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Food & Recipes

Jalapeño Dust Is the Viral Trend That Spices Up Food + Drinks — No Cooking Required

All it takes is a jalapeño and a little chilling — try it on margaritas, pizza and more

I love cooking with jalapeños. Their crisp texture and vibrant heat add a certain magic to so many recipes. But sometimes, finely chopping a jalapeño can be messy, and the heat isn’t always evenly distributed throughout the dish. Enter the latest viral trend: jalapeño dust! This ingenious hack uses your freezer to transform an ordinary pepper into a potent flavor and spice enhancer — no cooking or heat necessary (that is, until you eat it). Plus, it takes just a few hours and can be dusted on anything from pizza to popcorn and even used on the rim of a spicy margarita. I also have tips for prepping and grating your peppers perfectly. Here’s everything you need to know about jalapeño dust.

What is jalapeño dust?

Get ready to say goodbye to messy chopping and hello to a flavor explosion. This trend is all about transforming fresh jalapeños into an easy and delicious topping. First, you freeze jalapeños for a few hours, then grate the frozen peppers into a “dust” that elevates any dish with jalapeño flavor and a touch of heat. Check out this TikTok video to see what the hype is all about:


They Did WHAT With a Jalapeno? Freeze those peppers and grate them into spicy flakes over anything you love. Pizza is the original way, but we also love what Nicole is thinking: eggs, mac and cheese, even a margarita. 📸: Nicole McLaughlin (@NicoleMcLaughlin ) ✨: @kirtanap 🔗 Head to the link in bio for more on this grating greatness. #jalapeno #peppers #spicy #macandcheese

♬ original sound – Allrecipes

Your guide to making jalapeño dust

jalapeño peppers used to make jalapeño dust
Image By Marc Gutierrez/Getty

Follow these key steps when handling jalapeños and ensuring the best dusting for your food.

1. Choose your jalapeño

Look for firm, unblemished jalapeño peppers with a vibrant green color. This guarantees the best flavor as well as texture for your dust. Before freezing, make sure to wash and dry them. For a milder dust, slice open the side of the pepper and remove the seeds and white membrane – these pack the most heat. But you can leave the peppers whole for a spicier kick.

2. Freeze your peppers

Freezing for at least 4 hours is crucial for achieving the desired texture. The longer freezing time allows the cell walls of the jalapeño to break down further, making it easier to grate and resulting in a lighter and fluffier dust. Ideally, aim for overnight freezing for the best results.

3. Grate them into dust

Use a microplane grater or the smallest holes on a box grater for the most effortless grating experience. A finer grate ensures a lighter as well as more manageable dust that distributes evenly into a dish.

Safety note: It’s wise to wear gloves when handling jalapeños, especially if you’re leaving the seeds and membrane in. The oils from the jalapeños can irritate your skin.

What to put jalapeño dust on

Here are some popular ways people have been using jalapeño dust:

  • Breakfast: This dust goes great on fried eggs, avocado toast as well as breakfast burritos.
  • Snacks: Give your favorite snacks a spicy kick! Dust popcorn, potato chips, nachos or even fresh fruit — it’s especially delicious over mango.
  • Lunch: Liven up your sandwiches, wraps or salads. Jalapeño dust pairs particularly well with creamy ingredients like cheese or avocado.
  • Dinner: Incorporate jalapeño dust into your dinner routine! Sprinkle it on pizza, pasta dishes, tacos, stir-fries as well as cooked meats to give them the perfect bit of spice.
  • Drinks: Love spicy margaritas? Add some instant heat to your cocktail with a sprinkling of jalapeño dust or used it to rim the glass.

Storage tips

You can store any leftover jalapeño dust in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. This allows you to have a spicy kick readily available whenever your taste buds crave it.

For more recipes using any leftover jalapeños, try some of these below:

Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers Are the Perfect Party Appetizer + Ready in Under 20 Minutes

Coffee-Rubbed Sirloin With Jalapeño Butter Recipe Is Out-of-This-World Delicious

Our Jalapeño Cheeseburgers Recipe Is Packed With Spice + Preps in 25 Minutes

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