Spicy Vegan Recipes For Those Who Like It HOT

Like your food with a kick? You’ll love these spicy vegan recipes!

By Lora O’Brien

Remember back in December when the world lost its mind after supermodel Gigi Hadid shared her spice cupboard? Seeing lots of well-known Indian spices labelled by their traditional Hindi names in her cupboard had people quite literally celebrating. But we humans have been cooking with hot spices for over 6,000 years, and different cuisines throughout the world use an array of spices regularly to create flavourful dishes.

And lots love their food hot. There is even a National Hot & Spicy Food Day which is dedicated to spicy food each year (August 19th if you’re wanting to pencil it in!) While spicy dishes may commonly use chili, pepper and hot sauce, it doesn’t always have to be, y’know, make-your-eyes-water hot. Spice can add just the right amount of warmth to your food.

Tips on using spices

Learn about different cultures: It’s a good idea to educate yourself on spices and the different cuisines that use them. Understand what spices work in what kind of dishes so you know which ones to use when. For example, Mexican cuisine uses hot peppers, such as jalapeno and habanero. Indian dishes use red chillies and chilli powder. Jamaican food will often embrace the super-hot scotch bonnet peppers – proceed with caution! Cajun and Creole dishes often use a blend of spices such as cayenne, paprika and chili peppers.

Start mild: If you’re new to spice, you may want to start off mild and increase your tolerance over time. A great thumb of advice is: you can always add more, but you can’t take away. So, before throwing in a chilli that will scald your tastebuds, start off with a milder spice. Also, don’t add too many at once. Spice is essential for adding flavour to food, but it shouldn’t take over the entire dish.

Spice up staples: A great way to incorporate spice into your diet is by spicing up foods you already love. I’m a huge fan of adding a garlic chilli sriracha over, like, everything. You could add a pinch of crushed chilli peppers to oil when cooking, or add some hot sauce to your favourite condiment. Cut back on salt and instead season with some chilli powder. Where peppers are used you could swap in jalapeno peppers. If you love mac and cheese – why not make it spicy? (We have a tasty recipe below!)

Balance the heat: The next step when it comes to spice is to be sure to balance the spice. No one wants to inhale an inferno. When adding heat to a dish, balance it out by adding flavours that will work to cool it, too. Many Mexican dishes will serve spicy dishes alongside sour cream, or Indian food can be served with cooling cucumber raita. A great way to balance the spice in a curry is to add a creamy coconut base. This way the flavour will be enjoyable, the spice subtle depending on your preference.

When it gets a little too hot: Okay, so you overdid the heat and now your mouth is on fire. Water will not help you – it will only burn, baby, burn! Grab a spoonful of (non-dairy) yogurt or sour cream and this will help cool your tastebuds. You can also calm spice down by eating starchy foods like bread or rice.

Before you toss the dish in the bin, it is possible to salvage the food if you went a little OTT on the spice. You could try adding acidic lemon or lime or opt for a sweetener like sugar or agave to help counterbalance the spice. The best way is to add more of the ingredients (minus the spice) that went into the recipe. As you add these and cook them into the dish, the spiciness will decrease and become more palatable. You could also make it creamier by adding coconut milk or non-dairy milk, making sure the flavour goes well with the dish you’re making.

Spices for your pantry

Wondering which spices you should purge for your pantry? Below are some popular dishes used over a diverse range of cuisines, and they’re a great place to start!

Allspice: is grown in Jamaica and is both aromatic, warm and sweet. It’s made from the dried unripe berry of Pimenta dioica and is often used in Caribbean cooking.

Curry powder: this powder is typically a blend of spices that can include cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger and pepper. This powder can be bought in mild, medium or hot for different levels of heat.

Chilli peppers: comes in a variety of heat, from mild bell pepper to spicier jalapenos and scalding scotch bonnet peppers. You can also get chilli powder which is made from a variety of peppers as well as garlic, cumin and oregano.

Red pepper flakes: these flakes are made from a variety of red peppers, including ancho, bell and cayenne, and are a great way to add a subtle spiciness to food. Great to use over avocado toast for a little spice!

Ginger: isn’t usually one many would consider a spice, but ginger is very warming. Be warned: using too much ginger can really burn!

