Salsas & Dips

Spicy Beer Cheese Dip

Spicy Beer Cheese Dip

A creamy crowd favorite…

Party time and a good dip go hand in hand. And, if you’re like us, a spicy dip is always the best, especially when paired with cheese. This spicy beer cheese dip checks those boxes and more, with that malty beer twist added to the mix.

Jalapeño peppers take center stage as the heat source. Add more (or less) to your liking. If you prefer something even spicier, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper instead of black pepper. Don’t overdo it – this is a dip for the masses. You want it to remain family-friendly, and the cayenne will permeate the flavor of the entire dip adding a lot of intensity.

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Cranberry jalapeno salsa

Cranberry Jalapeño Salsa

Tangy and sweet with fresh bite!

Your turkey may never be the same when you add a little cranberry jalapeño salsa to the table. It’s tangy and sweet with a fresh bite – a bold holiday appetizer or side. But don’t save it just for holidays! It’s perfect served atop turkey or chicken any time of year, providing lots of zing to the meal. And it’s so delicious simply poured over cream cheese and served with tortilla chips or crackers.

Jalapeño pepper is obviously the spicy star of this recipe, but you could go even bolder by using serrano peppers instead. They often deliver double the heat of the jalapeño, and sometimes more, with a comparable fresh and bright flavor that pairs well with cranberry’s sweet zing. And to get the most from the heat, allow this salsa to rest for an hour in the refrigerator for the best possible flavor. It takes a little time for that jalapeño spiciness to truly permeate throughout the salsa.

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jalapeno arugula aioli

Jalapeño Arugula Aioli

A fresh tasting dip or spread…

When you first think arugula and jalapeño, you may not think there’s much in common. But there’s a lot more “there” there than you may think. Arugula, with its fresh peppery taste, pairs so well with the bright, grassy flavor of jalapeño peppers. It makes for one delicious aioli that’s perfect either as a dip or a spread. It’s particularly good on veggie sandwiches or go hearty and try it as a side to steak. It’s a fresh (and lightly fiery) sauce that’s pretty versatile even with its unique flavor.

Jalapeño peppers are typically hot enough for most. But, if you’re like us, you may want to increase the heat up a notch. We recommend adjusting the chili pepper used instead of increasing the amount of jalapeños used. Serrano peppers have a similar (though not exact) bright flavor, but they are a notch up on the pepper scale – often twice as hot (or even more) than a jalapeño.

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Cajun ranch dipping sauce

Cajun Ranch Dipping Sauce

A simple Southern dipper…

Like mayonnaise or sour cream, ranch dressing is a perfect base for a mix of fiery spices. It makes it so simple to pull together something with a little Cajun flair. This Cajun ranch dipping sauce has three ingredients only, but the flavor is a whole heck of a lot more than what you’d expect. Cajun seasoning has a wide world of spices in it that give this dipping sauce its Southern charm.

We add additional fieriness to this simple recipe via a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can opt for it or drop it completely if you want a milder overall flavor. We like it even hotter than a pinch (think 1/4 teaspoon) if you’re one for extra-spicy in everything. Use this Cajun ranch dipping sauce with fried foods (it’s so yum with fried pickles – try it with this recipe). It’s also delicious with a simple vegetable platter – it beats the heck out of a plain ranch salad dressing dip with crudites.

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Cajun dipping sauce

Kickin’ Cajun Dipping Sauce

Simple Southern charm…

Want a simple dipping sauce that still charms the pants off your guests? This kickin’ Cajun dipping sauce is all that. It takes only five minutes to pull together, but it’s chock full of Southern charm and a decent kick to boot.

There are multiple heat sources here. Cajun seasoning typically contains a bit of chili pepper powder (typically cayenne pepper) and the Louisiana hot sauce adds some additional pop (and a subtle tang). We like to top it off with additional cayenne for extra boom, too. This sauce is excellent for all sorts of things: pita, veggies, and grilled chicken fingers to name a few.

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cilantro jalapeno sauce

Cilantro Jalapeño Sauce

Fresh, fiery flavor…

Few herbs are distinct as cilantro. It’s fresh flavor pops in any recipe in which it’s used – making for some memorable meals. That’s why we love it paired with jalapeño peppers in this delicious fresh and fiery sauce. Try cilantro jalapeño sauce as an alternative taco topper or paired with grilled chicken or steak. It also make a unique french fry sauce for those looking to take a break from everyday ketchup.

We know cilantro can be a polarizing flavor, so this sauce starts on the more subtle side in terms of amounts than some other versions. If you want bolder, think of this recipe as a jumping off point from which to experiment. You can double up the cilantro and jalapeño pepper for a bigger, bolder sauce for use with heartier meats and meals.

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spicy tahini sauce

Spicy Tahini Sauce

Not just for hummus…

When you think tahini, “hummus” is likely the first thing that comes to mind. Well, that and…nothing. Many know nothing about this delicious paste. Hummus is where it’s found among commonly purchased foods, but tahini can be a heck of a lot more than that earthy, nutty, and slightly bitter flavor behind the chickpeas.

Take for instance this spicy tahini sauce recipe. It’s simple to create, but it provides an exotic touch to many common-day cooking needs. It’s delicious as a salad dressing (just add more water to thin the sauce to your preferred dressing thickness) or as a dip for vegetables and crusty bread. It’s perfect, too, as a sandwich spread for roasted vegetable sandwiches and more. Tahini also pairs well with lamb and other rich meats. It’s a big earthy, slightly bitter flavor that doesn’t get lost with these bold flavors.

Cayenne pepper provides the fire here. Use as directed and adjust according to your heat preference.

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spicy baba ganoush

Spicy Baba Ganoush

Eggplant dip turned bold…

For most, spicy hummus would be the first Middle Eastern dip they’d reach for (and we have a few delicious recipes for that, like this smoky chipotle one) – but a spicy baba ganoush is so yum as well. This eggplant dip is perfect paired with hummus as a side to chopped fresh vegetables and pita chips, or use it as a sandwich spread (it’s perfect on a roasted vegetable sandwich).

Cayenne pepper is the simple heat source here, with mild paprika as a garnish for color. Of course, adjust the amount used of cayenne to increase or decrease the heat. Or you could opt for a hot paprika as a garnish to provide a heat boost along with the color pop.

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