8 Best Peppadew Pepper Substitutes

Peppadew pepper is a sweetened pickled pepper from South Africa. It is common in South African cuisine. However, nowadays people are starting to use peppadew peppers all over the world. It is very popular as a pizza topping but is also a good choice for snacking.

Peppadew pepper is a piquant pepper, also known as a Juanita pepper that has been pickled. It is red and has a round shape similar to cherry tomato although they have no relation.

Regarding the taste, peppadew pepper is considered a sweet pepper with a bit of heat. It measures around 1000 at Scoville Heat Units, so it is around five times less hot than a jalapeno pepper. And in the pickling process sugar is added to it to sweeten it up.

Many recipes need peppadew peppers. For example, you can stuff them with cream cheese but they’re also perfect for salads, omelets, and sandwiches.

Peppadew peppers have a very unique taste, so it is not so easy finding a good substitute if you don’t have any in hand. But there are still some alternatives to choose from.

The best substitutes for Peppadew Pepper are sweet cherry peppers, pimentos, sweety drop peppers, rocoto chiles, sweet red peppers, giardiniera, pepperoncini, and pickled jalapenos.

If you are not sure how to use these ingredients as a peppadew pepper substitute in your recipe this article is for you.

Peppadew Pepper Substitutes

As peppadew pepper is very unique, it is hard to find a substitute that has the same color, texture, and taste. However, depending on what characteristic is the most important to replace in your recipe, you can choose an ideal substitute from the following list.

1. Sweet cherry peppers

Sweet cherry peppers

Sweet cherry peppers are similar to peppadew peppers although they are not the same. If you need a substitute that tastes almost like peppadew peppers, go with the sweet cherry peppers.

You can add sweet cherry peppers to your pasta and cheesesteaks, or you can stuff them with cheese or meat.

2. Pimentos


Another option to replace peppadew peppers can be using pimentos instead. The taste of it is very similar, but you won’t get as much of that sweetness as you are looking for.

To compensate for that, you can add a bit of honey. Pimentos are not the best substitute for stuffing. However, if you slice or chop them, they work very well.

3. Sweety drop peppers

Sweety drop peppers have a similar bright red color to peppadew peppers but they are smaller. They already come pickled and have a sweet gentle heat.

These peppers are rich in vitamin C so it is good to consume if you want to boost your immune system. You can toss them on pizzas and baked potatoes, or slice them up for sandwiches and garnishes.

4. Rocoto chiles

Rocoto chiles

Rocoto chiles are also known as Manzano’s or manzanas and they’re a good substitute for peppadew peppers if you like your food to be spicy.

Rocoto chiles have that sweet and citrusy flavor similarly to peppadew peppers. However, they are a bit hotter. So, you have to use less of them as recommended in your recipe with peppadew peppers.

Rocoto chiles perform well in many sauces and stir-fries. Just make sure to soak them overnight before you use them.

5. Pepperoncini

Pepperoncini has a similar tangy and mildly spicy taste to peppadew peppers, although it has a different color.

While peppadew peppers are mostly red, pepperoncini have a unique neon-green color that can make your dish look very special. It is popular to use on top of Greek salads but you can also perk up pizzas and sandwiches with it.

6. Sweet red pepper

Red Bell Pepper

The alternatives above are all recommended for dishes where you are looking to substitute the taste of peppadew peppers. Probably that is the case most of the time, but it can also happen that you are looking for an alternative to replace the color and texture of peppadew peppers.

If strong spices upset your stomach or you are making something for kids, sweet peppers are a good option for you. They’re very similar to peppadew peppers. They don’t have a sweet, hot taste. To compensate for that, you can add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper flakes.

7. Giardiniera

Giardiniera is a sweet-tangy Italian mix of various pickled vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, and celery. It doesn’t have the exact sweet-spicy flavor profile of peppadews. However, they act well in most salsas and relishes.

The key advantage of giardiniera is that you can easily find it in most stores. Look for it in the specialty section or canned-vegetable section.

8. Pickled jalapenos


Jalapenos are easily available everywhere. Thus, if you have nothing else to use instead of peppadew peppers in your recipe you might consider trying it with jalapenos.

However, make sure to buy pickled jalapenos. Their taste will resemble more to peppadew peppers. It is a good choice for many recipes for example you can sprinkle them on nachos or stir them into cornbread batter.

Related Questions

Do Whole Foods sell peppadew peppers?

Yes, if you have difficulties finding peppadew peppers in supermarkets, you can check it at a whole food store.

How are peppadew peppers processed?

Usually, they start by removing the seeds and innards and reducing the pepper’s heat. After that, the peppers are pickled which means that they add some sugar to reach that final sweet taste. And then, they are ready to ship off to stores.

Do raw peppadew peppers have the same hotness as packaged ones?

Not exactly. The packaged peppers are usually made to be less hot than raw peppadew peppers.

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