8 Best Jalapeno Substitutes – #3 Is the Best

If you love jalapeno pepper but don’t live near a Mexican grocery, or if you just want to try something different, you’re in luck. There are many substitutes for jalapeno peppers that will give your dish the same flavor profile and heat level.

In this article, we’ll list some of our favorites and explain the differences between them. We’ll also provide the ratios to use when substituting jalapenos and give examples of how we’ve used these substitutes in our own cooking.

Substitutes For Jalapeno:

  1. Serrano Pepper
  2. Fresno Pepper
  3. Anaheim pepper
  4. Bell Peppers
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Habanero Pepper
  7. Paprika Powder
  8. Poblano Pepper

Serrano Pepper

Serrano pepper is actually a few steps up on the Scoville Scale, meaning it packs a bigger punch than the jalapeno. Of course, you’ll want to use it in the same ratio as you would jalapeno, or else you risk completely overwhelming your taste buds.

But if you’re looking to add a little extra spice to your life, serrano pepper is the way to go!

Fresno Pepper

If you’re out of jalapenos and in need of a substitute, Fresno peppers are a great option. They have a similar ratio of seeds to flesh, so they’ll give your dish the same level of heat.

And since they’re often used in salsas and other Mexican-inspired dishes, they’ll fit right into your recipe. Some people even prefer Fresno peppers to jalapenos because they have a bit more sweetness.

So if you’re looking for a way to add some spice to your meal, reach for the Fresno peppers.

Anaheim pepper

If you’re in a pinch and need a substitute for jalapeno, anaheim pepper is a good option. Here’s a ratio to keep in mind:

For every one jalapeno, you can use two anaheim peppers. This substitution will work in most recipes, although you may want to start with a little less anaheim pepper and then add more to taste.

The benefits of using anaheim pepper as a substitute for jalapeno include the fact that it has a milder flavor and is less likely to cause indigestion. So if you’re looking for a peppery flavor without the potential for heartburn, anaheim pepper is the way to go.

Bell Peppers

When substituting bell pepper for jalapeno, the ratio is 1:1. So if a recipe calls for 1 jalapeno, you can use 1 bell pepper in its place.

Keep in mind that bell peppers are much milder than jalapenos, so your dish won’t be as spicy. But it will still have all the flavor you’re looking for!

So next time you’re in a pinch, reach for the bell pepper instead of the jalapeno and enjoy your meal.

Cayenne Pepper

If you find yourself in a pickle (literally) and are all out of jalapenos, cayenne pepper is the perfect substitute.

All you need to do is use 1/3 the amount of cayenne as you would jalapeno in your recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of jalapeno, you would only use 1 teaspoon of cayenne.

Not only is this ratio easy to remember, but it will also save your taste buds from being set on fire. So next time you’re in a pinch, reach for the cayenne!

Habanero Pepper

Another great substitute for jalapeno peppers is habanero pepper. While it is significantly hotter than the jalapeno, it can be used in the same ratio as its milder counterpart. Just be sure to adjust your recipe accordingly!

Of course, if you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, you could always try growing your own peppers.

Paprika Powder

If you’ve ever been in the middle of cooking a dish and realized you’re out of jalapenos, you may be able to substitute paprika powder. While the two spices have different flavors, paprika powder can provide a similar level of heat to jalapenos.

When substituting paprika powder for jalapeno, it’s important to use the correct ratio. For every one teaspoon of jalapeno called for in a recipe, use one-eighth teaspoon of paprika powder.

You may need to adjust the amount of spice based on your own preferences. However, following this ratio will help to ensure that your dish doesn’t end up too spicy or bland.

So next time you’re in a pinch, reach for the paprika powder instead of jalapeno.

Poblano Pepper

Poblano peppers are a popular choice for those looking for a jalapeno substitute. Though they don’t pack the same punch as their spicier cousin, poblanos can still add some heat to a dish.

When substituting poblanos for jalapenos, it’s important to keep the ratio in mind. For every jalapeno, you’ll need two or three poblanos. This ratio will ensure that your dish still has the desired level of spice.

Of course, you can always adjust the ratio to suit your own taste. If you’re looking for a milder option, aim for one poblano per jalapeno. For a spicier dish, use three poblanos for every jalapeno.

Beyond their heat, poblanos also have a different flavor than jalapenos. Poblanos are earthier and sweeter, so they may not be ideal for all recipes. However, in most cases, they make a perfectly acceptable substitute.

So next time your recipe calls for jalapenos, reach for some poblanos and give them a try.


What is the difference between jalapeno and Anaheim pepper?

The main difference between jalapeno and Anaheim pepper is the heat level. Jalapeno peppers are significantly hotter than Anaheim peppers.

What is the difference between jalapeno and bell pepper?

The jalapeno pepper’s heat level can vary depending on the individual pepper, with some being quite mild and others being quite spicy. In comparison, bell peppers are a type of sweet pepper that is not typically spicy.

What is the difference between jalapeno and cayenne pepper?

Jalapeno and cayenne pepper are both chili peppers, but jalapeno peppers are typically milder than cayenne peppers.


When you’re in a bind and can’t find jalapeno peppers, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes to choose from. We hope this guide has helped you find the perfect jalapeno replacement for your dish.