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13 Best Pepperoncini Substitutes To Try

Pepperoncini is a flavorful, heart-healthy condiment with a huge variety of uses. It can be used as an appetizer dip or mixed into salads or soups.

However, this condiment can be pricey and hard to find if you don’t live near a proper grocery store.

Luckily for those who are looking to save on costs, there are plenty of delicious pepperoncini substitutes that will provide the same flavor and health benefits without the expense!

Have you ever tried to squeeze a few pepperoncini out of a tube? It’s extremely tight and messy and most likely won’t yield any pepperoncini for your recipe.

Let us take this messy process out of the equation altogether by providing a list of some of our favorite pepperoncini substitutes.

Nutritional Value Table

SubstitutesCalories
Capers2
Asian Hot Sauce0
Pickled Peppers54
Aji De Gallina: Habanero Chili353
Cherry Or Paprika Pepper20
Tabasco Sauce0.5
Cayenne Pepper5.7
Jalapeno Pepper4
Habanero Pepper18
Chipotle Pepper20
Bell Pepper37
Oregano6
Fresh Basil45.2

1. Capers

Capers

Capers are the flower buds of a plant known as the caper bush. The condiment is popular in Mediterranean cuisines and also has a variety of tasty uses.

If you’re looking for a pepperoncini substitute that adds tangy flavor to your food, then consider using capers!

Also, this pepperoncini substitute is inexpensive and readily available at almost any grocery store. Capers can be used in salads and marinades and can add zesty flavor to chicken dishes.

How To Substitute

Place 3 tablespoons of capers into a blender. Pulse for 60 seconds until you achieve a smooth consistency. Alternatively, chop or grind the capers by hand.

Use 2 tablespoons of this mixture in place of 1 peperoncino per recipe.

2. Asian Hot Sauce

Asian Hot Sauce

If you are looking for a pepperoncini substitute to mix into your food, then consider trying hot sauce! Asian hot sauce is made from chili peppers. You can use this condiment in stir-fries, marinades, soups, and salads.

Remember that Asian hot sauce is very spicy, so you should only use it sparingly. Also, be sure to pick up only Asian-style hot sauces labeled “sriracha” or “sambal oelek” as these varieties contain no sugar and provide the most authentic taste.

How To Substitute

Use 2 tablespoons of Asian hot sauce in place of 1 peperoncino per recipe.

3. Pickled Peppers

Pickled Peppers

Pickled peppers are delicious pepperoncini substitutes that add zesty flavor to soups, salads, pasta or rice dishes. Pickling peppers is easy; the resulting pickled peppers last for several months in the fridge.

Therefore, this pepperoncini substitute is a low-cost option that can be stored for an extended period.

If you enjoy cooking and love experimenting with new flavors and food combinations, then pickled peppers are a great addition to any pantry.

How To Substitute

Use 2 tablespoons of pickled peppers in place of 1 peperoncino per recipe.

Garlic (crushed or diced)

4. Aji De Gallina: Habanero Chili

Aji De Gallina: Habanero Chili

Ají de Gallina is a small, nearly spherical chili pepper with high heat and very little pungency. It is used in salsas and stews as well as in sauces (in place of chili).

The Habanero only comes in one color, red, and has been grown for centuries in the tropical regions of Central America.

It was commonly used as herbal medicine to treat stomach ailments before being marketed to consumers. So much so, that some people believe that it frees the soul from bodily ailments and evil spirits.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncino with 1 teaspoon aji de gallina + 2 teaspoons lemon juice

RELATED: 14 Hot And Sweet Scotch Bonnet Peppers Substitutes

5. Cherry Or Paprika Pepper

Cherry Or Paprika Pepper

This pepperoncini substitute is best used as an ingredient to make pizza and other Italian dishes. The dried cherry/paprika peppers add a sweet, fruity flavor to pizza and can bring out savory flavors in red sauces.

This pepperoncini substitute can also be used in stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and soups. If you’re cooking with this ingredient for the first time, feel free to add just a small amount to your meals until you are familiar with its flavor.

How To Substitute

Use 1 tablespoon of cherry/paprika peppers in place of 1 pepperoncino per recipe.

6. Tabasco Sauce

Tabasco Sauce

Be careful; it packs a punch! Tabasco sauce is the most well-known hot sauce on the market today. The name comes from the actual town of Tabasco in Mexico, where the sauce was first manufactured.

If you’ve ever tasted fiery habanero pepper, then you may have already tasted a very similar but milder version of this region’s famous red pepper.

The same goes for vinegar and other liquids with intense heat, like Scotch Whiskey and sherry vinegar.

Tabasco is made with Tabasco peppers (a variety of Capsicum frutescens), which are called “tabascos” in Mexico. It has a heat that runs more toward the front of your mouth, as opposed to the back, like a habanero pepper.

The seeds and veins are removed from the pepper during processing. This is done to make it less spicy, although there may be some active ingredient still left from this process that adds a sort of “spiciness” to the sauce.

Tabasco sauce comes in three varieties: Original, Red Label, and Black Label.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 teaspoon red label + 2 teaspoons lime juice

7. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

The cayenne pepper comes from the same region of Mexico as Tabasco and is similar in shape, size, and heat to the Tabasco pepper.

It has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including muscle pain, rheumatism, sore muscles, indigestion, poor circulation, and blood disorders.

Like Tabasco, it is also used on its own or as a curing agent for other sauces to enhance the flavor. It is mainly used when chili peppers are not available or too expensive.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncino with 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

8. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

If you’re looking for a pepperoncini substitute in salsa recipes, then look no further than the jalapeno. The jalapeno is about two-thirds the size of the habanero pepper and has a similar heat level.

