How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Dairy Foods

If you’re wondering how to celebrate Hispanic heritage month, one of the best ways is to try a new cultural dish! So, I have some Hispanic dishes with dairy foods to share with you. 

I have partnered with National Dairy Council to share delicious and nutritious ways to celebrate Hispanic cultural recipes with dairy.

Between September 15 – October 15 each year, people around the US celebrate Hispanic Heritage month. This is a time to recognize the amazing contributions and achievements of the Hispanic and Latino people in American society. With my Peruvian heritage and 20+ years as a dietitian, I have the inside scoop for you!

Common Dairy Foods in Hispanic Culture

While each Hispanic country has different staple meals and popular dishes, one thing that is common among them is the use of dairy. Even if the same type of dairy is used, you’ll see that it is used in different ways.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to celebrate this month, listen up, because I’m about to share some easy and nutritious ideas!

Now what are the two most popular dairy ingredients? Cheese and milk!

Types of Cheeses Used and How Milk is Enjoyed

Whether it’s queso Fresco, cheddar, or cotija cheese, you’ll see these cheeses in many popular dishes. One fun fact to remember is that cotija cheese doesn’t melt, so it is most often used as a topping on dishes.

Milk also works its way into many recipes. In the Hispanic culture, it is also enjoyed as a beverage with meals. I even remember growing up, and the milkman would leave bottles of milk by the door. We would then have to heat it up to be able to drink it.

Nutritional Value of Dairy in Hispanic Dishes

Many Hispanic dishes are either a grain or vegetable paired with milk or cheese. This boosts the nutritional value, since milk packs in 13 essential nutrients in every serving – including high-quality protein, calcium, zinc, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin D.

Cheese is a good source of calcium, protein and phosphorus, three nutrients particularly important to help build and maintain healthy bones.

Examples of Food to Make to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

So, here are some examples of common dishes to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

  • Cafe con leche – coffee with milk, which is sometimes made with instant coffee
  • Papaya with lime and queso fresco
  • Elote corn – grilled corn with spices and topped with cotija or queso fresco
  • Cheese in salads
Celebrate hispanic heritage month with dairy foods and manuel villacorta


  • 1 papaya
  • 1 cup queso fresco cubed
  • Juice from ½ lime


  • Slice the papaya in half.
  • Scoop out the seeds.
  • Add the queso fresco cubes next to the sliced papaya.
  • Squeeze ¼ of a lime onto each half of papaya.
  • Enjoy!
Tried and enjoyed this recipe?Mention @manuel.villacorta in your post or story!

How to Keep Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Food

If you’re interested in more Hispanic-inspired recipes, explore How to Cook Rice & Beans with Dairy with a Cultural Flair.

For additional information and more about how to use dairy in your recipes go to US Dairy.

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