If you are a fan of peppers, then your chances are that you might have heard of pepperoncini. These are smaller, yellowish/green peppers that are not as hot as something like jalapenos or chilis.
This type of pepper is often used in Mediterranean and Italian food, mostly because it mixes in well with certain foods like pasta and pizza. This pepper is very high in vitamins A and C and they contain a lot of fiber and calcium.
But what happens if you run out of this pepper? Well, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular alternatives. These peppers are the same in both texture and heat levels. So dig in and let’s find out.
What Is Pepperoncini?
This type of pepper is a lot smaller than most peppers and it comes with a less intense flavor. They are also very crunchy, which is why some people like boiling.
This is a very versatile pepper, not really big enough to stuff with rice, but certain largely enough to add to your salad or even use as a homemade pizza topping.
If you are eating this in an Italian restaurant, you might hear it referred to as a friggitelli. This pepper is chewy and can be grilled to create a soft and crispy texture.
5 Best Pepperoncini Substitutes
1. Banana Peppers
If you glance at these peppers (see also ‘5 Substitutes For Sports Peppers You Should Try Today‘), then you might actually mistake them for pepperoncini, as they are almost the same in terms of color and shape.
These peppers are very mild and they sit in a similar position on the Scoville scale, which is how heat in food is often measured. The higher the food is on the Scoville scale, then the hotter it will generally be.
This pepper has an almost sweet flavor with a little tangy aftertaste. This is often used as a natural way to give flair to a blander food like pasta.
This pepper is very versatile and you might find them in a jar at your local store, as they can often be pickled.
The reason why they are called banana peppers, which you might not be that surprised to find out, is because they are shaped like bananas.
You might have to be careful if you are looking for them at your local store, because banana peppers might actually be labeled as pepperoncini.
2. Cherry Peppers
Nrext up, we have a delicious red pepper that comes with slightly higher heat levels. You can often find cherry peppers in the center of olives, as this is what they are commonly stuffed with.
You can actually fill these peppers with a variety of different foods, whether it is rice, cheese or even chicken. The great thing about cherry peppers is their versatility.
These have the same spice levels as a pepperoncini, in that they are not very spicy at all. They are named cherry tomatoes because they resemble the cherry fruit.
If you have run out of pepperoncini for your pasta or salad, then the cherry pepper is a really good substitute. It has a mild flavor that will not overwhelm your palate.
3. Anaheim Peppers
Next up, we have a pepper that would really work as a great substitute, as they are very mild and have the same texture as pepperoncini. They are also very easy to find in your local supermarket.
However, this pepper is slightly hotter than the pepperoncini, which is great if you fancy giving your food that extra little kick.
You can use these peppers on a variety of different things, including as filling in burgers. This will really beef up your burger, especially a veggie burger, which can often be dry and insubstantial.
You can even cook these into omelets. They are very responsive to heat and they will moisten up any dish that you add them to, as they contain a lot of water that will get released when you put them under intense heat.
This pepper also comes with a touch of sweetness, which makes them really good for sating anyone who might have a sweet tooth.
This pepper is very easy to prepare and slice. In fact, some people like to mix these up with pepperoncini to have that sweet and hot combo.
4. Poblano Peppers
This next pepper is clearly different in terms of color, so you should not mistake them at the supermarket. One of the best things about this pepper is the number of nutrients that it comes with.
These peppers are also much larger than pepperoncini, which makes them great for stuffing. You can fill this one with rice and cheese, which will make a great main meal or side dish.
If you are going to be eating this one ripe, then you might be looking for a slightly browner coloring. If you buy a ripe poblano pepper, then you’ll be able to keep it in the cupboard at room temperature for much longer.
One of the main differences between the poblano and the pepperoncini is the heat. The poblano is around 4 times as hot as the pepperoncini. This is great for anyone who likes the roof of their mouth to be blown off when eating a pizza or salad.
Poblano also has a much gritter flavor when compared to the sweetness of the pepperoncini. Some people prefer this, but if you are searching for sweetness, then you might be disappointed.
5. Jalapeno Peppers
Finally, we have a pepper that everyone knows and loved: the jalapeno. This pepper is much spicier than the pepperoncini, but if you like texture and flavor as well as heat, then we would certainly offer you this one.
You will notice this pepper for its distinctive green coloring. It is related to the chili family and is what is called nightshade.
The heat of a jalapeno will all depend on the pH content of the soil and what time of year it is grown. The spiciest of the jalapenos will be red.
You should be aware that if you are swapping out your pepperoncini for a jalapeno, you’ll have to be aware that your recipe will be around 10 times hotter.
A jalapeno (see also our favorite jalapeno alternatives) is much smaller, so you won’t be able to stuff it. However, they can be diced and sliced and spread liberally on pizza or mixed in with pasta.
We hope that our list of some of the best pepperoncini substitutes has given you some ideas for swapping this pepper out for something else. However, you’ll have to be aware that some of the peppers listed above are a lot spicier.