It’s also used to season sauces, like Tabasco or hot sauces, but it’s usually used sparingly.

It comes in three varieties: red (mildest), yellow (medium), and green (fiery). If you’re looking for more heat, then, by all means, use more jalapenos.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 teaspoon green jalapeno + 1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

9. Habanero Pepper

Habanero Pepper

The Habanero is a very small chili pepper that originates from Cuba. It has a unique flavor, and it’s regarded as one of the hottest peppers in the world (100,000-350,000 SHU). The Habanero is often used in Caribbean cuisine.

If you’re looking for an ingredient to add a spicy kick to salsas or other recipes, then the Habanero will do the trick. But if you’re not used to very hot peppers, you should handle them carefully. Habaneros are also used to make hot sauces.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 a teaspoon of Habanero

RELATED: 7 Substitutes That You’ll Love To Try If You Don’t Have Sport Peppers

10. Chipotle Pepper

Chipotle Pepper

The chipotle pepper is a smoked jalapeno that is in a dried and in powder form. It’s usually found in cans, jars, or plastic bags. You can also make your chipotles by adding dried red peppers to a smoker.

Chipotles are usually mixed with vinegar and used to spice up sauces or add smoky heat to foods.

They come in two varieties: chipotle and adobo, which is the smoke-dried jalapeno pepper, and chipotle pepper, which is a smoked, dried jalapeno without the sauce.

How To Substitute

To substitute, replace 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper + 1 teaspoon vinegar

11. Bell Pepper

Bell Pepper

The bell or sweet pepper comes in various colors (red, yellow, green, orange, and purple). Red bell peppers are considered the sweetest of all bell peppers. They are used to add sweetness to savory recipes like soups and stews.

And, of course, they are the main ingredient in many sauces. The bell pepper is also used in salsas and stews as it adds flavor without being overpowering. Two fresh peppers can be substituted for one dried pepper.

How To Substitute

1 fresh pepperoncini = 1 teaspoon chopped red bell pepper = 1/2 teaspoon “sweet” dried red bell pepper (dried ground)

12. Oregano

Oregano

Oregano is a dried herb that is native to Mediterranean regions. This herb has been used for centuries to flavor foods and treat health ailments.

The herb leaves are usually dark green, while the stem, which holds flowers and seeds, is light green.

The oregano plant has a pungent smell and a very bitter taste. It contains a chemical called carvacrol which explains its bitter taste and strong aroma. It’s so strong that it can easily detect your sense of smell (without even tasting it).

How To Substitute

Replace 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 teaspoon of dried oregano leaves

13. Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

Fresh basil is not exactly a pepperoncini substitute; it’s better to use than fresh parsley. Fresh basil has a “fresher” taste than parsley, but it can be used in Italian-style recipes to replace parsley.

It also adds a nice flavor boost to sauces, so it’s best not to substitute with dry basil. Basil is also an excellent ingredient for pesto and pasta sauces.

How To Substitute

Substitute 1 fresh pepperoncini with 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Bell Pepper And Green Bell Pepper?

Bell pepper is red and green, while green bell pepper is just fresh, immature greens.

A whole jar of green peppers (usually called “bell peppers”) may be confusing when you compare it to a small jar of ground or chopped green peppers.

Even though they are all referred to as “bell peppers,” they are technically different fruits that have been harvested at different times and may have slightly different nutritional values.

Can You Freeze Green Bell Peppers?

The best way to preserve green bell peppers is to pickle or brine them. You can freeze them and then refreeze them, or you can simply let them completely harden before freezing.

If you do not want to purchase brined or pickled green bell peppers, then it is possible to freeze them whole and use them as needed in recipes that call for green bell pepper chunks.

In recipes where you freeze and then thaw green bell peppers, it is always best to include the seeds in the recipe because they may burst during cooking (and they are crunchy). The peppers will also turn brown.

Can You Use Green Bell Peppers In Place Of Roasted Yellow Peppers?

Yes, but keep in mind that the flavor is not going to be quite as vibrant as it would be with a red or yellow roasted pepper.

Roasted peppers are normally cooked for a much longer time and at higher temperatures than green or even yellow bell peppers.

Since the seeds have been removed from most green bell peppers, it may still be possible to substitute them when one recipe calls for “roasted” peppers.

How Do I Make Homemade Green Pepper Relish?

To make a green pepper relish, slice up some peppers, and add them to a pot with some vinegar, sugar, and other spices.

Bring to a boil and let simmer until the desired consistency is reached. The longer the peppers are cooked, the sweeter and thicker the relish will be.

What Is Sweet Bell Pepper?

Sweet bell pepper is a term that refers to any bell pepper that is not the “hot” version. They include yellow, orange, green, and even purple bell peppers. Each color bell has a different taste and heat level.

Sweet peppers are usually picked and eaten raw but can be roasted or used in recipes for cooking.

Where Is Vitamin C Found In Peppers?

Vitamin C is most concentrated in the white membranes of the pepper. If you are going to prepare your food, try placing your knife near the core of the pepper, and slice down through the layers to peel off the thin white layer.

13 Pepperoncini Substitutes To Try

5 from 4 votes
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

Pepperoncini are the perfect ingredient to use in a variety of recipes. Pepperoncini substitute are used for any other recipe.

Ingredients

  • Capers

  • Asian Hot Sauce

  • Pickled Peppers

  • Aji De Gallina: Habanero Chili

  • Cherry Or Paprika Pepper

  • Tabasco Sauce

  • Cayenne Pepper

  • Jalapeno Pepper

  • Habanero Pepper

  • Chipotle Pepper

  • Bell Pepper

  • Oregano

  • Fresh Basil

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith