Cubanelle Pepper Substitutes – 5 Flavorful Alternatives

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Cubanelle peppers are a popular seasonal option you can find in the veggie section at the supermarket. However, they may not be as easy to find as some other pepper options in your area.

Most often, cubanelle peppers are used for stuffing, roasting, frying, or maybe in a tasty sofrito. If you can’t find them, try one of these cubanelle pepper substitutes instead.

Cubanelle peppers
Fresh cubanelle peppers.

Cubanelles are prized for their unique shapes, bright green color, and sweet flavor. However, there are several alternatives to cubanelle peppers that will work just as well!

1. Banana peppers

Large banana pepper on plant
Banana pepper on plant.

If you are making a stuffed pepper recipe, banana peppers will make a great cubanelle substitute. They have a similar size and skin thickness, with a mild, sweet flavor.

Banana peppers have the same yellow-green coloration, and also provide an addictive crunchy texture. They are also perfect for chopping and frying with other veggies, and tend to be easier to find at fresh markets.

2. Poblano peppers

Poblano peppers
Fresh poblano peppers.

You may know that cubanelle peppers can sometimes have a touch of heat to them. Well, the same is true of poblano peppers, sometimes called ancho chilies.

Poblano peppers are easy to stuff, have thin walls, and give a very mild heat to dishes without overwhelming. Poblanos are available at many grocery stores year round, so you should be able to find them without trouble.

3. Anaheim peppers

Hatch green chile roasting

Anaheim peppers are popular on the US West coast, and were named for the city of Anaheim, CA. The Anaheim is essentially a mild version of a New Mexico (Hatch) chile, originally coming from the ‘New Mexico No. 9’ variety.

The size and shape of Anaheim peppers is perfect for anything you might use cubanelle peppers for. If you happen to be in California or along the West coast, you may be able to find Anaheim peppers more easily.

4. Yellow or orange bell peppers

Freezing bell peppers

While bell peppers don’t have the same shape or flavor, they can serve as an alternative to cubanelle peppers in a pinch. The benefit is that bell peppers are widely available and easy to find almost anywhere.

If you can, choose orange or yellow bell peppers to match the milder flavor of cubanelles. Green or red types will still work, but may have an impact on the intended flavor of your dish. Of course bell peppers are perfect for making delicious stuffed peppers!

5. Italian marconi peppers

Golden Marconi pepper ripe
Golden marconi pepper.

Now, if you happen to live in Italy, you’ll know all about marconi peppers. Golden or red marconi peppers will both serve as a cubanelle pepper substitute. Marconi peppers are similar to bell peppers, with a very sweet flavor and crisp texture.

Other Cubanelle Substitutes

If you are a gardener, you have many options for growing your own peppers. We love the amazing experience of harvesting our own homegrown peppers, and have had the chance to try hundreds of new varieties!

More cubanelle pepper substitutes:

  • Hatch green chiles. If you’re in the New Mexico region, you’ll know all about the Hatch green chile. Mild Hatch chiles make for a perfect cubanelle alternative, great for roasting and/or stuffing.
  • Jimmy nardello. Long, slender red peppers are deliciously sweet and crunchy. We love growing these at home for their incredible appearance and usefulness in the kitchen.
  • Shishito. If you’re just looking for a flavor substitute, the shishito pepper is a great fit. They’re delicious when picked green or red, and sometimes bring a touch of heat, just like cubanelle peppers do.
  • Padron. This variety is another flavorful alternative for cubanelle peppers. They are smaller in size, so they may not be perfect for stuffing. However, they’re crisp, sweet, and sometimes a bit spicy.
  • Blot peppers. These gorgeous bell-type peppers have amazing color and flavor. Blot peppers ripen from pinkish-yellow to orange and red. If you have a garden, you’ve got to try growing this beautiful heirloom!
Blot peppers on plant unripe
Blot pepper in the garden.

I hope this article helped you find a good cubanelle pepper substitute! If all else fails, you should try growing your own cubanelle pepper plants each year. They’re easy to grow, and can easily be frozen for use throughout the winter months.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for the substitution suggestions! Because you provided so many different options ranging from sweet to mildly spicy, I’m a little overwhelmed. It would have been very helpful if you described cubanelles themselves (fruity, sweet, not spicy, etc) in addition to stating what they’re used for.

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