In Latin cultures girls celebrate the transformation of being a child and turning into a woman on her 15th birthday. The “Quinceanera” is considered a major event in the young woman’s life. This festive celebration is complete with beautiful formal dresses, dancing, an extensive guest list, a court of honor, and dining.
Food is central to this celebration, consisting of both traditional Latin American and nontraditional meals. Food is brought by families and friends or prepared by your favorite local event and catering company.
Traditional Quinceanera Foods and Menus
The Quinceanera often consists of traditional Latin American foods like tacos, corn wrapped tamales, enchiladas, and some of the following specialty meat dishes:
Picadillo – This delicious dish is a combination of onion, peppers, ground beef, and tomato. Potatoes or peas and carrots are usually added, served as a meal or stuffed inside the tamales, burritos, or tacos.
Barbacoa – The amazing meal is a mix of shredded beef that is cooked with Anaheim and Ancho chilies and seasoned with sauce.
Pernil – This tasty pork dish has a crispy skin that’s fall off the bone tender from marinating overnight then slow roasting.
Pollo Guisado – Simple and delicious, Braised Chicken Stew is a favorite recipe of the Latin Caribbean.
Cabrito – Originating in Monterrey Mexico, this roasted goat meat is cooked on a spit with a slow burning charcoal fire below. This preparation gives the 1-3 month old goat a smoky flavor and tenderness.
Mole – Complex and rich sauce made from chocolate and chili peppers and used for flavoring pork, chicken, and other meat.
Side Dishes – Side dishes consist of tortillas, stewed red beans, rice, grilled corn, guacamole, and salsa. These meals and sides are served to seated guests or in a buffet style setting.
Themed Menus, Food Stations and Food Bars
Many families who celebrate Quinceanera also serve nontraditional meals that center around a particular theme. Quinceanera themes are vast and foods might include Hawaiian luaus, sushi bars, or southern barbecue.
Themed buffet stations and food bars have become quite popular as guests can interact to create their own meals. It also provides a stunning focal point to the affair. Here are a few food station ideas that can work great for Quince parties:
- Donut Bar
- Nacho Bar
- Chocolate Fountain
- Caramel Apple Bar
- Churro Bar
- Mac and Cheese Bar
- Smores Bar
- Milk and Cookie Bar
- Waffle Bar
- Pancake Bar
- Guacamole Bar
- Popcorn Bar
- Candy Bar
- Banana Pops
- Fruit Kabobs or Fruit Bar
- Ice Cream Sandwiches
- Burger or Sliders Bar
- Create Your Own Taco Bar
- Potato Skins
- Chili Bar
- Lettuce Wraps
- French Fry Bar
- Dessert Pizza
- Fancy Grilled Cheese
- Milkshake Bar
- Frozen Yogurt Bar
Want a visual? Visit our Quinceanera Food Ideas Pinterest Board!
The cake is considered the focal point of the entire menu, reflecting on the birthday girl’s preferences and style. The cake is quite elaborate, involving multiple levels and tiers designed to match the overall theme of the party. Similar to a wedding cake, the tops are often decorated with a small female doll to represent the guest of honor.
Desserts, cookies, and pastries are usually plentiful in addition to the Quinceanera cake. Arroz is a popular rice pudding dessert made from cinnamon, milk, sugar, and rice. Pan de polvo is a shortbread cookie made with anise and cinnamon. The cookies are usually covered in powdered sugar. There are also a variety of dessert and candy bar options already mentioned.
The Wesley Event Center in Clermont FL has hosted many of these beautiful celebrations, providing the perfect sized location for family and friends to party in style. Select your favorite Quincianera foods and leave the cooking (and cleaning) to us!