mexican Christmas Dinner, Much More Than Turkey, Stuffing and Gravy!

Mexican Christmas dinner might be an exciting experience for newcomers to this country, or a celebration full of memories for those seasoned retirees enjoying the holidays south of the border.

Retiring to Mexico goes beyond learning  a new language, or sorting out immigration and health insurance. Living in Mexico also pushes retirees to adapt old traditions and add new ones; mixing ingredients, languages, people and creating memories in your new home.

There are almost a million foreigners living in Mexico, there is a bigger offer of North-American products in the Mexican supermarkets. However, if you are planning to have a traditional Christmas dinner there might be a limited variety in items like: stuffing, cranberry sauce and others.

Some retirees stick to the traditional Christmas dinner and stock on basic ingredients when they travel home. Others ask friends and family to bring the ingredients from their places of origin and a third group improvises or adapts to the regional flavor and ingredients.

If you are wondering what would be a Traditional Mexican Christmas dinner, well it depends. Every region has its specialties and flavors so a christmas dinner can be a turkey, roasted pork leg, tamales, or even grilled meat.

So, if you are feeling adventurous this christmas, here are some suggestions to try a Mexican Christmas dinner:

A traditional Mexican Turkey dinner:

In Mexico a  traditional turkey dinner;  consists of a baked turkey stuffed with ground meat, spices and fruit. This is served with some pasta or potatoes as well as other traditional side dishes such as romeritos or Bacalao a la Vizcaina (Basque style cod).

A delicious suckling pig Roast (Lechon al horno)

This is my favorite Yucatecan dish, and if you are lucky enough to live in the Yucatan Peninsula you must try it! This is a traditional recipe but it is not spicy, and the flavors mix perfectly and leave a really juicy meat; it is also ideal to have the next day as Tacos or tortas.


(10-12 servings)

  • 1 piglet (12 – 16 pounds)
  • 6 sour oranges (the juice)
  • 6 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Red Achiote paste (Annatto paste)
  • Baking soda

24 hours before roasting:

  1. Mix the ingredients to form a marinade and let the piglet soak in this juice for 8-24 hours
  2. Make deep cuts on the meat so the marinade can really soak in the meat  (if possible, do not pierce the skin)
  3. Rub the meat and skin with the marinade

Before roasting the pig in the oven:

  1. Dry the skin thoroughly with a paper towel
  2. Rub all the skin with cooking oil or lard

To roast the suckling pig:

  1. Place the piglet with the skin side up in a baking dish with the marinade as the cooking surface. Do not overturn the piglet until the end.
  2. Preheat the oven to high (200ºC) Introduce the piglet and cook for 1/2 hour
  3. Reduce the heat to 180º C, and  cook for 4 to 5 hours, depending on the size of the piglet.
  4. After cooking, remove from the oven and sprinkle the skin with baking soda, and use a clean cooking brush to spread the powder
  5. Return to the oven using the grill to brown, and let the skin get a golden color

Note: Follow this process and make sure the skin does not touch the cooking juice, in order to get a crunchy skin.

To Serve:

Cut into uniform pieces and bring to the table.

We hope you have a great time making these recipes, and enjoy your Mexican Christmas. We would love to hear what dishes are your favorite, and if you try our recipes please let us know how it turns out!