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The 5 BEST Substitutes for Green Peppers

Have you ever wanted to use green peppers in a meal but wondered how to prepare them and the best substitutes if you couldn’t find them?

Green peppers are a wonderful ingredient that can enhance any dish, but they unfortunately aren’t always available.

If your local grocery store doesn’t quite have green peppers on offer, an excellent alternative is to try your luck with other varieties of bell peppers or turning to other vegetable options like celery, canned chiles, jicama or even cabbage.

All of these substitutions have similar flavors and textures as green pepper and can bring that same unique savoriness to your meal with enough knowledge and creativity.

What’s Green Pepper?

Green pepper is a unique vegetable known for both its flavor and nutritional benefits.

Often used to enhance the flavor of stir-fries, casseroles and sauces, green pepper is an undervalued ingredient that can add a subtle and inviting taste to any dish.

Green peppers are simply unripe bell peppers, which can range in color from light green to yellow-green to nearly white.

Though they are not as sweet as red or even yellow bell peppers, green peppers can add a crunchy texture and herby flavor to dishes.

For best results, it’s recommended to sauté, grill, or roast green peppers before tossing them into recipes.

However if you’d like something quick and easy, fresh sliced or diced peppers may be added directly onto salads or sandwiches.

Whatever way you choose to use this delicious vegetable, it’s sure to elevate your meal with its unique taste and texture.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Green Peppers

While they are often used in salads and stir-fries, they can also be cooked like a vegetable or served raw as a snack or appetizer.

However, if you do not have green peppers on hand for your recipe, there are several other ingredients that can be used in their place.

The following five ingredients all provide a delicious alternative to green pepper when it’s not available:

1 – Red or Yellow Bell Peppers

Red and yellow bell peppers are one of the most common substitutions for green peppers.

Red bell peppers are slightly sweeter than green bell peppers, while yellow bell peppers have a milder and slightly nuttier flavor.

These types of bell pepper can be used in soups, stir-fries, sandwiches, salads and omelets just like green peppers.

However, red or yellow bell pepper is best used as a fresh substitute since they tend to lose their sweetness when cooked over high heat.

If you do opt to cook them, make sure to reduce the temperature slightly as they will burn easily.

2 – Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are a mild type of chili pepper that’s popular in Mexican cuisine and has become increasingly popular in the United States due to the growing popularity of Mexican food.

Poblanos are reddish-brown and have a similar shape and length as green peppers, but have a smokier flavor than green peppers.

Because of their mild heat, these peppers can be used in many recipes that call for green pepper without overwhelming the dish.

They are best when charred or roasted, giving dishes an added depth of flavor.

3 – Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno peppers are a popular pepper variety with medium-high heat, ranging from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

They have a bright, crisp flavor and crunchy texture that is more pronounced than a green bell pepper.

As such, jalapeno peppers make for an excellent stand in substitute for green bell pepper when included in dishes such as soups, stews or tacos.

Jalapenos also tend to be fairly easy to come by at most supermarkets and specialty stores.

Before using them in place of the green bell pepper, however, be sure to remove the white ribs and seeds — they can add quite a bit of heat.

Additionally, if you’re looking for less heat in general then opt for larger jalapenos over smaller (generally hotter) varieties.

4 – Pimento Peppers

Pimento peppers have a mild, sweet taste, making them a great substitute for green peppers.

These small red chili peppers belong to the same species as jalapeños, but they have much less heat and more sweetness.

They are great for adding a pop of color to salads or sandwiches, as well as for roasting, stuffing and grilling.

Because pimento peppers can be hard to find in-stores, you may want to try growing them yourselves – they’re easy to cultivate in warm climates.

5 – Shishito Peppers

Shishito peppers are perhaps the most similar to green peppers, since they have a recognizable pepper shape and mild, slightly sweet flavor.

They both have a thin inner membrane that makes them ideal for cooking and adding to salads.

Shishito peppers tend to be smaller than green peppers, though, so bear this in mind when substituting.

Although shishitos can be found fresh in some locations, it is more common for them to be available dried or pickled; either way you can enjoy their unique peppery taste.


Overall, finding the right substitute for green peppers rests on the dish that you’re preparing.

From red or yellow peppers to jalapenos or poblano peppers, there are plenty of flavorful possibilities out there.

Remember, when buying other types of peppers, always look at the level of heat they impart and adjust your recipe accordingly.

Whichever substitute you choose, it’s always important to remember that fresh produce is always best and that a substitution like this won’t be an exact one-to-one match in flavor; using a fresh pepper instead of a substitute may provide more desirable results.

Furthermore, if adding a green pepper truly adds beauty to the presentation of the dish you are creating, you can also opt to invest in frozen peppers instead.

Taking the time to explore your options can help ensure success when crafting an amazing dish.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Green Peppers

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Green Peppers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 – Red or Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 2 – Poblano Peppers
  • 3 – Jalapeno Peppers
  • 4 – Pimento Peppers
  • 5 – Shishito Peppers


  1. Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  2. Organize all of your ingredients.
  3. Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.

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