Why You Should Have a Tex-Mex Thanksgiving

Posted in Holidays

Thanksgiving will soon be upon us, which means that most Americans are in the process of stocking up on frozen turkeys, potatoes, and other “traditional” holiday foods. If you like to eat, then you probably love Thanksgiving—after all, what other holiday revolves primarily around having a huge meal with your family and friends?

Thanksgiving means different things to different people; no two families have completely identical traditions. And on a similar note, no two Thanksgiving menus are completely the same, either. But what are your thoughts on forgoing traditional food completely? Would that be total sacrilege…or a refreshing change of pace? Here are three reasons why you should consider having a Tex-Mex Thanksgiving:

Because there’s no reason not to.

Turkey has seemingly held a monopoly over Thanksgiving meals since time immemorial. Most people don’t even question whether or not they’d like to have turkey on Thanksgiving; it’s just seen as a foregone conclusion. Like it’s something you’re supposed to do when the fourth Thursday in November rolls around. And even if you don’t cook it at home, you’re supposed to go eat turkey in a restaurant.

Look, there’s nothing “wrong” with traditional Thanksgiving foods; if you genuinely love turkey and stuffing, we’re not demanding that you give them up. We’re just suggesting that you question the status quo, here. There’s no law on the books stating that one must consume yams and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving, so if you think you’d like to try branching out this year, then feel free to do so! If you don’t like it, you can always go back to traditional dishes next year.

Because it presents a wider variety of choices.

If we challenged you to name 10 different traditional Thanksgiving foods, would you be able to do it? Some of our readers may be able to pull it off, but others might struggle. We think of Thanksgiving as being all about eating copious amounts of food, but there’s surprisingly little variety in what we consider “acceptable” Thanksgiving dishes. Meanwhile, if you open the menu at a Tex-Mex restaurant, you’ll be greeted with several choices—all of them uniquely delicious!

Tex-Mex is usually pretty easy to do buffet-style, especially when the entrée du jour is fajitas or tacos. And even if you and your guests are more in the mood for tamales, enchiladas, flautas, or some other Tex-Mex staple, then setting out trays of food isn’t terribly difficult. Just make sure to also offer plenty of warm tortillas and heaping bowls of rice and refried beans, as no Tex-Mex platter is quite complete without these.

Because Tex-Mex food is inherently festive.

This sentiment pops up on our blog with fair frequency, but that’s only because it’s something we truly believe in! One typically finds it difficult to be somber and stiff when Tex-Mex is on the menu; there’s just something about piles of cheese, sour cream, and just-spicy-enough sauce that create a party atmosphere. For goodness’ sake, you can even wrap up your food in a tortilla and socialize while eating it!

Just as there’s no law requiring the consumption of traditional Thanksgiving foods on Thanksgiving day, there’s also no law stating that this holiday has to be a formal affair. You needn’t put on your Sunday best and spend hours styling your food so that it will look “elegant” in photos; just wear your “eating pants” and pile stuff on your plate! You don’t even need to bust out the fine china and crystal champagne flutes—regular pates and margarita glasses will suffice. Be festive, be playful, and enjoy yourself. It’s a holiday, after all


Again, please don’t get the impression that we’re staunchly against classic Thanksgiving foods; our intention is not to bar folks from taking part in their treasured holiday traditions. But, if you’re dreading the thought of eating leftovers until the beginning of December, or you’re just feeling particularly adventurous this year, know that having a Tex-Mex Thanksgiving is a totally viable option. Skip the turkey and grab some ground beef! Swap a can of cranberry sauce for a can of refried beans! And instead of pigging out on pumpkin pie, indulge in some tres leches cake!

As its name implies, Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for the good things in your life. The type of food you eat doesn’t matter nearly as much as counting your blessings and getting into the true spirit of things. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to celebrate, so if you think that if you’d rather have Tex-Mex than traditional Thanksgiving fare…well, we say go for it!