Serrano chili is a staple ingredient in many of my go-to recipes. Whether I’m making a simple salsa or a more complex meal, this chili is always my first choice.
But sometimes, I can’t find serrano chilies at the store. Or, I’m in the mood for a dish with less spice. In these cases, I substitute with another chili pepper.
Here we will list 12 different substitutes for serrano chili and provide tips on how to use them. So whether you are looking for substitution because you can’t find the chili or because you’re avoiding spicy foods, we’ve got something for you!
Substitutes for Serrano Chili:
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Habanero Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper Powder
- Hot Sauce
- Smoked Paprika
- Red Pepper flakes
- Pickled Peppers
- Anaheim Pepper
- Poblano Peppers
- Bell Peppers
- Thai Peppers
- Guero Chile
If you can’t find serrano chili, jalapeno is the next best substitute. Jalapeno peppers have a similar spice level to serrano peppers.
The only difference is that jalapenos have a slightly different flavor profile. When substituting jalapenos for serranos, use a 1-to-1 ratio.
If you want, you can also reduce the amount of spice in your recipe by removing the seeds and ribs from jalapeno peppers before using them.
If you’re looking for an even spicier substitute for serrano chili, habanero pepper is a great choice. Habaneros are one of the spiciest chili peppers available.
Therefore, when substituting habaneros for serranos, you may want to reduce the amount of Habanero pepper in a recipe.
You can use habanero peppers as a substitute in dishes such as salsa, chili, or curry.
Habanero is a great alternative in recipes where you want a little bit of heat without overwhelming the other flavors. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamins A and C.
Cayenne Pepper Powder:
This is another great alternative to serrano chili. Cayenne pepper powder is made from ground cayenne peppers. The main difference between cayenne powder and serrano chili is that cayenne pepper is more potent. Meaning that a little goes a long way.
When substituting cayenne powder for serrano chili, use half as much cayenne pepper powder as you would serrano chili.
Cayenne pepper also helps with weight loss. It contains capsaicin, which has been shown to boost metabolism and help with weight loss. It is also a good source of nutrients.
Hot sauce is a blend of chili peppers, vinegar, and other spices. It is also a great substitute for serrano chili because it has a similar spice level.
The main difference between hot sauce and serrano chili is the additional flavors from the vinegar and spices. When substituting hot sauce for serrano chili, use a one-to-one ratio.
Hot sauce is a great way to add flavor to food without changing the dish too much. Additionally, it has a long shelf life and does not need to be refrigerated.
Smoked paprika is made from dried and smoked chili peppers. Smoked paprika is a great alternative to Serrano chili. You can use it in any recipe that calls for Serrano chili, and it works well in a 1-to-1 ratio.
Although it has a similar flavor to Serrano chili, it is milder and less spicy. It also has a smoky flavor that can add depth to your dish.
Smoked paprika is a versatile spice that can be used in many different dishes. So if you’re looking for a milder, less spicy alternative to Serrano chili, smoked paprika is a great option.
Red Pepper Flakes
Another great serrano alternative is red pepper flakes. Red pepper flakes are made from dried and crushed red chili peppers.
When substituting red pepper flakes for serrano chili, use half as much red pepper flakes as you would serrano chili. This is because red pepper flakes are more potent than serrano chili.
Red pepper flakes are a great way to add flavor and spice to your dish.
Pickled peppers are a great substitute for serrano chili. Pickled peppers are made from peppers that are preserved in vinegar and spices.
When substituting pickled peppers for serrano chili, use a 1-to-1 ratio.
Pickled peppers can be made from many different types of peppers. Some popular types of pickled peppers include jalapeno pepper, habanero pepper, bell pepper, cayenne pepper, chili pepper
Anaheim pepper is a great alternative to serrano chili. Anaheim pepper can be used in any recipe that calls for serrano chili.
Anaheim pepper is a milder version of serrano chili and has a sweet flavor. Additionally, it can be used in salsa, enchiladas, chili, and taco salads.
Anaheim pepper is also a good choice for people who are sensitive to spice. When using Anaheim pepper as a substitute keep in mind that it is not as hot as serrano chili, so you may need to add more to achieve the desired level of spiciness.
