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6 Dishes That Will Satisfy Your Spicy Curiosity

If you feel like something’s missing on your dinner table, then it’s probably spices. If you’re looking for a little bit of thrill in your life, cook a deliciously spicy meal! We’ve already prepared ourselves to heat things up a bit, with these amazing spicy dinner recipes, so what are you waiting for?

Whether you’re a hot-sauce collector or just want to add a couple of spices to your pantry, we fully support you! In fact, if you’ll allow me this cheesy pun, I bet these spicy dinner dishes are nothing less but FIRE! Every cuisine has its own area of hot sauce that adds a little bit of dimension, heat, and flavor. So let’s discover together!

Photo by Sea Wave from Shutterstock

Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Thighs

As it turns out, the best way to get the crispiest skin on chicken thighs is using an air fryer!


  • 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

How to:

  • In a big bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, honey, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, garlic, and ginger. Reserve half a cup of marinade. Add some chicken thighs to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Remove 2 thighs from marinade and place in the basket of the air fryer. Cook at 400 degrees, until the thighs are cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, up to 20 minutes. Transfer the thighs to a plate and tent with some foil. Repeat with the rest of the thighs as well.
  • In the meantime, in a smaller saucepan over medium heat, bring reserved marinade to a boil. Reduce your heat and let it simmer until the sauce starts to thicken slightly 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Brush the sauce over the thighs and garnish with some green onions and sesame seeds before serving.

Vegan Chipotle Lentil Tacos

They might be vegan, but you will get to taste the greatest flavors of your life!


  • For lentils filling: 2 1/2 c. cooked green lentils (from 1 dried cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, carefully chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Kosher salt
  • For creamy avocado sauce: 1/2 avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 garlic clove, carefully minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For serving: 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • pickled red onions
  • cilantro leaves, for serving

How to:

  • Make the creamy avocado sauce: get all the ingredients in a blender, and add 2/3 cup cold water. Blend until everything is smooth.
  • Make the lentil filling: in a big skillet over medium heat, add oil. Then, add in the onion and cook until it softens, around 6 minutes. Then do the same with the garlic and cook it for 1 minute.
  • Add the tomato paste and chipotle pepper, and cook, while you mash the pepper with a wooden spoon until the tomato paste has slightly darkened, for 2 minutes. Add some cumin and coriander and season with some salt.
  • Add the lentils to 1/4 cup of cold water. Stir to combine everything, then cook, while you keep on stirring and smashing some of the lentils occasionally until the lentils are fully heated through and partially mashed, and no liquids are left around 5 minutes. Add some more water, putting in a tablespoon at a time if the skillet becomes too dry.
  • Assemble tacos: take each tortilla and fill it with a big spoonful of the lentil mixture, a drizzle of sauce, some red onions, and jalapeño.
Photo by JonMilnes from Shutterstock

Best Mexican Tostadas

Remember, no matter the mood you’re in, these tostadas are incredible. You can choose to top the beans with some chicken fajitas, grilled flank steak, or even with the filling for tacos al pastor.


  • 1/2 small red onion, carefully sliced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, carefully minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15.5-oz.) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • For the topping: 1 1/2 c. cotija, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1/4 c. cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, sliced for serving

How to:

  • In a medium size bowl, combine red onions and some lime juice. Set aside to quick pickle while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • In a big skillet over medium heat, melt some butter and heat oil. When the oil is very hot, and the butter is foaming, add yellow onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely soft and translucent, for 5 minutes. Add some oregano and chili powder and season with salt and pepper and cook until it becomes fragrant around 1 minute.
  • Add beans and half a cup of water. Cook mashing beans with a wooden spoon or a potato masher, until you get the desired consistency. When the beans are thick and all the water has evaporated, remove them from heat.
  • In a medium skillet, add some vegetable oil until it’s 1/2 inches deep. Heat some oil until a drop of water sizzles when added to the pan. Use tongs to fry 1 tortilla at a time, until it becomes golden and crisp, around 30 seconds per each side. Transfer to a plate and salt right away.
  • Build tostadas: top each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of refried beans, avocado, radishes,  jalapeño, cilantro, and some pickled onions. Serve with some lime wedges.
Photo by Ruslan Mitin from Shutterstock

Nashville Hot Chicken

If you love your spices but not up to a point when you feel like Satan has come to get you, then make sure you cut down on the amount of cayenne in your hot oil.


