It’s easy to find a place for jalapeños. The medium-to-mild heat, vegetal flavor and slight bitterness from these deep green chiles fit in so many ways. Milder than their closest flavor cousin, serrano peppers, they’re a great foundation for those trying to avoid super-spicy chiles. Most often used while green, they can also be ripened to red, as well as smoked to turn into another familiar chile: the chipotle!

In classic fashion, jalapeños can be added to salsa or, if you want to get creative, deliver a little heat to a cooling margarita. Wherever you need a little kick, jalapeños are ready to take your food to the next level. Scroll on for some great ways to feature these easy-to-find, easy-to-love chiles, and if you’re craving something else, head over to our Recipe Finder.

Strawberry-Jalapeño Non-a-Rita (or Margarita), pictured above. Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan developed this margarita that can be served with or without alcohol. For those times you choose to skip tequila, jalapeño gives a similar chest-warming feel that tequila does.


Cooked Green Salsa (Salsa Verde Cocida). This simple and versatile salsa needs only two jalapeños to get that tingle. Of course, you can add more or less to your taste.


Everybody’s Chili Verde. This richly flavored green chili relies on jalapeños for a bit of spice to warm you through.


Oatmeal With Bacon, Cheese and Pickled Jalapeños. Pickled jalapeños, straight out of the can or jar, are an even zippier version of their raw selves. A popular topping on nachos, they make a bright addition to this savory oatmeal and also work well with this Hot Buffalo Chicken Dip.


Baked Jalapeño Poppers. A classic appetizer you can’t get enough of, but baked for the crispy texture you love without pulling out all your frying equipment.


Mexican-style Shrimp Casserole. A quarter cup of chopped jalapeño makes this casserole delightfully spicy.

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