Get our favorite dishes with peppers and chiles to add sweetness and spice to your weeknight and special-occasion meals
Photo by Annabelle Breakey; styling by Robyn Valarik; written by Elaine Johnson
A great use for the sweet peppers piled up at the farmers’ market—all of them work in this juicy, tart pickle.
Photography by Annabelle Breakey
Red peppers lend a velvety texture, letting you "spend" your fat calories on heart-healthy nuts and a modest amount of oil.
Recipe: Red Pepper and Walnut Dip
Photo by Annabelle Breakey
Romesco is a classic Spanish sauce made of ground tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, olive oil, and almonds. We turned it into a twist on cream of tomato soup, with lentils added for a nice protein boost.
Recipe: Romesco Soup
Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Becker
A sweet and salty sauce of roasted red peppers, nuts, and garlic tops this luscious chicken dish.
Photo by Lisa Romerein; written by Amy Machnak
The spicy poblano and the creamy avocado are a natural match in this grilled corn salad.
Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Amy Machnak
This is a great make-ahead sandwich, perfect for picnics or beach days. Add a few slices of fresh fruit and a couple of cookies to round out the meal.
Photo by Annabelle Breakey
A quick and spicy pepper sauce jazzes up these lamb-stuffed pita pockets. Serve with a cool cucumber salad and yogurt dressing.
Photo by Thayer Allyson Gowdy
A play on skordalia, the Greek garlic-potato dip for fried fish. We add peppers for flavor and color, and serve with fresh vegetables.
Photo by Sheri Giblin
Puréed cauliflower serves as a creamy, hearty base for a soup, similar to potatoes but with a fraction of the calories.
Recipe: Red Pepper-Cauliflower Soup
Photo by Annabelle Breakey
The beauty of galettes is their no-fuss, free-form shape.
Photo by Lisa Romerein
Just slice and serve a few refined ingredients and you're ready to mingle at your soiree.
Photo by Annabelle Breakey; styling by Karen Shinto
Who needs the deep fryer when you can bake a flaky crust? Enjoy a lower-calorie version of the classic Mexican appetizer.
Recipe: Poblano and Nopales Chimichangas
Photo, Annabelle Breakey; food styling, Randy Mon.
Choose red bell peppers with glossy skin, deep color, and firm, thick walls. Roasting the peppers makes this soup sweet, smoky, and irresistible.
Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Photo by Thomas J. Story
To create this bright-tasting but sultry salad, start with classic Moroccan roasted vegetables and then add fresh spinach and a sherry vinaigrette.
Pair this hearty stew with a Syrah. The lamb echoes the gamey notes in the wine, while the sweet peppers meld with the fruit and the briny topping creates a buzz with the wine’s herbal side.
Photo by Alex Farnum
Leyden is a Dutch cheese that's like gouda with cumin seeds mixed in. If you can't find it, use regular gouda and a few more toasted cumin seeds.
Recipe: Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers
Photo by Leo Gong
Reader Caroline Lindley created this salad after buying a large carton of mini sweet peppers at a warehouse store. Regular-size peppers work too.
Recipe: Tri-Pepper Salad
Photo by Annabelle Breakey; written by Elaine Johnson, Amy Machnak, and Stephanie Spencer
Although not fried like the classic version, these easy chiles rellenos are still decadent.
Recipe: Roasted Shrimp-Stuffed Poblanos
A variety of peppers—fresh, jarred, and ground—makes this dish dance with flavor, though not with heat (it’s only mildly spicy). All of the peppers can be found at well-stocked grocery stores: Find piquillos with jarred peppers, Peppadews at the olive bar, and smoked paprika in the spice aisle.
Recipe: Five-Pepper Steak
The classic way to enjoy Padrón peppers, this appetizer is as good at room temperature as hot. You can also make this recipe with small sweet peppers, adding a sprinkle of red chile flakes.
Recipe: Pan-Roasted Padrón Peppers
Serve these peppers as snacks, toss into salads, or use as a topping for pizza. As for the flavorful oil, brush it on grilled bread, whisk it into salad dressings, or use it for scrambling eggs.
Recipe: Oil-Packed Padrón Peppers
For a dinner party, bring this pot of clams—rich with peppers and smoky sausage—to the table and serve with crusty bread to sop up the juices. If you can’t find small Padróns, which can be eaten stems and all, cut stems from larger ones before cooking—or sub in chopped green bell peppers.
An update on the stuffed peppers you grew up with. Couscous and fresh herbs make for a flavorful main dish.
These stuffed peppers come together quickly for a colorful appetizer. Add a cup of chilled summer soup or salad for a light dinner.
Stuff New Mexico chiles with beef, dried fruit, nuts, and spices to bring down the heat on these Western favorites. Readers like it with ground turkey, too.
Fill chiles with eggs when a special breakfast is in order. This colorful dish can easily be started the day before it’s served.
Recipe: Scrambled-Egg Chiles Rellenos
This chile relleno and egg extravaganza takes some time and attention, but with every bite you’ll be glad you made the effort. The salsa can be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator until needed.
Corn, peppers, green onions, and jalapeño lightly charred on the grill bring color, texture, and flavor to this chilled summer soup.
Recipe: Grilled Corn and Pepper Bisque
Thayer Allison Gowdy
A colorful collection of peppers and vegetables comes off the grill for a satisfying salad that’s great with grilled beef, pork, or chicken.