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The Mythical Pimento Substitute List: We Tabulated 20+

Most of our favorite meals would never taste that good or be complete without the addition of peppers, spices, or other seasonings. That is why we should be aware of available substitutes, such as pimento substitutes in case we run out while cooking.

Fresh pimentos are difficult to come by in most parts of the world. Pimento or other sweet peppers, canned or jarred, can be used. However, if you can’t find one, there are a few alternatives you can try.

  1. Red bell peppers
  2. Red pepper flakes
  3. Peppadew peppers
  4. Cinnamon
  5. Cherry peppers
  6. Ground Cloves
  7. Piquillo Pepper

Before we go deep into the long list of alternatives, let’s understand a bit more about this pepper. 

22 Best Substitute For Pimento 

Pimento Substitute

Pimento is a type of pepper that can be used in a variety of dishes. Pimentos, or pimientos as some of you may know, is the Spanish word for pepper. It has a sweet flavor and a hint of heat. It is usually red and large, ranging from 2-3 inches wide and 3-4 inches long, with a short, thick stem.

Pimento can be found fresh, ground (also known as paprika), jarred or canned in striped, sliced, or diced forms. This is commonly used in sauces and dips, but it is also excellent for stuffing, pickling, and everyday cooking.

Pimento cheese and pickled pimento peppers are two popular pimento recipes. Fresh pimentos are hard to find in most parts of the world.

Instead of abandoning your cooking when you can’t find pimentos, try one of these popular substitutes:

Red Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers

The red bell pepper appears to be the best pimento substitute. They’re both sweet but not overly spicy, and red bell peppers are very easy to come by in your local markets or grocery stores.

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped red bell peppers can be substituted for 2 tablespoons pimentos.

Red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes are simply crushed red peppers that make an excellent substitute for pimentos. This is a blend of various peppers, the majority of which are cayenne pepper that adds a multi-dimensional flavor and heat to any dish.

This is a popular spice all over the world that goes well with any pasta dish and, of course, pizza. Adjust the number of red pepper flakes to your liking.



Because of its strong flavor and aroma, cinnamon can also be used to replace ground pimento. However, it is best to use this in conjunction with nutmeg or cloves to avoid overpowering the dish.

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Peppadew peppers

This type of pepper, which is widely available in South Africa, adds both sweet and spicy flavor to any dish while not being so strong that it overpowers the dish.

This can be used to add flavor to baking, stuffing, and fresh salads. This can also be served raw or as an ingredient in a martini.

You can use the same amount of pimento in a 1:1 ratio.

Cherry peppers


Cherry peppers, which resemble little bombs, can add more heat to your dish but are much spicier than pimento. It is commonly used in stuffing and is easy to buy, especially in jars.

Please keep in mind that using the same amount of pimento (1:1) will result in a much hotter dish than you expected.

Ground Cloves

Because of their sharp flavor, ground cloves are an excellent substitute for pimento powder in most dishes. Ground cloves are versatile because they can be used in stews, curries, and drinks.

Piquillo Pepper


Piquillo peppers are also a good substitute for pimentos. It has no heat, is sweet but has a more complex flavor, and is large. It is also simple to grow at home. This is the best pimento substitute for roasting, pickling, and frying.

Holland Sweet Peppers

Dutch chilies are another name for Holland sweet peppers. This comes in red, yellow, orange, brown, and white. It has a mild spicy flavor and is quite large, so it’s great for grilling, stuffing, and roasting.

You can use the same amount of Holland sweet peppers as you would with pimentos.

Cubanelle Peppers

Cubanelle Peppers

Cubanelle peppers have a sweet aromatic taste, and a milder heat than other peppers. They come in orange, green, or red, and are larger and more flavorful than pimentos.

This is also known as frying peppers because they become more fragrant when fried. It is a delicious addition to any salad and is large enough to be used in stuffing.

Italian Sweet Peppers

Italian sweet peppers are generally sweet and not spicy, making them an excellent substitute for pimentos. Corno di toro is one of its variants. Because it is meaty and fruity, it is ideal for grilling, roasting, stuffing, and many other uses.

Star Anise


Star anise, like pimentos, is known for its strong flavor and can be easily used in stews, curries, and marinades.

