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14 Hot And Sweet Scotch Bonnet Peppers Substitutes

The good news is that there are plenty of  Scotch Bonnet peppers substitutes with similar flavors and heat levels that you can use in recipes and dishes. What’s more, some of these alternatives are surprisingly low-cost. 

If you’re struggling to find an alternative ingredient for your dish but have access to everything else, it might be worth making the dish with different flavors instead.

If you don’t have access to Scotch bonnet peppers, several different alternatives can be used in their place. The list below has 15 different substitutes and how they are similar to or differ from the Scotch bonnet pepper.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition Value TableCalories (Per 100g)
Habanero Chili Pepper40
Cayenne Pepper318
Chipotle Pepper55
Cayenne Hot Sauce318
Habanero Hot Sauce60
Crushed Red Pepper26
Green Bell Pepper20
Tex-Mex Sauce Or Salsa67
Fajita Seasoning326
Jalapeno Pepper28
Creole Seasoning112
Chili Powder282
Indian Curry Powder325
Jamaican Jerk Seasoning60

1. Habanero Chili Pepper

The habanero chili pepper is a close substitution for the Scotch bonnet pepper due to its fiery flavor. It is, however, more closely related in color to a tomato than the fleshy, deeper red of the Scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Substitute

Use the same number of habanero peppers as you would with a Scotch bonnet.

2. Cayenne Pepper

scotch bonnet pepper substitutes

If a recipe calls for the use of Scotch bonnet seasoning, but you are out of Scotch bonnets, you can substitute in cayenne peppers instead and achieve a similar flavor.

The taste is a little bit hotter and slightly sweeter compared to that of the Scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Substitute

Use ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cayenne pepper in place of 1/8 teaspoon (or 0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

3. Chipotle Pepper

scotch bonnet pepper substitutes

Chipotle peppers are smoked jalapeno peppers that are pretty hot but not as hot as the Habanero chili pepper. 

They share some similarities with the Scotch bonnet pepper, however, in that they are both closely related to the Jalapeno chili pepper and share several similar ingredients: vinegar, seed, stem, and membrane.

Chipotle is also very similar in its ingredient list to that of the Scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Substitute

Treat each chipotle chili like a chipotle chili; use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) powder in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

4. Cayenne Hot Sauce

scotch bonnet pepper substitutes

Cayenne hot sauce is usually found in the same aisle as ketchup and mustard at the grocery store.

It is primarily made from ground and dried red jalapeno peppers that are blended with vinegar and spices, such as garlic and salt. 

A hot sauce like this is similar to a Scotch bonnet pepper substitute, except it is milder in flavor.

How To Substitute

Use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cayenne pepper in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

5. Habanero Hot Sauce

scotch bonnet pepper substitutes

Habanero hot sauce is one the most versatile peppers you can find. The sauce has been prepared using unique ingredients that give it its fiery flavor.

Although the flavor is milder, this hot sauce has a lot of similarities with a Scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Make

Step 1: Gather all of your ingredients. This recipe requires a cup of white vinegar, a quarter cup of cumin, and two tablespoons of garlic powder.

Step 2: Combine the vinegar, cumin, and garlic powder in a bowl or pot.

Step 3: Add the habanero peppers to the mixture and allow them to steep for at least an hour.

Step 4: Put the hot sauce in small jars or bottles for storage after it cools off if you don’t plan to use it immediately.

Step 5: Enjoy.

How To Substitute

Use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cayenne pepper in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

6. Crushed Red Pepper

scotch bonnet pepper substitutes

Crushed red pepper can be found in all markets that sell spices. It is often sold in shaker bottles, similar to how cayenne peppers are packaged; later crushed into flakes and then crushed again.

A taste similar to the Scotch bonnet pepper is achieved but does not have the same heat factor as a scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Substitute

Use 1/3 teaspoon (1.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

7. Green Bell Pepper

Green bell peppers have a slightly similar taste to that of the scotch bonnet pepper, but they are not as hot. They also have a slightly sweeter taste.

These peppers can be used in place of scotch bonnets in recipes that call for the use of seasoning salt or sauce. 

They are considerably smaller than the scotch bonnet pepper, so you will need to adjust the amount called for accordingly.

How To Substitute

Use 1/3 cup (80 ml) green bell peppers in place of 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in 4 tablespoons oil.

8. Tex-Mex Sauce Or Salsa

A Tex-Mex sauce or salsa that combines vinegar, chilies, and spices can be used as a Scotch bonnet pepper substitute but with more heat than the mild sauces that are prepared with Scotch bonnet pepper.

The heat level is medium-high compared to scotch bonnet sauce and other types of hot sauces.

Well, it is quite easy to make at home with a few staples. Here’s how to do it.

  • First, place a large pot over medium-high heat and add your ingredients.
  • Start with onions and green bell peppers, then add a tablespoon of butter followed by tomato paste until the mixture becomes thick and bubbly.
  • Next comes the beer, followed by chili powder, garlic powder, cumin seeds, pepper, and salt until they blend well in the sauce before adding chipotle puree (also known as adobo).
  • Stir everything together thoroughly, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

How To Substitute

Use 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

9. Fajita Seasoning

A fajita seasoning that is similar in taste and texture to the scotch bonnet pepper exists, but it is milder and sweeter than the scotch bonnet pepper. The ingredients are similar but do not have the same heat factor as a scotch bonnet pepper.

