11 Best Bell Pepper Substitutes For You

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You are searching for the best bell pepper substitutes because you want a dazzling, sizzling addition to your roasted chicken or stir-fries. I am sure there must’ve been a time when we were out of bell peppers while thinking of preparing a rainbow vegetable sandwich. That’s why you are here.

Bell Peppers

Wondering how you can substitute for bell peppers? Some of the best bell pepper substitutes are other bell peppers, poblano pepper, anaheim pepper, cubanelle pepper, and jalapeno pepper.

Bell peppers are a very popular and versatile group of vegetables that can be eaten raw or cooked as a great accompaniment to many recipes. They come in attractive red, yellow, and green varieties with unique culinary uses. So what can you do if you are out of bell peppers? Is there a need to substitute for bell peppers? Let us find answers to all these queries today.

Bell Peppers In The Culinary World

Bell peppers are actually fruits, botanically known as berries and culinarily used as vegetables! *Woah! That’s a lot of stuff to remember*. They belong to the Capsicum annuum species. Bell peppers are also known to some as sweet peppers for a reason you can easily surmise. Yeah, the name pepper doesn’t do much justice to this vegetable. They are mildly sweet in flavor with low Scoville Heat Units (0-100).

Do you know what SHU is? It refers to the amount of capsaicin present in a vegetable. Lower the capsaicin content; lower will be the spiciness in your recipes. This makes our bell peppers the variety of peppers with the lowest heat rating.

The most commonly found bell peppers come in red, orange, yellow, and green colors. However, white, purple, brown, and lavender colored bell peppers are also available. Green bell peppers refer to the unripe version, while red, yellow, and orange are all ripened peppers. Bell peppers taste sweet as they are ripe. That makes red bell peppers the sweetest among all. Green bell peppers taste mildly sweet with a bitter flavor.

Uses of Bell Pepper

Generally, bell peppers have a mild, sweet, grassy flavor with a crispy, crunchy texture. They have a high nutritious profile and are rich in salads, stir-fries, or pasta. Fiery smoked stuffed peppers, sautéed peppers, grilled bell peppers, rainbow sandwiches, fajitas, Panzanella, Mexican pinwheels, chili-stuffed peppers, and Spanish tortilla are some of the most famous recipes using bell peppers.

Bell Pepper On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Bell peppers are even more impressive when it comes to their nutritional profiles. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are extremely good at boosting eye health and mitigating the risk of anemia. 

Why Should We Substitute Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers are relatively easily available vegetables and at affordable prices. But there comes a time when you are too lazy to run to the store and get them. That’s when the easily available substitutes in your kitchen can save your day and recipe! Also, if you are allergic to bell peppers, you definitely need the help of the best substitutes for bell peppers. Shall we talk about them right away?

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best Bell Peppers Substitutes

Now that you know everything you need to know about bell peppers let us discuss the eleven best substitutes for bell peppers.

1. Other Bell Peppers

Other Bell Peppers

Obviously, when in crisis, seek your family. Bell peppers come in green, red, orange, and yellow colors, and these bell peppers can be used to substitute for each other. Green bell peppers are the unripe peppers in the lot.

Red bell peppers are the sweetest among all the other bell peppers. Green bell peppers have a mildly sweet flavor with subtle bitterness. Depending on the recipe, you can choose a variety of bell peppers – red, green, orange, or yellow for substitution. 

2. Poblano Pepper

Poblano is a mild chili pepper with its origin in Mexico. Although poblano pepper is larger than bell pepper, it can be the most recommended substitute for bell peppers considering its low spiciness. Poblano peppers have a taste similar to that of green bell peppers with a slight heat kick. They are sold as ancho chilies. They have a meaty structure and dense walls like bell peppers, making them smooth for you to use in your recipes.

3. Anaheim Pepper

The Californian chile variety, Anaheim pepper, is another best substitute for bell peppers. It has a sweet, fruity, and slightly spicy flavor. It has an elongated body with a crunchy consistency. Anaheim can be spicier than red bell peppers. However, Anaheim peppers are good substitutes in salads, stir-fries, or sauces that call for bell peppers. These can be roasted, grilled, baked, and chopped into salsas.

4. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno pepper is the hottest pepper variety among the substitutes for bell peppers. It has a SHU level that ranges between 4000-8500 units. It cannot be deemed extremely spicy compared to bell peppers; they are very spicy. Jalapeno has a vegetal flavor with a soft texture once cooked. If you aspire for the sweetness of bell peppers, use jalapeno after removing its seeds and pith in your recipes.

5. Cubanelle Pepper

Cubanelle pepper also goes by the name Cuban pepper or Italian frying pepper. It has a mild spicy flavor with a SHU between 500-1000. It has thin walls and a crunchy texture similar to bell peppers. Cubanelle pepper can also be used for stuffing like bell peppers. With less spice and a tender, crunchy texture, cubanelle can be a good substitute for bell peppers as toppings or in salads and casseroles.

