The 15 Best Bell Pepper Substitutes

Bell peppers are a fantastic addition to many recipes. These sweet and earthy peppers don’t have a spicy flavor, so you can enjoy them in a variety of ways.

But what if you don’t have red, yellow or green bell peppers at home? Luckily, there are a great variety of bell pepper substitutes that work just as well as the original.

The 15 Best Bell Pepper Substitutes

This might even be a great opportunity to experiment with some unique flavor combinations! Here are our best 15 bell pepper substitutes for you to try.

1. Poblano Peppers

The best bell pepper substitute, especially for green bell peppers, is Poblano peppers. These green peppers look very similar to bell peppers but they have a slightly spicy taste.

This being said, their earthy flavor makes them ideal as an alternative to traditional bell peppers.

Plus, poblanos also have thick walls with a large interior cavity. This makes them ideal for stuffing.

2. Orange, Yellow Or Red Bell Peppers

If your recipe calls for a specific color of bell pepper, then you can just use a bell pepper that has another color.

While different colored bell peppers taste slightly different, they are all very similar in flavor.

Green bell peppers are typically more earthy and neutral compared to their sweeter pepper alternatives, such as orange bell pepper.

If you definitely want to add bell peppers to your recipe, then orange, yellow or red bell peppers are a fantastic alternative.

3. Pimiento

Pimiento looks like a mix of tomato and red bell pepper. It even has a similar sweet flavor to colored bell peppers.

Pimientos are perfect for any recipe that asks for chopped bell peppers. That’s why you may be able to find them in jars and tins at your local grocery store.

While chopped pimiento is perfect for bell pepper recipes, these red veggies don’t work well if you try to stuff them.

This being said, pimiento sold in jars doesn’t have the same crunch as bell peppers, so keep this in mind for your recipe.

4. Banana Peppers

Just as their name suggests banana peppers are bright yellow and they even have a slightly sweet flavor.

There are different varieties of banana peppers, some are a little spicier than others. However, most banana peppers hit a Scoville rating of 500 which is still on the low side.

5. Jalapeno Peppers

If you love a spicy kick in your recipes, then jalapenos are the species bell pepper substitute that you can get.

They are perfect for stuffing and you can even vary the heat level. Just remove the pith and ribs from the jalapeno peppers before you cook them. This brings down the heat levels.

6. Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers are similar to Poblano peppers. They have the same thick walls which make Anaheim peppers ideal for stuffing and roasting.

Plus, these peppers even have the familiar crunchiness that we know from bell peppers. Their only difference is the flavor.

Anaheim peppers are fruity and sweet which is why they are often called California chili.

As these peppers are often a key ingredient in traditional recipes, you can easily use them as a bell pepper alternative.

Their flavor is rich and full, with just a little more spice than your standard red bell pepper.

7. Eggplant

If you want to find a bell pepper substitute for your fajitas, then you can use eggplant or eggplant slices.

They may have a different flavor, consistency and appearance than bell peppers but eggplant creates a unique aroma in fajitas.

Plus, eggplant is just as versatile as many other bell pepper substitutes on our list. You can roast or stuff them.

8. Sichuan Peppers

Not everyone can easily enjoy bell peppers. Some people are allergic to peppers while others simply can’t digest them easily.

Sichuan peppers are a great bell pepper alternative if you can’t use bell peppers in any of your recipes.

This Chinese pepper is one of the most commonly used peppers in Asia. It tastes like a mix of black pepper and chili pepper.

But Sichuan peppers also have a slight citrus flavor that combines well with the spicy aroma.

Although this pepper is very different from bell peppers, Sichuan pepper can give your meal a lot more flavor.

9. Acorn Squash

You can use any type of winter or summer squash as a bell pepper substitute.

However, acorn squashes have a large center which makes them perfect for adding your favorite filling.

Plus, an acorn squash has a sweet flavor which is similar to red and orange bell peppers.

If you prefer to roast your squash, just cut it in half, take out all the seeds and coat it with pepper, salt and olive oil.

Then place your squash onto a baking try and allow it to roast in the oven for half an hour. Once your squash is soft, you can add your filling.

10. Green Onion

Green onions have a beautifully subtle flavor that works in almost any dish. Also known as spring onions or scallions, they are related to leeks, shallot and garlic.

Green onions are rich in vitamin K and sulfur which makes them a healthy bell pepper substitute.

These tasty onions can even add a little extra spice and crunchiness to your meal.

11. Cubanelle

Cubanelle peppers look similar to jalapeno peppers but they are much sweeter. In fact, cubanelle tastes similar to red bell peppers.

This makes them ideal for slicing and adding to your pizza or salad. Just keep in mind that cubanelle peppers aren’t thick enough for stuffing.

Cubanelles are yellow or green when they are not ripe yet but they turn red in color once they are fully ripe.

12. Zucchini

Zucchini is a fantastic summer squash that has a soft texture with a delicate flavor. They are perfect for cooking on high heat.

You can add them to stews, soups or sauces to create a more varied flavor.

13. Broccoli

Broccoli is not just super healthy but you can also use it as a crunchy bell pepper substitute.

If you prefer your cooked broccoli softer, then allow it to boil for longer. You can also whisk it together with spinach and other green veggies into a soup.

Broccoli florets don’t take very long to prepare and you can add them to a great variety of recipes, from stir fry to salads.

14. Mushrooms 

Mushrooms are a popular bell pepper alternative because they give your meal flavor and texture.

If you can’t find bell peppers for your pizza, then try out an extra portion of mushrooms. Just slice them and add them as a pizza topping.

You can even marinate your pizza mushrooms to give them more flavor.

15. Bok Choy

If you want to make a stir fry, then bok choy is a fantastic alternative to bell peppers. This leafy vegetable belongs to the cabbage family and it’s a staple of Chinese cuisine.

Bok choy has a crunchy texture with a deeply earthy flavor.

Final Thoughts

Bell peppers are super delicious but if you don’t have these tasty veggies at home, then you can use a great variety of bell pepper substitutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Substitute For Green Bell Pepper?

The best green bell pepper substitute is either yellow bell pepper or red bell pepper. They are similar in flavor and appearance to their green cousins.

What Can I Replace Bell Peppers With In Fajitas?

The closest alternative to bell peppers is Poblano peppers. They look and taste similar to bell peppers which means you don’t need to change your recipe.

What Pepper Is Closest To Bell Pepper?

The closest alternative to bell peppers is Poblano peppers. They look and taste similar to bell peppers which means you don’t need to change your recipe.Poblano peppers have a strong, earthy flavor that works well with any recipe where you traditionally add bell peppers.

The 15 Best Bell Pepper Substitutes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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Bell peppers are a fantastic addition to many recipes. But what if you don’t have any at home? Here are our best 15 bell pepper substitutes for you to try.


  • Poblano Peppers

  • Orange, Yellow Or Red Bell Peppers

  • Pimiento

  • Banana Peppers

  • Jalapeno Peppers

  • Anaheim Peppers

  • Eggplant

  • Sichuan Peppers

  • Acorn Squash

  • Green Onion

  • Cubanelle

  • Zucchini

  • Broccoli

  • Mushrooms 

  • Bok Choy


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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