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16 Peppadew Peppers (Pickled Piquanté Peppers) Substitutes

Can’t find any peppadew peppers at your local supermarket? Or they’re overpriced? Getting bored of the same old flavor and want some variation?

Or maybe you’re looking to add some creative flair to your recipes.

Whatever the reason, these peppadew peppers substitutes will ensure that you can keep adding that tangy kick to your salads, sandwiches, and recipes.

What is a Peppadew Pepper?

To clear one thing up, Peppadew peppers are NOT a type of pepper.

Peppadew pepper is, in fact, a brand of sweet, pickled Piquanté peppers from South Africa. They have a tangy, mildly-spicy flavor to them, which has made them hugely popular all over the world.

A versatile ingredient, they can be used in sandwiches, salads, pasta sauces, and even pizzas.

They are relatively small and round in shape, with hollowed-out insides that make them great for stuffing with delicious fillers, especially cheese!

The distinct taste of Peppadew peppers might make you think that there can be no imitations. However, these 16 alternatives can satisfy depending on what you most like about Peppadews.

What is a Good Substitute for Peppadew Peppers?

1. Sweety Pepper Drops

inca red drop

Originating in Peru as the ‘Inca Drop Pepper,’ these are probably the closest to a Peppadew peppers in taste and texture.

They are pickled and sweetened with a similarly mild heat. Their shape is often likened to that of a teardrop.

Great for:

  • Stuffing with cream cheese as a cold snack
  • Slicing up for a pizza topping

2. Hot Pickled Cherry Peppers

hot pickled cherry peppers

Similar to Peppadew peppers, Cherry Peppers are small and round in shape. While also sweet, they tend to pack a bit more of a kick, ranging from 2000 to 5000 Scoville Heat Units.

Look no further if you’re looking for a hotter substitute with much of the same qualities as the Peppadew.

Great for:

  • Adding a sweet, zingy element to your cheese board or antipasti platter
  • Topping a salad or sandwich

3. Pimento

pimento peppers

Like Peppadew peppers, Pimentos are a sweet, aromatic pepper. They are slightly milder, usually at around 500 Scoville Heat Units.

Pimentos tend to get confused with Cherry Peppers due to how they look.

Great for:

  • Stuffed with cheese and rice, then baked in the oven
  • Adding to any tomato-based pasta sauce

4. Bell Peppers

bell pepper

Unlike most of the substitutes on this list, Bell Peppers are not spicy at all. They are, however, a colorful, crunchy option that can be added to almost all kinds of recipes.

These versatile peppers can be baked, grilled, fried, or eaten raw!

They can vary in color, typically in red, yellow, and green options, making them an excellent choice if you’re looking to add some vibrancy and color to your dish!

Great for:

  • Any salad, pasta sauce, stir fry, you name it!

5. Manzano Peppers

manzano peppers

If it’s heat you want, it’s heat you shall get.

The Manzano, as it’s known in Mexico, or the Rocoto in Peru, is hotter than the Peppadew, hovering around 30,000 Scoville Heat Units.

Therefore, you can scale down the amount you usually use when cooking with Peppadew peppers. Like the Peppadew, the Manzano is another sweet, fruity-tasting pepper.

Great for:

  • Bringing extra heat to any sauce-based dish

6. Pickled Jalapenos

canned pickled jalapenos

While Jalapenos are typically much hotter, they’ll feel a bit softer on the palate when pickled. Still, these will be noticeably hotter than your Peppadew.

These are an excellent substitute for Peppadew peppers if you’re looking for a slightly hotter option with a more ‘pickled’ taste.

Great for:

  • Adding to your homemade quesadillas or tacos
  • An excellent addition to any meat-filled sub sandwich

7. Pepperoncini

whole pepperoncini

The main difference here is the color. The pepperoncini are pale and yellowy-green compared to the typically bright red Peppadew.

However, they both have similarly mild, sweet, and spicy tastes. The Pepperoncini can be a crispier, crunchier bite than the Peppadew.

Great for:

  • Excellent for adding extra bite to your salads
  • Often a welcome addition to pizzas

8. Serrano Pepper

serrano peppers

The Serrano Pepper packs a lot more punch than most of the other entrants on this list.

Averaging around 15,000 Scoville Heat Units, this is an excellent Peppadew pepper substitute if you are simply looking to level up in terms of heat.

