12 Best Jalapeño Recipes [Poppers, Salsa, Cornbread & More]

Easy jalapeño recipes and cooking ideas. From crunchy jalapeño poppers to Mexican cornbread, and bacon cheese balls to fresh salsa, discover what to make with jalapeños today.

jalapeno recipe ideas

Jalapeños are the versatile chili pepper that offers punchy flavor and bite in every dish it’s added to. With a fresh and slightly sweet taste, jalapeños are flexible and unique in equal measure.

Our guide to the best jalapeño recipes is proof that this unique pepper can be added to much more than just nachos. Whether you want a simple appetizer or a statement dinner centerpiece, discover how to make the most of one of the world’s best-loved ingredients.

Jalapeño Cheese Bites

cheese and jalapeno bites recipes

Easy to make and even easier to gorge on, these jalapeno bites are the epitome of finger food. Delicious with tomato salsa but just as good on its own, this appetizer is tangy with the perfect amount of kick. Chop the peppers as finely as possible to ensure an even spread in the cheese filling, and don’t be shy with the cheese!

Try This Recipe: These jalapeno cheese bites are the perfect party snack and appetizer. They’re delicious and addictive, and always go down as a hit! Wrapped in toasted tortilla pieces and filled with cheddar cheese and crème fraîche, there’s plenty of flavor in each mouthful.

Cream Cheese & Bacon Poppers

jalapeno poppers

Everyone has their own go-to version of jalapeno poppers, but they’re at their best when filled with cheese and bacon. The salty bacon and creamy cheese filling make the perfect accompaniment to the tangy-but-spicy peppers.

Try This Recipe: Our cream cheese jalapeno poppers are stuffed with cream cheese, bacon, and melted cheddar filling. A crispy and smokey appetizer that you won’t be able to put down.

Jalapeño Black Beans

jalapeno black beans

Cooking up refried black beans with jalapeños is a delicious and easy way to spice up your next Mexican-inspired meal.

Simply combine cooked black beans with diced jalapeños, onion, garlic, and cumin, then mash or blend until smooth. You can serve these spicy black beans as a side dish or use them as a filling for tacos or burritos.

Try This Recipe: These refried jalapeño black beans create creamy, perfectly spiced beans and require only 30 minutes of your time to make.

Jalapeño Jelly

jalapeno jelly

Looking for a unique spread that combines both spicy and sweet flavor profiles? Jalapeño jelly is the answer.

You can use jalapeño jelly in various ways, such as a glaze for grilled meats or a condiment for sandwiches and wraps. Also, simple foods like toast and crackers instantly elevate with just a bit of this punchy jelly.

Try This Recipe: This jalapeño jelly is made with only seven ingredients and can be prepared in around 15 minutes. Plus, if you’re also a fan of bell peppers, you’ll be delighted that they make it on this ingredient list.

Jalapeño Bacon Cheese Balls

jalapeno bacon cheese balls

Jalapeño bacon cheese balls are colorful, creamy, easy to make, and delightful to eat. They are the perfect appetizers for game day, potlucks, and holiday parties.

To make these cheesy bites, you’ll need cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, diced jalapeños, and crumbled bacon. Simply mix everything, shape the mixture into a ball, then roll in chopped green onions.

Try This Recipe: These jalapeño bacon cheese balls will be a hit at any party or gathering you bring it to because they includes additional seasonings and flavors like cumin, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce.

Cucumber Watermelon Salad

jalapeno cucumber watermelon salad

Cucumber watermelon salads are excellent-tasting, simple-to-make salads perfect for spring and summertime lunches and dinners. And adding jalapeños to them gives them an extra kick.

The key to making a great cucumber watermelon salad is to use perfectly ripe and in-season watermelon. When selecting a watermelon, make sure it’s heavy for its size, has a uniform shape, and sounds hollow when tapped.

Try This Recipe: This Asian cucumber watermelon salad not only calls for jalapeños for an extra kick but also suggests using a Japanese mandolin to slice the cucumber for an appealing appearance.


jalapeno salsa

Jalapeño salsa is a Mexican dip that people typically whip up with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and – of course – jalapeños.

You can use jalapeño salsa as a dip for chips and crackers or as a topping for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Many people also incorporate salsa into their egg dishes, such as omelets and scrambles.

Try This Recipe: This easy tomato jalapeño salsa creates a mouthwatering, multipurpose garlicky, and spicy salsa that’ll be a crowd pleasure for any occasion and any time of day.

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken

jalapeno cilantro lime grilled chicken

Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken entails chicken breasts marinated with a combination of fresh cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and jalapeños.

This dish is fantastic for summer barbecues and make-ahead meal prep. You can prepare the chicken up to two days in advance and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to grill.

Try This Recipe: This cilantro-lime chicken breast calls for both lime juice and lime zest for an extra burst of flavor and gives you enough room to incorporate the perfect level of spice to suit your preference.

Mexican Cornbread

mexican jalapeno cornbread

Mexican cornbread is a filling side dish that goes swimmingly with Mexican soups and stews, such as taco soup or Mexican chili. When you add jalapeños to the cornbread, it gives the dish a delightfully spicy zing.

To make Mexican cornbread, you’ll need yellow or white cornmeal, flour, eggs, milk, and cream-style corn. Other common ingredients include onions, cheddar cheese, bell peppers, and hot peppers like jalapeños.

Try This Recipe: This Mexican cornbread includes bell peppers, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese, making it an ideal recipe to follow if you want to throw spicy jalapeños in the mix.

Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

jalapeno mac cheese

Jalapeño Mac and Cheese is a delightful twist on the classic American dish. It’s cheesy, creamy, and has just the right amount of spice. It’s an ideal dish to bring to a potluck because it’s such a crowd pleaser.

To make this dish, you’ll need elbow macaroni, butter, all-purpose flour, and of course, loads of your favorite melty cheeses. Cheddar, Mozzarella, American, and cream cheeses are the familiar contenders.

Try This Recipe: This Baked Jalapeño Popper Mac and Cheese takes a standard jalapeno mac and cheese up a notch by including crunchy, flavorful toppings. Panko bread crumbs, bacon, and more jalapeños make this dish shine.

Chicken Enchiladas

chicken jalapeno enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas are a Tex-Mex classic. This dish consists of corn tortillas filled with chicken and cheese, then covered in enchilada sauce and cheese. They’re then baked until hot, bubbly, and golden brown. Jalapeños are a common ingredient in both the filling and the sauce.

Other ingredients for this dish include onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, and of course, tortillas and cheese. Enchiladas are usually eaten as a main dish in a dinnertime meal and are also perfect for family-style meals.

Try This Recipe: Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Jalapeños offers a version of these enchiladas that have a more dynamic and complex texture. It also calls for oregano which gives the overall flavor a unique spin.

Mexican Street Corn Salad

mexican street corn jalapeno salad

There are plenty of adjectives that you can use to describe an excellent Mexican street corn salad. It’s typically sweet, spicy, creamy, fresh, and filling. It’s also a relatively simple dish, which is always a bonus.

This salad includes flavorful ingredients like lime, mayo, chili powder, and Cotija cheese. It’s simultaneously filling but light, making it an ideal side dish or party appetizer.

Try This Recipe: This Mexican Street Corn Salad incorporates smoked paprika instead of chili powder to give all the other ingredients an underlying smoky flavor. If you want to make a summertime dish that’s ideal for the fall this recipe does the trick.

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