Scotch Bonnet Pepper Substitute

Best Scotch Bonnet Substitutes for 2024

If you are looking for a spicy pepper that is not too hot, then look no further than the scotch bonnet peppers. This little red pepper is one of our favorite spices and it is easy to find at grocery stores. It is also very versatile and can be used in many different ways. However, if you run out of it, fret not because we have listed the 6 best substitutes for scotch bonnet peppers. If you love this kind of pepper, read more below!

What Does Scotch Bonnet Pepper Taste Like

A Scotch Bonnet pepper is a very spicy chili that’s closely related to the habanero. It has a Scoville rating of 100,000 to 350,000 units and a relative heat level of 9-10 on the scale. The Scotch Bonnet chili varies in color from yellow-green to orange and even bright red. This type of pepper is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long on average. The Scotch Bonnet is a key component of Jamaican jerk spice and sauce, as well as Jamaican curries since it has a fruity flavor that comes with extra heat.

What is the Nutritional Content of Scotch Bonnet Pepper

The nutritional content of a 45 grams Scotch Bonnet pepper includes:

  • Calories – 18
  • Protein – 0.8 g
  • Total Carbohydrates – 4 g
  • Fat – 0.2 g
  • Fiber – 0.7 g
  • Vitamin A –  8.6%
  • Vitamin C – 108%
  • Calcium –  0.5%
  • Potassium – 145 mg
  • Iron –  2.6%

What Are the 7 Best Bonnet Pepper Substitute

1. Habanero Pepper

Habanero pepper is small, fiery chilis that grow in the tropics. They are commonly found in Latin American dishes such as salsa, guacamole, and salsas. These peppers contain capsaicin, which gives a high level of heat like bonnet pepper. Habaneros are often used in Mexican cooking and are often used as a substitute for other types of chilies.

Why is habanero pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • It is similar in taste and texture
  • It contains capsaicin, which is what makes the spicy flavor so intense.
  • It comes in various sizes and colors
  • Scoville heat units: 150,000 to 575,000
  • Heat rating: 6
  • Use equal amounts in the recipe. 

2. Serrano Pepper

Serranos are thin, elongated peppers with a milder flavor than other types of peppers. They come in several varieties including green, red, and yellow. They are most commonly used in Mexican cuisine and are known for their ability to add a lot of flavor without being overpowering. You can use them whole or cut them into strips.

Why is serrano pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • They are similar in size and shape
  • They have a milder flavor than others
  • You can use them whole or sliced
  • Scoville heat units: 5,000 to 15,000
  • Heat rating: 2
  • Use double amounts in the recipe. 
Fresh Scotch Bonnet Alternatives
Fresh Scotch Bonnet Alternatives For A Big Group

3. Red Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a hot pepper that grows in tropical climates like Mexico and South America. It is also called “red pepper” and “hot pepper.” It is usually ground up and added to sauces, soups, stews, and other foods. Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper that can be used in powdered form and dried chilies. They come in different shapes and colors, such as yellow, red, green, and orange that can be safely mixed in spicy dishes. 

Why is red cayenne pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • Similar in size and shape
  • Has a milder spicy flavor than cayenne
  • Can be used whole or chopped
  • Scoville heat unit: 30,000 to 50,000
  • Heat rating: 3
  • Use half the amount of cayenne pepper. 

4. Pequin Peppers

Pequin peppers are small, round, and sweet peppers that grow in Central America. They are mostly used fresh but can also be canned. They are popularly used in salads and marinades because it contains a sweeter flavor. Pequin peppers are sometimes confused with bell peppers because they look alike. However, pequin peppers are smaller and sweeter than bell peppers.

Why is pequin pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • Smaller and sweeter than scotch bonnet pepper
  • Tastes similar to scotch bonnet pepper
  • Contains vitamin C
  • Scoville heat: 30,000 – 50,000
  • Heat rating: 3
  • Use half the amount in the recipe.

5. Fresno Peppers

Fresno peppers are large, long, and slender peppers that grow in California. They are very spicy and have a strong flavor. The name “fresno” means “fresh” in Spanish. They are mainly used raw in salads and sandwiches.

Why is fresno pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • Large and long
  • Spicy and flavorful
  • Has a strong flavor
  • Scoville heat  2,500 – 10,000
  • Heat rating: 1
  • Use twice or thrice the amount of bonnet pepper
Jalapeno Pepper Is a good Alternative for Scotch Bonnet
Jalapeno Pepper Is a good Alternative for Scotch Bonnet

6. Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapenos are a type of pepper that has a thick fleshy stem and a pointed end. Jalapenos are used in Mexican dishes, such as tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. Jalapenos are often stuffed with cheese, meat, or vegetables. 

Why is jalapeno pepper a good substitute for bonnet pepper?

  • Thick fleshy stem
  • Pointed end
  • Used in many Caribbean recipes
  • Scoville heat: 2,500 – 5,000
  • Heat rating: 1
  • Use twice or thrice the amount of bonnet in your dish

7. Rocotillo Pepper

Rocotillo pepper is a type of pepper that grows in Mexico. It is usually eaten raw in salads and salsas. it is referred to as “goat head” pepper. This type of chili pepper is harder to find other scotch bonnet pepper substitutes. 

You may also be interested in these substitutes for other spicy ingredients

Is Scotch Bonnet Pepper The Same as Ghost Pepper

No. Not at all. The ghost pepper is not related to the Scotch bonnet pepper. Both are unrelated species of Capsicum plants. While both are hot, they are not even close in taste.

The ghost pepper is much hotter than the Scotch bonnet pepper and is found only in the Americas. The ghost pepper is one of the hottest chili peppers in the world. It is also known as the Bhut Jolokia. It is about 1 million Scoville units. It is a common spice found in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and northeastern India.

Ghost pepper has 855,000 – 1,463,000 Scoville Heat Units with a heat rating of 9, which is already considered super hot. It is 416 times hotter than a jalapeno pepper and 15 to ten times hotter than scotch bonnet peppers. It has a fruity flavor with high heat levels. You can reduce the heat by removing the pepper seeds before cooking or mixing them into the spicy dishes. And because of their intense spicy flavor, ghost peppers can be used as an ingredient to make a hot sauce. 

Can I use chili powder instead of Scotch Bonnet?

Yes. Chili powder is a good substitute for a Scotch bonnet. Just remember to add more salt when using chili powder since it does not contain any salt.

What recipes use scotch bonnet peppers?

Scotch bonnet peppers are usually used in Mexican and Caribbean recipes like Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper sauce, fried green plantains, Jamaican beef patties, Jamaican jerk chicken, Caribbean hot pot broth, peppered shrimp, and more. 

How to store Scotch Bonnet Peppers?

Store fresh Scotch bonnet peppers in a paper bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days for short-term storage. If you want to freeze them, place them in a zip lock bag and store them for two to three weeks. It can also last for several months but it may lose its freshness. To defrost, remove from the freezer and run under warm water until thawed