15 Great Peppadew Pepper Substitutes 


When it comes to finding a substitute for the popular South African sweet pepper, also known as the Peppadew pepper, there are a few options available.

Here are 15 substitutes that can be used in a pinch.

Let’s find out right away what they are!

15 Peppadew Pepper Substitutes 

Here are my top picks for substituting Peppadew Pepper. 

1. Sweet Red Peppers

When in need of a substitute that expertly replicates the crunchy and juicy texture of Peppadew peppers, roasted sweet red peppers are your best pick for eggs and sandwiches.

Do keep in mind that roasted Bell peppers are not very spicy and may need additional chili flakes or cayenne flakes to get the same level of spice as Peppadew peppers. 

How to substitute

Bell peppers are often bigger than Peppadew peppers and, therefore, one of the former can substitute 3 of the latter.

Try this tangy Red Pepper salsa.

2. Sweet Cherry Peppers

The closest yet pleasantly different substitute to Peppadew peppers are sweet pickled Cherry peppers.

They can be stuffed with meat or cheese or added to cheesesteaks and pasta. 

A small caution: Sweet Cherry peppers, although sweet, tend to have a more intense and long-lasting kick, unlike the mild kick from Peppadew peppers.

How to substitute

Peppadew peppers and sweet Cherry peppers are similar in size and shape and can be substituted in equal quantities.

Stuffed Sweet Cherry Peppers!

3. Pimentos

Pimentos and Peppadew are similar in their levels of spice and can sufficiently be chopped up to garnish pizza, pasta, soup, and any other meal that needs a kick.

It is important to note that Pimentos are usually larger, while Peppadew peppers are known for their smaller structure.

Additional honey or sugar is required to replicate the same sweetness.

How to substitute

Since both Pimentos and Peppadews have similar spice levels but differ in size, 4 Pimentos can easily substitute 2 Peppadews.

Pimento cheese sandwich.

4. Sweety Pepper Drops

Sweety pepper drops are another tear-shaped close alternative to Peppadew peppers with similar texture, color, spice, and sweetness and can be stuffed and used as a topping. 

Remember that Sweety drop peppers are smaller and have a tangier taste as they are often pickled and sold in jars. 

How to substitute

Sweety Pepper drops and Peppadew peppers can be substituted for each other in an equal 1:1 proportion due to their similarities.

Try this Italian sandwich with Sweety Pepper Drops.

5. Pepperoncini

Pepperoncini are another unique variation of pepper with a similarly sweet, spicy, tangy, and crispy texture to Peppadew peppers and are often used to garnish Greek salads and pizzas. 

Do note that Pepperoncini peppers have a pale neon yellow-green hue that differs starkly from the bright red of Peppadews.

The former are also crispier than the usual Peppadews. 

How to substitute

Due to their similar sizes, Pepperoncini and Peppadew peppers can be substituted for equal amounts of each other.

Pepperoncini Italian Roast Beef.

6. Pickled Jalapenos

Jalapenos are the most easily available alternative to Peppadew peppers, and once pickled, they tend to have a similar flavor and texture as Peppadew peppers.

It is very crucial to remember that although effective, Jalapenos are much spicier than regular Peppadew peppers and pickling takes away only some of that heat.

How to substitute

Due to the difference in heat levels, it is suggested to use a slightly lesser number of Jalapenos than Peppadew peppers when stuffing.

Try these pickled Jalapeno rings.

7. Bell Peppers

Another very commonly seen and tasted substitute to Peppadew peppers is colorful Bell peppers, as they share the same crunchy and juicy texture and bright red color.

You may want to note that, unlike all the other alternatives, Bell peppers do not have any heat or spice and needs additional chili flakes to give the same effect as Peppadews. 

How to substitute

One large red Bell pepper is equivalent to 5 or more small Peppadew peppers for grilling, baking, or even eating raw.

Easy and delicious stuffed Bell peppers.

8. Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are said to have the same spice level as Peppadew peppers making them an appropriate alternative in pizza, guacamole, and more.

Do remember that even though they share spice levels, Poblano peppers are most often dried and roasted and stored in cans to elevate the heat.

How to substitute

Poblano peppers and Peppadew peppers can be substituted for an equal amount of each other for most recipes.

Beef-stuffed Poblano bake.

9. Serrano Peppers

Serrano peppers are most widely available in South Asian countries and are one of the spiciest pepper variations.

A small amount of them can easily elevate any dish with its heat.

It is important to remember that Serrano peppers do not have any sweetness compared to regular Peppadew peppers and are small and thin and hence insufficient for stuffing.

How to substitute

Serrano peppers may look small and lean but pack a lot more flavor than Peppadew and should be used in small quantities and increased if needed.

