Don’t just drink your beer this summer — enjoy your favorite beverage in food-form, too. Beer has proven to add a unique flavor to many of our favorite dishes. We’re rounding up six recipes from around the web that enlist the adult beverage, and then it’s up to you to decide which to try first. Summer is the perfect season to drink your beer and pair it with beer-spiked food, too. Bottoms up!
1. Beer Macaroni and Cheese
This first dish from Taste of Home is what cheesy dreams are made of. Say hello to Beer Macaroni and Cheese and goodbye to your self control. If you didn’t think your favorite comfort food could get any better, just add beer, because the recipe developer behind this food formula says that this dish is not only decadently creamy, it also boasts a mild taste of beer.
- 1 package elbow macaroni
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- 2½ cups 2% milk
- ¾ cup amber beer
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 2 cups shredded fontina cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
Directions: Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the flour, mustard, salt, and pepper until smooth; gradually whisk in the milk, beer and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Reduce heat. Stir in 2 cups cheddar cheese, fontina cheese, and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese until melted. Add chives.
Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a greased 3-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.
Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and heated through. Top with crumbled bacon. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
2. Buffalo Beer Cheese Fries
Keeping with the cheese focus we come to these Buffalo Beer Cheese Fries from Bake Your Day next. Trust us when we say this dish is worth the deviation from your summer diet. Because how can you say no to beer-spiked cheese sauce that dresses fries topped with green onions, blue cheese, and cilantro? This is party food at its best, and even just a small cup of beer in your cheese sauce makes all the difference.
Beer cheese sauce
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beer
- ½ cup milk
- 6 ounces monterey jack cheese, finely shredded
- 4 ounces cup pepper jack cheese, finely shredded
- ¼ cup Frank’s red hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bag frozen french fries
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Directions: Cook the french fries according to package directions.
While the fries cook, make the beer cheese sauce: Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 2 to 3 minutes until the flour is fully incorporated, the mixture is smooth and slightly golden brown. Add in the beer and milk and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Add the hot sauce, stir in the cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally while assembling the fries.
To assemble: Layer the fries on a plate or platter. Drizzle about half of the beer cheese sauce over the cooked fries. Add a layer of green onion, blue cheese, cilantro. Serve with additional beer-cheese sauce for dipping.
3. Beer Can Chicken on the Grill
Fire up the grill — it’s time for some Beer Can Chicken. Follow this recipe featured on Food Network and enhance the flavor of your white meat by seasoning your chicken and then grilling it on top of a can of beer. Believe it or not, this cooking method makes the chicken thin, crispy, and juicy thanks to the poultry soaking up the moisture from the beer. Try it for yourself and see what we mean.
Beer Can Chicken Rub
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
For the Chicken
- 4 pounds chicken, washed and dried
- Vegetable oil
- Beer Can Chicken Rub
- 1 (12-ounce) can beer
Directions: For the rub: In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients together and use for the grilled chicken. You can store extra rub mixture in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
For the chicken: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Rub the chicken and its cavity down with the vegetable oil. Season the chicken with rub mixture, remembering to season the cavity. Pour out ¼ of the beer and sit the chicken on top of the beer can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover. Cook the chicken for 1 to 1½ hours, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
4. Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
You can make fish with beer, too, and this recipe from Cooking Light proves it. Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa make up the perfect summer supper, and this season is one of the only times you can find many of your ingredients on the recipe list fresh and at your local farmer’s market. Grab your fresh fruit and fish and get going. This fish will be nice and crunchy thanks to a flavorful beer batter, and the mango salsa adds the perfect sweet touch.
- 1 cup diced peeled ripe mango
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 5 cups canola oil
- 3.38 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 cup beer
- 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1½ pounds skinless halibut fillet, cut into 16 (3-by-1–inch) strips
- 8 corn tortillas
Directions: Combine first 6 ingredients; set aside.
Clip a fry thermometer to the side of a large, heavy saucepan. Add oil to pan; heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Reduce heat to medium, maintaining oil temperature.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, beer, black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and garlic powder, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to batter, tossing gently to coat. Remove fish from batter. Carefully add 4 or 5 fish pieces to hot oil; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and done, turning occasionally. Drain fish on paper towels. Repeat procedure in batches with remaining fish.
Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; spoon about 2 tablespoons salsa into each tortilla.
5. Bacon and Cheddar Beer Bread
Time for more carbs. Enter: Bacon and Cheddar Beer Bread from Brown Eyed Baker. If bacon, cheddar, and beer don’t yield a match made in guilty pleasure heaven, we don’t know what does. Check your sensibility at the door and make this Bacon and Cheddar Beer Bread because we promise you won’t regret it. This quick bread doesn’t require any yeast and it can be piping hot out of your oven in just 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, fried and coarsely chopped, grease reserved
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer or ale
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons reserved bacon grease
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With a wooden spoon, stir in the bacon and cheese until evenly distributed. Add the beer and stir with the spoon until the batter is evenly moistened.
Pour the melted butter into the bottom of the prepared loaf pan, and spoon the batter on top. Drizzle the bacon grease evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake until a thin skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
6. Hot Beer Cheese Dip
The last recipe on our list comes from Cook the Story, and it yields Hot Beer Cheese Dip. Pick your cheese vehicle of choice and dunk it in this dip that is made up of butter, milk, beer, mustard, and sharp cheddar cheese. This Hot Beer Cheese Dip will be one of the first foods to go at backyard summer parties, and you can serve it with bread, crackers, pretzels, or veggies. Now you can see that cheese only gets better with the addition of a little beer.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup milk, divided
- ½ cup beer
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Directions: In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt the better. Whisk in the flour.
Take the pan off of the heat and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the milk until smooth. Then whisk in 2 more tablespoons. Add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk that until smooth followed by the final ¼ cup of milk.
Stir in the beer, dijon, cayenne and salt. Return the pan to medium heat and stir until thick and bubbling, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the cheese one big handful at a time, whisking after each addition to melt it in. Taste and add more salt and cayenne if desired. Garnish with a pinch more of cayenne.