Red Pepper, Poblano, Jalapeno and Honey Lime Sauce

I was reminded when I was making this sauce with red bell peppers, poblano and jalapeno peppers as a topping for pork recently what a huge leap of faith it was the first time I made it. As you know if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, I have a huge, big, very bad aversion to green bell peppers. Just cringed even typing that sentence (I’m not kidding!). Although I discovered years ago that this aversion to bell peppers did not carry over to hot peppers (whew!) I kept my distance from yellow and red bell peppers just by association; knowing they are really the same thing. I’ve often it nature or nurture? Neither my sis, my kids or my ex like them either!

Then one day, in the most inauspicious way, things changed. The gaggle of girlfriends that called ourselves ‘The Marthas’ decided to have a brunch; one of my friends had a sister that was going to be in town so we made a big production of it and I remember the dish that Madeline made that was filled with onion, potatoes, cheese, butter and a whole slew of red and yellow peppers. So much I loved but still, I just knew I would not like it but I resigned myself to put on a happy face and not moan about it either. My aversion is taste, it’s not allergies so I just suffer in silence when the occasional bell pepper moment appears and no one is the wiser (but now you all know!!).

Red Pepper, Poblano, Jalapeno, Honey and Lime Sauce

No one was more shocked than I was when I loved that dish. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll probably never move to cutting raw strips for salads, but cooked and seasoned with onions and potatoes…it was simply divine.

My next shopping trip to the market I acted on my more adventurous spirit and bought a couple of red peppers determined to do something with them. Enter this sauce. The pork is not the star of this dish, it’s the sauce…just a terrific blend of flavors, the milder red pepper with some of that heat I’ve grown to love combined with honey, lime and cilantro? Perfect! If you have the same aversion to cilantro that I do to green peppers, just omit it. I like it but the sauce is great without cilantro too.

Red Pepper, Poblano, Jalapeno, Honey and Lime Sauce

Sometimes I’ll put a crust on a pork tenderloin before baking it but this last time I simply rubbed it with salt and pepper before baking it for 50 minutes; so simple and yet so elevated with some simple ingredients.

Know what else is perfect? We love tacos with shredded pork, coleslaw and some of this sauce. More? Pour some over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers. Great over chicken too; heck I’ve had nights when I just ate  rice with some sauce. Can you tell how MUCH I love this? Whole Bunches!!

Red Pepper, Poblano, Jalapeno, Honey and Lime Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A sweet/hot sauce that is wonderful on pork or chicken.
  • 2 red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 poblano pepper, finely diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced (Add 1 more to up the heat quotient!)
  • 1 cup honey
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice (and I've used the same quantity of lemon juice in a pinch!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. Simmer all peppers, honey, lime juice, and salt in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
  2. Cool sauce to warm or room temperature, then stir in cilantro just before serving.
Sauce (without cilantro) may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Heat over low heat until warm and stir in cilantro.

I've been trying to use my slow cooker more to make life a bit easier and it did for this sauce. I put everything into it in the morning, cooked on low heat all day and by dinner time the sauce was ready.


    • Creative Culinary says

      I love that the old show cooker that has been relegated to the back of every cooks under the counter cabinet is in the midst of a revival…they are so worth the attention!

  1. says

    I love your group name the “Marthas”, that made me smile as one of my husbands nicknames for me is Martha! I love the sound of this, we have a slew of peppers growing, so this recipe is great timing and sounds just my thing!

    • Creative Culinary says

      You would be most welcome at any of our gatherings then! Thanks too about the sweet sentiment about Lauren. She is doing so well; we feel blessed beyond belief.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I love this stuff so much I could eat it from the spoon but I also like it all by itself over rice. Who needs pork anyhow? :)

  2. says

    What a beautiful dish! I’m with you on the green peppers. Keep them away! When my brother returned home from the army in the late 60’s he REALLY hated them. He said that the army cooks served them all the time. Can you imagine? I love red, yellow and orange peppers. It’s just those green ones!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Yes, this would be great with brie too! It’s sort of perfect; a a great complement to the cheese and pretty too.

    • Creative Culinary says

      More jalapenos…don’t you mean like a bushel of serrano or Thai peppers? This is not HOT; just warm so yes, you probably should! :)

  3. says

    This does look like a fabulous sauce! I never liked green peppers as a child and I still am not fond of them except in the right dishes. I think the groceries back then only sold green. Then I went to Israel where they had never heard of a green pepper. They have only red-but maybe it has changed since then. In any case I found I love red peppers so that is what I generally use until someone shows me a recipe like this!
    Abbe@This is How I Cook Most Recent Post: Potato Kugel (Ilse’s One and Only, Not for Passover, No Eggs, To Die For Potato Kugel)

    • Creative Culinary says

      I went too many years not touching the red or yellow…never really knowing that the difference was more than color. Besides the taste…I think the red makes for a prettier dish too; so it’s a win win for me.

  4. says

    Beautiful colors and I can tell just from reading the recipe that this is going to be fabulous!! I am always looking for sauces that I can use in multiple ways so this is definitely going on the “to make soon” list!!!

  5. says

    What a versatile sauce and a great find. I love what we “do” for family. I have an aversion to olives; however, Giuliano’s first dish for me was olives and chicken. I ate it then and I still do today. Sometimes a great preparation is all we need. I find that peeling the backs of the peppers will take the bitterness away.

    p.s. Although, I still think cilantro tastes like soap :)

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