If you like your food to pack some heat, you may already be familiar with serrano. But, what most people don’t know is that this fiery little pepper packs up to 5 times more heat than its cousin, jalapenos!
Serrano peppers can pack a powerful flavor punch in just about everything you add them to — from savory dishes to desserts and cocktails. So, if you’ve got a bag of serrano peppers chilling in your fridge, put them to good use in these extra-delish serrano pepper recipes!
#1. Chiles Toreados
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to use serrano peppers, look no further than this wonderful Mexican blistered peppers recipe. It calls for pan-frying serrano and jalapeño peppers, then adding onions to the pan and caramelizing them, and finally seasoning the dish with soy sauce and a dash of lime juice and salt. This delectable side dish will go well with any meal!
#2. Chili Verde Chicken Enchiladas
This chili Verde chicken enchiladas recipe produces a comfort dish everyone will enjoy. To make, blend boiled tomatillos, serrano peppers, and onion with garlic, cilantro, and seasonings until smooth, then spread it on tortillas and top with shredded chicken, Mexican crema, cheese, and green onions. Once it’s baked, garnish with cilantro, diced avocado, and cotija cheese, and serve immediately.
#3. Churrasco Steak with Serrano Butter
Serrano peppers are delicious in any recipe, but they taste simply divine with grilled meat. In this recipe, the citrus-marinated steaks are served with some caramelized onions along with a dollop of exceptionally delicious serrano-lime butter. The steaks are grilled to perfection and the addition of serrano butter makes this entire meal mouthwateringly delightful!
#4. Cilantro and Serrano Pepper Mexican Rice
A hearty meal, this filling rice recipe is made with serrano peppers combined with a variety of spices, herbs, and dressings. This simple yet delicious Mexican rice is full of palatable flavors of garlic, cilantro, and serrano peppers. Serve it alongside your favorite Mexican mains to take your tastebuds on a rollercoaster ride of a delicious feast.
#5. Extra Crispy Fried Chicken Wings with Honey Serrano Sauce
Fried chicken doused in a delicious sauce is a winning combination that no one can resist. To make this incredible dish, season and fry the chicken wings until they’re crispy golden and set aside. For the sauce, combine chopped serrano peppers with honey and apple cider vinegar, and cook until the sauce thickens. Toss the wings in this delicious sweet and spicy sauce and serve hot!
#6. Fresh Mango Salsa
This fresh mango salsa recipe is what dreams are made of. Simply pair zesty, sweet mangoes with spicy chili peppers like serrano, habanero, and jalapenos, and a few other herbs. Serve with tortilla chips or over grilled food to enjoy a burst of flavor in every bite. You can keep it chunky or smooth and even adjust the level of heat and spice!
#7. Homemade Chicago-Style Giardiniera
This Chicago-style giardiniera recipe is fresh and tasty, and it’s one condiment you’ll never get enough of. It uses serrano and jalapeno peppers, veggies, oil, vinegar, and a few simple seasonings to pack a flavor punch. Pile it on top of Italian beef sandwiches and pizzas or serve it as a side with grilled food to elevate your meals.
#8. Loaded Cauliflower Casserole with Serrano Peppers
This loaded cauliflower casserole is as good for your health as it is for your taste buds. It’s packed with delicious, nutritious ingredients like cauliflower florets, Italian sausage, serrano peppers, cheddar, and bacon cooked with simple herbs. Serve it on rustic-themed family dinner nights or bring it to potlucks and watch how quickly the casserole disappears!
#9. Mexican Migas
If you enjoy Mexican food, you definitely need to try Migas — a delicious, classic Mexican breakfast dish. Bits of pan-fried tortilla chips and chopped white onions and tomatoes cooked with savory scrambled eggs deliver a wonderfully tasty contrast to the dish. It’s savory, hearty, and super easy to make — perfect for a quick, healthy breakfast!
#10. Mexican Pickled Peppers
Do you enjoy pickles? Then you absolutely must try this amazingly tangy and spicy Mexican pickled peppers recipe. It combines fiery, tiny serrano peppers with fresh, crisp vegetables like carrots and onions, all seasoned with apple cider vinegar and a few spices to create a flavorsome side dish. This no-cook recipe is one you absolutely need in your cooking arsenal!
#11. Mint and Serrano Pepper Granita
If you think spicy peppers don’t go in desserts, this recipe will make you reconsider your stance. The spice and heat from serrano peppers, mint leaves, and lime juice are balanced out with the addition of honey. It’s a simple, easy, yet layered dessert that is beautifully refreshing.
#12. Passion Fruit Caprese Salad
Salads don’t have to be boring, especially when you can add a fiery twist with this easy salad recipe. Make this summer salad with a drizzle of spicy-sweet serrano-passion fruit dressing and a smear of bright avocado spread over heirloom tomatoes, frisee lettuce, fresh basil, and burrata. It’s juicy, it’s fresh, and it’s a dish that will thrill your taste buds!
#13. Restaurant-Style Salsa
If you like dips with your chips, you need this bright, red salsa recipe in your cookbook. This spicy and tangy salsa, made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, serrano peppers, and other herbs, has just the right hint of smokiness that comes from roasting the veggies. Serve it as-is as a dip for chips or spread it on tacos and enchiladas to pack a powerful flavor punch.
#14. Salvadoran Curtido (Fermented Cabbage Relish)
This fermented cabbage relish dish is crispy, salty, and tangy, and it’s incredibly refreshing. It’s also really easy to prepare — you only need a few simple ingredients, like cabbage, carrots, onion, serrano peppers, salt, and oregano. Once fermented, you can consume it over the course of 4-6 weeks. Enjoy it as-is or add it to tacos and meal bowls.
