If you’re a fan of hot and spicy food, you’ll definitely appreciate these 20 jalapeno recipes.
Growing up, the only way I knew how to use jalapenos was in salsa or on a Subway sandwich.
Over the years, though, the number of jalapeno recipes in my recipe box has steadily grown larger and larger.
It started with obvious things like jalapeno poppers, Mexican cornbread, and jalapeno chili.
Now, it includes things like jalapeno black beans and watermelon cucumber jalapeno salad.
Believe it or not, there are so many practical uses for jalapenos.
While I could have probably made this list much longer, I decided to stick to 20 of my favorites.
Enjoy! And try not to let the heat get to you. 🙂
1. Jalapeno Poppers
Some of the first things I ever learned to make with jalapenos were savory, spicy jalapeno poppers. That’s because they’re surprisingly easy to make.
All you’ll need are jalapenos, cream cheese, garlic powder, sharp cheddar, chives, Panko bread crumbs, and butter.
These poppers are a hot and cheesy, buttery delight, and the crunchy breadcrumbs on top make them even better.
2. Baked Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese
Thanks to jalapeno poppers, we know cheese tastes good in jalapenos, but jalapenos also taste just as good in cheese.
This spicy, savory mac and cheese is proof of that.
The ingredients list is a bit long, but if you want to make delectable homemade macaroni and cheese, that’s just part of what it takes.
It’s relatively easy to make, taking only 30 minutes.
If you need a vegetarian option, leave out the crumbled bacon. However, if that’s not an issue, I encourage you to include it.
As it does in all things, bacon adds even more yumminess to this dish.
3. Jalapeno Popper Dip
Jalapeno popper dip has all the heat and deliciousness of jalapeno poppers – including the crunchy breadcrumb topping – but in dip form.
Serve it with chips, crackers, or veggie sticks. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
4. Skillet Corn with Jalapeno
I don’t know many people who don’t love whole-kernel corn.
It’s just one of those foods that practically everyone enjoys. It’s sweet and so tasty.
If you’re interested in adding a kick of heat to your corn, dice a jalapeno and cook it with the corn, sugar, butter, oil, salt, and pepper.
The corn will retain its sweetness, but you’ll get to enjoy a bit of spice with it, as well.
5. Jalapeno Guacamole
Guacamole is one of those foods that people either really love or really hate.
There’s not a lot of middle ground. If like me, you love it, then you’ll probably love its cool freshness.
It just has this fantastic creaminess and a refreshing flavor that is unlike most other foods.
If you chop up a roasted jalapeno and add it to it, it’ll retain that delightful freshness, but it’ll also gain a bit of spiciness that tastes great with tortillas or on top of main courses.
6. Jalapeno Cilantro Mexican Corn Salad
This Mexican corn salad is another fresh, flavorful dish that’s hard not to love.
It’s the ideal summer food that’ll give you south-of-the-border vibes from the corn, peppers, and cilantro.
You can eat it at room temperature if you like, but I prefer to make it ahead of time and let it chill in the fridge for at least a few hours before serving it.
7. Jalapeno Pizza
Jalapeno pizza is a Mexican pizza in the truest sense of the term.
It doesn’t use tomato, marinara, or alfredo sauce as a base. Instead, it features a zesty salsa verde.
The toppings, too, lean more towards the Mexican side of the spectrum than the Italian.
There’s corn, jalapenos, red onions, zucchini, cilantro, feta cheese, mozzarella, oil, and spices.
It brings the heat, but there’s also a delightful garden freshness to it that’s quite invigorating.
It takes some time to prepare (primarily idle time to let the dough rise), but once you have it ready, it only takes about 5 minutes to bake.
8. Jalapeno Chili
When it comes to chili, most people argue about beans vs. no beans. (I’m firmly in the pro-beans camp, by the way.)
However, for me, the presence of beans isn’t the biggest issue.
For me, the perfect chili has to have just the right amount of spice. That’s where the jalapenos come into play.
You can always top your chili with them, of course, but if you want to get the most amount of bang for your buck, you’ll want to add them to the chili while it simmers, as well.
9. Jalapeno Chicken Enchiladas
The ingredients list for these scrumptious enchiladas is a little long, and they take about 50 minutes to make, but they’re worth the effort.
The chicken is tender, well-seasoned, and juicy, and there’s plenty of rich, creamy cheese to enjoy.
If you want the authentic Mexican experience, though, you’ll also have to add the jalapenos, both inside the enchiladas and on the top.
10. Jalapeno Black Beans
If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort making an intricate, tasty main course (like the jalapeno chicken enchiladas, for example), the last thing you’ll want to do is waste more time and effort on side dishes.
