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Jalapeno Substitute

Jalapeno is medium-sized chili pepper. It is used in multiple Mexican dishes with a moderate amount of heat. Perhaps, the spiciness of the pepper may vary. Although, jalapenos are readily available. But still, if you can’t find jalapeno, you can use Serrano or other peppers as a jalapeno substitute.

Jalapenos are small, primarily present in red or green colors. Surprisingly, rich in vitamin C. You can conveniently store jalapenos for weeks. All you need is an air-tight container or bag. And bingo! You can experience the same best quality for up to three weeks.

Now let’s discuss what a jalapeno substitute is?

Jalapeno Substitute

Jalapeno alternative

Jalapeno is an essential ingredient in Mexican cuisine. Due to its rich flavor and the right amount of heat, it is now used globally. But what happens when you are in the middle of cooking a dish, and you find out that jalapeno is missing from your storeroom. Don’t you need to worry? There is no need to throw away your half-cooked food. To become a better chef, you need to know your substitute ingredients. Below is a précised list of things you can use as a jalapeno substitute.

So keep reading…

Serrano Pepper

Are you looking for a good alternative for jalapeno? Then Serrano pepper is all you need. It looks similar to jalapeno. Yet it has more thin skin than a jalapeno. Perhaps, Serrano enhances the heat level but maintains the same hot pepper flavor. Different people use them interchangeably. Excellent for garnishing, relishes, salsas, pizzas, and many more.

The Serrano pepper is also similar to jalapeno as it caters to the same spice kick in your recipe. However, Serrano is smaller yet highly recommended as an excellent replacement for jalapeno. Moreover, Serrano’s are not much common in markets like jalapeno. But you can still find them smoothly.

Cayenne Pepper Powder

If your recipe calls out for some pinches of fresh jalapeno and they aren’t present in your pantry. Then Cayenne pepper powder is the best jalapeno remedy. Add some bits of the powder to your dish, and you will feel the same aroma and taste on your plate.

Cayenne is perhaps the most prominent and reasonable jalapeno turnover. A decent pinch of powder is okay for your dish. Cayenne powder is made up of dried, grounded cayenne peppers. Additionally, this staple is present in every kitchen rack.

Smoked Paprika Powder

Paprika is dried and finely chopped red chili pepper. People mostly use smoked paprika in salsas and hot sauces. The paprika powder is mild in heat but adds tons of flavor to the dish. Well, paprika is not available on everyone’s rack. But if you have, then what are you waiting for? Use it as a jalapeno substitute.

Bell Peppers

Notably, it is not much close to the jalapeno. Instead, bell peppers have the same crunchiness and thickness as the jalapenos. Using bell peppers, a jalapeno substitute, will provide you less hot and spicy meal. Yet will give the same aroma, crunchiness, and taste.

Perhaps, it is observed that bell pepper and jalapeno are enriched with the same dietary fiber, and vitamin C. Though bell pepper can be somehow used as a jalapeno alternative, it still will surely make a less or rather no spicy meal for you.

To make it spicier, mix bell pepper and cayenne pepper powder to add extra rich flavor to your dish.

Hot Sauce

Use hot sauce instead of jalapeno. Simple, easy, and convenient, huh! As the hot sauce is now an essential part of every kitchen rack. I believe this is the most obvious alternative for the jalapeno. All you need to do is get your favorite hot sauce and add a few drops of it to your meal. And bingo, you can enjoy the same hot and spicy level in your food kike jalapeno.

Yet hot sauce won’t provide the familiar crunchy and crispy texture like jalapeno.

Fresno Pepper

Do you know that Fresno pepper is the best choice for jalapeno? For your information, Fresno pepper is spicier and smokier than the jalapenos. They provide an excellent fruitier taste in your meal. We can not quickly figure out between jalapenos and Fresno pepper. Initially, when the Fresno’s were young, they looked similar to jalapenos. Fresno’s are more green, medium in size, and have a hot range. People may often confuse between the jalapeno and the Fresno pepper.

Anaheim Pepper

Anaheim pepper works well for your recipe. However, Anaheim is slightly mild and has less thin skin than a jalapeno. However, it is still an excellent choice for your jalapeno. Slightly sweeter and large than a jalapeno. Still, they offer the familiar crispness and are a decent substitution for jalapenos. While cooking salsa, salads, or any other cuisine, you can get anaheim pepper as an alternative.

