30 Spicy Recipes to Try When You're in the Mood for a Meal That Packs Serious Heat
From fresh chile peppers to sambal oelek, these fiery ingredients, among others, star in recipes guaranteed to hit all the hotspots.
Whether you keep things mild with poblano peppers or like the super intense heat that comes from Scotch Bonnet and habanero peppers, these spicy recipes get a serious kick from ingredients like chile peppers, ground spices, and Asian-inspired chili sauces like sambal oelek and gochujang.
Chili recipes are always cozy, comforting, and generally offer a bit of heat. Our vegetarian Smoky Tofu Chili gets its heat and flavor from chopped chipotle in adobo, ground cumin, and tomato paste. Another warm, crowd-friendly dish is our recipe for Green-Chile Chicken and Dumplings—the filling is made with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, chopped poblano peppers, potato, thyme, chili powder, and corn kernels. Looking for a simple, spicy side dish? Try our summery Spicy Pineapple-Peanut Salad; the juicy fruit is dressed with thinly sliced shallot, roasted peanuts, and serrano chile peppers. Or whip up a quick Spicy Chili Dip using just two ingredients—sour cream and sambal oelek. It's perfect for serving alongside raw or grilled vegetables and pita bread.
We also have several recipes for condiments that call for spicy peppers—our Jalapeno-Mint Jelly is delicious alongside meat or fish and Quick-Pickled Chiles are the ultimate burger or hot dog topping. For happy hour, shake up a Habanero-Hibiscus Sour. And despite its pretty pink hue, it packs a serious punch. Or take a trip to the tropics with our Smoky Serrano-Mint Margarita; a touch of sumac, plenty of lime juice, serrano chile, and fresh mint leaves add plenty of flavor to this classic cocktail.
Spicy Pineapple-Peanut Salad
Rib-Eye with Jalapeno Butter
Smoky Tofu Chili
Grilled Bread and Chiles with Burrata
Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry
Green-Chile Chicken and Dumplings
Jalapeno-Bacon Johnnycakes with Avocado-Cilantro Cream
This all-American flatbread is taken to the next level with bacon, bell pepper, and jalapeño peppers. A cool, creamy avocado dip helps to cut the heat.
One of the best ways to preserve the flavor of fresh produce, such as jalapeño or serrano peppers, is to turn it into a jam. Fresh mint leaves and sugar add a touch of sweetness and brightness that's particularly tasty served alongside fish, lamb, or steak.
Chiles Rellenos Divorciados
Large poblano peppers are charred over a grill, then stuffed with Mexican Chihuahua cheese, fried until golden brown and puffy, and topped with sesame seeds and two kinds of tomato salsa.
South American pisco (similar to brandy) is shaken with egg whites and lime juice until frothy. It's the perfect base for the spicy and floral simple syrup made from habanero chiles and dried Hibiscus flowers, which add a pink tint to this inventive cocktail.
Spicy Turkey Medianoches
Upgrade the classic Cuban-inspired sandwich with thinly sliced jalapeño peppers, which are layered along with oven-roasted turkey, sliced prosciutto, and Swiss cheese.
Grilled Corn with Fish Sauce and Scallions
Smoky Serrano-Mint Margarita
Grilled-Chicken Tostadas with Tomatillo-Cilantro Salsa
Kidney beans smashed with minced chipotle in adobo and coriander seeds serve as the first layer of these crowd-friendly tostadas. Shredded chicken that's been tossed with freshly made salsa, sliced avocados, and sour cream complete the dish.
Spicy Vegetarian Chile
Slow-Cooker Indian-Style Fish Curry
Fish Taco Bowl with Lime Crema
Looking for a flavorful, family-friendly dinner? Make these rice bowls topped with white fish (we chose striped-bass fillets)—each fillet is rubbed with cumin, coriander, and chili powder.
Spicy Shrimp Fajitas with Grilled Pineapple Pico
Chili-Glazed Fried-Chicken Lettuce Cups
Cilantro Rice Bowl with Poached Eggs and Greens
A chile pepper vinaigrette made with Scotch bonnet peppers (the result is seriously spicy) is drizzled over this healthy, vegetarian rice bowl.
Asian Pork Buns with Bok-Choy Slaw
Ground pork is sautéed with sweet hoisin sauce, spicy sambal oelek, and white vinegar for these absolutely irresistible handheld buns.
Backyard Jerk Chicken
Dan Dan Noodles
Our lighter take on the classic Szechuan pork-and-noodle dish calls for dark leafy greens (think spinach, mustard greens, or tatsoi). A homemade chili oil takes it to the next level.