Green chili is the secret ingredient to creating many fantastic spicy dishes, such as Chile Verde or enchilada. You love these dishes so much, so you want to customize them a little bit to create your unique flavor.
And the simplest way to bring the fresh air to these delicious dishes is to replace green chiles (or green chili peppers) with other spicy ingredients.
In this way, you can customize the heat level and flavor yet enhancing their yummy taste.
So, which is the right substitute for green chiles? Let’s scroll down the article below to discover some ubiquitous replacements.
About Green Chiles
What is green chile? Green Chiles (known as Hatch Green Chiles) come from Nahuatl chilli with 2000 ~ 5000 scoville heat units.
It is one of the essential ingredients in any kitchen to add more spicy, slightly sweet, and earthy flavor to the dishes as Relleno dishes, Quesadillas, any melted cheese dishes.
If you are a fan of smoke dishes, you should harvest it early (before mature) then roast it, and it will have a smoky and upfront taste.
There are plenty of types of green chiles, however most popular in the world, we talk about seven most use around the world:
- Anaheim/California Chiles
- New Mexico/Hatch Chiles
- Poblano Green Chiles
- Chilaca Peppers
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Serrano Chiles
- Habanero Peppers
Whether above types can substitute for Green Chiles, which did not change the dish flavor? Let see my explanations below for your reference before going next.
11 Right Spices Can Substitute For Green Chiles You Should Know
1. Banana Peppers – Best Choice
Do you want to wow your friend with a slightly sweet flavor aside from the primary mild spicy taste? If you prefer to do so, banana peppers are the most suitable one among various green chili substitutions.
They are mild and medium-sized chili peppers that appear green when they are unripe. Once they are mature, their outer skin turns to bright yellow, orange, or red, depending on their maturity.
Because their yellow skin and shape when ripening resembles the actual bananas, people call them banana pepper or banana chili, or yellow wax pepper.
They feature a similar crunchy texture to fresh bell peppers, making them a great option to add a little bit of heat and juicy texture to sandwiches, pizzas, or salads.
Another way to cook banana chiles is to pickle them. In this way, you can take them to a whole new flavor level – a perfect combination of sweet, salty, and pleasantly tangy.
2. Bell Peppers
If you are pretty sensitive to spicy food and want to create a milder version of your recipe, which is the suitable substitution for green chilies?
In that case, bell pepper (or sweet pepper, or capsicum) is the perfect replacement that you can effortlessly purchase in any local supermarket.
When bell pepper is immature, it is often green in color with a slightly bitter flavor. Once the green bell pepper matures, it turns bright yellow, orange, or red and becomes a little sweeter.
You can also discover the white, brown, lavender, and dark purple versions of bell peppers, although these are pretty rare.
Another feature you would love about green pepper is its high water content (94% of them are water), making it super crunchy. Besides, it is also a rich source of vitamins, such as vitamin C.
For all these features, green bell peppers surely are ideal options to enrich the taste of any dishes you are about to cook, such as pizzas, cheesesteaks, salads, soups, or cornbreads.
3. Anaheim Pepper
Are you looking for a rich-in-flavor chili featuring a low-medium heat level? If so, Anaheim pepper could be an ideal substitute.
This is one of the most common chili types that you might find under various names, such as New Mexico peppers, Magdalena, or California chili.
When ripe, Anaheim features a little bit spicier, yet it is still suitable for those who are sensitive to spicy food.
On which dish should you replace green chiles with Anaheim pepper?
If you plan to cook dishes, including tacos, salsa, creamed corn, or chile Rellenos, Anaheim surely boosts their taste with a gentle spicy flavor.
4. Poblano Peppers
Anaheim is good to use, yet you want to increase the heat level a little; which is the suitable green chili alternative for you? If so, let’s give poblano peppers – mild to medium-heat peppers a try.
Poblano pepper is known as the secret ingredient for many dishes, especially Mexican ones, as it is mild and flavorful without bringing an overly spicy taste.
In the immature state, these chili peppers feature a very dark green. Once ripe, their color will change to dark red or brown.
You can either use the fresh poblano chiles or the ripened-and-dried ones (usually known as ancho chiles) to add a little kick of heat to diverse cuisines, such as Indian cuisine.
However, if you prefer the fresh ones, remember to cook them first before using them. This is because the poblano peppers’ outer skin is pretty difficult to chew and digest when eating them raw.
Moreover, roasting them at low to medium heat adds flavor and creates a slightly smoky fragrant.
5. Jalapeño Pepper
If you are not satisfied with the mild spiciness that Jalapeño pepper delivers, you can replace it with a little bit spicier one – Jalapeño pepper.
Originally grown in Mexico, it is also known as the classic Tex-Mex hot chile that brings the distinct flavor to many famous Mexican dishes, such as Mexican salsa.
Commonly, you should use the fresh Jalapeño to enhance the spicy taste in these recipes.
However, suppose you want to add a little smoky flavor to dishes, such as adobo and escabeche. In that case, you should go for the smoked-dried Jalapeño chili powder, often called chipotle powder.
6. Cayenne Pepper
It would be best for spicy food lovers to replace the mild spicy taste with a more intense one, right? If so, cayenne pepper is the perfect ingredient to add to your dishes.
With the heat index ranging from 30,000-50,000 Scoville heat units, cayenne pepper (or Ginnie pepper, bird pepper, and finger chile) is considered as a pretty hot chile.
You might be more familiar with the ground form of these chilies than the fresh ones as it is a well-known condiment. This condiment is eight times hotter than chili powder.
Despite the high heat level, cayenne has a fairly mild fragrant compared to other peppers, such as bell peppers.
It would be best if you use only a small amount of ground cayenne pepper to add a noticeable kick to your spicy dish because of the high heat level.