Harissa: is usually a hot chilli pepper paste, made from roasted red peppers, Baklouti peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, caraway seeds, coriander seeds and cumin.

Hot sauce: is a popular condiment and one that is a fabulous way to add ‘spice’ to any dish! Hot sauce is any condiment made with chilli peppers and other ingredients to make a sauce. The types of peppers used are usually either cayenne, chipotle or jalapeno and can be infused with other flavours such as garlic.

Sriracha: is another traditional Thai hot sauce that is used as a condiment. The sauce is made from ground chillies, garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt.

Now, let’s get cooking!

25+ Hot & Spicy Vegan Recipes

spicy vegan recipes

1. Spicy Vegan Cherry Smoothie

Need a little jumpstart when it comes to the morning? This vegan cherry smoothie is super easy to make and is loaded with protein and healthy fats! This smoothie is great if you suffer from seasonal allergies and the dash of cayenne pepper will help clear out the mucus.

Get the recipe here.

2. Spicy Piri Piri Hummus

Looking to add some subtle spice to your everyday staples? Spice up your hummus! I love adding some piri piri seasoning or hot sauce to my hummus to kick things up a notch.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

3. Spicy Vegan Mac & Cheese

Many like mac and cheese for its creaminess and cheesiness, but it can be a bit bland. This recipe is the perfect way to add a kick to the dish for those looking to spice it up a little. The chipotle hot sauce and powder gives this dish a fiery edge, while the plant-based ingredients like cashews and potatoes help to keep it creamy.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan mac and cheese

4. Spicy Red Curry Cauliflower Wings

Do you like your cauliflower wings with a kick to them? This spicy vegan recipe will hit the spot. Paired with the simple green chutney dipping sauce, these bad boys require just 9 ingredients. Perfect for a side dish or for a delicious snack.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

5. Vegan Hot Honey Fried Tofu

Hot honey is a huge trend at the moment. This vegan recipe uses agave and hot sauce to make the sauce, and drizzles it over fried tofu and roasted sprouts – yum!

Get the recipe here.

hot honey tofu

6. Peri Peri Kebabs

Looking for a great fakeaway to the popular Nando’s? These peri peri kebabs are a fabulous way to spice up some tofu. Grilled on skewers with some green peppers and red onions and drizzled with a peri marinade, these are spicy and delicious.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

7. Vegan Cajun Pasta

This easy Cajun pasta is packed with spicy flavour! It’s made with vegan sausages, peppers and fire-roasted tomatoes in a creamy sauce. Definitely one of the easiest and cheapest of all the spicy vegan recipes here.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

8. Haitian Griot

Haitian Griot is a popular Haitian dish that is traditionally cubes of pork gently simmered in an aromatic broth before being deep-fried. The iconic dish may look super meaty, but it’s made vegan, using jackfruit instead of meat. It’s all cooked until golden and crispy, with lots of juicy flavour!

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

9. Spicy Vegan Hot Pot

Looking for comforting spicy vegan recipes? Make a delicious hot pot! A hot pot is a popular Asian dish that consists of simmering a pot of soup in the centre of the table, Each person cooks the vegetables, tofu, green of their choice at the table. It’s one of the best spicy vegan recipes for enjoying food with friends or loved ones.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

10. Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup

This spicy vegan black bean soup is easy to make, incredibly filling and satisfying and has just the right amount of spiciness. Low in fat, this recipe is high in protein, complex carbs that will keep you fuller for longer.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

11. Roasted Butternut Squash Sliders w/Sriracha Mayo

This butternut squash slider is topped with caramelized onions and spicy sriracha mayo. The sweet and spicy flavours are the perfect marriage: all the flavours were just made to go together. Enjoy!

