Sweet and mild chili peppers have very little to no heat. Some may have a mild spice level. They range from 0 to 5,000 Scoville Heat Units. There are many, many varieties of chili peppers, and they often have different names depending on region. Here we're compiling information on sweet and mild chili peppers and the vast variety of chili pepper types in the world.
500 Scovilles. The Panca chili (or Ají Panca as it’s known in South America), is a deep red to burgundy pepper, measuring 3-5 inches. It is the second most common pepper in Peru, and is grown near the coast. Similar in shape to the Ají Amarillo, it is less spicy and has a rather sweet, berry-like, and slightly smoky flavor. The Ají Panca can be made into a paste or dried and minced to be used as a condiment. They can be found for sale on the internet in either form. Used in Peruvian cooking, the Panca is great for stews, sauces and fish dishes.
A mild, medium sized chili pepper that grows to 6-10 inches, often used when green, though it can be used when red. The basic variety ripens to a dark green/reddish color, but other strains ripen to full red. They are one of the most common chilis in the United States and are used in many foods and recipes. Red varieties can be strung together and dried to make ristras.
1,000 - 2,000 Scovilles. An Ancho pepper is the dried form of the poblano chili pepper. Ancho has a mild paprika flavor, with sweet to moderate heat. The Ancho chili pepper, together with the Mulato and Pasilla chili peppers, form the "holy trinity" of peppers widely used in cooking mole sauces. The Ancho is used to add flavor, heat, and color to the sauces.
0-500 Scovilles. Also known as the Yellow wax pepper, the Banana Pepper has a mild, sweet taste that is very popular on many types of foods. It is commonly eaten on pizza, in Greek salads, on sandwiches, or stuffed with meat and/or cheese. They also add a bit of sweetness to salsa and an interesting flavor, while other peppers add the heat. They may be pickled or used fresh. As the name suggests, it is typically a bright yellow or yellow-green, but they may mature to orange or red if left to ripen.
This Italian sweet pepper is a corno di toro type (bull’s horn), because of its shape. The flavor is sweet and fruity. They are best picked when they have turned a deep red, as shown in the above photo. These plants were developed to bear fruit during cooler conditions, so they are excellent for higher zones with shorter growing seasons. Tapered fruits typically average 6 inches long by 2 ½ inches wide, weigh about 5 ounces (142 gm), and ripen from green to deep red. Maturity is early on an upright, medium-size plant. They are suitable for outdoor or indoor growing.
1,000-3,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Cascabel Chile is grown in several areas of Mexico. It is small and round, 2-3 cm in diameter, and matures to a deep red. It is also called Chile Bola, meaning ball chile in Spanish. When dried, it turns to a dark brownish red, and the seeds become loose and rattle inside the chile. This is the reason for the name Cascabel, which means "little bell" or "sleigh bell" in Spanish. With a mild to moderate heat level, the Cascabel is perfect for adding a touch of heat to soups, salsas, stews and sauces.
Scoville Heat Units: 1,000 SHU (or less). Capsicum Annuum. The Cayenne Buist's Yellow is an excellent salsa pepper, and works well dehydrated and crushed into powder for various seasoning applications.
1,000-2,500 Scovilles. The Chilaca is a curved, long, thin pepper, that grows to about 6-9 inches, and 1 inch wide. It has a flattened shape, and its skin is wrinkled. It matues to a deep brown color, and has a rich flavor. The Chilaca is usually dried, and in this form is known as the Pasilla. The Chilaca is rarely used fresh, but the Pasilla is great for sauces or can be ground and made into a table sauce, or condiment.
Scoville Heat Units: 1,000+ SHU. Capsicum Annuum. A mild and sweet multi-purpose chili pepper ideal for many types of cooking. Use them in place of bell peppers in the Cajun Holy Trinity (bell peppers, onion, celery), for stuffed pepper recipes, roasting and grilling, or simply eating raw.
700-2,000 Scovilles. Originally from South America, the Coronado Pepper grows to 4” long and 2” wide with thin, waxy skin. It tastes like a mix of pear and berries, and turns a bright red when ripe. With its mild flavor, it can be eaten fresh, added to dishes for extra flavor, or dried and ground into powder.
0-1,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Cubanelle is considered a sweet pepper, although its heat can range from mild to moderate. Cubanelles are usually picked before they ripen, while they are a yellowish-green color, but when ripe, they turn bright red. They are usually about 4-6 inches long, 2 inches wide, and banana-shaped, tapering near the bottom. The skin should be glossy, and the pepper should be smooth and firm. Cubanelles are also called the Italian Frying Pepper, because they are great in a frying pan with a little olive oil.
