Spicy Salsa Recipe with Serrano Peppers

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Serrano Pepper Spicy Salsa Recipe

WARNINGRecent reviews of this spicy salsa recipe include “very spicy, but with a lot of flavor,” to “sweet with a bang of heat” to “irresistible.”

Do you know what the most popular condiment is in the US?

Ketchup is probably the first answer that comes to mind … but it’s this OTHER tomato based condiment which is actually KING.  It’s SALSA.

That’s right, Americans consume 1 Billion lbs of salsa every year and this party favorite outsells ketchup at nearly a 2 to 1 pace.

How spicy should it be? Spiciness will depend on peppers you use.

Salsa – Spicy or Mild?

Well, that largely depends on your own personal preferences but the overall spiciness will depend on the peppers used in the salsa.

Today, we’re using serrano peppers to turn up the heat…they’re just a bit hotter than jalapenos.

I was always kinda intrigued by spicy food as a kid.  My Dad would always go to baseball games together and he insisted on extra jalapenos with his nachos.  I can still remember the time I saw him drink jalapeno juice.  I couldn’t tell if I was frightened or somewhat impressed because, to me, he just drank straight FIRE.  Although they’re not anymore, at that young age, jalapenos were the gold standard for spicy….

I lived in New Orleans for a few years and that’s where the love affair with spicy really escalated.  The Big Easy is a city that loves food with heat…from jambalaya and gumbo to blackened fish and crawfish boils…spicy can be found everywhere.

Measuring Spicy – The Scoville Scale

The “heat” or spiciness of peppers is measured using the Scoville scale which was created by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. His eponymously named ratings systems seeks to measure the pungency or spiciness of peppers.

The serrano pepper measures betwen 6,000 – 23,000 units on the Scoville scale.  By comparison, habanero peppers are about 10x as spicy as these serranos.

If you want to turn down the heat of this salsa you can substitute 4 or 5 jalapenos for 7 serrano. By comparison jalapenos rate 2500 – 5000 units or are about 1/5 as spicy as the serrano.

One of the hottest peppers in the world is the Carolina Reaper which has an eye watering, tongue numbing, and ulcer inducing 2 million units…or about 85 times hotter than this serrano pepper!!!  Brutal.

Sweet Heat!

If you like salsa that has a touch of sweet followed up by some zesty heat, then this is the sauce for you!  In this video recipe we’ve added some we’ve added honey and sugar to create a great tasting, balanced salsa.

If you’ve never tried to make  your own salsa, the first thing you will notice are the big differences in freshness and flavor vs store bought.

A quick tip on roasting the peppers…because these peppers are a bit spicy, you should roast them outside on the grill.  If you roast them indoors, they can aerosolize it will take some time to air out your house…it’s happened to me!

Drink some whiskey, playfully harass others around you, and create some great Serrano Pepper Hot Salsa in this newest installment of Feelin Saucy!

Serrano Pepper Hot Salsa


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Serrano Pepper Hot Salsa
If you like spicy, then try this Serrano Pepper Hot Salsa....reviews from friends include comments such as "very spicy, but with a lot of flavor," to "irresistible." If you like strong heat, then this is the sauce for you!
Course Appetizer, Salsa
Prep Time 15
Cook Time 20
Course Appetizer, Salsa
Prep Time 15
Cook Time 20
  1. Roast Serrano Peppers and Tomato over medium heat for 5 - 8 minutes, until soft. Due to spiciness of peppers, I use outdoor grill for roasting. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
  2. Remove tops of peppers and remove the skins and, if you prefer, internal seeds. Keeping the seeds will make it spicier.
  3. Chop tomato to preference. Also, finely chop or puree peppers (I prefer puree)
  4. Add all ingredients together, mix, and let cool.
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