Great for:

  • Try making your own fiery hot sauce with these devilish, green chilis

9. Giardiniera


Giardiniera is an Italian condiment consisting of pickled Serrano Peppers marinated in olive oil and white vinegar. It often comes made with other ingredients, such as cauliflower and carrots.

Giardiniera is famous for its sweet, spicy, crunchy goodness!

Great for:

  • Delicious in Italian meat sandwiches, on Bratwursts, Hot Dogs

10. Roasted Red Peppers

roasted red peppers

These are essentially Bell Peppers, only they have been grilled and preserved in olive oil. What’s not to love?

They have a rich taste and soft texture, with a bit of bite in them. The best part is that all the hard work has been done, as they are ready to eat straight out of the jar!

Great for:

  • Adding some color to your scrambled eggs or omelet
  • Put a layer of these in your sandwich to give it a richer taste

11. Roquito Peppers

roquito peppers

These Peruvian, pearl-shaped chili peppers share a lot of similarities with Peppadew peppers.

They are sweet but provide a decent enough heat kick, measuring between 1500 to 2500 Scoville Heat Units, slightly hotter than Peppadews.

They are a vibrant red and have a satisfying level of crunch to them.

Great for:

  • Combined with spiced chicken, they make for an excellent pizza topping

12. Poblano Peppers

poblano pepper

This mildly hot pepper is named after the Mexican state Puebla, where it originates.

Hitting a similar range of Scoville Heat Units to the Peppadew at around 1000 to 1500, they are a goode Peppadew pepper substitute for those looking to replicate the same level of heat in their dishes.

Typically, Poblanos are dried or roasted and then preserved in cans.

Great for:

  • Add some grilled Poblanos to your guacamole to give it a bit of an edge

13. Anaheim Peppers

anaheim peppers

Anaheim Peppers are commonly used Californian Chili Peppers. They can be used in several ways, making them a versatile ingredient.

They are relatively mild but still pack a little bit of heat, swap these in for bell peppers if you want a slightly hotter dish.

Great for:

  • Use these as the base for your homemade salsa

14. Banana Peppers

banana peppers

Another mild replacement for Peppadew peppers is Banana pepper. These peppers get their name from their typically bright yellow color, though they come in pale green, too.

Averaging about 500 Scoville Heat Units, they are less spicy than Peppadew peppers.

Great for:

  • Chopping up and pickling in white vinegar for a delicious table condiment

Other Substitutes for Peppadew Peppers

The following are not peppers, but we’re thinking outside the box (or jar):

15. Sundried Tomatoes

sun dried tomatoes

As you guessed, these are ripened tomatoes left to soak in the sun. They are usually preserved in olive oil and have a pleasantly sweet, salty taste.

Great for:

  • These are fabulous when mixed in with pesto-pasta salad

16. Cherry Tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

What Cherry Tomatoes lack in spice, they make up for with their juicy, sweet goodness. Fresh cherry tomatoes will be naturally crunchier than Peppadews.

Great for:

  • Fresh, crunchy salads

FAQs About Peppadew Peppers

Are sweet cherry peppers the same as peppadew?

No, while the two are very similar, leading many to mislabel Peppadews as sweet cherry peppers, they are not the same.

  • Peppadews are Sweet Piquanté Peppers, whereas Sweet Cherry Peppers are a type of Pimiento.
  • Pimiento Peppers are typically slightly milder, ranging from 100 to 500 Scoville Heat Units.

Are peppadew peppers spicy?

Measuring 1177 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale, Peppadews are thought to have a mild heat. A Jalapeno Pepper measures anywhere from 2500 to 8000 Scoville Heat Units.

Peppadews are, therefore, considered to be relatively mild with a sweet spiciness, making them a delicious and versatile ingredient.

Where to buy peppadew peppers?

Supermarkets, delis, and cheese shops are likely to be stocking Peppadew peppers. If you have no luck with these, check out your nearest Whole Foods store!

Final Words

Peppadews’ sweet, tangy heat makes their unique flavor very difficult to replicate, but we have carefully selected 16 Peppadew pepper alternatives for you to try.

Whether it’s that all-important pasta salad for a dinner party, a mouth-watering sandwich for your lunch break, or trying your hand at homemade pizza, give these other ingredients a whirl!


  • If you want to know the difference between chili flakes and red pepper flakes, click here
  • To learn the substitutes for jalapeno peppers, click here

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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