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17 Types of Red Peppers

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Peppers come in various colors, from green to red, yellow, orange, black, and more. Of all the pepper colors you may come across, the red types are typically the most expensive.

Red peppers are usually more expensive because they are fully ripe; they spend more time on the plant, using more resources. Hence, the relatively higher price.

The price of yellow and orange peppers sometimes comes close to those of red peppers because they are also fully ripe. But many times, red peppers are the sweetest of all, so they typically reflect the highest prices.

There are many types of red peppers out in the world. While some are pleasant to taste, you may want to keep some others away from your mouth.

In this article, we discuss 17 types of red peppers. We talk about how hot they can be, what they are used for, and much more.

Bell Pepper

Red bell peppers

Bell peppers are one of the most common types of peppers in the world. They come in various colors, including red, yellow, purple, green, and brown.

Bell peppers are sweet peppers, and of course, when ripe, they give off a sweet and mild flavor. They go well in various dishes, including salads, hummus, and sandwiches. Red Bell pepper can be roasted, sauteed, stuffed, or ground into dry powder alongside paprika.

As with other Bell peppers, red Bell peppers add flavor and sweetness to any meal they are added to. There are not spicy, so if you are worried about spiciness, don’t be afraid to try them out.

Bell pepper has a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) of 0.

Bird’s Eye Pepper

Spicy Organic Red Thai Birds Eye Chilli Peppers

Bird’s Eye pepper, also known as Thai Chile, is a type of Thai pepper. They are popular in Asian cuisines, especially Thai cuisines, hence the name.

Bird’s Eye peppers are small-sized; they come in various colors, including red, orange, and green. For peppers as small as they are, Bird’s Eye peppers pack a lot of heat.

Considering how spicy they are, it is not surprising that Bird’s Eye peppers are used to spice sauces. They are also used in soups, stews, sambals, salads, marinades, stir-fries, and much more.

Away from the spiciness, Bird’s Eye pepper also packs some fruitiness that you may perceive if the heat does not distract you.

Bird’s Eye pepper has a SHU of around 50,000-100,000.

Carolina Reaper

While Carolina Reapers are a type of red pepper, we are almost sure you do not want to eat them.

Carolina Reapers are super hot. They are about 20 to 40 times as hot as Bird’s Eye peppers.

To put things in perspective, they are as hot as pepper spray.

Carolina Reapers are not readily available. Of course, the rareness is tied to their heat. No one needs pepper that hot in a regular meal.

They have a SHU of around 1,000,000 – 2,000,000.


Capsicum annuum

Cayenne is pretty popular, and you may already know it from Cayenne pepper, the powdered form in many kitchens.

Cayennes may also be called Finger chiles. They are pretty hot, and unsurprisingly, they are the primary ingredient in chili pepper.

When fresh and ungrounded, Cayenne is long, skinny, and typically red. However, they may also be yellow. Yellow Cayenne is called Golden Cayenne pepper or Cayenne Gold pepper.

Cayennes have a SHU between 30,000 and 50,000.

Cherry Pepper

close up Fresh cherry pepper

Cherry peppers are also called Pimento or Pimiento. They are so named because they look like cherries, but make no mistake, they are hotter than cherries.

While we said Cherry peppers are hotter than cherries, they are actually only mildly hot. Besides being hot, they are sweet.

Cherry peppers have various applications; they are used in pickling, making pimento cheese, and flavoring dishes.

Cherry peppers are typically sold in pickle jars. They fall in the second-lowest level of the Scoville scale and have a SHU of 100 to 500.


Closeup of a hand cupping a Cubanelle pepper

Cubanelles may also be called Cuban pepper or Italian frying pepper. It is a mildly hot, sweet pepper commonly used in Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican cuisines. Cubanelle is red when ripe and yellowish-green when unripe.

Cubanelles are typically used in frying, all thanks to their thin skins. But besides frying them, you can roast them. You can also use Cubanelles as a substitute for bell peppers.

Cubanelles have a SHU of 100 to 1000.

Fresno Pepper

pile of spicy fresno peppers

Fresno peppers look quite like red Jalapenos. However, the flavor profile of these types of peppers differs. Generally, ripe Fresno peppers are fruitier and hotter than Jalapenos. But their tastes are pretty close.

Fresno peppers originated from New Mexico but are found widely in California. They are related to Hatch peppers and Anaheim peppers.

The flavor profile of Fresno peppers changes as they become ripe. They become smokier and fruitier as they ripen, and their flesh-to-skin ratio increases too.

Fresno peppers are used in stuffing and spicing meals up. They may be added to stews, dips, soups, or just roasted in the fire.

Fresno peppers have a SHU of 2,500 to 10,000.

Ghost Pepper

Ghost Pepper

Ghost peppers are one of those types of red peppers you would not want in a regular meal. They are super hot, although not as hot as the Carolina Reaper.

Still, Ghost peppers are around 100 to 400 times hotter than Fresno peppers. You do not need to be told that that is crazy hot.

Ghost peppers also go by the name Bhut Jolokia. They are native to Northeastern India. Ghost peppers may be used in pickles, curries, and chutneys but only in very minimal amounts.

Ghost peppers have a SHU of 1,000,000.

