I find that some of my most favorite party experiences are those that revolve around casual settings and shareable food – and there is no better way to create a casual, shareable vibe than with a taco party! I decided to test out some new taco-inspired recipes, throw a few blankets on the grass, and invite some guests over for an afternoon picnic in our yard.
On the menu I started with some grilled chipotle chicken tacos. This recipe is so simple to make – just marinate the chicken thighs in spicy chipotle peppers and adobo sauce before giving them a good char on the grill. The peppers and sauce give the chicken tons of spice and flavor! Plus, chicken thighs are a really inexpensive cut of meat, so I love to use them for casual gatherings of larger groups. Once they’re grilled, you just have to slice them up and serve them with all of the tasty taco fixings.
I set out some warm tortillas and used Chinet® Cut Crystal® 9 oz. cups to house a bunch of toppings like shredded cheese, diced red onions, and fresh, crispy scallions. I love that you can see all of the bright ingredients through the cups – it makes for extra visual pops of color when you’re serving the dish. Add a stack of Chinet® Classic White™ appetizer and dessert plates to your picnic party for easy cleanup. I always opt for smaller plates to take up less real estate on the blanket when I’m picnicking!
You can’t have tacos without margaritas – they go together like peanut butter and jelly! For this type of casual gathering, big batch drinks are a great way to quickly put together a signature cocktail without having to spend the whole night playing bartender in the kitchen. I used frozen peaches to blend up some peach margaritas – the frozen fruit gives the drink tons of flavor and a smooth texture that is almost like a sorbet cocktail! Just throw all of the ingredients in a blender, and they are ready to pour for guests. I rimmed Chinet Cut Crystal cups with salt and garnished the drinks with fresh lime slices before serving.
All that’s left to do is to set up the décor. A bright serape blanket thrown on the grass is the perfect base for a taco picnic, and on top I used an oversized tray to hold our dinner ingredients and margaritas. A few bright blooms in small glass bottles and a handful of tissue paper balls in a variety of colors were scattered around the tray to bring it all together. The best part is that once the picnic is over, you can pick up the tray and head back inside – I’m all for easy cleanup when it comes to summer entertaining! Get the recipes for this taco picnic party below:
1. In a large bowl, combine chipotle peppers and adobo sauce with honey and vegetable oil. Toss chicken thighs in the mixture to fully coat and season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes. (Leave all of the peppers in the mixture if you like spice. If you prefer a milder flavor, add the adobo sauce and only 1-2 peppers with some of the seeds removed to the mixture).
2. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Discard the whole peppers and transfer the marinated chicken thighs to the hot grill.
3. Grill until thighs are cooked, flipping once mid-way through, about 6-7 minutes on each side.
4. Remove from grill and transfer to a serving dish. Slice before adding to warm tortillas and top with cheese, scallions, onions, and avocado.
For more summer entertaining ideas, check out my recipe for a delicious Tomato and Blue Cheese Summer Salad, or see how I made these fun Olive Bruschetta Cups! Don’t forget to share your summer celebrations with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #MyChinetParty.