Best Anaheim Pepper Substitutes That Won’t Leave You Wanting More


If you’re in a pinch and need a substitution for Anaheim peppers, there are a few options.

Poblano peppers are a good substitute because they have a similar heat level. If you want something with a little less heat, you could try a bell pepper or even a jalapeño.

Whatever you choose, just be sure to adjust the amount you use to get the flavor and heat level that you’re looking for.

Here are eleven Anaheim pepper substitutes you can explore.

So, let us quickly discuss the first alternative.

11 Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

1. Poblano Pepper

The most similar substitute 

Similar to the Anaheim pepper, poblano pepper also possesses a similar level of heat and has a more earthy taste. 

It is mildly spicy in flavor and works as a great alternative, specifically while you’re making stuffed peppers because of their thick skin.

They are an easy-to-prepare substitute and can be used in dry, roasted, and fried forms.

Here is how you can make Roasted Poblano Hot Sauce: 

2. Bell Pepper

An easily available substitute

If you’re okay with cutting down all the heat that Anaheim peppers provide to your dish, then bell peppers are an excellent alternative.

The best part about bell peppers is that they’re easily available all throughout the year in a wide variety of colors.

So, they give a great appearance to your dish. Plus, they’re also high in nutrition content and are a healthier option.

Try this Bell Pepper Salsa Recipe:

3. Hungarian Wax Pepper

The heat level of Hungarian wax pepper is 20 times more than that of Anaheim pepper.

They also have a tangier taste with a characteristic flavor profile. So, you won’t get the same taste in your dish.

They still make a good substitute for stuffing purposes, and you can even use them for making pickles or roast and fry them. 

Check out this video to prepare Pickled Hungarian and Cherry Peppers:

4. Jalapeno Pepper

Containing a mild to moderate heat level, unripe jalapeno peppers have a spicy flavor with a green color.

When they are ripe, their color becomes red, and the taste becomes partially sweet.

Since their distinct flavor is somewhat the same as Anaheim peppers, they are a great alternative that you can readily use in almost any recipe. 

But remember that they’re hotter than Anaheim peppers. So, use them accordingly.

Watch this video to make Baked Jalapeno Poppers:

5. Serrano Pepper

Although serrano peppers have a more peppery and spicy taste than Anaheim peppers, their similar smokey flavor makes them a good substitute.

Hence, they add an excellent flavor to salsas and sauces. 

They are comparatively hotter and taste delicious when roasted and seasoned.

Try this Easy Serrano Pepper Salsa Recipe:

6. Cubanelle Pepper

Cubanelle peppers contain the same heat level and their flavor is also a mixture of spiciness and sweetness like anaheim peppers.

Hence, it works perfectly for fried and stuffed dishes.

But since their taste is mild, you must add a larger quantity to reach a similar level of spiciness.

Here is how you can prepare Chorizo Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers:

7. Shishito Pepper

Shishito Peppers are less spicy than Anaheim peppers, but they contain almost the same flavor. So, you can use them for making fried, grilled, and stuffed recipes.

However, their heat and spice level are still lesser. So, you must use them cautiously.

See this video to know how you can cook Shishito Peppers with Soy Garlic Sauce:

8. Chilaca Pepper

Chilaca peppers have the same spiciness and intensity. Plus, their flavor contains a combination of a rich and earthy taste with a subtle sweetness.

Hence, its taste closely resembles Anaheim peppers.

So, whether it is baking, roasting, or grilling, you can use it in almost any recipe.

Try this Mexican Pasilla (Chilaca) Chili Braised Pork Recipe:

9. Fresno Pepper

The taste of Fresno peppers is a mixture of fruity and sweet. Yet, it can sometimes be super-hot and provide a highly spicy flavor.

Also, they contain a higher heat level than Anaheim peppers. So, if you can tolerate their extremely spicy and hot taste, it is a good alternative.

Check out this video to make Fresno Chile Hot Sauce:

10. Guajillo Pepper

Having an excellent smokey flavor with a mixture of fruity and sweet undertones, Guajillo peppers provide a characteristic taste. Similar to Anaheim peppers, they are also slightly sweet and mildly hot.

Therefore, you can substitute them in both stuffed and roasted dishes.

Try this Guajillo Sauce Recipe:

11. Canned Green Chiles 

Green chiles have a pungent, crispy, slightly sweet, and smokey taste with spiciness. 

They contain a decent level of hotness and a delicious peppery taste. 

Hence, if you can’t find any other suitable substitutes, then going for canned green chiles is a good option.

Watch this video to know how to make Traditional New Mexican Green Chile Sauce: 


Q1. What is a good dried Anaheim pepper substitute?

Ans. To substitute dried Anaheim peppers, bell peppers are a good option. You can also use poblano peppers and cubanelle peppers. 

Q2. Which pepper is hotter, jalapeño or Anaheim?

Ans. The jalapeño contains a higher level of heat whereas Anaheim is only moderately hot.

Q3. Are Anaheim peppers similar to bell peppers?

Ans.  Anaheim peppers are similar to bell peppers in terms of crunchiness but they have a fruitier taste. 

Bottom Line 

I hope that the above substitutes will help you identify the most suitable Anaheim pepper substitute for your needs. 

If you have any more ideas about how to substitute Anaheim peppers, then please let us know.

And don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family so they can find the perfect pepper for their dishes too.

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About Maria Brown

Maria loves movies and is a bit of a movie buff. She especially enjoys romantic comedies and comic flicks. Her sweet tooth gets the best of her often, so she loves baking and cooking a variety of dishes. She loves exploring drinks, especially wines.