Mini Sweet Pepper

Raw Organic Mini Sweet Peppers Ready to Eat

Mini Sweet peppers look a lot like Bell peppers. They even taste almost the same as Bell peppers. However, compared to bell peppers, Mini Sweet peppers are sweeter and smaller-sized. Mini Sweet peppers also have fewer seeds than bell peppers.

Mini Sweet peppers can be roasted or sauteed just like Bell peppers. You can use them in the same meals you use Bell peppers, and you can also use them as scoops for dips.

Mini Sweet peppers have a SHU of 0.

Pequin Pepper

A very tiny pequin pepper plant grows in the garden

Pequin peppers may also be called Piquin. They are small-sized red peppers commonly used in salsas, vinegar, sauces, and pickling. Pequin peppers are one of the primary ingredients of Cholula Hot Sauce. So, if you have tasted that sauce before, you know what Pequin peppers feel like in the mouth.

Pequin peppers might be small, but they are pretty hot. If you get past the spiciness, you will find that Pequin peppers have a nutty and citrusy taste to them too.

Pequin peppers have a SHU of 30,000 to 60,000.


Small bowl of red chilis isolated over white - Capsicum frutescens aka Capsicum annuum.

Peri-Peri goes by many names, including African Bird’s Eye, Pili, and Piri. They are small-sized peppers of African origin, and they are commonly used in African and Portuguese dishes.

Peri-Peri peppers might be small, but they are pretty spicy; they are about 6 to 40 times as hot as Jalapeno. The good news is, they are not too spicy for regular meals. Apart from being spicy, Peri-Peri offers a sweet, smoky flavor.

Peri-Peri has a SHU of around 50,000 to 100,000.

Piquillo Pepper

Closeup of fresh Piquillo peppers at an outdoor market

Piquillo peppers are sweet with mild heat. They are comparable to Bell peppers in sweetness and to Anaheim and Poblano peppers in heat.

Piquillo peppers are typically used for roasting, all thanks to their intense flavor and rich color. Usually, you will find them on sale in cans and jars but finding them fresh is not impossible.

Piquillo peppers have various uses. They can be roasted, skinned, and stuffed in oil, cheese, meat, tuna, or any other suitable stuffing. Piquillo peppers can also be pureed to make sauces, and they can be baked and eaten as a starter dish.

Piquillo peppers have a SHU of around 500 to 1000.

Red Jalapeno

Basket with fresh red Jalapeno peppers

If you’ve been wondering why we compared some other peppers to Jalapeno, it is because they are pretty popular.

Jalapeno peppers may also be called Chipotle. They are of Mexican origin, and they get their name from Jalapa, the capital of Veracruz.

Jalapenos are typically harvested when they are green. However, when they ripen, they become red Jalapenos.

Red Jalapenos are spicy but not too spicy. They are only slightly hotter than Anaheim and Poblano. Red Jalapenos are used in various dishes, from soups to salads, chilis, and guacamoles. They may also be stuffed with cream cheese or fried as a snack.

Jalapeno peppers have a SHU of 2,500 to 8,000.


Rocoto Manzano Rojo chile peppers

Rocoto peppers are a bit deceptive; they look like Bell peppers, so you may expect them to have no spice. But when you bite beyond their sweet skin, you get hit by some intense spice. Rocoto peppers are as hot as Habanero, so you can imagine how spicy they are.

Rocoto peppers come in various colors, including red, yellow, and orange. They have black seeds and abundant crisp flesh.

Rocoto peppers are typically used in making salsas. They have a SHU of around 30,000 to 100,000.

Scotch Bonnet

Red ripe scotch bonnet hot spicy pepper plant gardening raw food spice

Scotch Bonnets may also be called Caribbean Red pepper or Bonney pepper. Unsurprisingly, they are widely used in Caribbean cuisine. Scotch Bonnets are named after the Scottish hat, also called Tammie.

Scotch Bonnets are pretty spicy – as hot as Habaneros. However, they are relatively sweeter than Habaneros.

Besides being used in Caribbean dishes, Scotch Bonnets are a primary ingredient in jerk seasoning. They have a SHU of 80,000 to 350,000.

Serrano Pepper

Serrano pepper on wood background

Serrano peppers are hotter than Jalapenos but milder than Cayenne. They have Mexican origins, and as expected, they are commonly used in Mexican cuisines.

Serrano peppers are used in various dishes. They can be used in making salsa, thanks to their thick flesh. Serrano peppers may also be used in preparing guacamole and chiles. You can roast, dry, or pickle them.

Serrano peppers are typically available as green fruits. But they turn red when ripe, and they may even become yellow as they age.

Serrano peppers have a SHU of 10,000 to 23,000.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion

Red hot Trinidad moruga scorpion peppers in a basket on black background

If the name of this pepper does not scare you, the spiciness will. Trinidad Moruga Scorpions are native to Moruga village in Trinidad and Tobago; they are one of the hottest peppers in the world.

Trinidad Moruga Scorpions are super hot, and you most likely would not want them in your regular meals.

Away from their intense heat, Trinidad Moruga Scorpions have a sweet, fruity flavor. But with a SHU of around 1,200,000, we would not recommend that you eat one.


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