14 Hot Substitutes for Poblano Peppers You Can Find Easily

I was in the middle of making my signature dish, chicken enchiladas when I realized I was out of poblano peppers.

I didn’t want to go to the store, so I started searching for substitutes. There were a few possibilities, but I wasn’t sure which would work best.

This was about two years ago. Now, I’ve experimented with all of the substitutes and I’m here to give you my findings, so you never have to go through what I went through.

If you’re looking for a substitute for poblano peppers, just know I’ve got you!

Today, we’ll talk about some of the best substitutes for poblano peppers. I’ll also explain the differences and similarities between each type of pepper, and give you some ideas on how to use them when substituting.

Plus, you’ll also get some of my personal tips and tricks – for free *winks*.

Let’s get started!

Substitutes for Poblano Peppers

Here are some substitutes for poblano pepper you can try:

  1. Anaheim pepper
  2. Cubanelle pepper
  3. Cayenne pepper
  4. Jalapenos pepper
  5. Bell pepper
  6. Ancho pepper
  7. Paprika pepper
  8. Pasilla
  9. Chili pepper
  10. Guajillo pepper
  11. New Mexico chile
  12. Banana pepper
  13. Fresno Chili
  14. Thai Chili

Anaheim Peppers

When I tried Anaheim pepper as a substitute, I found that it had a very similar heat level to the poblano. It’s not as sweet as the poblano, but it has a similar flavor profile. I also found that it was a bit spicier.

So, if you’re looking for a substitute that is similar in heat and flavor, you’ll get it with this pepper

Anaheim peppers have a similar look to poblano peppers, with their thick walls and large cavities. They come in different sizes that are suitable for stuffing.

You’ll also find them a great choice for a grilling or roasting recipe. In fact, just use them in the same way you’d use a poblano pepper.

When grilling Anaheim peppers, be sure to remove the seeds and ribs before grilling – that’s if you’re not comfortable with too much spice.

Anaheim peppers can also be roasted in the oven, but I must warn you: after roasting, their skin will peel off easily.


It’s also referred to as Cuban pepper or Italian frying pepper.

Cubanelle peppers have thinner flesh and are longer in length than poblano peppers. They are not as spicy as poblano peppers but they have a similar appearance.

When cooking with Cubanelle peppers, try not to dice them. It is more advisable to cut them into strips.

Cubanelle peppers are similarly sweet. When used as a substitute for poblano peppers, they provide the same flavor without the spice. They are a great way to add flavor to your food without adding heat.

Cayenne peppers

Cayenne peppers have a Central and South origin. They are commonly used as a replacement for poblano pepper. They are known as one of the hottest chili peppers – long, thin with a fiery hot flavor.

A little goes a long way with cayenne pepper. When substituting for poblano peppers, use half the amount of cayenne pepper as you would poblano peppers.

If your dish calls for one poblano pepper, use half a cayenne pepper instead.

Cayenne peppers are also a great way to add some heat to your dish without changing the flavor profile.

I don’t see it being used for stuffing as this type of pepper comes in a really thin body, but you can use it in a seasoning powder form and also for baked dishes, sauces, stews, stir-frys and in salad dressing.


Poblano peppers, also known as Huachinango, are a type of chili pepper that is native to Mexico. They are typically mild in flavor and have a similar appearance to bell peppers.

However, jalapeno peppers are a common substitute for poblano peppers. This is because they share the same Mexican nativity and have a similar shape.

One thing though, they are usually spicier than poblano peppers. If you do not like spice, you can remove the pith and ribs from the jalapeno pepper. You should also use less quantity since jalapeno peppers are more potent.

Some benefits of using this substitute include the fact that jalapeno peppers are more readily available and that they have a similar flavor profile.

Bell Peppers

The fruit of the Grossum cultivar plant group of the Capsicum annum species is the bell pepper. It comes in a variety of colors, and in the perfect size for stuffing.

The most fascinating thing about a bell pepper is its sweet and earthy taste.

The first time I tried a bell pepper substitute, I used one green bell pepper in place of one poblano pepper. The flavor was very similar, but the dish wasn’t as spicy as it usually is.

