Best Pepperoncini Substitutes

11 Best Pepperoncini Substitutes in 2022

Pepperoncini peppers are a common ingredient in many Mediterranean-style cuisines, so you may have already come across them in your cooking. These peppers may not be as common as others, but they do exist, and they taste great!

The problem arises when you need them for a recipe but don’t have them on hand. Fortunately, you can usually substitute another type of pepper if you don’t have any pepperoncini on hand.

I was wondering, what are some good alternatives to pepperoncini? Banana, jalapeo, cherry, poblano, Trinidad perfume, Anaheim, Cubanelle, and Hungarian wax peppers are all good substitutes for pepperoncini. You can use pickled chilies, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce for fresh peppers if you don’t have any on hand.

Keep reading to find out why pepperoncini peppers are so popular and what alternatives you might use. We’ll also go through what to look for in a pepperoncini alternative so you can make an informed decision.

What Is A Pepperoncini?

A type of chili pepper called as pepperoncini is prized for its spiciness and sweetness. These peppers have thin, wrinkled flesh and are typically 2-3 inches long. These peppers can be any shade from pale green to yellow.

Mediterranean cuisine frequently uses pepperoncini. It is known as friggitelli in Italy, where this pepper species is especially well-liked.

There is a good probability that pepperoncini will be used in the recipe for arrabbiata sauce for pasta or other Italian foods.

a bowl of pickled green peppers against a gray hardwood background.
Additionally, a lot of individuals like eating pickled pepperoncini. In actuality, pickled pepperoncini are more widely consumed than the fresh kind of these peppers!

Jars of pickled pepperoncini can be found in supermarkets’ pickles and condiments section.

Pepperoncini can be used in a variety of ways, whether fresh or pickled. It can be used in stews, soups, salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. You can eat pickled pepperoncini on its own as a snack.

How Hot Is Pepperoncini?

Pepperoncini range from 100 to 500 SHU on the Scoville Heat Scale. This means that even the hottest pepperoncini peppers aren’t particularly hot. In instance, jalapeno peppers, which we all eat and enjoy, have 2,000 to 8,000 SHU, making them substantially hotter than pepperoncini. Pepperoncini peppers, in addition to not being extremely fiery, have a fruity flavor that makes them even more appealing.

Is There A Substitute For Pepperoncini?

Different peppers have different flavor nuances. When peppers are consumed on their own, distinct flavor distinctions become apparent. But when peppers are combined with other components in a meal, you can hardly detect any other flavor. This makes it simple to exchange numerous pepper varieties for one another! Not even pepperoncini is an exception. You can substitute other pepper varieties for pepperoncini if you don’t have any on hand or if you can’t find pepperoncini in your area.

Choosing A Pepperoncini Substitute

In today’s world, you can pick from an almost infinite number of pepper flavors. But which of these should you pick up if you’re in need of a substitute for pepperoncini?

When looking for a suitable replacement for pepperoncini, keep the following in mind:

The Temperature. Choose peppers that are around the same level of heat on the Scoville Scale as pepperoncini if you don’t want to mess with the proportions.
It’s best to start with a little amount of peppers that are spicier than pepperoncini and add more if you think the meal needs it.
Taste. Pepperoncinis, in contrast to many pepper varietals, are somewhat sweet, flowery, and spicy. Select a fruity and sweet kind if you’re going for a flavor profile comparable to that of pepperoncini.
The Advantages of Fresh Food vs Canned Food. Canned peppers are another viable alternative to use in place of pepperoncini. If you have difficulties keeping your vegetables fresh, canned peppers are a convenient and affordable choice.
Canned peppers have a more muted flavor than fresh peppers and a higher salt content. Contrarily, the flavor and texture of freshly harvested peppers are more robust and exciting.
What You Need to Know, the Recipe. The dish itself should be taken into account while deciding on a pepperoncini alternative. Fresh peppers are essential for certain meals. You can also use dried peppers or hot sauces for other people.
Availability. There are many options that can stand in for pepperoncini peppers, but not all of them are readily available. Think about what you have on hand and pick the closest thing to pepperoncini that you can.

Best Pepperoncini Substitutes

Here is a list of our favorite pepperoncini substitutions in case a recipe calls for pepperoncini peppers but you don’t have any at home or can’t find them where you live. Any of these substitutions will improve the flavor of your dish compared to skipping the pepperoncini altogether, despite the fact that their heat levels and general flavor profiles vary.

1. Vlasic Deli Style Mild Banana Pepper Rings

Vlasic Deli Style Mild Banana Pepper Rings

Banana peppers are an excellent replacement for pepperoncini. The heat level of these peppers is the same as that of pepperoncini peppers. Banana peppers are bright yellow and have a banana-like shape (hence the name). Banana peppers do not taste like bananas!

