Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jalapenos

You are anxiously craving tacos. You head to the supermarket to collect the groceries required for making tacos.

You have collected all ingredients. But when you head towards the vital component of tacos, jalapeno, you get to know that jalapenos run out of stock.

So, what will you do now? Instead of panicking or dropping the idea of making tacos.

Look out for the best substitutes for the jalapeno.

The market has a large number of jalapeno substitutes.

People look for them in situations like heating spice levels or unavailability of jalapenos in their neighborhood.

Let’s talk about the top 5 best substitutes for the jalapeno.

What are Jalapenos?

what are jalapenos

Jalapenos belong to the family of nightshade.

Like other peppers, jalapenos get the elements of spice and hotness from a compound known as Capsaicin – a tasteless or odorless compound found in the glands of Chile pepper.

The spice level of jalapeno depends upon factors like the PH level of soil and sunlight.

Generally, jalapenos are associated with Mexican cuisine.

People prefer jalapenos because of their lovely taste with a punch of heat.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Rolling Pin

It is one of the cheapest peppers available in a grocery store.

It is the one magical ingredient that can ultimately enhance the taste of a dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jalapeno

When searching for Jalapeno substitutes in the market, you will choose many options.

But how to choose the best among all? We will discuss the five best replacements for jalapeno in this part.

So stick to the end.

1 – Serrano Peppers

serrano pepper

If you want to increase the spice level in your tacos, then serrano is the best alternative.

Serrano resembles jalapeno in shape and color.

Plus, it provides precisely the same taste which jalapeno offers.

Two factors differentiate the two.

One is the outer boundary, and the second is the level of spiciness.

The outer boundary, or the covering of serrano, is a bit thinner than the jalapeno.

Jalapeno has a thick surface. If you want to amp up the heat level, serrano is preferred.

The spice level of jalapeno is 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units, whereas serrano has 5000 to 15,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Serrano is two times stronger than the jalapeno.

So, using only 1/10 the slice of serrano as a reciprocal of one jalapeno is more than enough.

2 – Fresno Chile Peppers

fresno chile pepper

Fresno pepper is the best substitute for the jalapeno.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Hot Paprika

It resembles jalapeno from head to toe.

It has the same spice level as jalapeno, with a minor difference.

On the Scoville scale, jalapeno ranked 2,500 to 8,000, whereas Fresno ranked between 2,500 to 10,000.

You can utilize Fresno in powder or crushed form.

Fresno has much thinner outer layers as compared to jalapeno.

Delicate extreme layering makes it easy to grind into powder.

You can obtain Fresno powder or crushed Fresno in markets.

Those who like crispy flavors will bend towards Fresno.

Fresno has a crisp taste with a layer of smoky flavors.

People prefer Fresno when grilled or smoked.

It enhances the flavor. Fresno tastes precisely the same as a jalapeno.

Thus, you can use it in the same quantity as jalapenos.

One Fresno can replace one jalapeno.

3 – Anaheim Peppers

anaheim pepper

If you are the one who cannot tolerate spice, then Anaheim pepper is preferred.

Anaheim is the best substitute for the jalapeno.

It is milder than a jalapeno, but some types match jalapeno head-to-head.

Scoville Anaheim ranked it between 500 to 2,500.

It shows that Anaheim is two times milder than the jalapeno.

It is very crispy on cooking, making it a suitable replacement for the jalapeno.

The size of Anaheim is much larger than the jalapeno.

That’s why in dishes like stuffed peppers, Anaheims replace jalapenos.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Broccolini

Their immense size makes stuffing easier.

Due to its mild flavor, Anaheim can be used in various items, for example, soups, salsa, and roasted jalapenos.

Anaheim is not irritating. You can use them in the required quantity.

If you don’t have jalapenos, you can add Anaheim in the same ratio as jalapenos.

We usually follow the 1:1 law.

4 – Cayenne Pepper Powder

cayenne pepper powder

If you run out of all types of fresh pepper and urgently need a component to spice up food, then Cayenne will help you out.

Cayenne is a powder made up of cayenne peppers. It shows a double of jalapeno.

Thus, you can use it in soups, salads, and every item whose requirement is high spice.

A small quantity of Cayenne can fulfill the craving for spicy food.

Cayenne pepper SHU’s value is reportedly 50,000.

One drawback of Cayenne is its consistency. It is in powder form.

Due to this feature, we can not make stuffed peppers out of it.

Cayenne cannot make crispy pepper bites, smoky jalapenos, or grilled peppers.

¼ of Cayenne is preferred to use to replace one jalapeno.

Cayenne is an essential element of every grocery bag.

It is the beauty of every kitchen slab.

5 – Smoked Paprika Powder

smoked paprika powder

Another excellent substitute for jalapeno is smoked paprika powder.

The 5 Best Substitutes for American Cheese

Smoked paprika is a powder made of dried and smoked red chili pepper.

It is milder than a jalapeno, but its smoky flavor makes it a perfect replacement for the jalapeno.

Smoked paprika is the best choice if you want to give your food a tandoori or smoky touch without making it heavy in spice.

They are sweeter and milder. However, they provide fantastic color to food.

We usually prefer smoked paprika as an alternative to jalapeno due to its smoky flavor.

It elevates the failure of the dish to another level.

We can make dishes like tandoori chicken, salsa, salad, and smoked chicken.

You should utilize smoked paprika in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for the jalapeno.


Jalapeno, due to its mild taste and crisp flavor, is an all-age favorite.

But in situations where jalapeno is unavailable, you can utilize serrano pepper, smoked paprika powder, Cayenne powder, Fresno, or Anaheim.

They are the best substitute for jalapeno, which will provide benefits without changing taste.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Jalapenos

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


  • Serrano Peppers
  • Fresno Chile Peppers
  • Anaheim Peppers
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Smoked Paprika Powder


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