Having originated in Central and South America, green bell peppers are a type of capsicum widely available across the globe. This sweet pepper is used in many dishes in almost every cuisine. However, if you’ve run out or want to exclude it from a dish, you may need an excellent green bell pepper substitute.
The best bell peppers are typically grown in warm climates with sandy soils. And the biggest producers of bell peppers include Mexico, Indonesia, and India. These peppers are celebrated worldwide for their sweet, slightly fruity flavor.
Below, we’ll explore the ideal alternatives for green bell peppers when you need a substitute and how to use them.
What are Green Bell Peppers?
Green bell peppers are a type of capsicum grown for their mild, sweet flavor. While other capsicums are typically red or yellow, green bell peppers are harvested before they’ve ripened. As a result, they have a milder taste and a crunchy texture.
This delightful pepper can be eaten raw or cooked. When eaten raw, they have a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet flavor. They are used in various dishes, including stuffed peppers, fajitas, and stir-fries.
Historically, green bell peppers were used as a natural insecticide. Today, they’re celebrated as a healthy ingredient packed with antioxidants, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A, C, and B6. But regardless of how they are used, green bell peppers add a crisp, flavorful touch to any dish.
Substitutes for Green Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are a popular ingredient in many dishes, but not everyone enjoys their distinctive flavor. Therefore, you may be looking to alter the taste of your dish or simply find a suitable replacement for green bell peppers. If so, there are plenty of options available.
1. Red Or Yellow Bell Peppers
Red or yellow bell peppers are a perfect substitute for green bell peppers because they have a similar flavor and texture. Yellow bell peppers have a slightly spicier flavor than green bell peppers. While red bell peppers are sweeter and less crunchy.
Both are, essentially, ripened green bell peppers at different stages of the ripening process. Therefore, they are just as nutrient-rich as green bell peppers.
It’s best to use red and yellow bell peppers in dishes that highlight their sweetness or spiciness. Ideal options are salads, soups, stews, stir-fries, pizza, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
2. Poblano Peppers
Poblano and green bell peppers are both of the capsicum family and are picked when green before ripe. However, poblano peppers are larger than green bell peppers but more elongated.
These lengthy peppers have a very slight spicy but sweet flavor. Poblano peppers can add sweetness and depth of flavor to dishes when used as a substitute for green bell peppers.
3. Jalapeño Peppers
Jalapeño peppers originated in Mexico and are named after the city of Jalapa, Mexico. If you’re looking to add some spice to your dish, jalapeño peppers make an excellent substitute for green bell peppers.
They deliver a touch of heat, which adds a dimension of flavor to your dish. These peppers are also a good source of Vitamins A and C. However, bear in mind that jalapeño peppers may not be as easy to find in stores.
4. Pimento Peppers
Pimento peppers are chili peppers often used as a substitute for green bell peppers. They’ll add a slightly sweeter taste to the dish, along with some heat. While not very hot, pimento peppers may not be suitable for those who prefer milder flavors.
Despite the slight heat, the flavor of pimento peppers is similar to that of green bell peppers. And while they are more affordable than green bell peppers in some parts of the world, they may not be as easy to find.
Pimento peppers can be used as a green bell pepper substitute in virtually any dish.
Onions are often used in dishes with green bell peppers but can also act as a substitute for them. A fellow essential component to the base of many dishes, onions play a similar role in terms of flavor and texture.
However, onions are sweeter than green bell peppers and have a slightly more intense flavor. In terms of texture, onions are a bit softer than green bell peppers. They can also be chewy if they are not cooked properly. The yellow or white varieties are the best onions to use as a substitute for green bell peppers.
Perhaps you find yourself without green bell peppers for your recipe. If so, you can use a few different peppers and vegetables as a substitute. While they may not be an exact match in every situation, each option provides an ideal green bell pepper substitute in most recipes.