Here are all the best jalapeno recipes to make with this spicy pepper! Jalapeño adds a bright zingy flavor and a kick to everything it touches.
Got some jalapeño peppers? This small and mighty pepper is one of the tastiest around. Not only does it bring a kick of heat to recipes, it adds a bright zingy flavor that’s hard to replicate with any other ingredient. This medium-sized pepper was originally cultivated in Mexico, so it’s often associated with Mexican cuisine.
Here are all the best jalapeno recipes to make with these tasty peppers! You can pickle them as a topping for tacos and nachos, make them into a spicy margarita, or of course use them in the most classic fresh salsa and guacamole. Let’s get cooking!
At the top of our jalapeno recipes: pickled jalapeños! This recipe is so easy and a great way to use up a load of peppers. It takes only 10 minutes of hands on time, and the flavor? Explosively good! These pickled jalapeños have a tangy pop; they’re like a heightened version of the ones you can get at the store. Eat them on chili, quesadillas, tacos, nachos, pizza, and more.
This jalapeño pizza recipe will be a hit if you love the bright zingy flavor of this mighty pepper! Instead of a tomato sauce or even a white sauce, this pizza has a base of tangy salsa verde! Pair the heat of the jalapeno with savory zucchini, bright sweet corn, and gooey cheese, and it’s a uniquely delicious pie that you’ll fall head over heels for.
Want to heat up your cocktail repertoire? Meet the Jalapeno margarita! This jalapeno recipe takes the classic margarita and shakes it up with a few jalapeño pepper slices. The pepper adds a kick that takes this favorite drink to new heights! At first sip it tastes crisp and tart, and then POW! It’s got just the right amount of heat to mix things up, but not so much that it’s throat burning.
Another one of the classic jalapeno recipes for using up those spicy peppers: salsa! What is the best salsa recipe? This one, we think. There are so many different types — and as avid salsa lovers, Alex and I are fans of all of them. We’ve made just about every type of salsa imaginable: fresh salsa, red salsa, tomatillo salsa, mango salsa, peach salsa: you name it! This one, though is the BEST, starring fresh garden tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and lots of lime.
Here's an unlikely jalapeno recipe: Green Goddess dressing! This one is a healthy, Mexican-vibed spin on the classic. Making your own salad dressing is easy, you know exactly what it’s made of, and it tastes incredible! This one features cilantro, green onion and jalapeño add a zesty flair. Hold onto your hats, because this zesty homemade dressing is drop dead delicious.
The other classic jalapeno recipe: Guacamole! Guacamole is like potato salad and coleslaw: everyone has their family favorite recipe. And this simple guacamole is ours. It’s a home run every time! When we serve it, a chorus of “Wow’s” fill the room. (Really. Not hyperbole!) What makes it so great? It’s classic and has the perfect balanced flavor: perfectly savory, creamy, and tangy. Serve it up with tortilla chips and your guests — and you — won’t be able to stop eating it.
Love spicy drinks? Us too. So why not heat up your brunch cocktail routine with a spicy Bloody Mary? This jalapeno recipe is a spin on the classic with just the right amount of heat in each sip. It’s savory, tangy and salty, not overwhelmingly spicy but with a decided kick on the finish! The pizzazz comes from two ingredients: fresh jalapeño slices and Tabasco sauce. Take a sip and the jalapeño fills the front end and the hot sauce kicks in a zing at the finish.
Here's a tasty jalapeno recipe that's a filling plant based meal: Cuban black beans! They're saucy and rich, and you'll find they taste just as good as restaurant-style! They're sauteed with a little butter, green pepper, onion and jalapeno pepper into a creamy savory mess. Serve with rice for a simple dinner.
Here’s a jalapeno recipe with a party vibe: Texas caviar! Cowboy caviar, as it’s also known, was invented in Texas and has now spread all over the US. This combo of black eyed peas, veggies and a vinaigrette dressing is equal parts zesty and comforting: and you can use it as a dip or healthy side dish. Our favorite recipe has loads of colorful veggies, cilantro and jalapenos, and a simple zingy dressing with the perfect flavor.
Got jalapeno peppers? Let’s make pico de gallo! There’s something so carefree about munching on pico and chips. If you’ve got ripe tomatoes, pico is the perfect place to use them. Use it as a salsa with tortilla chips, use it on top of grilled fish, or of course, throw it into a taco. Here are all the secrets to how to make this classic Mexican sauce.
Last up in our jalapeno recipes...nachos! These loaded grilled nachos are a perfect grilling recipe to wow a crowd for entertaining. The grill brings a smoky, charred flavor to the nachos and they look stunning in a cast iron skillet. You can also make them in the broiler, too! The way the smoky grilled jalapeno and bell peppers infuse flavor into the entire pile of nachos is simply stunning.
How hot is a jalapeno pepper?
The jalapeno pepper is a medium spicy pepper. The heat rating is 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). Here’s where it stacks up against other types of peppers:
Wash a wide-mouth pint mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water. Then rinse and let air dry.
Thinly slice the jalapeño peppers. Fill the jar with the slices.
Peel the garlic cloves, leaving them whole. In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, peppercorns and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt (this will take only a few minutes).
Once boiling, pour the brine into the jar (including the bay leaf). Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Discard any remaining brine, or top off the jar with extra water if any peppers are exposed at the top.
Screw on the lid tightly and allow to cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Eat immediately, or refrigerate until serving. Keeps up to 1 month refrigerated.
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.