Spicy Dinner Recipes
Spicy Dinner Recipes
Mojo Flat Iron Steak
The ultratender flat iron is an affordable alternative to rib-eye. Look for (or request) flat, rectangular steaks—butchered specifically to eliminate the line of tough connective tissue that runs down the middle of the entire cut.
Braised Collard Greens and Bacon-Pepper Pinto Beans
We skip the meat main and make sides the focus of the meal—easy to do with garlicky braised greens and pinto beans topped with bacon. Serve with skillet cornbread: Heat a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop while the oven preheats, and swirl in a couple of teaspoons oil before adding the batter. If you can't find collards, substitute stemmed curly kale or turnip greens, checking for doneness at around 20 minutes. For a vegetarian meal, sub vegetable stock for chicken stock and 1 tablespoon canola oil for the bacon drippings.
Huevos Rancheros Burritos
Roasting the vegetables gives our ranchero sauce intensely rich flavor in just 10 minutes. Be sure to use plum tomatoes, which are meaty and not overly juicy—this will ensure a thick sauce that won't make the burrito soggy.
Chipotle Hanger Steak with Sour Cream Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Hanger steak is a flavor-packed cut of beef from between the rib and the loin. You may have to ask for it at the butcher's counter; if you can't find it, a different flat cut, like flank or skirt steak, works just as well. If your steak is thicker than 1 inch, it may require a slightly longer cook time or a quick finish in a 400°F oven. If you loved grandma's hamburger steak suppers growing up, this grown up version is guaranteed to make you cheer. It has all the comfort-style food you crave in a more attractive, satisfying package.
Banh Mi Bowls
We deconstruct the classic Vietnamese sandwich for a whole-grain bowl that's perfect for make-ahead lunches or dinner. Precooked brown rice takes the place of the traditional baguette. Our quick vegetables are ready in just 20 minutes. If you haven't pickled your own vegetables before, you'll be surprised by how easy it is. Not sure how to use the rest of the chile paste? Try tossing green beans with a couple teaspoons (along with honey, soy sauce, garlic, and canola oil) and roasting, spread a little on grilled cheese, or try it in our Hot and Sour Soup with Tofu.
Chicken Tinga Tacos
These bold and smoky tacos provide the perfect route to reinventing some leftover chicken. Serve them up with a crisp green salad for a light and refreshing weeknight supper.
Tofu Curry with Lemongrass and Chile
Vietnamese cuisine is so influenced by our South Asian neighbors, and this Indian-style curry is the perfect example. Tofu is a source of protein, but it's really a vegetable. This is how we treat it. Meat and tofu can often share a dish for double the umami. You don't need to press the tofu to drain the water for this recipe; a slow pan-fry achieves the same effect and gets the exterior extra crispy. For a vegetarian dish, swap the fish sauce for reduced-sodium soy sauce or the liquid from soaked dried porcini mushrooms.
Loaded Chorizo Nachos
When we say loaded, we mean it. These nachos require a fork for scooping up all the tasty fillings. Building on a foil-lined pan means instant cleanup: Bring the pan right to the table after broiling, and discard the foil after dinner.
Sweet and Spicy Carrot Soup
The combination of carrots, Fresno chili, brown sugar, fresh ginger, and green onions give this soup a sweet and spicy flavor.
Coconut-Lemongrass Chicken Bowls
Marinated chicken simmered in an aromatic coconut broth = flavor building at its finest. This Southeast Asian-inspire bowl is all about big flavor with minimal effort. When working with lemongrass, give the stalk a couple of whacks with the back of a knife before chopping to release its flavorful oils.
Chorizo and Kale-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
A combo of super lean ground turkey and rich ground pork gives you the ideal mix of flavor and texture while staying nice and light.
In Latin cuisine, a little bit of blistering on tortillas, peppers, onions, and garlic adds pleasant smoke and incredible complexity to a dish. The marinade for our Steak Tacos depends on this for bold taste that can stand up to the Toasted Chile Salsa.
If you're ready for a real game changer, make your own homemade tortillas instead of buying the bagged kind. If you're in a pinch, the La Tortilla Factory corn tortillas are the next best thing to homemade.
Chili-Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice and Snap Peas
Shrimp cook quickly (under 5 minutes), and a big batch takes just a couple of minutes more than a small one. Reheat for just a minute, or the shrimp may become rubbery. For even more coconut flavor, replace the 1/4 cup water in the rice mixture with coconut water.
Linguine and Clam Sauce
Traditionally made with crushed red pepper, this recipe uses fresh chiles. Serrano chiles are hot; for less heat, use Fresno chiles.
