12 Best Substitutes for Jalapeno

Jalapeno is a Mexican pepper that has no parallel in its popularity. Around the world, it is added to a variety of entrees, snacks and breakfast meals. 

The wide-ranging uses of jalapeno pepper make them a hot selling item in the grocery stores. There often comes a time when I fail to find quality jalapeno in the grocery store, so instead of wasting my time looking around, I simply pick the second-best substitute for Jalapeno and enjoy it in different meals.

For me, there are 12 great substitutes for Jalapeno that you can use in its place without having to compromise on the good taste and spice. Poblano, Serrano, Anaheim, habanero, green chilli, Fresno, cayenne, hot sauce, paprika powder, Bell pepper, and banana peppers are some of the best-known alternatives for Jalapeno, and I have personally tried and test them too. So, let’s do some smart substitution! 

Why Jalapeno Pepper?

A jalapeño pepper is a Capsicum pod. When compared to other chilli peppers, it is a medium-sized hot pepper, with an average of 2-3 ½ inches in length but reaches 6 inches or longer upon growth.

Although it originated in Mexico, it is currently grown all over the world for its popular flavour and mild heat level, about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units, which is considered moderate.

Green Jalapeno peppers are commonly used, but if you keep the pepper on the vine long enough, it will become red. The red jalapeño pepper is exactly as tasty as the green type, though slightly sweeter.

The word “jalapeno” comes from the Spanish word “Jalapa” (or Xalapa), which refers to the capital of Veracruz, Mexico. The name comes from the fact that jalapenos were initially grown there.

Cooking Uses of The Jalapeno Pepper:

Among all the uses of jalapeno peppers, here are some ways in which I love to utilize these moderately hot peppers in cooking:

  • Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

When jalapenos are cooked, most of their scorching heat dissipates, and they yield a mellow, acidic spiciness that pairs well with cream cheese. Stuff them with fat-free cream cheese, chives, and low-fat cheese, then grill or bake until heated through. You can also wrap these stuffed peppers with bacon strips to add more flavor.

  • Seafood Seasoning

Enhance the flavour of your seafood using jalapenos. Sliced jalapenos, bell peppers, chives, chilli pepper, cilantro, and a teaspoon of salt are cooked until the peppers are tender. Serve with scallops, seafood, or lobster as a topping.

  • Spicy Homemade Jelly

For this, combine no-sugar-added jelly, vinegar, green onions, and sliced jalapenos. For a delightful party appetizer, spread low-fat cream cheese on crackers and top with jelly.

  • Tangy Sushi

Use seaweed rolls, cooked brown rice, sushi-grade fish, veggies, wasabi, and jalapenos to make your own spicy sushi. This is a fantastic meal for you and your family to prepare together! 

  • Tacos or Quesadilla

Jalapenos and Mexican cuisine are inextricably linked. Jalapenos taste delicious when added to quesadillas, tacos, beans and rice, and other Mexican dishes.

  • Eat Raw

If your mouth can handle the heat, jalapenos can be eaten raw. You can also add raw jalapenos to salads and soup toppings.

  • Make Pickle

Pickled veggies, including jalapenos, are delicious. They’re fantastic as an appetizer or a side dish.

Perhaps, Jalapenos are delicious in all of your favourite recipes, especially if you like your food spicy. They’re delicious in casseroles, tacos, omelettes, and a variety of other meals.

Health Benefits Of Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno is a pepper full of surprise; besides the versatility of use, these peppers are also known for their amazing health benefits. Some of the advantages of these peppers that I find most interesting include the following:

A jalapeno pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange, so eat one if you are in need of some additional C. So, how much vitamin C can you have through Jalapeno? A single 14-gram jalapeño pepper provides 10% of your daily requirements. Single 73-grams chilli pepper contains 83 per cent, according to Nutrition Data. 

Jalapenos and other spicy chilli peppers can also aid in weight loss. The ingredient that makes chilli peppers fiery, capsaicin, is thermogenic. Thermogenic help the body burn fat by enhancing the metabolism of its adipose tissue, which produces heat. 

Dropping fatty foods and replacing them with chilli pepper spice is a sensible and healthy way to lose weight, along with regular exercise, of course. Biotechnologist Jong Won Yun and colleagues from Daegu University in Korea claim that capsicum lowers calorie intake, shrinks fat tissue, and lowers fat levels in the blood.

12 Great Substitutes for Jalapeno Peppers

If you are still wondering about what can I use instead of jalapeno peppers, then the following list of the Jalapeno’s substitutes is going to help you a big time! The table given at the end will help you understand the difference between their heat levels, which will help you pick the right jalapeno alternative for the right recipe at the right time!

1. Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are an excellent substitute for jalapeño peppers in soups and other big dishes. Because they are moderately spicy like the jalapeno peppers, they are better suited to recipes that call for pepper heat.

Poblano peppers, sliced, are a delicious addition to the curry and soup toppings. They have a dark green colour and a powerful flavour that can be used to substitute jalapeno peppers. They have a Scoville heat rating of 1000-1500, putting them in the moderately hot category of peppers.

2. Serrano Peppers

If you want a spicy alternative to Jalapeno, Serrano peppers are the way to go. It’s got a mild to medium spiciness to it. When it is immature, it is green in hue. When the pepper ripens, it turns a dark red or brown colour. You may use both fresh and matured Serrano chillies in your dishes. To change the flavour of your meal, you’ll need to choose the proper amount. Cook the peppers first, then remove the skin before adding them to your meals.

3. Habanero Peppers

The Habanero pepper is the hottest of all peppers, with a Scoville rating of 100,000 to 350,000. In comparison to jalapeno peppers, these peppers are fairly fiery. To replace the jalapeño peppers in a dish, add a dash of chopped habanero peppers.

