Sriracha (pronounced sir-rotch-ah or sear-raw-chah) is a bright red hot sauce that’s getting seriously popular. The paste-like sauce—named after Sri Racha, Thailand—is made from chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. The versatile hot stuff provides low-cal flavor and can be used as a dipping sauce for just about anything, and is gaining fame as a go-to street-food condiment. If you want to sound extra cool, call it by its alias, “rooster sauce.”
To get started, make your own sriracha with one of these recipes—honeyed sriracha, simple sriracha—or find it in most major grocery stores (typically in the Asian foods section) with a bright green cap and a rooster on the label. Added bonus: Besides firing up a meal, studies suggest the capsaicin in chili peppers can speed up metabolism and suppress appetite Effects of capsaicin, green tea and CH-19 sweet pepper on appetite and energy intake in humans in negative and positive energy balance. Reinbach, HC., Smeets, A., Martinussen, T., et al. Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 30, Frederiksberg C, Denmark. Clinical Nutrition (Edinburgh, Scotland), Jun; 28(3):260-5. The effects of hedonically acceptable red pepper doses on thermogenesis and appetite. Ludy, MJ, Mattes, RD. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Physiology and Behavior, 2011 Mar 1;102(3-4):251-8. . We’ve rounded up some of our favorite healthier sriracha recipes, from healthy breakfast burritos, soups, and stews, to cocktails and sweet treats. Have a glass of water on the ready, because it’s about to get hot up in here.
Add slices of avocado and tomato to fluffy poached eggs for a new take on the old classic. Make a healthier hollandaise (it’s still creamy, but has a little less butter) with sriracha mixed right in.
Counter the sweetness of sweet potatoes with sriracha, garlic, and an egg. Added Bonus: You just need one pan!
These omelets don’t rely on stereotypical fillings like cheese and veggies. Instead, they’re stuffed with rice and chicken seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. For a healthier version, choose brown rice and low-sodium soy sauce.
These moist corn muffins have sriracha swirled right into the batter. Pack them for breakfasts on-the-go or top with cottage cheese or plain Greek yogurt for a protein-packed snack.
This combination could not be more terrifying or enticing all at the same time. Cut back on some of the cheese and sub in whole-wheat flour for a healthier waffle.
Ditch the fruit and other “normal” oatmeal fixings for sriracha, garlic, rosemary, and cashews. Top the dish with a sunny-side up egg for extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.
This frittata has tons of veggies and greens—spinach, red onion, peppers, mushrooms, and parsley—plus a mix of Parmesan and goat cheese. Sriracha goes right into the scramble, but a little drizzle on top is highly suggested.
This clean eat has all sorts of healthy ingredients, including veggies, edamame, and cashews. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat—a gluten-free flour—but check the label anyway since some manufacturers sneak wheat in there!
This recipe is quick, simple, and light. Stuff the rolls with small strips of bacon, lettuce, and tomato. The sriracha comes into play in the spicy-lime mayo. Find rice paper rolls in the international section of grocery stores or at Asian markets.
This Vietnamese-style dish takes less than 30 minutes to make and uses a garlic-lemongrass sriracha marinade. (Yum!) For extra heat, go buck wild with the chili dipping sauce. The skewers make for a pretty presentation for an appetizer or lunch.
Quinoa strikes again! This time it’s used as a stand-in for rice in these healthier spring rolls. Julienned cucumbers and carrots accompany shrimp, lettuce, and quinoa inside rice paper wrappers. Dip them in a sriracha-infused peanut sauce to up the nom-factor.
Choose brown rice and olive oil to make this spicy rice a slightly healthier lunch choice. Add some green with broccoli florets or bok choy, and beef up the meal with a protein like tofu, chicken, or steak.
Tofu isn’t the most glamorous looking (or tasting) food. However, dousing it in garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha, and peanut butter make it much more appealing. The tofu slices are browned, and the sauce thickens when cooked for non-rubbery tofu that’s anything but bland.
Make the grilled cheese part of this recipe healthier by using whole-wheat toast, plain shredded chicken, and 1/4 cup of cheese. Believe us, there’s still plenty of creaminess thanks to the peanut sauce and avocado, plus tons of flavor from cilantro and, of course, sriracha.
Spice up a boring salad or soup with hot croutons. This simple recipe calls for only four ingredients—bread, oil, sriracha, and garlic. Use whole-grain bread for a heartier bite.
These meat-free burgers include red peppers, red onion, and green peppers, and stick together with panko breadcrumbs, egg, and black beans. The simple sauce is made up of non-fat plain yogurt, sriracha, and minced cilantro.
Marinate cubes of steak in a mixture of honey, soy sauce, and sriracha. Serve them skewered on giant Boston lettuce leaves with cucumber slices and sour cream (or use Greek yogurt as a healthier substitution).
This hearty meal is more pasta dish than soup, and combines a mushroom sauce with red miso paste, Greek yogurt, lime, sriracha, and broccoli florets. "Healthify" the recipe by using whole-wheat linguine.
If you’ve never heard of this fancy-sounding sauce, we’ll clue you in. It’s got minced shallots, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice, butter, sriracha, and fresh herbs. Plate the scallops with a sprinkle of fresh herbs, a lemon wedge, and a drizzle of sauce.
This recipe doesn’t require many ingredients or much effort (the oven does all the work). Toss chicken thighs in an oven-safe skillet with olive oil, lime juice, sriracha, and onion. Let the whole shabang hang out under a broiler toward the end of cooking to make it all nice and crispy.
Coconut milk is a perfect way to mellow out the sriracha and curry paste in this flavorful soup. Once all the veggies are chopped and the chicken is diced, the curry soup whips up in less than 15 minutes.
