What To Do With Green Cayenne Peppers

Got an abundance of fresh green cayennes? While not as spicy as ripe red peppers, crisp green cayennes still pack pleasant punch. Their grassy, vegetal taste spices up many dishes beyond hot sauce.

While you can make salsa, relish, or seasoning with green cayennes, they’re also great for:

  • Pan-searing – Quickly cook to mellow bite while retaining gentle heat. Toss with soy, garlic, and sesame oil.
  • Homemade hot sauce – Ferment mashed green cayennes to develop complex flavors. Blend with vinegar.
  • Pickling – Preserve summer’s bounty by quick-pickling green cayennes with garlic, peppercorns, and dill.
  • Stir-fries – Use zingy cayennes to spice up veggie and protein stir-fries. Compliments soy, rice vinegar, ginger.

Green cayennes may need to be used more generously than red to achieve desired heat. But their moderate spice and bright flavor enhance many dishes.

Let’s explore even more ways to enjoy green cayennes! From cornbread to pasta, this guide will help you use up a bountiful harvest.

Pan-Seared Cayenne Peppers

In Chinese cuisine, green cayenne peppers are lightly cooked to mellow their bite while retaining some gentle heat. Pan-searing is a fast, easy method.

  • Clean and dry fresh green cayennes. Remove stems.
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high. Add a bit of oil.
  • Add peppers and sear 1-2 minutes per side until lightly charred.
  • Toss seared peppers with minced garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

The charring softens the cayennes while caramelizing their sugars. Serving these flavorful pan-seared peppers as a starter or side dish is sure to impress dinner guests.

Make Your Own Cayenne Hot Sauce

Green cayenne peppers are obviously ideal for crafting homemade hot sauce to spice up anything from eggs to tacos. Fermenting the mashed chilies deepens the flavors.

  • Roughly chop cayennes, removing stems and seeds to control heat.
  • Toss with a bit of salt and let sit 1-2 days to draw out moisture.
  • Transfer peppers and any juices to a blender. Add white vinegar and blend to desired texture.
  • Pour into a jar, cover, and age for 4-7 days to develop flavors.
  • When ready, strain out solids if desired. Store sauce for months in the fridge.

Adjust vinegar levels to reach your preferred consistency. For milder heat, leave some seeds out. This homemade cayenne hot sauce makes an excellent condiment or cooking ingredient.

Fire Up Homemade Salsa

For a fresh salsa with zing, green cayenne chilies provide just the right amount of heat. The sweetness of ripe tomatoes balances their spice.

  • Chop cayennes, tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro.
  • In a bowl, combine chopped veggies. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil.
  • Let salsa sit 30 minutes for flavors to meld before serving with tortilla chips.

For milder salsa, use fewer cayenne peppers. For more kick, keep the seeds in. This chunky salsa is simple, healthy, and totally addictive!

Pickle Green Cayennes

Preserving summer’s bounty of green cayenne peppers is easy with quick refrigerator pickles. They add a tasty pickled pop to sandwiches, tacos, and burritos.

  • Slice washed cayennes into rounds. Pack into clean jars with garlic, peppercorns, and dill.
  • Bring vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil. Pour over peppers. Chill for 1 day before eating.

Refrigerator pickles keep for several weeks. Feel free to add other quick-pickling veggies like carrots, cauliflower, or pearl onions to the jars too.

Whip Up Cayenne Pepper Relish

For an easy cayenne relish perfect on hot dogs, brats, or hamburgers, simply whip up this combination:

  • Finely chop green cayenne peppers, red onion, and bell pepper.
  • In a bowl, mix with white vinegar, mustard seed, salt, pepper, and a bit of sugar.
  • Chill relish for 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.

The tart, slightly sweet relish pairs perfectly with meats hot off the grill. Make a double batch to keep on hand for backyard barbecues and quick weeknight dinners.

Infuse Oil with Cayenne Peppers

Transform neutral oil into a vibrant infused cooking oil with fresh green chilies. The spicy oil is wonderful for drizzling over pizza, pasta, dips, and more.

  • Remove stems from cayennes. Roughly chop peppers.
  • Combine peppers and olive oil in a small saucepan. Gently heat for 10 minutes.
  • Cool oil mixture. Transfer to a jar and let sit for 1 week before straining out peppers.

Feel free to combine cayennes with herbs like rosemary or oregano. Just be sure to label your creation, since this infused oil packs some heat!

Whip Up Green Cayenne Butter

For an easy compound butter that adds flair to seafood, baked potatoes, corn, and more, whip room temperature butter with chopped green cayennes.

