Our Favorite Chile Pepper Recipes for Every Spice Level

Whether you're looking for something mild or fiery, we've got you covered with all kinds of dishes starring chiles

We here at SAVEUR love cooking with chiles from all over the world, from Mexico's dried chiles and New Mexico's hatch chiles to China's Szechuan peppercorns and the Caribbean's scotch bonnets. Whether you're using them fresh, dried, or powdered, there's so much you can do with chile peppers: whip up a spicy chile oil to drizzle over soup or dumplings; slather a chile rub on basically any meat; make a batch of traditional Hawaiian chile water or next-level DIY hot sauce; or shake up a chile-laced cocktail. Whether you can really handle your spice or prefer a milder heat, we've got you covered with our collection of chile pepper recipes.

Sichuan Chile Oil

Chili Oil
A toasty, subtly fiery chile oil to drizzle over soup or dip with dumplings. It's worth making a large batch; the oil will keep at room temperature for a year. Get the recipe for Sichuan Chile Oil »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chile-Pomegranate Paloma

Chile-Pomegranate Paloma
Using árbol chile-spiked grenadine as a sweetener—rather than agave nectar or simple syrup—adds smokiness and a touch of heat to this refreshing Mexican classic. Get the recipe for Chile-Pomegranate Paloma »Matt Taylor-Gross

Ancho Chile Soup with Avocado, Crema, and Chile Pasilla (Sopa de Chile Ancho)

Ancho Chile Soup with Avocado, Crema, and Chile Pasilla (Sopa de Chile Ancho)
The heat of this deep-red ancho chile soup and its pasilla chile garnish is balanced by the addition of cooling crema and thinly sliced avocado. Get the recipe for Ancho Chile Soup with Avocado, Crema, and Chile Pasilla (Sopa de Chile Ancho) »Joseph De Leo

Chimayó Chile Rub

Chimayo Chile Dry Rub
The key ingredient to this rub is Chimayó chile, an heirloom varietal that tastes slightly of curry powder, harvested in the town of Chimayó in New Mexico. Use it to help tenderize meat and give grilled flavors a jolt of spice. Get the recipe for Chimayó Chile Rub »Matt Taylor-Gross

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus With West African Chile Paste

Black Eyed Pea Hummus, Senegalese Thanksgiving
Black-eyed peas are puréed smooth and brightened with lots of lemon juice and served with a tiny dollop of intensely aromatic shito, a Ghanian chile paste, made sweet and spicy from caramelized onions, dried seafood, and smoky chile flakes. Get the recipe for Black-Eyed Pea Hummus With West African Chile Paste »Ryen Liebe

Sesame and Chile Ramen (Tantanmen)

Sesame and Chile Ramen (Tantanmen)
Toasted sesame oil and hot chile oil spice up this porky ramen. Get the recipe for Sesame and Chile Ramen (Tantanmen) »Todd Coleman

Red Chile Enchilada

Red Chile Enchiladas
Spicy and cheesy enchiladas come together in no time for quick weeknight dinners. Get the recipe for Red Chile Enchilada »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chile de Arbol Salsa

Salsa Roja
This salsa is spicy—use it sparingly!—as any serious salsa should be. Its flavor is all chili and garlic, and does well atop nachos, burritos, and eggs. If you're feeling daring, go for big scoops with your favorite bag of tortilla chips. Get the recipe for Chile de Arbol Salsa »Farideh Sadeghin

Chile and Cumin Lamb Kebabs (Yángròu chuàn)

cumin kebabs
The staple meats of Western China, lamb and mutton can be found folded into everything from pilafs to buns to noodles. Of course, they're also the focal point of the region's iconic kebabs with an extra kick from ground chile powder. Get the recipe for Chile and Cumin Lamb Kebabs (Yángròu chuàn) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Ikan Balado (Padang-Style Grilled Mackerel with Sambal)

Ikan Balado (Padang-Style Grilled Mackerel with Sambal)
In Padang, restaurants grill and fry small whole mackerel before smearing them with sambal, a spicy chile-based condiment. Get the recipe for Ikan Balado (Padang-Style Grilled Mackerel with Sambal) »Ingalls Photography

Green Chili Grits

Green Chili Cheese Grits
For soft, creamy, and flavorful grits, cook them low and slow, then add a rich, spicy, bright-green purée of chiles and cilantro. Get the recipe for Green Chili Grits »Matt Taylor-Gross

Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Duck Sauce

Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Duck Sauce
The fiery chile-based rub on this chicken is balanced by a basting of sweet-sour duck sauce. Get the recipe for Spice-Rubbed Chicken with Duck Sauce »Laura Sant

Lobster Linguine with Chilies »

Lobster Linguine with Chilies at Irene – Florence Italy
This classic pasta, from award-winning chef Fulvio Pierangelini at his restaurant, Irene, in Florence, Italy, is enriched with the lobsters' coral, or roe sac. It adds a pop of briny flavor to the pasta, but can be omitted if the lobsters you buy don't contain it. Get the recipe for Lobster Linguine with Chilies »Christina Holmes

