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The 5 Best Substitutes for Pepperoncini

They say variety is the spice of life, but nothing will spice up a dish like a hot pepper.

Ethnic cuisine is becoming more popular, so everyone needs more ethnic ingredients.

From South America to Asia, hot chile peppers are loved everywhere.

There are levels of spice, from bell peppers that only tingle to the California Reaper that will make you breathe fire.

Under all, that heat is more subtle flavors that enhance the dish when used right.

Pepperoncini peppers have a mild spice, but do you want something more?

Here are the five best substitutes for pepperoncini peppers.

What is Pepperoncini?

what is pepperoncini

Peperoncini is a type of chili pepper that is sweet and hot, though not as hot as other peppers.

When young and mature, they are yellow/light green to a beautiful red color.

Mediterranean food often uses this pepper, especially in Italian and Greek cuisine.

Peperoncino (plural-peperoncini) is what Italians call a hot pepper.

What you may know as a pepperoncini pepper is called friggitelli in Italian.

Other names for pepperoncini are Tuscan pepper, golden Greek pepper, or sweet Italian pepper.

These peppers are high in vitamin A and C and have a lot of fiber and calcium.

They are also a very versatile ingredient.

The 5 Best Substitutes for pepperoncini

1 – Banana Peppers

banana pepper

Banana peppers are the best substitute for pepperoncini because they taste very similar.

Both peppers are very mild and sit in the same range on the Scoville scale.

These two peppers are so similar that they are often mislabeled at supermarkets.

Banana peppers have a sweet and tangy flavor that gets sweeter as they ripen.

They get their name from their banana-like shape and bright yellow color.

You will most often find banana peppers pickled in jars when you go to the store.

You can use banana peppers to replace pepperoncini in any recipe; the dish’s taste will be nearly the same.

These peppers are also mild enough to be eaten raw, like in a salad.

2 – Cherry Peppers

cherry pepper

These are a familiar sight to those who love spicy dishes.

These round peppers are often served stuffed or are themselves stuffed into olives.

Stuffed cherry peppers are easy to make at home, and you can put cheese, chicken, or anything you’d like inside.

Cherry peppers are native to the tropical areas of Central and South America.

They look like cherry tomatoes, with their round shape and red coloring.

You can also find them with the name pimiento or pimento.

Cherry peppers have around the same amount of spice as pepperoncini.

This makes them a good substitute for dishes like salads, pasta, and antipasto platters.

There are also many unique recipes, like stuffed cherry peppers, you can try.

3 – Anaheim Peppers

anaheim pepper

This is a very common pepper that is easy to find at many supermarkets.

The Anaheim pepper is part of the New Mexico Chile cultivar group from the US State of New Mexico.

These peppers were first grown by Hispanic communities in the 1600s.

Emilio Ortega was a farmer who brought seeds from New Mexico to Anaheim, California.

His variety became known as the Anaheim pepper.

Anaheim peppers are the next step up in heat from pepperoncini, giving an extra kick to your dish if you like spice.

They are very versatile; you can stuff them or use them on hamburgers and omelets.

The Anaheim has a sweet taste like pepperoncini, making it a good substitute.

4 – Poblano Peppers

poblano pepper

Originally from Puebla, Mexico, poblano peppers are famous worldwide and grown in California.

They have a lovely green color and grow quite large, making them perfect for stuffing.

A ripened poblano will have a red or brown coloring, and a dried poblano is called an ancho chile.

Poblano peppers are about four times spicier than pepperoncini.

Most people will still consider them mild, however.

The significant difference between Poblano and pepperoncini is the flavor.

Pepperoncini is sweet, and Poblano has an earthy flavor.

Using Poblano will change the taste of your dish, so use it if you don’t mind losing the sweetness.

5 – Jalapeno Peppers

jalapeno pepper

This is the most popular chile pepper in the United States, and its popularity is increasing.

California and New Mexico grow the most peppers, with more than 18,000 acres harvested in 2015.

Jalapeno peppers are usually picked and sold while they are still green.

Jalapenos are the hottest on this list, but the heat varies depending on harvest time.

Mature jalapenos are the spiciest and have a red color.

Those who love spicy dishes will undoubtedly love this pepper.

If you use jalapeno as a substitute for pepperoncini, know that the dish will be much spicier.

You can compensate for this by adding less pepper.


When selecting a chile pepper for your recipe, how hot you want your food is the most important thing to consider.

The Scoville scale can give you an idea of the relative heat of a pepper, but the only taste can lead you.

Pepperoncini peppers are very mild in heat but have a lovely sweetness.

The banana pepper will give you almost the same flavor as pepperoncini, so use that if you can’t find anything else.

However, if you want to increase the heat, try the Poblano or jalapeno. In any case, happy cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute jalapeño for pepperoncini?

Yes, jalapeño peppers can be a good substitute for pepperoncini. They have a very similar flavor profile—both are slightly sweet with mild heat.

Both also work well in salads and sandwiches. The difference between the two is that jalapeños tend to be spicier than pepperoncini.

You may want to adjust the amount accordingly if you choose jalapeños as a substitute.

Are banana peppers similar to pepperoncini?

No, pepperoncini and banana peppers are not the same. While they both have a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness, they differ in texture and heat.

Pepperoncini peppers have a thinner flesh than banana peppers, which often makes them more pliable when cooked.

Additionally, pepperoncini are significantly milder than banana peppers, with only a slight kick of heat.

What are other names for pepperoncini?

Pepperoncini are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers, golden Greek peppers, and pepperoni.

They have been cultivated in Italy for centuries and are a staple in many Italian dishes.

In the United States, they are often used to top pizzas or added to salads and sandwiches for flavor.

They can be found in most grocery stores and specialty markets. No matter what you call them, they make a delicious addition to any dish.

Are pepperoncini healthy for you?

Yes, pepperoncini are highly nutritious and offer a variety of health benefits. They are low in calories but high in vitamins A, C, B6, potassium, magnesium and iron.

Pepperoncini contain antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation in the body.

Additionally, they provide dietary fiber which aids digestion and helps keep you feeling full longer. Pepperoncini are a great way to add flavor and nutrition to your meals.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pepperoncini

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


  • Banana Peppers
  • Cherry Peppers
  • Anaheim Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Jalapeno 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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