  • 3 to 4 lb. bone-in skin-on chicken breasts, wings, and thighs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c. whole milk or even buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 4 c. vegetable oil
  • For spicy oil: 4 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to:

  • In a big bowl, season the chicken generously with some salt and pepper. Cover with a plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for 3 hours or up to overnight.
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with a metal rack. In a bowl, whisk some milk, eggs, and hot sauce. In another shallow bowl, whisk some flour, paprika, and cayenne. Pat the chicken dry, then dredge in flour mixture, then some milk mixture, then some flour mixture once again, and place on a wire rack. Repeat until the chicken is fully breaded.
  • In a big pot, heat some oil until a candy thermometer shows 350 degrees. Work in batches, and fry the chicken until it gets golden around 8 minutes. Scoop out 1/2 cup of hot oil, and let the rest of the oil cool in the pot.
  • Make the spicy oil: in a big heatproof bowl, whisk some cayenne pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. Pour the rest of the hot frying oil and whisk to combine, then brush it over the chicken before serving.

Spicy Salmon Bowl

We gotta love a good grain bowl. It’s the perfect choice for fast meal preparation and packing up for later. All the components are great, and once you mix them, they will get even better.


  • For the salmon: 1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c. chili garlic sauce
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 (4-oz.) salmon fillets
  • For the pickled cucumbers: 1/2 c. rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Persian cucumbers, carefully sliced
  • For the spicy mayo: 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • For the bowls: cooked brown rice
  • 1 avocado, carefully sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 red onion, carefully sliced Cilantro leaves, and torn Sesame seeds
  • Cilantro leaves, torn
  • Sesame seeds

How to:

  • Make the salmon: preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with some foil. In a medium bowl, whisk soy sauce, olive oil, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, honey, and garlic. Place the salmon on the sheet and toss to combine. Let the salmon bake until it becomes fork-tender, around 20 to 25 minutes.
  • In the meantime, make pickled cucumbers: in a microwave-safe bowl the jar, add some vinegar, sugar, and salt, and microwave until sugar and salt are dissolved around 2 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, then add the cucumbers and shake to combine. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap until it’s ready to use.
  • Make the spicy mayo: in a small bowl, add the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and sesame oil
  • Assemble bowls: divide the rice among 4 bowls. Put the salmon on top, then the pickled cucumbers, avocado, carrot, red onion, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Drizzle with some spicy mayo.
Photo by Brent Hofacker from Shutterstock

Copycat Carbone Spicy Rigatoni

You’ve probably heard of Carbone, the nouveau red sauce joint found in lower Manhattan. If not, you will now. It’s an exquisite place, where every plate is a mind-blowing delicious, and futuristic take on Italian American classics. This is probably the most famous recipe of them all.


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 c. onion (about 2 medium), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons crushed Calabrian chiles in oil, depending on preferences
  • 1 (6-oz.) can of tomato paste
  • 1 (14-oz.) can of whole tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. vodka
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. pipette or lumaconi pasta
  • 1 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan, and more for serving

How to:

  • In a big bowl, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, melt some butter. Add onions and cook, while stirring often, until it turns golden brown and caramelized, up to 20 minutes. Add garlic and chiles and cook until it’s fragrant around 2 minutes. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the cooked onion mixture to a small bowl, and set aside. Add tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s slightly thickened and darkened in color, up to 3 minutes. Pour in tomatoes along with the liquid and the vodka, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring everything to a simmer.
  • Cook, while breaking up the tomatoes, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have broken down around 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in heavy cream until everything is completely incorporated.
  • Use an immersion blender or pour the sauce into a traditional blender, and blend until everything is smooth. Return the sauce to a pot. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to a big pot of boiling water and add some pasta. Cook until they become al dente, and keep 1 1/2 cups pasta water before draining everything
  • Return the sauce to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and Parmesan and stir until it’s fully incorporated. If you want a smoother sauce, add pasta water 1/4 cup at a time). Season with salt, depending on taste.

If you enjoyed reading this article, we also recommend reading: 5 Quick and Easy Breakfast Ideas for Your Busiest Mornings

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