Kitchen Notes

Smoky Sangrita

Sangrita is one of our favorite weapons in the kitchen and at the bar for injecting tons of smoky, spicy, umami flavor into drinks. It's the base for our house Bloody Mary and Michelada, and the perfect counterpart to a glass of mezcal for sipping. 

  • 1 cup tomato juice 
  • 1 cup hot sauce (makes sure you use something with chipotle for that sweet smoky hit)
  • 1 cup orange juice 
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice 
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt 

Add ingredients to a large pitcher and keep cold. You can also blend for a couple minutes to get everything extra smooth but it's not necessary. Keep refrigerated. 

Introducing the Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit

Sometimes the only thing standing between you and a new cooking adventure is the right tools. To that end, we’re thrilled to announce our latest creation, The Chili Lab Hot Sauce Kit. A collaboration with W&P Design, the Hot Sauce Kit comes with everything you need to create a bespoke chili condiment of your own.

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Arrabbiata Recipes

This recipe is as simple as it gets, and quick to boot. There are a few keys to making it stand out: use the best ingredients you can find, from the canned tomatoes to the olive oil. And secondly, don’t be afraid to really stir those noodles as you alternate between adding tomato sauce and cooking water. It’ll make the sauce cling to the noodles and develop a velvety texture.

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The Smoky Orange

Mezcal is the incredible smoky cousin of tequila. Rimming the rocks glass with Chipotle Chili Salt picks up on that smoky flavor beautifully, and some orange juice and campari round out the cocktail with sweet bitter flavors. 

  • 1.5 oz mezcal (we like El Buho)
  • .75 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • .5 oz campari
  • .25 oz simple syrup
  • .25 oz lemon juice
  • chipotle chili salt & thinly sliced orange to garnish

Add mezcal, orange juice, campari, simply syrup and lemon juice to cocktail shaker. Fill with ice & strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with salt & orange wedge. Enjoy.



Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans

Baked beans are a one-pot staple that defies geography. You’ll see a pot of beans as regularly in the churches of Maine as you will in the barbecue joints of Tennessee. Chipotle peppers add a subtle smokiness that extends the meat-mimicking caper of the beans. And the peppers’ tobacco-like earthiness matches beautifully with the sweet underline of honey. An herby breadcrumb topping gilds the lily, evoking the classic French version of the dish, cassoulet.

Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 to 5 dried chipotle peppers (depending on your desired heat level)
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 3 strips smoky bacon
  • ½ red onion, cut into 4 pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Colman’s mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey (maple syrup or sorghum syrup would also work well here)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups meaty white beans (such as Great Northern)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In a small bowl, combine the chipotle peppers and the boiling water and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°.

In a food processor, add the bacon and process until it is a paste. Add the red onion, red pepper, carrot and garlic and process until the vegetables are finely chopped and incorporated in the paste.

In a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the bacon-vegetable mixture and cook slowly, until the fat from the bacon has rendered and the vegetables begin to smell roasted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the smoked paprika, mustard, honey and tomato paste. Drain the chipotles from their liquid and finely chop. Add the chipotles to the Dutch oven, along with the white beans. Add the chicken stock, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake an additional 15 to 30 minutes, until the beans are quite tender. Stir in the vinegar and season with salt to taste.

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parsley and olive oil together. Season with a bit of salt, and spread the breadcrumb mixture in an even layer over the top of the beans. Heat under the broiler for about 5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown. Serve immediately.

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The Chili Pepper Field Guide is a growing knowledge base exploring the diverse flavors of chili peppers from around the world. We welcome your thoughts and content suggestions via email or social media using hashtag #chililab

The Chipotle Chili Pepper


This distinctive and popular chili is like barbecue in vegetable form: smoky and earthy with a rich caramelized sweetness, it works beautifully in partnership with grilled dishes, or as a component of soups and stews.

Sourcing: Grown in the American Southwest, chipotles are easy to find in dried form--check your local gourmet market, such as Whole Foods, or Latin market. They’re also commonly found canned in adobo sauce.

Storing: Whole dried chilies should be kept sealed in an airtight container and free of moisture. Canned chiles can be kept indefinitely.


  • Beans
  • Chicken
  • Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate
  • Eggplant
  • Eggs

Check back for recipes and images or follow us on social media to get reminders.

    Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

    The Chili Pepper Field Guide is a growing knowledge base exploring the diverse flavors of chili peppers from around the world. We welcome your thoughts and content suggestions via email or social media using hashtag #chililab

    Mussels with Chili Butter

    We love delicious food - but there is one thing we love even more: delicious food, fast! Mussels are relatively inexpensive, prepared quickly and are a sophisticated dinner that will have you reaching for seconds!

    Mixing in a little chili butter to infuse heat into the dish is a quick and easy way, without overpowering the broth. No complicated sauces or long prep times. Just a simple and flavorful dinner!


    We used the Foragers Blend to bring out the earthiness of the mussels and turn up the heat, but if you are looking for a more subtle flavor, the Grove Blend  would also work well, and highlight the citrus notes in the dish.  

    Have you tried experimenting with Chili Butter yet?


    Mussels with Chili Butter


    2 pounds fresh Mussels, scrubbed debearded

    3 tablespoons Chili Butter, Forager's Blend

    1/4 cup Olive Oil

    1 finely chopped shallots

    2 large garlic cloves, minced

    1 tablespoon Rosemary

    2/3 cup Wine

    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

    Fresh Bread



    In a large pot add Chili Butter and olive oil and heat on medium high heat. When hot, add shallots and garlic gloves and cook until fragrant. Add rosemary, wine, and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Add mussels and cook for 5-10 minutes until shells are open.

    Serve hot, garnished with parsley, and with bread for dipping.

      Spicy Sausage Pasta

      • 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
      • 1 tablespoon of diced garlic, optional
      • 1/2 cup dry white wine
      • 3 1/2 cups (1 28-oz ) marinara sauce
      • 1 small shallot
      • The Chili Lab Salt to taste
      • Fresh tiny mozzarella balls, optional
      1. Place the sausage in a dry, cold saucepan, and cook over medium heat until browned. As the sausage cooks, slice the sausage diagonally.
      2. Place the marinara sauce in a pan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Add in sausage, garlic, white wine, shallots and Chili salt. Reduce to low and cook, stirring often, for one hour.
      3. Cook penne pasta until al dente. Drain well, and combine with the sauce. Topped with cheese if desired.
      4. It’s as simple as that!

      Spicy Creamy Tomato soup

      • 2 (15-ounce) containers, chicken or vegetable stock/broth
      • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with liquid
      •  1 cup heavy cream
      • 1 cup finely diced carrots
      • 1 cup finely diced onions
      • 1 cup finely diced celery
      • 1/4 cup fresh basil
      • 1 tsp thyme
      • The Chili Lab Salt to taste
      1. Place carrots, celery, and unions in a large skillet over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes until golden.
      2. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker for 4 hours, or a pressure cooker for 30 minutes, or cook on a stove top covered for an hour or until veggies are completely soften.
      3. With an immersion blender, puree soup.
      4. Garnish with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
      5. It’s as simple as that!