23. Vegan Sausages
“Vegan sausage” may sound like an oxymoron, but this spiced up version uses refried beans and chickpea flour as a base. If liquid smoke isn’t a pantry staple in your house, sub in Worcestershire sauce for equal flavor.
These towers are fancy. The stacks of deliciousness are formed by filling an empty can (with both ends removed) with layers of salmon, guacamole, and a sriracha-soy sauce. Radish and cucumber add a little crunch.
Spaghetti squash, the sneaky vegetable that pretends to be pasta, grows from a side dish into a main meal by adding in ground turkey. Onion, garlic, olive oil, fish sauce, and Sriracha season the squash.
This recipe adds broiled, seasoned salmon to pasta (try whole-wheat for a healthier, more filling dish), fresh herbs, and greens. To up the health factor, use reduced-fat mayo and sub in plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream. This dish can be served warm or cold.
Revamp meatballs with ground turkey, whole-wheat breadcrumbs, and the absence of fatty oils. Take meatballs out of the skillet and try cooking them on the grill for a smokier flavor profile.
This isn’t your average over-salted, over-fake-buttered movie theater snack. Give the popped kernels a good shake in a mixture of butter, olive oil, sriracha, sesame seeds, garlic, and ground ginger.
Tell us one person who doesn’t like French fries. While some people may steer clear of the prized fry’s lackluster nutritional value, these “fries” use butternut squash and an oven instead of potatoes and a deep fryer. Dip the sweet squash fries into a mixture of peanut oil and sriracha.
Hummus is cool and all, but when you need a change, try this hot soy sauce and sriracha-infused alternative. It’s got a lot going on with lime juice, curry powder, and garlic and works well with whole-wheat pita or as a sandwich spread.
These cheddary, spicy crackers aren’t exactly as healthy as a handful of carrots. But if you’re jonesing for a cheesy crunch (without all those hard-to-pronounce ingredients from processed versions), they’re a great homemade alternative.
Whisk up soy sauce, vinegar, sriracha, ginger, sesame oil, and a dash of sugar to coat chicken wings. Bake them in the oven until the sauce thickens up, and make sure to have a stack of napkins nearby. Feel free to use the glaze for spicy-sweet chicken breasts, too!
These pot stickers are simple: Shrimp, carrot, and scallions get tucked inside wonton wrappers. The dipping sauce combines soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, ginger, and a touch of sugar (as always, feel free to reduce the sugar). Serve as a party appetizer or use the glaze as a marinade for any protein.
We’ve tackled crunchy, roasted chickpeas before. This time, coat canned chickpeas (dried ones work too!) in a mixture of olive oil, sriracha, lime juice, sea salt, cilantro, and lime zest for a flavorful snack.
Take a boring, dry rice cake to new levels with sriracha, avocado, and arugula. Choose a super-ripe avocado to make a spread that’s more likely to stick to the crunchy cake.
Deviled eggs can be the devil when they’re loaded with mayo. Keep a this recipe healthy by using less mayo (or choosing a reduced-fat variety), and add flavor with sriracha and garlic.
Brussels sprouts get racy in this super easy recipe. Roast ‘em up with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then dip them in a mixture of sriracha and reduced-fat mayo or plain Greek yogurt.
Taro is kind of a funky root veggie, but makes for a great healthier version of chips and fries with its nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Dip the fries in a mixture of ketchup, sriracha, and a touch of chili oil.
This recipe has only five ingredients: Edamame, oil, soy sauce, sriracha, and wasabi powder. (Note: This recipe is almost guaranteed to open up your sinuses.) For a protein-filled crunch, these spicy beans fit the bill.
These “fried” green tomatoes are gluten-free (thanks to almond flour) and baked in an oven for a healthier take on the naughty pub fare. Dip each crispy tomato round into a mixture of ranch and sriracha, or skip the ranch and go straight to the Srirarcha for fewer calories.
This, we’ve got to try. After blending up margarita staples—strawberries, tequila, ice—bump up the spice level with a good helping of sriracha. (For a lesser-guilt beverage, feel free to cut back on the sugar.) Just get us a pool, some floaties, and we’re in.
These shots are “not for sissies.” Each glass layers a mix of mango purée, whiskey, and lime with a base of sriracha. The little shooters start out sweet and then kick you right in the tush.
Normally, hot toddies feature whiskey, lemon, and honey. This one draws from those basics, then heats things up with sriracha and ginger.
A good bloody is known for its kick, but this one gets an extra boom boom pow from the trio of wasabi, Worcestershire, and sriracha. The recipe makes enough for two, but we won’t tell anyone if you chose not to share.
45. Cocky Rooster
Jazz up an ice-cold brew with sriracha. Add lime juice, sriracha, and jalapeños to any lager-style beer (here’s how to choose a healthier one).
Ginger and sriracha—often paired in food recipes—share the spotlight in this vodka-spiked cocktail. Serrano chilies make it even hotter.
Your mind may be blown, but sriracha in ice cream is a real thing. Coconut milk cools down the hot pepper flavor. Cocoa powder, ground cinnamon, and maple syrup also take a ride in the ice cream maker. Let's be honest: This dessert is no fruit kebab, but it’s healthier than many store-bought frozen novelties.
Chunks of banana are literally painted with sriracha to make these fritters. They may not be the healthiest choice, but at least we’re getting some potassium as part of this sweet treat. Since frying isn't exactly a healthy cooking method, we recommend popping these tasty slices under the broiler instead.
Add a scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt to this spicy peach-based dessert. Make a healthier crumble topping with chopped nuts, oats, and whole-wheat flour.
For a slightly healthier take on this scrumptious recipe, combine nonfat or low fat strawberry frozen yogurt, skip the graham cracker crumbs, and add sriracha and whipped cream for a spicy but cold, semi-“healthy” dessert.
Originally posted February 2013. Updated August 2013.