Hatch Green Chile Enchiladas

Hatch green chile enchiladas
Roasted Hatch chiles are the most important ingredient for this recipe. You can purchase green chiles fresh or frozen online (find our favorite Hatch chile sources here), available in mild, medium and hot varieties. From July to October, some produce shops and farmers markets carry them fresh. As a substitute, use roasted Anaheim or other green chiles (but don't tell anyone from New Mexico). Get the recipe for Hatch Green Chile Enchiladas »Matt Taylor-Gross

General Tso’s Chicken

General Tso’s Chicken
Dried Tianjin chiles infuse these sticky-sweet chicken thighs with just the right amount of spicy heat. Get the recipe for General Tso's Chicken »Jenny Huang

Spicy Haitian Cabbage Slaw (Pikliz) »

Pikliz sauce
The key to great pikliz, a spicy slaw made with cabbage and other vegetables, is time. The longer the sturdy, crunchy vegetables soak up the vinegar and citrus, the better. Serve it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on everything from eggs to steak. Get the recipe for Spicy Haitian Cabbage Slaw (Pikliz) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Grilled-Chile Dip with Shallots and Garlic (Nam Phrik Num)

Grilled-Chile Dip with Shallots and Garlic (Nam Phrik Num)
A mortar and pestle is key to getting the right texture for this beloved northern Thai chile dip. Reprinted from The Food of Northern Thailand. Copyright © 2018 by Austin Bush. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Austin Bush. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Get the recipe for Grilled-Chile Dip with Shallots and Garlic (Nam Phrik Num) »Austin Bush

Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette

Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette
Peppery watercress, nutty sesame seeds, and earthy Korean chile flakes are brought together with an easy lemon vinaigrette in this wonderful cold-weather salad. Get the recipe for Watercress with Spicy Chile and Sesame Vinaigrette »Justin Walker

Four Pepper Jelly

Four Pepper Jelly
Jalapeños, red bell peppers, poblanos, and serrano chiles come together in this spicy-sweet jelly from Elizabeth Stark, the blogger behind Brooklyn Supper. It's perfect paired with rich meats, spread on sandwiches, or served on a cheese-and-cracker spread. Get the recipe for Four Pepper Jelly »Farideh Sadeghin

Korean Spicy Clam Soup

Korean Clam Soup
A simple, light soup not short on heat or spice. Get the recipe for Korean Spicy Clam Soup »Matt Taylor-Gross

Charred Chile Daiquiri

Charred Chile Daiquiri
The Daiquiri is an adaptable creature, and it welcomes new companions in the form of bitters, infused simple syrups, or salty-sweet rims. This version keeps the classic's sour formula, but adds a veil of spice lent from serrano- and jalapeño-infused sugar syrup. Get the recipe for Charred Chile Daiquiri »Eric Medsker

Shrimp and Chile Oil

Shrimp and Chile Oil
At Hart's in Brooklyn, the chefs use urfa biber and aleppo chile peppers to lend a smoky-spicy flavor to succulent shrimp. Get the recipe for Shrimp and Chile Oil »Jenny Huang

Caribbean-Style Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce

Caribbean-Style Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce
Harness fiery Scotch bonnet chiles, along with sweet mango and honey, into a DIY hot sauce. Get the recipe for Caribbean-Style Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross

Potato Jalapeño Latkes

Potato Jalapeño Latkes
These are classic latkes, grated potatoes bound with matzo meal and egg, but the simple addition of jalapeño adds a new kick to an old Jewish classic. Medina serves his jalapeno latkes with a tangy, cooling horseradish cream. Get the recipe for Potato Jalapeño Latkes »Matt Taylor-Gross

Hawaiian Chile Pepper Water with Soy and Fish Sauce

Hawaiian chile water
Hawaiian chiles are traditional in this tangy, piquant condiment—hence the name—but Thai chiles also work well. Get the recipe for Hawaiian Chile Pepper Water with Soy and Fish Sauce »Matt Taylor-Gross

Hawaiian Chile Pepper Water with Garlic and Vinegar

Hawaiian chile water
A batch of this spicy, tangy condiment in the fridge is money in the bank for Hawaiian home cooks. Get the recipe for Hawaiian Chile Pepper Water with Garlic and Vinegar »Matt Taylor-Gross

Pommes Tapées with Jalapeño Vinaigrette

Pommes Tapées with Jalapeño Vinaigrette
Lightly smashed and crisped potatoes soak up a jalaleno-anchovy dressing. Get the recipe for Pommes Tapées with Jalapeño Vinaigrette »Joann Pai