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

12. Vegan Çiğ Köfte

Çiğ köfte (pronounced chee kofta) is a vegan meatballs dish and is vaguely similar to the Western steak tartare. Traditionally, it’s made with meat, but many places in Turkey make the popular dish using fine bulgar wheat. Which of course, is vegan-friendly.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

13. Simple Vegan Chilli Con Carne

This simple vegan chilli con carne recipe brings a touch of Mexico to your kitchen! It’s one of the simplest spicy vegan recipes, made using a mixture of pantry staples and fresh vegetables, for a delicious meat-free vegan chilli.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

14. Kimchi Stew

Warm up from the inside out with this spicy kimchi stew! Made with tender shiitake mushrooms and crispy pan-fried tofu, it’s easy to make and is loaded with spicy flavours. The cosy dish is hearty enough to make a meal of, and will be thoroughly welcome on cold wintry days.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

15. Sweet and Spicy Golden Chia Pizza

Dreaming of spicy vegan recipes that are actually good for you? This sweet and spicy golden pizza is completely gluten-free and will nourish you with an array of amazing nutrients. The sauce has a special kick to it, offering your taste buds spiciness from the red chillis.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan pizza recipe

16. Spicy Roasted Potatoes

Batata harra is a Lebanese vegetable dish made of potatoes, red peppers, coriander, chilli, and garlic which are all fried together in olive oil. These spicy roasted potatoes will quickly become your favourite way to cook up spuds! Fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside and loaded with amazing flavours – this is definitely one of those spicy vegan recipes you’ll make again and again.

Get the recipe here.

spicy potato recipe

17. Vegan “Chicken” Masala Curry

This quick and easy spicy vegan chicken masala curry can be made in under 30 minutes.  Serve alongside some vegan naan and raita for the most delicious fakeaway!

Get the recipe here.

vegan curry recipe

18. Vegan Sriracha and Lime Cheeseball

Cool lime and peppery sriracha combine in this spicy cheese ball recipe to create a perfect party appetizer or snack. It’s the perfect vegan cheese dish to roll out next time you have guests.

Get the recipe here.

vegan cheese recipe

19. Tofu Medallions a la Diabla

This dish is based on Camarones a la Diabla, a Mexican dish that is shrimp cooked in a spicy sauce. This vegan version uses tofu instead and is just as delicious. You can adjust the heat level by using more or less of the chillies, of course.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

20. Spicy Vegan Jambalaya

This easy vegan jambalaya is full of fresh produce and can be ready in under an hour. It’s the perfect healthy vegan recipe for those busy weeknights when you don’t have much time to cook.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

21. Spicy Thai Vegan Ramen

Love ramen? Then you’ll adore this spicy Thai Vegan Ramen recipe! It’s super easy to make and has all the flavours you love in a traditional Thai soup . . . with a little twist!

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

22. Chinese Sweet Potato Steamed Buns 

These bao buns play homage to the Creole and Chinese roots of the author, fusing the idea of Chinese steamed buns together with a filling inspired by Surinamese cooking. The filling is made from celery leaves and adjuma peppers – can you handle the heat?!

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

23. One Pot Spicy Vegan Chilli

With the weather growing colder, it’s the perfect time to embrace hearty, hot meals. And what’s more hot and hearty than a bowl of slightly spicy vegan chilli? This one-pot vegan chilli is packed with vegetables and can be ready it just 30 minutes. The perfect winter fast food, and one of the easiest spicy vegan recipes to make, too.

Get the recipe here.

spicy vegan recipes

24. Spicy Aztec Hot Chocolate

I love me a good hot chocolate, especially during the colder months. Wanting to try the best hot cocoa recipe, ever? Click the recipe below – you won’t regret a thing! Made with real chocolate, spiced with cinnamon and vanilla, it also has a subtle kick from the chilli pepper. This is one of the best spicy vegan recipes for a really cold day.

Get the recipe here.

spicy hot chocolate

25. Thai Chili Peanut Ice Cream

Bet this is one of the spicy vegan recipes you didn’t expect to see! This ice cream recipe has a touch of spice, thanks to the Thai chilli powder. The ice cream is sweet, nutty and cool, and you can add more (or less) spice depending on how much of a kick you want!

Get the recipe here.

vegan ice cream

26. Chili Lime Mango Margaritas

Fancy a margarita? Spicy vegan recipes can include drinks, too! These simple mango margaritas are made with orange, lime, agave, and silver tequila. The result is a cold, sweet, tangy, and subtly spiced drink. Perfect for Mexican food and warm weather!

Get the recipe here.

spicy margaritas

Lora O'Brien
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