Bell Pepper Substitute: 8 Comparable Alternatives To Try

bell pepper substitute

A roasted bell peppers soup or turkey stuffed bell pepper are wonderfully tasty and relishing. No doubt, bell peppers are easily found everywhere, but still, you may like to try an alternative for a regular thing that can be boring.

While choosing a substitute for bell peppers, you may want to try another pepper with the same grassy bright flavor or go with something spicier or sweeter. Fortunately, you have many options of low or moderately hot chili peppers and vegetables that make amazing alternatives to bell peppers.

What Are Bell Peppers?

Bell Peppers are bell-shaped peppers that are popularly used in several recipes across the globe. The cultivars of the plant produce this pepper in different colors like green, red, orange, yellow, white, and purple.

In the pepper scale, bell peppers are grouped with less pungent pepper verities as ‘sweet peppers’.

Usually, a green bell pepper has a mild grassy flavor. Whereas, ripened bell peppers, which usually appear red, orange, or yellow, have a sweeter flavor with less bitterness.

Although there are subtle differences in different colored bell peppers, all of them can be used interchangeably without much difference in flavor.

What Is A Good Substitute For Bell Pepper?

Almost every vegetable vendor has bell pepper on sale. Still, if you have difficulty in getting hold of it or you desperately want to try something else in place of the usual bell pepper then look for its replacement. I have put together a list of useful bell pepper substitutes that are worth considering in a pinch. Here are the stand-in ingredients for bell pepper:

1. Poblano pepper

Poblano chilies share a close similarity to bell pepper. They have thick meaty walls and large cavities suitable for stuffings like the bell pepper.

Currently, poblanos are becoming easily available in most places.

You won’t find the bright grassy flavor of green bell pepper in poblano but a richer, earthier flavor. Bell peppers are rather sweet but the poblanos have a mild simmering heat that ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville Heat Units.

Despite the differences in flavor, poblano is the best substitute for bell peppers as both can be used in cooking in the same way.

2. Cubanelle

Like the poblano, Cubanelle peppers have mild heat but are slightly sweet and crunchy like the bell pepper. This pepper has thinner and spacer inner walls that make them ideal for stuffing. Cubanelle is a wonderful alternative to bell peppers in casseroles, toppings on pizza, or salads.

For people who are averse to the assertive grassy flavor or sweetness of bell peppers, switching over to Cubanelle chili will be a gratifying substitution.

3. Anaheim peppers

Anaheim peppers are hotter than bell peppers, but their mild heat is tolerable for most people. After cooking, this pepper turns quite sweet like the bell pepper. Also, the smoky, tangy undertones of cooked Anaheim are lovely to relish.

For another similarity, Anaheim has wide, thicker inner walls that make them ideal for stuffing as you do with a bell.

On the whole, Anaheim is a good replacement for bell pepper though its mild heat may be bothersome.

4. Pepperoncini peppers

Pepperoncinis, also known as Tuscan or sweet Italian peppers, is sweet, tangy, and mild chili peppers. These bulbous-shaped peppers are useful for stuffings though they are smaller in size than bell peppers.

In a pinch, this pepper is a ‘just manageable’ alternative to bell pepper.

5. Pimiento

Pimiento peppers are heart-shaped sweet peppers in red color. Their small size won’t allow for stuffings, however, they can be sliced up and used in recipes that call for red bell peppers. Pimiento matches the red bell pepper in color and flavor. It works well in stir-fries, casseroles, chili beans, and other recipes that call for bell peppers.

6. Zucchini

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a summer squash in the Cucurbitaceae plant family. The sweetness in zucchini becomes more evident when it is cooked.  The versatility of Zucchini allows you to use it as a substitute for green bell pepper in most recipes that call for bell. It works amazingly well for stuffings. Just like the bell pepper, a good ingredient in stir-fries, casseroles, or any savory dishes.

7. Broccoli

The bell pepper usually turns soft and slimy once cooked that is quite dislikable for many. If you are looking for a bell pepper substitute that holds its shape and crispy bite then go for broccoli. This super-healthy vegetable from the cabbage family works well in stir-fries and soups.

A few florets of broccoli in your dish will add an earthy and mildly bitter taste. Most chefs say that broccoli is the best bell pepper substitute outside of the Capsicum genus.

8. Bok Choy

Bok Choy, a leafy green vegetable known as Chinese cabbage, brings in a sweet and crunchy taste to your recipes like the red bell peppers. The versatility of this vegetable allows you to use them as a stand-in ingredient in many recipes that call for bell peppers.

Usually, the dark green leaves of Bok Choy are bitter and not used in cooking. Only the white stalks, minus the leaves, are chopped into small pieces for use in dishes.

The Bottom Line

Bell pepper is ubiquitous, yet looking for an occasional alternative isn’t a bad idea. To replace bell pepper with something that has close similarities, then try using Poblano, Anaheim, or Cubanelle peppers. Zucchini and broccoli are the best bell pepper substitute outside the family of the Capsicum genus.

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