Jalapeño peppers are known for their fresh, bright flavor and medium kick. Fresh jalapeños, of course, are the cooking go-to, though jalapeño powder is coming on strong as a spice rack alternative. This green powder has the same medium-heat and a surprising amount of flavor (bright, grassy, and slightly sweet), making it an excellent substitute for fresh jalapeños in a pinch. But there are times when jalapeño powder comes into its own in the kitchen – offering an optimal experience to the fresh chili. Check out these terrific use cases to spice up your everyday cooking with jalapeño powder.
Table of Contents
- Try it as a replacement for black pepper
- Replace your hot sauce with jalapeño powder
- Use it in jalapeño bread recipes for more consistent heat
- Create spicy, yet smooth barbecue sauces
- Go green with a homemade chili powder seasoning
- Try jalapeño salt as a rim seasoning for margaritas
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Try it as a replacement for black pepper
Because it’s relatively mild compared to the spice rack likes of cayenne pepper, jalapeño powder makes a unique substitute for black pepper.
Black pepper is typically used as an all-purpose seasoning. It is a way to add very mild spiciness that works well with a wide range of dishes. Jalapeño powder offers more heat (of course) and a distinct bright flavor. So the flavors aren’t similar, but if you’re looking for something different, give the substitution a whirl.
Jalapeño powder can act as a finishing spice as well. You can sprinkle it over cooked foods at the table in the same way that you would sprinkle black pepper. Add it to scrambled eggs or use it as an alternative to hot sauce on your tacos.
Replace your hot sauce with jalapeño powder
Jalapeno powder is a great substitute for hot sauce when you want the flavor of jalapeno without all of the moisture. Plus, its heat level (2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units) is comparable to many popular hot sauces. For instance, it shares a similar range with Tabasco Original Red Sauce (2,500 to 5,000 SHU.)
Jalapeno powder also lasts longer than bottled hot sauce, so it’s a great option for long-term storage. Think of it like chipotle powder, which technically is a jalapeño powder as well – just made from dried, smoked red jalapeños.
Use it in jalapeño bread recipes for more consistent heat
The jalapeño flavor is a perfect complement to a range of foods, including different types of bread – like jalapeño cheese bread and jalapeño cornbread. Most of these recipes require you to stick sliced fresh jalapeños on top of the dough before baking or to mix it into a batter. While this can make for an attractive presentation, the jalapeño flavor is not always evenly distributed.
When you add the jalapeño in the form of a powder, the flavor is consistent throughout, and you can increase or decrease it without affecting the amount of moisture in the bread.
Create spicy, yet smooth barbecue sauces
Barbecue sauce is supposed to have a smooth, consistent texture. You want it to coat the meat evenly and cling to its surface. To preserve the consistency, powdered spices are typically used.
When making your own barbecue sauce, consider jalapeño powder as a way to gently increase spiciness and add a stronger pepper flavor than you get from cayenne powder (which is more neutral in taste.) It will pair well with the sweetness of barbecue sauce without affecting the texture.
Go green with a homemade chili powder seasoning
Chili powder typically consists of ground red chili peppers, along with cumin, garlic, and other spices. Jalapeño powder can be used as the chili pepper component to give a unique color spin to the normal seasoning mix. It also makes for a milder overall flavor that’s a perfect complement to fresh garden salsas.
Try jalapeño salt as a rim seasoning for margaritas
Mix together salt and jalapeño powder together to give your margarita glass some extra oomph! Match it with muddled fresh jalapeños in the margarita itself for some seriously extra spicy cocktails.