How To Substitute

Use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 ml) fajita seasoning in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

10. Jalapeno Pepper

The Jalapeno pepper is a hot chili that is similar to the scotch bonnet but not as hot or spicy and with a slightly sweeter taste than the Scotch bonnet pepper.

It has the same general appearance as the scotch bonnet, but its blue-green color is much lighter than that of the Scotch bonnet pepper – it also has more seeds.

How To Substitute

Use 1/3 cup (80 ml) jalapeños in place of 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of scotch bonnet seasoning in 4 tablespoons of oil.

11. Creole Seasoning

A Creole seasoning that is similar in taste but with more heat than the Thermon scotch bonnet pepper can be used as a substitute, but it is not a proper replacement for the Scotch bonnet pepper.

It is still a spicy spice made with peppers and also has citrus flavors. 

It is also spicy and has citrus flavors, but these flavors are very different from those flavorings of the scotch bonnet.

How To Substitute

Use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 ml) Creole seasoning in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) scotch bonnet pepper in a tablespoon of oil.

12. Chili Powder

A chili powder that is similar in taste and texture to the Scotch bonnet pepper exists, but it is on the milder end of the heat scale as opposed to the scotch bonnet pepper.

It is spicier than other chili powders, though, and does not have citrus flavors like those of the scotch bonnet pepper. It is somewhat similar to the chunky hot red unflavored chili powder that can be found at most grocery stores.

How To Substitute

Use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 ml) chili powder in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

13. Indian Curry Powder

This Indian curry powder is similar to the Scotch bonnet pepper, but it has a sweeter taste and is less spicy than the scotch bonnet pepper – it is not as bitter, either.

It has a much sharper taste when it is raw compared to when it is cooked, which makes it an ideal flavor for cooking because it can be used in smaller amounts than the others mentioned here.

How To Substitute

Use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 ml) chutney powder in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) Scotch bonnet seasoning in a tablespoon of oil.

14. Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

A Jamaican jerk seasoning is similar to the Scotch bonnet pepper, but it has more heat than the mild sauces that are prepared with the Scotch bonnet pepper.

It is also spicier than most other types of hot sauces. Although, as mentioned before, it has a sweeter taste than the scotch bonnet chili pepper.

How To Substitute

Use 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 ml) jerk seasoning in place of 1/8 teaspoon (0.3 ml) scotch bonnet pepper in a tablespoon of oil.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Fajita Seasoning?

Fajita seasoning is a spice mix that typically includes chili pepper, ground cumin, oregano, paprika, and garlic powders.

You can purchase fajita seasoning packets at your local grocery store, purchase the ingredients separately, and make them yourself at home.

It is also possible to modify this recipe by using different dried spices, such as chipotle or adobo powder, found in Mexican grocery stores if desired.

Are There Certain Varieties Of Peppers That Are Better Than Others For Making Homemade Hot Sauce?

Yes. Cayenne and jalapeno peppers work well because they are flavorful and hotter than most other varieties. You can also use cayenne-based sauces, such as Texas Pete, cayenne-pepper jelly, or chipotle pepper paste.

Is Pepper Sauce Native To The Americas?

Yes, and lots of it. As early as 10,000 years ago, maize was used as the main source of nourishment in the Americas.

However, it wasn’t until around 4000 BC that peppers were first cultivated in the New World. In addition to the New World, chilis were also present in Africa, Australia, and India.

Why Aren’t There Any Cayenne Or Hot Jalapeno Sauces Made In Europe?

Because most European countries have laws against “hoarding” or “hoarding sprays,” as they are known legally in Europe. They do exist, however. Some European companies also make milder pepper sauces for the European market.

What Difference Does It Make To Store Hot Sauce In The Fridge Or Freezer?

It Makes a lot of difference. Onions extract water when stored at room temperature, and this makes them unsuitable for making hot sauces.

The same goes for garlic cloves, as well as tomato paste and pasteurized garlic.

Peppers are a different story, however – they can be stored at room temperature as long as they’re covered in the packaging to avoid ripening. 

However, make sure you don’t leave them on your countertop for too long or they will start to ferment and smell bad (this is why many fast-food restaurants put all of their condiments in the original plastic containers).

14 Hot And Sweet Scotch Bonnet Peppers Substitutes

5 from 4 votes
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Total time

45

minutes

The list below has 15 different substitutes and how they are similar to or differ from the Scotch bonnet pepper.

Ingredients

  • Habanero Chili Pepper

  • Cayenne Pepper

  • Chipotle Pepper

  • Cayenne Hot Sauce

  • Habanero Hot Sauce

  • Crushed Red Pepper

  • Green Bell Pepper

  • Tex-Mex Sauce or Salsa

  • Fajita Seasoning

  • Jalapeno Pepper

  • Creole Seasoning

  • Chili Powder

  • Indian Curry Powder

  • Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

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