Different type of peppers


The Difference Between Red, Yellow and Green Peppers

An indispensable part of Tex-Mex fajita night and one the few veggies tasty enough to be eaten raw without the help of hummus, bell peppers are mainstays in most of our produce drawers at home. But have you ever wondered why they come in so many colors and, more importantly, why they vary so much in price?

It’s not a matter of pigment discrimination: Red and yellow bell peppers are essentially just green peppers that have been allowed to ripen. Red peppers are fully ripened, and they require more time to grow, resulting in their sweeter, fruitier flavor and higher price sticker. On the other hand, since green bell peppers can be harvested sooner, they’re cheaper to grow and sell, in addition to having a trademark grassy, mildly bitter flavor. Yellow peppers are simply in the middle of the spectrum when it comes to ripeness (though some varieties remain yellow when fully mature).

As they ripen, bell peppers also vary in nutritional content. According to The Science Explorer, while green peppers aren’t an unhealthy choice by any means, their more mature and wizened older brothers and sisters have around twice the amount of vitamin C and almost nine times more beta-carotene. (You know, perfect for when you want to hollow them out and fill them with booze.)


Red peppers are the belle of the ball at any buffet table. Crisp and incredibly sweet, these ladies in red are an easy sell to anyone who is not fond of vegetables. The only limiting factor is that they can be costly during winter, we can look forward to eating more inexpensive local peppers.

Did you know that green peppers are just unripe red peppers? Because they are not fully mature, they have a bitter after taste, and half the vitamin C and 1/10th the vitamin A compared to their red or orange siblings. Vitamin A is important for eye health, and vitamin C may prevent the common cold.

Paprika and chili peppers offer the same benefits, but with extra capsaicin, a chemical that can produce a strong burning sensation in the mouth. It’s not in red peppers because a recessive gene eliminates it.

Here are five reasons to increase your red pepper consumption:

1. Red peppers contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake. Besides being a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helpsthe proper absorption of iron. If you are iron deficient, try combining red peppers with your iron source for maximum absorption.

2. Red bell peppers are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate. Both these vitamins and minerals can help prevent anemia.

3. Red bell peppers help support healthy night vision. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision. So when it comes to bell peppers, seeing red is a good thing!

4. Red bell peppers are packed with antioxidants. The combined effects of vitamin A and C create a great antioxidant capacity, and with lycopene in the mix, the red bell pepper becomes a top notch superfood. Lycopene is what makes tomatoes and peppers red. Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent many cancers including prostate and lung.

5. Burn more calories with red bell peppers. Recent research has shown that sweet red peppers can activate thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate. Red bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is what makes peppers hot and causes us to sweat, but they do have a mild thermogenic action that increases our metabolism without increasing our heart rate and blood pressure like the hot peppers do.

Salad pizza

Enjoy your red pepper on the world’s healthiest pizza! Ezekiel wraps contains six sprouted grains and legumes that are combined to create a complete protein.

2 8 inch (20 cm) Ezekiel wraps
1/4 cup (60 mL) goat cheese or dairy-free cheese, grated
1 tbsp (15 mL) basil pesto, dairy-free
1 small green zucchini, shredded
1/4 large red peppers, cut into strips
4 garlic stuffed olives, sliced
4 snap peas, sliced
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) dried parsley flakes


1. Place wraps on cookie sheet and low broil for 2 minutes on each side.
2. Sprinkle cheese evenly across entire wrap and broil 1 minute more.
3. Spread pesto evenly over cheese, then arrange the zucchini, peppers, olives and snap peas.
4. Top with rosemary and parsley. Makes 2 pizzas.

Nutritionist Julie Daniluk hosts the Healthy Gourmet, a reality cooking show that looks at the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her soon to be published first book, Meals that Heal Inflammation, advises on allergy-free foods that both taste great and assist the body in the healing process.

For more amazing recipes visit Chatelaine.com’s recipe section.

Try this easy red pepper jelly

The Ultimate Guide to Peppers

This is a partial field guide to peppers. With upwards of 2,000 kinds of chile peppers in the world, it’s hard to catch ’em all, but we delved in and picked a peck: 19 of our favorite peppers, from familiar jalapeno and serrano to more boutique Hungarian pimenton and guindilla verde.

Chile peppers are like people: It takes all kinds. Some are sweet, and others burn you (you’ll notice the absence of ghost peppers and Carolina reapers from our list, since they’re more in the realm of “stunt peppers” than regular food ingredient, at least for most folks; that doesn’t mean we don’t love them too, if only from a distance). The more you get to know them, the better you can discern the differences in personality and choose the one to suit your mood.

Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Sweet & Hot Peppers (Besides the Obvious)?

Possibly originating from South America, chile peppers have been cultivated all over the world for centuries, leading to a wide variety of species with different colors, shapes, flavors, and, of course, spiciness, though most all of them fall into five families (Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum frutescens, and Capsicum pubescens).

