The 10 Spicy Recipes to Cook When You Want To Feel Alive

Tongue-numbing, eye-watering, sinus-clearing recipes, guaranteed to keep you awake through your next meal.

  • Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce. The combination of tomato, mint, and chili is unexpected. Why don’t we combine mint and tomatoes more often? Eggs, as always, make everything better. You can cook them to whatever doneness you prefer, but barely set is our preferred method.
  • Chipotle Braised Lamb Tacos with Balsamic-Soaked Raisins. These tacos take a little time, but they are worth every minute. The chipotle broth reduces in the last half hour, and adds not only spice, but also smoke and flavor. To cut the heat, top off the tacos with cool sour cream.
  • Fresh Sriracha. Warning: Once you try homemade sriracha, you’ll never go back to the store-bought kind again. Fresno peppers, garlic, and a boost of vinegar make this spicy sauce versatile and zippy.
  • Spicy Shrimp. We love Sriracha's heat, which is warm, lasting, and assertive without being overbearing. This recipe combines the famed hot sauce with a few everyday ingredients—olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and cilantro—to create a sublime, tongue-tingling marinade for shrimp.
  • Sweet and Spicy Horseradish Dressing. Who can talk about spicy recipes without mentioning horseradish? Zest, scoop, and scrape the ingredients for a sinus-clearing dressing that would go well with salads, shrimp, crudités or basically anything you can think of.
  • Spicy Sesame Pork Soup with Noodles. It’s a long road from preparation to eating for this soup, but the result is a soul satisfying, rich, and flavorful broth complete with deep, spicy flavor. After one of two total days of cooking, the seasonings need an overnight in the fridge to bloom, so make sure you’re ready to be patient. It’s way worth it.
  • Spicy, Savory, Sweet, Watermelon Rind Pickles. No need to throw away those watermelon rinds anymore! Cut them up, simmer them, drop them in brine, and keep them in the fridge to enjoy watermelon long after it’s season ends. Pair this condiment with cheese, or chop them up and mix in mayo for a killer sandwich spread.
  • Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing. The dressing is the star of the show for this salad. The gingery, peanut-y, flavor balances the slight bitterness of the kale, but can also be used to your heart’s content on any other salad recipe out there.
  • Chili Gumbo. Genius touches like toasting flour, macerating dried cherries in dark beer, and cooking cumin in andouille fat gives this chili incredible flavor. It’s quite hot as is, but if you need to kick it up a notch, feel free—this gumbo can take whatever heat you throw at it.
  • Red Hot Greens. A big bowl of hot braised greens can be extremely comforting. What makes these special is the spicy vinegar, made from your choice of hot peppers, such as serrano or jalapeno. Serve them with mac and cheese and barbecued ribs (or fried chicken) for a true Southern meat-and-two plate.

Salt and pepper are great and all, but sometimes you need a little heat. From dried chiles to jalapeños to ghost peppers and everything in between, adding a bit of spice to your food is one of the easiest ways to bring it (and you) to life. Here are 10 of the most tongue-numbing, eye-watering, sinus-clearing recipes we have, guaranteed to keep you awake through your next meal.

Click through the gallery above to see all of the recipes.

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