So, if you’re looking for a milder version of your favorite poblano dish, then the bell pepper is a great substitute. Bell peppers are not spicy, so you don’t have to worry about them overwhelming your dish.

They also have the benefit of being more resilient to heat, as they won’t get mushy if you cook them for a longer period of time.

When substituting bell peppers for poblano peppers, use the same quantity. Bell peppers can be used in any dish that calls for poblano peppers.

The only difference is that you won’t get the same level of spice. But if you’re not a fan of spice, then this substitution is perfect for you.

Ancho peppers

When poblano peppers are dried, they become ancho peppers. Ancho peppers are a type of chili pepper that is frequently used in Mexican cuisine.

Poblano peppers are also a type of chili pepper, but they are typically roasted and used in dishes such as enchiladas.

They are mostly dried and ground into powder, which is then used to flavor various dishes. The main difference between ancho and poblano pepper powders is that ancho powder is less spicy and has a more smoky flavor.

You can use them as a substitute for poblano powder in many recipes, whether cold or cooked.

Although you won’t find them as easily as other types of chili peppers, but they make great substitutes for poblano peppers.


Paprika is a mild chili pepper that is used to add color and flavor to many dishes.

It is available in both hot and sweet varieties, and it is one of the most versatile spices. You can use it in sauces, stews, baked dishes, and more.

Although paprika is not as widely known as other chili peppers, it makes an excellent substitute for poblano peppers in many recipes. While poblano peppers can be used in many of the same dishes as paprika, they can also be quite spicy.

As a result, paprika is often a better choice for those who are looking for a milder flavor.

In addition, paprika is generally more readily available than poblano peppers.


The name “pasilla” means “little raisin,” which is a reference to the pepper’s dark, wrinkled skin.

A pet peeve of mine is seeing pasilla being tagged as poblano on supermarket aisles. These two peppers are not even related. Pasilla is the dried version of chilaca pepper, not poblano. But in northern Mexico, the United States and Canada, pasilla is often confused as poblano.

This is understandable because they are both long and thin. The confusion between the two might be a good thing though. Because it means pasilla peppers can be used as a substitute for poblano peppers. There are some distinct differences between the two peppers.

Pasilla peppers are generally milder than poblano peppers, and they have a more earthy flavor.

When choosing a pasilla pepper, look for one that is dark in color and has minimal blemishes. Pasilla peppers can be found fresh or dried. If you cannot find fresh pasilla peppers, you can substitute them with dried chilaca peppers.

To use the dried pepper called pasilla, simply reconstitute it by soaking it in warm water for about 30 minutes.

Pasilla peppers can be used in many different dishes, including stews, salsas, and sauces. Just keep in mind that the flavor is slightly different. However, it can add a delicious depth of flavor to your dish.

Chili peppers

Chili peppers are used worldwide in many different cuisines. They come in so many different forms, including flakes, powder, and whole peppers.

As you already suspected, they are usually very spicy, with a smoky flavor, and can be used as a substitute for poblano pepper in many dishes.

This is because they are less expensive, more widely available, and have a similar flavor profile. Chili peppers are also a good substitute for poblano pepper because of their variety of forms.

When using chili peppers as a substitute for poblano pepper, it is important to remember that they are much spicier than poblano pepper, so you may need to adjust the amount of chili pepper you use to suit your taste.

Guajillo peppers

Guajillo peppers are a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and let me just tell you without beating around the bush; they make an excellent substitute for poblano peppers.

The thin pepper with a smooth, dark red skin is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a rich and spicy flavor that is perfect for making sauces, salsas, and marinades.

Guajillo peppers are widely available and have a similar flavor profile to poblano peppers. When substituting them for poblano peppers, it is important to remember that Guajillo peppers are significantly spicier than poblano peppers.

As a result, you may want to use less Guajillo pepper in your dish or offset the spice with additional ingredients such as dairy or fruit.

Apart from that, they’re great. They work well for enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and even quesadillas. They can also be roasted and used as a filling for tamales.

If you’re looking for a more exotic flavor, try using Guajillo peppers. You won’t be disappointed!

