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Best Barbecue & Picnic Recipes

SUMMER!! It’s time to enjoy the outdoors, whether you’re into hiking, biking, road trips, or just hanging out with family and friends for backyard BBQs and summer picnics. Here in the US, we have 3 “official” BBQ and Picnic weekends – the 3 long-weekends during summer. The grilling season starts off in May with the Memorial Day weekend, followed by the 4th of July, Independence Day weekend.  This is when everyone gets creative with the Red, White and Blue theme.  Finally, we have the Labor Day weekend at the beginning of September, which marks the end of summer and start of a new school year for the kids. 

So whatever the occasion, long weekend or any weekend, here are some of the Best Barbecue Picnic Recipes that’ll add more magic to your next summer BBQ party!   This is a collection of some of my own family favorites, along with popular recipes from my fellow bloggers.

Grill Burgers Salads & Sides
Desserts Drinks

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Grill:

Fall-off-the-bone-Pork-ribs-Best Barbecue Picnic Recipes

FALL OFF THE BONE PORK RIBS
Spice Cravings

MARINATED FLANK STEAK- Best Barbecue Picnic Recipes

MARINATED FLANK STEAK
Bunnys Warm Oven

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe- Best Barbecue Picnic Recipes

JAMAICAN JERK CHICKEN
Spice Cravings

BACON SRIRACHA CHICKEN SKEWERS- Best Barbecue Picnic Recipes

BACON SRIRACHA CHICKEN SKEWERS
The Organic Kitchen

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad- Best Barbecue Recipes

GRILLED CAJUN CHICKEN
Spice Cravings

Beer Basted BBQ Chicken- Best Barbecue Recipes

BEER BASTED BBQ CHICKEN
Beyond The Chicken Coop

 

Spicy-Thai-Chicken-Skewers-Best Barbecue Recipes

SPICY THAI BASIL CHICKEN KEBABS
The Flavor Bender

Chicken wings -Best Barbecue Recipes

BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS
Spice Cravings

Instant Pot Chili-Dog-Best Barbecue Recipes

CHILI HOT DOG
Spice Cravings

Tandoori Chicken Recipe-Best Barbecue Recipes

TANDOORI CHICKEN
Spice Cravings

Grilled-Pizza-with-15-Minute-Dough-Best Barbecue Recipes

GRILLED PIZZA WITH 15-MIN DOUGH
Zona Cooks

Pulled Chicken Tacos- Best Barbecue Recipes

PULLED CHICKEN FAJITA TACOS
Spice Cravings

Chicken Seekh Kebab- Best Barbecue Recipes

CHICKEN SEEKH KEBAB
Spice Cravings

Low Carb Chicken Shawarma -Best Barbecue Recipes

CHICKEN SHAWARMA
Spice Cravings

Chicken and vegetable skewers-Best Barbecue Recipes

CHICKEN & VEGETABLE SKEWERS
Spice Cravings

grilled-bourbon-lobster-Best Barbecue Recipes

GRILLED LOBSTER TAILS WITH BOURBON SAUCE
Champagne Tastes

LAMB LEG STEAKS IN A HERB MARINADE-Best Barbecue Recipes

LAMB LEG STEAKS IN A HERB MARINADE
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

BURGERS:

Veggie Bean Burger-Best Barbecue Recipes

VEGGIE BEAN BURGER
Spice Cravings

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes- Best Barbecue Recipes

JAMAICAN JERK BEEF SLIDERS
Mama Latina Tips

Air-Fryer-Orange-Turkey-Burgers-Best Barbecue Recipes

AIR-FRYER ORANGE TURKEY BURGERS
This Old Gal

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes-Best Barbecue Recipes

PULLED TURKEY SLIDERS
Craving Something Healthy

Quinoa-Veggie Burgers Tikki, Best Barbecue Recipes

QUINOA VEGGIE BURGERS
Spice Cravings

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes-Best Barbecue Recipes

BEER CHEESE BURGERS WITH ONION RINGS
Five Marigolds

Coconut Chicken Salad Sandwich-Best Barbecue Recipes

COCONUT CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICH
Life After Wheat

