71. Barrington EATS: Make the Most of Your Cinco de Mayo

Home Newsroom 71. Barrington EATS: Make the Most of Your Cinco de Mayo

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, we have a recipe duo to get you in the mood. Nothing says “fiesta” like fabulous food made with less money and time spent in the kitchen.

Post - Cinco de Mayo Stamp

Yes, there is a lot to be said for cooking once and eating twice, especially when the second meal is as good as the first. And I can’t believe I’m still talking about soup in April, but this Spring, it’s unfortunately still on the menu. I’ve thrown in a mango margarita recipe to warm you up as well.

Post - Tortilla Soup

Using leftover fajitas to make tortilla soup is rewarding in the areas of both effort and taste. Make two great meals this week with the effort of one with Chicken Fajitas and Tortilla Soup. The same recipes can be made with steak by substituting 16 ounces of strip or flank steak for the chicken.

Flavorful chicken fajitas are marinated in delicious Mexican seasonings. So when there is some leftover, the seasonings infuse an added broth to make an incredible tasting soup with very little effort. Even more delicious is that the only other things you need to add besides a rich broth are the leftover rice and beans detailed in this recipe. Quick and easy food never tasted so satisfying.

Post - Cinco de Mayo

The following recipe for chicken fajitas serves four with enough leftover to make four servings of hearty restaurant-quality soup. If you are cooking for more or less people, adjust amounts accordingly…

Chicken Fajitas Recipe


4 chicken breasts, cubed

1 package of large flour tortillas

1 green pepper, cut into strips

1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into strips

1 onion, cut into strips

1/4 cup Italian dressing

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup shredded pepper/jack cheese

sour cream or Greek yogurt


shredded lettuce

2 cups rice

1 can seasoned pinto beans, drained

Add chicken, Italian dressing, and taco seasoning to a large Ziploc bag. Marinate in refrigerator for at least one half hour, up to overnight.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in large frying pan on stove. Add chicken and vegetables and cook over high heat, stirring frequently until cooked through.

Serve fajita meat on tortillas, topped with lettuce, sour cream, salsa, fresh guacamole, and/or cheese, as desired.

Meanwhile, cook rice according to package directions. Mix seasoned beans and 1 tablespoon of butter into cooked rice, and stir until warmed through. Continue warming on stove (low setting) if needed for adequate temperature. Serve rice and beans alongside fajitas.

Tortilla Soup Recipe


Leftover fajita meat and vegetables (approximately 2 cups)

4 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

leftover rice and beans, approximately 1 cup

tortilla chips

sour cream or Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

In a pan on stove, cook butter until bubbling. Add flour and stir until no longer clumpy.

Slowly add broth and milk, and continue to stir.

Add to broth leftover fajita mixture. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 20 minutes, while flavors infuse broth. Add leftover rice and beans and cook for 5 minutes more.

Top with tortilla chips, a spoonful of sour cream, and cilantro, as desired.

Mango Margarita Recipe


Makes 2

meat from 1 peeled mango

1 cup ice water

splash of orange juice

1/3 cup tequila

juice from ½ lime

Combine all ingredients in blender.



About the Author

Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.

Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our regular Friday food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!

If you’d like to us to feature you favorite chef, restaurant or food store or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE or simply leave your comment in the box below.

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