8 Best Fresno Pepper Substitutes

Posted on

Fresno Pepper Substitutes



Prep time

Cooking time

Total time


This article may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Fresno pepper is a popular chili among chefs because of its mild heat and mild smokiness when red. Today, this chili is being used in numerous recipes than ever before.

But what if your local store doesn’t have them in stock? What are your options? What can you use in place of Fresno pepper to rescue your culinary masterpiece? The good news is that some of the world’s greatest chilies can assist you fill such voids.

There are many Fresno pepper substitutes that you can use instead, such as Jalapeno peppers, Holland chilies, Chipotle peppers, Thai Luang peppers, Serrano peppers, Habanero, Thai JindaChillies, Tien Tsin, Red chili peppers, and Scotch bonnet peppers.

On the Scoville scale, all of these peppers have different levels of spiciness, so choose one that suits your spice tolerance.

Best Fresno Pepper Substitutes

1. Jalapeno Pepper

Yes, the ever-present jalapeno is your best bet here. In fact, these chilies are so similar that merchants frequently mix them up in stores.

When fresh and young, the Fresno and the Jalapeno pepper have a similar brilliant crisp flavor and modest heat. The changes occur as people get older.

As Fresno peppers turn red, they get a little spicier, fruitier, and smokier. Some recipes call for those flavors, so while the jalapeno is your best substitute, it isn’t always ideal.

Even so, it’s practically anywhere produce is sold, and the flavors are similar enough to cover if you’re short on time.

2. Chipotle Pepper

Chipotle pepper is a smoky alternative. Chipotle is a dry, smoked jalapeño with a concentrated smoky flavor that’s far more intense than fresh Fresno.

The chipotle is an ideal buy if you’re looking for something musky with a typical heat profile and dried chilies aren’t a concern for the recipe.

Reduce the amount used by half to neutralize the smokiness, then taste and adjust as needed.

3. Serrano Peppers

Serrano pepper adds a kick of heat.

Because serrano chilies and jalapenos have a comparable sharp crispness, switching to serrano is a matter of access and spice sensitivity.

Serrano peppers have a Scoville heat rating of 10,000 to 23,000 units.

Reddish-brown, the intensity of Fresno peppers taps out at the serrano’s cellar – around 10,000 SHU at most – so you may be tripling the spiciness of your dinner by switching to the serrano.

For some, this is a great thing; for others, the jalapeno is perhaps the finest option.

These chilies are becoming increasingly common in supermarkets, so if you have the opportunity and enjoy spicy foods, it might be worth a try.

4. Holland Chilies

In many recipes, these Dutch or Holland chilies can be used instead of Fresno chilies.

They’re milder, so they’re great for salads, soups, and roasting or baking. They come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, and green.

Their fruity, sweet, and somewhat acidic flavor will blend well with the other components in your recipe, resulting in a tasty dish. They range from 5,000 to 10,000 SHU on the scale.

5. Thai Luang Peppers

Thai peppers come in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow, and orange, and they’re usually quite fiery. In many recipes, this is an alternative to using Fresno chilies.

They have a delicious, earthy flavor with hints of heat that will complement your food nicely.

These peppers range in heat from 50,000 to 100,000 SHU, which means you should cut back on the amount if you don’t want your food to be too spicy.

6. Tien Tsin Peppers

Tien Tsin peppers are yet another chili pepper that is named for the Region of china where it is cultivated.

This variety of pepper can be used as a substitute in most East Asian cuisines, such as soups and stews, to add a little of spice and enhance the flavors.

This chili is hotter than Fresno chilies, but it may be used in many of the same dishes.

The Tien Tsin chili has a heat rating of 50,000 to 75,000 SHU. They’re traditionally served with chicken curry and lemon rice. They can also be used to make scented oils.

7. Red Chili Peppers

When particularly in comparison to Fresno peppers, red chilies stay hot as they age and, whereas Fresno peppers get hotter as they age and lose some of their flavor.

Finally, these sweet, flavorful red chili peppers can be used in place of Fresno chiles in most recipes.

8. Habanero

The Habanero, more so than any other pepper, is a unique approach to substitute Fresno chiles. If you accept heat, these fiery, crisp, and sweet peppers can be utilized in a variety of cuisines.

Their smokiness and crust flavor will provide a special touch to any food. Habanero peppers range from 100,000 to 350,000 SHU on the Scoville scale.

That is to say, they are really hot. When substituting Fresno Chillies, adjust the amount according to your personal preference for heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it true that Fresno peppers are spicier than jalapenos?

The first Fresno chili peppers were grown in 1952, and they were called after the city of Fresno, California. Red Fresno peppers resemble jalapeño peppers in appearance, but they have a fruitier, smokier flavor and are spicier. In reality, their Scoville Heat Units range from 2,500 to 10,000. (SHU)

Are Fresno peppers and chili peppers the same thing?

In fact, these two types are so similar in appearance that supermarket stores frequently mix them up. After all, both chile peppers are the same length (2–3in), have a slightly curved form, and mature from a brilliant green to a fire-engine reddish hue.


The Fresno pepper is a medium-hot chilli pepper. Fresnos are heat units that range from 2,500 to 10,000 on the Scoville scale (SHU).

If you need great fresno pepper substitutes because of unavailability or just trying out a new recipe, think about the peppers and chilies on the list above.

Recommended Posts:


You might also like these recipes