Bell Pepper Substitute – Best Options You Should Not Miss

Bell pepper is the top commonly used vegetable in the culinary world. From the outside, the pepper seems spicy since it belongs to the same family clan as chili, but it is not. The food provides a sweet and slightly spicy taste, which is suitable for anyone to eat.

Besides, the bell pepper is healthy and easy to cook. Hence, it is preferred by lots of people worldwide. However, in case you run out of bell pepper in your kitchen, what should you do then?

Let’s read this post to find out some proper bell pepper substitutes for you!

Top 10 Ingredients Used As Bell Pepper Substitutes

Bell Pepper Substitute

1. Jalapeno 

Comparing the texture and the aroma, bell pepper and jalapeno are the same. However, in terms of taste, the jalapeno overshadows bell pepper for its spiciness. 

You must have heard about jalapenos as the top spicy food on the planet, right? Thus, this food is the best choice for those who love the strong spicy taste and smell. 

However, with such a high level of heat, jalapeno may not be suitable food for those who have a sensitive digestive system. If you belong to this group, we don’t advise you to try this spice, then. 

In case you have to eat the jalapeno, please get rid of the seeds and discharge the juice completely to reduce the spice. However, the best choice is to eat another spice. Please read the list of substitutes for bell peppers below and select one from them.

If you don’t belong to that group, let me introduce you to some good jalapeno recipes. With the strong, irritating spice, it works best in pickling and stuffing dishes. However, baked jalapenos or frying jalapenos taste quite “interesting,” and you must try it once too!

2. Anaheim Pepper

The Anaheim pepper is named after its origin: Anaheim, California. This pepper is versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. Let’s discover the secret behind its popularity.

To be specific, the Anaheim pepper is spicy. When chewing for a while, you can figure out the sweetness at the end of the tongue, too. 

Besides, Anaheim is crunchy and juicy. Its wall, just like bell pepper, is thick. Such similarities make bell pepper and Anaheim pepper interchangeable.

Which recipes are the most suitable to use Anaheim pepper? Well, in our opinion, the food is most crunchy and authentically sweet when raw. So, if you can mix it raw with salad, then it would be great. 

In case you have to cook the Anaheim plant, the food will slowly change to a tangier and smokier flavor.

3. Poblano Pepper

The poblano pepper is the most famous substitute for bell peppers on this list. We can all agree that the poblano pepper is so similar to the bell pepper from first sight. Poblano pepper vs bell pepper, they all have large cavities, thick walls, and a unique aroma.

Regarding the taste, poblano pepper provides an earthy and rich flavor. It is sweet, but the spiciness is more significant. Compared to bell pepper, it is clearly more peppery.

Just like the bell pepper, poblano spices serve best when stuffing. It complements well with cheese, pork, chicken, and tomato. Besides, poblano is a good addition to beefsteak, too. You should give it a try!

In short, with the same texture, comfortable aroma, and acceptable taste, the poblano pepper is the top suitable substitute for bell pepper.

4. Cubanelle 

Cubanelle, known as “Cuban pepper,” is a famous locality from Cuban. Like the bell pepper, this food has a green or yellow color when unripe and slowly turns to orange and red when ripping.

Differentiated from the bell pepper, the Cubanelle’s layer is not thick. It is not significantly spicy, either. From the first bite, the major flavor we can feel is sweet. 

Mild spice, mostly sweet, soft texture, this Cuban pepper can become a substitute for pepper in salads, stuffing recipes, or pizzas. You can slice it into small pieces and eat it raw too.

5. Green Onions 

Lots of people are scared of cooking green onions because it will burn their eyes when cutting. Well, it is a sad and unavoidable fact, though. 

However, if you fry onions, it won’t burn your eyes anymore. The unique earthy and spicy “onion flavor” will be lost, too. The onions will be softer, sweeter, and less spicy. And you can use the onions to substitute for peppers then.

You can use the green onions in almost any recipe. It will add the lightly sweet juice and unique “onion smell” to your dish. Give it a try, and you may love it!

6. Bok Choy

Bok Choy seems “alienated” from other choices mentioned above. It is green, not herbs or spices. You may wonder, “How can it work well as a red bell pepper substitute?”

Well, we understand your concern, because we used to think like that, too. However, if you give it a chance, you may change your mind. 

Compared to the bell pepper, bok choy provides a different taste. While the green is purely sweet and not spicy, the bell pepper is half sweet, half peppery. 

In terms of texture, surprisingly, they are similar. The bok choy and bell pepper are crunchy, crispy, and juicy. Both foods have a thick layer.  

Typically, we use bok choy in boiling, steaming, or stewing recipes since other cooking methods will make the greens lose their wateriness. To add in, the bok choy serves best when adding garlic and onions.

7. Sichuan Pepper

When mentioning Chinese cuisine, it is a must to refer to the famous spicy culinary culture of the Sichuan area. There are famous spice brands and spicy recipes coming from the Sichuan prefecture, too. 

Given that fact, the Sichuan pepper is also considered a top spice in the culinary world. This unique plant is different from other recommendations in this article since its spiciness is on another level. 

When eating Sichuan foods, most people describe their experience as “irritating and tingling, but orgaism.” Such a feeling is created just by the addition of Sichuan pepper.

We think that there is no need to talk more about how the Sichuan pepper can add a unique spicy taste to your food. So, if you run out of bell pepper, try some Sichuan pepper instead. Believe us, you will never disappoint as a substitute for red bell pepper!

8. Pimiento

Pimiento can be considered a “sister plant” with bell pepper since they come from the same family clan. That being said, they also have a similar taste. 

Like the bell pepper, pimiento provides a sweet and spicy flavor. Compared to the pepper, pimiento is sweeter and less peppery. Therefore, for those who don’t prefer the spice aroma of bell pepper, pimiento seems to be a good replacement for red pepper.

What about the texture? Well, in our opinion, this heart-shaped plant is quite similar to the pepper. However, it is a bit bigger and thicker. We don’t think it is suitable for stuffing recipes but better with frying and stir-frying meals.

9. Zucchini 

At first sight, most people may mistake the zucchini for cucumber. However, they are not the same. The zucchini has a lighter green color, smoother and shinier skin layer, with a woody stem.

In terms of taste, the zucchini, surprisingly, is bitter. We were so surprised at our first bite because we thought it was just bland! 

The zucchini is quite spongy and watery, which makes it suitable for salad recipes. However, it works well with other ingredients in boiling, grilling, frying, and stewing too. The food is versatile enough to mix with any food.

10. Different Colored Bell Pepper

When mentioning “bell pepper,” we did not refer directly to any kind of bell pepper: green, yellow, red, or orange. In fact, it does not matter much. Do you know the reason why? 

There is no significant gap in terms of taste between these peppers. They all share the same slight sweetness with a bit of spice. The more you chew bell peppers, the sweeter it is. And this case applies to all kinds of bell pepper. 

Therefore, if you run out of bell pepper in one color, you can use bell pepper with different colors. The taste, texture, and smell do not change much. If we must rank the sweetest, then it is the green pepper, but the gap is not remarkable.


In short, we have gone through the top 10 bell pepper substitutes that you must know. Most of them are healthy, cheap, and easy to cook, so you don’t need to worry much no matter which one you choose. 

Personally, we select the bok choy over other options since we love its sweetness and juiciness. To add in, you can mix the bok choy easily with other ingredients. 

Do you learn any new tips and tricks from this guidance? Hope that my post can help you!

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