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Top 12 Substitutes for Green Chilies You Can Get Easily

If you have a dish that you have prepared many times but feel it needs some kind of boost, you might consider adding green chili peppers to add a little kick.

Green chili peppers offer several excellent health benefits but also taste great. Depending on your particular taste, green peppers range from medium to hot in the range of spicy. 

These peppers are found in many Indian dishes due to an added touch, they offer a wonderful smoky flavor.

On the other hand, if you are not into the spice found in green chilies, or you cannot find them at your local store, there are some substitutes for green chilies.

Top 12 Green Chilies Substitutes

There are several substitutes you can use to replace green chili peppers to achieve the flavor you are looking for.

Many of these peppers are within your reach. Some are hotter while others are milder but are great replacements and are probably at your local store.

We are going to give you a list of the best substitutes for green chilies to make that special dish, even if you do not have them in your kitchen or pantry.

#1. Jalapeno Peppers

jalapeno pepper

There are people who just cringe believing Jalapeno peppers are just way too hot. In reality, that’s not the case, it depends on how they are grown.

Jalapeno peppers range from quite mild to super hot. These peppers have a wonderful flavor and can work perfectly as a substitute of green chilies in your recipe. 

If you have never tried jalapeno jelly, you are in for a very pleasant surprise.

In general, jalapeno peppers are an added seasoning for recipes vs the main ingredient. The level of spice from jalapenos can create a wonderful flavoring for your dish.

Green chilies are often roasted or fried while jalapenos are fresh when added to some recipes but are often in recipes when cooked.

You may like: 13 Green & Red Jalapeño Pepper Substitutes

#2. Cayenne Peppers

cayenne pepper

So, you have guests coming over and all of you are into spicy, hot dishes. You are probably looking for something that will blow the top of their heads off!

Consider adding a small amount of diced cayenne peppers to your recipe. They are a great substitute to green chili peppers and a great deal hotter!

If you want cayenne peppers in place of green chilies, be advised to use only a small amount. Cayenne is very, very hot and therefore will go a very long way! Only using a small amount will give a great taste to your recipe but also add a little kick.

I’m sure you have visited the spice racks in your store and one that stands out is cayenne pepper because of its significant heat. Cayenne pepper will raise your body’s temperature and help burn off calories. 

Also, this pepper can boost your metabolism slightly, so if you want spicy in your meal cayenne pepper is the answer. Just don’t overdo it.

#3. Bell Peppers

bell peppers

Bell peppers are the main staple in many recipes and if you are someone who does not want spice in your food, sweet bell peppers are probably your answer.

These peppers will not produce heat in your food but will add great texture to your dishes like green chili peppers.

As bell peppers come in a few different colors, you can create festive dishes and they are perfect for salads. Once matured, bell peppers will give you vibrant colors of red, yellow, green, and orange.

While green chili peppers are used for flavoring, bell peppers are used as the main ingredient to add some bulk to your dishes and vibrant colors to your average salad.

#4. Poblano Pepper

poblano pepper

If you want to add a little smoky flavor to your dishes, similar to green chilies, but with just a touch of heat, poblano peppers are a great substitute.

They are perfect for adding a small amount of heat to your dish but can also be the main ingredient for recipes such as Stuffed Chili Con Carne Peppers.

These peppers are originally from Puebla, Mexico. They are a mild chili pepper with is a glossy, dark green exterior When they ripen they will turn dark red or brown. 

Poblano peppers are very popular in Mexico and are usually picked while still green for cooking. Some people prefer to roast and peel them to eliminate their waxy texture.

#5. Habanero Peppers

habanero peppers

Habanero peppers are hot! If you want to use habanero peppers for an extremely spicy experience they are a great substitute for green chilies.

These peppers are commonly used to make spicy sauces for a side dish or sauces for those who are willing to brave the heat.

They are a perfect choice for spice lovers but are not usually stored in pantries or elsewhere just purchased when needed.

They offer a wonderful floral aroma to recipes and you only need to add a small amount to get a decent-sized for an added kick.