In 2011, we consulted pepper expert and grower David Winsberg from Northern California’s Happy Quail Farms to put together a chart of some common peppers as well as a few less common varieties that were becoming more widely available in the United States thanks to specialty growers like Winsberg. Average size and hotness scale (from 1 to 5) included. And, of course, plenty of pepper recipes so you can put your knowledge to good use.

Related Reading: The Best Gifts for Hot Pepper Obsessives

1. Poblano Pepper (a.k.a. Ancho Chile)

Average Size: About 4 to 5 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 2 to 3

A good, easy-to-find grilling pepper that’s ideal for stuffing to make chiles rellenos with a kick of heat (but another classic use is in Mexican rajas). Poblanos get fairly big and are usually sold fresh, while they are younger and dark green. At their red, mature stage they are usually dried (and in their dried form they are called ancho chiles). Their skin is easy to blister and peel. Winsberg says they have a good flavor, with enough heat to be zesty but not scorch anyone.

2. Guindilla Verde

Average Size: About 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

From the Basque area in Spain, this is a tender pepper with a distinct sweetness. The variety shown is from the Bilbao region, and Winsberg says it’s a good fryer served alongside meat like lamb or pork. It shouldn’t be confused with the more widely available jarred guindillas. Winsberg says guindilla is a name applied to several distinct regional varieties in Spain ranging from marble-size scorchers to these sweet large fryers, which he says are similar in flavor to a Hatch chile but without the heat.

3. Chilaca (a.k.a. Pasilla Chile)

Average Size: About 7 to 9 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 2 to 3

This is a Mexican variety that matures from dark green to dark chocolate brown. It’s a versatile pepper that’s good for sauces, roasting, and grilling when fresh, says Winsberg. Chilacas are medium hot but “not so much that they are scary.” When dried, they are called pasillas and are common in mole recipes; pasillas (also known as chiles negros) are available both whole and powdered.

4. Basque Fryer (a.k.a. Piment d’Anglet, Doux Long des Landes)

Average Size: About 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

A French pepper used in many French Basque recipes. It is a twisty, long pepper that when green has a “very distinct peppery taste with a very tender skin, and lend a nice chile zest without adding heat,” says Winsberg. When it turns red, it gets very sweet. It excels in sauces, chopped up and sautéed for a pipérade (the Basque fryer would replace the bell peppers in our recipe), or fried with meats or sausage.

5. Anaheim Chile

Average Size: About 5 to 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

Named after the city in Southern California, the Anaheim is a big, mild chile that’s good for stuffing. Its skin is a little tough, but it peels pretty easily if you roast it first. Anaheims are good roasted, cut into strips, and thrown into a salad; stuffed with meat and grilled; used in salsa verde; or added to cheese enchiladas.

6. Cayenne

Average Size: About 2 to 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 4 to 5

This bright red pepper is usually consumed in its dried, powdered form, known as cayenne pepper. When ripe and fresh, cayenne chiles are long, skinny, and very hot. Winsberg says they are relatives of wild chiles from South and Central America.

7. Guernica

Average Size: About 3 to 5 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

The Guernica is a Spanish pepper similar to the Padrón in flavor but bigger and without any heat, says Winsberg. It is often served fried like the Padrón or stuffed with cheese or other fillings. It develops a tougher skin as it matures, and then is best roasted and peeled.

8. Hot Banana Pepper

Average Size: About 6 to 7 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 2

Happy Quail grows both sweet and hot varieties of the banana pepper, known as bácskai fehér in Hungary. Winsberg says they are often used in Hungarian lecsó (a dish of stewed peppers and eggs), pickled, or served grilled with meats.

9. Jalapeño (a.k.a. Chipotle)

Average Size: About 2 to 3 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 2 to 3

Familiar stuffed with cream cheese and deep-fried as a bar snack, or chopped up in salsa, the jalapeño is probably the best-known pepper in the States. It gets its name from Jalapa (also spelled Xalapa), the capital of Veracruz, Mexico. Harvested at both its green and red stages, the jalapeño is spicy but easy to seed and devein if you wish to remove some of the heat. When dried and smoked, it’s called a chipotle chile.

10. Serrano Pepper

Average Size: About 1.5 to 2.5 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 3


Spicier than the jalapeño, the serrano is a small Mexican pepper with thick, juicy walls, so it’s a great hot-salsa pepper, and is widely available and versatile. It is most commonly sold in its green stage (it turns red and then yellow as it gets older). You can also find serranos pickled or dried.

11. Habanero Chile

Average Size: About 2 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 5

Native to parts of Central America and the Caribbean, this little pepper packs a lot of heat. But contrary to popular belief, the Red Savina habanero is not the hottest type of chile; that distinction now goes to the Indian bhut jolokia, or ghost chile (and Jamaican jerk mainstay Scotch bonnet peppers are almost twice as hot as habaneros). Still, habaneros add a lot of fire to cooking and should be used judiciously. You’ll find different colors, ranging from red to white-yellow and even brown, but orange is the most common. Great for salsa, hot sauces, or a tongue-blazing jerk chicken (if you can’t find those Scotch bonnet chiles).

12. Pimiento de Padrón (a.k.a. Padrón Pepper)

Average Size: About 2 to 4 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1 (but the hot ones, even when young, can be 2 to 3)

This pepper is a specialty grown in Galicia in northern Spain. It is traditionally eaten as a simple tapa, fried in olive oil and tossed with salt; it is harvested young and small, with a tender skin and no mature seeds, so it’s perfect for eating whole, bitten right off the stem. It is generally mild with a nutty flavor at this stage, but it gets hotter as it matures. Part of the fun of eating these peppers is that about one in a dozen will be pretty hot, says Winsberg.

13. Aji Rojo

Average Size: About 2 to 3 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 4

Common in a lot of Peruvian cooking, the aji rojo is more of an orange-red than a true red pepper. It has a similar heat level to cayenne and can be chopped finely and added to ceviche or mixed with cheese or cream to make a sauce to serve over potatoes or chicken.

14. Thai Chili (a.k.a. Thai Bird’s Eye Chili)

Average Size: About 1 to 2 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 5

This tiny chile adds serious amounts of heat to Southeast Asian cuisines. You may find either green or red Thai chiles; both are very spicy. Throw them whole into Thai soups like tom kha gai, purée them for curry pastes, or chop them up for any dish where you want to add heat without a lot of pieces of pepper.

15. Bell Pepper

Average Size: About 3 to 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

The most common sweet pepper, bells are usually seen in red, green, and yellow, but there are also purple, brown, and orange varieties, even striped orange-red. They are a crunchy, juicy pepper that is great for eating raw on salads, sautéing, or roasting and chopping up to throw on a pizza or a sandwich.

16. Hot Cherry Pepper

Average Size: About 1 to 2 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 4

These vary in size and shape and are very hot. They are usually round, though sometimes more of a triangular shape. Cherry peppers can also be sweet. They’re most often used in pickling: You can throw one in a jar with cucumber pickles to spice things up, or pickle them with other, more mild peppers.

17. Hungarian Pimento Pepper

Average Size: About 4 to 6 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

This is a type of pimento (or pimiento) pepper, which is what you often find stuffed in green olives. It is a large, sweet red pepper, similar to a bell but with an extra-thick, juicy wall. The skin comes off easily, so this is an ideal pepper for roasting. It’s also great to eat raw with dip.

18. Piquillo Pepper

Average Size: About 3 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1

The ultimate pepper for roasting, the Spanish piquillo has become very popular because of its intensely sweet flavor and bright red color. It is usually only available canned or jarred, but it’s becoming easier to find fresh. It is often roasted, peeled, and stuffed with a variety of fillings like salt cod, tuna, or cheese (but is also good stuffed in other things, like these Fried Spanish Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pork Chops).

19. Shishito Pepper

Average Size: 2 to 4 inches long

Spiciness Scale: 1 to 2 (with the occasional 2 to 3)

Popular in Japan, the shishito has thin walls, mild heat, and a little sweetness. It is good served like the Padrón: simply fried, roasted, or grilled, drizzled with some soy sauce and sesame oil, and eaten whole. It also makes very tasty tempura.

Pepper Recipes

Now that you’ve got the details on 19 different peppers, you’re more equipped than ever to use them. Try some of our ideas for cooking with these chile peppers.

1. Red Pepper Hummus


Roasted bell peppers are pureed with beans, tahini, and an array of spices and herbs to create a creamy red pepper twist on a Middle Eastern classic. This dip is filling enough to serve on bread with veggies for an easy meal or perfect as a snack served with warmed pita. The dip only takes 15 minutes to prepare and requires minimal effort. Get our Red Pepper Hummus recipe.

2. Chilaquiles


Dried ancho chiles are the secret flavor powerhouse in this recipe for chilaquiles. This traditional Mexican dish is typically made with fried corn tortillas and then topped with anything from spicy chili sauce to meat to eggs. This versatile dish is perfect for anyone who loves tacos, nachos, or Mexican cuisine in general. Get our Chilaquiles recipe.

3. Pipérade


This French sauté is full of bright bell peppers and French spices. It can be served over almost any meat but we recommend Braised Chicken and Julia Child prefers it over an omelet. This recipe is perfect for the summer months when you have an abundance of vegetables and herbs lying around. Get our Pipérade recipe.

