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Liven Up Your Next Barbecue With Fruit

Updated on March 7, 2014

When most people hear the word barbecue, fruit isn’t exactly the first image that pops into their minds. Not only are fruit-based marinades recipes for success, using actual chunks of fruit are also going to provide moisture and sweetness to anything you add it to. Here are a few ways fruit can enhance your menu the next time you throw a barbecue.

On the Grill

Squeeze the juice of a couple fresh lemons and oranges or any combination of citrus fruits you prefer, over the chicken breast as you flip them on the grill. You can grill up halved oranges and lemons to serve with the chicken. While you’re at it, grill up slices of mango, avocado and rings of pineapple so your guests can throw them on top of their burgers, chicken breasts or steaks.


Whether you’re putting chicken, shrimp, or steak on skewers you can find fruits to fit in just as snugly with the meats as vegetables do. For chicken and shrimp, think cherry tomatoes, red onions, chunks of pineapple and any color bell pepper. You could make steak kabobs with yellow squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe. Steak skewers with chunks of avocado and mango are also excellent. Or simply pair your steak up with peaches. These are all incredibly complimentary flavors and grill nicely.

On the Side

Consider adding halved grapes, Greek yogurt and dried cranberries to your potato or chicken salads. Traditional tossed salads can be livened up with slices of pears, apples or blackberries. Throw in some walnuts and cheese-crumbles like feta or blue cheese, the variety of flavors and textures are pallet pleasing to say the least.


If you’re serving guacamole, prepare it how you usually would but add chopped mango to it as well. The same goes for salsa or pica de gallo. Simply add fruit to these basics to come up with mixtures like peach mango salsa or avocado mango salsa. Dice up fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew to sweeten up your pica de gallo.

On the Rocks

Serving fruit filled drinks like Mojitos and homemade Sangria are far more appealing than just setting out a cooler of beer. Not that you should dismiss your beer cooler, enhance the beverage station with additional options. To keep things simple, you can choose one signature drink for the evening like “Melon Sparklers”. Just make melon balls out of honeydew and pop them into glasses of a chilled, fizzy Italian wine like Moscato. You could even freeze the melon balls and some grapes to act as ice for the wine.

© 2014 Lyra Radford

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