5 Recipes to Spice Up Your Summer

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Summer weather means cooling off and kicking back as you soak up the sun and enjoy the company of your loved ones during one of the most laid-back seasons of the year. While the weather may be heating up outside, it is also a good time to consider adding a little extra kick to some of your favorite recipes. Even if you prefer a more mild flavor, trying your hand at some new flavors and ingredients is the perfect way to expand your knowledge in the kitchen. From refreshing fish tacos to a margarita that is equally as beautiful as it is delicious, here are five new recipes that are sure to spice up your summer and send your taste buds reeling.

Tilapia Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are classic summer favorites that pair perfectly with sitting poolside and sipping on an ice-cold beverage. However, rather than using cod and mahi mahi, two types of fish that are typically found in fish tacos, tilapia is both more affordable than most fish and tends to result in a softer, flakier texture. Simply pan-fry the fish for about 4 minutes on each side and add your favorite spicy taco seasoning along with some chili powder and lime. Once the fish is done, transfer the fish onto your favorite kind of tortilla or lettuce cup and top with anything from cilantro to salsa to guacamole. No matter what you decide to put on your tacos, just don’t forget to add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.


  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 ½ tsp. taco seasoning  
  • 2 limes
  • 1  tsp. of chili powder 
  • 4 flour/corn tortillas or lettuce cups

Extra-Spicy Guacamole

Nothing screams lounging poolside in the summer quite like munching on some chips and dip. If summer 2021 is the year that you’d like to take your “dip” game to the next level, then this extra-spicy guacamole is sure to do the trick. Start by peeling, pitting, and then mashing your avocados until they are at your desired level of creaminess. Then, in no particular order, add lime juice, salt, garlic powder (or fresh garlic if you prefer), red onion, cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeno, serrano pepper, and just a touch of garlic if you desire some extra creaminess in your guac. Sprinkle with pepper and a cilantro garnish and voilà!


  • 3 Avocados
  • 1 ½ limes
  • 1  tsp. salt
  • 1  tsp. garlic powder
  • 1  tbsp. red onion
  • ½  tbsp. olive oil
  • 3  tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 ½ chopped tomatoes
  • ½ jalapeno, chopped thin
  • ½ serrano pepper, chopped thin

Spicy Prickly Pear Margaritas

Prickly pear margaritas are known for being both sweet and stunning due to the bright pink color of the prickly pear fruit. While it is typically a thirst-quenching cocktail, adding a bit of spice to this normally sweet recipe gives it the perfect edge to get the party started. Simply muddle your chopped jalapeno and then add your choice of tequila, fresh-squeezed lime juice, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, and prickly pear syrup to a shaker. Shake it up and serve over ice.


  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 1 ½ ounces sweet and sour mix
  • 1 oz. triple sec
  • 1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 oz. prickly pear syrup
  • ½ jalapeno, chopped and muddled

Grilled Corn and Poblano Salad

While the main dish is always the star of any good meal, side dishes also play a vital role in rounding out a dining experience. This grilled corn and poblano pepper salad is the perfect side dish to throw together for any outdoor barbeque or summer gathering. Start by boiling the corn as you chop the poblano peppers. After boiling for about 4-5 minutes, shuck the corn until you have 3 cups of kernels. Combine peppers and corn into a saute pan, adding the pepper, cayenne, salt, chopped garlic, and for some extra spice, a thinly chopped serrano pepper, until the corn has a nice charcoaled look to its edges. If you’d prefer, roasting the peppers and corn in the oven is also an option that will result in a slightly smokier flavor.


  • 3 cups corn (fresh, not canned)
  • 2 cups poblano pepper
  • ½  tsp. pepper
  • 1  tsp. cayenne
  • 1  tsp. salt
  • 1  tbsp. chopped garlic
  • ½ serrano pepper (optional)

Shrimp Ceviche

If you’re looking for something more mild and refreshing, spicy shrimp ceviche just might be your best option for a summer dish. Rather than grilling or cooking the shrimp, place your deveined and peeled shrimp in a wide bowl or deep plate and cover with ½ cup of fresh-squeezed lime juice. Let the shrimp “cook” in the lime juice for 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Once they are to your liking, add chopped tomato, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, cucumber, salt, and garlic powder, along with the rest of the lime juice. Lastly, add some sliced avocado on top with a dash of pepper and serve with tortilla chips.


  • 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (medium size)
  • ½ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • ½ red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped Persian cucumber
  • ½  tsp. salt
  • ½  tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 avocado
  • Tortilla chips

Tags: Healthy Recipes, Quick Recipe Ideas, Summer recipes

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Written By

Allie Lebos

Allie Lebos is a freelance writer living in Santa Monica, CA where she writes about local restaurants, lifestyle and travel. See Full Bio

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