4. Roasted Red Pepper and Spicy Sausage Grilled Pizza


Sweet roasted bell peppers mingle with sausage on this grilled pizza, but dried chili flakes also come into play, in the form of a chili oil that is drizzled on top. Grilling the pizza ensures an irresistibly crunchy crust. It can be made from scratch or sped up by starting with store-bought pizza dough. No grill? Try making it with the skillet pizza recipe method instead. Get our Roasted Red Pepper and Spicy Sausage Grilled Pizza recipe.

5. Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers


This recipe is the perfect meatless meal. Red bell peppers are stuffed with protein-packed quinoa and salty feta. Serve this with a side salad for an easy weeknight dinner. Get our Slow Cooker Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers recipe.

6. Grilled Padrón Peppers


These small and slightly sweet peppers are generally mild, but one in every handful will be surprisingly spicy. They’re usually deep-fried, but grilling is a healthy and quick preparation that adds a smoky layer of flavor. Get our Grilled Padrón Peppers recipe.

7. Basic Roasted Bell Peppers


Instead of placing the peppers directly under the broiler, we give them a little room by setting them in the middle of the oven. This extra distance allows them to roast a bit before their skins blister. Get our Basic Roasted Bell Peppers recipe.

8. Stuffed Bell Peppers with Feta and Herbs


The sweetness of the bell peppers plays off the golden raisins in the filling, and the vegetal note is heightened by the herbs. Get our Stuffed Bell Peppers with Feta and Herbs recipe.

9. Chiles Rellenos


Stuffed, fried poblano peppers are Mexico’s version of comfort food. Chiles rellenos fillings can range from ground or stewed meats to a medley of vegetables, but this version sticks to classic cheese and features serrano peppers. Get our Chiles Rellenos recipe.

10. Stuffed Poblanos with Black Beans and Cheese


Serve these stuffed peppers them as a vegetarian main course or as a starter. They’re loaded with rice, black beans, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro, then grilled until the peppers are charred and tender. Get our Stuffed Poblanos with Black Beans and Cheese recipe.

11. Basic Jalapeño Poppers


Broiling the peppers gives them a nice outer char and leaves the filling browned and bubbling. Get our Basic Jalapeño Poppers recipe.

12. Chicken Chile Verde


With Anaheim chiles, poblanos, and dried Aleppo peppers, this dish is always a big hit. It’s great rolled into a burrito, but you can also serve it on its own topped with scallions, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Get our Chicken Chile Verde recipe. (Or try our Slow Cooker Chicken Chile Verde recipe.)

13. Chicken-Fried and Pickled Pepper Sandwiches


Use a variety of small peppers for pickling, such as baby bells, Cubanelles, or banana peppers. They combine on a sandwich roll with chicken breasts are dipped in buttermilk, then dredged in flour seasoned with paprika, black pepper, and ground mustard. Get our Chicken-Fried and Pickled Pepper Sandwiches recipe.

14. Papalote Salsa


Pasilla chiles (in their dried and ground form) mingle with chiles de arbol (a small, spicy Mexican pepper), tomatoes, vinegar, cilantro, scallions, and pumpkin seeds in this blended taqueria-style salsa. Get our Papalote Salsa recipe.

15. Spicy Chicken Chile Taco Dip


This gooey dip features Anaheim chiles, poblano peppers, and serranos, along with onion, garlic, Roma tomatoes, and Mexican spices. Leave out the chicken and you have a hearty vegetarian dip packed with cheese and black beans. Get our Spicy Chicken Chile Taco Dip recipe.

16. Lotsa Serranos Blazing Hot Sauce


As the name implies, this hot sauce is jam-packed with spicy serrano peppers, plus lime juice, garlic and onion powders, cider vinegar, and salt. It’s a pure, potent complement to pulled pork, tacos, and much more. But use it within 2 weeks, or the freshness starts to fade. Get our Serrano Hot Sauce recipe.

17. Habanero Orange Stomach Punch Hot Sauce


If you prefer habanero peppers, we’ve got you covered too. This is actually milder than the first habanero hot sauce we brewed up, but definitely still for heat seekers only. (If you want to soften it with a little sweetness, try this habanero-infused Smoked Cherry Hot Sauce, which is still plenty spicy.) Get our Habanero Orange Hot Sauce recipe.

18. Chile Lime Tequila Compound Butter


Minced serrano or jalapeno peppers spice up a compound butter also spiked with tequila and lime juice. Perfect for patting on seared or grilled steaks or fish (or chicken, or corn, or…anything savory, really). Get our Chile Lime Tequila Compound Butter recipe.

19. Jalapeno Cilantro Yogurt Spread


A simple but flavorful sauce that lends both spice and creamy coolness to all sorts of grilled or roasted meats or veggies, this can also be used as an easy dip (try it with sweet potato chips). If you don’t like cilantro, you can substitute another fresh, leafy green herb. Get our Jalapeno Cilantro Yogurt Spread recipe.

