Cooking with Chilies

By: the Editors of Easy Home Cooking Magazine

Spice Image GalleryExplore the variety and flavor of chilies in your next recipe. Check out these spice pictures.
©2007 Photodisc


Q. I love spicy food, and I want to incorporate chilies into my own cooking, but I don't know where to start. Do you have some tips on the best chilies for cooking?

A. There are many different types of chilies and different chilies are used for different recipes. Since the subject of chilies can be confusing, check out this list of the most common fresh chilies.

Jalapeño: A small, dark green chili, normally 2 to 3 inches long and about 3/4 inch wide with a blunt or slightly tapered end. Their flavor varies from hot to very hot.

Poblano: A very dark green, large triangular-shaped chili with a pointed end. Poblanos are usually 3-1/2 to 5 inches long. Their flavor ranges from mild to quite hot.

Anaheim: A light green chili that has a mild flavor with a slight bite. They are 4 to 6 inches long, about 1-1/2 inches wide and have a rounded tip.

Serrano: A medium green, very small chili with a very hot flavor. It usually ranges from 1 to 1-1/2 inches in length and is 3/8 inch wide with a pointed end.


Looking for ideas to incorporate chilies into your cooking? Try these recipes:

  • How to Cook Chili Peppers
  • Jalapeño Coleslaw Recipe
  • Chili-Stuffed Poblano Peppers Recipe
  • Classic Guacamole Recipe