6. Sichuan Pepper

Sichuan pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, or Chinese pepper are not peppers. It is a type of spice that are berries of an ash tree. It is described as a combination of black pepper and chili pepper. Apart from being an ingredient that amazingly perks up the flavor in your dishes, Sichuan pepper is a considerable substitute for bell peppers. It has a fruity flavor and slight spiciness with medicinal properties.

7. Pimento Pepper

Pimento is an adorable heart-shaped chili pepper which is also known as cherry pepper. It comes in different colors, such as yellow, green, maroon, and red. Pimento pepper has a sweet flavor with a slight spiciness and is one of the mildest chili varieties that can work as a bell pepper substitute.

Its unavailability makes pimento a disadvantage as a substitute for bell peppers. Fresh pimentos are hard to find, and canned pimentos may not be able to emulate the flavor of bell peppers.

8. Banana Pepper

Banana Pepper

Banana pepper is a yellow-colored, medium-sized chili variety with a mild, tangy flavor. Of course, it turns orange, red, or green once it ripens. It is also known as yellow-wax peppers or banana chilies. Banana pepper has a sweet, mild taste with a subtle tang flavor and can substitute for bell peppers in salads, casseroles, burgers, or stir-fries. These peppers help boost the digestive process, enhance metabolism, and protect from stomach ulcers.

9. Green Onion

Green onions also go by scallions or spring onions. They are related to garlic, shallot, and leeks. They have long green stems and no bulbs. They are a very good source of sulfur and vitamin K. Green onions can be your last resort as an alternative to bell peppers. They offer a rich, profound flavor with a mild spiciness. They also offer a crunchy feeling, which is a characteristic of bell peppers.

10. Bok Choy

Bok Choy

Bok choy is also known to many as pak choi or Chinese cabbage. It is a green, leafy vegetable that belongs to the family of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It is a prominent/popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine and can be stir-fried, roasted, or braised. 

Bok choy has an earthy flavor with bitter notes and a crispy, crunchy texture. You can use bok choy as a substitute for bell pepper by using only the stem and discarding the stalk and leaves. 

11. Spices


If you are out of all the above-mentioned peppers, go straight to your kitchen and knock up the spices board! Spices are vital ingredients in any recipe since they upgrade the flavor and aroma magically. If you are looking to avoid peppers completely, you can take the help of a couple of spices to get the job done.

Garlic, oregano, mustard powder, cumin, and ginger are some of the substitutes for bell peppers which are not based on peppers. These spices can help you emulate the flavor of bell peppers but not the texture. 

Short Recap Of Best Bell Pepper Substitutes

That must have been an exhaustive read on the best bell pepper substitutes, right? Let me make it easy for you to remember the details with the help of some points.

Best Bell Pepper Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture-

  1. Other bell peppers.
  2. Poblano pepper.
  3. Anaheim pepper.

Best Bell Pepper Substitutes That Are Not Pepper Based-

  1. Green onions.
  2. Bok Choy.
  3. Spices such as garlic, ginger, oregano, cumin, and mustard powder.

Final Musings

There ends the list of sweet substitutes for our sweet bell peppers. Depending on the spiciness you expect in your recipe, you can choose any substitutes given above. I am sure none of them would disappoint you, and you would come here to thank me later. See you soon with another article!

How To Use Bell Pepper Substitutes In A Recipe

Bell Peppers

Bell Pepper Substitutes

Wondering how you can substitute for bell peppers? Some of the best bell pepper substitutes are other bell peppers, poblano pepper, anaheim pepper, cubanelle pepper, and jalapeno pepper.
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  • Other Bell Peppers
  • Poblano Pepper
  • Anaheim Pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Cubanelle Pepper
  • Sichuan Pepper
  • Pimento Pepper
  • Banana Pepper
  • Green Onion
  • Bok Choy
  • Spices


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the substitute for green pepper in spaghetti sauce?

The best substitutes for green pepper in spaghetti sauce are poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers and other colored bell peppers.

What is the substitute for bell pepper in fajitas?

Poblano pepper, cubanelle pepper, jalapeno, pepperoncini pepper, and pimento peppers are good substitutes for bell peppers in fajitas.

Can you be allergic to bell peppers?

Nightshade allergy is the case where you are allergic to certain foods which comprise bell peppers. 

How do I know if I’m allergic to peppers?

If you suffer from rashes, itchiness, nasal congestion, wheezing, nausea or vomiting after consuming peppers, you might be allergic to peppers.

Can I substitute celery for bell pepper?

Celery can be substituted with bell peppers.

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