Shredded-BBQ-Carrots-Best Barbecue Recipes

SHREDDED BBQ CARROTS
Veganosity

instant-pot-dr-pepper-bbq-pulled-pork-Best Barbecue Recipes

DR.PEPPER PULLED PORK
One Happy Housewife

Air-Fryer-Potato-Sliders-Best Barbecue Recipes

POTATO FRITTER SLIDERS
Piping Pot Curry

KIPPER RECIPE: SMOKED FISH SLIDERS-Best Barbecue Recipes

KIPPER RECIPE: SMOKED FISH SLIDERS
Champagne Tastes

 

Salads & Sides:​

KALE MANGO SLAW WITH CHICKPEAS-Best Barbecue Recipes

KALE MANGO SLAW WITH CHICKPEAS
Spice Cravings

VEGAN TOMATO AND FETA PASTA SALAD

VEGAN TOMATO AND FETA PASTA SALAD
Dianne’s Vegan Kitchen

Mac-N-Cheese-Party-Bites

MAC N CHEESE PARTY BITES
Love Foodies

NECTARINE QUINOA BUCKWHEAT TABBOULEH

NECTARINE QUINOA BUCKWHEAT TABBOULEH
Rhian’s Recipes

LOADED SOUTHWESTERN BBQ PASTA SALAD

LOADED SOUTHWESTERN BBQ PASTA SALAD
Life Currents

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes

THE BEST VEGAN POTATO SALAD
Cadry’s Kitchen

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes

BUFFALO CORN ON THE COB WITH VEGAN BLUE CHEESE
Cadry’s Kitchen

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes

HOMEMADE QUEBEC MAPLE BAKED BEANS
She Loves Biscotti

 

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes

EASY BLT PASTA SALAD
Dinner With The Rollos

Red Potato Salad

 

WHOLE30 CHICKEN SALAD

WHOLE30 CHICKEN SALAD
24 Carrot Kitchen

HERBED WHITE BEAN PICNIC SALAD

HERBED WHITE BEAN PICNIC SALAD
Soup Addict

Easy Instant Pot Green Beans

EASY INSTANT POT GREEN BEANS
One Happy Housewife

Tzatziki sauce dip, Instant Pot yogurt

TZATZIKI DIP
Spice Cravings

Pigeon-Peas-Dip, instant pot recipes

PIGEON PEAS DIP
Spice Cravings

SUMMER TORTELLINI SALAD

SUMMER TORTELLINI SALAD
Soup Addict

BBQ Ranch Pasta Salad

BBQ RANCH PASTA SALAD
Cooking With Carlee

Best Barbecue Recipes

MEXICAN CORN SALAD
Life Currents

Desserts:​

Strawberry-Shortcake

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES 
Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary

4-Ingredient Brownies

4-INGREDIENT BROWNIES
Spice Cravings

Easy Apple Pie Bites

EASY APPLE PIE BITES
My 3 Little Kittens

Petite Cheesecake/ Skinny Cheesecake, pressure cooker cheesecake, garam masala kitchen

SKINNY CHEESECAKE
Spice Cravings

STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY ICEBOX CAKE

STRAWBERRY BLUEBERRY ICEBOX CAKE
Sweet Spicy Kitchen

Chocolate Frosted Almond Brownies

CHOCOLATE FROSTED ALMOND BROWNIES
Chocolates & Chai

Pressure Cooker Red White and Blue Cheesecake Singles

RED WHITE AND BLUE CHEESECAKE SINGLES
This Old Gal

No Bake Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Jars

NO BAKE LEMON BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE JARS
Cooking With Carlee

Strawberry-Oatmeal-Cookies

STRAWBERRY OATMEAL COOKIES
Natalie’s Happy Health

 