Capsicum Annuum. The Dolmalik is an heirloom Ancho type pepper from Turkey. It has a rich smoky sweet flavor. Peppers ripen from light green to a reddish brown. They are used as a powder in Turkey to season meats but also make an ideal stuffing or roasting pepper. The Dolmalik peppers are about 2 inches in diameter and 4 inches long. Flesh is medium thickness. The Dolmalik chile plants grow over 3 feet tall.
Capsicum Annuum. This is a sweet pepper that resembles a long and twisted Cayenne chili pepper. It is originally from the Southwest corner of France called Landes. The name translates into "English sweet pepper from Landes". The fruit of the Doux des Landes pepper can grow over a foot long. The flavor profile is sweet and fruity. The peppers ripenn from green to red and are used fresh or cooked. In particular, they are known for a Basque recipe called Pipperade. Consider these peppers for sweeter sauces.
Elephant's Ear - (Capsicum annuum). Also known as Slonovo Uvo. The Elephant's Ears is a rare large sweet Paprika type from Croatia. The name is derived from the shape, as the pepper flattens when fully grown and resembles the shape of an elephant's ear. In Croatia, this pepper is typically roasted, stuffed, and used for sauces and a variety of condiments. In Croatia and Serbia, it is very popular for Ajvar, a famous chili pepper preserve. The plant produces peppers over 6 inches in length and over 4 inches wide. The fruits ripen from green to red. The Elephant Ears chile plants can grow up to 3 feet tall.
1,500-2,000 Scovilles. The Espanola was developed in New Mexico in the 1980s by crossing a Sandia pepper with another New Mexico chile. They grow to 5-7” and mature from green to a deep red. The young green fruits can be used to make green chile or chiles rellenos, while the red peppers are sometimes dried to make ristras or ground into a smoky chili powder. The Espanola is also popular in many dishes to add just a little kick.
The Gatherer's Gold chili pepper is horn-shaped pepper that ripens to a beautiful orange-gold color. It is a chick walled pepper with a sweet flavor and very few seeds. It is an Italian sweet pepper and ideal for frying, though it is also excellent roasted or raw.
Family: Solanaceae. Genus: Capsicum. Species: Annuum. Cultivar: Giant Szegedi. The Giant Szegedi sweet pepper is originally from Hungary. It is a heart-shaped pepper that starts out whitish-yellow then ripens through orange to red when fully ripe, where it is at its sweetest. The fruit is about 4-1/2 inches long. It is a fleshy pepper with thick walls. The plants are typically very productive and hardy.
2,500-5,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Guajillo is one of the most common and popular chiles grown and used in Mexico. It is mild to moderately hot, and has dark, reddish brown, leathery skin. The peppers range from 3-5 inches in length and are 1 inch wide. They are said to have either a green-tea flavor or fruity flavor, with hints of berries. The Guajillo is usually sold in its whole, dried form, which can be either toasted and ground into powder, or re-hydrated and made into a sauce or paste. It may also be sold in its powder form, already ground down.
1,000 - 2,500 Scovilles. Hatch chili peppers are grown and harvested in Hatch Valley, New Mexico. Located in the heart of the Rio Grande agricultural territory, Hatch, New Mexico, is often referred to as the Chili Capital of the World. Hatch chili peppers refer to the type of chilies has brought to fame, regardless of where they were actually grown. Hatch chilies are a cultivar of the common New Mexico green chili developed at the Chile Institute at New Mexico State University in the 1920s. The Hatch Chile Festival occurs annually each Labor Day weekend and draws up to 30,000 people from around the world to the tiny town of less than 2,000 residents.
1,000 SHU, Approximately. Since the mid 1980's, China has been sending recoverable satellites into space on a 5 day orbit around Earth. Each trip, approximately 5000 seeds are sent along and are exposed to the zero gravity and cosmic radiation, then returned. Back on Earth, these seeds are then cultivated. Around 50 of each batch show positive signs of mutation. These are selected for a 3-5 year program of cultivation and field testing and selection until those with the best properties are ready for sale. The seeds tend to have a high disease resistance, be more nutritious and give a much higher yield.
The Liebesapfel is a sweet, thick fleshed chili pepper that typically grows very early and is a very productive pepper. The name literally translates from German to “Love Apple”, apparent by the shape of the pepper. It looks like a cross between an apple and a tiny pumpkin. It is a type of pimento and was developed by a small seed company in Germany. The fruits are gorgeous to behold, ribbed, round and flattened like little pumpkins. They ripen from green to brown and to red. Try them for stuffing.
