A Fresh Take On A Summer BBQ: A Mexican Fiesta

BBQs are a fun and affordable way to make the most of longer days and warm summer nights. Why not up the ante and swap your traditional burgers and hot dogs for some Mexican deliciousness — think hot and spicy fajitas, fresh guacamole, thirst-quenching sangria and crispy nachos oozing with melted cheese. What’s great about these tasty dishes and sides is that they use a lot of the same ingredients, saving you money and time. Check out these simple, flavour-packed recipes and watch our video on preparing for your Mexican-inspired BBQ!

Classic Chunky Guacamole (makes 2.5 cups)

A beloved classic. Serve with tortilla chips and reserve ½ a cup for the fajitas.

1 medium tomato, finely diced (about 1 cup)

1/2 small onion, finely diced (about 3 tbsp)

1 clove of garlic (crushed)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

3 tbsp fresh limejuice

1/4 tsp chili powder

Kosher salt

2 large avocados (about 1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch chunks

In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the onion, garlic, cilantro, limejuice, chili powder and 1 tsp salt. Let sit for five minutes and add the avocado, gently mashing it into the tomato mixture with a fork. Serve immediately.

BBQ’d Chicken Fajitas (serves 4)

You can easily double (or triple) this recipe if you’re cooking for a crowd!

Chicken thighs are cheaper to buy than chicken breast and pack more flavour and moisture. Place the sliced cooked chicken, veggies and the rest of the fajita fillings on plates and in bowls and allow people to fill their tortillas as they wish. Simple and (when folded properly) a utensil-free meal — perfect for kicking back in a lawn-chair.

1-1/4 tsp chili powder (more or less depending on your preferred amount of spice )

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 to 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1-1/2 to 2 lb.), trimmed of excess fat

1 very large or 2 medium yellow onions, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into strips about 1/4 inch wide and 2 inches long

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh limejuice

Twelve 5- to 6-inch store-bought corn or flour tortillas

1-1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (we used Kraft Tex-Mex)

Optional (though in our opinion a necessity): Sour cream, homemade chunky guacamole (see recipe above)

Rub 1 tsp of the chili powder, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper onto both sides of the chicken thighs. Mix sliced peppers, onion, garlic and lime juice with remaining spices and place in tinfoil. Seal to lock in flavour and juices.

Heat BBQ and once hot, put on a low flame and cook the vegetables in tinfoil for 12-15 minutes and chicken thighs for 20-25 minutes. Remove chicken thighs and vegetables from tinfoil, placing the vegetables in a serving bowl. Cover and keep warm. Cut the thighs diagonally into thin slices and transfer to a plate.

Fill fajitas to your liking and fold. Serve with tortilla chips, salsa, the remaining guacamole and a glass (or two) of sangria. Enjoy!

Simple Summer Sangria (serves 3-4)

Trade in your Corona for some refreshing sangria. Make it ahead of time, it only takes five minutes!

1 bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel or Shiraz are good options)

1 lemon cut into wedges

1 orange cut into wedges

2 cups ginger ale or club soda

Pour wine into a pitcher and squeeze the juice from the lemon and orange wedges into the wine. Toss in the fruit wedges for added flavour (leaving out the seeds if possible). Chill overnight. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.

Check out our how-to video to help get you started. Let us know how it turned out!

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