Hot sauce is unquestionably a kick-ass condiment, but if you really want to bring the heat, you should think beyond the bottle. Jalapeño peppers not only taste great in pretty much every Mexican dish ever—and who doesn’t love cheesy, guacamole-topped goodness?—but also in eggs, burgers, dips, salads, and even muffins (trust us). See for yourself with these 23 jalapeño recipes.
1. Jalapeño Hummus
We could eat plain hummus at every meal, but experimenting with different flavors makes it that much more enticing. This recipe trades in lemon for lime and uses roasted jalapeños and cumin to give the creamy dip a soft kick. Top with fresh cilantro and make sure to give your hands an extra-good scrub to prevent any post-pepper burning.
2. Zucchini Noodles With Jalapeño Pesto
Homemade pesto transforms easy weeknight dinners from average to outstanding. This recipe ditches the noodles for zoodles—we love adding spiralized squash too—and gives the pesto fresh zest with jalapeños, spinach, and arugula. To make it vegan, use pine nuts or walnuts in place of the cheese.
3. Sticky Honey Jalapeño Island Chicken
Spicy, sweet, succulent… this island-inspired chicken recipe has it all when it comes to flavor. The secret to extra tender meat is marinating the drumsticks for at least 12 hours—24 if possible—and using jalapeño jelly to bind the sauce together. Top with sliced scallions and chopped peanuts for a nice crunch and serve with rice (pineapple fried rice is our go-to choice).
4. Low-Carb Jalapeño Crepes
Crepes satisfy more than just a sweet tooth. This keto-friendly crepe is savory, spicy, and full of bacon. (How’s that for a power breakfast?) Simply blend eggs, cream cheese, pickled jalapeños, butter, and a touch of sugar for the crepe wrapping, and mix together more cream cheese (nom), cooked bacon, and a splash of vanilla for the filler.
5. Chipotle Honey Roasted Jalapeño Peach Corn Quinoa Salad
It’s hard to keep salad inspiration going strong. This recipe keeps things interesting by mixing protein-packed quinoa, juicy peach slices, sharp cheddar cheese, and charred jalapeños with a punchy chipotle honey dressing. The result: not your average salad, not your average flavor (in the best kind of way). Add diced chicken breast to make it extra filling and romaine for a bit more crunch.
6. Jalapeño Popper Chicken Salad
Got leftover rotisserie chicken? Good, because you’ll want to make this dish stat. The shredded chicken is mixed with mayo, cream cheese, red onion, pickled jalapeños, bacon, and cheddar cheese to create the most interesting (and delicious) chicken salad you’ll likely ever have. Scoop up with lettuce cups to keep it low carb and substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo and cream cheese if you want to make it just a bit healthier (without sacrificing flavor).
7. Pea Shoot, Radish, and Fermented Jalapeño Tostadas
Tostadas are one of those dishes we often order out and seldom make at home—until now. This simple recipe layers fiber-filled black beans, toasted tortillas, fried eggs, and sliced avocado for a super-stacked breakfast. Top it off with pea shoots, radishes, and the secret star (fermented jalapeños), and relish in the fact that you’ll never have to turn to takeout again.
8. Jalapeño Cheddar Grits With Poached Egg
Sick of oatmeal? Switch to grits. This dish uses onions, garlic, and jalapeños for the bite and cheddar cheese, butter, and milk to make it extra rich. While we often love subbing nondairy milk in dishes, these grits taste best full of dairy (though you can use skim milk to lighten it up). Serve with poached or fried eggs and chicken sausage.
9. Cheddar Jalapeño Chicken Burgers With Guacamole
Regular beef burgers are great. Chicken jalapeño burgers, on the other hand, are amazing. Oh, and they’re topped with cheddar cheese and guacamole—making “amazing” feel like an understatement. Skip the mustard and ketchup and opt for pico de gallo and sour cream and serve with roasted sweet potato wedges.
10. Candied Jalapeños
Feeling inspired to put jalapeño on everything? Us too. These candied jalapeños make that dream a reality. Softening the spice with a little bit of sweet, these pickled peppers are the perfect topper for tacos, scrambled eggs, protein bowls, and everything really. They’re also a delicious snack—though be warned that they’re a bit addictive.
11. Jalapeño Popper Deviled Eggs
The devil is in the details in this spin on deviled eggs. Made with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon, mayo, and of course, jalapeños, this low-carb bite is the perfect snack when you’re craving something indulgent but don’t want to go overboard. Those averse to mayo can either skip it or sub in Greek yogurt.
