Looking for an alternative to the spicy Mexican Jalapeño chilli peppers? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Jalapeño substitutes.
What are Jalapeños?
Jalapeños are a chilli pepper with a distinctive fresh green flavour commonly used in Mexican cuisine. While the heat of Jalapeños varies, they tend to be in the medium hot range. They are most commonly sliced and pickled while they are still green. OR can be dried.
Best Jalapeño Substitutes
1. Fresh Chilli Peppers
The main reason for using Jalapeños is to get a kick of chilli flavour. Any other fresh chilli pepper, like serrano can be used, just make sure you adjust the quantity if using hotter chillies like serrano or habanero or thai birds eye so you don’t blow your head off :)
2. Hot Sauce
While hot sauce won’t have the same visuals or texture as pickled Jalapeños, you will still get some nice heat so you won’t feel like you’re missing out.
3. Hot Chilli Powder or Chilli Flakes
You can get the heat needed from Jalapeños with good old chilli powder or dried chilli flakes – just be careful with quantity.
4. Chilli Bean Paste / Gochujang / Sambal Oelek
Any of these Asian chilli paste sauces can give you the heat you’re looking for with your Jalapeños. Again it’s a matter of being careful with quantities.
How to Store Jalapeño
Unopened jars of pickled Jalapeños will keep in the pantry for years. I just keep it in the fridge in the container I purchased it in once opened. Will last months if not years. They can be frozen as well if you like.
Fresh Jalapeños will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks. Or can be frozen or pickled (recipe below)
How to Make Your Own Pickled Jalapeños
It’s easy to pickle fresh Jalapeños if you happen to find yourself with an abundance growing in your garden like I did. Just slice the Jalapeños into little round leaving the seeds in. Pack into sterilized glass jars (ie out of a hot dishwasher), add 1/4 teaspoon salt or more if your jar is larger than about 1.5 cups. Cover the chillies with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar or white wine vinegar. Can be used straight away or sealed and kept in the fridge indefinitely.
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Chilli Bean Sauce
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!