2,500-5,000 Scovilles. The name Mirasol means "looking at the sun" in Spanish, which describes the way these peppers grow on the plant. They are known asGuajillo in their dried form, which are one of the main chiles used in traditional mole sauces. The Mirasol varies in size and appearance, but it is conical in shape, and commonly 4-5 inches long, and about 2 inches wide. It is red to dark red, or copper in color. The flavor of the Mirasol is fruity and berry-like, and is described as full-bodied, distinct, and "delicate." It is perfect for chicken, fish, potato, or pork dishes and adds a delicious spiciness to salsas, stews, chilis and mole sauces. They are very common in Peruvian cooking.
2,500-3,000 Scovilles. Capsicum Annuum. The Mulato is a mild to medium driedPoblano, similar to the Ancho, but with a slightly different flavor. Both are green while growing, but while the Ancho is a Poblano that ripens to a deep red, the Mulato is a Poblano that ripens to brown, then it is dried. It grows to about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, tapering toward the bottom. The Mulato is part of the “holy trinity” of chiles used in Mexican mole sauces, along with the Ancho and Pasilla chiles. It has flavors of chocolate or licorice, with a hint of cherry and tobacco. Because it is dried, it is commonly ground into chili powder. Whole or ground, it is perfect for many sauces in addition to mole.
2,500-3,000 Scovilles. This giant chili pepper was introduced by New Mexico State University in the 1970s as a cross between a few different types of local chiles and a Peruvian chile. They measure 10-12” and mature to red, but are usually harvested and used when green. The peppers have actually been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest chile ever grown. The New Mex Big Jim has a mildly spicy flavor and is great for chiles rellenos because of its size. They could also be used in salsa or on salads, or the red ones could be dried to make beautiful ristras. They’re also great for roasting, pickling or just about anything else you can think of.
3,000-5,000 Scovilles. The New Mexico 6-4 Heritage chile pepper was developed around 1998 from a seed bank of the original New Mexico 6-4. The original NM 6-4, which was released in 1957, had “run out,” meaning that after so many years of commercial growing, it had lost much of its flavor and aroma, and had increased its variability in heat levels, maturity date, and yield. In 1998 Dr. Paul Bosland, along with NMSU’s Chile Pepper Institute and Biad Chili, used seeds from the original NM 6-4 that had been frozen in a storage lab to create the new line of chile. Dr. Bosland grew the peppers for three years, perfecting the line by selecting for more flavor and improved yield. The result was a chile with five times more flavor and aroma than the original, and the flavor is even stronger and richer when roasted. They grow to 5-8 inches in length.
1,500-3,000 Scovilles. This New Mexico variety was named after Mr. Joe E. Parker, a graduate of NMSU’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics, who helped to evaluate this selection of chile. It originally came from one plant selected from a field of open-pollinated “New Mexico 6-4” peppers. The variety was released for garden production in 1990 and is recommended for growth in southern New Mexico. The chiles grow to about 8 inches in length and 1.8 inches in width, and can be used either in their green or red stage.
250-750 Scovilles. The NuMex R Naky chile is an Anaheim-type hybrid created by Dr. Nakayama of New Mexico State University in 1985. It comes from the mix of the Rio Grande 21 pepper, the New Mexico 6-4, and a Bulgarian paprika. The fruit grows to 5-6 inches and has a mild flavor. In comparison, the New Mex R Naky prodices significantly more volume per acre than the New Mexico 6-4, and has a brighter red color. They grow best in hot, dry climates.
250-750 Scovilles. The NuMex R Naky chile is an Anaheim-type hybrid created by Dr. Nakayama of New Mexico State University in 1985. It comes from the mix of the Rio Grande 21 pepper, the New Mexico 6-4, and a Bulgarian paprika. The fruit grows to 5-6 inches and has a mild flavor. In comparison, the New Mex R Naky prodices significantly more volume per acre than the New Mexico 6-4, and has a brighter red color. They grow best in hot, dry climates. They are great for stuffing or roasting, and they are often used as a paprika cultivar in New Mexico.
250 - 1000 Scovilles. A large, cone-shaped chili pepper. It is typically dried and ground to make the more familiar powdered spice. It is originally from Hungary. The paprika is a fairly large red pepper and quite long, growing up to 8 inches, and lends a unique spiciness to paprika powder. Most cooks consider paprika when preparing dishes like deviled eggs or potato salad, using it more for color than flavor. This is such a shame, as they do offer a unique flavor.
