Top 10 Best Substitutes For Hot Cherry Peppers

Hot cherry peppers are one of my favorite ingredients to cook with, but I don’t always want to eat them all the time, even though I love their spicy kick and delicious flavors. Besides, these spicy, sweet, flavorful cherry peppers can be hard to find and even harder to grow in some climates.

If you’re in the same boat, you may be looking for some substitutes that can provide similar tasting sensations without making your mouth feel like it’s on fire. These 10 substitutes for hot cherry peppers will help you recreate the taste without frying your mouth off.

The Best Substitutes For Hot Cherry Peppers

1. Sweet Cherry Peppers

If you want to add a little sweet and tangy flavor to your favorite Mexican dish, but can’t find the hot cherry peppers, try using these sweet substitutes.

Sweet cherry peppers are a substitute that is often used to replace hot cherry peppers. Sweet cherry peppers have a much sweeter taste and don’t produce the same heat as hot cherry peppers. However, they can be used in the same way as hot cherry peppers to add flavor to dishes such as omelettes, salads, and guacamole.

To use sweet cherry peppers, remove the seeds and veins with a knife or carefully cut them out with your fingers. Remove any visible stems or skin from the pepper before adding it to your dish. They will cook faster than hot cherry peppers because of their low level of heat so make sure you cook thoroughly.

You can find this hot cherry pepper substitute at most grocery stores during the summer months. 

2. Sweety Drop Peppers

Sweety Drop Peppers

If you are looking for a substitute for hot cherry peppers, sweety drop peppers are worth trying. They are also available in the pickled form and they have a sweeter taste than the traditional hot cherry pepper, but they still pack a punch. In addition, they don’t require any preparation before use – just add them to your dish raw and enjoy the heat.

The sweety drop peppers are smaller than hot cherry peppers. They work well on pizzas, in salsas, or anywhere you would typically put hot cherry peppers. If you’re using sweety drop peppers in a recipe with other hot peppers, try using half the amount to cut down on any potential spiciness. Or if you want an even more mild flavor, use the traditional sweety drop pepper. It is larger than its spicy cousin, so it works better in dishes that don’t need to be as spicy.

3. Rocoto Chiles

Rocoto Chiles

Rocoto chiles are a type of chili pepper that is long and green. They can be found in the Andean region of South America and they’re most often used to make a sauce called Ají de Rocoto.

Rocoto chiles are spicy, but not as spicy as other types of peppers. They have a fruity flavor that can be described as being similar to figs or raisins. They’re also sweet with hints of citrus flavors and when cut open, their seeds are brown or black in color. 

The rocoto chile is an excellent substitute for hot cherry peppers. It has a similar heat level and a strong, distinctive flavor that is often used to add a kick of heat to dishes.

If you are using hot cherry peppers in your recipe and want to use rocoto chiles instead, you would use 3 tablespoons of finely chopped rocoto chiles instead of 1 tablespoon of finely chopped hot cherry peppers. Keep in mind that this is not an exact science; the measurement may need to be adjusted depending on how spicy you want your dish.

4. Pepperoncini


Pepperoncini are a great substitute for hot cherry peppers. It adds the same hot, spicy flavor of hot cherry peppers but with a more subdued flavor and less heat. They’re spicy, but not so spicy that they’ll ruin your meal. Plus, they’re a lot cheaper than hot cherry peppers and can be found at any grocery store.

pepperoncini color is different to hot cherry peppers – it’s usually green-ish or yellow-green in comparison to the red hot cherry peppers; also their size can range from 1/2 inch in length to about 3 inches long.

They are a tasty substitute for hot cherry peppers, also ideal because they come in jars, making them easier to store than hot cherry peppers. 

The jarred pepperoncini can be eaten as is or used as an ingredient in many dishes including salads, dips, pasta dishes, and soups. So if you are looking for that perfect finishing touch on your salad or pasta dish, pepperoncini will be sure to make it stand out.

If you want to use them as a substitute and they are not available at your local grocery store, you can order them online.

5. Sweet Red Peppers

Sweet Red Peppers

Sweet red peppers are a fantastic alternative to hot cherry peppers, and they’re also healthier. They have a milder taste, and they have less calories than hot cherry peppers. Sweet red peppers are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium. You can use them in salads, sauces, or as a side dish to your meal. The possibilities are endless with these delicious sweet peppers!

Although these peppers are often used as a substitute for hot cherry peppers they don’t provide the same flavor of the hot cherry peppers. you may need to adjust the recipe slightly.

You may also find that some sweet red peppers are more spicy than others, which means you may need to adjust the amount of salt in your recipe to compensate.  

If you’re planning on substituting this pepper for hot cherry peppers, use about half of the amount specified in the recipe and taste before adding more. You can also add cayenne pepper or jalapeño peppers if desired. The intensity will be different than if you used hot cherry peppers, but it should still taste good!

6. Giardiniera


Giardiniera is a traditional Italian condiment made of pickled vegetables. It is a type of mixed vegetable pickle that is usually eaten as an antipasto or side dish. It is usually made with carrots, cauliflower, celery and sometimes hot cherry peppers.

It can be used as a hot cherry peppers substitute because it is quite spicy and has the same level of spiciness as a hot cherry pepper. 

It may not have the intense flavor that some people enjoy in hot cherry peppers, but many people like to add different ingredients to giardiniera to enhance the flavor. For example, you can use olive oil or onions to give your giardiniera a more flavorful taste.

Another great idea is to make your own versions of this pickled condiment by adding your favorite flavors such as lemon juice, or spices like garlic and salt. You can also experiment with more flavors like basil, thyme or oregano. If you are trying to figure out what types of food go well with giardiniera, try putting them on top of cheese pizza, burgers, sandwiches and salads.