Try these blistered Serrano peppers.

10. Rocoto Peppers/ Manzano Peppers

Rocoto peppers, also known as Manzano pepper in Mexico, are another heated yet fruity and tangy option when substituting Peppadew peppers with similar flavors.

Do remember to soak the Rocoto peppers in water overnight to balance out the heat and sweetness. They are better to blend into spicy sauces and stir-fries.

How to substitute

It is recommended to use a slightly lesser amount of Rocoto or Manzano peppers than the required amount of Peppadew peppers.

Try these tongue-tingling stuffed Rocoto peppers.

11. Giardiniera

Giardiniera is a well-known Italian condiment mix made with Serrano peppers, cauliflowers, carrots, and celery, pickled and marinated in white vinegar and olive oil. 

It is important to note that the flavors in a jar of Giardiniera are intense and strong, but may not have the sweet and spicy nature of Peppadew peppers.

They can be incorporated into salsas and other relishes.

How to substitute

When used as a garnish on sandwiches and hotdogs, a slightly larger portion is recommended to achieve the perfect flavor and crunch.

Here’s an easy way to make the infamous Giardiniera.

12. Hungarian Wax Peppers/Banana Peppers

Grown vastly in Hungary, these peppers have a pale yellow-green appearance, hence the name Banana pepper.

They share similar spice levels with Peppadew peppers.

Do remember that Hungarian wax peppers tend to be slightly sweeter than Peppadew peppers with edible skin, but still have the same amount of mild spice to them. 

How to substitute

Hungarian wax peppers are usually longer than Peppadew peppers and chopped for use. They can be substituted in a 1:1 proportion.

Try these crunchy pickled Banana peppers.

13. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers are known for their intense heat that somehow does not overpower the dish they are incorporated in, while still adding sufficient flavor to it.

It is essential to remember that although spicy, Cayenne peppers are not sweet at all, and their heat levels are said to reduce once cooked. 

How to substitute

Cayenne peppers are much smaller in size but pack a lot more heat than Peppadews and should therefore be used in slightly lesser quantities than the latter.

Cayenne chicken is a must-try!

14. Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers are also called Californian Chili peppers and pack a subtle but sufficient amount of heat, making them a great substitute for Peppadew peppers. 

Do note that Anaheims are usually seen in green and do not have the tangy element of Peppadews.

They are also crispier than most other peppers when raw. 

How to substitute

Anaheim peppers are larger and longer in appearance and can be stuffed and chopped up for equal amounts of Peppadew peppers.

Stuffed Anaheim peppers.

15. Roquito Peppers

Roquito peppers are unique and vibrant red-orange pear-shaped small peppers with properties similar to Peppadew and are excellent as garnish and relish. 

A small caution: Although Roquito peppers are equally sweet as Peppadew peppers but are much spicier than them and should be used moderately.

How to substitute

A slightly lesser amount of Roquito than the required amount of Peppadews is recommended when replacing one for the other.

Chinese-style Roquito pepper recipe.


What Is The Best Substitute For Peppadew Peppers?

The best-known substitutes for Peppadew Peppers in terms of taste, texture, spice level, and appearance are roasted Red Bell peppers, Poblano peppers, Hungarian Wax Peppers, Serrano peppers, and Cayenne pepper. 

These different peppers may not replicate the exact flavors of Peppadew peppers but can sufficiently replicate their texture and kick in different dishes.

Are Peppadews and Cherry Tomatoes The Same?

No, Peppadew peppers and Cherry Tomatoes are vastly different condiments. Peppadew peppers are pickled and sweetened South African native piquanté peppers. Peppadew is essentially their brand name. 

Cherry Tomato, on the other hand, is simply a smaller and tangier breed of the regular tomato. Although similar visually, they are not the same.

What Is The Spiciest Substitute For Peppadew Peppers?

Manzano peppers and Serrano peppers are the spiciest substitutes for Peppadew Peppers with a spice level or Scoville Heat Units value of 30,000 to 15,000, which are some of the highest.

Both Manzano and Serrano peppers can be used as substitutes for Peppadew peppers with additional sweeteners.

How To Make Homemade Stuffed Peppadew Peppers?

Homemade stuffed Peppadew peppers are one of the easiest and tastiest appetizers and snacks with just the simple ingredients of Peppadew peppers, herbed goat cheese, and chopped chives. 

The cheese stuffing should be piped into the peppers and chilled till they are ready to be served.

Bottom Line

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About Jane Lewis

Jane loves spending time with her family, cooking delicious meals, traveling to explore new cultures and wines, and tending to her backyard garden. She's a passionate home cook who enjoys trying out recipes from all over the world.