7 Best Peppadew Pepper Substitutes

Peppadew peppers are a delicious type of pepper that has become very popular over the past few years. They’re sweet and spicy at the same time, with just a hint of fruitiness to their taste.

Most people who try them for the first time fall in love with them almost instantly. Peppadew can be used in salads, pasta dishes, pizza toppings, and more.

But what if you don’t live near a store that sells peppadew peppers or they aren’t available when you are preparing a recipe that calls for them?

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with these seven best peppadew pepper substitutes that will give you a similar taste and texture to what you’re used to.

7 Best Peppadew Pepper Substitutes

The best substitutes for peppadew pepper are sweet cherry peppers and sweet drop peppers. You can also use pimentos, rocoto chiles, and pepperoncini as peppadew peppers substitute in most recipes.

Keep on reading to know how you can use these handy peppadew peppers alternatives in your favorite recipes.

1. Sweet Cherry Peppers

Sweet cherry pepper is one of the most popular types of peppadew pepper substitute. They have a similar taste and texture to peppadews but they can be found in most US grocery stores so you won’t have any trouble picking them up.

The sweetness of peppadew peppers can be difficult to achieve, but replacing them with sweet cherry peppers might work well. Sweet cherry peppers are probably the closest option, though you may miss out on some of the sweetness.

If you’re using sweet cherry peppers as a peppadew pepper substitute, consider sprinkling in a little honey or sugar to give them a more peppadew-like flavor.

2. Sweet Drop Peppers

Sweet Drop Peppers

Sweety Drop peppers are almost identical to peppadews in shape, color, and taste. They have a nice, mild heat to them but not as much as you’d find with jalapeño pepper. 

They have a slightly sweet flavor and a tangy aftertaste that’s most prominent when you try them raw. These will be really easy to work with because they’re already diced into small pieces. You just have to find them!

3. Rocoto Chiles

Rocoto chiles are probably the best pepper substitute for your homemade peppadew recipes. They are commonly used in Latin cooking because they have a nice, fruity flavor that isn’t too overpowering. They can even be eaten raw when they’re ripe.

Rocoto chiles are hotter than peppadew peppers. As a result, you’ll need to use less of them as specified in your recipe with peppadew peppers.

Simply soak them overnight before using them to ensure that they’re ready to use. Rocoto chiles are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, sauces, and stir-fries.

If you want to use rocotos in your homemade peppadew recipe, just be sure to remove the seeds and membranes before adding them. These parts of the pepper have a lot of capsaicin that can add too much heat to your dish if you’re not careful.

4. Pimentos

Pimentos are another common substitute for peppadew peppers that are used in many Mediterranean dishes where you’d usually find it mentioned as the main ingredient, like caponata and stuffed bell peppers.

They can be found at almost all grocery stores.  You may even see them sold already diced.

Pimentos are very similar in taste and texture to peppers but they tend to be less sweet than peppers so you can use them for more savory creations. Honey can help you make up for the difference.

They’re firm when fresh but turn soft with time so don’t expect them to stay crunchy long after cutting into them, hence, they are not suited for stuffed peppers recipe.

5. Sweet Red Pepper

Sweet red peppers look sort of like mini-versions of bell peppers and they work just as well as other peppadew pepper substitutes.

It can be used if you want something with a little more heft. You’ll definitely want to roast them first before making any recipes that call for peppadews.

Sweet red peppers don’t have a sweet, spicy flavor, so red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper flakes can be used to make up for it.

The texture is slightly different than the original pepper because it’s less crunchy so you may need to adjust your recipe. It won’t be the same but it’s still good enough to make your dishes taste awesome.

6. Pepperoncini


These look like small pickles and they’re often called Italian sweet peppers or Tuscan peppers. They have a nice, slightly spicy flavor that might remind you of peppadews once you roast them.

Pepperoncini has a light yellow-green skin that darkens as they mature. Both green and red pepperoncini may be found in supermarkets, although green is the most frequent.

These peppers are another good substitute if you want to cut down on the recipe’s overall heat level. You can use them in salads, sandwiches, and stews to give it a little peppery kick.

7. Giardiniera Peppers

Giardiniera peppers are also known as Italian pickled peppers because they’re usually sold in jars or cans.

It’s a sweet-tangy delightful combination of pickled veggies, such as cauliflower, carrots, and celery, combined with vinegar or oil.

They’ll give your recipe a nice tangy flavor, especially if it’s for salsas, relishes, pasta salads, etc. You can also use these peppers as part of a homemade peppadew recipe.

Just slice vegetables into smaller pieces and marinate them in oil, vinegar, salt, or any other flavor enhancer before adding them to your dish.

What is Peppadew Pepper?

Peppadew pepper is a piquant pepper that has been pickled. It is a type of piquant pepper that’s grown in South Africa.

The peppers on the plants are left to ripen on the vine then they’re harvested and preserved in a marinade that contains olive oil, vinegar, and other seasonings.

They’re great for eating straight out of the jar or using as an ingredient in a variety of dishes.

The taste is similar to piquanté peppers but the fact that they’re preserved gives them a slightly different flavor than regular fresh peppers would have.

They also tend to be sweeter and lack the heat you’d get from other types of hot peppers like cayenne or jalapeño.

How to Make Peppadew Peppers at Home

To make your own Peppadew peppers at home, you will need:

  • Fresh Peppadew peppers
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Garlic cloves (optional)


  1. Start by washing the peppers in cool water. Remove the stems and seeds from the peppers, then slice them into thin strips.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and garlic cloves (if using).
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the peppers to the pot and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the peppers to cool in the liquid. Once cooled, transfer the peppers to a jar or container with a lid and store them in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Peppadew Pepper Taste Like?

Peppadew peppers are spicy, sweet, and tangy. It doesn’t have a strong taste so it’ll blend nicely with other ingredients in your recipe to make it tastier without overpowering the dish.

It can be eaten raw or cooked and it’s often used in salads, especially pasta salads.

Are Peppadew Peppers Hot?

Yes, peppadew peppers are hot. They belong to the chili pepper family and have a Scoville rating of about 5,000. This means that they are not as hot as some other chili peppers, but they are still quite spicy.

If you don’t like spicy food, then you might want to avoid peppadew peppers. However, if you do enjoy a little bit of heat in your food, then peppadew peppers can add a nice flavor to many dishes.

Do Raw Peppadew Peppers Have the Same Hotness as Packaged Ones?

Fresh raw ones are hotter than the canned variety. Fresh and packaged peppadew peppers have varying degrees of spiciness.

How Long Do Peppadew Peppers Last?

Canned peppadew can be kept in the pantry for up to a year. Fresh ones, on the other hand, only last in the fridge for about 3-5 days.

Final Words

If you’re looking for the best peppadew pepper substitutes, the list above should give you some handy ideas.

You can find these substitutes for peppadew peppers in most grocery stores or order online and they are easy to incorporate into any dish that calls for them.

Enjoy experimenting with new flavors and textures 🙂

I’m a passionate food blogger on a journey to become a go-to person who can help others prepare delicious foods. I share recipes, food substitutes, and other cooking tips. Read more about my journey...

Leave a Comment