Best Substitutes For Jalapeño Peppers
You can never go wrong with adding a richer, earthy taste to your meals with classic Jalapeño peppers. Whether you want them roasted, stuffed, sautéed, or pickled, these will provide you with a zesty flavor to your salsas, marinades, meat, and chicken recipes—and a crowd favorite: poppers!
In times when you’re low on Jalapeño pepper supply and want to try out an interesting recipe that needs it, you have to know what you can substitute them with so you could achieve the same great quality.
How do you store Jalapeno Peppers for a long time?
If you don’t have any in your kitchen: don’t fret. You can substitute them with
- Serrano peppers
- Fresno peppers
- Anaheim peppers
- Cayenne pepper powder
- Smoked paprika powder
- and hot sauce.
Top 6 Perfect Jalapeño Pepper Alternatives
These substitutes have the perfect blend of sweet and spice, so whichever you should choose will depend entirely on your preferences. It’s best for you to assess what you want to achieve for your dish and know whether your taste buds can handle them.
The following are the best substitutes for Jalapeño peppers:
Sharing a lot of similarities in terms of taste profile and appearance with Jalapeños, Serrano peppers are your closest substitutes if you want to achieve the same peppery flavor but take it up a notch on the heat index.
Serrano peppers are commonly used in salsas, guacamoles, and pico de gallos. They are also excellent ingredients for your breakfast dishes, spicy wings, salads, stir-fry noodles, and soups.
Unlike Jalapeno peppers, you can’t use Serrano peppers as stuffing vessels since they have thinner walls. So if your plan was to cook delicious poppers, you might want to try Fresno peppers instead.
If you’re looking for the same heat levels Jalapeño peppers provide, Fresno peppers are your number one go-to. They are only slightly hotter with a range of 2,500 to 10,000 Scoville heat units.
With a smoky but sweet and fruity flavor, Fresno peppers are the perfect chili pepper variety for your favorite condiment essentials such as salsas, ceviches, and hot sauces. They can also be used in noodles, chicken and meat dishes, and even curries.
Fresno peppers have thinner walls than Jalapeños, but thick enough to make them the best substitute when you’re in the mood for pepper poppers.
Tone down the spiciness and turn up the sweetness levels with this mild but flavorful substitute. These delectable peppers have a slightly fruity and peppery flavor with a smokiness when cooked to perfection and added to your recipes.
Ranging from only 500 to 1,000 SHU, Anaheim peppers are what you need when you want more flavor but still achieve a zesty aftertaste.
Anaheim peppers are great when sprinkled on top of your favorite Mexican dishes such as burritos, tacos, and nachos. They also serve as brilliant complements to egg and vegetable dishes, stews, soups, and salads. Best of all, you can create your favorite stuffed peppers in a slightly smaller size.
Cayenne Pepper Powder
Going with a non-chili pepper substitute for when you don’t have any peppers available in your kitchen and want to add some quick warmth, Cayenne pepper powder is a suitable choice.
Cayenne pepper powder is incredibly versatile and applicable to a variety of world cuisines from tangy Mexican sauces and salsas to scorching Asian curries, and especially for flavorful Cajun dishes. The possibilities are nearly endless with this one!
It is recommended to use half a tablespoon of Cayenne pepper powder per jalapeno you typically use if you want to achieve similar heat levels. You can also try adding a small amount and increase it according to your spice tolerance.
Smoked Paprika Powder
Love the smoky, peppery goodness of Jalapeños but want to get rid of the spice? Smoked paprika powder is here to save your meals (and your tongue!).
Despite providing little to no heat, smoked paprika powder is packed with a sweet flavor and fresh aroma. It is used for a long list of recipes but mainly for European and Mexican dishes. It goes well with eggs, soft cheeses, fish-based meals, chicken and meat recipes, and even salsas.
Smoked paprika powder is great on its own but when combined with other ingredients such as bell peppers or smoked red chili peppers, you will have a culinary experience unlike any other.
Yes, you read that right folks. Hot sauce makes for a great, accessible, and readily available alternative to Jalapeño peppers. If you’re in a tight pinch, grab your best bottle and get ready to boost your meals with its spicy kick.
Hot sauce is best used for some buffalo wings, marinades, chilis, all-purpose sauces, salads, fritters, stir-fries, and even cheesy toast. You’ll never run out of ideas!
Make sure you choose the most suitable hot sauce for your spice tolerance. Some can reach up to 50,000 SHU but if you can handle the heat, then it’s totally fine.
What To Consider When Choosing A Jalapeno Substitute?
You only need to think about two main factors: spice and texture. If you can’t handle the heat, use milder pepper substitutes. If you hate the peppery texture, then powder or liquid substitutes are the right one for you.
If you just need seasoning without the heat – remove the seeds from the chili or use black pepper.