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10 Best Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

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The Anaheim pepper originates from California and is named after a town, “Anaheim,” which made it famous. This chili is very versatile and is mild in flavor and heat.

But if for any reason you don’t want to use Anaheim pepper, you can also opt for suitable Anaheim pepper substitutes, such as jalapeno pepper, poblano pepper, bell pepper, chilaca pepper, serrano chilies, Fresno pepper, etc.

Anaheim measures 500-2,500 Scoville heat units, which, compared to jalapeno pepper, ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU; you can tell Anaheim is milder, but it isn’t without a bit of a kick.

What Does Anaheim Pepper Taste Like?

The Anaheim pepper has a subtle warmth; it is a medium-sized chili pepper that can grow up to 6-10 inches in length. They are commonly found and used green, but there are also red varieties.

There are fresh, roasted, dried, or canned versions of Anaheim peppers that are green when unripe; the chilis turn a bright red as they ripen. When the Anaheim chile is dried, it turns a dark burgundy color.

Canned anaheim chilies are typically labeled as “green chilies” and are an excellent addition to egg, stews, and vegetable dishes.

Although anaheim pepper is becoming increasingly popular and cultivated worldwide, there may be times you would need an alternative, which is what this article will help you with.

Best Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

1. Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are one of the best anaheim pepper substitutes when you don’t want any heat in the dish. Do anaheim peppers taste like bell peppers? No, but bell peppers make a delicious and healthy replacement Anaheim chilis. 

Bell peppers are readily available worldwide and can be used in various cooking and stuffing recipes. These peppers can be consumed raw or cooked.

There are various colors of bell peppers, including red, yellow, orange, and green. So, when added to any dish, they add a pop of color which brightens it up.

Bell peppers also contain fewer calories and are high in vitamin c and other essential antioxidants needed for proper body functioning.

2. Poblano Chilies

Poblano peppers are a close substitute anaheim peppers as they both have similar heat and flavor. Poblano is a famous chili that originates from Puebla, Mexico; they are somewhat spicy and have a comparable heat level to anaheim peppers.

Unripe poblanos have a dark green color, but they turn dark red or brown as they ripen. The thick skin of poblano peppers makes them suitable for stuffing recipes because they withstand longer cooking times.

These peppers can be baked, fried, or dried to make a variety of sauces. Peel off the skin of poblano if you do not want their waxy texture to alter the recipe before cooking or preserving them.

3. Jalapeno Pepper

Originally from Mexico, the jalapeno pepper is a famous chili currently cultivated and used worldwide. This pepper has a distinct flavor and taste, and it is also quite similar to Anaheim in terms of taste and ease of availability, making it a fantastic alternative.

The heat level of jalapeno peppers is moderate. They are green when unripe, with a spicy flavor, but they develop a sweet flavor and turn red as they mature!

Poblano can be used for various applications in almost any dish. But keep in mind that this pepper is significantly hotter than anaheim pepper, so it should be used with caution.

4. Hungary Wax Pepper

Wax peppers, originating from Hungary, are versatile chilies that can be used to substitute for anaheim peppers.

However, Hungarian wax peppers are incredibly spicy (almost 20 times hotter than anaheim pepper), so you need to use this substitute with caution and is best suited for persons who can handle a lot of heat.

Wax peppers are not only intensely hot, but they also have a slightly acidic tang at the end, unlike anaheim peppers. This may result in a significantly different ending flavor of your recipe.

Hungarian wax peppers can be used for stuffing, baking, frying, or you can pickle them to add more flavor to the peppers and preserve them for longer

5. Serrano Chilies

Serrano peppers are another excellent alternative to anaheim peppers. These chiles are pepperier and spicier than anaheim peppers, but they have a similar smokey flavor.

Serrano peppers can be charred lightly and seasoned generously before consumption. This gives the chiles an incredibly flavorful taste. They can be used to make salsa or add to any type of sauce for more flavor.

6. Chilaca Pepper

A substitute option that matches the spice and intensity of anaheim pepper is chilaca peppers. This chile measures roughly 1000 SHU, which is the same anaheim peppers.

Chilaca has the same rich, earthy, and sweet flavor as anaheim pepper, and it can be used for roasting, grilling, and baking!

7. Fresno Pepper

Fresno shares similar characteristics to jalapeno peppers; this makes them a suitable substitute for anaheim pepper. These peppers are intensely pungent and hot, but they also have a fruity and sweet flavor.

So, they can replicate the taste of anaheim peppers in this regard, but because Fresno peppers are hotter than anaheim peppers, you need to be careful of the amount you use.

You can also opt for other replacements if you’re looking for something more neutral or moderate.

8. Guajillo Pepper

Guajillo peppers have a distinct taste and flavor which can stand in place of anaheim peppers in different recipes.

These peppers have a unique smokey flavor that complements their sweet and fruity notes, which are super delightful to your taste buds.

Guajillo chilies also share similar characteristics with anaheim peppers. They both have a slightly sweet flavor and can be used for both stuffing and roasting.

Guajillo peppers are mildly hot and measure about 2,500 to 5,000 SHU; this is slightly higher than anaheim peppers, which range from 500 to 1,500 SHU heat levels.

9. Shishito Pepper

Shishito peppers were originally cultivated in east Asia and can be used in replacement for anaheim peppers in a variety of dishes.

These are spicy chiles that they’re mildly hotter than bell peppers. Shishito peppers have a flavor similar to anaheim peppers but are less spicy.

These peppers are best used in frying and grilling, and their thick skin makes them perform extraordinarily well for stuffing recipes.

10. Cubanelle Pepper

This is the last but not least type of pepper you can use as an anaheim pepper substitute. This sweet pepper has a slight hint of heat; cubanelle pepper also shares several other characteristics with anaheim peppers.

Both peppers are mild with a hint of spice; they also have a subtle sweetness. Cubanelle peppers can be used for both frying and stuffing recipes; there can be used in various recipes and prepared in several ways.

However, because of the mild flavor of cubanelle peppers, you would need to add more quantity of pepper than you would with anaheim peppers to match the spice level. 

This list of the top anaheim pepper substitute should come in handy and save the day when you can’t get anaheim pepper for a recipe. You can choose the alternative option that suits your desired heat level, flavor, or what is readily available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Poblano And Anaheim Peppers The Same?

No, poblano and Anaheim aren’t the same types of pepper. They share a couple of differences; the most significant distinction is their appearance.

Anaheim peppers are small in size and have a curved shape, which makes them resemble chili. On the other hand, poblano has an appearance closely similar to bell pepper.

There’s also a difference between the spiciness of the chiles, with anaheim peppers being milder than poblano.

Is Anaheim Pepper the Same as Serrano?

No anaheim is not the same as serrano, but the peppers share certain similarities. The significant difference between both peppers is their color change. Serrano is milder and turns orange-red when mature, unlike anaheim peppers that turn a vibrant red when ripe.

Can You Substitute Anaheim Peppers For Jalapenos?

Yes, you can substitute Anaheim peppers for jalapenos. Anaheim is milder and less spicer than jalapenos, but depending on the reason for substitution, you can add more anaheim chiles to the dish to match the hotness of jalapenos.