10 Best Substitutes for Fresno Pepper

The mild heat and smokiness of Fresno pepper is a fantastic mood booster. It nuances the flavor of your recipe, giving it an appealing taste. Read on to know the perfect substitutes for Fresno pepper if you have run out of it or want to tweak the flavors of your dish. 

Fresno pepper is a crimson chili pepper with medium intensity used in various dishes. It is available in two forms, red and green. The mature red Fresno pepper is hotter than the green pepper, which contains mild to medium degrees of heat. However, Fresno chili is typically harvested and sold when still green. They can also be found pickled up or dried.

Are you panicking because you do not have Fresno pepper at hand? Well, do not. Instead, check out these substitutes for Fresno pepper that will reduce your efforts and help you find your ideal alternative.


10 Best Substitutes for Fresno Pepper

1. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno Pepper

Originating from Mexico, jalapeno pepper has a starkly similar taste to Fresno pepper. They have a vivid, crisp flavor and mild heat when young and fresh.

However, slight modifications occur during their maturing. Red Fresno peppers become fruitier, hotter and smokier. Rounded and small, jalapeno peppers have radiant green skin that turns orange when cooked. 

Jalapeno pepper can be used in a wide variety of cuisines. They are typically preserved in vinegar in jars or eaten straight from the garden. 

How to substitute: An equal quantity of jalapeno pepper can be used to substitute Fresno pepper.

2. Serrano Pepper

Serrano Pepper

Serrano pepper is a slightly hotter alternative to Fresno peppers that work best to spice up the flavors in your dish. A popular part of Mexican cuisine, serrano pepper has acute crispiness, similar to jalapeno.  

Numerous recipes use serrano pepper as a replacement. It is typically consumed raw or combined with pico de gallo, salsa or guacamole. It is also used to spike the heat in sauces and soups.  

How to substitute: Begin by adding half the quantity of serrano pepper to replace Fresno pepper in any recipe.

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However, you can then add more if you desire extra spice and hotness in your meal. 

3. Chipotle Pepper

Chipotle Pepper

Chipotle pepper is a smoky alternative, best suited for barbeque lovers. If you want something smoky with a standard spice profile and dried chiles that are not an issue for the dish, chipotle is a great purchase.

Chipotle powder has a smoky smell often likened to brandy or barbecue. Prepared from dried and smoked jalapenos, it is much spicier and has a stronger smokiness than fresh pepper. 

As a result, you should cut the amount used in cooking to avoid an overpowering smoky flavor. To preserve Chipotle, either store the can in the refrigerator or freeze it in measuring spoons.

How to substitute: Use half quantity of chipotle pepper to substitute the Fresno pepper called for in your dish. 

4. Thai Luang Peppers

Thai pepper, with its vibrant pink, yellow and orange colors can make your dish a visual delight beside providing it with a fiery touch.

Because of its variety of flavors and reasonable price, Thai Luang pepper is a great substitute for Fresno pepper. It has a delicious earthy taste with a tinge of spice.

Made up of two components; jalapeno and bell pepper, it can be added to your food as a garnish or used to create quick salad dressing and appetizers. The versatility of these peppers makes them complement both sour and sweet dishes. 

How to substitute: One-fourth teaspoon of Thai Luang pepper can satisfactorily replace one teaspoon of Fresno pepper.

5. Holland Chilis

holland chilli

Dutch or Holland chilies come next on the list of substitutes for Fresno chilies. They have a milder flavor and thinner shell, frequently used in soups, salsas stews, baking, and roasting. 

They are available in a range of hues, such as red, yellow, and green. Their sweet, fruity, and slightly acidic flavor complements other ingredients in your recipe and produces a delicious taste. 

These chilies can be stored for one to two weeks if kept unwashed, whole, and in a plastic bag inside the refrigerator.

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How to substitute: One-fourth teaspoon of Holland chilis can satisfactorily replace one teaspoon of Fresno pepper.

6. Tien Tsin Pepper

Tien Tsin Pepper

Cultivated in China, tien tsin pepper with its spicy and nuanced flavor can nicely replace Fresno pepper in your dish. They are small, rounded, and have several hues, including green, red, and yellow.

Accessible in the majority of supermarket stores and simple to use, these peppers have a hot and delightful aroma. They can be used in several dishes, such as soups, stir-fries, chili con carne, and salads. 

Crushing them into flakes or powders as a spicy condiment is a wonderful way to substitute it for Fresno chili. In this manner, you can regulate the amount of spice in your cuisine by adding more or less powder. 

How to substitute: Use half quantity of tien tsin pepper to substitute Fresno pepper called for in your dish. 

7. Habanero


If you wish to feel the tingling spiciness of pepper on your palate, habanero is the ideal ingredient. This hot, crisp, and sweet pepper can be used in a variety of dishes if you can handle its heat. 

They are typically used to make hot sauces and salsas. Watch out for their spiciness while eating. You can even add some lime juice to lessen the heat. 

In addition to the fiery kick, habanero has faint citrus and smoky flavor that nuances the flavors of your dish. They can make any dish taste more flavorful because of their smokiness and crustiness. 

How to substitute: Begin by adding one-fourth quantity of habanero to replace the Fresno pepper called for in your dish. However, you can further add more according to your taste and preference.

8. Red Chili Peppers

Red Chili Peppers

Red chili peppers are the most common and easily available substitute for Fresno pepper. They retain their heat as they ripen, in contrast to Fresno peppers, which grow hotter with age and lose a portion of their flavor. 

Although chili peppers come in several shapes, colors, and sizes, they always share the same red color and sheen. These chilies are fiery, typically dried, and processed into powder before use. Asian and Mexican cuisines are most popularly known for the use of red chili pepper.

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How to substitute: An equal quantity of red chili pepper can be used to substitute Fresno pepper.

9. Thai Jinda Chilis

Thai Jinda Chilis

To get that perfect spicy kick in your dish, consider using Thai jinda chilis. Due to its similar hot and fresh flavor, it can replace Fresno chili in a variety of recipes. 

These chilis also give you an earthy flavor and a dash of citrus to enhance the appeal of any classic recipe. You can either sprinkle them on top of the dish or use them as a seasoning. They can even be used to make salads, soups, or spicy sauces. 

Thai jinda peppers are loaded with vitamins C, A, and potassium. They complement the mild taste of your food without being overpowering in its overall flavor. 

How to substitute: A pinch of Thai jinda chilis will sufficiently replace Fresno pepper in any recipe.

10. Scotch Bonnet

Scotch Bonnet

Though last in the list of Fresno pepper substitutes, the flavors and spiciness of scotch bonnet should not be underestimated.

Named after its shape, the scotch bonnet is a fiery pepper found in Indian, Thai, and Caribbean cuisines. Typically, ripe Scotch bonnets are crimson or yellow. They are also available in other types that mature to become pink, orange or even brown. 

A word of caution; a Scotch Bonnet must always be carefully handled. To prevent spreading capsaicin, you must use gloves and thoroughly clean the cutting surface after chopping the chilies.

How to substitute: One-fourth teaspoon of the scotch bonnet can satisfactorily replace one teaspoon of Fresno pepper.

If you love rewarding your palate with loud and spicy flavors, these alternatives will be your best mates. Hopefully, with these substitutes for Fresno pepper, you will not get stuck the next time you encounter it in a recipe. So go ahead and improvise your favorite dish that calls for Fresno pepper. 

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