8 Best Substitutes For Bell Peppers

Bell Peppers

Think of a dazzling, sizzling addition to your roasted chicken or stir-fries, didn’t bell peppers pop up? I am sure they did. I am also sure there must’ve been a time when were out of bell peppers while thinking of preparing a rainbow vegetable sandwich. That’s why you are here.

Wondering how you can substitute for bell peppers? There are around ten best substitutes for bell peppers, and some of them include poblano, anaheim, cubanelle, and jalapeno. 

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.

Why Do We Need To Substitute Bell Peppers?

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.

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. 

Quinoa stuffed peppers, sauteed peppers, grilled bell peppers, rainbow sandwich, veggie fajitas, Panzanella, Mexican pinwheels, chili-stuffed peppers, Spanish tortilla are some of the most famous recipes using bell peppers.

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. 

That said, some of us are allergic to bell peppers. So, it is wise to know the best substitutes for bell peppers if you have a loved one who hates bell peppers. Shall we get into that?

8 Best Substitutes For Bell Peppers

The eight best substitutes for bell peppers are as follows:

1. Poblano

Poblano is a mild chili pepper, with its origin in Mexico. It is larger than a bell pepper but 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.

2. Anaheim

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, they are good substitutes in salads, stir-fries, or sauces that call for bell peppers.

3. Jalapeno

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.

4. Cubanelle

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.

It 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.

5. Sichuan Pepper

Sichuan pepper, Sichuan peppercorns, or Chinese pepper are not peppers. It is a type of spice which 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.

6. Pimento

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. It has a sweet flavor with a slight spiciness and is one of the mildest chili varieties.

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.

7. 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. 

It has a sweet, mild taste with a subtle tang flavor. It can substitute bell peppers in salads, casseroles, burgers, or stir-fries. 

8. Green Onion

Green onions can be your last resort as an alternative for 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.


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!

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