7. Pasilla Pepper
The pasilla chile is the dried form of chilaca chili pepper. Pasilla means “little raisin” in Spanish, which also means wrinkled and dark skin, which has a longer and darker green than Anaheim chili.
The pasilla always has a rich, sweet flavor and is often used as a green chile substitute in making sauces of meat and fish recipes.
It has mild to hot and has a delightful, dried-fruit flavor. The Pasilla Pepper has 250 – 3,999 SHU Scoville Heat units while green chili between 2000 and 5000 Scoville heat units.
The Pasilla Pepper has been used popularly in Oaxacan dishes; some sauces cooked all over Mexico are now famous in Mexican and the States recipes.
8. Green Fresno Pepper
The Green Fresno pepper or Fresno chili pepper has an average size cultivar of Capsicum annum. It has a light glossy green with a conical shape that then meets at a point at the end.
When Green Fresno pepper matures, it turns from light green to red. It is quite a bit hotter than the green chilies. Therefore, you can use them to substitute in dips, sauces, stews, or soups.
Almost the green pepper usually has a sweety hot and very thick flesh, so it is never dried. Sometimes, people confuse them with the jalapeño pepper.
However, it has thinner walls, takes less time to mature, and usually has milder heat. To use green Fresno pepper, we can buy them easily in the grocery year-round.
To replace green chilies, we have to mention the Serrano pepper. Serrano is a hot chili. Its Scoville Heat Unit is around 10,000 to 20,000 SHU.
The serrano pepper is known in the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo, especially in the mountainous regions. Therefore, It has the same name for the mountain ridges because of their hot chili peppers and origin.
Serrano is long and thin, an elongated shape, and can be found in many colors from green to yellow, orange, red, and even brown as they ripen.
When you cook with serrano peppers, you just: rinsing, trimming, slicing, but you should be aware of the pepper’s chili oils to avoid burning skin and eyes.
You can roast and dice the serrano in the salsa recipe to add to your food because it has a thin skin that no need to peel.
Serrano also has a fiery heat and sharp flavor. It has a good taste if you eat it raw in sauces, dips, pickled, or even cooked. Serrano is very popular and easy to buy. However, the price depends on supply and demand.
10. Chilli Powder
Chili powder is a mixture made from ground dried chili peppers and some other spices (frequently available in your kitchen such as aji amarillo, red pepper, etc) that are ground into an excellent powder.
A powdered spice is an excellent alternative option to substitute for green chiles in recipes that is chili powder.
It has a spicy and delicious smell powder that perfectly combines Latin American cook recipes and an excellent alternative to chilis, soups, stews, and meats.
Chili powder is usually combined in other spices, seasoning blends, and grilled, such as fajita seasoning, homemade taco seasoning, or any handmade seasoning.
As you know, Green chilies are more healthy as compared to chili powder. Green chilies have much water content and no calories, making them a good choice for those trying to shed some pounds.
However, If sometimes you want to add a little heat to your recipe, please take the chili powder. It helps us to add the right level of warmth without overdoing it.
11. Red Chillies
Red chilies are hollow, the pith and seeds are the hottest part. Although we have hundreds of chilies in the world, many red chilies are milder than green chilies.
Red chili may have a typical spicy taste, which comes from the ripen red chili, is usually grounded into a powder and used as a spice in all recipes.
From old-time, people knew how to strung into ristras dry or using as pickles to store them for an extended period. Red chili is a common ingredient in most Indian dishes, sauces, and curries.
Red and green peppers are almost the same! Some people pick the pepper when it is still green, while others wait for rips and turn red.
Both green and red chiles are roasted and peeled to make the sauce, dried, and ground into powder.
When you cook your food from green and red chile sauce, you can feel the different tastes. A red sauce has a sweeter taste because the pepper is ripper, while a green sauce has a herby flavor.
How To Choose A Green Chile Substitute
After above my recommendations, you may wonder why I can give out the list of the green substitute as above.
Let me say something to solve your concern. To choose a substitution that best fit green chili, we have to base on some criteria as:
- Taste / Flavor: This is the most critical factor in selecting an alternative because almost all house cooks are looking for green chiles because of running out of chili in the kitchen. So the substitution should make sure that no change the dishes taste.
- Spicy Level: As you know that Green Chile is mild moderate spicy level, so with some creative cooks it might be not satisfy them, so why don’t we use another options with same flavor and texture but more spicy level instead.
Frequently Asked Question
How Do You Take The Heat Out Of Green Chiles?
There are plenty of ways you can use to lower the heat of your dish.
Before cooking, you can remove all the chilies’ seeds and ribs to lower the heat level.
In case you nearly complete your dish, you can add some acid to cut through intense heat. Chopped fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, lime juice, or even vinegar are good to use.
Another way to try is to serve your dish with a dairy product, such as heavy cream, cheese, yogurt, milk, or sour cream. The dairy product will cool down the heat within a short time.
What else can you do to fix your over spicy dish?
Well, you can have something starchy, such as rice, pasta, bread, or potato, to temper the spiciness of your meal.
How To Store Green Chiles?
Appropriate storage helps to preserve green chilies for a longer time. How can you store them appropriately?
The first and simplest method is to remove the chilies’ stem part, transfer them inside a zip lock bag, and store them in a refrigerator. In this way, green chiles can stay fresh for around seven days.
If you want to lengthen their freshness, you can freeze chiles using aluminum foil. After freezing them for 6-7 hours, transfer them to an air-tight container and store them inside the refrigerator.
Here you know what to substitute for green chiles; your recipe calls for this spicy ingredient.
Now it is your time to embark on your cooking journey and spice up your dishes with your preferred alternatives.
We hope that your journey will be full of joys, and your dishes will make anyone hooked right after the first bite.