Jalapeño Pesto

A spicy alternative to your traditional pesto…

It doesn’t take much to turn your traditional pesto into something a lot spicier. Jalapeño pesto is very simple to make; it’s an excellent way to amp up the flavor of pasta and appetizers.

Is jalapeño not spicy enough for you? We understand. Take a trek up the pepper scale to serrano pepper and use it as a substitute. Opt for two serrano chilies as they tend to be smaller than the jalapeño.

Jalapeno Pesto

Jalapeño Pesto

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins



  • In a food processor, finely chop by pulsing the walnuts and garlic.
  • Add the jalapeño, the Parmesan cheese, and basil and process the mixture until fully blended.
  • Slowly pour in olive oil while processing until the oil and pesto mix is combined.
  • To taste, season with salt and pepper.


Swap out the jalapeño pepper for two serrano peppers (they are typically smaller) to increase the heat.


Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 5, 2019 to include new content. It was originally published on November 15, 2014.
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