Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

The Anaheim pepper is a versatile chili pepper named for the city that made it famous, Anaheim, California. It is mild in flavor and heat, measuring 500-2,500 Scoville Heat Units. This makes them fairly mild on the low end, though at 2,500 SHU, that places them at close to mild jalapeno pepper heat. Compared to the Anaheim to the common jalapeno pepper, which ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, the Anaheim is certainly milder, though it can have a bit of a kick.

The Anaheim pepper is a mild, medium-sized chili pepper that grows to 6-10 inches in length. It is often used for cooking and recipes when green, though it can be used when red.

It is sold fresh and is also available roasted, dried, or canned. As the Anaheim chile ripens, it turns bright red. When the Anaheim chile is dried, it turns a dark burgundy color. It is sometimes referred to as the New Mexico chile, but the actual New Mexico chiles are hotter. When canned, this chile is typically labeled simply as “green chiles.” Anaheim chiles are an excellent complement to egg dishes, stews, and vegetable dishes.

Some Anaheim Pepper Recipes

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Cajun Cream Cheese Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Turkey and Cheddar Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Italian Sausage Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim Pepper Substitutes

The mild Anaheim pepper is increasingly available around the world, but say you’ve simply not been able to find them for your recipe. Or perhaps you’re ready for something with a little more heat that won’t alter a meal’s overall flavor too much. Where do you turn? Here is a list of the best Anaheim pepper substitutes out there.

Poblano pepper

Poblano pepper


Sure, the poblano looks more like a bell pepper than the very chili-pepper-looking Anaheim, but get under the skin, and there’s a lot more in common than you may expect. They both pack just the tiniest level of heat, with Anaheim’s potential for more just slightly greater.

In terms of taste, the poblano is a bit more earthy than the crisper-tasting Anaheim, but the distinction isn’t enough to impact most dishes. And if you were eyeing a stuffed Anaheim pepper recipe, the poblano is a good stuffed chili alternative. In fact, that poblano is an even better stuffing pepper due to its larger cavity.

Bell pepper


Well, opting for the bell pepper is like turning off the heat completely, but still, it’s often substituted for the Anaheim pepper. And, of course, bell peppers are everywhere – there’s no hunting around required. If you’re willing to substitute the one main component that makes chilies so special (or if you have no other choice), the bell can work. It, too, is an excellent stuffing pepper.

Bell peppers are a very good substitute for Anaheim Pepper when you don’t want heat at all. They are also quite tasty and nutritious.

One of the best things about bell peppers is that they are available all around the world. You can also use them in a variety of ways like for stuffing or in dishes too.

Moreover, they can also be eaten raw or cooked.

Jalapeno pepper


Jalapeno pepper originated in Mexico, but now it’s cultivated worldwide. It has a distinct taste and flavor and makes a great Anaheim pepper substitute due to the similar taste and easy availability.

Jalapeno peppers are mild in heat level. When they are green, they taste a bit hot, but they turn red and taste a little sweet after some time!

Talking about their use, you can use it nearly anywhere you want. But keep in mind that this pepper is definitely hotter than Anaheim pepper. However, they can still blend well with various dishes. You can roast them, add them to dishes, or even have them with lemonade.

Hungarian wax pepper

Hungarian wax pepper


The Hungarian wax is at least twice as hot and can ramp up to 20 times hotter than an Anaheim pepper. Think of it akin to the heat of some of the hotter jalapeño peppers you’ve ever eaten, and you’ll be pretty close. There’s even more in the Hungarian wax’s gas tank than even that, reaching the heights of milder serrano pepper, so be prepared.

As the name suggests, Hungarian Wax Peppers have originated from Hungary. They make a perfect substitute for Anaheim peppers because they’re versatile.

However, keep in mind that Hungarian Wax Peppers are spicy (almost 20 times hotter than Anaheim pepper). So, you can imagine the overall heat. Hence, we recommend this pepper for people having high heat tolerance.

Apart from the heat difference, unlike Anaheim peppers, these Peppers are also slightly tangy in the end. So, you may face this very noticeable difference at the end. When it comes to usage, Hungarian Wax Peppers work great for stuffing purposes. You can also roast, fry, or pickle them as you like.

Serrano Peppers

Serrano Peppersbuyonamazon

Serrano peppers are yet another excellent substitute for Anaheim peppers. They are definitely hotter and spicier than Anaheim peppers, but they offer a similar smoky flavor.

Opt for Serrano peppers if you want to prepare salsa or another type of flavoring with it. Moreover, you can also eat them after roasting or seasoning them! 

Chilaca pepper

Chilaca pepper


If you want a pepper variety with the same spiciness or heat as that of Anaheim pepper, then Chilaca is suitable.

Chilaca pepper has a heat of around 1000 SHU, which is quite similar to Anaheim pepper. Moreover, it also has a rich, earthy and sweet flavor that we see in Anaheim pepper.

You can use Chilaca pepper for roasting, grilling, and baking instead of Anaheim pepper!

Frequently Asked Question [FAQs]

Is Anaheim pepper the same as Serrano?

Serrano pepper resembles Anaheim, but it is milder and changes to orange-red after maturity while Anaheim turns red.

Can you substitute Anaheim peppers for Jalapenos?

Yes, you can use Anaheim peppers instead of Jalapenos. They’re slightly less spicy and hot than jalapenos. However, in many dishes, they can become as hot as jalapenos as well.

Can you substitute Poblano for Anaheim peppers?

Yes, you can substitute  Poblano for Anaheim peppers. There are many recipes where you can use them. However, expect some extra heat when you are using Poblano peppers.


If you don’t have Anaheim chiles, you can substitute them for any of the ingredients listed above. Bear in mind, some of the substitutes here have different hotness when compared to Anaheim pepper. Be sure to check out for that and adjust the substituting quantity as necessary.