Banana peppers have a flavor and appearance similar to pepperoncini peppers. They have a pleasantly sweet flavor and appear very similar. When ripe, both peppers can range from yellow to green and turn orange or red.

Because of these similarities, banana peppers can be used in place of pepperoncini peppers when you don’t want to play with the heat level. Or when the appearance of the peppers is important to you. Banana peppers are easily accessible. They are available both fresh and pickled.

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2. Vlasic Deli Style Hot Jalapeno Pepper Slices

Vlasic Deli Style Hot Jalapeno Pepper Slices

In the United States, jalapeo peppers are the most common variety of pepper. Medium-sized peppers that range from mildly hot to extremely spicy. Unripe jalapenos are green and are typically pickled. Jalapeos that are ripe are multicolored or solid red. Jalapeo peppers are not as sweet as pepperoncini peppers. They have the flavor of bell peppers, which is earthy, vegetal, and spicy.

Because jalapeo peppers are hotter than pepperoncini peppers, we recommend adjusting the amount you use; otherwise, the dish may be spicier than anticipated. Jalapeno peppers are quite versatile and readily available. Fresh jalapeño peppers can be used in prepared recipes, roasted, or pickled. Jalapeos can be substituted for pepperoncini in practically all dishes. These peppers can be used in stews, soups, salsas, salads, etc.

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3. G L Mezzetta Peppers, Swt Cherry

G L Mezzetta Peppers, Swt Cherry

Boiling Point: 2,500,000 to 5,500,000 SHU

Peppers in their raw, fiery cherry state, set against a wooden backdrop. Pepperoncini and cherry peppers don’t even really resemble each other visually. Red, tiny, and spherical, these peppers are a vibrant addition to any dish. Cherry peppers are both hot and slightly sweet.

When it comes to heat, cherry peppers can hold their own against jalapeos. Approximately four times hotter as the spiciest pepperoncini, the mildest cherry peppers register at 2,000 SHU.

The small size of these peppers could lead you to use more than necessary. Therefore, the final product will have a significant amount of heat! Cherry peppers may be quite spicy, so it’s best to start with a tiny amount and add more if desired. Cherry peppers, when pickled, are a delicious alternative to pepperoncini.

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4. San Miguel Whole Poblano Peppers

San Miguel Whole Poblano Peppers

Heat Level: 1,500–4,000 SHU Organic Poblano Peppers, Raw and Ready to Cook. One of those relatively spicy pepper kinds is the poblano. These peppers have a bell pepper-like appearance.

Poblanos are heart-shaped and can reach a length of 6 inches. Poblano peppers are collected when they are a dark forest green, as opposed to the bright green pepperoncini.

According to the Scoville Heat Scale, poblano peppers rank quite low. They are nevertheless considerably more spicy than pepperoncini peppers.

Similar to bell peppers, poblanos have an earthy flavor when eaten raw. Poblano peppers taste more like pepperoncini when cooked since cooking brings out their sweet undertones.

To add some heat to your meals, you can also use dried poblano peppers. Ancho chiles, also known as dried poblanos, can be added to stews, soups, salsas, marinades, and other dishes.

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5. Trinidad Perfume Pepper

Trinidad Perfume Pepper

Heat Level: 50-500 SHU Top shot of Trinidad Perfume chile peppers (Capsicum chinense). Trinidad Perfume peppers are another pepper type with a low Scoville heat rating. These peppers are really mild – milder even than pepperoncinis!

If the mild intensity of pepperoncini is still too much for you, try cooking with Trinidad Perfume peppers. Trinidad Perfume peppers are around one inch long. When harvested, they are lantern-shaped with a sharp tip and a bright yellow color.

Trinidad scented chile peppers have citric and smokey notes and are pleasantly spicy and sweet. Trinidad perfume peppers have a lovely perfume-like aroma that lends them their name, in addition to their distinct flavor profile.

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6. Pepper, Anaheim, Heirloom

Pepper, Anaheim, Heirloom

Heat Level: 500-2,500 SHU Green Anaheim chile peppers (Capsicum annuum), the mild New Mexico (Numex) chile No. 9 cultivar.
Anaheim peppers are green peppers of medium size and moderate heat. These peppers have traces of sweetness and fruitiness that give them a pepperoncini-like flavor.

In addition to this sweetness, however, Anaheim peppers also possess smoky and sour flavors. Anaheim and pepperoncini peppers have a similar shape and color, although Anaheim peppers are often larger.

The same quantity of the mildest Anaheim peppers can be used as a substitute for pepperoncini. Peppers from Anaheim can be utilized in fresh salsas, soups, and stews. Anaheim peppers can also be stuffed in the same manner as pepperoncini!

