Dia de Los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that honors the spirits and memories of those who passed. You might have seen those brightly colored parades and festivals honoring loved ones on the Day of the Dead. While these elaborate festivities are well-known outside of the country, many Mexican families choose to celebrate in more intimate ways.

Some of these celebrations include cleaning graves and building altars to celebrate the spirits of those loved ones. Like most holidays, foods and drinks play an essential role in these observations. Not only can these foods be consumed by loving families, but some are left at altars. If you are looking for impressive foods to make on this important day, here are a few of our favorites.

Need to find the best drink pairings for your Dia de Los Muertos foods? Rancho La Gloria has delicious and convenient options for the holiday!

Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead)

If you are looking for tasty bread to make for the Day of the Dead, consider choosing this option for the festivities. This sweet bread is flavored with anise and orange blossom. When the bread is still warm, sugar is sprinkled on the top. This bread is unique to the Day of the Dead festival because of its bone shape.

You can serve the pan de Muertos during the dinner celebrations. Think about pairing this bread with the traditional Bottled Lime Margarita. However, the primary purpose of this bread is to offer it to your loved ones that have passed. You can leave it on the altar with a glass of water. Remember that your ancestors need some fuel and refreshments on their long journey.

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Day of the Dead Cookies

These sugar skull cookies are another treat that living family members can enjoyna d these cookies can be placed on those brightly colored altars. In Mexico, buttery cookies have the shape of a sugar skull. You can even use your creativity to give them some elaborate decorations. If you don’t have any sugar skulls for your altars, think about replacing those items with these delicious cookies.

If you are looking for a more traditional way to create sugar skulls, use alegrias in your recipes. This sweet is made from honey syrup and puffed amaranth. These ingredients were used in celebrations dating back centuries. Many skulls and figurines are created with amaranth alegrias.


In any Mexican celebration, tamales are a key food for these holidays, including Dia de Los Muertos. While tamales are delicious, they can be time-consuming to make. For that reason, these treats are usually saved for those special occasions. Depending on the region, the tamale filling will vary. If you are making them an offering to your ancestors, you might want to choose their favorite fillings.

This celebration is the perfect opportunity to make your own traditions. Chicken Tamales with Tomatillo-Cilantro Salsa are fluffy and light, and they make an excellent addition to any party. These tamales are simpler to assemble than those traditional options. You might even want to make extras to freeze and use in the future. You could pass them out as party favors as you celebrate your beloved family members. What goes great with some yummy tamales? Pair up these savory treats with our frozen popsicles in original, strawberry, or mango flavors.

a closeup of an original frozen popsicle

Candied Pumpkin

During the Halloween season, pumpkin is a traditional staple in the United States. These gourds are also a common treat during Dia de Los Muertos festivities. In fact, these candied pumpkins are some of the oldest desserts in the Western Hemisphere. Pumpkins are native to Mexico and have been part of the indigenous peoples’ diet for centuries.

By serving candied pumpkin, you not only celebrate your family members but call back to the celebration’s native heritage. You will have no trouble finding the right pumpkins for these treats. The Day of the Dead takes place during the height of the pumpkin harvest.

Related: What Drinks Go With Mexican Food?

ready-to-drink margarita wine cooler


In addition to celebrating your ancestors with delicious cocktails that deliver 100% Blue Weber Agave, zesty lime juice, and sparkling mineral water, think about complimenting your festivities with other traditional options. Atole is a warm drink that is made from lightly sweetened piloncillo (unrefined brown sugar) and maize. You can add vanilla, chocolate, or fruit to the mix. This drink is warm, hearty, and filling. Since the weather is cooler, it has become a traditional drink for those Day of the Dead celebrations or Christmas.

Oaxacan Hot Chocolate

Another great beverage choice is Oaxacan Hot Chocolate. While you might already be familiar with the Americanized version of this warm drink, hot chocolate in Mexico is less sweet and spiked with spices. You might want to add some cinnamon and chocolate for an extra layer of flavor.

Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro

Mole is another staple in Mexican cuisine. You can take your mole up a notch when you use mole negro. This sauce is dark and complexly flavored with chiles and chocolate. It is the perfect Dia de los Muertos food. Use crispy chicken breasts to create a treat for your guests. Don’t forget to cool down your palette with a bottled mango cocktail.

bottle of Rancho La Gloria's Mango Margarita

Related: Ways to Drink Rancho La Gloria

Your Ancestors’ Favorite Food

Many of the foods made during Día de Los Muertos are used to honor the souls of your loved ones who have passed. With an altar, many people believe that these spirits visit, which is why they will leave gifts for them. You can make any of the dishes mentioned above or try the favorite dishes of your loved ones. The Day of the Dead is a personal holiday for many Mexican families. You need to find and celebrate your own traditions. Whether you have observed it in the past or this is your first year, think about celebrating with great food and good company. Don’t forget about making Rancho La Gloria part of those celebrations.

Are you interested in crafting your own delicious cocktails for the Day of the Dead? Make sure to check out Rancho La Gloria’s full line of products!