4. Green Fresno Peppers

Green Fresno peppers are an amazing alternative for jalapeño peppers in pickles. These peppers are used in a variety of recipes, not only pickled but also fresh. Salad toppings and garnishes commonly include raw chopped Fresno peppers.

Fresno peppers have a maximum heat of 10,000 Scoville units, making them almost as hot as the Jalapeno but milder than habanero and Serrano peppers. It has a mild heat level, which is ideal for replacing the jalapeno flavour.

5. Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers, which belong to the category of peppers with moderate heat, are a great substitute for Jalapeno peppers, in my opinion. They have a heat level of 500-2500 Scoville units, making them a fantastic substitute for Jalapeno peppers in enchiladas, soups, stews, and a variety of other dishes.

These peppers have a comparable flavour and spiciness as jalapeno peppers, and they have the same green hue. As a result, you should use an equivalent amount of Anaheim peppers to substitute the jalapeno peppers.

6. Cubanelle Peppers

These peppers, sometimes known as Cuban peppers, are a good substitute for jalapeno peppers. They are sweet peppers that are pale yellow or green in colour but can turn red when ripe. They aren’t as spicy as bell peppers, and their flesh is much thinner. They’re suitable for those who don’t like spicy foods!

7. Green Chilies

Can I use green chillies instead of jalapeño peppers? When people ask me this question, I always answer the same way: Yes! Green chilli peppers are a great substitute for jalapeño peppers since they have the same appealing green colour and chilli-like flavour.

8. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers have a brilliant red hue and a curled tip that distinguishes them from other peppers. Only to achieve the spicy taste in foods, raw cayenne peppers are regarded as an excellent substitute for jalapeno peppers. For culinary usage, these peppers are also dried and processed into powder. Cayenne peppers have a high heat level compared to jalapeno peppers, ranging from 30,000 to 50 000 Scoville units, so use them in a 1:2 ratio to replace the Jalapeno in a recipe.

9. Chili Powder

Another amazing alternative to jalapeno peppers is chile or chilli powder. Chilli powder, on the other hand, is only good for adding a fiery flavour to a recipe; it cannot be used to substitute jalapeno peppers in salads or toppings. To make sauces, soups, and stews spicy, add this powder.

10. Smoked Paprika Powder

Smoked paprika is another spice that can be substituted for Jalapenos. From sweet and mild to fiery and smokey, the paprika powder is available in a variety of heat levels and flavors. Smoked paprika has a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) rating ranging from 250 to 1,000. They don’t provide much heat to your cuisine because they’re softer and sweeter, but they do add a sweet red pepper flavour and colour, making them a wonderful substitute for Jalapenos. Smoked paprika is wonderful in salsas and hot sauces.

11. Hot Sauce

Chilli peppers and other ingredients are used to make hot sauce. They’re utilized in a number of dishes and are a natural replacement for Jalapeno peppers. To add extra heat and flavour to your cuisine, just a few dashes will suffice.

Non-Spicy Substitute For Jalapeno

There are recipes that call for no heat and spice, so for such meals, you can always go for the substitute of Jalapeno, not spicy in taste, like:

12. Bell Peppers

Because of their low heat, bell peppers are sometimes known as sweet peppers or capsicum. They have a distinct and refreshing flavour. They can be used in dishes that don’t require a lot of heat. These peppers can be eaten for their crunchy, fibrous texture as well as their numerous health advantages. Salads, spaghetti, soups, some steaks, and bread, for example, all benefit from their flavour.

13. Banana Peppers

On this list, banana peppers are one of the mildest green peppers. When they are unripe, they are green in colour, but as they mature, they turn yellow. The name “Banana Chili” comes from the yellowish appearance of these peppers. The heat of banana peppers ranges from 0 to 50 Scoville units, which is quite mild compared to Jalapeno peppers and other peppers on the list. As a result, you can substitute it for jalapeno peppers in recipes where tanginess and intense heat aren’t necessary, such as garnishes, soup and pizza toppings, and fritters, among other things.

Table: Heat of Jalapeno Pepper Substitutes

Serrano Pepper 5000-10000
Jalapeno Peppers 2500-8000
Cayenne Pepper 30,000-50,000
Habanero  1-3.5 lac
Green Fresno 2500-10,000
Cubanelle Peppers 1000
Green Chili 50k
Poblano Peppers 1000-1500
Anaheim Peppers 500-2500
Bell Pepper 0-100
Hot Sauce 1 000,000
Chilli Powder 500-1500
Smoked Paprika Powder 500-1000
Banana Pepper 0-50

Frequently Asked Questions

What peppers are milder than Jalapeno?
Poblano, Cubanelle, Anaheim, banana, and bell peppers are all milder in the heat than jalapeno peppers. The above-mentioned values in the table indicate the same.
Is there such thing as a red jalapeno?
All green peppers, once matured, develop a red color. So, jalapenos that are completely ripe and mature are identified as red Jalapeno.
Are pickled jalapenos the same as jalapeno peppers?
Pickled Jalapeno are not the same as the fresh jalapeno peppers, they have the taste of brine they are soaked in, and they can be preserved for a longer duration as well. Pickled Jalapeno is usually added to burgers and sandwiches.
What is the hot part of a jalapeno pepper?
Capsaicin is responsible for causing the heat in a pepper. The skin and membrane of the jalapeno pepper contain most of the capsaicin, so it is the hottest part of this pepper.
What is the mildest pepper in the world?
Sweet bell peppers, banana peppers and cherry peppers are the mildest peppers in the world as their heat ranges between 0-100 Scoville units.

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