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Pepper Palate: 5 Great Substitutes for Shishito Peppers

Picture this: You’re prepping for the ultimate dinner, and your heart is set on including that light, slightly sweet zest of shishito peppers.

You head to the market, and alas, the shishito peppers are nowhere to be found. It’s a culinarian’s hitch!

Yet, here’s where the magic unfolds. The culinary world brims with vibrant alternatives that can save your dish and elevate it.

From the familiar bells to the exotic padróns, we’ve got you covered with five fantastic shishito pepper substitutes. Each brings its own unique flair and is likely sitting on your grocery store shelf or, perhaps, already in your kitchen.

5 Great Substitutes for Shishito Peppers

1 – Padron Peppers

Alright, first up on our list are Padron peppers. If you can’t find shishito peppers, grabbing some Padron peppers is like hitting the jackpot.

They’re pretty similar in size and have this cool, mellow heat that won’t set your mouth on fire. Plus, they add a nice, slightly smoky vibe to dishes.

Why are they awesome substitutes? They cook up real nice and quick, making them perfect for that blistered pepper recipe you’ve got.

The substitute ratio is straightforward: use Padron peppers in a 1:1 swap for shishito peppers. Easy, right?

And hey, if you’re curious about exploring more options, check out this handy guide on Padron pepper substitutes.

2 – Bell Peppers

Next in line are the bell peppers, a real game-changer if you’reyou need more shishito peppers.

Why? They’re sweet, not spicy, and add a pop of color to any dish. Bell peppers work great because they’re juicy and have a similar sweetness level.

Plus, you find them everywhere – and I mean, like, every grocery store. For swapping, it’s a bit of mix and match.

Use about half a cup of chopped bell peppers for every six shishito peppers the recipe calls for. It’s not a one-size-fits-all, but it gets the job done.

And if you’re digging around for more bell pepper tricks, you might want to peek at this guide on bell pepper substitutes.

3 – Banana Peppers

Running third on our swap list, we have banana peppers. These yellow champs are your go-to when you’re looking for something with a slight kick but nothing too wild.

They’re a bit tangy and add a bright, zesty flair to your dishes, making them a solid stand-in for shishito peppers. Plus, they’re versatile – you can toss them into pizzas, sandwiches, or salads.

The substitution rule here is pretty chill: slice up banana peppers and use them to measure for measure instead of shishito peppers.

They’re mild so that they won’t overpower your dish. And if you’re on the hunt for more ways to swap things around with banana peppers, casually swing by this guide on banana pepper substitutes.

4 – Fresno Peppers

Now, for those times you’re scrambling for a shishito substitute, enter Fresno peppers. These guys pack a bit more heat but still have that fruitiness you’re after.

Why settle for Fresnos? They’re kind of like the middle ground between bell and jalapeño peppers, bringing a slight spice that’s not too intimidating.

Substitution is a breeze: swap them in one-for-one for shishito peppers. Just remember, they might kick things up a notch on the heat scale.

And if you’re wondering how else you can switch things up with Fresno peppers, check out this laid-back guide on Fresno pepper substitutes.

5 – Jalapeno Peppers

Last but not least, we’ve got jalapeno peppers for you. Now, why are jalapenos a top pick?

They bring the heat, but it’s a manageable kind of spicy that most folks enjoy. Plus, they add a bright, sharp kick to dishes, making them an exciting swap for shishito peppers.

The ratio for swapping is a piece of cake: use them one-for-one. If you’re worried about the heat, remove the seeds, and you’re golden.

And hey, if jalapenos seem right up your alley but you want to keep your options open, you might find this guide on jalapeno pepper substitutes super handy.

Padron Pepper Fritters

Padron Pepper Fritters

These crispy, golden Padron Pepper Fritters are a delightful twist on the classic shishito pepper dish. Padron peppers, with their mild and slightly sweet flavor, are the perfect canvas for this easy and flavorful appetizer.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 servings


  • Skillet or frying pan
  • Slotted spoon
  • Paper towel-lined plate


  • 1 lb Padron peppers stems removed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sparkling water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges for serving


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually whisk in the sparkling water until a smooth batter forms.
  • Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Working in batches, dip the Padron peppers into the batter, coating them completely.
  • Carefully add the battered peppers to the hot oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried peppers to the paper towel-lined plate.
  • Serve the Padron Pepper Fritters immediately, with lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.


  • For a spicier version, you can use Fresno or Jalapeño peppers instead of Padron.
  • The batter can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.
  • Adjust the amount of oil and frying time as needed to ensure the peppers are cooked through and crispy.


Serving: 4fritters
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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)
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