Are you one of those people who relish the spicy flavor in your food but have the spice tolerance of a marshmallow? Then, you might enjoy the mild spicy taste and aroma of green peppers. Today, we are going to explore the world of green peppers. Specifically, what you can do if you run out of them. So, hop in.
Green peppers are those crunchy, bell-shaped vegetables that add a not-so-hot flavor to your dishes while still giving them that delicious aroma. These darlings of the ‘Bell Pepper’ family are indispensable. You can add them to salads, soups, stuffings, sandwiches, etc.
But what happens if you run out of them? I mean, you can get them, but in an alternate scenario, wouldn’t it be great to know all your options? Some of the best green pepper substitutes are poblano, jalapeno, colored bell peppers, Sichuan, and cubanelle peppers.
Being a diligent cook, it would be great if you were aware of its substitutes. Let us give it a go! Before that, let me give you a small lesson on green peppers (part of the job).
Quick Peek: Green Pepper
The following sections tell you about green pepper, its flavor, texture, uses, and health benefits.
What Is Green Pepper?
Bell peppers come in different colors; red, orange, green, yellow, purple, and even brown. Green peppers are unripened. They are bell-shaped with less spice and bitter and grassy taste.
Care to be surprised? Many people think green pepper is a vegetable, but it is actually a fruit. If you want a great crunchy and peppery addition to your recipes with a slight spicy touch, green peppers are your ultimate call.
Describing Green Pepper: Flavor and Texture
Green pepper has a distinctive spicy taste and aroma with a slightly bitter or grassy flavor. Being the young lad in the pepper family, it is the most bitter among its siblings.
It has a soft, crunchy texture, and it gets more intense when cooked. However, if it is extremely soft, it is time for the green lad to hit the trash can.
Uses of Green Pepper
Green peppers have a high nutritional profile, making them a worthy addition to your diet. They give out a unique blend of sweet and spicy flavors. This makes them an ideal ingredient for sauteing, cooking, frying, or grilling.
Depending on your preferences, green peppers can be used as such or alongside red pepper. They can add unique flavors to your dishes when used that way. They are widely used in spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf, burgers, frittata, fajitas, stews, etc.
Green Pepper on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Green pepper is an incredibly healthy ingredient that is rich in antioxidants and fiber. It contains vitamin C, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. It also contains bioactive phytonutrients.
A rich source of folate, green pepper is essential for pregnant women to prevent congenital disabilities in babies. It is great for boosting the proper functioning of our gut, eyes, and heart. It also aids in weight management.
Why Should We Substitute Green Pepper?
All is well with this super crunchy green pepper, but why are we talking about its substitutes?
Simply because you are all set to begin your cooking fiesta and realize you are out of green pepper. You need a bunch of substitutes to get you going.
Green peppers are not easily available in the U.S. You might spot some if you live somewhere in Mexico, Central America, or South America.
Also, if you belong to that group of people who are done with green pepper and are looking for a change, then you might also be seeking better alternatives.
Did you know that there are people who simply dislike its mild bitter flavor and always look out for red or orange bell pepper? (Poor greenie!) To add to the horror, green pepper is, in fact, less nutritious than its siblings.
Well, one of these reasons might be why you are here with me so far. So let us skip to the part where we discuss the best green pepper substitutes.
13 Best Green Pepper Substitutes
Let it be any reason; it is beneficial to know the substitutes for green pepper. The thirteen best green pepper substitutes are as follows:
Poblano pepper is the beloved Mexican chili pepper and is the closest and often chosen alternative to green pepper. They range between 1,000 and 1,5000 on the Scoville scale. There is a considerable similarity in appearance and the hot, spicy flavor it emulates.
Poblano peppers have a crunchy texture due to their thick walls and big cavities. They also have an earthy flavor, but they are not as sweet as green pepper. But if you wish to spice things a bit mildly, go for poblanos in place of a green pepper!
In fact, I have an amazing recipe that you can make using poblano peppers. Here is the recipe for beef poblano burger.
Jalapenos are spicy peppers in the pepper family. The spiciness it renders is sure to heat things in your recipes, and hence they are considered medium-heat chilies. If you wish to tone it down, remove the seeds from jalapenos before using them.
Jalapeno has a Scoville heat unit ranging between 2,000 to 8,000. That’s a lot different from green peppers. Apart from the difference in the heat level, jalapeno can be a good alternative to green pepper, considering the fact that it can be used to stuff vegetables similar to green pepper.
I have an interesting recipe that you can make using jalapenos. Here is a recipe for armadillo eggs. It’s not quite what it sounds. Do have a look to fin out!
3. Colored Bell Peppers
Blood is thicker than water. I know it’s a bold statement, but when in a crisis, you seek your family. If you are out of green peppers, go grab some colored bell peppers – red, orange, yellow, or purple.
There is an ample difference in the flavors the colored bell peppers render. They have matured bell peppers which means they have a sweeter taste than green peppers. If you don’t mind the slight taste differences, colored bell peppers can save your day and cooking by replacing green peppers!
Starting with the names first, Sichuan pepper is also known as Szechuan pepper, Chinese prickly ash, and Chinese pepper. It is a spice obtained from the husks of seeds belonging to the plant Zanthoxylum.
Sichuan peppercorns have a distinctive flavor profile. The initial taste is bitterness, followed by numbing spiciness. Everything subsides with a sweet, citrusy flavor. Sichuan peppercorns are infamous for the intense numbing sensation they cause in our mouth.
