5 Spicy Versions of Your Favorite Foods

Love spicy meals but tired of cranking up the spice by putting hot sauce on everything? Spicing up a meal isn’t as simple as dumping a pile of Frank’s Red Hot on it and calling it a day. To add a kick while adding to — not overwhelming — a dish’s natural flavors, you have to choose your spices wisely. Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Spicy Mac ‘n Cheese

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Spicy pepper jack cheese and cayenne pepper add a dry spice to this hot version of mac ‘n cheese. Half a teaspoon of cayenne isn’t much, so feel free to adjust the amount up or down depending on your preferred level of spice.

Spicy Homemade Hamburgers

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Nothing beats a thick, juicy, homemade hamburger patty. These tasty burgs are made with jalapeno, poblano chile, and habanero peppers, as well as dried red pepper flakes, so they pack an eye-wateringly spicy punch.

As the recipe writer cautions, wear gloves when you prepare these patties. Seriously. Chopping peppers with your bare hands might make you feel like a tough guy, but you will accidentally touch some sensitive part of your body with your juicy chili hands at some point — and you’ll never forget it.

Spicy Tomato Soup

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Once you taste this, you’ll never go back to dumping hot sauce in your storebought canned soup again. A chopped red chili infuses this thick, homemade tomato soup with a warm, but not overpowering spice. Red lentils make it a little more substantial, so you can eat this soup for lunch or dinner.

Spicy Chili French Fries

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It’s about time French fries were seasoned with more than just oil and salt. Spice ’em up with this recipe for spicy baked French fries! Chili powder and cayenne provide the smoky heat in these crispy baked fries, while onion and garlic powders, ground cumin, sugar, and vegetable juice cocktail (yes, you read that right) take things to the next level.

Spicy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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That’s right, friends: the eye watering, nose running, sweat dripping spicefest doesn’t have to end along with the main course. You can follow up your dinner spiceaganza with a few tongue-tinglingly hot chocolate chip cookies. A little chili powder and cayenne pepper goes a long way with these babies.