What to CookPepper

11 Hot Dishes to Bring Some Spice to Your Weeknight

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When I was a toddler, anytime I didn’t want to eat something, I claimed it was "too spicy." My mom reminds me (often!) that I once declared steamed broccoli seasoned with just butter and pepper too hot to handle. I’ve come a long way since 2, but I still sympathize with people who can’t take the burn.

Now, it’s fair to say not all "spicy" dishes are created equal. Some come in hot and heavy, eliciting tears and numb tongues. Others build a slow, steady heat that doesn’t require a glass of milk nearby. But the difference really depends on the person who’s cooking (and eating!). While some might love the burn of harissa or a serrano pepper, others with more delicate palates might balk at basic black pepper. Here, we’ve gathered 11 dishes with a little or a lot of heat. The key is to taste as you go, learning what level of spice is too overwhelming or just right.

Red Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs
Red Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs
Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Cake
Spicy Thai Basil Noodle Cake
Slow-Cooked Rib Eye Topped with Spicy Harissa Carrots

Slow-Cooked Rib Eye Topped with Spicy Harissa Carrots by Sara Jenkins

Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich

Spicy, Garlicky Broccoli Sandwich by Sarah Jampel

Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit
Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit
Caroline Choe's Kimchi Mac & Cheese
Caroline Choe's Kimchi Mac & Cheese
Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili
Short Rib and Pumpkin Chili
Vegetable Manchurian

Vegetable Manchurian by Annada Rathi

Tinga Chicken

Tinga Chicken by nannydeb

Szechuan Dan-Dan Noodles
Szechuan Dan-Dan Noodles
Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle
Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle

How hot can you handle? Any favorite spicy dishes? Share in the comments!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Spice, Weeknight Cooking, So Hot Right Now