#15. Serrano & Jalapeno Pepper Jelly
Thinking of jelly will take your mind to something sweet. But did you know jellies can pack some spicy heat, too? In this recipe, serrano and jalapeño peppers come together to create a wonderful medley of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors. Serve it with crackers and cream cheese for a quick snack that is sweet, spicy, but not overly hot!
#16. Serrano Hot Sauce
If you’re looking for a sharp and delicious condiment that you make within minutes for a punch of heat, look no further than this hot sauce recipe. This amazing sauce is packed with heat from serrano and habanero peppers, as well as garlic, white vinegar, and lime to round out the taste. Use it in tacos, burritos, and enchiladas, or practically anything, for a burst of spice.
#17. Serrano Pepper Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is a classic dish with a huge appeal. But what if we told you you could improve on this iconic dish even more? In this recipe, serrano peppers add a kick to the creamy avocado, along with smokey char-grilled corn and fresh chimichurri sauce, creating a burst of flavors and textures for an otherworldly delight.
#18. Serrano Soy Juicy Grilled Chicken Thighs
This recipe, which is bursting with flavor, takes only 30 minutes to prepare. How’s that for a quick and delicious weeknight meal? The chicken thighs are tenderized in a marinade made with serrano peppers, mustard, honey, spice mix, and other herbs, which doubles as a brine to infuse the chicken with rich umami aromas. And when cooking, it gives your chicken a wonderful glaze!
#19. Serrano-Spiced Paloma Cocktail
You’ve made appetizers, side dishes, and the main course for Mexican nights, but are reaching for a beer? That won’t do. Try this grapefruit cocktail instead! The perfect combination of sweet and sour, with just the right amount of heat and spice, this refreshing drink is perfect to wrap up a Mexican-themed dinner!
#20. Smashburgers With Charred Serrano-Blue Cheese Butter
Everybody loves a good cheeseburger. How about we improve upon this classic deliciousness? Adding charred serrano peppers to the mix will elevate the appeal of this crowd-pleaser, which is saying a lot considering it already has our favorite ingredients — ground beef and blue-cheese butter all enclosed in a bun with spinach or lettuce and red onion. Dig in!
#21. Spicy Guacamole Recipe
This popular party appetizer will literally fly off the dinner table! The addition of serrano peppers packs extra heat and wonderfully complements the yummy flavors of avocado, tomato, onion, cilantro, and other ingredients found in traditional guac. Serve it with your favorite chips for some crunch to go along!
#22. Spicy Pepper Chicken
This spicy pepper chicken recipe will have everyone at the table reaching for seconds! To make, smother chicken breasts with bell pepper, serrano pepper, and diced tomatoes, then top with a herb and spice mixture. Bake for 1 hour, and serve the chicken topped with extra sauce for a flavorful dish!
#23. Spicy Serrano Grapefruit Margaritas
Chilling with a margarita, especially after a tiresome day, can take away all the worries of the day. And this recipe is here to add some fun to the mix. It combines grapefruit juice, citrus juice, sweet orange juice, sweet simple syrup, and tequila with spicy serrano pepper to create a wonderful twist on the classic margarita. Serve it with a small grapefruit or lime wedge.
#24. Spicy Serrano Pepper Chimichurri Sauce
Chimichurri sauce can elevate the flavor of any dish, especially when made with fiery serrano peppers. This recipe highlights the flavor of this tiny hot pepper and pairs it with the vibrant flavors of fresh herbs seasoned with garlic, parsley, vinegar, and olive oil to produce a mouthwatering sauce that will have you hooked from the bite.
#25. Spicy Serrano Salsa Verde
This vegan, gluten-free salsa verde recipe uses traditional Mexican techniques to make a spicy, tangy salsa with only 5 ingredients. Serve it with anything, from quesadillas and tacos to burritos and bowls, and it’s guaranteed to liven up any simple meal. Remember, salsa verde gets spicier with time, so prepare it ahead of time to enjoy a hotter level of heat.
#26. Summer Fruit Salad with Serrano Mint Syrup
Fresh, sweet, juicy fruit salads are great during summers, and the heat from serrano peppers only makes them taste uniquely delicious. Spicy serrano peppers compliment the refreshing flavors of honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe to create an incredibly tasty salad. Sprinkled some lemon zest and mint leaves on top before serving!
#27. The Best Chili Recipe Ever
A hot twist on the classic chili, this recipe is brimming with mouthwatering flavors! In this recipe, ground beef is combined with serrano peppers, a special blend of spices, three types of beans, onion, red bell pepper tomatoes, and bacon. Slow-simmered to allow all ingredients to cook beautifully, this is a dish best served with freshly cracked pepper, paprika, or sour cream.
#28. Traditional Huevos Rancheros
Love a savory breakfast with some heat? You have to try this recipe! This traditional huevos rancheros recipe calls for topping crispy corn tortillas with fried eggs, then coating it with a finger-lickin’ good homemade salsa made with serrano peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Serve with refried beans for a hearty breakfast!
#29. Watermelon Hot Sauce
The appeal of the refreshing and oh-so-juicy watermelon is unmatched, which is why we’re combining it with fiery serrano peppers to create an ultra-delicious sweet, spicy, and tangy hot sauce! This recipe calls for blending carrots, garlic, lime juice, salt, scallions, serrano peppers, vinegar, and watermelon until smooth, then boiling the liquid in a pot to bring the flavors together.
*Word to the Wise:
As mentioned above, serrano peppers are hot with a capital H. So, before you start cutting the peppers, grab a pair of kitchen gloves to avoid accidentally burning your skin or, worse, your eyes! It’s best to take caution and avoid accidents in the kitchen.