Seared Chicken Breasts with Green Piri Piri Sauce
The piri piri sauce transforms simply seared chicken; it would also be delicious over steak, fish, or roasted vegetables. Piri piri is a bright herb-and-chile sauce popular in Portugal and parts of Africa. It's traditionally red, but we go green with fresh poblano, jalapeño , and cilantro. Seed or omit the jalapeño for less heat.
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Chipotle Butter and Bell Pepper Sauté
Make sure the cast-iron skillet is hot before adding the steaks so that they get a nicely browned crust on both sides. We like both red and orange peppers, though just one color will work. In place of tenderloin steaks, you can also use top blade steaks or petite tenders.
Buffalo Quinoa Burgers
Make your own veggie burgers—they come together quickly and easily with the help of a food processor. You can form the patties ahead of time: Wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to two days. They’ll end up holding their shape even better in the pan. If serving to kids or folks with sensitive palates, you can omit the hot sauce mixture and simply serve the patties on buns with the usual burger condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo. Serve with veggies and ranch dressing for a fun and lighter alternative to fries.
Korean Shrimp BBQ Bowl
This is a great way to make use of leftover veggies. Mushrooms, cabbage, spinach and carrots are topped with a fried egg and drizzled with a spicy aioli sauce for an irresistible meal.
Zucchini and Bean Burritos
The bean mixture acts as a barrier between the tortilla and the zucchini, so the burritos stay crisp.
Snapper Fra Diavolo
A Fresno chile gives the devilish sauce its heat.
Eggs in Purgatory
We're not entirely certain about the history of this classic recipe's name, but perhaps it has something to do with the spicy kick of the sauce. Our version is a shakshuka-like dish in which fiery harissa paste and heady spices slowly infused a rich tomato sauce where eggs gently poach. Look for jars of harissa with the Middle Eastern foods in your supermarket; you can substitute a half to full teaspoon of crushed red pepper in a pinch. The cook time for the eggs depends on the specific heat of your slow cooker. We offer a range of 15 to 20 minutes, so start checking at 15 minutes (or a couple minutes earlier) to ensure the eggs get done to your liking. Serve with warm whole-wheat pita.
Spicy Thai Red Curry Beef
This single-skillet supper is a quick ticket to rich, exotic flavor. Don't shake the coconut milk before opening; you want to keep the thick cream layer separated.
Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew
First up is a spicy, Ethiopian-inspired red lentil stew. Berbere, Ethiopia's signature spice blend, includes garlic, ginger, coriander, femigreek, and allspice in addition to a big pinch of ground chiles. Look for it at well-stocked supermarkets. For a change of pace, skip the rice and serve with our Teff Injera Flatbread.
Inspired by the classic Portuguese dish caldo verde, this soup takes on a rich flavor from Spanish chorizo—so that little other seasoning is required. Be sure to pick up firm, cured Spanish chorizo (seasoned heavily with paprika and typically sold in links) and not soft, raw Mexican chorizo—a delicious but totally different product. Or you can use kielbasa, though the soup will take on a smokier personality.
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tacos
We took the finger-licking beauty of a Buffalo wing experience and wrapped it in a tortilla—because that's how you win a weeknight.
Sausage, Shrimp, & Quinoa Skillet
This 20-minute quinoa skillet is a play on dirty rice, and it uses only five ingredients (not counting cooking oil). Precooked quinoa keeps it superfast, but you can cook quinoa from scratch and still have dinner ready in less than 45 minutes. Spicy chicken sausage is lean and adds lots of flavor; you can swap in a chicken or turkey andouille sausage if you prefer. To round out the meal, serve with roasted asparagus or green beans, or opt for a crunchy romaine salad tossed with a bright, tart vinaigrette.
Spicy Buttermilk Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Making your own spice blend is worth it. For starters, salt is the main ingredient in jarred spice blends. Making your own lets you control the sodium and use fresh ingredients. You can make the kebabs and buttermilk mixture a day ahead and refrigerate until you're ready to cook.
Quinoa Bibimbop Bowls
Jalapeno seeds add heat to the spicy-sweet beef mixture; remove the seeds and membranes before mincing for sensitive palates. Haricots verts are the snap bean's slender French cousin and cook in a couple of minutes for an easy side or crisp-tender stir-in for many dishes. Raw radishes are fine, but pickled, sautéed, or roasted is divine. You'll wonder how you ever did without them.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala
We love the heat level in this slow cooker take on tikka masala to fend off winter chill. If the spice kick is too much for your family, you can cut the red pepper down by half without losing any of the dynamic flavor layers.
