Do you want to have a good kick of spice but do not like jalapenos?
There are plenty of tasty options to substitute for jalapenos out there for those hoping to enjoy an extra pop of flavor.
In this blog post, we’ll look at some great substitutes for jalapenos, sharing tips and tricks for fixing your spice without the added temperature.
What Are Jalapenos?
Jalapenos are a type of chili pepper native to Mexico and Central America.
They range in size from mild to very spicy, with the hottest varieties typically being the larger ones.
The jalapeno is one of the most popular peppers used in Mexican cuisine, including salsas, sauces, stews, soups and even many traditional dishes.
Jalapenos are typically eaten raw or cooked, although the pepper’s heat can be much more intense when cooked.
They can be stuffed with cheese and other ingredients to make flavorful appetizers or added to eggs, tacos, burgers and salads for a kick of heat.
Roasting jalapenos bring out their natural sweetness and smoky flavor to dishes. They can also be dried or pickled for long-term storage.
Substitute For Jalapenos
Jalapenos are a popular spicy pepper used in many Mexican and Southwestern dishes, but they can be difficult to find.
Fortunately, several great options can provide the desired flavor.
Serrano peppers are a type of chili pepper that have high levels of heat and pungency.
They are typically about 2-3 inches long and can range in color from green to red to orange, depending on their ripeness.
On the Scoville Scale, Serrano peppers usually measure 10,000–25,000 units, making them hotter than jalapeños (2,500–8,000 units).
They have a similar flavor to jalapenos but offer an extra punch of spice that can make dishes like salsas, hot sauces and spicy marinades even more flavorful.
Serrano peppers are also a good choice because they are widely available and relatively easy to find in supermarkets or specialty stores.
They can be used fresh or cooked, making them a versatile ingredient for many types of cuisine.
Fresno peppers are a type of chili pepper believed to have originated in the Fresno, California, area.
They range from mild to moderately hot on the Scoville scale, with most peppers rating between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville heat units (SHU).
Fresno peppers look similar to jalapenos in both size and color, but they are slightly smaller than jalapenos.
While they may not have the sharpness of a jalapeno, Fresno peppers still lend an unmistakable kick to dishes like salsa, tacos, or chili.
They can also be pickled or used fresh in salads.
Not only will they add some flavor to dishes without overwhelming them with too much heat, but their smaller size also means they’re easier to manage when prepping and cooking.
Anaheim peppers, formerly known as California green chiles, are mild chili pepper sometimes used as an alternative to jalapenos.
They have a mild heat level of 500-2,500 Scoville heat units (SHU) – about five times less spicy than the typical jalapeño pepper – which ranges from 2,500-8,000 SHU.
Anaheim peppers have a bright green color and a mild flavor that works well in chili con carne, tacos, burritos, quesadillas and enchiladas.
They are also excellent for roasting, baking or even canning.
The moderate heat of Anaheim peppers makes them an attractive option to those who enjoy the flavor of jalapeño peppers without the intense spiciness.
Chipotle peppers are smoked, dried jalapeño pepper.
They have a smoky flavor with notes of chocolate and a medium to high heat level, depending on the pepper.
Chipotle peppers can substitute for jalapenos in many dishes, such as salsa or chili.
The smokiness of chipotles adds a unique flavor to dishes that jalapenos can not provide.
They are often used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine but can also be used as a spicy addition to many other recipes.
Chipotle peppers are particularly popular in making sauces such as adobo and chipotle mayonnaise.
Bell peppers are a variety of pepper native to Mexico and Central and South America.
They range in color from green, yellow, orange, red, and even brown and have a mild flavor that is sweet with just a hint of heat.
While jalapenos can range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHUs), bell peppers are usually around 0 SHUs.
Bell peppers are ideal substitutes for recipes that call for jalapenos but may not want the intense heat associated with them.
It can also be used to add a touch of flavor and color to dishes without overpowering them with heat.
Poblano peppers are among the mildest chili peppers available, ranging from 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).
They have a dark green color and thick flesh, making them perfect for stuffing. Poblanos can also be used in sauces, chilis, and soups.
Poblanos provide an earthy flavor that is slightly smoky with a hint of sweetness.
They are versatile and can be roasted, grilled, or stuffed for added flavor.
If you want to reduce the heat further, removing the seeds and membrane before cooking with them is best.
Banana Peppers are a sweet and mild variety of chili peppers, ranging about 500 Scoville heat units.
Their moderate heat level makes them ideal for adding flavor without overwhelming your taste buds.
They have a crisp texture, making them great for salads and sandwiches or as an addition to pizzas and pasta.
Banana Peppers can also provide the crunch of jalapenos when added to salads or sandwiches while giving off a milder flavor.
They can be used as an alternative to jalapenos in salsa, guacamole, and other Mexican dishes.
What Pepper Is Similar To The Jalapeño But Less Hot?
The poblano pepper is similar to the jalapeño but less hot.
Poblanos are usually milder than jalapeños, with a sweet and smoky flavor.
They range from 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), compared to the 2,500–8,000 SHU range of jalapeños.
Poblanos are great for stuffing, roasting, or adding flavor to dishes without too much heat.
Which Green Pepper Compares To The Jalapeño?
The Anaheim pepper is the closest comparison to the Jalapeño.
It has a similar flavor profile but is milder and sweeter than a jalapeño.
The Anaheim pepper ranges between 500-2,500 Scoville heat units, much lower than the 2,500–8,000 Scoville heat units of a jalapeño.
Do Jalapenos Always Have A Spicy Flavor?
No, not all jalapenos have a spicy flavor.
Some varieties of jalapenos can be less spicy or milder than others.
Additionally, the ripeness and size of the pepper will also affect how hot or mild it is.
Deciding which pepper to use depends largely on the dish and the desired heat level.
Fresno peppers, Anaheim peppers, chipotle peppers, bell peppers, poblano peppers, and banana peppers can all be used to substitute for jalapenos in various recipes.
However, each type of pepper has its unique flavor and heat level, so it is important to consider the dish you are making before selecting a pepper.
With their milder heat levels and unique flavors, these peppers can be great alternatives if jalapenos are too spicy or overwhelming for your dish.