Taming a too-spicy dish

The Cooks here at regularly receive letters asking how to save a dish that is too spicy. We’ve all been there – friends coming for dinner, you make a huge pot of chili and the top comes off the cayenne pepper as you are shaking it into the pot. Rather than tossing the whole thing and ordering pizza, you can try the following:

  • If you have a chili, stew, or soup, try slicing one or two raw potatoes and tossing them in the soup pot, let cook and remove prior to serving. The potato helps to absorb the spice.
  • Try adding sugar (start with one tablespoon, taste it, and add more as you think is needed) – it helps to counterbalance the heat.
  • If you have enough ingredients on hand, double the recipe minus the spice to even out the heat.
  • Add dairy – yogurt, sour cream or milk- to the dish to help balance out the spiciness.
  • You can try any of the above methods and serve a chili or stew over rice or noodles if it’s still too spicy.

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