You know what they say: If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen…and into a different kitchen that’s stocked with slightly less spicy foods, like the ones on this list of the best spicy foods for people who can’t handle heat. By eating these things, you can finally trick your friends into thinking you are a spicelord and also save your tongue from going up in flames. A win-win!
- Lao Gan Ma Chili Oil with Fermented Soy Beans
I know what you might be thinking: “Chili oil?!? Jessica “Apparently Mean to People Who Can’t Handle Spice” Block, are you trying to kill me?!” To which I say (while making intense eye contact with you), “No, I promise have your best interests at heart and I can tell you for a fact that this chili oil from Lao Gan Ma is more flavorful and umami than it is spicy. Trust me.” And don’t just take my word for it! Senior writer Jordan Myrick described this one as “so sensationally savory” and “not numbing like the other chili crisps we tried so it has a more mild taste.” People eat this stuff over everything from fried eggs to stir frys to ice cream, so try it with your next meal—you can’t go wrong.
- Great Value Spicy Brown Mustard
Now some would say mustard isn’t spicy, but “some” is obviously not you, since you are reading this article looking for non-spicy spicy food suggestions. Never Fear! Great Value Spicy Brown Mustard is, as Jordan put it, “the best on the block.” They described it as “perfectly spicy while maintaining a great classic mustard flavor.” Plus, it costs around a buck a bottle. You have no reason not to buy this and prove to your friends that you can eat a thing that says “spicy” on the label.
- Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos
These are the least spicy of the technically spicy Cheetos. Not only that, but they are, according to Sporked contributor Danny Palumbo, the “perfect combination of cheesy and spicy” and “the best Cheetos, hands down, and I would say one of the top five snacks in existence.” They are cheesy and crunchy and have a distinct jalapeno flavor without being too overwhelmingly spicy. You could (and likely will) eat a whole bag of these after your next gas station road trip stop. Yes, even though they have a hot pepper right there in their name. You are stronger than you think, and these Cheetos are actively less strong than you think (spice-wise).
- Indomie Mi Goreng Fried Instant Noodles
Want some spicy instant noods that really aren’t that spicy? These are absofrootley delicious and you should definitely give them a try. They are not not hot, but they also aren’t going to singe your taste buds and are certainly more flavorful than hot. Jordan noted that these noodles give them “this euphoric feeling in my brain and body that only the best instant noodles could invoke.” They are savory, sweet, a little spicy, and most of all delicious. They may be the spiciest thing on this list but you know what, I believe in you. You’ll live. It’s worth it for these.
- Lucky Foods Spicy Seoul Kimchi
Kimchi!!!! This spicy (sort of), garlicky, umami, crunchy, tangy, funky, almost cheesy-tasting Korean banchan staple truly is the best lil ingredient, side, or snack out there. Kimchi may look like it is red (and therefore spicy), but for the most part it is simply like a pickley, umami, cabbage situation. Jordan described this one as “not crazy hot, but just hot enough to satisfy your craving for something spicy. It’s so fermented and bubbly.” If you have never had kimchi but like garlic and pickles, you are missing out and need to try kimchi asap.
- Battistoni Cup & Char Style Pepperoni
It’s the spicy salami! The salty star of the pizza show! The scrumptious, scoop-shaped stunner that studs the surface of only the best pizzas! Ehem, okay, now that I got that out of my system, yes, pepperoni is a classic “sorta spicy” food. Eating it won’t necessarily make you look brave, but it will make you look like not a wimp. Plus, this pepperoni is so. dang. delicious. Danny called the flavor “flat-out spectacular.” These pepperons are spicy, porky, and fatty, and, Danny noted that they curl up perfectly when you cook ‘em. So get out there and get you some of these beautiful meat discs.