Spice Up Your Dish: 5 Incredible Alternatives to Shishito Peppers

Have you ever heard of Shishito Peppers?

These savory little peppers are becoming increasingly popular among cooks around the world, and for a good reason.

They’re delicious.

Not only that, but they have a mild heat rating, making them a great option for those who don’t like too much spice.

Plus, there are so many ways to use these peppers; in dishes such as scrambled eggs, vegetable tempura, and fajitas.

But if you can’t get your hands on Shishito Peppers, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes out there.

In this article, we’ll explore five of the best Shishito Pepper substitutes in recipes.

What is Shishito Pepper?

Shishito pepper is one of those peculiar foodstuffs that tend to make your taste buds simultaneously burst with flavor and perplexity.

It belongs to the species Capsicum annuum and usually grows to about 4 inches in length; this pepper has thin, mild flesh and generally loves hot climates.

Every now and then, you might find one that has quite a bit of spice; however, this happens very rarely with these lightly sweet vegetables.

They have wrinkled skin that turns from an olive green to yellowish-orange when fully ripe.

As far as taste and texture go, their taste is similar to that of bell pepper, but they have a much more fragile skin than other peppery vegetables.

Shishito peppers are best grilled or sautéed in order to bring out their yummy sweet flavor on any dish; you can also use them in salads, as well as tempura dishes.

5 BEST Shishito Peppers Substitutes in Recipes

If you’re a fan of shishito peppers, you know how difficult it is to find them in the local grocery store.

Luckily, there are plenty of other peppers that provide a similar taste and texture that can be used in recipes instead.

Here are five of the best shishito pepper substitutes for your favorite dishes:

1 – Padrón Peppers

Padrón peppers are the perfect snack food if you’re looking for something bursting with flavor and a touch of mystery.

These peppers, originating from Galicia, Spain, are small and green in color but can sometimes produce a spicy surprise in the form of one solitary pepper.

It’s the luck of the draw when it comes to experiencing the heat kick, so go ahead and give it a go.

The peppers have an earthy taste combined with sweet and smoky undertones, which perfectly compliments their crisp yet tender textures.

As most people commonly mistake them for shishito peppers, Padrón peppers can make an excellent substitute due to their savory flavorings — so why not give them a try?

2 – Jalapeño Peppers

Ah, jalapeño peppers – the burst of flavor that makes us all scratch our heads in perplexity.

How is it these little scorching treats can add such a wonderful explosion of taste to any dish? It’s no surprise they are an essential ingredient found in most Latin American cuisines.

Not just any old pepper, this treat has a distinct flavor combined with a satisfying texture that is both spicy and crunchy.

If you’re looking for something milder or if you can’t find a jalapeño, shishito peppers are the perfect substitute due to their similar appearance, size, and even taste.

No matter what you’re whipping up in the kitchen, chances are jalapeños will make it better.

3 – Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers are a perplexing variety of pepper that one cannot help but be in awe of.

This medium-hot chile has origins going back to New Mexico, being named after the town it originated from.

They have a unique earthy, grassy taste with a slight sweetness and subtle hints of tobacco.

With its thick and juicy flesh, it is ideal for roasting or grilling, which brings out even more flavor.

Anaheim peppers can easily substitute shishito peppers as they have similar sizes, heat levels, and texture.

Although, if you are using them to substitute, one must remember that the roasting process will bring out more heat in the Anaheim peppers, making them subtly spicier than their Shishito counterpart.

4 – Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers have quickly become a favorite pepper amongst pepper lovers.

Not surprisingly, you can find these fiery delights in Mexican cuisines, such as chiles, rellenos, and tamales.

They have just enough warmth but still manage to maintain the natural sweetness that makes them an ideal accompaniment for a variety of dishes.

The flavor of poblano peppers is exquisite as it’s likened to the sensation of an earthy sweetness tinged with a mild smokiness with just the right hint of spice.

These unique characteristics make poblanos perfect for roasting and grilling, where the heat intensifies their flavor, or they can be simply used raw in salads and sandwiches.

If you’re looking to substitute shishito peppers, then poblanos are your go-to option – they may not be as exceptionally mild and slightly sweeter than shishitos, but their delicious flavor more than makes up for it.

5 – Banana Peppers

If you’ve ever seen a banana pepper and thought, “why is this not just a tiny banana?” you’re not alone.

Banana peppers are indeed shaped like small, yellowish replicas of their namesake fruit, but they are actually part of the capsicum family, similar to the related bell pepper.

However, the taste is surprisingly different.

These sweet and slightly spicy chilies have an overall mild heat that pairs well with salad, pizza, and sandwiches.

For a closer equivalent to shishito peppers – which have a light smokiness – try sautéing the banana peppers in olive oil with smoked paprika for an experience closer to shishitos.


In conclusion, there are plenty of peppers you can use as substitutes for shishito peppers.

From the mild and slightly sweet poblanos to the spicier jalapeños, each type has its own unique flavor that will take your dishes up a notch.

The best part is these peppers all have similar sizes, textures, and flavors, so you don’t have to make any major changes when replacing them in a recipe.

Whether you’re looking for something mild or something with more heat, these five peppers are sure to do the trick.

5 BEST Shishito Peppers Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Shishito Peppers Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 – Padrón Peppers
  • 2 – Jalapeño Peppers
  • 3 – Anaheim Peppers
  • 4 – Poblano Peppers
  • 5 – Banana Peppers


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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