16 Spicy Dinners for People Who Like It Hot

updated Nov 30, 2023
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Credit: Alice Choi

For those who like their dinner hot, you’re in luck. We love spicy food here at Kitchn. Whether it’s from peppers, curries, or something more unexpected, we’ll take all the heat we can get. So when you’re ready to turn up the temperature, here are 16 delightfully spicy recipes that will set your tastebuds on fire — in a good way, of course.

Spicy Dinners

1 / 16
Spicy Lentil Wraps with Tahini Sauce

Serving these wraps with tahini sauce on the side is ingenious because it helps balance the spice of the filling. Plus, this makes a great low-key vegetarian dinner for busy weeknights.

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2 / 16
Egg Noodles in Rich Chicken Curry Sauce (Khao Soi)

We’re huge fans of the combination of egg noodles and curry; it’s a great paring when rice just isn’t doing it anymore. Just be sure not to skimp on the toppings with this dish — they help bring in some extra texture and flavor.

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3 / 16
Pollo alla Diavola (Spicy Chicken Skewers) with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

This recipe is actually traditionally called “Devil’s Chicken,” but don’t let that name scare you. It does have plenty of red pepper flakes, but the sun-dried tomato sauce helps temper the spice and make it irresistible.

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4 / 16
Sweet and Spicy Baked Chicken Nuggets

If you like the balance of spicy and sweet, these homemade chicken nuggets are for you. They are a serious upgrade from the kind you get from the freezer section, so you won’t feel bad about serving them to your family.

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5 / 16
Spicy Carnitas Salad Bowl

You’ll make the carnitas for this recipe ahead of time in the slow cooker, then you can assemble it for a quick weeknight dinner or an easy-to-pack lunch. The base is a no-wilt Brussels sprout slaw that we love.

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6 / 16
Spicy Shrimp Skillet with Tomatoes and White Beans

White wine, red pepper flakes, and plenty of garlic and tomatoes make this one-pan dinner a winner. You can serve it over rice or noodles, or with just a few pieces of toast on the side.

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7 / 16
Spicy Panzanella Salad

This panzanella salad gets its bite from the jalapeño that’s added into the mix. If you don’t like a ton of spice, you can always swap in a sweet pepper instead.

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8 / 16
Spicy Korean Grilled Chicken

Whether you prepare these on the grill or on a grill pan, the marinade — filled with gochujang, garlic, and soy sauce — is what makes the dish sweet, spicy, and pretty irresistible.

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9 / 16
Spicy Sausage & Mixed Vegetable Skillet Pasta

Sausage skillet pasta is one of our favorite weeknight meals. Adding sausage — especially spicy sausage — to any meal makes it 10 times better. Just be sure to make enough to pack for lunch the next day, as the leftovers are great.

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10 / 16
Spicy Tomato-Mushroom Tortellini

While your tortellini is cooking, you can make this simple, spicy tomato sauce. It uses canned tomatoes and tomato paste, so you might not even have to make a special trip to the grocery store in order to make it.

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11 / 16
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Stir-Fry

The key to making this cauliflower stir-fry the best it can be is to roast the cauliflower before giving it a quick stir-fry with the other veggies. You can always roast it the night before if you want to save time.

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12 / 16
Spicy Glass Noodles with Crispy Pork (Yum Woon Sen)

Don’t be intimidated by glass noodles; they are actually surprisingly easy to cook. Plus, it’s just as delicious when eaten cold the next day.

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13 / 16
Weeknight General Tso's Tofu

Pan-fried tofu, veggies, and rice, along with an easy-to-make sauce, is all that’s required for this classic dish. Be sure you have plenty of broccoli and that you sprinkle it with plenty of sesame seeds.

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14 / 16
Kerala Coconut Chicken Curry

This recipe has a bit of a secret: it’s made in the pressure cooker! That means once you’ve prepped your ingredients, it’s a mostly hands-off meal. It also means that your dinner will be done cooking in about 15 minutes.

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15 / 16
Sweet & Spicy Baked Sweet Potato

This version gets its sweetness from the mini marshmallows broiled on top, and its spiciness from the Sriracha that gets mixed into the sweet potato flesh.

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16 / 16
Butternut Squash & Coconut Curry

This recipe is fully vegan, thanks to the coconut milk. And the butternut squash is hearty enough that you won’t even miss the meat. Scale the heat by adding more or less of the curry powder to fit your taste.

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