Top 10 Substitutes for Green Chilies


Hot green peppers are commonly used ingredients for all types of dishes, salads, and sides, especially for spicy meals and dips. They are delicious and are, in fact, very healthy as well.

There is a wide variety of different green chilies which vary in taste, shape, color, and hotness. Some are mild, and others are extremely spicy.

But what if you have run out of green chilies and really need a good substitute to prepare a particular dish?

Thankfully, there are some excellent alternatives for hot green peppers, which will save you the time and energy for having to run to the store when you need some. There are substitutes, some of which are milder and others which are hotter than the hot green peppers, so you can pick the best one which suits your taste and preferences.

Some of the most suitable substitutes for green chilies include banana peppers, poblano, anaheim, pasilla, Serrano, Jalapeno, green Fresno peppers, as well as red chilies, cayenne peppers, and chili powder.

Here are the top alternatives for green chilies. Read on to find out more about their spiciness in Scoville Heat Units (SHU), their taste, and the best way they can be used as hot green pepper replacements.

1. Banana Pepper

Banana peppers are mild chili peppers with a 0-500 SHU. They have a nice tangy taste and are suitable as substitutes for green chilies, especially if you prefer milder dishes and tastes.

They are readily available in stores and markets and are perfect for preparing different salads, salsas, or other slightly spicy dishes and meals.

Like most chili peppers, banana peppers are incredibly rich in Vitamin C and have other very healthy nutrients making them a healthy choice for any diet.

2. Anaheim Pepper

Anaheim peppers are slightly hotter than banana peppers and can be between 500 and 2,500 SHU, depending on the maturity of the pepper.

They are medium-sized and are excellent alternatives to green chilies, especially when it comes to preparing a slightly spicy stew, soup, salad, or other dishes. Plus, they are rich in vitamins C, A, K, and B6.

3. Poblano Pepper

These popular Mexican chili peppers are dark green in color and will become bright red when ripe. Depending on the maturity of these peppers, they have a hotness of 1,000 to 2,000 SHU and are preferred for their deep and smoky flavor.

The poblanos are known as anchos when they are dried.

They are heart-shaped and have thick walls, which make them an excellent green chili alternative for stuffing and general cooking.

4. Pasilla Pepper

Pasilla or little raisin peppers are the dried form of Mexican chilaca peppers. They are very good substitutes for green chilies, especially if you like spicier foods.

These peppers have a spiciness of 250 to 3,999 SHU, which is hotter than banana peppers but much milder than the popular jalapeno. The pasilla peppers are very suitable for adding some spiciness and smoky and earthy seasoning to the meat.

5. Green Fresno Pepper

These flavorful green chili alternatives originate from Fresno, California, and are known and preferred for their smoky and fruity taste and spiciness, which can vary between 2,500 up to a burning 10,000 SHU.

When mature, the pepper becomes bright red and will surpass the jalapeno in hotness.

The green Fresno pepper can easily be used as a substitute for green chili, especially if you want to add more spice and a smoky flavor to your stew, soup, dip, or sauce.

6. Jalapeno Pepper

These medium-sized green chili peppers are among the most famous Mexican chili peppers. They are also superb alternates for hot green chilies.

While they are known for their hotness, the jalapeno peppers will usually have a spiciness of about 5,000 SHU (or somewhere in between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU), which is not as hot as some of the other chili peppers on our list.

Jalapenos are commonly used for spicing up salads, dips, salsas, and for any other recipes which require the addition of hot green peppers.

7. Serrano Pepper

The Serrano hot pepper is another popular chili pepper which too originates from Mexico.

Serrano peppers are meaty and have a spiciness that varies from 5,000 to 15,000 SHU, making them one of the hottest green chili substitutes.

Serrano peppers are great for adding heat and a smoky flavor to guacamole and are delicious when roasted or pan cooked.

They can be used as alternatives to green peppers, but keep in mind that some of these peppers can be very, very hot.

8. Chili Powder

Chili powder is a readily available chili spice blend that is usually made of dried and ground chilies and other spices such as oregano, cumin, and others.

It is easy to store on your spice rack and can be used as a substitute for green chilies for just about any meal.

Chili powder is most commonly known as the main ingredient for making chili con carne but can be used for all kinds of dry rubs, stews, soups and dishes.

IThis spice blend is often confused with Chile powder which is made of dried and ground chilies only without additives.

9. Red Chilies

Red chilies are actually matured green chilies, which makes them one of the best substitutes for green chilies.

Depending on their sort and maturity, red chilies can have hotness of between 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, which is extremely hot.

This is something to keep in mind when using them as substitutes for green chilies, especially if you want to avoid making your food way too spicy.

10. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne peppers are long and skinny chili peppers, which are commonly used for pizza toppings and in dried and ground form.

They originate from French Guinea and are among the most popular chili peppers in the world, and are preferred for their spiciness and multiple health benefits.

They can be used as alternatives to green chilies fresh, dried, or ground.

Their hotness can vary from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, making them very spicy.

Cayenne peppers are excellent green chili substitutes for preparing meat, seafood, eggs, stews, and many more recipes.


Are green chilies the same as poblano peppers?

Green chilies are, in fact, any chilies which have been harvested while still young and green, so they can be poblano peppers, but they can be of other sorts as well.

Poblano peppers are milder but are excellent alternatives for green chilies, especially if you are not too keen on making your food overly spicy.

Can you replace green with red chilies?

Yes, red chilies are simply matured green chilies that have not been harvested while still green. They can be used as substitutes for the green ones, but keep in mind that most of the matured chili peppers are much hotter than the green ones.


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