20. Spicy Chipotle Tuna Melts


With diced fresh jalapeno and canned chipotles in adobo, these tuna melts transcend the diner classic. Get our Spicy Chipotle Tuna Melt recipe.

21. Grilled Shisito Peppers


The Japanese cousin to Spanish Padrón peppers, these are equally great grilled and sprinkled with coarse salt, but we like to add a little togarashi (a Japanese spice mix usually containing red chile, dried orange zest, nori, sesame seeds, and ginger). Get our Grilled Shisito Pepper recipe.

This post was originally posted on April 7, 2011 and has been updated with additional text and links.

An easy to find ingredient that’s popular in many recipes are peppers. The first thought might be sweet bell peppers, but did you know that there are a ton of pepper varieties other than bell peppers? Sweet, mild, hot, and some even unbearable, most types have great use in the culinary world.

You probably know how to work with bell peppers, which are ideal when making stuffed peppers since they’re big and have a sweet flavor, but there are a few pepper varieties that might be worth trying out if you haven’t already.

Thanks to Gifts.com, we have a helpful guide of 19 sweet peppers and spicy peppers and how they range in flavor, and most importantly, their heat level. Peppers are rated using Scoville Units and can range between 0-100 (sweet peppers/hardly any heat) and up to 3,200,000 (seriously spicy) and beyond.

With so many pepper varieties and recipes to make, this guide can help you figure out exactly what you want to use for a specific dish. Check it out below.


If you’re still unsure about how to use these types of peppers, no need worry! We’ve rounded up some of the best recipes for each pepper.

1. Sweet California Wonder

Wide Open Eats

A common type of bell pepper, Sweet California wonder peppers are known for their dark green color and delicious flavor. It’s your go-to pepper for our Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers.

2. Cabernet Bell Pepper

Marin Mama Cooks

A personal favorite with nothing but sweet flavor, Cabernet Bell Peppers make a great, healthy snack. However, they are even better if you want to make roasted bell peppers. Don’t forget the crusty bread to go with it.

3. Islander Bell Pepper

Islander Bell Peppers, aka purple bell peppers, are known for their stunning color. They have a sweet flavor, but not as much as the other types. It’s best to serve these raw since cooking them will change the color. Try serving with hummus or on a veggie platter.

4. Golden Bell Pepper

Cookin Canuck

Fruity and vibrant, make the most out of this sweet bell pepper by whipping up a creamy Golden Red and Orange Bell Pepper Soup.

5. Carmen Pepper

The Gluten-Free Foodsmith

Don’t be fooled by its shape! Carmen peppers are super sweet and are perfect to use in Italian dishes, but we love to stuff them in this dish for Mexican Styled Carmen Peppers.

6. Sweet Chocolate Pepper

Första paprikan skördad! Sååå god! Sweet chocolate pepper, bytt frön med @kebbenekulle 💚fröna är nu utpillade och redo att skickas i höstens frökedjor på Frörebellerna! #paprika #pepper #sweetchocolatepepper #fröbyte #frörevolt #civilfröolydnad #frörebellerna #odlingskompis

A post shared by bobo_odlar (@bobo_odlar) on Jul 16, 2017 at 2:42am PDT

Sweeter than green peppers, but not quite as much as red peppers, sweet chocolate peppers are the perfect in between and known for their dark chocolate colored skin. It’s best to enjoy them raw or toss them into your next salad for lunch.

7. Banana Pepper

Simply Scratch

Known for its banana-like shape and mostly mild taste, banana peppers are best to use for pickling. Try out the recipe for sweet and spicy Pickled Banana Peppers. Keep in mind that as banana peppers mature, they increase in spicy flavor.

8. Roasting Pimentos/Cherry Peppers

Sweet C’s

Roasting pimentos, also called cherry peppers, have a bright red outer skin, round shape, and mild heat. Try roasting them or better yet, try out this Oven Roasted Pimento Chicken recipe for dinner tonight.

9. Sweet Italian Peppers

Martha Stewart

Sweet Italian Peppers, or sometimes called Tuscan peppers are crunchy with just a little kick of heat. My family likes to roast them and serve with bread, but I’m thinking these Pepperoncini Poppers would make a great appetizer!

10. Cubanelle Pepper

Rachel Ray Everyday

Cubanelle peppers, also called the Italian frying pepper, are considered sweet peppers although cubanelles heat level can range from mild to moderate (100-1,000 Scoville units). These Sausage-Stuffed Cubanelle Peppers are the way to go.

11. Poblano Pepper

Wide Open Eats

With its earthy flavor and mild heat, poblano peppers are commonly grown all over Mexico and used in many popular dishes like our recipe for Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Corn, Beans, and Quinoa. When poblano peppers are dried, you might see them labeled as “ancho chile”.

