I've put together a list of the best poblano pepper substitutes that are perfect for any of your favorite dishes! All of these peppers are a great alternative for when you don't have any poblano peppers on hand. Whether you want a mild or spicy pepper, I have an option for you!
Best Poblano Pepper Substitute
Poblano peppers are one of my favorite vegetables to cook in the kitchen. You can stuff them with meat or cheese, sauté them for stir fry, or add them to salads! Poblanos are great for everyone because they are mild, crisp, and don't have the spiciness of other peppers such as jalapeños or habaneros.
But, what should you do if you have a recipe that calls for a poblano pepper, and none are available? Don't worry too much, many peppers can be swapped out for another with very little taste difference.
Below are a few of the very best alternatives for poblano peppers. The list is ordered from the mildest to the spiciest options.
1. Bell Pepper
0 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Bell peppers have no spiciness to them at all. They are earthy, and some are even mildly sweet.
Bell peppers can be green, red, yellow, or orange. Yellow is the sweetest, while green bell peppers are the most earthy.
Bell peppers have thick walls that make them perfect for stuffing and are crisp and delicious when eaten raw.
Use chopped bell pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
2. Banana Peppers
0-500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Banana peppers are a bit tangy, which makes them a unique alternative to use in place of a poblano. Banana peppers are not spicy, but they are great for stuffing and even pickling.
Dice your banana peppers and then add them to soups, salads, or sandwiches.
Use chopped banana pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
100- 500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Pepperoncini are also known as Tuscan peppers. These small, mild peppers are typically light yellow and often found on Greek salads, pizza, and Italian subs.
Many times people buy them pickled, but you can purchase fresh pepperoncini as well. These peppers can be stuffed, although they have thin walls which make them better for dicing.
Use chopped pepperoncini in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
4. Cubanelle Peppers
0- 1,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Cubanelle peppers are a great alternative to poblano peppers. Cubanelles are mild and refreshing, with a similar size and shape. The only drawback to these peppers is that their walls are thinner, you'll need a little more patience when stuffing these peppers as they can tear easier.
Use chopped cubanelle pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
5. Anaheim Pepper
500-2,500 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Anaheim peppers are smaller green chili peppers that are crisp and refreshing with just a touch of spiciness. Anaheim peppers can be used for all the same recipes as poblanos, although they are slimmer and can't be stuffed as full as other peppers.
Use chopped Anaheim pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
6. New Mexico Chili Peppers
3,000-5000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
New Mexico chili peppers are a great poblano substitute because it is of a similar size and shape. While it may have a higher heat level, it is perfect for stuffing, slicing, and dicing.
New Mexico chili peppers are great raw and even better when they are roasted or smoked.
Use chopped New Mexico chili pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper.
7. Jalapeño Peppers
2,500- 8,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Jalapeño peppers are my personal favorite pepper! They are spicy but not so spicy that your mouth goes numb. Jalapeños are short and crisp but have a great shape for stuffing.
Jalapeños don't bend or curve, so the stuffing slides in easily. They are bite-sized, which is great for appetizers.
Use chopped jalapeño pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper. Jalapeños are spicier than poblanos which will increase the heat level of the dish.
8. Chipotle Pepper
2,500- 8,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Did you know that a chipotle pepper is an overripe jalapeño pepper that has been dried and smoked?
Chipotle peppers have a robust flavor which makes them great for many recipes, especially if you want to add a little extra zing to what you are cooking.
If you choose to stuff chipotle peppers, cut them in half first and then stuff each half, stuffing whole chipotles is often difficult because their walls become weaker after smoking.
Use chopped chipotle pepper in a 1:1 substitution for chopped poblano pepper. The dish will be spicier than if using poblano peppers.
9. Serrano Pepper
10,000 - 23,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units)
Serrano peppers are small and spicy, these peppers pack a lot of flavor into their slim figure. Serrano peppers are great for heating up sauces and adding spice to your dishes.
They are not great for stuffing because they are not wide enough to fit in your ingredients. Serrano peppers can be green, red, orange, or yellow.
Use chopped Serrano pepper more sparingly as a substitution for chopped poblano pepper. Using it at a 1:1 level will make the dish very spicy.
Pick Your Peppers!
If you are like me and love peppers, you will most likely be able to substitute any pepper into your recipe and feel satisfied. While each of these peppers does vary slightly, they are all wonderful as a poblano pepper substitute that tastes amazing in any dish.
Depending on how much spiciness you can handle, you may want to opt for something a little milder. But, if you are daring, the last two will surely light you up!
Which peppers do you recommend as an alternative to poblano peppers? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!
🫑 Tasty Pepper Dishes!
- Air Fryer Sausage & Peppers
- Roasted Peppers & Onions
- Chicken & Peppers
- Stuffed Green Peppers
- Prime Rib Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers
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Best Poblano Pepper Substitute: Bell Peppers (+ MoreGreat Alternatives To Use!)
Best Mild Poblano Pepper Substitutes
- 1 cup bell pepper
- 1 cup banana peppers
- 1 cup pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup cubanelle peppers
- 1 cup Anaheim peppers
- Use any of these mild peppers (bell pepper, banana pepper, pepperoncini pepper, cubanelle pepper, Anaheim pepper) in an equal 1:1 ration to substitute for poblano peppers (whole or chopped, diced).1 cup bell pepper, 1 cup banana peppers, 1 cup pepperoncini peppers, 1 cup cubanelle peppers, 1 cup Anaheim peppers
- Opt for a hotter pepper (listed in the article above) if you want a bit, or a lot, more kick from your peppers.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!