  • Start with one stick softened butter. Mash in 2-3 minced cayennes.
  • Beat in a bit of lime juice and season with salt.
  • Form butter into a log, wrap in parchment, and chill before slicing off pats to serve.

The butter beautifully balances rich creaminess with zippy chili spice. Make garlic-cayenne or lime-cilantro versions too.

Use Cayennes To Season Veggies

Since their heat is moderate, green cayennes work well for seasoning roasted veggies. Their grassy bite complements produce like zucchini, eggplant, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

  • Toss chopped veggies with olive oil. Sprinkle on minced green cayennes and salt.
  • Roast at 400°F until browned and tender, about 20 minutes.

Roasted veggies seasoned with cayennes make excellent healthy sides, snacks, or toppers for pasta and grain bowls. Adjust pepper amounts to suit your spiciness preferences.

Spice Up Pasta With Cayennes

For easy cayenne pepper pasta, simply sauté minced green chilies in olive oil before tossing with your favorite noodles. They add mild heat and flavor to basic pantry meals.

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid.
  • In the same pot, heat oil over medium. Sauté chopped cayennes 2 minutes.
  • Return pasta to pot and toss with cayennes, cooking liquid, and shredded cheese.

Customize this basic concept with garlic, tomatoes, spinach, shrimp, or whatever you have on hand. The options for cayenne pepper pasta are endless!

Use Cayennes In Asian Stir-Fries

In Asian cuisines, moderate heat from green cayenne peppers stars in all sorts of sizzling stir-fries. Their zing works well with soy, ginger, garlic, sesame, and rice vinegar.

  • For a quick cayenne chicken stir-fry, sauté sliced peppers with broccoli, carrots, and cubed chicken breast.
  • Toss everything with soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.
  • Serve stir-fry over rice or Asian noodles.

You could also sub in beef, shrimp, or tofu in veggie-packed stir-fries flavored with green cayennes. Serve with a spritz of lime.

Add Heat To Chilies and Soups

Mince fresh green cayennes to sprinkle in chilies, soups, and stews as they simmer. This infuses meals with mild spice and vibrant flavor.

  • For chili, sauté cayennes with the base aromatics. Dice more to mix into the finished pot.
  • For soup, add minced cayennes when sweating veggies in the stock pot.
  • Simmer cayennes in the broth to infuse soups with gentle heat.

Playing with pepper quantities lets you adjust the spiciness as desired. Enjoy cayenne pepper chili and soup all autumn and winter long.

Mix Cayennes Into Dips and Spreads

Liven up creamy dips and spreads with a kick of cayenne pepper spice. Blend minced chilies into:

  • Guacamole – Also add lime, garlic, cilantro
  • Bean dips – Black, pinto, or white bean flavors
  • Artichoke dip – Spinach and cheese complement cayennes
  • Herbed cream cheese – Chives, oregano, parsley all pair well
  • Yogurt-based dips – Ranch, French onion, veggie flavors

These dips and spreads get zing from cayennes and great texture from their mix-ins. Serve with crackers and veggies for dipping.

Bake Up Green Cayenne Cornbread

For a jalapeño cornbread with less fire, use green cayennes instead. Their milder bite and bright flavor still shine through.

  • Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, milk, eggs, and cheese.
  • Fold in chopped green cayennes, corn kernels, and scallions.
  • Pour into a greased pan and bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes.

Let guests add their own chili pepper honey butter so they can control the heat! This cornbread brightens up any barbecue feast or chili night.

Prepare Creamy Green Cayenne Popcorn

Trade in classic red pepper flakes for green cayennes when making spicy homemade popcorn. Their grassier bite is less harsh.

  • Pop your favorite kernels on the stovetop with coconut oil.
  • Melt butter with minced cayennes. Toss with warm popcorn along with Parmesan cheese.

The creamy, peppery popcorn is hard to stop munching! Make it as mild or extra spicy as you wish.

Hope You’re Inspired To Use Green Cayennes!

As you can see, fresh green cayenne peppers offer much more versatility than just peppering your meals with hot red chili flakes.

With their refreshing grassy heat, these punchy green chilies are perfect for brightening up:

  • Salsas, sauces, and relishes
  • Seasonings, butters, and infused oils
  • Pickles and other preserved creations
  • Pasta, stir fries, and roasted veggies
  • Dips, spreads, cornbread, and popcorn

So the next time you get an abundance of fresh green cayennes, try out these tasty ways to use them up. Your cooking is sure to sizzle with their vibrant spice!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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