Bell pepper or we say capsicum, is a common vegetable used in many recipes. Unripened bell pepper is green in color, but when it ripes, it can be red, orange, or yellow.
Unripened bell pepper has a mixture of a bitter and spicy taste that is not preferred by many people’s taste buds. But as the color changes, the taste becomes sweeter. Therefore, Bell pepper is used in a variety of recipes as it improves the flavor of the dish.
Whether you don’t like the taste of bell pepper or just don’t have red bell pepper available with you right now, you can always try these bell pepper substitutes. They give the same taste as bell paper would give in a dish.
What is bell pepper?
People know bell pepper for its sweet taste, but it became sweet after being bitter for a long time. We’re talking about unripened bell peppers here, which you might recognize as green bell peppers as they start to ripe, their color and taste change.
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The colors can be red, yellow, and orange, and they taste sweeter than the previous one. Red bell peppers come after green bell peppers, so they have a bit of sour and sweet taste. In contrast, the yellow and orange bell peppers don’t have a sour taste.
Here are 8 substitutes for red bell pepper:
Here are some top substitutes for red bell peppers.
1. Anaheim peppers
Anaheim peppers are similar to poblano peppers, but the latter can’t be used in place of red bell peppers as it has a more bitter than sweet taste. However, Anaheim peppers are the perfect substitute for red bell peppers as it has a combo of bitter and sweet taste, just like red bell peppers.
They have thick walls and big cavities, so they can also be used to make stuffed dishes. The taste of anaheim peppers can get intense once cooked, so it gives a flavor of tanginess and smokiness.
Cubanelle is another great substitute for red bell peppers as they have a bit of spicy and sweet taste. In addition, they are long and thin and have thick walls and big cavities, making them perfect for stuffing recipes.
You can use it for salads, toppings, casseroles, and frying too. While frying, cubanelle don’t disintegrate, which makes them a perfect substitute.
Pimentos also referred to as pimientos, are very similar to red bell peppers. Apart from looking the same, they taste similar too as pimentos are sweet. They give a pleasing aroma while cooking, and they’re not spicy either.
If you don’t want to get confused between red bell peppers and pimentos, then search for heart-shaped peppers because that’s how pimentos look. Though they look almost identical, their size is small and thin, so they can’t be used where the stuffing is required.
They are a great fit for recipes that requires chopping, like salads, toppings, casseroles, or things like that.
Pepperoncini makes a great substitute for red bell pepper because it has a tangy and sweet flavor. They look bulb-shaped, wrinkled, and a combination of yellow-green colors. Their walls are not capable of holding the stuffing for longer. They’re often confused with banana peppers, but they are different from each other.
Zucchini is the best substitute for any color bell pepper red included. They taste and look completely different from bell peppers but don’t ruin the taste of most of your dish that demands bell pepper. You can use it for a subtle flavor.
The best part about zucchinis is their taste becomes so much better when stuffed. It has the magical ability to bring out the flavors of other ingredients instead of adding a sweet taste to the recipe. They’re also great for providing colors to dishes.
People often complain that bell peppers get soft and squishy after cooking. Broccoli is a healthy substitute for this healthy vegetable that stays in shape while stir-frying and cooking. It gives a little bitter taste to your dishes to be used in place of red bell pepper.
7. Sichuan peppers
Apart from having a great taste, bell peppers can give indigestion problems, so people can experience a mild stomach or feel nauseous. In addition, some people are also allergic to bell peppers. So to bring a solution to both of these problems, you can try Sichuan peppers. If you can handle the heat, this is the right option.
Sichuan pepper tastes sour and sweet, just like red bell pepper, so it brings out its flavor when you add it to your meals.
Onions are found in every kitchen and work as a perfect substitute for red bell peppers. They become sweet while frying and lose their bitter onion taste. That makes it similar to red bell peppers.
Onions are known to make dishes extra delicious, so it’s never a bad idea to use them. Plus, you can get the crunchy feeling with onions you would get with red bell peppers. However, onions have types too, so you should know which one to choose.
- Pearl Onions: can be used as a side dish, but you can also add them to a sauce.
- Red onions: Use them when you want a strong taste in your salads and sauces.
- Shallots: They are extremely versatile and sweet before being cooked. You can fry or roast them to get a crunchy taste.
- Yellow onions: You can use them when your recipe demands a long cooking time and is the perfect balance of red and sweet onions.
- Sweet onions: You can use them when you don’t need any strong flavor.
- White onions: They taste best when raw, like in salads or toppings.
Being a versatile vegetable, bell peppers are used in a variety of dishes. But when you don’t have red bell peppers available with you or you’re just allergic to them, there are always substitutes available. If you can’t find any substitute, don’t worry, you can always use other bell peppers instead of red bell peppers.