Sour-Cherry-Chia-Jam-Cornbread

SOUR CHERRY CHIA JAM CORNBREAD
Natalie’s Happy health

Almond spice cookies- eggless almond spice cookies, Almond Nankhatai

EGGLESS ALMOND SPICE COOKIES
Spice Cravings

Cranberry Orange Cornbread

CRANBERRY ORANGE CORNBREAD
Spice Cravings

Red-White-and-Blue-Wine-Popsicles

RED WHITE AND BLUE WINE POPSICLES
Five Marigolds

RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE
Love Foodies

Red-White-Blue-Cheesecake-Bars

RED WHITE AND BLUE CHEESECAKE BARS
A Wicked Whisk

Red White Blue Cake

RED WHITE & BLUE CAKE WITH MASCARPONE CREAM
Rock Recipes

Best Barbecue Recipes

STAR MERINGUES WITH FRESH BERRIES
What A Girl Eats

Best Barbecue Recipes

PATRIOTIC WHITE CHOCOLATE PRETZELS
Beyond The Chicken Coop

Drinks

Picnic Barbecue BBQ Recipes

CHERRY LIMEADE
Who Needs A Cape

Best Barbecue Recipes

STRAWBERRY PEACH SANGRIA
A Gouda Life

 

Best Barbecue Recipes

HARD PEACH ICED TEA
Dinner With The Rollos

Jal-Jeera Vodka (Indian Vodka Mojito) Cocktail

INDIAN SPICED VODKA MOJITO
Spice Cravings

Best Barbecue Recipes

PINEAPPLE MINT SHRUB COCKTAIL
Mother Would Know

Best barbecue Recipes

BUCKY’S BLACKBERRY LEMONADE
My No-Guilt Life

   

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Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Summertime!! Like many of you, summer is my family’s favorite season! It means more road-trips, hiking, picnics and a ton of fresh, delicious and colorful salads. My husband and I have a salad for lunch almost everyday. Since we both prefer chicken as our protein, we get creative with seasonings, mix-ins and salad dressings to avoid monotony. Cajun Chicken Salad is one of our most loved salad.

Cajun Chicken Salad:

I start with grilling Cajun spice rubbed chicken, to toast those earthy spices. I use a cabbage spring mix for this salad, which provides a nice cool contrast to the Cajun seasoning. But, you can use any lettuce mix you like. I add toasted almond chips, which provide a nice crunch, and strawberries, which compliment and balance this salad with their sweetness. The chicken is so moist and flavorful that I don’t even use a salad dressing most of the time. But when I do, I like to have an Apple Cider-Honey Mustard Vinaigrette with it. This salad is perfect for any weather really, and the best part is, it’s Low-carb

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Cajun Spice Blend:

Cajun Cuisine, which is best known for it’s spicy and earthy flavor tones, is a regional cuisine from the southern part of Louisiana. The first time I had Cajun chicken was in New Orleans, the real deal. I fell in love immediately. It was more than a decade ago, my husband was attending a conference there and I tagged along. I visited the flea market at the famous French market, where I bought my first Cajun Spice blend. I was so eager to try it, that the first thing I did when we returned home was to grill some chicken and shrimp using this spice blend. It was UNBELIEVABLY good. Based on the ingredients on that spice pack, I started putting together my own blend.

The spice mix that I put together, tasted authentic and most of all, I was able to adjust the heat level in the mix. When I make a new batch, I store it in an air-tight container, and keep it in my spice drawer, away from heat and light.

When I make it from scratch, here’s what I use:

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Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken recipe is probably one of the most flavorful and popular recipes from the Indian subcontinent. In this recipe, I marinate the chicken in yogurt, lemon juice, aromatics and bold Indian spices. Then, I grill it to a perfect crispy golden brown. The result is tender, juicy and a to-die-for flavor! If you’ve never tried it before, just trust me on this and go for it!Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken Recipe:

Skinless chicken is the traditional choice in this recipe. Start by making a marinade including yogurt, fresh ground ginger, garlic, garam masala, red chili powder and fresh lemon juice. Marinate the chicken anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. Thread it on to skewers and grill it. Most restaurants grill it in a high-heat clay-oven called Tandoor (tun-dur). Tandoor is typically heated with charcoals. That is what gives the chicken a slightly smoky flavor. But, since most of us don’t have a clay oven in our backyards, an oven broiler, or an outdoor grill can achieve a similar flavor!

Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Tandoori Chicken in Instant Pot (pressure cooker):

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Cauliflower Potato Garlic Sauce

Creamy Cauliflower Potato Sauce

This creamy cauliflower potato garlic sauce is simply magical. It’s like mashed potatoes met cheese fondue! I steam the potatoes, cauliflower and garlic together, and add heated heavy cream, or half-and-half, with butter, tangy goat cheese, salt and pepper, and whisk it till I get a silky smooth sauce! The addition of goat cheese adds a tanginess which cuts through the richness, and balances this sauce perfectly. Parmesan cheese compliments the goat cheese and makes this sauce absolutely delicious.

Finally nailed it!

Years ago, at a middle eastern restaurant, I had a garlic sauce that was served with grilled chicken and lamb kebab. It was hands down, one of THE most delicious sauces I have ever had! Since then, I’ve been trying to imagine a mash-up between that garlic sauce and creamy garlic mashed potatoes. I also wanted to make this sauce lighter and healthier, so that I wouldn’t have to feel too guilty about loading up on carbs. So, I decided to do a half and half of potatoes and cauliflower. After a few ‘almost there’ attempts, I finally nailed it. Continue Reading…

Thai Massaman Curry

Thai Massaman CurryThai food is always on repeat menu in my home, especially on weeknights. It is quick and super easy to make, delicious and very easily customizable to our palette. Thai Massaman Curry, or, Thai Masaman Curry, is one of the milder curries in Thai cuisine, which is perfect when you’re making this for kids.  I love the flavor combination in this curry. It’s a nice blend of sweet and spicy and the coconut milk adds a touch of creaminess to the curry. I finish this dish with a light squeeze of lime and it ties all the flavors together really well.

Easy and Perfect for Weeknights:

Thai Massaman Curry, or any other Thai curry, is one of the easy dinners that I make during weeknights. Like most of you, during weeknights, I don’t have enough time to make this curry paste from scratch, so I combine store-bought curry paste with coconut milk, add protein and a ton of veggies, cook it on the stove-top for 10-12 minutes, or a quick 5 minutes in my Instant Pot , and it’s done! Thai Massaman CurryI like using Maesri brand for curry pastes. I find the taste of this brand to be the most authentic. My local favorite Thai restaurant also uses Maesri pre-made curry pastes to make their curries:-)

I buy the curry paste from Amazon, or my local asian supermarket. My pantry is always stocked with one of these curry pastes, coconut milk and a can of baby corn. It makes life much easier for times when you don’t feel like doing take-out, but still want to eat something delicious. I combine the curry paste with coconut milk, add the baby corn, plus about a cup of any frozen veggies I have on hand, and dinner comes together with minimum effort! Continue Reading…

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Cinco De Mayo Recipes

Cinco De Mayo is just around the corner. Incase you’re wondering what it is, Cinco de Mayo means ‘5th of May’ in Spanish, and it is pronounced as Seenkoh-de-Maayo. It is the annual celebration to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Like with any celebration, it is an opportunity to get together with family and friends, and enjoy some amazing Mexican food and delicious margaritas! So, if you’re hosting a party, or going to attend one, I have put together a list of some quick and easy Cinco De Mayo recipes that will add tons of flavor to your party! They’re super easy to make, can be made ahead, and are great for potlucks and get togethers.