250 - 3,999 Scovilles. Pasilla or “little raisin” properly refers to the dried chilaca pepper. The chilaca, when fresh, is also known as pasilla bajio, or as the chile negro or “Mexican negro” because, while it starts off dark green, it ends up dark brown. It typically grows from 8 to 10 inches long. The pasilla pepper should not be confused with the ancho. The ancho is the dried version of the poblano pepper that growers and grocers frequently mislabel as the pasilla in the United States. The darker anchos ARE also sometimes known as chile negro - thus generating much confusion - but they are not the same as the pasilla peppers.
100-500 Scovilles. Also known as Tuscan Peppers, sweet Italian peppers, or golden Greek peppers. They are sweet and mild in flavor, not very hot although they can vary and be found up to a medium heat level. The peppers are thin, 2 to 3 inches in length, have wrinkled skin and are usually sold pickled. The skin is a light yellow-green but will turn red as they mature, so you'll find both green and red pepperoncini's in stores, although green is most common. Pickled are also most common, although you can use fresh pepperoncini peppers in recipes, such as pizza sauce.
1,177 Scovilles. Capsicum Baccatum. The Peppadew is grown in the Limpopo province of South Africa, and is actually the brand name of sweet piquanté peppers. As the story goes, a farmer discovered the tiny pepper in South Africa in the 1990s and put it on the market. He described it as “peppery” but “sweet as the dew,” hence the name. It became very popular in South Africa in the 2000s, especially as a pizza topping. The Peppadew is a sweet pepper, with just a bit of heat. It resembles a cherry tomato, but it has no relation. It is sold commercially, either hot or mild, and may be stuffed with soft cheeses, such as cream cheese. It is also tasty on salads, omelettes, and sandwiches.
100 - 500 Scovilles. The pimento (often spelled pimiento) is also called the cherry pepper. It measures 3-4 inches long and 2-3 inches side. Pimiento translates to "pepper" from Spanish. See the photo below. It is bright red and shaped like a heart. You might be most familiar with the pimento as the famous pepper used to stuff olives.
Capsicum Annuum. Pimiento de Padron chili peppers (aka pimento de padron or just "padron" peppers) originate from the province, Galicia, in the northwestern Spanish municipality, Padrón. They are small to medium-sized peppers averaging about 3 inches in length. The color ranges, starting out bright green and maturing to a vibrant red. The interesting thing about padron peppers is that most of them are very mild peppers with no heat, but a small percentage of them will give you a shock of heat.
The Piquillo de Lodosa is a chili pepper from Navarre, Spain, specifically from Lodosa. It is an official Basque chili pepper. The flavor profile is sweet with a very mild heat. The locals roast them then store them in oil, or they pickle them. This pepper is ideal for many applications, from stuffing to roasting, frying, working into sauces, soups and more. The peppers ripen from green to red and are about 2 inches in diameter. They narrow to a point at end of pendant pods. The Piquillo de Lodosa chili plants grow up to 3 feet tall.
1,000 - 2,000 Scovilles. The poblano is an extremely popular chili pepper. 4 inches long, very dark green in color, ripening to dark red or brown. Poblano peppers are mild peppers, quite large and are somewhat heart-shaped. Their skins/walls are very thick, making them perfect for stuffing as they'll hold up in the oven quite nicely. They are typically roasted and peeled when cooking with them, or dried. When dried, they are called ancho chilis. Poblanos originated in Puebla, Mexico, and one of the most popular peppers grown there. The poblano plant is multi-stemmed and can reach up to 25 inches high. The pods are 3-6 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. Immature poblano peppers are deep purple-green in color, and eventually turn dark red and black as they age. They are closely related to the mulato chili.
The Purple Marconi is a delicious and sweet Italian chili pepper. They grow to about 6 inches in length and taper to a blunt tip. It is a thin-walled pepper with a crunchy texture that comes in three different, vibrant colors - Bright red (as shown in the photo), which is the sweetest; Purple, which has a deeper pepper flavor; and the Golden, which offers a gentle sweetness. The plants are highly productive and produce fruits that are great for frying, roasting, stuffing, or eating raw. The pepper starts out purple and changes to fully red when ripe and at its sweetest. It turns several sunset colors all at the same time along the way. When fully red the flavor is out of this world with a powerful sweetness.
1,500-2,500 Scovilles. There is some confusion about the rocotillo chili pepper, since some appear to be from Capsicum baccatum and some from Capsicum Chinense. They look and taste similar but have different origins. In addition, the name “rocotillo” is used locally to describe different peppers in different parts of the world. The chili discussed on this page is one of the more common types referred to as “rocotillo.” Originally from Peru, the Rocotillo is grown in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the southern United States. This round, pudgy little chili pepper starts out green or yellow and ends up a variety of colors, including red, orange or brown. They can be harvested and used in any of these stages. They can also be dried easily.
