Skip to Content

7 Sport Peppers Substitutes: Intensify the Heat

Looking to spice up your dishes but can’t find sport peppers? We’ve all been there. It’s a common problem when you’re craving that unique, tangy heat.

Instead of giving up on your spicy dreams, let’s explore some tasty alternatives. From sliced jalapeños to pickled cherry peppers, there are plenty of options to keep your taste buds tingling.

Some of us have even thrown in banana peppers just to see what would happen—they work in a pinch!

7 Easy Substitutes for Sport Peppers

Sport peppers may be small, but don’t let their size fool you—they pack quite a punch! These little green dynamos are about 1-1.5 inches long and typically measure between 10,000-23,000 on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale.

Perfect for adding a kick to your favorite dishes without making you feel like you just swallowed a torch. Now, let’s dive into some easy substitutes that’ll keep your meals just as fiery.

1 – Jalapeño Peppers

First off, jalapeños are a classic go-to for heat lovers. They’re 2-3 inches long, with a mild heat level around 2,500-8,000 SHU.

They’re easier to find and super versatile. Perfect for nachos, salsa, or even sandwiches. We’ve chopped them up and tossed them into salads for an instant kick.

Substitute ratio: 1 sport pepper to 1 jalapeño. Simple, right? Just remember to remove the seeds if you want less heat.

Craving other options? Check out our jalapeno substitutes for more ideas.

2 – Serrano Peppers

Next up, we’ve got serrano peppers. These green beauties are about 1-2 inches long and bring a hotter kick with 10,000-23,000 SHU.

They are perfect for those who want more heat but still want something manageable. Just slice them up and toss them on tacos, nachos, or salads.

We found out that serranos also work well in salsas, providing that extra zing. For a good substitute, use 1 sport pepper for 1 serrano.

Want more? Check out these serrano pepper substitutes for additional options.

3 – Pickled Cherry Peppers

“Cherry” on top for your spice needs! Pickled cherry peppers add a sweet tang and moderate heat to your dishes. With a SHU level of 100-5,000, they’re milder than sport peppers but still give that kick.

We love them on pizzas, salads, and even in sandwiches. Their juicy texture and bold flavor bring any meal to life. Swap one sport pepper for one cherry pepper to keep things balanced.

Our go-to for boosting flavor without overwhelming heat. Curious for more? Check out our cherry pepper substitutes for additional ideas.

4 – Ancho Chili Peppers

For a smoky substitute, go for ancho chili peppers. These dried versions of poblano peppers have a mild heat level, around 1,000-2,000 SHU. We love their rich, sweet flavor. They’re excellent in stews, sauces, and marinades.

Infuse your dishes with depth. Anchos add complexity without overpowering. Swap 1 sport pepper for 1 ancho chili pepper. We tried them in chili, and wow, it was delicious.

Curious for more options? Check out our ancho chili pepper substitutes for additional ideas.

5 – Guajillo Chili Peppers

Next, let’s talk about Guajillo Chili Peppers. These dried beauties offer a mild kick with around 2,500-5,000 SHU.

We adore their sweet, fruity flavor. Perfect for adding depth to soups, sauces, and stews.

Swapping in guajillos is easy. Use 1 sport pepper for 1 guajillo chili pepper.

They don’t overwhelm but complement. We tried them in homemade chili, and the result was delicious.

Want other options? Check out this article on some amazing guajillo pepper substitutes.

So, if mild and sweet is your style, guajillos are a top-notch substitute.

6 – Poblano Peppers

If you’re looking for a pepper with mild heat and a richer flavor, poblano peppers are your answer. They come with around 1,000-2,000 SHU, so they’re on the milder side, perfect for those who don’t want a fiery kick.

We love their slight sweetness and earthy notes. These peppers are ideal for roasting, stuffing, and making chili. We swapped our sport peppers with poblanos, and our stuffed pepper game got an instant upgrade.

Use a 1:1 ratio of sport pepper to poblano pepper. For those interested in more substitutes, check out our poblano pepper substitutes.

Their versatility is unmatched, making them a staple in our recipes.

7 – Habanero Peppers

Last, we’ve got habanero peppers, the fiery little devils that promise a spicy kick. These bad boys clock in between 100,000-350,000 SHU. Habaneros are for the true heat seekers. They’re small but pretty intimidating when you see their orange, lantern-like shape.

We love to throw them into salsas and hot sauces. They crank up the fire without sacrificing flavor. If you love spicy food, you’ll love this.

Use a 1:3 ratio of sport pepper to habanero. It’s intense, so use with caution. For other spicy options, check out these habanero pepper substitutes.