Out of many techniques for preserving the jalapenos, this jalapeno paste is the simplest of all. This recipe isn't just about blending up the peppers. But it's all about infusing and enhancing the natural flavors of jalapeno.
Add a spoonful of this concentrated jalapeno to any food, and make them more exciting and flavorful!
Did you get a bunch of jalapeños from your garden or the farmer's market? This jalapeno paste recipe is just for you.
Why Do We All Love This Jalapeno Paste Recipe?
The Flavors: If you're making authentic Mexican recipes, this jalapeno paste brings out all the bold taste required in the dishes(This recipe is an effort to preserve the jalapeno's flavors to the maximum extent).
Consistent Heat: Each jalapeno may differ with the heat and the flavors, so it's always a calculated recipe. But with this jalapeno paste, once you gauge the spiciness of the heat for every other spoon—there is no guessing game.
Gift Idea: If you've made a big batch, consider filling small jars to give away as homemade gifts(check out this jalapeno pickle, too!). Just attach a little recipe card with ideas for how to use it.
Ingredients Required for Making Jalapeno Paste
Jalapeno Peppers: The fresh jalapenos that look large with glassy skin and are bulk in size are usually milder than smaller jalapenos. Also, if you want a milder heat for your paste, remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the peppers (these parts hold most of the heat).
Olive Oil: This makes this paste rich and creamy. I usually go for olive oil, but grape seed oil, avocado oil—or any neutral-tasting oil like canola oil—works well, too.
Lime Juice: Either lime or lemon juice is good. It adds that zing!
Sweetener: You can pick what you like for sweetness—maple syrup, honey, or regular sugar.
How to Make Jalapeno Paste
Prepare: First, wash the jalapeno peppers well. Pat them dry, and chop off the stems. Cut them as whole pepper for natural heat, leave some seeds and the white membrane for the medium spicy, and add only the flesh of the jalapeno for low chili pepper heat. Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. New to the kitchen? Check this jalapeno hands, and this is how to cut jalapeno peppers.
Spice Level: If you want your paste to be milder, remove the seeds and the white stuff inside the peppers.
Saute: Place a pan over medium heat and add olive oil, chopped jalapenos, and garlic. And sauté them for 5 to 10 minutes or until they turn soft, but without burning them.
Blend: Let them cool down to room temperature. Then, transfer the cooked jalapeno to a blender or food processor, along with salt, sugar, and lime juice. Blend it until it's smooth(If needed, scrape the sides and blend some more).
Flavor and Preserve: Add vinegar to the aromatic pepper puree mixture(It gives extra taste and helps keep the paste good for longer).
Taste test: Adjust the seasonings if needed to suit your personal preference.
Store It: Store your paste in a clean jar. Make sure there aren't any air bubbles. Put the lid on tight.
How to Store Jalapeno Paste
In the Fridge: Stock the jalapeno paste jar in the fridge. It's good to use for up to 2 to 3 weeks.
In the Freezer: This is my choice of storage. Spoon the paste into ice cube trays. Let them freeze solid. Take the frozen cubes and put them in a Ziplock bag or another freezer-safe container. When you need some spicy goodness, grab a cube and toss it into the dish! For the best flavor and quality, use within six months.
How to use
Basic Use: One of the great things about this jalapeno paste is you don't have to heat it. It's ready to use right out of the jar or the freezer. Measure out the amount you need for your recipe and stir it in. It's Easy!!
Snack Ideas: Looking for an instant crowd-pleaser? Mix the jalapeno paste with cream cheese and serve it with tortilla chips. Whether it's game day or a family gathering, this combo is a hit. Want to kick your hummus? Add a spoonful of this paste and mix well.
Creamy Pasta Sauce: In need of a quick dinner fix? Stir some jalapeno paste into your regular pasta sauce. To make it creamy, add a tablespoon of flour and some milk. Throw in jalapeno paste, cream cheese, and a pinch of salt for extra flavor. Serve it over cooked pasta for a dish that comforts you.
Flavorful Soups: If your soup needs extra zing, a dollop of jalapeno paste will do the trick. It melts seamlessly into hot soups, adding both heat and depth of flavor.
Grilling Marinade: Planning a barbecue? Use the paste as a marinade for chicken, beef, or veggies. It's sure to give your grilling an exciting twist.
Breakfast: Making sandwiches? A thin layer of this paste on the bread gives a spicy, flavorful edge that's delightful. Or a spoonful of jalapeno paste can make your morning burritos with black beans or scrambled eggs delicious.
Tools Recommended For This Recipe
Cutting Board & Knife: It's easier to work with a good knife and cutting board. These are the basics you'll need for prepping the jalapenos and garlic.
Gloves: If your skin is sensitive, wear gloves while handling the jalapenos to avoid any burning sensation. Better safe than sorry!
Cooking Tips and Tricks
Straining Optional: If you want a smoother paste, you can strain it after blending(No worries! You can use the leftover solids in cooking).
Color Matters: Over time, your jalapeno paste might darken in the fridge or freezer. It's generally still good to eat, but for the freshest flavor and bright green color, use it up within the recommended time.
Double Up: If you're unsure how much heat you prefer, think about creating two versions: a spicy one with the seeds and inner white membrane and a milder one with the flesh of jalapenos. Just be sure to label them clearly!
Spice Blending: Customize this recipe by adding herbs or spices like cumin, coriander seeds, or smoked paprika. Or add Vidalia onions(which have a mild flavor and sweet taste) and jalapeno peppers.
Printable recipe card
- 1 lbs jalapeño peppers 20-25 jalapenos
- 8 cloves garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- Wash and remove the stems from the jalapeño peppers. Remove seeds and the rib(the white membrane) if you prefer milder version. Leave some of the seeds in if you prefer it to be medium spiced. And chop them as whole for the real heat.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves.
- Over medium heat, place a pan. And add olive oil, chopped jalapeños, and garlic. Sauté them for 5-7 minutes or until they become soft and slightly charred.
- Allow them to cool and transfer the sautéed jalapeños and garlic to a blender or food processor.
- Add the salt, sugar, and lime juice to the blender.
- Blend everything until you have a smooth paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender and blend again to ensure everything is well combined.
- Taste the jalapeño paste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- Once the paste is ready, transfer it to a clean jar or container. Store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- This jalapeno paste recipe enhances the natural zest and spice of jalapenos. Make and freeze this and toss it on any dish that needs a kick!