The poblano pepper is a pepper that originates from Mexico. It is a great substitute for serrano chili but it has a mild spice level.
When you use poblano pepper it won’t make your dish overtly spicy, however, it will provide a slight kick.
Poblano peppers are versatile and can be added to a variety of meals such as chili, salsa, and enchiladas. If you want to avoid making your dish too spicy, poblano pepper is an excellent choice.
Bell peppers are a type of pepper that is mild and has a sweet flavor. They can be used as a substitute for serrano chili, but they will not add any spice to your dish.
When substituting bell peppers for serrano chili, use a 1-to-1 ratio.
Bell peppers are a good choice because they are packed with nutrients, which help to boost the immune system. Additionally, they are low in calories and fat.
This is another great alternative for serrano pepper. Thai peppers are a type of chili pepper that is native to Thailand. They are very similar in flavor and spice level to serrano chili.
When substituting Thai peppers for serrano chili, use a one-to-one ratio. When using Thai peppers in recipes, keep in mind that they are very spicy. Thai peppers won’t work if you’re looking for a milder substitute.
Thai peppers also have a slightly fruity flavor, which can add an interesting dimension to dishes.
If you want to tone down the heat, then you can remove the seeds and veins from the peppers, as these are the parts of the pepper than contain the most heat.
Guero chile is a type of chili pepper that is used in Mexican cuisine. It is also known as yellow chili pepper. Guero chile is a great substitute for serrano chili because it has a similar flavor and spice level.
When substituting Guero chile for serrano chili, use a one-to-one ratio. Guero chile has a sweet flavor with a hint of heat.
The heat level of Guero chile can vary depending on the pepper. Some peppers are milder than others.
Recipes To Try:
Spicy Serrano Hot sauce
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup serrano chili, diced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, and serrano chili.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the serrano chili is soft.
- Add the sugar, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder and stir to combine.
- Let cool slightly then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Store in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Serrano Chili Salsa
- -15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- -½ cup onion, diced
- -¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- -½ serrano chili, seeded and diced
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Let the salsa sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Serve with chips or use as a condiment for tacos or burritos.
What do Serrano peppers taste like?
Serrano peppers have a sharp, spicy flavor. They are often used in Mexican and Southwestern dishes.
What is the difference between Serrano chili and other types of chili?
Serrano chili is a type of pepper that is native to Mexico. It is related to the jalapeño pepper, but it is fierier. Serrano chili is often used in salsa, enchiladas, and chili.
Can I substitute cayenne for serrano?
Cayenne can be used as a substitute for serrano chili. It has a similar flavor and spice level. When substituting cayenne for serrano chili, use a one-to-one ratio.
Is serrano hotter than cayenne?
Serrano chili is hotter than cayenne. Serrano chili ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 on the Scoville heat scale while cayenne pepper ranges from 30,000 to 50,000.
Can I use jalapenos instead of serrano?
Jalapeños can be used as a substitute for serrano chili. They have a similar flavor and spice level. When substituting jalapeños for serrano chili, use a one-to-one ratio. If you want to tone down the heat, then you can remove the seeds and veins from the peppers.
Are serrano peppers the same as green chiles?
No, serrano peppers are not the same as green chiles. Serrano peppers are related to the jalapeño pepper, but they are fierier. Green chiles are a type of chili pepper that is native to Mexico. They have a milder flavor than serrano peppers.
What can I cook with serrano chili?
Serrano chili can be used in a variety of dishes such as salsa, enchiladas, and chili. It can also be used to add spice to soup, chicken, or fish. Additionally, serrano chili can be used to make hot sauce.
These are 12 of the best serrano chili substitutes. When substituting, use a one-to-one ratio unless your recipe requires something different. Be sure to take into account the heat level of the substitute when making your dish.
If you want similar heat levels then substitute with a pepper that is close on the Scoville heat scale. If you want to tone down the heat, then substitute with a milder pepper or remove the seeds and veins from the pepper.
Which substitute will you be using in your next recipe? Let us know in the comments below!