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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Hungarian Wax Peppers Substitutes

Are you looking for a Hungarian Wax Pepper substitute?

With its unique color and flavor, the Hungarian Wax Pepper is an essential ingredient in many dishes.

But finding it can be tricky.

Read on to discover the 5 BEST substitutes for Hungarian Wax Peppers – so you don’t miss out on your favorite meal.

You won’t regret it.

What’s Hungarian Wax Pepper?

Hungarian wax peppers, also known as ‘hot banana’ or ‘paprikas’, are long, tapering peppers with a mild to moderately hot flavor.

They range from bright yellow to red in maturity and usually measure five inches in length.

Though named after their Hungarian origins, these peppers are widely grown and used in other countries like Italy and India.

Though they do not have the heat of a habanero pepper, they bring enough of a kick to balance out the sweet notes of paprika – making them ideal for omelets, fajitas, chili recipes, salsas and other types of cooking.

How to Cook with Hungarian Wax Peppers?

Cooking with Hungarian Wax Peppers is a great way to add some heat and flavor to your dishes.

Hungarian Wax Peppers are typically medium-hot, sweet peppers with a pungent flavor that can range from mild to medium-hot when cooked.

They are commonly used in stews, soups, salads, omelets, and sauces.

When selecting wax peppers for cooking it’s important to note that the color of the pepper will determine the amount of heat it will produce.

Red Wax Peppers are very hot while green ones are milder and orange ones are sweeter than red or green wax peppers.

It’s best to taste them before you use them in a dish because you don’t want one pepper to overpower the other flavors in your dish.

When cooking with Hungarian Wax Peppers make sure that you wash them well before cutting into them and that you wear gloves when cutting into them so as not to burn your hands.

You can roast whole or partially sliced peppers on a baking sheet or cook them up over high heat such as on a grill or stovetop.

If using fresh in salads or salsas they can be cut into pieces with seeds still intact which will give more of a kick than no seeds at all.

Adding diced mayonnaise can tone down the spice if desired but this might also add too much fat for some dishes so it depends on what kind of recipe you’re making.

5 BEST Hungarian Wax Peppers Substitutes to Consider

Fortunately, there are several good substitutes that you can use if you’re unable to find Hungarian wax peppers.

These alternatives are all milder than the original pepper but work well in recipes that list Hungarian wax peppers as one of the ingredients.

Here are five excellent substitutes for Hungarian wax peppers:

1 – Anaheim Peppers

Anaheim peppers are also known as California or chili, and they can be a very reliable substitute for Hungarian wax peppers, depending on the recipe.

They’re similar in shape but milder in terms of their spiciness.

On a 0 – 10 scale, Hungarian wax peppers are between 2 – 4 and Anaheims about 1 – 4.

That makes them ideal for recipes that don’t require a lot of heat.

You can find them with great ease at most grocery stores or farmers markets and use them to replace Hungarian wax peppers in a variety of dishes.

2 – Jalapeños

Jalapeños are probably the most common substitute for Hungarian wax peppers.

They have a similar level of heat, ranging from 3,500 to 10,000 Scoville heat units (SHUs).

The predominant flavors are grassy and herbal with a bit of sweetness.

Jalapeños may be used both raw and cooked.

When cooked, they will provide an additional smoky flavor.

Be sure to wear gloves when handling jalapeños as the capsaicin can irritate your skin or eyes if touched or handled carelessly.

3 – Poblano Peppers

The Poblano pepper is a mild chili – much milder than the Hungarian wax pepper.

It has a sweet, smoky flavor and will add just the right amount of heat to any dish that calls for Hungarian wax peppers.

Poblanos range from 1,000 to 2,000 on the Scoville Scale, putting them between bell peppers (0) and jalapeños (2,500 to 5,000).

These chilis are often used in Mexican cuisine and are easily accessible in most major supermarkets.

They’re typically used in dishes like chiles rellenos or stuffed with cheese and served as an appetizer or main dish.

You can also use them as a topping for salads or grilled meats.

When choosing poblano peppers, look for ones that are firm without any marks or bruises.

Avoid peppers with dots of color as they may be past their prime.

4 – Banana Peppers

Banana peppers (sometimes known as “yellow wax peppers”) are relatively mild, but the exact level of heat varies depending on where and when they were grown.

As a middle-ground solution for those seeking hungarian wax pepper substitutes, banana peppers will have nearly the same flavor as hungarian wax peppers but not quite as much heat.

They can be added to a variety of dishes including pastas, sandwiches, pizzas and salads.

One common way of preparing banana peppers is by pickling which helps to bring out both their flavor and their bite.

As its bright yellow hue suggests, banana peppers are sweet in flavor with only a slight spiciness that makes it suitable for both adults and children alike.

5 – Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers are similar to Hungarian wax peppers and provide a moderate amount of heat.

The cayenne pepper is a type of Capsicum annuum that is commonly used to make cayenne powder.

A typical cayenne pepper measures between 30,000 and 50,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on the Scoville Scale — about four aspects milder than the Hungarian wax pepper.

When substituting, use half the amount of cayenne pepper called for in the recipe.

For example, if a recipe calls for one Hungarian wax pepper, use half a cayenne pepper instead.

Cayenne peppers are extremely versatile and can be used to make anything from hot sauces to rubs and marinades with intense flavor profiles.

Because they are more widely available worldwide, they have become some of the most commonly used chilies in cuisines all around the world.


In conclusion, Hungarian wax peppers are a type of pepper that fall between mildly spicy to hot on the heat scale.

They have a sweet-spicy flavor and are used in many forms including stuffed, pickled and fresh.

Because they are hard to find in some areas, there are several alternatives that can be effectively used in cooking recipes as replacements for Hungarian wax peppers.

Each of these options has its own unique flavor profile and heat scale characteristics which may suit different recipes better than others.

Ultimately it is important to choose a substitute that matches the desired pepper flavor but also includes its unique heat level nuance.

5 BEST Hungarian Wax Peppers Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Anaheim Peppers
  • 2 – Jalapeños
  • 3 – Poblano Peppers
  • 4 – Banana Peppers
  • 5 – Cayenne Peppers


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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