The Best Tequila Recipes That Prove the Spirit is Stellar in More Than Cocktails

Seared Scallop-Tequila Shooters
Photo: Andy Lyons

Our best tequila recipes make it a breeze to shake up your routine by adding the spirit to a meal. Try our tender tequila-lime chicken recipe, spiked scallops, nachos with some tequila shrimp recipe flair and more. If you love margaritas and Mexican food, the transition to tequila food recipes is an easy one. Pop a bottle of your favorite tequila and get cooking!

01 of 14

Seared Scallop-Tequila Shooters

Seared Scallop-Tequila Shooters
Andy Lyons

This fiesta-starting Mexican appetizer puts tequila in its rightful place: the shot glass. Together with a mango puree, the liquor infuses the mango and scallop skewers with its trademark tang. If you love tequila shrimp recipes, give this scallop dish a try for something a little more unexpected (and totally tasty).

02 of 14

Orange-Tequila Lamb Shanks

Orange-Tequila Lamb Shanks
Carson Downing

You might be more familiar with lamb chops, but this tequila cooking recipe is about to convince you of the succulent, practically swoon-worthy powers of lamb shanks. One of the easiest cuts of meat to cook, this portion from a leg of lamb is affordable, a dream to slow cook, and scores so much richness thanks to all of the collagen that resides in the bone. Here, we'll coach you through how to braise those lamb shanks in a red wine- and tequila-spiked broth. It's good to the last drop.

03 of 14

Queso Fundido Pizzas

Queso Fundido Pizzas
Jason Donnelly

Don't bother choosing between Mexican fare and pizza recipes. In our world, you can have the best of both, and this is one of the best tequila recipes that prove this point. Our fresh fundido pizzas feature crumbly Chihuahua cheese and creamy avocados sprinkled on tequila-zested chorizo, all atop crispy flour tortilla "crusts."

04 of 14

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers

Grilled Drunken Shrimp and Scallop Skewers
Karla Conrad

A double dose of tequila is just what you need to perk up a summer barbecue. We created a tequila-lime marinade that doubles as a salad dressing by blending tequila with olive oil and herbs. Drizzle it over crunchy jicama slaw, and brush it on shrimp for a crisp, flavorful finish to the tequila food recipe.

05 of 14

Jicama and Belgian Endive Salad with Tequila-Orange Vinaigrette

Jicama and Belgian Endive Salad
Carson Downing

Don't feel limited by our orange, jicama, and endive suggestion. The boozy part of this tequila recipe is within the dressing, which is made with orange juice, white wine vinegar, chopped shallot, white pepper, oil, and tequila. That means you can feel free to drizzle it over any and every salad you like!

06 of 14

Chicken in Honeyed Chipotle Tequila Sauce

Chicken in Honeyed Chipotle Tequila Sauce
Carson Downing

The ingredient list for this tequila BBQ sauce recipe—shallots, apricots, brown sugar, port wine, balsamic vinegar, chicken broth, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, honey, and tequila—might sound a bit random, true. And it might seem a bit long. But trust us. Every one of those pantry staples plays a role, and once that unexpected draft team boils then simmers down, they blend beautifully into a complex-tasting sauce. A generous dose of said sauce elevates this weeknight-friendly chicken leg dinner to restaurant-worthy status.

07 of 14

Fish Tacos with Peppers

Tequila Fish Tacos
Blaine Moats

For a taco recipe that packs a punch, look no further. A 30-minute tequila-lime marinade is enough to infuse flaky halibut with a powerhouse of tangy flavor. Top off the light yet satisfying tequila cooking recipe with fresh mango slices to balance the spice from the peppers with just enough sweetness.

08 of 14

Chile-Garlic Mushrooms (Champinones al Ajillo)

Chile-Garlic Mushrooms (Championes al Ajillo)
Scott Little

If you, too, think garlic is something you measure with your heart rather than by the book ("one clove" often means more like four, if you ask us!), you'll fall head over heels for this flavor-packed mushroom dish. Simmered in chicken broth and gold tequila, cremini mushrooms, serrano peppers, and 12 (count 'em) cloves of garlic practically melt together. The finished product? A hearty plant-based tequila recipe that's spicy, tangy, and a little sweet.

09 of 14

Tequila-Marinated Chicken Thighs

Tequila-Marinated Chicken Thighs
Jason Donnelly

Tequila can add just as much kick to your chicken dinner as it does to your pitcher of margaritas. The bold agave flavor brings together a blend of citrus juices, chipotle peppers, and garlic in the chicken thigh marinade. Serve alongside plenty of fresh lime wedges and over rice and beans; this is one tequila-lime chicken recipe you'll be dreaming about until you make it again.

10 of 14

Tequila Shrimp "Nachos"

Tequila Shrimp Nachos
Adam Lyons

We've never met a plate of nachos we didn't like. But this ranks up there among the best and the freshest combinations. Fill a platter with the cumin-spiced OJ-infused tequila shrimp recipe, then sprinkle on plenty of salty queso fresco, and colorful heirloom tomatoes. Serve with a mountain of tortilla chips and everyone can build their ideal bites.

11 of 14

Pan-Seared Halibut with Chile-Garlic Butter

Pan-Seared Halibut with Chile-Garlic Butter
Andy Lyons

A little tequila goes a long way in this well-balanced fish recipe. The flavorful liquor adds bold punch to a decadent butter mixture, perfect for spreading on seared halibut or any firm white fish. Lime juice and chiles lend a lovely balance of acidic and spicy flavors, which permeate every drop of the so-good-we'd-slather-on-toast sauce.

12 of 14

Pibil-Style Pork Ribs

Pibil-Style Pork Ribs
Blaine Moats

From start to finish, the classic preparation of this tequila recipe makes all the difference. A blend of nine freshly ground spices starts things off with a bang. Then, slow-cook the seasoned pork ribs in banana leaves for subtly sweet flavor and fall-off-the-bone texture.

13 of 14

Tequila-Honey-Lime Marinated Drumsticks

Tequila-Honey-Lime Marinated Drumsticks
Andy Lyons

Warning: Sharing this tequila-lime chicken recipe might be impossible. The citrus notes in tequila fit right in alongside honey and lime for a classic tequila-lime marinade that gets even better on the grill. The marination makes the magic happen; hands-on prep time is just 15 minutes.

Test Kitchen Tip: Not a fan of drumsticks? Try using the marinade to make tequila lime wings.

14 of 14

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
Panichgul Studios Inc

Try this homemade barbecue sauce the next time you make ribs (or chicken, pork, or any smoked meat!). After bubbling together for 20 minutes, bold flavors like oaky añejo tequila and chipotle peppers join forces to create a tequila BBQ sauce recipe with a definitive south-of-the-border kick. Honey and onions bring out the sweet side.

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