Sichuan peppercorn can be a good alternative to green pepper if you can tolerate the heat level and enjoy the citrusy feel.
Put your Sichuan peppercorns to good use. Make some delicious and spicy Szechuan vegetables, here is the recipe.
5. Cubanelle Peppers
Many people call Cubanelle peppers as Italian frying peppers. They are a variety of sweet peppers with low heat. They have a mild, sweet, and spicy taste. With thin skins and thick walls, these are available in yellow, green, and bright red shades.
With a relatively milder spice, cubanelle peppers can work as an urgent replacement for green peppers in roasting, stuffing, salads, or pizzas.
Pimentos are those cute heart-shaped peppers (cute!) that are identical in taste to red peppers, except only in spiciness. They are a variety of chili peppers with little heat. These are green when immature and turn red upon maturity.
Pimentos are more aromatic, flavorful with a crunchy texture and can typically replace green peppers in stuffings and salads. The only downside is that fresh pimentos are not available easily.
Anaheim pepper is a mild California chili pepper that renders a sweet, peppery flavor to your recipes. They give a unique flavor and taste delicious when used in stuffing, roasting, sauces, or soups when cooked or eaten raw.
Anaheim peppers have a crunchy texture and thick walls, making them suitable for stuffing purposes. With a mild citrusy taste and crunchy texture, they are considerable alternatives for green pepper.
Make some delicious and spicy recipe with the Anaheim pepper. Here is the recipe for the cheesy Chiles Rellenos.
Pepperoncini goes by the names of golden Greek peppers, Tuscan peppers, and sweet Italian peppers. It is a type of chili pepper that renders a unique blend of both sweet and hot flavors. And no, it is not the same as banana peppers!
Pepperoncini is yellow to light green in color and has thin skins. Did you know that it belongs to the same botanical family as that of bell peppers?
Pepperoncini has a tangy flavor and a crunchy texture, making it a good substitute for green pepper in recipes.
We will look at non-pepper substitutes for green peppers, starting with onion. I will not bore you with the basic details of onion – everybody knows what it is!
Onions basically have a sharp, spicy flavor and a crispy, crunchy texture. They are used in almost all cooking recipes for their flavor and crunchiness.
Onions can be substituted for green pepper if they are fried. Fried onions lose their pungency and render a sweet flavor.
Belonging to the Cucurbitaceae plant, zucchini is a young fruit that goes by courgette and baby marrow. Zucchini comes in both green and yellow colors and has an elongated structure.
Zucchini has a mild, sweet flavor when it is raw, and this taste is intensified when it is cooked. Overripe zucchini has a bitter flavor which I am sure you won’t approve of. It has glossy skin and a crunchy texture.
Zucchini’s mild flavor and ability to blend well with other ingredients make it a considerable green pepper substitute.
11. Bok Choy
Known as pak choi or Chinese cabbage, bok choy is a leafy green vegetable. It belongs to the family of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It is a major ingredient in Chinese cuisine and is used in cooking by stir-frying, roasting, or braising.
Bok choy has an earthy flavor with subtle hints of bitterness, similar to cabbages. It has a crispy, crunchy texture. Once cooked, it gives a mildly sweet, nutty flavor.
If you plan to swap green pepper with bok choy, make sure to use only the stem and ignore the stalk and the leaves as well. The crunchy texture and mild flavor of bok choy can make up for the absence of green pepper in your recipe.
If you want to emulate just the flavor of green peppers and not their crunchy textures, then a few spices should get the job done for you. You can use garlic, ginger, cumin, oregano, and mustard powder for a flavor that is close to green peppers.
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable which belongs to the family of cabbages. It has a bulbous head, and along with it, its leaves and stalks are all consumed as vegetables.
You must be wondering how broccoli can be a substitute for green pepper. The mild bitter, earthy flavor and crunchy texture of broccoli can make up for green pepper to a small extent in your recipes.
If that was a long read, take a look at the following points to remember green pepper substitutes in a jiffy.
Pepper-based substitutes – Poblano, Jalapeño, colored bell pepper, Sichuan, cubanelle, and pimento are the best pepper-based substitutes.
Non-Pepper based substitutes- Onions, zucchini, bok choy, spices, and broccoli are the best non-pepper based substitutes.
Flavor- Poblano, colored bell peppers, cubanelle, pepperoncini, and spices are the best green pepper substitutes in terms of flavor.
Texture- Poblano, jalapeño, colored bell peppers, pimento, and Anaheim are the best substitutes in terms of texture.
Green peppers are easily available commodities. But, if out of those, there is no need for a panic attack. There are many easily available substitutes that can be used to upgrade your dishes magically.
What you choose among these should be in tandem with the extent of spiciness you desire. Use every one of these and let me know what worked out the best. See you soon with another article.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What are the spice substitutes for bell pepper?
Ginger, cumin, oregano, mustard and garlic are the spices which can be used to substitute for bell pepper.
What are the substitutes for green pepper in sloppy joes?
Red onion, green chili, jalapenos, paprika and chili flex can be used to substitute for green pepper in sloppy joes.
Can you substitute red pepper for green pepper?
Red pepper can be used to substitute for green pepper. In fact any of the colored bell peppers, be it red, yellow or orange can be used to substitute for green pepper.
Which pepper is closest to a green pepper?
Poblano pepper is often considered the closest to a green pepper.