If you want to use giardiniera as a hot cherry peppers substitute then it must be the diced variety rather than the whole vegetables.

7. Pickled Jalapenos

Pickled Jalapenos

Pickled jalapenos are one of the most common substitutions for hot cherry peppers when those can’t be found either. Their small size makes them easy to chop up into any recipe that calls for whole or sliced peppers. 

Pickled jalapenos are milder than the hot cherry pepper but still pack quite a bit of flavor. You’ll get plenty of spicy taste from these fiery alternatives without the risk of being burnt by their heat like with some types of habaneros that aren’t meant to be eaten raw.

These guys provide a nice amount of heat but with little-to-no fruity taste. They work well as an alternative if you want something spicy but not fruity. Plus, they come in all different levels of spiciness so you can customize the level of intensity depending on what dish you’re making.

These green chilies are very close in appearance to the hot cherry pepper but are much spicier! Remove the seeds and veins from jalapenos before using them to keep the heat at bay. If you like your food really spicy, leave the seeds and veins intact!

The best thing about these pickled peppers is that you can find them in almost any grocery store because they’re so common!

8. Red Bell Peppers

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are a great substitute for hot cherry peppers because they have a similar flavor and consistency to hot cherry peppers. 

The two are quite similar but one thing to keep in mind is that the heat from red bell peppers isn’t quite as intense as the heat from hot cherry peppers. You may need to add more spices or spice up your recipe by adding something like ground chipotle chiles if you want to get that same kick!

Red bell peppers also have less flavor than hot cherry peppers so you might need to amp up the flavors with other ingredients.

When cooking with red bell pepper, it’s best to roast them or grill them until they turn black and blistery on the outside. Roasting brings out their natural sugars and makes them sweeter and more tender. Once cooled, peel off the skin before adding it to salads or sandwiches. You can also use marinated red bell peppers or pickled to make sure you satisfy everyone’s taste.

9. Pimentos


Pimentos are the unripe form of the red bell pepper and are typically preserved in vinegar, water, and spices, you can also use the fresh ones but they are not good for stuffing because they are smaller in size than a typical stuffed green or red bell pepper, and they may be more difficult to find. 

They can be used in many of your favorite recipes without any changes. They’re most commonly found in Italian cuisine but also work well with Mexican dishes like enchiladas or burritos. 

It is possible to substitute pimentos for hot cherry peppers, but the flavor will be different. Pimento peppers are not quite as spicy as hot cherry peppers and they have a sweeter flavor.

If you’re looking to make something like a habanero sauce then you would need to add some sweetener like sugar or honey in order to balance out the heat from the pimento pepper. The other ingredients in your recipe may also change if you swap out a pimento for a hot cherry pepper. Some recipes that call for hot cherry peppers might require less vinegar or lemon juice since the preserved pimentos are considered acidic. 

You can always try to use it as a substitute for hot cherry peppers just see what happens. There’s no guarantee that it’ll taste the same because of how much hotter and flavorful hot cherry peppers are than pimentos. However, many people prefer pimentos over hot cherry peppers due to their milder flavor. 

10. Poblano Peppers

Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are a good hot cherry peppers substitute because they have a similar flavor. They have a mild flavor and are not as spicy. Poblano peppers have about the same level of heat as hot cherry peppers and are usually sweeter tasting. 

The only downside is that poblano peppers are much larger than cherry peppers and take longer to cook, but the taste is worth it.

To use poblano peppers as a substitute for hot cherry peppers, you will need to roast them until their skin turns black and the flesh is soft. You can also use poblanos in place of hot cherry peppers in any recipe or you can add them to your salsas, stews, sauces, salads, or just eat them on their own with some cheese and tortilla chips.


What Are Hot Cherry Peppers? 

Cherry peppers are a type of pepper that is commonly found in Italian cuisine, especially in the red sauce called marinara. The name comes from the shape of the pepper, which resembles a cherry when it is whole and immature.

They can be eaten raw but are most often cooked for a few minutes before serving. In recent years, they have become popular as a pizza topping and can be purchased canned or jarred.

One of the reasons they have become so popular is because they offer an extra kick of heat without being overpowering like habaneros or jalapenos. They do not need to be soaked in oil and salt before being cooked like other peppers such as jalapenos or bell peppers.

How Much Hot Are Hot Cherry Peppers? 

Although they are typically used in cooking, hot cherry peppers can also be eaten raw. When eaten raw, the heat of the pepper varies depending on where it is grown and how old it is.

A general rule of thumb is that larger hotter varieties will be spicier than smaller milder varieties. If you want to enjoy your hot cherry peppers raw, try experimenting with a few different types until you find one that suits your taste buds. 

Scoville is a scale that measures how hot chilis are by measuring how much water it takes to dilute their extract. An average poblano has a score of 1,500 on the scale. While there’s no exact measurement for how hot cherry peppers are, this variety averages around 2,500 and 5,000 on the index. That means you need to handle them with care. Keep in mind that even one pepper can be enough to flavor your dish with some serious kick!

Last Thoughts

When you substitute a hot cherry pepper in any recipe calling for them (even if you do so with a less potent variety) it’s important to know the different levels of heat and flavor, and you should use at least one teaspoon per tablespoon of chopped peppers; this will balance the flavor more evenly than just adding another teaspoon of another kind of chili pepper to your dish.

I hope this article has helped you understand more about substitutes for hot cherry peppers. If you have any questions, please comment below.

Enjoy your cooking!

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