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5 Of The Best Substitutes For Scotch Bonnet Peppers You Need To Try

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are an incredibly popular kind of pepper that is very commonly used in Caribbean Cuisine and it is also a common ingredient found in hot sauce.

It is incredibly versatile and one of the hottest common peppers you can find, which is one of many reasons why it’s so popular. 

5 Of The Best Substitutes For Scotch Bonnet Peppers You Need To Try

But there will inevitably come a time when you need Scotch Bonnet Peppers for a dish and you are unable to find the real thing.

This can be incredibly stressful, but don’t worry! There are plenty of substitutes you can use instead. 

If you need a great substitute for Scotch Bonnet Peppers, then you have come to the right place!

Below you will find out everything you need to know about 5 of the best substitutes for Scotch Bonnet Peppers.

So read on to find out more about each of them. 

5 Best Substitutes For Scotch Bonnet Peppers 

As Scotch Bonnet Peppers are quite spicy and fruity in taste, it only makes sense to use other peppers that are of a similar heat level and fruity flavor.

Each of the 5 substitutes you will find on this list are the best substitutes around. They each offer something unique and will elevate your dish when you can’t get hold of the real thing. 

If you want to find out more about each of these substitutes, read on to find out everything you need to know!

Tabasco Peppers1.29g0.76g12 kcals
Cayenne Peppers12g17g5.7 kcals
Thai Chili Peppers0.1g0g1.2 kcals
Habanero Peppers0g0g38 kcals
Jalapeño Peppers0.1g0.05g4 kcals

What Do Scotch Bonnet Peppers Taste Like? 

Scotch Bonnet Peppers are a type of chili pepper that is most commonly found and used in Caribbean cuisine. They are quite small in terms of size but don’t let that fool you, as they pack quite a spicy punch! 

They are known as being one of the spiciest peppers on the Scoville scale, reaching anywhere from 100,000–350,000 units. They are not recommended for people who do not enjoy spicy foods. 

In terms of flavor, Scotch Bonnet Peppers have a delicious fruity flavor to them, as well as being quite sweet. Their taste can vary however depending on the region and soil they are grown in. 

Nutritional Value Of Scotch Bonnet Peppers

4 kcals0g0g1g0g

Scotch Bonnet Peppers Substitutes

1. Tabasco Peppers

First, on our list, we have Tabasco Peppers. These peppers are the perfect substitute for Scotch Bonnets when you still want your dish to be spicy and full of flavor.

Unlike Scotch Bonnet peppers, Tabasco Peppers are usually used in Mexican Cuisine, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t diverse enough to use in other cuisines too! 

Typically, Tabasco peppers fall anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville scale, so they are hotter than Jalapeño Peppers but milder than Habanero Peppers. 

They are the perfect substitute for anyone who enjoys spice but wants something a bit on the milder side that isn’t as intense as Scotch Bonnet peppers.

2. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers are another great substitute for Scotch Bonnet Peppers. These peppers are quite hot, reaching anywhere between 30,000 and 50,000 on the Scoville scale.

They are quite a bit hotter than say Habanero Peppers and they are extremely hotter than Jalapeño Peppers. 

These peppers are quite sharp in taste. They aren’t as fruity as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, so the taste will be a little different, but they are perfect for anyone who enjoys spice to use in their food. 

Cayenne Peppers are one of the most popular peppers to be used in all sorts of spicy dishes and they are incredibly easy to get hold of.

3. Thai Chili Peppers

Thai Chili Peppers are a fantastic substitute for Scotch Bonnet Peppers, especially if you like your food to be hot.

Thai Chili Peppers can reach anywhere from 50,000 and 100,000 on the Scoville Scale, so based on the other entries on this list, you can appreciate just how hot they are. 

They still aren’t quite as hot as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, but they are a lot easier to get hold of and more readily available in grocery stores than the real thing.

If you can’t get hold of Scotch Bonnet Peppers for whatever reason, these peppers are one of the best that you can substitute for it.

4. Habanero Peppers

If you want to get even hotter than the Thai Chili Peppers, then the very best option is easily Habanero Peppers!

They are one of the most common types of hot peppers that you can get and their heat level can fall anywhere between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville Scale. 

Of all the substitutes on this list, Habanero Peppers are the closest in spice levels to Scotch Bonnet Peppers.

They are also quite fruity in taste, which makes them even more similar to the real thing. The fruity flavor of the Habanero Pepper has been liked to apricots or even peaches!

5. Jalapeño Peppers

Jalapeño Peppers are one of the most well-known and popular peppers all around the world. They aren’t as spicy as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, but they are perfect to use in any dish where you just want an extra kick! 

On the Scoville Scale, Jalapeño Peppers fall anywhere between  2,500 and 8,000.

Whether you are just getting into more intense spice or you don’t enjoy the hotter peppers, Jalapeño Peppers are perfect when you want a bit of spice, but you don’t want the overall dish to be too intense. 

Jalapeño Peppers may not be as hot and spicy as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, but they are quite similar in terms of their flavor profile.

Jalapeño Peppers are known for being quite fruity and even grassy in taste, which is one of the main reasons why they work so well as a substitute for the real thing. 

Jerk Chicken With Grilled Pineapple

This popular Jamaican dish is both sweet and savory in taste, and the inclusion of Scotch Bonnet Peppers gives it an incredible kick that spice lovers won’t be able to get enough of!

Jollof Rice

If you are looking for a more exciting rice recipe, then you are really in for a treat if you have never tried Jollof Rice before.

Packed full of herbs and spices, Jollof rice is fantastic as a standalone dish and as a side dish to any main course. 

Scotch Bonnet Curry Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a fantastic condiment to keep in your kitchen, and with this recipe, you will always be able to make some at a moment’s notice.

Because it is made with Scotch Bonnet Peppers, you can be sure that it will really pack a punch! 


So there you have it! 5 of the very best substitutes for Scotch Bonnet Peppers that you need to try.

Each of these substitutes has something different to offer, and they are as close as you are going to get to the real thing!

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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