Moreover, anaheim pepper is readily available throughout the year, especially in mid-summer.

Cubanelle Peppers

Cubanelle pepper is a sweet pepper with a touch of a spice kick. It gives a general flavor, crunchiness, and level of hotness. Or we can say that the jalapeno and Cubanelle pepper are cousins. They are excellent for pizzas, lasagna, and subways. Although it is slightly mild than the jalapeno still, most people utilize it as a chief jalapeno substitute. Quite vibrant as well. Mix and stuff the pepper with any mixture of your choice.

Banana Pepper

Banana pepper is perhaps an acceptable form of jalapeno substitute. They are yellow, generally small in size, and tart in taste. Banana pepper isn’t that hot but still gives your meal a fresh and earthy flavor. Because of its sharp and spicy flavor can be mixed into your salsa, salads, and soups. Surprisingly, it can be stuffed and then utilized as pickles due to its perfect size.

 And last but not least…


Pepperoncini were originated in Greece and Italy. And are mostly sold as pickles. Tuscans are not that much hot. They are mild in flavor, not that much hot (the range of hotness may vary accordingly). They are mainly served pizzas, sub sandwiches, and Italian dishes.

Well, pepperoncini can be a suitable replacement for jalapenos. But why? Because of its crispiness, flavor, and most importantly, the level of hotness. Fresh pepperoncini will for sure enhance the quality and richness of your meal. But through conducting research, we can indeed foresee that the jalapeno is the winner of the race.

All the substitutes, as mentioned earlier, are indeed excellent alternatives to jalapeno. But there is a difference between them. They vary according to their taste, size, crunchiness, characteristics, etc. So what is the best jalapeno alternative? Serrano pepper is the solution. This pepper is similar in all aspects. Except outer skin is thin as compared to the jalapenos.

Jalapeno Substitute

Jalapeno Substitute

Jalapeno is medium-sized chili pepper. It is used in multiple Mexican dishes with a moderate amount of heat. Perhaps, the spiciness of the pepper may vary. Although, jalapenos are readily available. But still, if you can’t find jalapeno, you can use Serrano or other peppers as a jalapeno substitute.


  • Serrano Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Smoked Paprika Powder
  • Bell Peppers
  • Hot Sauce
  • Fresno Pepper
  • Anaheim Pepper
  • Cubanelle Peppers
  • Banana Pepper
  • Pepperoncini


  • Choose your preferred replacement from the list
  • Add substitute to your recipe
  • Make your own delicious recipe

Final Word

By ending this debate, I will add that all the substitutes are excellent at their own stances. Who in the world doesn’t like Mexican cuisine. And they are all about adding jalapenos.

Well, jalapenos aren’t readily available in everyone’s kitchen. Perhaps, you don’t have to throw your half-done dish. Try using alternatives in your meals. Although they will indeed lack at some point, they still maintain the same jalapeno taste on your plate. Grill, stuff, or cook them according to your preferences. And say Bon appetit

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While using a jalapeno substitute, some questions were raised in everyone’s mind. Moreover, apart from the above-mentioned jalapeno alternatives, other replacements are available. Here is a small list of frequently asked questions. The answers to such questions will undoubtedly help amid your confusion while using the different options.

So keep reading, reader…

Can I Substitute Hot Sauce For Jalapeno Pepper?

Yes! Substituting hot sauce instead of a jalapeno pepper is undoubtedly a good choice. Hot sauces variety is available in the market. Most importantly, hot sauces are present in every single household. All you need to do is pick a hot sauce of your choice, whatever you prefer. And add a few drops of it to your meal.

An exciting part of hot sauces is setting the degree of hotness and spiciness according to your taste. Just a few drops of hot sauce and bingo! You will enjoy the same taste as with jalapeno.

Can You Use Red Pepper flakes Instead Of Fresh Jalapeno Peppers?

Using red pepper flakes instead of fresh jalapeno peppers can also be an excellent strategy. Yet an essential factor is that chili flakes are much spicier than the fresh jalapeno peppers.

Well, just a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes will be okay for you. Access to the red pepper flakes will hence affect your taste buds. And that will indeed create a problem for your health.

Can You Substitute Green Chilies for Jalapeno Peppers?

Well, there is no difference between using green chilies or jalapeno peppers. They are mild in taste as compared to the jalapeno peppers. Perhaps, you need to use a handsome amount of green chilies in your dish to maintain the flavor of your meal.

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