#6. Banana Pepper

banana pepper

Banana pepper is considered one of the very best substitutes for green chilies. If you are someone who prefers milder peppers over spicy hot this is an excellent choice.

Many people do not realize that many Mexican dishes are actually quite mild, not hot. This pepper is absolutely perfect for salsa and even enchiladas.

These peppers are a yellow color but they are known to turn red or orange when they start ripening. Many dishes use this pepper along with hotter peppers to add sweetness to a recipe without being too much.

A very popular method for these peppers is pickling them with garlic and white vinegar and then use as an ingredient in salads.

For a sweet, mild taste, people often stuff banana peppers with other ingredients as a replacement for tacos.

#7. Chili Powder Or Chili Flake

chili flake

There will always be a time when the refrigerator is bare. You cannot find the items or ingredients you need for your recipe. 

If you do not have fresh peppers then head to your pantry and grab chili powder or dried chili flakes as an substitute for green chilies.

You should always have these in your pantry as they are staple condiments and will last for 2 years after being opened so you can use them over and over.

It’s very easy to find these seasonings in the spice or seasoning section of your store. You can add heat to your recipe when you do not have fresh ingredients. Chili powder and chili flakes bring a lot of heat to recipes.

Just note how much you use on a regular basis depending on your level of heat then reorder when supplies get low.

What’s more, chili powder or chili flake is also a good substitute for canned green chilies and chopped green chilies.

#8. Anaheim Pepper

anaheim pepper

Anaheim pepper is a great green chilies substitute if you want a mild flavor but still have a nice range between low to medium heat.

This pepper is known by other names including Magdalena, California pepper, or New Mexico pepper.

They look very much like green chili peppers and are also used in cooked dishes and fresh recipes.

These peppers are mild enough to be consumed as a main ingredient or as a hint of spice for those who do not enjoy high heat.

#9. Red Pepper or Red Chili

red chili pepper

Red peppers or red chili peppers are ripened and unharvested green chili peppers. While green chilies are usually roasted or used fresh, red peppers are usually dried or provided as a powder.

Red peppers are popular in Mexican dishes including chili con carne and as an added kick in creamy pasta dishes.

#10. Serrano Peppers

serrano peppers

Serrano peppers are very similar to jalapeno peppers but are close to 5 times hotter than.

These peppers are excellent in guacamole for an extra touch to the mixture. Because they are spicier than green chilies, just a very small amount to the recipe in increases the heat level.

Serrano peppers are ideal in enchiladas.

#11. Pasilla Peppers

pasilla peppers

Pasilla peppers is another green chiles substitute for cooking.

This popular Mexican chili has a rich, sweet flavor and is usually used to make salsa, sauces or other recipes that you want to add spicy traces.

If don’t like the hotness of green chiles, then pasilla peppers will be a good choice.

#12. Green Fresno Pepper

green fresno pepper

Green Fresno pepper is a sweetly hot chile that has a very thick flesh. It’s a good diced substitute for green chilies when making delicious spicy pickles.

Green Fresno pepper is quite a bit hotter than the green chilies. It’s often used for chutneys, sauces, relishes and dips. 

What’s more, this kind of pepper can increase the metabolic rate and are excellent for losing weight, you can easily get it since it’s available year-round.

Part 2. FAQs About Green Chili

1. How to Choose a Green Chili Substitute?

You can make your choice base on the following two criteria:

  • Spicy Level: Green Chilies is mild-moderate spicy level, so choose a similar level for your recipe.
  • Taste/Flavor: Make sure the substitute doesn’t change the dishes taste.

2. How to Store Green Chilies?

The simplest way is to remove the stem part, and store them in your refrigerator. This will keep the green chilies fresh for around one week.


There are so many green chilies substitutes for your dishes and recipes, all you have to do is try out something different and see what you think.

Whether you want a classic jalapeno pepper or very mild bell pepper, you will love the unique tastes and flavors they bring to your recipes.

From mild to extremely hot like Cayenne or Habanero there’s is something just right for your dishes and taste.

For those of you who love to experiment with new ideas and dishes, you will find a world of opportunities using peppers. Peppers also come in a beautiful range of colors so why not add a rainbow of colors to your next unique dish!

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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