I love backyard barbecues that are easy, tasty, and filled with my favorite Latin flavors! This menu featuring skirt steak chimichurri is one of my go-to summer grilling favorites, and it was my Thanksgiving menu for many years. We live in Miami so backyard barbecues are great in November.
Sometimes I spend more time putting a menu together than I do cooking it. So I wanted to provide you with an easy backyard barbecue menu so you can spend more time chilling this summer. You’ll find that skirt steak is an easy and flavorful steak perfect for the grill and this Cilantro Chimichurri sauce is great on steaks, veggies, bread, plantain chips (mariquitas), just about everything!
Easy Backyard Barbecue Menu
You can pair this skirt steak chimichurri with a grilled vegetable salad and crusty bread for an all-grill meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes. Or you can enjoy the grilled skirt steak with congri rice and maduros, this is how I prepared it for Thanksgiving. (My family is not big turkey, so we went non-traditional most years.)
The first time I ate skirt steak chimichurri it was at a Nicaraguan restaurant and they paired it with congri rice and fried sweet plantains (maduros). The limey chimichurri and the sweet fried plantains were such a good combo!! You can make the rice ahead of time and just reheat and the maduros take no time to fry. If you have an outdoor grill with a side burner, it’s even easier because you can fry the maduros as the steak is grilling.
For starters, I like to have grilled sausage and peppers montaditos. These are appetizer-sized choripan, a popular Argentine street food made with chorizo and chimichurri sauce. You’ll find the chimichurri sauce will be doing double and triple duty in this meal.
To finish this crazy good backyard barbecue menu, we have caramel flan, a very traditional Cuban dessert that is easy and so very velvety sweet you’ll fall in love with it.
So here are the two menu options:
Backyard Barbecue Menu Option 1: Grilled Sausage and Peppers Montaditos Skirt Steak Chimichurri Grilled Vegetable Salad Crusty bread Caramel Flan Backyard Barbecue Menu Option 2: Grilled Sausage and Peppers Montaditos Skirt Steak Chimichurri Congri Rice Maduros Caramel Flan
Grilled Sausage and Peppers Montaditos
These little Grilled Sausage and Peppers Montaditos made with Argentinian sausage are perfect for summer grilling! Slices of crusty bread are piled high with grilled sausages and peppers and onions and drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Montadito is a Spanish tapas that consists of little breads or slices filled with savory toppings.
You can pace your grilling so it’s laidback by starting with these chorizos on the grill as a first course. This way you don’t have a huge amount to grill all at once. While folks are enjoying their montaditos you can add the other items to the grill. The skirt steak and veggies cook quickly, in about ten minutes so you may want to wait a bit before you throw them on the grill.
This recipe serves eight people.
Chimichurri is originally from Argentina and Uruguay, but it’s popular all over Latin America. The traditional sauce has a lot of fresh chopped parsley and olive oil and smaller amounts of garlic, oregano, and vinegar. I opted for lemon juice in my recipe. You’ll need to double this recipe so you can have plenty for dipping, topping drizzling and slurping (I know, I’m over the top about this sauce!).
Cilantro chimichurri is the star of this backyard barbecue menu. Because you’ll use it as a skirt steak marinade and steak finishing sauce, it’s drizzled on the montaditos, and can also be used as a dipping sauce for the crusty bread. I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a staple in your barbecues.
Grilled Skirt Steak Chimichurri
Another name for skirt steak is churrasco, which is very popular in Argentine cooking. Argentines are famous for their epic backyard barbecues that include skirt steak churrasco among other cuts of beef, chorizo, and blood sausage.
Skirt steak is perfect for grilling and can really absorb the flavors of the marinade. You can find inside and outside skirt steak at your local supermarket. The best cut to use in inside steak because it’s more tender. But I’ve used outside skirt to make my Grilled Steak Chimichurri with great results too (it helps that my son is great at grilling meats!).
This recipe serves four so you’ll need to double it if you have more guests.
Grilled Vegetable Salad
If you love the smokey flavor of char-grilled veggies, you’ll love this Grilled Vegetable Salad that’s a perfect complement for the skirt steak chimichurri. This recipe makes four servings, so you’ll need to double it if you have more peeps coming.
I like that all the elements of your meal can be cooked on the grill so you don’t have to keep running into the kitchen to finish some things. You can enjoy your backyard barbecue to the fullest, with a glass of wine or an ice-cold beer and great convo from your favorite guests.
Cuban Congrí Rice
Congri Rice is a traditional Spanish black beans rice side dish served with just about anything Cuban, especially meats and pork. It’s great with the skirt steak chimichurri. This is an authentic Cuban recipe and it’s one of my mom’s best recipes (aka Bean Train).
You can make the beans in the Instant Pot and then finish the rice on the stovetop. If you want to keep your summer grilling simple, I suggest you make the congri rice the day before and then reheat it. It’s great the next day. In fact, this is a recipe that you can freeze for later if you have any leftovers.
This recipe serves eight people, maybe more.
Fried Sweet Plantains (Maduros)
Fried Sweet Plantains, known as plátanos maduros, are a very common side dish in Cuban cooking. It’s usually served with savory meat dishes like this one. The trick to making these is to choose very ripe plantains. They are best when they are almost black. Each plantain will yield about 6-8 slices, so you may need to fry up a few of these sweeties.
Maduros cook quickly and can be done on the side burner while the steak is grilling. If you can’t find plantains in your supermarket produce section, try the frozen foods. You may find some Latin brands that are already sliced and just need to be fried for a few minutes.
End With a Traditional Cuban Dessert – Caramel Flan
Caramel flan is the most popular Cuban dessert served for any special occasion. It’s luscious, creamy, and ridiculously easy to make. You do need to make this flan recipe the day before, so it has time to chill.
What makes this dessert so amazing is the caramel sauce which is nothing more than melted sugar but tastes like so much more than that!
You can make the individual portions in ramekins which are so pretty or make the flan in cake pan or pie plate for easy serving. A cake also gives you more flexibility with the portions. This recipe can be made in the Instant Pot or oven. If you’re going to use the Instant Pot , you’ll need to by a flan mold insert.
I do hope you enjoy making this backyard barbecue menu as much as you’ll enjoy eating it! ¡Buen provecho!