A lot of these recipes are made in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot DUO, but I plan to add some stove-top, oven-cooked, and, even some ‘no-cook’ recipes to this list, so be sure to bookmark it! Continue Reading…

Thai Red Curry Soup

Thai Red Curry SoupHearty, healthy, rich and creamy, Thai Red Curry Soup is perhaps one of my favorites meals to make when I’m in the mood for something sweet and spicy. This delicious and nutritious soup is filled with protein, has tons of veggies and the creamy yum coconut milk gives it a smooth and velvety texture . A squeeze of lime towards the end, cuts through that richness and balances this soup really well. I make quite a few variations of this soup. I switch the proteins and make it with chicken or shrimp, and a vegetarian version with Extra Firm Tofu.

Thai Red Curry Soup is quick and easy to make, and it’s just perfect for weeknights:

Thai Red Curry SoupThai recipes come together in a flash, especially when I use a store-bought curry paste. I’m all about making things from scratch, but when I found out that my local favorite Thai restaurant uses these pre-made curry pastes, I just had to try them. There are many brands for Thai curry paste in the stores, and I’ve tried a fair share of them. I found Maesri brand to be the most authentic in terms of flavors and consistency. I always keep these curry pastes and a can of coconut milk in my pantry. That makes weeknight dinners a breeze. I put together some fresh or frozen chicken, fresh peppers and broccoli, mix the curry paste with coconut milk, add it all to the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker), pressure cook it for 5 minutes, and dinner is on the table in under 30 minutes!

Make it vegetarian and customize it:

Thai Red Curry SoupIt is extremely easy to customize this soup to your liking. I switch up the proteins and veggies all the time.

To make this soup vegetarian, simply add firm tofu or Paneer (Indian cottage cheese), instead of chicken! Since tofu/paneer is already cooked, add it after pressure cooking the soup, along with the assorted veggies. This way it doesn’t get overcooked and still absorbs the wonderful flavors of the soup.

I love the crunch and flavor of assorted vegetables in Thai Red Curry Soup. I like to add sliced bell-peppers, onions, baby corn and zucchini, but you can add pretty much any kind of vegetables you like. In this recipe, I add the veggies after the pressure cooking process so they retain a nice crunch and stay fresh.  Even frozen vegetables work great in this soup. Simply add them after the pressure cooking process and cook for a few minutes on sauté till they thaw and absorb the soup flavors. You can garnish it with cilantro, Thai basil or even mint. I like to have this soup as-is, but if you love to pair Thai recipes with rice, you can serve this with some white or Brown jasmine rice.

Healthier Carb Option:

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Paneer Butter Masala / Paneer Makhani (Instant Pot)

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhani

Instant pot paneer butter masala, instant pot paneer makhaniPaneer Butter Masala or Paneer Makhani, which literally means, paneer cooked in a buttery rich sauce, is a vegetarian variation of a popular north-Indian dish called Butter Chicken. The original dish was created in the 1950s, in a super popular restaurant in New Delhi called ‘Moti Mahal Delux’.

Traditionally, the paneer is lightly marinated and then grilled in a clay-oven called, Tandoor, and then added to a velvety smooth tomato-cream sauce.  But in this recipe I have skipped that step and made it a dump-and-go recipe, with the same incredible taste. The key is cutting paneer into small, bite-size cubes so that they absorb the flavors of the sauce, and, a little extra garam masala to compensate for the flavors lost in skipping marination.  This is one of the tastiest, and most requested Indian vegetarian recipes by my kids.

Click here to see some of my other dump-and-go recipes.

Spinach-rice-paneer-makhani, garam masala kitchenServing Suggestion: I like to pair this rich and creamy curry with Spinach Rice. The buttery soft spinach and aromatic basmati rice compliment this Paneer Butter Masala really well. It feels like a restaurant style Indian meal, in the comfort of my home. Paneer Butter Masala also goes well with Cumin Rice and Naan, store-bought or homemade!

Click here for Spinach Rice recipe!

