Cooking with Calabrian chili peppers, A.K.A. Italian Bomba Sauce, is one of the best ways to add delicious spice to your home cooking. Let this post serve as a suggestion: buy a jar! Keep them in your refrigerator, and refer to the list below when you need a Calabrian Chili recipe or idea.
The best store-bought Calabrian Chili Peppers
Look for chopped or crushed Calabrian chili peppers in oil, which are different from chopped cherry peppers or "sandwich spread." Both are perfectly good condiments, but they're different types of peppers, so they're not always interchangeable.
1- Trader Joe's Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce
Trader Joe's calls their crushed Calabrian chili peppers "Italian Bomba Hot Pepper Sauce", made of crushed fermented peppers with small amounts of oil and vinegar. They pack a good amount of heat, and the fermentation makes them incredibly flavorful!
2- Cento "Calabrese Pepperoncino"
Additionally, Cento's brand is pretty tasty. They call them "Calabrese Pepperoncino," which is the Italian name for them. Many large grocery stores sell Cento products, so this one may be a more accessible option.
3- Tutto Calabria Brand
Finally, many Italian delis, specialty markets, and even Amazon, sell Tutto Calabria Brand Calabrian Chili Peppers. Tutto Calabria is an Italian company that produces its products in the Calabria region of Italy, so they're authentic and delicious.
4- Order Online
Yummy Bazaar is an online grocer that sources international ingredients from all over the world. Therefore, I often head to their website whenever I need to stock up on staples of Italian Cuisine. They also have good olive oils, canned tomatoes, etc.
9 Calabrian Chili Recipes for everyday cooking
1: Calabrian Chili Baked Chicken Wings
These chicken wings are perfectly sticky, spicy, and sweet. Plus they bake in a hot oven instead of frying, so there's no splatter. You can do other things while they bake!
2: Spicy Scrambled Eggs
Calabrian chili peppers are absolutely perfect in scrambled eggs. Not only do they satisfy the need for something spicy, but they also give scrambled eggs a beautiful orange hue. They resemble the color of a sunrise! How symbolic.
To make Calabrian Chili scrambled eggs beat them into the eggs, then scramble the eggs as you normally would. Low and slow is a very popular method, but for weekdays I prefer a high heat/ fast scramble. This way they cook quickly but without browning. Remove them from the heat while they're still a little shiny. Serve immediately.
3: Calabrian Chili Spicy Mayo
I love good spicy mayo, as long as it's actually spicy. However, sometimes it just tastes like regular mayonnaise with a slight aftertaste of Sriracha. So instead I make my own by combining 1Tb Calabrian chili peppers with ¼c mayonnaise. As always, season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
This spicy creamy condiment is perfect for amping up the flavor of turkey clubs, burgers, and even grilled cheeses. You can also use it as a substitute for regular mayo when making cole slaw.
4: Spicy Calabrian Chili Vodka Sauce
Spicy pasta dishes are always a huge hit. And one way to spice up any pasta dish is to add a spoonful of Calabrian Chili Peppers. They're spicier than crushed red pepper flakes and are perfect in my Spicy Vodka Sauce Recipe.
5: Italian Tuna Salad with Calabrian Chili Peppers
For a spicy Italian-American tuna salad crossover, combine 2 cans of tuna with 1Tb of each: Calabrian chilis, mustard, mayo, capers, and diced red onion. Add a touch of oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and viola. Serve on toast and top with fresh parsley.
6: Peanut and Calabrian Chili Shrimp Wraps
These shrimp utilize Calabrian chili peppers and peanut butter for a spicy nutty flavor profile. They're perfect for wrapping in a crisp lettuce wrap with luscious white rice. Click here for the recipe.
7: Flank Steak with Calabrian Chili Butter
Use a fork to combine 3Tb butter and 1Tb Calabrian Chili Peppers in a small bowl. Sear a flank steak like you normally would. Use the Calabrian chili butter to baste the flank steak for the final 1 minute of cooking.
8: Calabrian Chili Oil
Whisk the peppers with olive oil and use it as a topping for pizza, pasta, eggs, toast, and more. This recipe for Lemon Ricotta Pizza with Calabrian Chili Oil is one of On the Bias's most popular recipes!
9: Calabrian Chili Marinated Butter Beans
This is the newest Calabrian Chili recipe to OTB. Make these Calabrian Chili Marinated Butter Beans with just 5 ingredients. And that includes salt! They're a perfect addition to appetizer platters, roasted fish dishes, and salads.
Substitutes for Calabrian Chili Peppers
- "Hot pepper spread" or diced cherry peppers- They're usually packed in vinegar, so they have a similar amount of spice but more acidity.
- Sambal Oelek- Sambal Oelek is a crushed pepper condiment used in Indonesian cuisine. If using sambal oelek to mimic the simple flavor of Calabrian chili paste, try to find one with the least number of ingredients. I personally love having both options in my fridge at all times because I use them for different reasons- one for Italian cuisine and one for Asian cuisine.