500 - 700 Scovilles. Also known as the yellow hot chile and the guero chile. Approximately 5 inches long and ripen from greenish-yellow, to orange-yellow to red. The flavor ranges from mild to moderate, although some can be hot, but not compared to something more traditional like the jalapeno pepper. It is also known by name as yellow hot chili pepper and the guero chili pepper. The peppers start as a pale yellow color before maturing to a bright orange or to a fiery red about 75 days after transplanting. They are somewhat sweet to the taste and great for pickling. Santa Fe Grande is of the Capsicum annuum family, produced in the southwest. The peppers grow upright on 24" plants and have a mild pungency. The plants typically produce 20-50 chili peppers.
The Senise Chili Pepper, or Peperone di Senise, is also known as Peperone Crusco when dried. It is cultivated from a region between the Agri and Sinni rivers near Senise, Italy. These peppers are a major component in the Basilicata region’s cuisine. The peppers are horn shaped and typically picked when red. The peppers are thin walled with very little flesh. A popular serving method in the region is to simply fry them whole and serve them with salt, much like the Pimento de Padron pepper in Spain. They are also prized for being easy to dry, then served crushed or ground into powder to season a large variety of dishes.
Shepherds Ramshorn (Capsicum annuum). The Shepherds Ramshorn is a large sweet variety that originated in Spain but now is mainly cultivated in Italy. On the Brix sweet scale, which determines sugar content in fruits and vegetables, it scores higher than the Corno di Toro and Marconi Red varieties. However, it does take longer to mature than those peppers. In the seed tissue it will have a detectable mild heat. This pepper is aproductive pepper plant, especially in cooler shorter summer seasons and it does well in the wet northeast. It is used to make sweet sauces, raw in salads, roasting and stuffing. The Shepherds Ramshorn chile plants can grow between 2 to 3 feet tall.
300–600 Scovilles. The Sonora is an Anaheim variety with a very mild flavor. It grows to about 10” in length and up to 1 ½” wide, and although it matures to red, it is commonly used in its less mature, green form. They are perfect for chiles rellenos since the skin is thick and sturdy. The plant is known to be very disease resistant, making it relatively easy to grow. They are very common in the United States, especially the northwest. The Sonora has many delicious uses. It is great for drying, and perfect for salads, salsas or pickling.
Capsicum Annuum. The Sucette de Provence is an heirloom chili pepper from Provence, France. The fruit can grow up to six inches long and a half inch in diameter. The peppers ripen from green to orange and finally a brilliant red. Heat levels are variable, ranging from the very mild with practically no detectable heat to Serrano pepper level, which is quite hot. They have a fruity flavor and are used in French cooking in all color stages, including for sauces, in dried form, or roasted whole. The Sucette de Provence chili pepper plants grow between 2-3 feet tall.
Scoville Heat Units: 1,000+ SHU. Capsicum Annuum. A very sweet chili pepper ideal for all types of cooking. Use them in place of bell peppers in the Cajun Holy Trinity (bell peppers, onion, celery), for smaller stuffed peppers, for sweeter sauces, soups, stews, and even steeping to flavor liquids. The flavor is distinctively fruity.
0 Scovilles. The typical green bell pepper, about the size of a large fist. Very mild. Bell peppers are found in an array of bright colors, as shown above. While they can vary in flavor, bell peppers are not hot or spicy, like most other peppers. Color and flavor are determined by the variety of the pepper plant and the stage of ripeness when picked. For example, a red bell pepper is simply a mature green bell pepper.
The Tangerine Dream chili pepper is a gorgeous rocket-shaped sweet pepper that matures to a vibrant orange when ripe and ready to pick. The heat level is very low with a focus on the sweetness. The plants are quite productive with the peppers growing upwards. The fruits grow to approximately 3 inches in length and the plants grow to about 18 inches. Harvest them 70 days after you've planted them. Full sun is best for growing. They are very tasty! Try them pickled or in salads, of course, but I've also tried them roasted and incorporated raw into a no-cook pasta sauce recipe. The sweetness truly comes through.
0-500 Scovilles. The Trinidad Perfume chili pepper is a mild chili pepper with very little to no heat. It is a habanero type and produces pods similar to a typical orange habanero pepper, about 1 to 1.5 inches in length and 1.25 inches wide. The mature from green to a bright yellow color. When cooked, they give off a perfume-like scent, hence the name. In flavor, they have a mild citrus-like taste, similar to a habanero, but with smoky undertones.
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