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The 5 Best Substitutes for Bell Peppers

One of the most common dishes popular in almost every culture is the bell pepper.

It can be eaten in many different ways, but it’s mostly used in cooking and recipes.

There are many different bell peppers, which all have similar properties in taste and texture.

So what do you do if you want to replace bell pepper in a recipe or if you don’t like it?

The main property of bell peppers is their sweetness, followed by the mild flavor and hints of bitterness.

Depending on the type of cooking, this bitter note can be more pronounced.

It’s important to remember, though, that bell pepper varies greatly when it comes to taste and texture.

In this article, we will go through some of the best substitutes for bell peppers.

What is Bell Pepper?

what is bell pepper

Bell pepper has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor and is versatile.

Also known as peppers or capsicums, bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked in several dishes.

Bell peppers are popular vegetables to use when grilling.

Bell peppers have been cultivated for thousands of years.

Originating from South America, they are grown worldwide, with hot chili peppers being their closest relatives.

The green bell pepper has a similar shape and flavor to the red bell pepper, although it is not as sweet or developed in flavor.

Green peppers are unripe versions of red pepper.

Yellow, orange, and purple bell peppers taste very similar to red bell peppers and can be used similarly.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bell Pepper

For recipes that call for bell peppers, you can substitute the following in various ways:

1 – Jalapeno Peppers

jalapeno peppers

This is a chili pepper and has been cultivated in Central America since at least the sixteenth century.

In addition, it is green when immature and typically red when ripe.

It’s crucial to note that jalapeno peppers are hot but not as strong as chili peppers.

They have a slightly sweet taste compared to bell pepper or other chili peppers.

These are nightshade family members and cultivated for at least 5,000 years.

They should be eaten cooked as they can be poisonous if eaten raw.

In addition, these peppers contain capsaicin and may cause skin irritation and burning in some people.

It’s crucial to note that jalapeno peppers are very spicy but slightly sweet aftertaste.

2 – Poblano Peppers

poblano peppers

The poblano pepper is mild chili pepper.

It’s crucial to note that poblano peppers are never eaten independently.

Instead, they may be used in various dishes.

They are also dark green when immature and typically turn red if allowed to ripen on the plant before picking.

These may be roasted by cutting the peppers in half carefully removing the seeds and veins.

They can then place them on a tray, skin side up, and broil until the skin is blackened.

It’s crucial to note that poblano peppers are often stuffed with meat or cheese before being baked.

3 – Cubanelle Peppers

cubanelle peppers

This is a type of sweet pepper.

In addition, it’s crucial to note that cubanelle peppers are often used as a replacement for green bell peppers.

These have a mild but somewhat bitter flavor.

They may be used in any dish where green bell peppers are called for and can also be eaten raw with dips or on sandwiches.

However, it’s crucial to note that cubanelle peppers may be called ‘frying pepper’, ‘Italian frying pepper’, or ‘Italian seasoning pepper’ in some regions.

The roasting process brings out the sugars and gives this pepper a slightly sweet flavor.

It’s crucial to note that these peppers might be fried with other vegetables or used in casseroles, sauces, etc.

4 – Pimientos de Padron

pimientos de padron

This is a typical pepper dish from Galicia, a region of Spain that has been using the pimiento de Padron for hundreds of years.

In addition, it’s crucial to note that this dish does not use bell peppers.

Instead, they use a special kind of pepper from Spain called “pimientos de Padron”.

Typically, these are fried with olive oil until they are soft.

Then, seasoned salt is added, and they are turned over to cook on the other side.

It’s crucial to note that these peppers should be eaten when hot since they can become inedible when cold.

In addition, it is important not to put them in your mouth whole as you will risk severe burns from the capsaicin content in these small peppers.

5 – Anaheim Peppers

anaheim peppers

Anaheim peppers are mild chili peppers.

It’s crucial to note that their heat level is roughly between poblano and jalapeno, at about 500 – 1,000 on the Scoville scale.

These are often mistaken for the California pepper, which is much larger chili pepper.

When choosing an Anaheim pepper, look for smooth, firm skin and deep green color.

It’s crucial to note that Anaheim peppers should be cooked as they can be poisonous if eaten raw.

They may be used in sauces, stews, sauteed, or other dishes.


Bell peppers are a popular vegetable, but they lack flavor and heat.

In addition, their cores and seeds need to be removed before cooking or canning and may even increase the toxin levels if not removed properly.

The five best substitutes for bell peppers are jalapeno, poblano, Cubanelle, pimientos de Padron, and Anaheim pepper.

Depending on your taste preferences, any of these peppers may be added to your favorite dishes.

They can also be used as a replacement for pickled vegetables or salsa.

However, you must remember that there is no exact substitution for bell pepper since it has its distinct flavor.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bell Peppers

The 5 Best Substitutes for Bell Peppers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Cubanelle Peppers
  • Pimientos de Padron
  • Anaheim Peppers


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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