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Cooking Without Hungarian Wax Peppers: 5 Great Substitutes

Do you ever feel like your cooking routine needs a bit of a kick? Hungarian Wax Peppers are the perfect ingredient to spice up any dish, as they add a bold yet balanced flavor.

On the Scoville scale, Hungarian Wax Peppers usually hover around 5,000-10,000 Scoville heat units, with some varieties reaching up to 15,000 SHU.

The most common way to prepare and use them is by slicing them thinly and adding them to salads or salsas.

If Hungarian Wax Peppers aren’t available in your local store, fret not; there are several good substitutes that work equally well – such as ancho chiles, jalapeños, poblanos, Serranos, and Thai chili peppers.

Could you imagine adding a little extra zing to your dishes with these flavorful alternatives?

What’s Hungarian Wax Pepper?

The Hungarian Wax Pepper is a spicy pepper originating from the regions of Hungary and Bulgaria in central Europe.

It’s part of the Capsicum annuum family, and its heat level ranges from 5,000 to 10,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), making it quite fiery for a mass-grown pepper.

The pepper itself has a thick texture, with a bit of crunch, and tastes slightly fruity but also carries an intense warmth.

While it can be eaten raw on salads or used as garnish atop other dishes, its common use is as an ingredient in marinades or sautéed with vegetables.

It goes well in stews, sauces, and even chili, where the heat levels won’t overpower the dish but bring forth a unique flavor that pairs perfectly with beef or pork.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Hungarian Wax Peppers

If you’re looking for a delicious but mild alternative to Hungarian wax peppers, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are our top five picks:

1 – Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers are mildly spicy chili pepper often found in Mexican cuisine.

These peppers have a wonderful hint of smokiness and can be used to add an exciting and flavorful kick to many dishes.

Their texture is firm yet tender, making them easy to cook with but still retaining their bright color when cooked.

To substitute for Hungarian Wax Peppers, simply dice freshly roasted Anaheim peppers and add them to your favorite salsa recipes or bean dishes for a delicious flavor experience.

Enjoy the signature smokiness that this mild pepper provides.

2 – Jalapeños

Jalapeños are a type of medium-sized chili pepper frequently used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine.

They range from mild to hot in flavor, depending on the variety, with their skins typically smooth and deep green in color.

To taste, they offer a mix of sweetness and heat which brings a pleasantly robust flavor to a variety of dishes.

They can be enjoyed raw or cooked, allowing for maximum flexibility when added to recipes.

Jalapeños can easily sub in for Hungarian Wax Peppers if unavailable due to similar flavor profiles — simply leave out the seeds for more mildness.

Roasting jalapeños are also an excellent way of bringing out their natural flavor, turning them as crispy as chips when done correctly.

3 – Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are a delicious Mexican delicacy sure to tantalize the taste buds.

They have thick walls and can range anywhere from mild to medium-hot in heat.

The flavor is slightly smoky and earthy, with notes of cacao, black pepper, and walnut.

When fresh, they have a crisp and crunchy texture, making them perfect for salads or appetizers.

To enjoy their unique flavors when cooking, it is best to lightly char them either on an open flame or in an oven.

When roasted until their skins are charred and the pepper has softened, you can stuff them with anything from shrimp to cheese for a tasty entrée.

Furthermore, Poblano peppers make a great substitute for Hungarian Wax Peppers in any recipe as they offer a similar but milder spice level.

4 – Banana Peppers

Ready to give your next stir fry or salad an exciting kick of flavor? Banana peppers are the perfect way to do just that.

These crunchy sweet, and spicy peppers, also known as yellow wax peppers, add a delightful sensation of taste and texture to any dish.

The hint of heat can vary from mild to fairly hot depending on its ripeness, but banana peppers offer a great balance that is not too overpowering.

If you’re craving Hungarian wax peppers but don’t have access to them, they can be easily substituted with banana peppers.

For a simple homemade pickle recipe that will pair perfectly with any sandwich or burger, slice up some banana peppers and let them simmer in a saucepan filled with vinegar and sugar for 15 minutes.

Enjoy the fresh, zesty flavor it adds to your food.

5 – Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper famed for their spice and how popular they are worldwide.

They have a unique flavor that is both pungent and hot, with earthy undertones depending on how they’re prepared.

The exterior of the Cayenne pepper has a smooth texture, but that gives way to an inner crunch as soon as you bite into it – making them a great texture addition to meals.

When cooked, they provide a spicy kick that can be used to enhance the flavor of all types of dishes or used as a garnish where an extra bit of heat is needed.

It is also possible to substitute the Cayenne pepper for Hungarian Wax peppers if required, so it’s always worth having some on hand just in case.


In conclusion, Hungarian Wax Peppers are a great ingredient for adding unique flavor and depth to many dishes.

When these peppers are not available, there are several worthy substitutes, including Jalapeños, Poblano Peppers, Banana Peppers, and Cayenne Peppers.

Each of these peppers offers a unique combination of sweetness and heat with various textures that can easily be added to any recipe.

Whether you’re looking for a mild, medium, or spicy flavor profile, these substitutes are sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Hungarian Wax Peppers

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Hungarian Wax Peppers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Anaheim Peppers
  • Jalapeños
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Banana Peppers
  • Cayenne 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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