Cajun Shrimp Linguine
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Chipotles can be a touch spicy but you can use only half of what's called for to decrease heat and still get great smoky flavor.
Over the last decade, Peruvian cuisine has come into Los Angeles' Latin American-dominated food scene, and it has come in swinging. It didn't just bring its famous sashimi-like ceviches; it also brought the Peruvian tradition of yakitori-like anticucho skewers. The brushed-on sauce, loaded with plenty of Peru's bright, fruity, yellow aji pepper, makes these skewers practically habit-forming. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Look for aji amarillo paste, a spicy Peruvian seasoning made from yellow chile peppers, in Latin markets. It's wonderful in marinades and meat rubs.
Minced Beef with Bok Choy and Fried Egg
In just 20 minutes, this meaty dish pops with flavor. For a little extra heat and a pop of color, drizzle a few drops of Sriracha over the eggs right before serving.
Carne Asada Pizza
This beefy pie delivers all the zingy flavors of a street taco: tangy lime, pungent onion, fragrant cilantro, and smoky, spicy chiles. The three-cheese blend offers extra meltiness.
Braised Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo and Garlic
With chorizo, spice and everything nice, this brussels sprouts side dish has a fiery kick that's to-die-for.
Pork Loin Medallions with Spicy Greens and Provolone
We've put a quick and lean spin on Philly's popular slow-roasted pork shoulder Italian hoagie by using tenderloin and turning the dish into a sort of warm salad. Serve with thinly sliced Italian bread, if desired.
Spicy Veggie Hash
Cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper add warmth to this Peruvian-inspired sweet potato hash.
Perfect Pork Tenderloin
Think of this refreshing salad as a deconstructed spring roll: cool rice noodles, crisp vegetables, and a sweet-and-spicy vinaigrette instead of a dipping sauce. Top it all off with savory stir-fried pork. Look for brown rice noodles on the Asian foods aisle of your supermarket or in your local Asian market. We love that they offer up whole-grain goodness, and, once cooked, they’re pretty much indistinguishable from white rice noodles. If you're unfamiliar with fish sauce, you'll find it on the Asian foods aisle, too. We find it to be indispensable in the kitchen, lending savory depth to all kinds of dishes; try a splash in meatloaf or burgers; guacamole; meat or chicken marinades; or spaghetti sauce.
Triple-Pepper Pasta Salad
This dish is an exposition of sweet peppers. Show off the sweet and crisp, charred and smoky sides of this colorful vegetable. Mild Aleppo pepper and spicy ground red pepper actually make this a five-pepper pasta.
Spiced Grilled Chicken Thighs with Creamy Chile-Herb Sauce
We love the contrast of the bright, herbaceous sauce with the smoky grilled chicken thighs. Spoons any remaining sauce over grilled steak or roasted potatoes, or stir into plain Greek yogurt.
Saucy Chorizo and Egg Skillet
This is a Tex-Mex spin on eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce (Italian eggs in purgatory or Israeli shakshuka), which gets its heat from the cooked chorizo and ground red pepper.
Buffalo Chicken Drumsticks
Finger-stickin' good, these grilled drumsticks are slathered in tangy, spicy Buffalo sauce. Bibs and Wet-Naps recommended.
Thai Beef Cabbage Wraps
To add another bright touch to these sweet and spicy wraps, serve with fresh lime wedges and fresh cilantro.
Slow Cooker Beef-and-Sweet Potato Chili
Robust chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper are tamed and balanced by sweet potatoes. Leaving the peels on the sweet potatoes has three benefits: Prep is faster, you add more fiber, and the potatoes hold their shape better after the 7-hour simmer. Besides, the peels get so tender that you barely notice they’re there. If you’d like to change things up, try parsnips in place of the sweet potatoes; they have a similar sweetness and earthier flavor and won’t fall apart after cooking for an extended time. You don’t need to fully cook the ground beef before it goes into the slow cooker; just cook it enough to “set” the shape of the crumbles.
Bayou Catfish Fillets
The spicy cornmeal breading stays crispy when the fish is baked on a ventilated broiler pan. You can also use yellow cornmeal. Try this breading on other white fish fillets.
Pineapple Chicken Kebabs With Cilantro-Lime Slaw
A sweet-tangy-spicy glaze of Asian pantry staples caramelizes beautifully under the broiler. To complete the meal, serve with jasmine rice tossed with sliced green onions and lime rind strips.