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The 5 Best Substitutes for Fresno Peppers

If you’re a fan of spice, you’ve probably tried Fresno peppers.

These chili peppers pack a serious punch and are a popular ingredient in many Asian and Mexican dishes.

But what if you can’t find Fresno peppers at your local grocery store?

What are the best substitutes for Fresno peppers? In this article, we’ll look at five of the best substitutes for Fresno peppers.

What are Fresno Peppers?

what are fresno peppers

If you enjoy spicy food, you may be familiar with Fresno peppers.

These bright red peppers are named after the city of Fresno, California, and they pack a serious punch in terms of heat.

Fresno peppers are typically medium-sized, with a slightly curved shape.

They have thin skin and a crisp, fleshy texture.

When eaten raw, Fresno peppers have a sharp, tangy flavor with a hint of sweetness.

However, the heat level of Fresno peppers can vary significantly, so it’s always best to taste one before using them in a dish.

When cooking with Fresno peppers, gloves are important to protect your hands from the capsaicin oil.

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This oil gives chili peppers their heat, and it can cause serious irritation if it comes into contact with sensitive skin.

Once you’ve chopped or sliced your Fresno peppers, you can add them to just about any dish for a little extra spice.

So next time you’re in the mood for something hot, reach for some Fresno peppers and turn up the heat.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fresno Peppers

If you can’t find Fresno peppers, don’t worry.

There are several good substitutes that will give your dish the same flavor profile.

Here are the five best substitutes for Fresno peppers:

1 – Chipotle Pepper

chipotle pepper

Chipotle peppers are a type of chili pepper that is usually smoke-dried.

They can be used as a substitute for Fresno peppers, which are also a type of chili pepper.

Fresno peppers are typically used in hot sauces, while chipotle peppers are often used in Mexican dishes.

Both types of peppers have a similar heat level, but the chipotle pepper has a smokier flavor.

When substituting chipotle peppers for Fresno peppers, it is important to remember that the smokier flavor of the chipotle pepper will come through in the dish.

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If you do not want the dish to be too smoky, you may want to use less of the chipotle pepper than you would use the Fresno pepper.

2 – Jalapeno Pepper

jalapeno pepper

If you’re in a pinch and need a substitute for Fresno peppers, jalapeno peppers are a good option.

They have a similar heat level, so they’ll provide the same level of spice to your dish.

Jalapenos also have a similar flavor profile to Fresno peppers, so they won’t drastically change the taste of your recipe.

Keep in mind, however, that jalapenos are typically smaller than Fresno peppers.

So if you’re using them as a 1:1 substitute, you’ll need to use more jalapenos to get the same amount of pepper flavor.

Fortunately, this isn’t usually a problem since most recipes call for chopped or diced peppers rather than whole peppers.

3 – Serrano Peppers

serrano peppers

Many people enjoy the bright flavor of Fresno peppers, but they can be difficult to find in stores.

Fortunately, Serrano peppers make a great substitute.

Both Fresno and Serrano peppers are quite similar, with a long, tapered shape and thin skin.

They also have a similar heat level, although Fresno peppers are generally a bit milder.

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The main difference between these two types of peppers is their color.

Fresno peppers are typically bright red or orange, while Serrano peppers are green.

However, both types of pepper can be used interchangeably in recipes.

So if you can’t find Fresno peppers at your local market, don’t hesitate to reach for a few Serranos instead.

4 – Cayenne Peppers

cayenne pepper

If you’re out of Fresno peppers and need a substitute in a recipe, don’t worry – cayenne peppers can do the trick.

Both of these peppers are fairly similar in terms of heat level, so you won’t need to make any adjustments to the amount of pepper you use.

The main difference between these two peppers is their flavor profile.

Fresno peppers tend to be a bit sweeter than cayenne peppers, so if you’re using cayenne as a replacement, you may want to add a touch of sugar to the recipe.

In terms of texture, Fresno peppers are slightly crunchier than cayenne peppers, so again, you may want to make a slight adjustment to the cooking time.

Overall, though, substituting one pepper for the other is a fairly straightforward process.

5 – Red Chili Peppers

new mexico chili peppers

Red chili peppers are a great substitution for Fresno peppers.

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They have a similar flavor profile, with a bit of heat and sweetness.

They also have a similar size and shape, making them perfect for dishes that call for Fresno peppers.

While they’re not an exact replacement, red chili peppers can help you create a delicious meal that is close to the original.

So if you’re looking for a pepper that will give you the same flavor and texture as a Fresno pepper, don’t hesitate to try red chili peppers.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.


In conclusion, the five best substitutes for Fresno peppers are jalapeno pepper, serrano pepper, Chipotle pepper, cayenne pepper, and red chili pepper.

All of these peppers have a similar taste and heat level to the Fresno pepper, making them perfect substitutes in any recipe.

So if you can’t find a Fresno pepper, don’t worry.

Any of these peppers will do the trick.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Fresno Peppers

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


  • Chipotle Pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Cayenne Peppers
  • Red Chili 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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