11 Best Substitutes for Green Chilies

Green chilies are an integral part of our everyday cuisine. We cannot even imagine cooking a meal or an entree without using any chili pepper. They naturally infuse a strong tangy flavor that we all love. 

And it’s not just the taste of green chilies that makes them important, but they are also beneficial for our health. They contain several vitamins, fibers, and minerals that are healthy for metabolism. 

What can you substitute for green chilies? That’s something we all ask ourselves every time we run out of them! Since green chilies belong to a wider known chili peppers group, we can look for their alternative in the same area. The most popular green chili substitutes include banana peppers, poblano peppers, green Fresno peppers, jalapeno peppers, Serrano peppers, Pastilla peppers, and Anaheim peppers, and cayenne peppers, etc. To get the same tangy flavor, you can also use chili powder and create chilies in some recipes.

The thing is, you can use any of those substitutes of green chilies in your meals, but you have to consider the heat of those peppers. If they are suitable for a certain recipe, then you should go for it. And that’s what we are about to discuss down below!

What Is A Green Finger Chili?

The green finger chili is the widely known green chili that is used in sauces, in crushed green chilies, in adobe chipotles with green chilies, and many Indian and Mexican meals. These chilies have a strong and sharp taste with dark green color and a pointed-thin finger-like pepper pod. The seeds of these chilies contain most of the heat, whereas the flesh gives meals the refreshing chili-like aroma.

Green Chilies Substitute

The unripe finger chilis appear green in color, but as they ripe, they turn red in color. Red chili peppers are also used in the food and enjoyed for their appealing color and hot taste. The ripe red chili peppers are often dried to make crushed peppers or chili flakes.

Why We Love Chilies? – Benefits of Green Chilies

Green chilies are loved for their moderate hotness and the typical chili-like flavor they bring to the food. These chilies are packed with loads of fibers. These peppers contain Vitamin A, B6, and C along with antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, zinc, and iron. 

The green chilies are known for versatility and can be used in all sorts of dishes. Chopped chilies are added to season frittatas, omelettes, salads, soups, enchiladas, and stews, etc.

The 11 Great Substitutes for Green Chilies

If you are still wondering about what can I use instead of green chilies, then the following list of the green chili’s substitutes is going to help you a big time!

1. Banana Peppers

Banana peppers are the mildest green peppers to find on this list. They appear green in color when unripe, but as they grow mature, they turn yellow in color. It is this yellowish appearance that gives these peppers the name “Banana Chili.”

Green Chilies Substitute - Banana Peppers

The heat of the banana peppers ranges between 0-50 Scoville units, which is pretty low compared to green chilies and other peppers on the list. So, you can use it as a substitute for green chilies in the recipes in which the tanginess and high heat are not required, for instance, for garnishes, for soup and pizza toppings, and to make fritters, etc. 

2. Anaheim Peppers

I see Anaheim peppers as a perfect substitute for green chiles because they fall in the group of peppers with moderate heat. They have 500-2500 Scoville units of heat, which means that they are a great substitute for green chilies in enchiladas, soups, stews, and all sorts of recipes.

Green Chilies Substitute - Anaheim Peppers

Taste and heat-wise, these peppers are quite similar to the green chilies, and they also carry that same green color. So, you can best replace the green chilies with an equal amount of Anaheim peppers.

3. Poblano Peppers

If you are looking for a good substitute for green chilies in soups and other major entrees, then poblano peppers are the right answer. They are hotter than banana peppers, so they are more suitable for the recipes where the heat of the pepper is required.

Green Chilies Substitute - Poblano Peppers

Sliced poblano peppers make an excellent addition to the curry and soup toppings. They have this appealing dark green color with a strong taste that can best replace the green chilies. Their heat ranges between 1000-1500 Scoville units, so they fall in the moderately hot category of the peppers.

4. Jalapeno Peppers

Can I substitute jalapenos for green chilies? Every time someone asks me this question, my answer remains the same – Yes! The jalapeno peppers are the perfect alternative for green chilies as they carry that appealing green color and a similar chili-like flavor.