These jalapeno black beans take very little effort and time, especially since you can make them with canned black beans.
Simply saute your onions, jalapenos, and garlic cloves, then pour in the beans and some cumin and salt.
If you want even more heat, add a dash of Mexican hot sauce, as well.
11. Tomato Jalapeño Salsa
This recipe is for everyone who’s always wanted to make their own salsa but thought it would be too difficult.
This five-ingredient salsa is so simple that a child could make it.
All you’ll need are tomatoes, an onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, and salt. It takes 5 minutes to prepare and 20 to cook. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
12. Watermelon Cucumber Jalapeno Salad
If you enjoy experimenting with seemingly incompatible foods to create something complex and incredible, you’ll love this salad.
There’s no cooking involved, and you can whip it up in 10 minutes or less with only six ingredients – watermelon, cucumbers, jalapeno, lime, fresh basil, and salt.
The result is a colorful, garden-fresh masterpiece that’s hard to describe but easy to love.
13. Jalapeno Spinach Cheese Dip
Any kind of spinach dip is always a hit in my house, and while spinach artichoke dip is probably my favorite, this one is a very close second.
It combines the smooth silkiness of cream cheese, the sharp spiciness of pepper jack cheese and jalapenos, and the garden earthiness of spinach, onions, and Roma tomatoes.
It’s cheesy, spicy, creamy, and delicious.
14. Tabouli (Tabbouleh) with Fresh Jalapeno
If you enjoy dense, crunchy salads, you’ll love this recipe for tabouli with fresh jalapeno.
The hearty base of bulgur wheat is insanely filling, and you can’t beat all the fresh veggies and herbs.
As with any salad, you can adjust the recipe any way you like, but it’s pretty exceptional as written.
Because it calls for so many fresh ingredients – plum tomatoes, jalapenos, cucumbers, scallions, parsley, fresh mint, and more – it’s best to make and serve it in the summer.
Things are just fresher and taste better then.
15. Jalapeno Popper Casserole
We’ve had jalapeno poppers, jalapeno popper mac and cheese, and jalapeno popper dip.
I thought I’d go ahead and add a jalapeno popper casserole, as well.
(Spoiler alert: This will not be the last jalapeno popper recipe on this list. Just FYI.)
The casserole uses many of the same ingredients as the dip and the mac and cheese.
In fact, it’s sort of like a combination of both, with a few extras added, as well.
There are jalapenos and cheese, of course. Then there’s cream cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onions, and tater tots.
If you’re looking for a spicy, tasty, all-in-one meal, this recipe is the one for you.
And if you need something with more protein, try a mashup of this recipe with my favorite tater tot casserole.
16. Mexican Cornbread
You’ll make this Mexican cornbread a lot like you would regular cornbread, right down to the Jiffy mix, sour cream, eggs, and oil.
However, you’ll also add corn, onions, green chiles, and jalapenos.
These additions give the bread a hot, south-of-the-border flavor that’ll have everyone coming back for more.
17. Jalapeno Popper Rice
You can make this jalapeno popper rice side dish in 30 minutes or less with fewer than ten ingredients (not including salt, pepper, cooking spray, and oil).
The rice may be mild, but the jalapenos, sour cream, bread crumbs, and two different cheeses are anything but, so don’t worry about making a bland rice side dish.
There’s absolutely nothing bland about this rice.
18. Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Okay, this is actually the last jalapeno popper recipe on the list. This phenomenal grilled cheese is an homage to jalapeno poppers.
It has all the ingredients that make grilled cheeses great – thick sourdough bread, creamy cheddar cheese, and slightly tangy parmesan.
However, there’s also cream cheese, mayo, diced jalapenos, and garlic powder. It takes the sandwich to a whole other level of spicy deliciousness.
19. Cheesy Jalapeno Quesadillas
These cheesy jalapeno quesadillas are like the Mexican version of the traditional American grilled cheese; only these have fewer ingredients.
All you’ll need to make these marvelous quesadillas is sharp cheddar, tortillas, shredded chicken, vegetable oil, and a jalapeno.
Of course, you can always leave out the chicken if you need a vegetarian meal or if you just happen to prefer cheese quesadillas.
These are just as tasty without it.
Serve them with sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, or any of your other favorite toppings or dipping options.
20. Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
You might think that cornbread muffins would be muffin-sized versions of the Mexican cornbread, but they’re actually two different things.
For one thing, the muffins require more ingredients and a bit more work to make.
Thanks to the honey and brown sugar, they’re also sweeter and have a softer, less grainy texture.
These are also missing the corn kernels and the green chiles found in the Mexican cornbread, but they still feature the tangy heat of the jalapenos.
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