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5 Best Substitutes for Anaheim Pepper: A Flavorful Exploration

Peppers, the vibrant gems of the culinary world, bring invigorating heat and mouthwatering flavors to our dishes. One pepper variety that’s earned a place in many cooking pots is the Anaheim pepper.

Its mild spice and slightly sweet earthiness are beloved in Southwestern and Mexican cuisines. But what if you can’t find it? Or what if you’re looking to adjust the heat level or flavor profile of a recipe?

No need to fret, fellow food adventurers! We’re about to take a pepper-powered trek through the culinary landscape, discovering five fantastic substitutes for the versatile Anaheim pepper.

Whether you’re a heat-seeker, a fan of earthy notes, or a lover of all things mild, there’s a pepper alternative waiting for you in the aisles of the grocery store.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many pepper substitutes available for Anaheim peppers with varying levels of heat.
  • Poblanos, Cubanelle, Jalapeño, Bell Pepper, and Banana Pepper are all great options.
  • Substitution ratios may vary depending on the desired spice level.
  • Experimenting with different substitutes can lead to new and delicious flavor combinations!

5 Best Substitutes for Anaheim Pepper

In this deep-dive, we’ll explore the unique characteristics, taste profiles, and best uses for each substitute, ensuring that your culinary creations never miss a beat, or rather, a sizzle. Ready? Set! Pepper!

Substitute 1: Poblano Pepper

If you’re looking for a substitute that embodies a mild and earthy flavor with a kick of spice, the Poblano pepper is your go-to choice. Renowned for its use in the iconic Mexican dish, Chile Rellenos, this pepper doesn’t shy away from a robust role in the kitchen.

Poblanos are large, green, heart-shaped peppers that mature to a dark reddish-brown color. They offer a rich, berry-like flavor with a hint of smokiness, especially when roasted.

Measuring around 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), Poblanos pack a milder punch than Anaheims, making them a versatile substitute for those who prefer less heat.

Substitution Ratio

From soups and stews to salsas and sauces, Poblanos can replace Anaheims at a 1:1 ratio without compromising flavor. To adjust the heat level, simply remove the seeds and membranes before using.

Substitute 2: Cubanelle Pepper

The Cubanelle pepper is known for its thin walls, making it a deliciously versatile option. With a flavor that combines sweet and slightly peppery notes, it seamlessly fits into various cuisines.

Ranging from yellowish-green to red when fully ripened, Cubanelles are often mistaken for sweet Italian peppers. They measure between 500 and 1,000 SHU, offering a very mild heat, almost negligible. Their taste can be likened to the sweetness of a bell pepper combined with the slight tang of a fruity chili.

Substitution Ratio

Cubanelles make excellent additions to salads, sandwiches, and sautéed dishes. For every Anaheim pepper needed, substitute one Cubanelle plus a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes for a similar heat level.

Substitute 3: Jalapeño Pepper

In the world of spice, jalapeños stand out as the ultimate crowd-pleasers. These versatile peppers are easily accessible and offer a delightful heat level that can be tailored to cater to various palates.

With a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) range of 2,000 to 8,000, jalapeños present a significant increase in spiciness compared to Anaheim peppers. Their flavor profile is characterized by a vibrant and grassy taste, accompanied by a satisfyingly crisp and vegetal texture that injects a lively burst of flavor into any culinary creation.

Whether diced into salsas, stuffed with cheese, or sliced atop nachos, jalapeños never fail to add a zesty kick that elevates the dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.

Substitution Ratio

When you’re seeking a more intense spiciness, jalapeños are the perfect substitute for Anaheim peppers. For every one Anaheim pepper called for in a recipe, use two to three jalapeños for an equivalent level of heat. Just remember to remove the seeds and membranes if you’re looking for a milder taste.

Substitute 4: Bell Pepper

For individuals who prefer to steer clear of spicy heat, the bell pepper emerges as an enticing choice. Its vibrant colors and crisp texture make it a versatile ingredient that complements a wide array of dishes, adding a refreshing burst of flavor.

Whether incorporated raw into salads for a crunchy bite or roasted to bring out its natural sweetness, the bell pepper stands as a versatile and flavorful addition to any culinary creation.

The bell pepper comes in multiple colors, each offering a unique sweetness. Red and yellow bell peppers are sweeter, while green ones offer a slightly bitter taste. Their versatility in dishes that require no spice makes them the ultimate substitute for those wanting to avoid any hint of heat.

Substitution Ratio

In recipes that call for Anaheim pepper solely for its flavor and not its heat, bell peppers are the perfect 1:1 substitute. Whether it’s in a pepper stir-fry or a mixed grill, replacing Anaheims with bell peppers will maintain the dish’s essence without the spice.

Substitute 5: Banana Pepper

The mild cousin of the jalapeño, the banana pepper, brings a tangy, slightly spicy note to the table without overwhelming the taste buds.

With a mild 0 to 500 SHU, banana peppers cater to those seeking a subtle spice. Their slightly sweet and tangy flavor, especially when pickled, is reminiscent of their more piquant relatives. Banana peppers also offer a delightful crunch, perfect for adding texture to salads and sandwiches.

Substitution Ratio

Banana peppers are surprisingly adaptable and can replace Anaheims in a variety of dishes without altering the flavor profile.

Use them in place of Anaheim peppers at a 1:1 ratio for a milder taste, or substitute two banana peppers for one Anaheim pepper if you’re seeking a slight increase in heat. Just remember to remove the seeds and membranes if you prefer less spice.


In conclusion, while Anaheim peppers have a distinctive flavor and heat level that sets them apart from other pepper varieties, there are plenty of substitutes available to ensure your culinary creations never miss a beat.

Whether it’s the earthy flavor of Poblanos or the subtle sweetness of bell peppers, these five alternatives provide unique characteristics that can elevate any dish.

So don’t be afraid to experiment and try out different pepper substitutes. You never know, you might discover a new favorite!


Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

Looking to add some spice and flavor to your dishes but can't seem to find Anaheim peppers? Fear not, as we've got you covered with these amazing substitutes that are just as delicious and versatile.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 1 Stove
  • 1 Oven if roasting


  • 4-6 Poblano Peppers depending on serving size
  • 8-12 Cubanelle Peppers
  • 2-3 Jalapeño Peppers
  • 1 Bell Pepper any color
  • 4-6 Banana Peppers


  • For Poblano peppers, roast them under the broiler for about 10 minutes until the skin is charred. Let them cool, then peel off the skin before using in your dish.
  • Cubanelle peppers can be used raw or cooked, depending on the recipe. Slice and add to salads for a refreshing crunch, or sauté them for added flavor in dishes.
  • Remove seeds and membranes from Jalapeño peppers and use 2-3 per 1 Anaheim pepper called for in the recipe.
  • For bell peppers, slice them into thin strips and use as a 1:1 substitute for Anaheim peppers when not looking for any spice.
  • Use 1 banana pepper per Anaheim pepper if you want a milder taste or replace with two peppers for a slight increase in heat.


  • Make sure to remove the seeds and membranes from the substitute peppers if you prefer a milder taste.
  • Adjust the amount of peppers used according to your personal preference for spiciness. 1:1 substitution will provide a similar level of spice, while increasing or decreasing the amount can adjust it accordingly.
Keyword substitutes for anaheim peppers
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
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