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Zesty Alternatives: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pepperoncini

Ever found yourself staring at an empty spot in the fridge where the pepperoncini should be? We’ve all been there.

Suddenly, your perfect dish feels incomplete. Panic sets in. What now?

Well, worry not! We’ve got the lowdown on the five best stand-ins for that tangy, slightly sweet kick pepperoncini gives. These swaps are about to save dinner. And maybe save us from a mini meltdown.

Our kitchen mishaps led to some pretty great discoveries. Trust me, I once tried to substitute olives for pepperoncini. Spoiler alert: don’t do that.

But through trial and error, we’ve found options that actually work. Stick around; these could be game-changers.

The 5 Best Substitutes for pepperoncini

Pepperoncini is a mild and tangy Italian pepper variety that adds a delightful kick to various dishes.

However, if you don’t have pepperoncini available or are looking for alternative options, there are several substitutes to consider.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Banana PeppersMild heat, tangy flavorUse an equal amount of banana peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini
Cherry PeppersMild to medium heat, fruity flavorUse an equal amount of cherry peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini
Anaheim PeppersMild heat, slightly sweet and tangyUse an equal amount of Anaheim peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini
Poblano PeppersMild to medium heat, rich and earthy flavorUse an equal amount of poblano peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini
Jalapeno PeppersMedium to hot heat, versatile flavorUse an equal amount of jalapeno peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

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.

  • Key Characteristics: Banana peppers offer a mild heat level with a tangy flavor. They are a popular substitute for pepperoncini due to their similar taste profile. Use an equal amount of banana peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini to maintain the desired level of tanginess and mild heat.

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.

  • Key Characteristics: Cherry peppers range from mild to medium heat and have a fruity flavor. They can add a pleasant kick to dishes while providing a unique taste. Use an equal amount of cherry peppers as a substitute for pepperoncini to introduce their fruity flavor and mild to medium heat.

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.

  • Key Characteristics: Anaheim peppers offer a mild heat level with a slightly sweet and tangy taste. They are versatile and can be used as a substitute for pepperoncini in various recipes. Use an equal amount of Anaheim peppers to maintain the desired flavor balance and mild heat.

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.

  • Key Characteristics: Poblano peppers have a mild to medium heat level and possess a rich, earthy flavor. Although they have a different taste from pepperoncini, they can add depth to dishes. Use an equal amount of poblano peppers as a substitute to introduce their unique flavor and adjust the heat level accordingly.

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.

  • Key Characteristics: Jalapeno peppers offer a medium to hot level of heat and have a versatile flavor profile. While they are spicier than pepperoncini, they can be used as a substitute if you enjoy a bit more heat. Use an equal amount of jalapeno peppers to add their distinct flavor and adjust the spiciness according to your preference.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pepperoncini

Searching for alternatives to pepperoncini? Your quest ends here! Delve into our carefully curated list of the 5 best substitutes that seamlessly replace the unique zing of pepperoncini, ensuring your dishes maintain that perfect balance of flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


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


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for pepperoncini
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