Hot Pepper Butter May Not Be What You Expect But It's Everything You Need

Hot pepper butter may sound like a spicy, chili-infused dairy product, but don't be fooled — this tasty condiment has no butter in it at all. Perhaps its creamy texture earned it its misleading name, but its flavor profile is actually closer to mustard.

Hot pepper butter is a tangy, sweet, and spicy sauce made from one or more of your favorite pepper varieties. While recipes can vary, they all generally include hot and sweet peppers, mustard, vinegar, and sugar. This condiment is a great way to make use of an abundant crop of peppers from your garden. It's also budget-friendly, made from a mix of your favorite store-bought peppers and a handful of affordable pantry staples.

The beauty of hot pepper butter lies in its versatility — you control the spice level by choosing which peppers to use. Some recipes call for banana peppers, others for Hungarian peppers, and still others for a mix of bell peppers with jalapeños or serranos. The peppers' heat is balanced by the tangy and sweet notes from the sugar, vinegar, and mustard.

Plus, the preparation involves adding blended fresh peppers to a pot of boiling water, mustard, vinegar, salt, and flour. Similar to a roux or a slurry, the flour facilitates the thickening of the sauce, requiring constant stirring as the ingredients simmer. The end result? A thick, butter-like condiment with a bright, flavorful palette that will quickly become your favorite all-purpose condiment for enhancing any dish.

Hot pepper butter's many uses

The creamy, melt-in-your-mouth consistency and the perfect blend of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors make hot pepper butter a favorite spread for sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. It combines the heat and sweetness of whole grain and Dijon mustard into one creamy jar, standing up well to savory meats and cheeses. It's also a fantastic addition to a cheese plate or charcuterie board — you could spread it over cured meats and crackers topped with rich, sharp cheeses.

Hot pepper butter also makes a great spread for toast. Whether you're layering it under avocado, a fried egg, caramelized onions, or roasted tomatoes, it can elevate your breakfast toast to a new level. Another food item that pairs well with hot pepper butter is pretzels, both the crunchy packaged variety and the warm, soft-baked versions.

You can add hot pepper butter to salad dressings, too. Use it in place of Dijon or whole grain mustard for a sweet and spicy kick in your vinaigrettes. It's also a delightful addition to creamy coleslaw or deviled eggs. You could add horseradish and butter to hot pepper butter for a luscious steak sauce. Some folks even use it as a topping for pizza and nachos! The possibilities really are endless!