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Kale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas

kale mango slaw with chickpeas

kale mango slaw with chickpeasKale and Mango Slaw with Chickpeas is a hot favorite dish in my home currently. It screams SPRING, in looks as well as flavor. I lightly sauté my favorite kale slaw mix (from Trader Joe’s), with chickpeas, juicy mango, and top it with crunchy slivered almonds. All the flavors come together really well in the end. My family enjoys it as a side with Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Mediterranean Lamb Chops and Black Pepper Shrimp, and, leftovers make for a delicious power-packed lunch.

Customize it: I use cooked chickpeas in this recipe. You can use canned, or pre-cooked chickpeas. I typically, pressure cook about a cup of chickpeas for 30 minutes in my Instant Pot,  and use them in different recipes throughout the week. Chickpeas add a nice earthy and creamy flavor, and, boost the protein and fiber content of any dish. That being said, you can choose to use other kinds of beans instead, like black beans, kidney beans, or, skip them entirely to make a simple kale and mango slaw. The same goes for soycutash too. I personally, love the contrast of flavors that soycutash brings to this slaw, with the sweet corn, crunchy edamame and juicy peppers. But, you can use frozen corn or peas instead, or, skip it entirely. On another note, I have used mango in this recipe since I love the combination of kale and mango. You can easily switch that with a pear or a juicy granny smith apple too.

kale mango slaw with chickpeasOne-Skillet Wonder: The easy of putting this slaw together is a big bonus for me. Everything happens in one skillet, so no extra dishes to wash! I sauté cooked chickpeas in cumin and paprika, add soycutash and saute it till it thaws. Then add the Kale slaw mix, salt and vinegar, and sauté it for 30 seconds, and turn off the heat. Add chopped mango, garnish with roasted slivered almonds, and just like that, this nutrition packed slaw is ready!

Here’s how to make Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas:

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Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe (Instant Pot/Oven/Skillet)

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe, garam masala kitchenJamaican Jerk Chicken was probably one of the first recipes that I cooked with my husband when we were newly married! It was an adaptation of one of Bobby Flay’s recipe. I remember, I made the spice rub from scratch, marinated the meat overnight, and we grilled it on a charcoal grill.  It was juicy, spicy, sweet and simply amazing!

Traditional Marinade: In the traditional recipe for Jamaican Jerk Chicken, a wet marinade is prepared with fresh thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, ginger, garlic, spring onions, oil, soy sauce, orange juice, red wine vinegar, brown sugar and a unique spice-rub that includes cinnamon, cloves, all-spice, nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Everything is blended together in a food processor and the chicken is marinated in it for 30 mins-12 hours.  Whenever I have time, I like to make this marinade from scratch, but on busy days, I love to take a shortcut and use a dry pre-mixed Caribbean Jerk Seasoning. I combine a few tablespoons of the pre-mix with orange juice, soy sauce, olive oil, red wine vinegar and brown sugar, and marinade is done.

Cooking methods: Oven/Skillet/Grill/Instant Pot: I have cooked Jerk Chicken in the oven, in a skillet, on an outdoor grill, and now, in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot. It takes about 15-20 minutes to grill it on the stove, outdoor grill or under the broiler (oven). With an Instant Pot, it takes about 30 minutes, BUT, that’s hands-free time. You don’t have to monitor it, or flip it half way through, you just dump it in and walk away for the next 30 minutes. However, after cooking it in the pressure cooker, I do like to do an optional extra step which takes another couple of minutes. I heat a grill pan on medium-high heat, and then sear the cooked chicken for 30 secs-1 minute on one side, to get the nice grill marks on the chicken. By doing that, the sugars in the marinade caramelize and create a nice char on the chicken, that tastes heavenly and looks phenomenal.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken Recipe, garam masala kitchenServing suggestion: Jamaican Jerk Chicken goes really well with a simple mango salsa, or my favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw with Chickpeas. The crunchy slaw and the ripe and juicy mangoes compliment the sweet and spicy chicken really well. Click on the following link to get the recipe of this spring-time favorite, Kale & Mango Slaw.

 

Here’s how easy it is to put  Jamaican Jerk Chicken together:

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