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7. 300 Hungarian HOT Wax Pepper

300 Hungarian HOT Wax Pepper

Scoville heat units: 1,000-15,000 Peppers, such as Hungarian Wax or hot bananas, displayed at a farmers market shortly after harvest.
Hungarian wax peppers, as the name says, are a type of pepper that was first cultivated in Hungary. This kind of pepper is not only widely used in Hungarian cooking, but also in Latin American dishes.

Although visually similar to banana peppers, Hungarian wax peppers are significantly hotter. These peppers can stand in for pepperoncini because of their sweetness. The heat intensity of Hungarian wax peppers can vary greatly. They range in heat from hardly noticeable to that of a serrano pepper.

If you want to utilize Hungarian wax peppers in place of pepperoncini, it’s best to start with a little amount and work up from there.

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8. Pepper, Cubanelle Sweet Pepper Seeds

Pepper, Cubanelle Sweet Pepper Seeds

Heat Level: 0-1,000 SHU Ready to Cook Raw Green Organic Cubanelle Peppers. The most widely available peppers in the US are not Cubanelle peppers. Cubanelle peppers, on the other hand, are a great substitute for pepperoncini, so be sure to pick some up if you see them!

Sweet green peppers known as Cubanelle peppers. On the Scoville Scale, their heat level could be 1,000 SHU or it could be zero. You can use the same quantity of Cubanelle peppers as pepperoncini because they only have a little heat.

Like pepperoncini peppers, Cubanelle peppers have thin walls. These yellow-green peppers work well in recipes that don’t require a lot of preparation, including fresh salads.

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9. PEPPADEW Sweet Piquant Peppers

PEPPADEW Sweet Piquant Peppers

The level of heat varies according to the variety. On a wooden background, canned peppers in glass jars.
Pickled peppers differ from fresh peppers in texture and flavor, particularly since they lack the crispiness of fresh peppers.

Skip this choice if you’re looking for pepperoncini alternatives for recipes where the crunchy texture of the pepperoncini is important!

Pickled peppers have a vinegary and acidic flavor profile. The heat intensity varies according to the pepper kind. Pickled peppers, on the other hand, are always milder than fresh peppers.

The wonderful thing about pickled peppers is that they keep for a long time, even if they are homemade. Pickled peppers will keep for 2-3 months if fully submerged in the pickling liquid. Fresh peppers have a shelf life of 10-14 days.

Pickled pepperoncini in a glass
If you don’t cook very often but enjoy using peppers in your dishes when you do, buying pickled peppers instead of fresh peppers can be a smart choice.

Pickled pepperoncini is the greatest pickled pepper substitute for fresh pepperoncini, but you can use any pickled pepper you have on hand. If your pickled peppers are excessively spicy, simply reduce the amount you use.

Pickled peppers are not as adaptable as fresh peppers, but they can still be used in a variety of ways. Pickled peppers can be used in salads, soups, dips, and other dishes.

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10. Spice Classics Crushed Red Pepper

Spice Classics Crushed Red Pepper

Heat Level: 10,000-35,000 SHU Hot Peppers, Fresh Ripe Tomatoes, and Ground Chili Peppers Background of flakes and corns on a rustic wooden table. Components for Soup, Salad, and Paste Red pepper flakes are manufactured from many varieties of red peppers. The spiciness of red pepper flakes is dependent on the type of pepper used in its production.

Cayenne, jalapeño, Fresno, Anaheim, and other peppers from the capsicum annum family can be used to make red pepper flakes.

As the level of spiciness might vary, we recommend reading the label to determine which peppers the flakes include. Red pepper flakes manufactured from cayenne pepper are hotter than those made from jalapeo and Anaheim peppers, for example.

Red pepper flakes are extremely adaptable and easy to control in terms of quantity. You may include them in a variety of sauces, marinades, stews, soups, and dips. We consume a great deal of these spicy little fun flakes, thus we appreciate this alternative.

Red pepper flakes are not a suitable substitute for fresh pepperoncini in meals where the peppers’ texture is important.

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11. Mike’s Hot Honey 24 oz Chef’s Bottle

Mike's Hot Honey 24 oz Chef’s Bottle

Intensity: Varies with sauce used Multiple glass bottles containing various brands of spicy sauce are seen up close. If the pepperoncini peppers’ crunchiness isn’t essential to the dish, and you only want to add some heat and pepper flavor, feel free to substitute your favorite hot sauce.

The heat and flavor profiles of various hot sauces vary widely. A small quantity of any hot sauce will do the trick. Of course, a pepperoncini-based hot sauce would be the most accurate equivalent for pepperoncini. Another excellent option is hot sauce made from banana peppers.

Keep in mind that most hot sauces contain vinegar and salt when substituting them for pepperoncini. Make sure the sauce’s vinegary flavor doesn’t overpower the other flavors by adjusting the amount of salt you use.

Since pepperoncini peppers are quite mild, it is best to start with a tiny amount of a really hot sauce. Those who aren’t afraid of trying new flavors will enjoy these.

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