HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Suggestions for using up a TON of serrano chilies (other than salsa and guacamole)?

I've frozen some, made salsa and guac, put them on sandwiches, given them away... any other ideas?

And, while we're at it, I have a lot of anaheims and poblanos too.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You do up a bunch of Serranos en Escabeche. It's basically a kind of pickled serrano. They're pretty addictive.

    Serranos en Escabeche

    1 1/2 pounds serrano or jalapeno chiles
    3/4 cup olive oil
    2 medium white onions, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    1 head of garlic, separated into cloves but not peeled
    2 cups white wine vinegar
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons salt
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
    3 sprigs fresh marjoram, leaves only, finely chopped
    3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, finely chopped

    Wash the chiles, leaving the stems intact. Cut a very shallow cross in the tip of each so that the vinegar can penetrate. In a large deep skillet, preferably cast iron, heat the olive oil over high heat until it is smoking. Reduce the heat to medium and throw in the chiles, onions, carrots, an garlic. Saute for about 10 minutes, turning the vegetables over occasionally. Add the vinegar, water, salt, and all the herbs, reduce the heat o medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes more. Transfer the vegetables o a very clean crock or deep bowl and pour the vinegar mixture over them. Cool to room temperature, then cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week. (If desired, sterilize 6 pint jars according to the manufacturers instructions, fill and seal them for longer keeping.)

    1. A pot of chile. When I make my chile it includes Penzey's chili powder mix, cayenne powder, various dried ciles that I have crushed with my mortar and pestel, and assorted chopped fresh chiles.

        1. agree that escabeche would be great.

          Also, you may want to make a big batch of thai green curry paste. I know that, traditionally, you'd use other chiles, but given the bounty you have, it would be worth it. Plus, you can freeze chile paste wonderfully, meaning you could have great thai green curry on hand at a moments notice.

          1. Poblanos: Roast, peel, stuff with cheese. Make batter with: one egg for every two peppers, 1 T. flour for every two eggs. Separate eggs, beat whites, fold yolks, slightly beaten, with flour into whites beaten to soft peaks. Dip cheese-stuffed peppers in batter and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain well on several changes of paper towels. Freeze in zipper freezer bags. Reheat by dropping into thin tomato sauce and simmering a few minutes. Do this and you will have a stash of on-demand, seriously good, chilies rellenos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pikawicca

              i love that you gave that recipe so concisely. i love chiles rellenos. thanks.

            2. One of my favorites is to dice or slice them and pour them into a bowl with some soy sauce for some chili infused soy sauce. Delicious and can be used in place of regular soy sauce.

              1. Roughly chop the serranos, put into a glass jar or wide-mouth bottle, add a tablespoon of salt, and cover with vinegar. Give it a shake every now and then. In a week or so, you'll have nicely spicy pepper vinegar; use in salad dressings, as a condiment for beans & rice, or on fried foods (shrimp, oysters, chicken, etc).

                1. Make chile oil out of the chopped serranos. It keeps well and is used a lot in Asian cooking.

                  1. Heat an ungreased black cast-iron skillet til it's nearly smoking and then toss in whole raw serranos. Cook until they begin to blacken and blister. Eat 'em that way as snacks.

                    1. Hey there,
                      I would roast them and then puree them with green peppers and tomato and lots of onion and spices to make a homeade jerk sauce. It's great on fish and meat and it lasts a long time. Enjoy!

                      1. Thanks so much everyone - these are fantastic suggestions! I will be quite busy trying them out over the next week

                        1. Chile verde.

                          If you have a piping bag, you can make app-sized chiles rellenos out of the serranos, too -- we did that once for a party and they were gone in an instant. We had tamarind dipping sauce for them because they're so much hotter than poblanos.

                          1. How about a dipping sauce for breads.

                            1. for the poblanos, make a delicious pot of RAJAS CON CREMA
                              roast, peel/seed, and slice into strips
                              fry some onions, lower the heat and add Mexican crema (sort of like sour creme, but not exactly) to taste. Add your peppers and stew it all together for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste (mostly salt)
                              Great sidedish for steak, or on tacos/quesadillas, or with eggs. It'll keep in the fridge a couple of days, but I doubt it would freeze well.

                              the poblanos cook down ALOT, so lots of pepper turns into not alot of rajas