New Mexico chiles

New Mexico chiles are a great substitute for poblano peppers. They are just as spicy but have a sweet grassy flavor with an earthy taste.

The benefits of using New Mexico chiles as a substitute for poblano peppers are that they are just as spicy, but have a sweeter flavor. They are also a good source of vitamins and fiber and can be found in most grocery stores.

Do you even know that they are a good source of vitamins A and C? They are also high in fiber and can be used in any dish that calls for poblano peppers.

Apparently, you can find them in most grocery stores.

Banana peppers

With a beautiful yellowish-orange color, banana peppers are a great addition to any dish. But they’re not just pretty to look at; they also make a great substitute for poblano peppers.

Banana peppers have a sweet flavor with a slight heat that makes them perfect for adding sweetness and spice to your dish. And if you want, you can use twice as much without overpowering your dish

They are also crisp and refreshing, making them a great addition to any dish.

Be free to adjust the amount of spice in your recipe according to your preference. If you’re looking for a little extra flavor, try roasting your banana peppers before adding them to your dish. This will help to bring out their sweetness and add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.

Also, don’t buy the pickled variety in a jar as they don’t make a good substitute for poblano. If you go ahead and do it and it turns out bad, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Fresno Chilis

Fresno chilis are a type of chili pepper that is named after the city of Fresno, California. They are similar in size and shape to poblano peppers, making them a great replacement in any dish.

Fresno chilis are slightly spicier than poblano peppers, so you may want to use less of them in your recipe. But other than that, they make a great substitute and can be used in any dish that calls for poblano peppers.

One last thing, remember to use less heat if you’re substituting Fresno chilis for poblano peppers because they are a bit spicier. But other than that, feel free to use them in any dish you like.

Thai Chilis

Thai chilis are smaller and hotter than poblanos, so you only need to use one teeny weeny Thai chili to get the heat level of three poblanos.

Thai chilis have a higher concentration of capsaicin. This is the compound that makes peppers hot. This means that Thai chilis pack more of a punch when it comes to heat, but it also means that you can remove the innards if you don’t want the extra heat.

One thing you need to know about Thai chilis is that they can be used in any dish that calls for poblano peppers. Heck! They are more versatile than poblano peppers.

The funny thing is a handful of people use them in some dishes that don’t traditionally call for peppers at all. Amazing right?


What Is Poblano Pepper?

Also known as Capsicum annum from Mexico’s Puebla state, poblano pepper is a type of chili pepper that is native to Mexico.

It is called an ancho when it’s dried, which is a word derived from the Spanish word that means ‘wide’.

It is widely used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. And it is mild to medium in heat, with a fruity flavor.

What Pepper Looks Like Poblano Pepper?

Poblano peppers are long and have a dark green color, with a tapered end. They can be up to four inches long and two inches wide. The types of pepper that look like poblano are anaheim pepper, pasilla pepper and guajillo pepper

What is A Dried Spice Substitute for Poblano Pepper?

You can use ancho powder as a substitute for poblano pepper. It is made from dried and ground poblano peppers, and it has a mild heat with a fruity flavor.

Where To Buy Poblano Peppers?

You can find Poblano peppers in most grocery stores. But if you can’t find them, then you can Substitutes for Poblano pepper.

Can I Use Canned Poblano Peppers Instead?

Yes, you can use canned poblano peppers. But they won’t have the same flavor as fresh poblano peppers.

How Spicy are Poblano Peppers?

Poblano peppers are mild to medium in heat. But the level of spice can vary from pepper to pepper.

Can I Substitute Green Chilies for Poblano Peppers?

Yes, you can substitute green chilies for poblano peppers. But they will be a bit spicier.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to cooking, there are many different ways to get the same results.

Sometimes you can use a different ingredient that will give the same flavor profile as the original recipe called for. Other times, you can just change up the method of preparation in order to achieve a similar outcome.

Today, we talked about substitutes for poblano pepper. Armed with this knowledge, you can now make any dish that calls for poblano peppers, even if you don’t have any on hand.

Do you have a favorite substitute for poblano peppers? Let me know in the comments below.