When it comes to the best peppers that are available to purchase, arguably jalapeño’s take the top spot. What we love so much about these peppers is that they are full of flavor and pack a punch.
While they are fairly hot, they are not too overpowering and provide a great taste to a meal. They are also so versatile and can be used for many recipes.
They are perfect when added to nachos, but they are also great when added to chicken. Given this, they are a type of pepper that you will likely have at home.
Whether this is chopped up and in a jar, or having them whole and fresh. Either way, both options are great.We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, there are a number of different options available to use as the best substitutes for jalapeños.
The substitute you use, will be based on the purpose it is needed for.If you are looking for a physical pepper to replace the jalapeños, you really cannot go wrong with serrano peppers.
They taste similar to jalapeños, and they are full of flavor. Habanero and Fresno peppers are also a great option.
However, if you cannot use any fresh peppers, then cayenne pepper powder, and hot sauce are great substitutes to fall back on.
However, there is nothing worse than preparing a meal containing jalapeños, only to realize that you have unknowingly run out.
This can be disastrous, especially if the jalapeños make the meal!If this has happened, do not fret. There are a handful of great substitutes you can use instead of jalapeños if you are caught short.
In this article, we talk you through the best substitutes, so you do not have to worry about a recipe feeling like it is lacking without the jalapeños.
We have included a wide range of options to help suit your needs as good as possible.
The first Jalapeño Pepper substitute we are going to discuss is serrano peppers. If you want to have a physical substitute, this is the best option.
Serrano peppers are quite similar to jalapeños in how they taste and look. They are both smaller green peppers.
However, serrano peppers are slightly smaller than jalapeños. The walls of these peppers are thinner, and they are also slightly hotter.
As a result if you are not a huge lover of spice, you may want to use less of this pepper than your recipe asks for.
Serrano peppers may not be as popular as jalapeño peppers, but they are still widely available to purchase in the grocery store.
For the best flavor, we would recommend choosing fresh serrano peppers. As we have already covered, the main difference here is heat.
When looking at the Scoville Heat Units of both types of pepper, serrano peppers are around 15,000 SHU, whereas jalapeños are 8,000 SHU.
We would recommend this substitute if you need to use raw peppers, or if you are making salsa. Serrano peppers are also great when used on nachos.
However, due to how thin they are, they are not the best option if they need to be stuffed.
Another great substitute for jalapeño peppers are Fresno peppers. These are another type of pepper that are fairly similar to jalapeños.
Just like serrano peppers, Fresno peppers are slightly hotter than jalapeño’s. As a result of this, you may want to use slightly less Fresno peppers in comparison to jalapeños.
However, if you enjoy the heat, you can swap out jalapeño peppers for Fresno peppers at a 1:1 ratio.
When it comes to the Scoville scale, Fresno peppers come in at around 10,000 SHU, though some are less hot than others. In comparison to jalapeño peppers, while they are hotter, they are not hugely different.
Fresno peppers are delicious, and have a smoky and fruity taste. They are great if you need to use a pepper as a substitute, rather than just the flavor of the jalapeños.
They are very similar in both size and shape. When it comes to how a Fresno pepper looks, they share both around 3 inches in length, and have smooth and shiny skin.
These peppers are available to purchase in grocery stores, and interestingly, are sometimes even confused with jalapeños, which makes them a great substitute.
If you do not have access to Fresno or serrano peppers, you can choose to use habanero peppers. They are a different size and shape in comparison to jalapeños, but they help to bring the hotness to a dish.
Habanero peppers are not for the faint hearted. They are very hot in comparison to jalapeños, and we would only recommend using them as a substitute if you have no other peppers available.
While we think that they are an excellent replacement, if you are not a huge fan of heat, you may find them slightly overpowering.
On The Scoville Scale, they are around 350,000 SHU, which is a lot more than jalapeños.
However, they are far from being the hottest pepper available. If you are using habanero peppers as a replacement, we would recommend removing the seeds from the pepper as this will make the peppers significantly less hot.
Cayenne Pepper Powder
If you are looking for a substitute for jalapeño peppers for its flavor, cayenne pepper powder is a fantastic option. It is full of flavor, and it helps to provide the heat that is needed.
While it is not as great as having actual peppers, it is still a great option if you have no other substitutes available. Cayenne peppers are rather hot, and are around 50,000 SHU on The Scoville Scale, which is significantly hotter than jalapeños.
However, when using the powder, you can choose how much or how little you want to add.
What is great about cayenne pepper is that it is widely available to purchase. You will have no issues purchasing it, and the likelihood is that it is a spice that you will have in your pantry.
How much you will need to use will depend on the heat levels required, and your personal preferences. If you are looking for a small amount of heat, just add a small spoonful of cayenne pepper powder to your recipe.
Hot sauce is another substitute that is great if you are out of other options. While it is not as great as a fresh pepper, it still provides a good amount of flavor.
When it comes to hot sauce, there are hundreds of different options you can choose from. You can choose Tabasco, Frank’s or any other options that you have at home.
They all have different degrees of heat, which is great if you are looking for something less or more hot.
What is great about hot sauce is that it does not need any preparation. You can just add a spoonful of this to your recipe, and it will be instantly hotter.
Many hot sauces will have a range of flavors which will help to enhance the overall flavor of your meal too.
We hope you have found this article useful. As you can see, there are a number of different options available to use as the best substitutes for jalapeños. The substitute you use, will be based on the purpose it is needed for.
If you are looking for a physical pepper to replace the jalapeños, you really cannot go wrong with serrano peppers. They taste similar to jalapeños, and they are full of flavor.
Habanero and Fresno peppers are also a great option. However, if you cannot use any fresh peppers, then cayenne pepper powder, and hot sauce are great substitutes to fall back on.