12. Jalapeño Pepper

Everyday Dishes

We’ve all heard of jalapeño peppers- what’s not to love? They’re easy to find, crunchy, with just the right amount of heat. I know I can’t get enough of snacking on jalapeño poppers as a late night snack or on game day, but this recipe for Jalapeño Pillow Puffs takes snacking to another level.

13. Kung Pao Pepper

Rasa Malaysia

Used mostly in Thai and Southeast Asian dishes, Kung pao peppers are ideal to add into stir-fry or this Kung Pao Chicken. With its mildly hot flavor, you definitely won’t be missing out on the heat.

14. Serrano Pepper

Mexican Please

Beautifully dark green Serrano peppers are originally from Mexico and can be found all around the United States. Some Serrano varieties taste slightly sweet, while others can be incredibly hot. If you’re up for it, slice and eat them raw or blend them into your next Salsa Verde.

15. Cayenne Chili Pepper

Rants From My Crazy Kitchen

There’s a good chance you already have this pepper in your spice cabinet right now, just in a powder. Cayenne pepper is a great way to spice up southwest dishes or any dish for that matter.

Chili peppers are also perfect for hot sauce. Next time you’re thinking about reaching for store-bought, try making your own hot sauce. You’ll be happy you did!

16. Thai Pepper

Fox Valley Foodie

Even though Thai peppers are small, that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the fiery heat! You can do a few things to extend their shelf life: dry them out and add to your favorite Thai dish or test out this Asian Hot Sauce recipe.

*Warning: these last three hot peppers are not recommended for consumption…Only if you dare!

17. Komodo Dragon

All stocked up on Komodo chillis 🌶🌶 Not sure what to make with these yet and I’m both excited and scared 👹 Just tipping one off my mouth nearly made it catch fire 👅🔥 #komododragon #komododragonpepper #schoville #hot #pepper #cooking

A post shared by Shane Cahill (@ss.hh.aa.nn.ee) on Oct 22, 2017 at 5:05pm PDT

The Komodo Dragon chili pepper is said to be one of the hottest peppers in the world measuring at a whopping 1.4 million Scoville Units or simply, 400 times hotter than jalapeño peppers!

18. Carolina Reaper

Last Carolina Reapers for the season ! #carolinareaper

A post shared by Growing Chillies In Perth (@growingchilliesinperth) on Jun 1, 2018 at 3:10am PDT

Originally named HP22B, the Carolina Reaper is bright red in color with a pointed tail and sort of creepy looking if you ask me. Folks have said that at first, it has a sweet, fruity flavor, but when the heat kicks in, grab a gallon of milk. Just read about this person’s unfortunate experience.

19. Dragons Breath

#dragonsbreathpepper #hottestpepper

A post shared by Mike Siegman (@cheffersmccheffin) on Nov 9, 2017 at 12:07pm PST

The name is no joke. This is the type of pepper you don’t want to mess with or consume since the heat levels are said to be so intense that it’s just not safe.

It measures at 2.48 million heat units on the Scoville scale and is better off being used for medicinal purposes.

Watch: The World’s Hottest Pepper Can Kill You.

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When it comes to cooking a delicious dish, it’s important to include ingredients that speak to all of the senses, especially taste. To enhance the flavor of any meal, peppers, also known as capsicums, are the perfect way to add a touch of sweetness or a spicy kick. Available in a range of colors from a cherry red to a fiery orange, there are many types of peppers that make it very easy to have fun in the kitchen!

Originating from Central and South America, peppers have had a place on many tables throughout the years! Used as garnishes and stuffed with filling ingredients, there are many unique ways to incorporate this garden staple into any meal! Learn more about the popular types of peppers and how to use them to spruce up your next meal.

Types of Peppers

When choosing the perfect pepper, be sure to consider the ingredients you’ll be combining. Peppers are rated using Scoville Heat Units (SHU), a way to measure their heat/spiciness. The units can range from 0 to 100 (sweet peppers) and all the way up to 3,200,000 (dangerously spicy peppers).

If most of your ingredients are mild, opt for a spicy pepper to kick up the flavor profile. Or if your dish is already full of flavor, add in a few slices of a sweet pepper for an unexpected, tangy twist! With thousands of peppers available, it’s easy to find the perfect one for your culinary needs!

Sweet/Mild Peppers

Known for coming in bright shades of red, yellow and green, sweet peppers are a colorful and nutritious addition that fit perfectly into many eclectic dishes. Enjoy them by themselves, sliced up with a vegetable dip or add them to a healthy stir-fry – the possibilities are endless! When it comes to bell peppers, look for 3 bumps on the bottom as those work best for cooking and enjoy peppers with 4 bumps uncooked in salads and sandwiches.

Sweet California wonder – One of the more common peppers, these kitchen staples are easily recognized by their green color, crunchy texture and earthy flavor. Make the most of these by stuffing them with meat or quinoa for a nutritious and tasty meal.