12. Asian Jalapeño Chicken
Easy chicken doesn’t meanbland chicken. This Asian-inspired recipe uses honey, lemon, jalapeño, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, and Sriracha to give serious life to the lean protein. Eat with brown rice, quinoa, or zucchini noodles, and make sure to drench with extra sauce. We also love cooking with pineapple for a little extra sweet. (Cashews make a good add-in too.)
13. Baked Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
This decadent dish is not only spiced with jalapeños, but also with red pepper flakes, pepper jack cheese, and Dijon mustard, making it supremely spicy—and supremely good. The spicy mac and cheese, which only takes 30 minutes to make, has quickly become one of our favorite weeknight (comfort) dishes.
14. Grilled Salmon With Strawberry Jalapeño Salsa
You don’t need 20 ingredients to whip up something impressive. This recipe has two main components—salmon and salsa—and is far from lacking in taste. The sweetness of fresh strawberry pairs perfectly with jalapeño, red onion, and cilantro and makes the perfect topper for grilled (or roasted) fish. Serve on a bed of greens with a drizzle of olive oil and sliced limes.
15. Lime Jalapeño Chicken Soup
Now this is chicken soup for the soul. Spiced with an entire jalapeño, it’s a great dish for when you have a cold or are simply craving some heat. For extra protein, add white beans, and if you’re looking for extra greens, wilt spinach in the soup right before serving. As with many soups, the flavor intensifies when it sits, so make sure to cook plenty for leftovers.
16. Garlic Jalapeño Chicken Sausage Patties
Sausage patty, meatball, mini burger, there’s no wrong way to eat these delicious mounds of chicken. Ground meat is mixed with a variety of spices—crushed fennel seeds are a surprisingly wonderful add-in—and cooked in a nonstick skillet for a fuss-free breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Bonus: They freeze well, so make extra.
17. Honey Jalapeño Cornbread Muffins
As if cornbread couldn’t get better… along came jalapeños. Classic cornbread batter is mixed with brown butter, fresh jalapeños (don’t use canned or pickled!), sour cream, buttermilk, and a few more savory surprises and baked for 15 minutes, or until they are ultra fragrant and just starting to go golden. Serve warm with extra butter (because why not?) and honey.
18. Grilled Clams With Charred Jalapeño Basil Butter
Shellfish can be a little intimidating, but these clams couldn’t be more of a breeze. Simply pop them on the grill until they open and then mix with melted jalapeño butter. (Though it should really be called jalapeño cheesy butter, as it’s loaded with blue cheese.) We love dropping the drenched clams into linguine or eating al fresco with a side of grilled sourdough.
19. Slow-Cooker Jalapeño Chicken Taquitos
Leave it to a slow cooker to make chicken perfectly tender and all kinds of flavorful. This spin on jalapeño poppers uses cream cheese, sour cream, jalapeños, diced green chili, and a slew of spices to create the rich filling, and then rolls all that goodness into tortillas and bakes under another layer of cheese. The perfect party snack goes great with fresh salsa, and, naturally, guacamole.
20. Southwestern Eggs Benedict
Hollandaise is a surprisingly simple sauce, even when it’s made special with jalapeños. Another fun twist: using chorizo in place of classic Canadian bacon. Pair with a spicy Bloody Mary and definitely carve out time for a post-brunch nap. (You’ll probably dream of these Benedicts… )
21. Easy Jalapeño Shrimp Veggie Bake
Some like it hot—and those who do will love this shrimp bake. Full of fresh tomatoes, squash, zucchini, red onion, cream (or coconut cream), eggs, and a wee bit of cheese (nutritional yeast works too), this spicy seafood dish is perfect for date night or a quick family dinner. Eat with a simple Caesar salad or steamed artichoke.
22. Roasted Jalapeño Vegan Queso
Dairy lovers shouldn’t have all the fun. This vegan queso dip is here to help. Made with only seven ingredients, it’s proof that cheese-free is the way to be (at least sometimes). Spiced with jalapeños, chili and garlic powder, cumin, and sea salt, it’s everything we love about queso without the post-dipping stomachache.
23. Jalapeño Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos With Avocado-Lime Crema
It wouldn’t be right to have a list of jalapeño recipes without at least one taco. This veggie-friendly version uses sweet potato and black beans in place of meat and packs on the flavor with sliced avocado, purple cabbage, and a light, tangy crema. We love experimenting with fillers, like portobello mushroom and cauliflower, and serving as a salad on a large bed of lettuce.