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8 Best Peppadew Peppers Substitute You’ll Love

8 Best Peppadew Peppers Substitute You’ll Love

Peppadew peppers are amazing sweet-pickled peppers from South Africa. They’re really common in the cuisine of that corner of the world, and when you taste them, it’s easy to see why. Today, I’m going to talk about what you can use if you can’t track down some of the elusive peppers. So, here are the 8 best peppadew peppers substitute ideas!

Best substitutes for peppadew peppers

It’s hard to find some really great substitutes for peppadew peppers since they’re so totally unique! However, I’ve come up with some options that I think work really well to replace peppadew peppers in a recipe.

1. Sweet cherry peppers

Sweet cherry peppers are quite similar to peppadew peppers from the get-go. They’re similar in size, color, and flavor. If you want something to match up with the flavor of peppadew peppers, the sweet cherry peppers are what you’re looking for.

They do tend to look a little different, however, since they’re a slightly different shape – a little longer and pointier.

2. Pimentos

Pimentos are something that a lot of us haven’t heard of aside from in the context of cocktail olives. This is a shame, since pimentos do have some great flavors to offer that is often overlooked.

Their flavor is quite similar to peppadew peppers, though they’re generally quite a lot less sweet. To compensate for that while cooking, I’d suggest adding a little honey to bring a rich, earthy sweetness to the meal.

3. Sweety drop peppers

Sweety drop peppers are one of my favorite peppadew peppers substitute options.

They have a very similar coloring to peppadew peppers – exceptionally bright red. And they’re a similar shape, too. The only real difference is that they’re a little smaller. They do, however, come pickled, and tend to have a sweet, gentle heat!

A disadvantage of sweety drop peppers is that they don’t stand up to be chopped up very well. Instead, we would suggest tossing them into salads and pasta dishes whole.

4. Rocoto chiles

Rocoto chiles look a lot like bell peppers, only smaller. They’re a great option to replace peppadew peppers if you like heat!

They have an intensely sweet and citrussy flavor similar to peppadew peppers. The problem, however, is that they’re hotter than peppadews, making them not to everyone’s taste.

They work well in sauces since their flavor distributes well through the liquid.

5. Pepperoncini

Pepperoncini are a unique neon green color which makes them stand out from the crowd – they can make any dish look unique and fascinating!

Generally speaking, pepperoncini are very popular when they’re used on top of Greek salads, though they can really be used on pretty much anything. I suggest slicing them up and adding them to a sandwich for a tasty hit.

The main thing that pepperoncini bring to the table to make them like peppadew peppers is that they’re pickled, meaning that they’re tangy and spicy.

6. Sweet red pepper

The other options on this list are all great examples of options to use if you’re looking to replace the flavor of peppadew peppers in your cooking. However, if you’re only looking to replace the color and texture of peppadew peppers, you could use sweet red bell peppers.

7. Giardiniera

Giardiniera is another one of my favorite peppadew peppers substitute option. It’s an amazing mixture of different Italian vegetables, pickled to bring out some interesting flavors.

It doesn’t have the exact same flavor that peppadews have, but it does work as a great replacement in a number of salsas and relishes.

The thing that makes it a great substitute is the fact that it’s so easily available – you can track it down virtually anywhere!

8. Pickled Jalapenos

Jalapenos are a great last-minute option. While they’re not identical in flavor, they have a number of similar hot and tangy flavors, meaning that they will often work well enough.

The thing that makes jalapenos a great option for a last-minute scramble is that they can be found almost everywhere – it’s easy to find them in your local supermarket or deli.

How to make peppadew peppers at home

Ready to make some homemade peppadew peppers? Here’s exactly how to do it!

peppadew peppers substitute ideas


  • 500-750g ripe peppadew peppers
  • 60g coarse salt
  • 600ml water
  • 375ml white vinegar
  • 300ml sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 4 pieces ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves

Cooking direction

  1. Remove the stem of the peppadews, and scrape out the seeds with a small spoon. Rinse them to remove the seeds.
  2. Let the salt dissolve in the water at the top of the ingredients list. Then, add the prepared peppers. If necessary, weigh them down with a plate or a jar.
  3. Leave the peppers overnight at room temperature.
  4. The next day, drain and rinse the peppadews with cold water. Leave them in the colander to continue draining.
  5. Measure all the ingredients from the white vinegar to the bay leaves. Stir the mixture well to dissolve the sugar, and bring it to a low, rolling boil.
  6. Add the peppadews to the hot water, and boil them for one minute or so.
  7. Add the peppadews to jars or similar containers, and then top that with the boiling liquid.
  8. Screw the tops onto the jars, and allow them to cool. Once sealed, they will keep in a dry cupboard for a long time.


Is peppadew a chili?

No, peppadews are a pickled Juanita pepper, meaning that they’re a pepper through and through. The difference is that a pepper plant comes from the ‘piper’ genus, while a chili plant comes from the ‘capsicum’ genus.

Are sweet cherry peppers the same as peppadews?

No, they’re a little different in shape and size. This is because they actually come from different species of plants, so they grow a little differently over time. On top of that, peppadews are typically brined and pickled in a unique spice mixture, leading to a unique flavor.

What does peppadew pepper taste like?

Peppadew peppers taste very sweet, a little spicy, and very tangy. This combination leads to a final pepper that’s quite complicated and really tasty. The upshot is quite simple: the use of herbs and spices in the cooking process enhances the peppadew peppers themselves.

peppadew peppers substitute

8 Best Peppadew Peppers Substitute Ideas

Peppadew peppers are amazing sweet-pickled peppers from South Africa. They’re really common in the cuisine of that corner of the world, and when you taste them, it’s easy to see why. Today, I’m going to talk about what you can use if you can’t track down some of the elusive peppers.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine all
Servings 1


  • Sweet cherry peppers
  • Pimentos
  • Sweety drop peppers
  • Rocoto chiles
  • Pepperoncini
  • Sweet red pepper
  • Giardiniera
  • Pickled Jalapenos


  • Choose one of your favorite substitute ideas from the list above
  • Prepare your meal as usual, but using the peppadew peppers substitute
  • Bon appetit!
Keyword peppadew peppers substitute, pickled pepperdew peppers substitute, what is peppadew peppers

Wrapping it up!

I hope you enjoyed these peppadew peppers substitute ideas! Now go and choose your favorite one and recreate your meal with the alternative ingredient. Bon appetit : )

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