Cabernet bell pepper – Typically found in sauces, these bright red, sweet peppers are perfect for throwing into a salad straight from the chopping board or roasted to perfection.

Islander bell pepper – Less sweet than the other bell peppers, these purple peppers are best served raw, as cooking them will turn their royal color into a muddy shade.

Golden bell pepper – Sweet but mild, these peppers are best roasted as this form of cooking makes their flavor and orange color really stand out.

Carmen pepper – Don’t let it’s long-horn shape and fiery color fool you! This hybrid pepper is noticeably sweeter than most and are delicious when roasted.

Sweet chocolate pepper – The super sweet flavor of this pepper makes up for its rich and unusual coloring. Make any salad unique with a few of these thrown in!

Banana pepper – These mild peppers are named after their banana-like shape. They go through several changes in appearance when growing, like deepening in color and increasing in heat as they mature.

Roasting pimentos – Exactly as their name states, these peppers are best enjoyed when roasted! This cooking process enhances their high-sugar level for a silky smooth taste.

Sweet Italian pepper – Also known as “Tuscan peppers”, these miniature peppers are typically used as salad toppings and accents. Sweet with a tiny touch of heat, this little pepper can typically be found pickled.

Cubanelle pepper – The Cubanelle pepper, also called “the Italian frying pepper,” shouldn’t be confused with it’s spicy, light green counterpart. Their thin walls and sweet flavor make them an excellent add on to many sandwiches and pizzas.

Spicy/Hot Peppers

Sometimes, a dash of spicy seasoning or a few drops of hot sauce just isn’t enough. While hot peppers can add a unique taste to the meal, some peppers that have very high Scoville scale ratings can border on being dangerous to consume. If you’re in the mood to add a touch of fire to your next meal, use one of the lower rated spicy capsicums to take your dish to the next level!

Poblano pepper – Grown all over Mexico, this ancho chile is most known for its unique use in meals, like stuffed poblanos. When dried, it’s then called an “ancho chile.”

Jalapeño pepper – Hailed as the most popular chili pepper in the world, this medium size chili is enjoyed with an array of diverse dishes. They are usually green when picked and consumed but will turn a bright red if they are allowed to fully ripen.

Kung Pao pepper – Found primarily in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine, this long, skinny and thin-walled pepper is often compared to the cayenne chili pepper. It’s mildly hot flavor is great for adding an unexpected kick to a tame dish.

Serrano pepper – Originally from Mexico, this bright green pepper is described as “crisp, bright and biting.” Daredevils will enjoy munching on this pepper raw.

Cayenne chili pepper – Also known as the “bird pepper”, this chili pepper is popular in its original form or as a powder. Cayenne pepper can be used for flavoring dishes and drinks.

Thai pepper – While it’s small in size compared to others on this list, it packs a pretty big punch. Typically used in Thai and South Indian cuisines, the thai pepper can be used right off the vine or dried out to extend their shelf life.

The Top 3 Hottest Peppers

Komodo Dragon – Known for its delayed reaction, this chili pepper starts out with a hot, fruity flavor that eventually makes your mouth feel like it’s on fire. To get an idea, this pepper is roughly 400 times hotter than a jalapeño. Yikes!

Carolina Reaper – Officially crowned the world’s hottest chili pepper by Guinness Records, the Carolina Reaper is said to be a cross of intense heat and a fruity flavor. Classified to be six hundred times hotter than a jalapeño, this is one pepper you don’t want to mess with!

Dragons Breath – Tipping the Scoville scale at over 2 million units, this chili pepper is not safe to eat and was created for medical use as a alternative to traditional anesthetics.

Popular Pepper Dishes

Incorporating peppers is a great way to add vibrant color and unique flavor to any dish! Whether it’s as a topping or is the star of the show, choosing the right pepper can make any meal unforgettable.

Hot Pepper Jelly

Combine some of your spicy favorites into a colorful spread that delivers a fiery kick! Pair sweet peppers with a few hot ones like jalapeños or habaneros if you’re really looking to bring the heat!

Chiles Rellenos

Originally from the Mexican city of Puebla, this dish consists of a slightly spicy chili pepper stuffed with Mexican cheese and fried. This comfort food recipe can also be updated with other delicious fillings, such as meat or vegetables.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This easy and healthy dinner combines delicious ingredients with a sweet and colorful bell pepper. Cut off the top of the pepper, fill with your favorites like quinoa and ground beef and sprinkle a shredded cheese of your choice on top!

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Save the best flavors of summer to enjoy year round! Pack slices of roasted peppers into jars filled with a preserving liquid to keep the roasted red peppers full of flavor.

