The Cubanelle pepper, also known as “Cuban pepper”, “Italian frying pepper”, or “long sweet pepper”, is a variety of sweet pepper similar to Anaheim pepper. It belongs to the species of Capsicum annuum. Young and tender peppers take yellowish-green color but will turn bright red if allowed to ripen. Its heat level ranges between 100 and 1,000 Scoville heat units. This pepper is popularly used for frying and stuffing.
It’s simply awesome to gorge on turkey stuffed Cubanelle peppers with flavorful Manchego cheese. Similarly, you’ll also love to have Italian stuffed Cubanelle peppers with Italian turkey sausage and cheese.
This article explores the best Cubanelle pepper substitute that you can use in a pinch.
Cubanelle Pepper Substitutes
If you are leaving out the regions of Italian and Cuban food culture, it’s hard to trace out Cubanelle – a.k.a. the Italian frying pepper.
So, what are the other peppers that can use in place of Cubanelle? What is the best replacement for Cubanelle for your dish?
Favorably, you have a few good options to replace Cubanelle though there are no ideal substitutes.
Here are other peppers that make for a good substitution for Cubanelle peppers:
1. Anaheim pepper
Anaheim peppers, with a heat level of 500 – 2,500 SHU, are slightly hotter than Cubanelle. Even so, they both are considered mild chilies. A little additional simmer of pepper heat is not going to make a big difference to most people.
The mild sweetness of Anaheim pepper is a good bonus point. In fact, you won’t notice the difference in a dish when they are used interchangeably.
The thicker walls of Anaheim make them more suitable for stuffing but not for frying pepper. Still, you can use this pepper for frying like Cubanelle but it takes a longer time to cook.
In short, Anaheim and Cubanelle are quite identical in shape, size, and overall flavor. They slightly differ in sweetness, heat, and the thickness of their walls.
2. Bell pepper
Another fine alternative to Cubanelle is the bell pepper with zero heat. They both also match the level of sweetness and have an indistinguishable flavor profile. And, of course, the only difference is the mild heat of Cubanelle.
Both work well for stuffings and have other similar uses in cooking. The thick walls of the bell pepper are a little disadvantageous for making fried pepper.
Note that bell peppers are large and have thick walls, yet a very good substitute for Cubanelle. If this pepper isn’t available, even a bell pepper substitute might work in your recipe.
3. Banana pepper
Banana pepper is not a perfect match for Cubanelle. However, they both look similar and have the same heat level, thus it is possible to substitute them for each other in most recipes.
Yes, banana peppers have a sweet tang that differentiates them from Cubanelle. As a matter of fact, a little extra tang won’t make a big divergence to recipes that call for Cubanelle.
4. Poblano peppers
Indeed, poblanos are hotter than Cubanelle and also larger in size. Even so, this is a fantastic pepper for fillings. You can easily use poblano peppers in place of Italian frying pepper for stuffings.
Are Cubanelle peppers similar to poblano peppers?
Both poblano and Cubanelle peppers are non-spicy peppers often used for stuffing and frying. Poblanos, like the bell peppers, have thicker skin walls and excellent for stuffing. On the other hand, Cubanelle peppers have thinner walls and are the best for frying and are also possible to use for stuffing though not great. Generally, Italian frying peppers are sweeter and milder than regular poblanos.
Is Cubanelle a banana pepper?
No. They are two different peppers but a lot similar in flavor and heat. Banana peppers have a mild, tangy taste, but Cubanelle is sweeter. Banana peppers are typically bright yellow and are possible for them to change to green, orange, or red as they ripen. Both these peppers have similar applications in cooking and they can be used interchangeably.
Is a Cubanelle pepper hot?
No, they aren’t spicy. In fact, they are categorized as sweet peppers like bell peppers. The heat level of Cubanelle range from 100 to 1,000 Scoville heat units but on overage, the heat level stays around 400 to 500 SHU.
The Bottom Line
Cubanelle is a sweet pepper that works best for stuffings. In a pinch, Anaheim pepper is the best Cubanelle pepper substitute you can use as they both are quite the same on all fronts. Other good alternatives to Cubanelle are bell pepper, banana pepper, and poblano pepper.
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