Green Chilies Substitute - Jalapeno Peppers

How to Substitute Jalapeno Peppers for Green Chilies?

The only difference between the jalapeno peppers and other green chili peppers is that it is much hotter. It is widely used in Mexican cuisine and enjoyed for its high heat. Jalapeno peppers are a good substitute for green chilies in salads, wraps, and for making sauces.

5. Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are also known as sweet peppers or capsicum because of their mild heat. They have a unique, refreshing taste. You can use them in recipes where high heat is not required. These peppers can be used for their crunchy and fibrous texture and for all the health benefits. Their taste is particularly suitable to make salads, pasta, soups, some steaks, and bread, etc.

Green Chilies Substitute - Pell Peppers

6. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers are recognized by their bright red color with a curved tip. Raw cayenne peppers are considered a good substitute for green chilies only to get the spicy taste in the meals. These peppers are also dried and ground into a powder for culinary use. The heat of the cayenne peppers varies from 30,000 to 50 000 Scoville units which is high as compared to the green chilies, so make sure to use them in a 1:2 ratio to replace the green chili in a recipe – which means only ½ teaspoon of chopped cayenne peppers to replace a teaspoon of green chili.

Green Chilies Substitute - Cayenne Peppers

7. Serrano Peppers

If you want to substitute green chili with a spicy alternative, then Serrano peppers are your right choice. It has mild to medium heat. And it appears green in color when immature. The pepper turns dark red or brown upon ripening. Both the fresh or the ripened Serrano chilies can be used in your meals. You will have to choose the right amount to adjust the taste of your meal. It is best to cook the peppers, remove the skin, then add them to your meal.

Green Chilies Substitute - Serrano Peppers

8. Habanero Peppers

Habanero pepper is the hottest of all peppers; it has heat ranging between 100,000 and 350,000 Scoville units. So, these peppers are quite hot compared to the green chilies. You can add a very small amount of chopped habanero peppers to a recipe to replace the green chilies. 

Green Chilies Substitute - Habanero Peppers

9. Green Fresno Peppers

If you want a substitute for green chilies in pickles, then green Fresno peppers are the best choice. These peppers are not only pickled but also used in fresh form in a variety of recipes. Raw chopped Fresno peppers are widely used as salad toppings and garnishes.

Green Chilies Substitute - Green Fresno Peppers

Fresno peppers have 10,000 Scoville unit heat at most, which means that they are less hot than the jalapeno, habanero, and Serrano peppers. It has moderate heat, which is excellent to replace the green chili’s taste.

10. Passilla Peppers or Chilaca Peppers

Passilla is a low heat pepper, and it has 1000-4000 Scoville units of heat, which means they are a perfect fit to replace the green chilies in sauces, soups, salads, and all other meals.

Green Chilies Substitute - Passilla Peppers

This pepper has a very dark green color which turns darker when the chile is dried. The chilaca or Passilla pepper is particularly suitable for dips and sauces or to garnish steaks and roasted chicken or duck meals.

11. Chili Powder

Chile or Chilli powder is another great option to replace the green chilies. But chili powder is only good to add the spicy flavor to a recipe, so it is not suitable to replace green chilies in salads or toppings recipes. You can add this powder to the sauces, soups, and stews to make them spicy.

Green Chilies Substitute - Chilli Powder

The heat of Green Chilies Substitutes

Banana Peppers 0-500
Anaheim Peppers 500-2500
Passilla pepper 1000-4000
Bell Pepper 0-100
Serrano Pepper 5000-10000
Jalapeno Peppers 2500-8000
Cayenne Pepper 30,000-50,000
Green Fresno 2500-10,000
Poblano Peppers 1000-1500

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you substitute red chili for green chili?
Yes, red finger chilies are the ripe form of green chili, so they contain a similar taste and heat. The red chilies do not contain that raw chili-like aroma, but they are good to make your meals spicy.
Can you substitute jalapenos for green chilies?
Yes, jalapeno peppers make a good substitute for green chili because they have a green-colored appearance and a tangy hot taste. These peppers are good to replace green chilies in snacks, sauces, and entrees.

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