Whether you’re looking to sweeten up a dish or add a little spice, peppers are one the most versatile ingredients that can liven up any meal. Slice them up and put a few on the grill to go with your favorite meat or in preparation to be canned and enjoyed later. Sweet options, such as bell peppers, are delicious both raw and roasted, while spicier peppers like jalapeños are best used sparingly. Whichever you prefer, take advantage of the thousands of delicious peppers found in your garden or local grocery store!


Cayenne Diane | Chowhound | The Spruce Eats

Sweet Pepper Varieties – What’s the Difference?

There are lots of sweet pepper varieties available to the backyard vegetable gardener. When most people think of sweet peppers, they think about bell peppers. But there are lots of other varieties of sweet peppers that are great for grilling or stuffing or frying. The possibilities are endless. Here is a partial list of some common varieties of sweet peppers, including fruit information and uses. Please note – the days to maturity are counted after the seedling is transplanted.

  • Orange Blaze – All-America Winner, good disease resistance, features 4″x1.5″ peppers that turn from green to bright orange, ready in 70 days
  • Carmen – ready in 75 days, horn-shaped Italian sweet pepper, green to red, 3″-4″ long, very prolific and tolerant of varied temperatures
  • Maxibelle – large and blocky bell pepper, thick walls, green to red, sweet and crunchy, ready in 75 days, good raw or cooked, freezes well
  • Block Party – 4″x4″ blocky bell peppers, thick walls, green to red, ready in 80 days, very consistent shape, good for stuffing, plants average 2 feet tall, sweet and tangy flavor
  • California Wonder – classic heirloom bell pepper variety, introduced in 1928, 3″x4″ peppers have 4 lobes each, consistent production, sweet and crispy, freezes well, ready in 75 days, green to red

  • Gold Standard – very large sweet pepper variety, 5″x5″ blocky bell peppers, 73 days to green and 88 days to bright gold, good for grilling or stuffing, thick walls and consistent production
  • The Godfather – classic Italian sweet pepper variety, green in 64 days and red in 78 days, 7″ peppers are tapered and meaty, good for frying or grilling or stuffing, available exclusively from the Burpee Seed Company
  • Costa Rican Sweet – very tasty and slightly wrinkled, good grilled or roasted or raw, very fruity and sweet, peppers are 4″-5″ long and tapered, green to orange to red, ready in 70 days
  • Marconi – traditional Italian pepper, good for grilling or frying or stuffing or just raw, 7″-10″ long and slightly tapered, green to yellow or red, ready in 85 days, very sweet with thick walls
  • Chocolate Belle – very sweet, blocky bell peppers with 2-4 lobes, good disease resistance, purple to chocolate colored, ready in 70 days, best when eaten raw or lightly sauteed
  • Cubanelle – green to yellow to orange and red, ready in 75 days, good for roasting or stuffing or frying, less water content than other sweet pepper varieties, fruit feature 3 lobes and average 3″-4″ long, thin walls

  • Bull Nosed – very large heirloom bell pepper variety, a favorite of Thomas Jefferson and still grown in the gardens at his Monticello estate, mild and sweet taste, peppers are blocky with thick walls, green to red, ready in 70 days, often 5″ across
  • Jimmy Nardello – heirloom Italian sweet pepper variety, good for frying or grilling or sauteing or stuffing or pickling or drying, first introduced in the USA in 1887, green to red, thin and wrinkled peppers reach up to 10″ long, ready in 85 days, very sweet and tangy
  • Corno di Toro – literally translated as “horn of the bull”, classic heirloom Italian sweet pepper good for frying or grilling or stuffing or raw, full flavor, peppers average 9″ long and 2″ across at the top and tapered, green to orange to deep red, ready in 75 days
  • Gypsy – All-America Winner, high-yielding frying pepper, yellow to orange to red, tapered fruit are 4.5″ long and 2.5″ across at the top, excellent raw or fried, ready in 65 days
  • Friggitello – this heirloom Italian pepper averages 3″-4″ long and is tapered with slight wrinkles, green to red, ready in 70 days, excellent pickled or dried or raw, plants average 3 feet tall
    • Chinese Giant – bell pepper variety that can reach 6″ long and 5″ across, heirloom variety introduced to the USA in 1900, red to green, ready in 80 days, thick walls, sweet and crisp
    • Sweet Banana – this heirloom sweet pepper variety is a pickling favorite, 6″-7″ long and tapered, thin skin, pale yellow to light orange to deep red, ready in 72 days
    • Double Delight – a large 9″ pepper in the shape of a bullhorn, thick walls and very sweet, good for grilling or stuffing or raw, green to yellow/orange to dark red, high yields, ready in 65 days
    • Lipstick – 4″ oblong peppers, green to red, pimento-type pepper great for roasting or sauces or raw, very sweet, look hot but they’re not, ready in 70 days
    • Sweetheart – ready in 75 days, 3″ heart-shaped pepper, thick walls, good for stuffing or eating raw, good disease resistance, very sweet, green to red

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