Roasted Mushrooms with Chile-Lemon Oil

Chili lemon mushroom
Mixed mushrooms are tossed with chile-lemon oil and roasted, resulting in a flavorful, umami-packed dish. Get the recipe for Roasted Mushrooms with Chile-Lemon Oil »Matt Taylor-Gross

Puerto Rican Spicy Vinegar (Pique)

Pique sauce
Puerto Rican pique is a seasoned vinegar, a simple blend of chilies, garlic, and spices (with pineapple usually added for sweetness) that gets better the longer it sits. Get the recipe for Puerto Rican Spicy Vinegar (Pique)Matt Taylor-Gross

Pepper Pot Soup

Vegetarian Jamaican Pepper Pot Soup
This vegetarian soup, a Jamaican classic, is made with callaloo, a spinach-like green that can be found canned or fresh in Caribbean groceries. Serve with minced fresh Scotch bonnet chiles sprinkled on top for extra heat. Get the recipe for Pepper Pot Soup »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre)

Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre)
Distantly related to Mexican salsa, pebre is an emulsified blend of tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar traditionally served with bread rolls in Santiago. This recipe, from chef Rodolfo Guzmán of Boragó in Santiago, Chile, uses native green ajè cristal chiles, but you can substitute banana peppers to mimic their very mild, floral heat. Get the recipe for Chilean Tomato and Pepper Sauce (Pebre) »Justin Walker

Steamed Grouper in Chile Oil

Steamed Grouper in Chile Oil
Calabrian chiles and chile paste produce a fiery, brick-red oil that is spooned over delicate steamed fish, crunchy spring vegetables, and fregola, a Sardinian pasta similar to Israeli couscous. Get the recipe for Steamed Grouper in Chile Oil »Michael Turek

Brazilian Pickled Chiles (Conserva de Pimenta)

Brazilian Pickled Chiles (Conserva de Pimenta)
These Brazilian pickled chiles are a classic condiment alongside rice and beans, roast pork, or fish. Get the recipe for Brazilian Pickled Chiles (Conserva de Pimenta) »James Oseland

Oxtail and Guajillo Chile Stew (Caldo de Res)

Oxtail and Guajillo Chile Stew (Caldo de Res)
Infused with smoky guajillo chiles, this nourishing, slow-cooked stew is usually made with various tough cuts of beef, but we found oxtails to be the most flavorful choice. Get the recipe for Oxtail and Guajillo Chile Stew (Caldo de Res) »Todd Coleman

"Creamed"Collard Greens with Peanut Butter and Chile

Senegalese Thanksgiving, Collard Greens
Greens laced with freshly ground peanut butter and fermented seafood for a funky umami kick is a common one-pot dish in West Africa. Get the recipe for "Creamed"Collard Greens with Peanut Butter and Chile »Ryan Liebe

Cilantro, Chile, and Pineapple Sangrita

Cilantro, Chile, and Pineapple Sangrita
This flavor-packed sipper is served alongside a neat glass of tequila at La Mezcaleria in Ajijic, Mexico. Do as many Mexicans do: A sip of tequila, a sip of sangrita—repeat, for the best experience. Get the recipe for Cilantro, Chile, and Pineapple Sangrita »Matt Taylor-Gross

Spicy Hot Chocolate

Spicy Hot Chocolate
This mix goes way beyond the typical flavors with umami Chinese fermented black bean chile paste and chile powder for a spicy, savory hot cocoa that delivers a kick of heat to the back of your throat. This is one hot cocoa that doesn't taste like anything else you've ever tried. Get the recipe for Spicy Hot Chocolate »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chinese Chile Oil

chinese chile oil
While you can buy chile oil in any Chinese grocery, it won't compare to homemade. And it couldn't be easier—just heat up a neutral oil and pour it over crumbled chiles and spices. Get the recipe for Chinese Chile Oil »Heami Lee

Mango with Cilantro, Coconut, and Chile Powder

Mango with Cilantro, Coconut, and Chile Powder
Inspired by Mexican street vendors who artfully carve and serve mangos on sticks, this recipe ups the ante with cilantro leaves and shaved coconut. Get the recipe for Mango with Cilantro, Coconut, and Chile Powder »Laura Sant

Harissa

Harissa
In North Africa, cooks have long relied on this garlicky chile paste to lend depth to cooked meats and vegetables. Get the recipe for Harissa »André Baranowski

Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Vegetarian Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)
Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson's The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Get the recipe for Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »Alan Richardson

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
Sweet papaya and tart ruby red grapefruit juice tame the heat of the Scotch bonnet pepper in the marinade for the steak, while the vegetables for the accompanying jalapeño-laced salsa get charred on the fire along with the meat. Get the recipe for Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa »Todd Coleman

Grilled Snapper with Habanero and Scallions

Grilled Snapper with Habanero and Scallions
Chile heat brings out the sweetness of whole red snapper in this Jamaican recipe. Get the recipe for Grilled Snapper with Habanero and Scallions »Helen Rosner