12 Deliciously Spicy Jalapeño Recipes

Do not fear the mighty powerhouse that is the jalapeño. When handled correctly and applied to recipes in precise quantities, this tangy, spicy green pepper can be the crux of a dish. It doesn't have to knock your socks off with heat. It can provide a warmth so subtle that you might not know it's there. On the other hand, if you do like the feeling of having a hole burned into your tongue, you can go for broke and make it the standout ingredient.

For those who associate jalapeños with nachos and salsas, this recipe roundup will come as a pleasant surprise. These miraculous peppers are packed with versatile potential. Whether you're pickling them, sautéing them, or wrapping them in bacon, they can be prepared and presented in a wide range of ways, many of which you might not have thought of, let alone tried.

Before you start any of these recipes, it's important to note that jalapeños come in a range of sizes, colors, and heat levels, and picking the wrong kind could ruin your meal. The Scoville Scale, which ranks peppers by their heat, places jalapeños in a range between 2,500 and 8,000 Scoville Heat Units. Jalapeños that are harvested early tend to be milder, while the green ones with white streaks and red ones are more mature and spicier. That said, much of the heat will be determined by how much you use and whether you remove the seeds.

1. Jalapeño Beer Cheese Soup

Are beer, cheese, and soup three of your favorite things? If so, why not combine them? Some version of this dish was popular all the way back in Medieval Europe, and German settlers brought the recipe to Wisconsin, where beer and soup were, of course, joined by cheese.

Our recipe calls for a kick of jalapeños to cut through the richness, and it is joined by onions, garlic, paprika, thyme, and a bacon topping. It's a perfect meal for a chilly winter day.

Recipe: Jalapeño Beer Cheese Soup

2. Quick Candied Jalapeños

Chili and chocolate. Chipotle and honey. Mango and chili. These sweet and spicy flavor combinations can turn a run-of-the-mill dish into something that will have people begging for the recipe. You can now add jalapeños and sugar to the list because these candied jalapeños are the perfect addition to everything from nachos to ice cream.

They are also a breeze to make. Jalapeños, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, black peppercorns, and turmeric are all it takes. Just keep in mind that you'll have to wait two weeks for them to candy.

Recipe: Quick Candied Jalapeños

3. Jalapeño Poppers

When you think of jalapeño recipes, jalapeño poppers are probably at the top of the list. These classic appetizers are great for a game-day party or fancy holiday gathering. You might even be tempted to make them as a snack for an average weekday if you have the time.

Recipe developer Laura Sampson has provided a no-fuss variation that removes the intimidation factor without removing any of the characteristics that make poppers a crowd favorite. Crispy, cheesy, and filled with bacon, these bad boys are all you need for your next get-together.

Recipe: Jalapeño Poppers

4. Quick Pickled Jalapeños

There is no interminable waiting period for these pickled jalapeños. You don't have to plan your meal weeks in advance. Instead, you just have to sit tight for 15 minutes for this recipe to work its magic. Water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and garlic are all you need. Bring the liquid, salt, and sugar to a boil and pour the solution over the garlic and peppers. Wait 15 minutes and you're done.

Add them to salads, sandwiches, or whatever recipe you happen to be making. They're crunchy, tangy, salty, and just a little bit sweet.

Recipe: Quick Pickled Jalapeños

5. Baked Stuffed Jalapeños

Jalapeños are perfect for stuffing and serving as appetizers. They are naturally bite-sized, and, without seeds, carry a tangy, spicy flavor that doesn't overwhelm you with heat. Recipe developer Jessica Morone has crafted an appetizer that is every bit as delicious as classic jalapeño poppers, but will save you the trouble of frying.

The filling includes bacon, Dijon mustard, cheddar, and cream cheese, all of which add a unique flair to the usual stuffed jalapeño formula. Last but not least is a breadcrumb topping that becomes brown and crispy when baked.

Recipe: Baked Stuffed Jalapeños

6. Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

You really can't go wrong with this mouth-watering spin on an already mouth-watering formula. Instead of being breaded and deep fried, these jalapeño poppers are wrapped in bacon, grilled, and slathered with a barbecue sauce and grape jelly glaze.

It would be bold and maybe even a little foolish to claim that these are better than classic jalapeño poppers, but we're not not saying that. The crispy bacon and sweet barbecue sauce are divine, and when they give way to a tangy, gooey stuffed jalapeño, it's nothing short of heavenly.

Recipe: Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

7. 3-Ingredient Jalapeño Poppers

Classic jalapeño poppers are not known for being particularly nutritious. Breaded, deep-fried, and stuffed with cheese, they're a special-occasion kind of appetizer that probably wouldn't be in your weekly meal plan if you're trying to stay healthy.

The exception is this three-ingredient version from recipe developer Ksenia Prints. Filled with cream cheese and sausage, they are crisped up in an air fryer to produce melty textures and rich, salty flavors that might seem indulgent but are actually fairly healthy. Even better, they take less than 20 minutes to make.

Recipe: 3-Ingredient Jalapeño Poppers

8. Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

Wendy's wasn't playing around when it crafted the Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich. Bacon, chicken breast, jalapeños, and three types of cheese stuffed into a toasted bun have brought customers to the burger chain in droves, and, thankfully, this inspired recipe developer Angela Latimer to concoct her own version.

Aside from the jalapeños, the ingredients include Cheez Whiz, Red Hot sauce, and Applewood smoked bacon (among other things), creating an explosion of flavor that will make you desperate for seconds even as your stomach begs for a timeout.

Recipe: Copycat Wendy's Spicy Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

9. Quick Jalapeño Cheese Bread

While there are countless jalapeño and cheese recipes out there, this one stands out by incorporating the delicious duo into a third fail-safe ingredient: bread. It also calls for cayenne pepper, buttermilk, sour cream, and butter, creating a rich, tangy loaf that is salty and filling. With baking powder instead of yeast, you won't even have to knead it.

This recipe makes the perfect addition to any dinner menu, but you can also serve it for breakfast with an egg on the side, or as an irresistible afternoon snack.

Recipe: Quick Jalapeño Cheese Bread

10. Mummy-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

If you're hosting a spooky theme party and aren't sure what to make, these mummified jalapeño poppers will be the stars of the show. But while most Halloween recipes require food coloring and intricate decorations, these merely call for strips of crescent sheet dough to be wrapped around each pepper, creating the effect of bandages.

These poppers don't just rely on looks, though. Filled with bacon, cheddar cheese, lime zest, green onions, and cream cheese, they are mouth-wateringly delicious and will make a standout appetizer at any party, spooky-themed or not.

Recipe: Mummy-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

11. Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

A classic deviled egg recipe will yield delicious results, but just a few simple additions will take the tried and true appetizer to new heights. This bacon and jalapeño version is salty, spicy, and oh-so decadent, with the usual creamy egg yolk and mayonnaise filling.

If you want to keep the texture relatively uniform and dial up the tangy flavors, use pickled jalapeños. If you'd prefer fresher, crunchier heat, opt for fresh. This recipe calls for only five ingredients and will be finished in just over 30 minutes.

Recipe: Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs

12. Copycat Chuy's Creamy Jalapeño Dip

Dips don't have to be limited to coating chips and veggies. They can be used to equally delicious effect as a sauce or spread on everything from tacos to eggs. This recipe recreates Chuy's creamy jalapeño dip so you don't have to leave the comfort of your house to luxuriate in its abundance of flavors.

The lengthy list of ingredients is deceptive because this recipe is a cinch to make. Simply toss everything into a blender and blend it until it's smooth and creamy.

Recipe: Copycat Chuy's Creamy Jalapeño Dip