There are an estimated 50,000 varieties of peppers grown worldwide that range in size, shape, color and, most importantly, heat level. Before you bite in, it's best to find out where a pepper falls on something called the Scoville scale, which measures peppers based on Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Sweet varieties like bell peppers are at the bottom of the scale because they don't contain a mouth-burning chemical called capsaicin. The mild poblano falls around 1,500 SHU and the face-melting Carolina Reaper clocks in at 1.5 million SHU. If you can't handle the heat, be sure to discard a hot pepper's seeds and white ribs before you cook it—that's where much of the capsaicin hides out. And if the meal is still too hot, keep a glass of milk or a container of yogurt nearby. They both contain casein, which counteracts capsaicin. Whether you're craving sweet or spicy varieties, F&W's guide to peppers offers recipes for every course from around the globe.

Most Recent

Grilled Pepper and Onion Panzanella with Peperoncini Vinaigrette
Rating: Unrated 1
Molly Stevens' panzanella uses grilled sweet peppers and onions in place of tomatoes as the centerpiece of this dinner salad. The charred vegetables are tossed with cubes of grilled bread, drizzled with a peperoncini vinaigrette, and topped with creamy feta and crisp slices of peperoncini, which add pops of flavor and contrasting texture. This is a highly adaptable salad; try incorporating your favorite sweet or hot peppers and grilling other vegetables, such as squash and eggplant planks, alongside the peppers, if you like.
New Mexico Red Chile Sauce
Vibrantly red with mild piquancy and earthiness from New Mexico dried chile powder and ground cumin, this chile sauce is the perfect balance to the cheesy, fried relleno, simple fried eggs, or tacos.
Hatch Chiles Rellenos
Hatch chiles stand out for their balanced sweet heat that takes on a subtle smokiness and buttery quality once roasted. Here, recipe developer Paige Grandjean (whose aunt married into the Franzoy family, who first commercialized Hatch chiles in the early 1900s) uses the roasted chiles to make Hatch chiles rellenos, oozing with asadero cheese. Whipped egg whites give the simple batter a delicate structure; it fries up golden brown and airy, encasing the flavorful Hatch chiles. Fold the egg whites into the batter just before frying to keep it nice and fluffy. Try this with Grandjean's quick and easy homemade red chile sauce.
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5 Things You Need to Know About Hatch Chiles
New Mexico's Hatch chile adds a balanced, smoky heat to both savory and sweet dishes.
22 Outstanding Bell Pepper Recipes
Bell peppers—the sweet, mildly-flavored members of the pepper family—are crunchy, fresh, complex, and colorful. Showcasing a hearty rainbow of red, yellow, orange and green, we rounded up our best bell pepper recipes. Read on to make easy and appealing appetizer and dinner ideas, from Pimento Cheese with Salt-and-Pepper Butter Crackers to Rustic Pepper Stew with Jammy Eggs to Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese, Here are terrific bell pepper recipes so you can revel in all their raw, sautéed, roasted, and stuffed glory.

More Peppers

Red Bell Pepper and Kale Stir-Fry
Rating: Unrated 3
Colorful and delicious, this stir-fry recipe with loaded with red bell peppers and healthy kale. Slideshow:  More Stir-Fry Recipes 
9 Things To Do with Poblanos
Here are nine ways to use deeply flavorful and fruity poblanos.