Cooking with Tequila and Recipes Inspired by National Tequila Day

resized tequila chicken

It’s National Tequila Day and I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than shaking up a perfect margarita! But instead of just sipping it, I wanted to share the easiest recipes for cooking  with Tequila.  It adds a smokey, oaky flavor that works well with grilled chicken and making it ahead of time and marinating overnight makes weeknight cooking a snap.  And don’t worry if you’re cooking for kids, the alcohol will cook out.  I love it over cilantro rice and topped with a fresh peach salsa that couldn’t be simpler to prepare.  For an adult indulgence, try the XO Brownies.  My husband and I polished a whole sheet of these last weekend.  I top it with whipped cream that I whisk in a little of the Citronge liquor.  Divine.  Happy National Tequila Day, I hope you knock back a couple and fire up the grill!

Tequila Lime Chili Chicken

1 cup Reposado tequila

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 large handful chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon hot sauce like Tabasco

salt and pepper to taste

6-8 chicken breasts


Place all the ingredients, except for the chicken, in a large Ziplock bag and stir to combine flavors.  Add the chicken breasts and marinate overnight.  Grill over a medium flame for 5 minutes.  Then turn the heat down to low, cover the grill lid and cook for 10 minutes.  This helps chicken ge a great grill flavor without drying out chicken breasts.

Meanwhile, place the remaining marinade in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat until it reduces by half, or forms a thick, syrupy sauce.  Spoon over chicken and top with peach salsa.

Peach Salsa

2 medium peaches, diced

1 large tomato, seeded and diced

juice from one large lime

1/4 red onion, minced

large handful cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

(optional: 1/2 diced jalapeño)


In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients and gently toss.  Serve over Tequila Lime Chili Chicken.

Cilantro Rice

1 cup Basmati rice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt to taste

1/ cups water


Saute garlic in olive oil until just fragrant.  Add rice and saute for one minute.  Add water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 15 minutes.  Turn off and allow rice to steam, covered, for 5 minutes.  Add chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork to combine.  Drizzle with a little more olive oil for super moist rice.

Skinny Spicy Margarita

1 1/4 ounce Reposado tequila (use only 100% agave)

1/2 ounce Orange liquor

1 ounce no cal sweetener or splash of agave syrup

juice from 1/2 a lime (use fresh lime juice)

3-5 splashes hot sauce


In a shaker filled with ice, add all the ingredients and shake.  Pour into a large glass and garnish with lime wedge.

Tequila Chocolate Coffee Brownies

1/3 cup XO Cafe Patron (Tequila Coffee Liquor)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup evaporated cane juice sugar (Light brown sugar works well too)

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 unbleached flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

5 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 square brownie pan.  In a mixer, beat the sugar and butter until combined.  Slowly add in the eggs and mix for 1 minute.  Add the XO Cafe Liquor and vanilla extract.  Slowly add the cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder and mix for 2 minutes or until thoroughly combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour into the brownie pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Turn off oven and keep pan in the oven for 2-5 more minutes (this keeps brownies gooey while crisping up the edges).

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