What is Jalapeno?
Jalapeno is a pepper fruit from the species Capsicum annuum. It is small to medium in size of about 2 to 4 inches in length and is green with a smooth exterior. They are green because they are picked when they have not fully ripened.
They originated from Mexico from Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz. It is still commonly grown in Mexico, and it is the most consumed chilli pepper in the United States.
What Scoville Score Do Jalapenos Have?
The average Scoville Heat Unit for a jalapeno is about 5,000. It is spicy, but it is a good spicy level which can still be enjoyed in dishes without blowing your top off. To put it in perspective, the hottest chilli in the world is the Carolina Reaper which has a SHU of 2.2 million!
How to Reduce the Spiciness in Jalapenos?
The spiciest part of the jalapeno is the seeds and the membranes that surround it. This membrane contains most of the capsaicin, which is what makes something so hot. If you’d like to tame the spiciness, remove the seeds and the membrane.
You can also take the heat out of the jalapeno pepper by soaking it in iced water for about 20 minutes or giving them a quick blanch in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Be sure to dip them into some iced water after that to stop the cooking process and help reduce the spiciness.
What is Chipotle?
Did you know that when ripe jalapenos are smoked and dried, they are called chipotle?
Once dried, you can add them to recipes in their dried form, grind them down to a powder or enjoyed in the ever so popular adobo sauce or chipotle sauce.
What Does Jalapeno Taste Like?
Flavour: Jalapeno peppers have a green vegetable taste. It is bright in flavour and tastes like serrano peppers. However, when you roast them, it takes on a different flavour and becomes smoky, earthy, and a bit of sweetness comes through as well.
What I like about jalapenos is that of all the mild chillies out there, it is the most consistent in heat level. It varies with regular green or red chillies, and I sometimes feel like it’s a bit of a potluck as to what I may get.
Texture: Jalapenos are just like bell peppers in terms of texture. They are crunchy on the outside with smooth skin while also possessing seeds and a soft endocarp.
What Goes with Jalapenos?
Fruit and Vegetables
Avocado, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, corn, cucumber, endive, green beans, kale, kiwi fruit, lime, mango, onion, pineapple, pomegranate, potato, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, scallions, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, watercress, watermelon, zucchini.
Herbs, Nuts and Spices
Allspice, Brazil nuts, cardamom, chervil, chestnut, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, parsley, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, sumac.
Protein and Other
Bacon, beans, beef, chicken, chorizo, cotija cheese, cream cheese, eggs, fish, goat cheese, pasta, pork, rice, scallops, seaweed, shrimp, sour cream, tempeh, tofu, turkey, wasabi.
How to Use Jalapeno in Salads and Side Dishes?
The most common way to enjoy jalapeno peppers in salads is to eat them as they are. Slice them thinly or into matchsticks and toss them through salad greens.
They are also great to use to make green sauces that form the base of vegetables for side dishes or in salad dressings to give it a hint of spiciness.
Like bell peppers, jalapenos can be stuffed to make the ever so popular jalapeno poppers. They are fantastic in salsas of all kinds, forming part of a marinade when roasting vegetables or adding a fruit salad to spice things up a bit!
Salads and Side Dishes with Jalapeno
Spicy Mango Salsa with Avocado
Outrageously easy to make, our Spicy Mango Salsa with Avocado is super popular for the crowds. Fresh, zesty with a good kick of jalapeno, you will love this delicious salsa variation.
Red Brussels Sprouts with Zhoug Sauce
Let the zhoug sauce do the talking as it forms the luxurious base for these gorgeous roasted red Brussels sprouts. This is the perfect side dish for the cooler months, and let the warm spices and the spiciness give the winter chills the flick!
Creamy Cucumber Avocado Salad [Video Tutorial]
Beautifully presented, this cucumber avocado salad is tasty, creamy and ever so moreish! The creamy garlic salad dressing is silky, strong in flavour and ever so delicious. You’ll be coming back for more of this spicy green salad!
More Ingredient Pairing Ideas
If you’d like to create your own side dish or salad and have an ingredient you’d like to hero, we have some great pairing suggestions to help you work out what flavours go well together!
- What Goes Well with Feta
- What Goes Well with Chervil
- What Goes Well with Strawberry
- What Goes Well with Avocado
- What Goes Well with Capsicum
Easy Side Dish Recipes
Cooking up a storm and need a good side dish or two? We have a comprehensive collection of side dish recipes for you to choose from. Here are some recipe you may like:
- Whole Roasted Heirloom Pumpkin
- Purple Mashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Eggplant with Roasted Capsicum Sauce
More Salad Dressing Recipes
Be inspired by our huge collection of homemade salad dressing recipes. Perfect way to reduce wastage, control the flavours to suit your palate and be able to experiment with new flavours!
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This is such a thorough guide to pairing foods with Jalapenos. I love all of the options you provided too!
The Devil Wears Salad
Thank you! We get asked all the time what we can do with an ingredient for salad so we love doing all these pairing ideas so everyone can refer to them for ideas.
I love all these pairing ideas! The salad with avocado sounds especially wonderful with jalapeno.
The Devil Wears Salad
Thanks! The avocado salad really is yum with jalapenos. Spicy and creamy. Yum!
Thank you so much for this article! I learned so much about how to use jalapenos from it!
The Devil Wears Salad
You’re welcome. Glad you found this jalapeno ideas useful!
I love all the recipes where I can add Jalapenos to give an extra kick, it will definitely spice up my meal.
The Devil Wears Salad
Great! Glad you found some good ideas. Jalapenos really do give that extra kick.
So helpful! This is great for meal prepping ideas!