When using star anise, you don’t need to add any additional spices because it’s flavorful enough on its own.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Because of the savory flavor derived from the combination of cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice, pumpkin pie spice not only complements desserts, but also serves as a good substitute for pimento. It’s essentially a mash-up of those.

This is commonly used in baked goods and soups. Keep in mind that this can be overpowering, so only use a small amount on your dish.

Apple Pie Spice


Apple pie spice is another possible substitute. It is a blend of spices that includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and occasionally cardamom, making it ideal for baking desserts.

Add apple spice to your dish in small amounts until it reaches the desired flavor.

Corno Di Toro Peppers

Corno Di Toro, as previously stated, is a type of Italian sweet pepper. Because of its longhorn shape, which can reach up to 8 inches in length, this pepper is also known as the “horn of the bull.”

This is generally sweet and has much less heat than pimentos.This can be orange, yellow, or red, and is great for grilling, roasting, sautéing, and frying, as well as eating raw.

Corno di toro is also high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, all of which have numerous health benefits.

Ground Cayenne Peppers


Cayenne peppers are widely regarded as the king of medicinal plants. This is an excellent addition to any dish because it adds a moderate amount of heat and is a good substitute for pimentos, particularly in soups and sauces.

It is related to bell peppers and jalapenos, and belongs to the same family.

Use ½ to ⅓ teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper in place of 1 teaspoon of ground pimento.

Ancho Chili Powder

Ancho chili powder, made from dried poblano peppers, adds a spicy twist to a variety of dishes, primarily Mexican soups, salads, and marinades. This is not the same as chili powder, which is simply dried poblano pepper. The former is a spice blend.

Although it is slightly hotter than pimentos, it will not disappoint as a substitute because it will add a genuine Mexican touch to any dish. Start with small amounts and gradually increase until you achieve the desired flavor.

Black Ground Peppers


Black ground peppers are used all over the world, and are the most basic and widely available option. With a small amount of pepper, you can mimic the heat and flavor of pimentos.

Begin with a small amount of black pepper and gradually increase it until the desired flavor is achieved.

Five Spice Powder

China is the originator of five-spice powders. It is a spice blend that, because of its savory flavor, is a good substitute for pimentos. This is commonly found in a variety of stores and provides flavors that will make your dish more oriental.

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Banana Peppers


Banana peppers are chili peppers that can be used in place of pimentos. It has a pungent aroma similar to pimentos but is slightly sweeter.

It is a medium-sized, long pepper that is mostly yellow, hence the name.

This can be stuffed and pickled, but it can also be served raw.

Mace(Ground Nutmeg)

Mace, also known as ground nutmeg, is one of the most versatile spices available. It has a flavor and aroma that is similar to pimentos. However, for a more flavorful substitute, combine nutmeg or mace with ground cloves.

Canned Pimento


If you can’t find fresh pimentos, this is the most obvious substitute. This is available in markets and grocery stores in sliced, diced, or chopped form, making it much easier to use in cooking.

Canned Pimento is low in fat and calories, but high in sodium due to the salt marinade.

Mixed Spice

Mixed spice is a blend of allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg that adds a mild spicy flavor to your dish, as well as the sweetness of pimentos. This can be used for any dish with ease.

Pimento Substitute Related FAQs

What spice has the most in common with pimentos?

Red bell peppers, peppadews, cherry peppers, piquillo peppers, Corno di toro peppers, banana peppers, and cubanelle peppers taste similar to pimentos.

These peppers have the same sweetness as pimentos and, in some ways, the same level of heat.

Is Pimento the same as Red Bell Pepper?

No, pimento has a sweeter and more aromatic flavor than red bell pepper.

Is the level of heat the same in different types of peppers?

No, different types of peppers have varying degrees of heat, so choose a substitute that is within your taste buds’ ability to handle the heat.

How should pimentos be stored?

The jarred pimentos should be kept in the fridge once opened, and may last up to nine months.

If you’re lucky enough to find fresh pimentos in your local grocery store or market, they’ll need to be kept in the fridge to can keep their crispness for up to a week.


All About Bell Peppers: Types, Taste, and Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe. Retrieved from

About Black Pepper Uses, Pairings and Recipes. Retrieved from