Pepperoncinis are sweet, mild chili peppers, usually sold pickled. Also known as Tuscan Peppers, sweet Italian peppers, or golden Greek peppers. Learn more about them.
Scoville Heat Units: 100-500 SHU
Pepperoncini peppers originate in Italy and Greece, though their popularity has spread throughout the world. They are very popular in the United States, where they are also known as Tuscan Peppers, sweet Italian peppers, or golden Greek peppers.
The peppers are sweet and mild in flavor, not very hot, although they can vary and be found up to a medium heat level.
You've most likely encountered a pickled pepperoncini in an Italian antipaso platter, Italian salad, or served up on a pizza or sub sandwich somewhere.
They are most often found pickled. You can purchase the peppers in jars, pickled, where they last quite some time, offering up their sweetened, tangy flavor.
A Description of Pepperoncini Peppers
Pepperoncinis are thin walled peppers, 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 pepperoncinis in stores, although green is most common.
Pickled are also most common, although you can use fresh peppers in recipes, such as pizza sauce.
There are two primary types of pepperoncini peppers - Greek and Italian. The Greek variety are shorter, somewhat sweeter and less bitter than the Italian variety, which grow a bit longer. They do, however, offer up a similar mild heat.
These peppers are often confused for pickled Banana Peppers, but they are not the same.
Where Do Pepperoncinis Come From?
The Pepperoncini originates from Italy and Greece, though it is commonly known as an Italian chili pepper. As it is a common pepper in those regions and beyond, it is known by many names. We call it the pepperoncini in the United States, though name variations are "peperoncini" (one less p in the spelling) or "peperone" by the Italians, which is a more generic name for a general pepper.
It also known as Friggitello in Italy. In the U.S., we often refer to them as the Tuscan Pepper, sweet Italian pepper, or golden Greek pepper. As you can see, it is quite a popular pepper.
How Do You Pronounce Pepperoncini?
How Hot are Pepperoncini Peppers?
On the Scoville Heat Scale, the hot peppers measure from 100 to 500 Scoville Heat Units, which is quite mild. Bell peppers, with no heat, have ZERO Scoville Heat Units, while the popular jalapeno pepper averages about 5,000 Scoville Heat Units, making these peppers roughly 50 times milder than jalapeno peppers.
To put it another way, jalapeno peppers are about 50 times hotter than pepperoncini peppers.
Check out information about the Scoville Scale here.
Culinary Uses for the Pepperoncini Chili Pepper
Pepperoncini peppers can be used in a variety of meals - anywhere from soups and sauces and salsas to simple garnishes, sandwiches, salads, and more. You can eat the peppers raw, though the pickled variety is by far the most popular and used.
It is a wonderful pickling pepper with amazing tastes, used to add some zing to my favorite meals. They are easily enjoyed straight from the jar, offering up their tangy delight with a touch of heat, making for a great low-calorie snack.
Where Can I Buy Them
You can usually find pepperoncinis at your local grocer. They are quite commonly sold. I typically find them with the other pickles and condiments. I don't often see fresh pepperoncinis sold near me, so your best best for fresh pods is to either grow them or look at a local farmers market.
You can even strike up a relationship with a farmer and ask him or her to grow some for you.
Or you can purchase a jar through Amazon (affiliate link). There are many different brands offered, and some may vary with quality. I've tried several brands and enjoyed them all.
I have grown pepperoncinis in my own home garden and find they are easy to grow. The plants are productive and you can either cook with fresh or pickle them yourself.
If you can't find or grow these chili peppers, consider the Banana Pepper, which has similar size, flavor and heat, or the Hungarian 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.
The Hungarian Wax Pepper is hotter, but the sweet, hot flavor of these peppers is very popular in mole sauces, and other traditional Latin dishes, soups and salads. They may be found pickled or sold fresh at stores or markets.
See also: Pepperoncini Vs. Banana Pepper: a Comparison.
Another option is the pickled sports peppers, but they are quite a bit hotter.
Try some of these recipes that incorporate the tangy pepperoncini.
This page was updated on 7/17/19 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 9/20/13.
I love these peppers with eggs in the morning...or as pictured in Mississippi Pot Roast...I actually can the pot roast with the peppers right in the jar and some of the juice. Then it becomes a easy and great meal on a cold winters day especially with some red wine and a nice loaf of Italian bread and a chunk of sharp cheese. Does life get any better.
Mike H. says
I am happy that you like it, Tom. Enjoy!
Anna Gardner says
i loved this
Have you substituted any of the flavored pepperoncinis in any of the recipes? I am curious if they drastically detract from the intended taste. I tend to go heavy when using pepperoncinis, and I prefer the Bell*View Garlic ones over regular brined peppers. Thanks! Pepper on!
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Dan, I have not so much, but yes, the added flavors will certainly translate to your recipes. Often in good ways!
I live in Australia and really want to try this recipe but am finding it hard to find some ingredients here. Maybe you guys call things by a different name.
In the original recipe it asks for a packet of Ranch mix? We do not seem to sell this, we only have a salad dressing called Ranch.
Pepperoncini, still trying to find, I will try’s few more outlets.
Failing that, I will try your recipe, which sounds delicious, bit was just wanting to try original first. What pepper can I use if I cannot source Pepperoncini.
Looks damn good......
Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness says
Pauline, the Ranch Mix is basically dried ranch dressing in a packet. In lieu of pepeperoncinis, see what milder pickled peppers you have available to you. Those will work fine and produce similar results. Let me know how it turns out for you.
Pauline...I take a jar pound of cut up pork or roast beef...I put it in a canning jar..add some juice...from the peppers...then I add a teaspoon of the powdered Italian Dressing..usually in the store isle with all the salad dressing...comes in a box of four (4) packages...packaged so you can make your own dressing...anyway I add a teaspoon to the jar..some juice about 4 tablespoons...about 4 peppers then fill the jar with beef broth or chicken broth...I can about 5 quarts every fall for winter use...of course you could do this in a large pot and let it simmer for about a hour...so good...