Pimentos are a staple ingredient in many dishes and snacks. They are also used in cooking and baking. But did you know that they are also great substitutes for other ingredients? Three of the best substitute are canned pimento, red bell pepper, and peppadews. All of them, including the rest of the seven substitutes, make a good ingredient in every dish you plan to cook. If you are looking for the best substitute for pimentos, check out the list below!
What is Pimiento Peppers?
Pimentos or pimentos are peppers from the Capsicum genus. It is part of the nightshade family. The name comes from the Spanish word “pimentón” which means spicy pepper. These peppers have an intense flavor with a sweet aftertaste. They can be found in different colors like green, yellow, orange, red, purple, brown, and black. Some varieties are milder than others.
Pimento peppers have 100 – 500 Scoville Heat Units. It has a mild flavor, perfect for sandwiches and southern pimento cheese. This is a versatile spice with bright red color and heart-shaped form measuring 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. The pimento peppers are usually dried and ground into powder.
The most common types of pimentos include:
- Dried Pimentos
- Canned Pimentos
- Fresh Pimentos
- Pepperoncini peppers
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What Does Pimento Taste Like
Pimentos are mild, sweet, and juicy. While they are usually preserved, they may also be fresh from the garden. In dishes requiring roasted peppers and any savory dish, use them as you would red bell peppers.
You can also use pimento in stuffing, such as quinoa stuffed peppers, classic stuffed peppers, and Mediterranean stuffed peppers.
What are the Health Benefits of Pimento
Pimentos, just like other spices, are also beneficial for the body. It is rich in vitamin A, B, C, K, potassium, and iron. Some people have this for medicinal properties since it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties and can relieve nausea. If you are on a low-calorie diet, this is also a good ingredient in your meal.
In Central American and Caribbean countries, pimento is often used through the brewing and taken to relieve upset stomach, menstrual cramps, and cold. It is applied in muscle aches, bruises, and sore joints like allspice. But of course, it is still best to consult your physician to ensure your safety.
10 Best Pimiento Substitutes (Alternatives To Pimiento) in 2024
1. Canned Pimento
Canned pimento is a hot yet sweet pepper that is preserved in brine. It is available in jars and cans. It is a popular condiment in Latin America and Caribbean countries. However, you should consume this moderately since it contains lots of sodium, which raises blood pressure. But if you like them and are completely healthy, go ahead and eat them!
Why is canned pimento a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- It is easy to find. You do not need to worry about the quality of the product.
- It is cheaper.
- It is convenient because you do not have to wash the seeds.
- You only need to drain the liquid and pat dry them.
2. Red Bell Pepper
Red bell pepper is a small, round fruit that grows from a vine. They are commonly found in supermarkets and grocery stores. They are one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world. Roasted bell peppers can also work as an excellent substitute because they add more flavor and texture.
Why is red bell pepper a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Most convenient option
- It can be substituted as roasted, marinated, or pickled
- Best used in salsa and stir-fried dishes
- Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped red bell pepper for every 1 tablespoon chopped pimento in the recipe
Peppadew is a spicy pepper that has been dried and then ground into a powder. This spice is usually added to salads, soups, stews, and sauces. The pepper is also known as piment d’Espelette and is native to France. There is also a South African Peppadew, which is a good pimento substitute, especially when pickled.
Why is peppadews a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Same size and texture as fresh pimento peppers
- Available in mild, medium, or hot
- Works well in savory dishes and bread
- Use as you would do with canned pimento
4. Cherry Peppers
Cherry pepper is a small, rounded, green, or yellowish fruit that grows from a plant called Capsicum annuum. It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. It is often used as a seasoning, but it can also be eaten raw. This pimento substitute can be as hot as jalapenos and is often referred to as cherry bombs.
Why is canned pimento a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Perfect for cheese and meat
- The same level of heat and shape
- Only use 1/2 tablespoon of cherry peppers for every 1 tablespoon chopped pimento in the recipe
5. Piquillo Pepper
Piquillo pepper is a beak-shaped, small, sweet, and fiery pepper that grows from a vine and belongs to the capsicum family. It is native to Peru and Chile. It is often used in Mexican cuisine and is available in different colors such as red, orange, and yellow. It has a more complex flavor that is usually grilled and jarred like pimentos.
Why is piquillo pepper a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Has smoky flavor
- Can be used in heartier dishes, like soups and sauces
- Easy to grow and bottle at home
- Use 1 tablespoon chopped piquillo peppers for every 1 tablespoon chopped pimento in the recipe.
6. Corno Di Toro Peppers
Corno di Toro peppers are small, round, sweet, and fiery chili pepper that grows from a plant and belong to the capsicums family. They are native to Peru and Chile, and they are often used in Mexican cuisine.
Why is Corno di toro peppers a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Sweet and tangy flavor profile like pimento
- Can be a suitable substitute for bell peppers, too.
- Great for grilled vegetables and salads
- Use 1 tablespoon of chopped Corno di toro peppers for every 1 tablespoon of chopped pimento in your recipe
7. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin pie spice is a mixed spice of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and black peppercorns. The spices are ground together and then mixed into a liquid form. This is an excellent substitute for your desserts, as well as some savory dishes.
Why is pumpkin pie spice a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Complex flavor profile
- Suitable for desserts and sweet dishes
- Only use a pinch or sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice
8. Banana Pepper
Banana peppers are spicy peppers that come from the capsicum family. They are native to Peru and Chile. They are often used in Mexican food, and they are great for grilling. Banana peppers come in a variety of colors, ranging from pale yellow to bright red, and they get sweeter as they mature. The yellow peppers are lovely when sliced over a salad or used as a garnish.
Why is banana pepper a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- It gives a tasty addition to chili jams
- It can be used for cheese boards, salsa, pizza
- Use 1 tablespoon banana peppers for every 1 tablespoon of chopped pimento in your recipe
9. Holland Sweet Pepper
A holland sweet pepper is a hot pepper from the Capsicum annuum species. It is also known as a banana pepper, and it is one of the hottest peppers in existence. It has thick walls and a sweet flavor, like bell peppers.
Why is holland sweet pepper a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Ideal for stuffing with tuna, chicken, and fruit salads
- It gives a fresh flavor to dishes
- Use as you would do with bell peppers
10. Cubanelle Peppers
Cubanelle peppers are hot pepper that belongs to the Capsicum annuum genus. They are native to Cuba and often found in the Caribbean and Latin American cuisines. Cubanelle peppers are usually green, orange, or red, and they have a mild heat level. Cubanelle peppers are perfect for adding a little kick to your favorite recipes.
Why are cubanelle peppers a good substitute for fresh pimento?
- Milder flavor than pimento peppers
- Excellent substitute for fresh pimento peppers because of the aroma and texture
- Only use 1 tablespoon chopped cubanelle peppers for every 1 tablespoon chopped pimento in the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use allspice instead of pimento?
Yes. Allspice is made from a pimento berry with the flavors of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon blended in.
Are pimento and clove the same thing?
No. Cloves are the flower buds of the tree Syzygium aromaticum. They give off a strong scent and are used as a flavoring agent in many foods. In contrast, pimento refers to dried berries of the pimento plant, which can be substituted for cloves in most recipes.
Can I substitute paprika for pimento?
You could try using paprika in place of pimento, but it will not taste precisely like pimento. Paprika is smoked Spanish paprika and is very different from pimento. If you want to make a dish similar to a traditional pimento dish, you should use pimento.
What is the difference between pimento and pimentos?