How Do Banana Peppers and Pepperoncini Compare?

There are several chili pepper kinds that seem similar to one another, including pepperoncini and banana peppers. These two peppers are commonly confused, and with good reason!

They are both members of the Capsicum Annuum chili pepper family and have a similar taste, look, and intensity. However, if you closely analyze them, you will see many noticeable differences. Let’s get heated and find out what they are!

Difference Between Banana Peppers and Pepperoncini

The look of banana peppers and pepperoncini differs greatly. Pepperoncini are wrinkled, thin, and bulbous, while banana peppers are smooth, thick, and pointed.

The Capsicum Annuum genus contains not just banana and pepperoncini peppers, but also the world’s most widely produced chili peppers! These include jalapeo, cayenne pepper, bell pepper, poblano, and many more!

According to studies, Capsicum Annuum was initially planted in Mexico roughly 9000 years ago. The plants were then selectively bred to improve desirable traits like as growth and heat level.

So, certainly, our banana peppers and pepperoncini have a long history! But we’re not here to talk about history. There are various distinctions to be aware of, and we will go through each one below, starting with their genesis.

Banana peppers are native to South America, although they are now farmed in India and China. They earned their name because they resemble bananas, which are yellow and long.

Pepperoncini originated in Greece and Italy. Their name comes from Italy and means “hot chili pepper.”

Banana peppers are sometimes known as banana chilis or yellow wax peppers. Tuscan, sweet Italian, and golden Greek peppers are other names for pepperoncini.

Banana peppers come in two varieties: spicy and sweet. Hot banana peppers are deeper in color, whilst sweet banana peppers have a brighter green.

There are two types of pepperoncini: Italian and Greek. Italian pepperoncini are around 5 inches long and moderately bittersweet. Greek pepperoncini are smaller, around three inches long, and have a sweet flavor.

The Schoville heat unit for banana peppers is 0-500, whereas pepperoncini is 100-500. Although both are somewhat spicy, pepperoncini may have a little stronger kick.

Color: These peppers grow in the traditional order, changing from green to yellow, then orange, and ultimately red.

Banana peppers are typically harvested when they are yellow since their bright hue attracts buyers and completely suits their name.

Green pepperoncini peppers are commonly available. They are spiciest while green, which is why they are frequently picked at that point of ripening.

Pepperoncini have a luscious, bittersweet flavor. Banana peppers, on the other hand, are sweet but not as juicy as pepperoncini.

Cooking method: Because banana peppers have sturdier walls that will not split once cooked, stuffing is the most usual technique to prepare them. They are often stuffed with cheese, grains, veggies, or meat.

In contrast, pepperoncini are often sliced and sprinkled on sandwiches, pizzas, and salads. Both types are also available pickled.

Banana Peppers vs Pepperoncini Comparison Table

Category Banana Peppers Pepperoncini
Chili pepper family Capsicum Annuum Capsicum Annuum
Origin South America, India, China Italy and Greece
Etymology Named after bananas due to their appearance Italian word for “hot chili peppers”
Other names Banana chilis or Yellow wax peppers Tuscan peppers, Sweet Italian peppers, or Golden Greek peppers
Types Hot banana peppers and sweet banana peppers Italian pepperoncini and Green pepperoncini
Heat level 0-500 Scoville heat units 100-500 Scoville heat units
Color Mostly yellow, but also green, orange, and red Mostly green, but also yellow, orange, and red
Texture Smooth Wrinkled
Walls Thick Thin
Shape Long and pointed Crumpled and bulbous
Taste Less juicy more sweet More juicy and bittersweet
Cooking method Pickled and/or filled with cheese, rice, veggies, or meat Pickled and/or sprinkled raw on top on pizza, sandwiches, or salads

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

Because banana peppers and pepperoncini are both cultivars of the same species Capsicum annuum, their nutritional profiles are almost similar.

Because they are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, both are ideal for improving our metabolism, losing weight, and a variety of other health benefits.

Because pepperoncini have more calories than banana peppers, banana peppers may be a better choice for weight reduction.

Pickling these peppers is the least nutritious choice due to their high salt content. As a result, we recommend limiting your intake of pickled peppers in order to safeguard your kidney and heart health.

Banana Peppers vs Pepperoncini: Nutritional Profile

Category (1 piece, 73g) Banana Peppers Pepperoncini
Calories 19.7 15
Carbs 3.9g 3.7g
Fat 0.3g 0.1g
Potassium 186.9mg 137mg
Protein 1.2g 0.7g
Fiber 2.5g 1g
Sugar 1.4g 2.3g
Vitamins & Minerals
Calcium 2% 0.4%
Iron 5% 2%
Vitamin A 2% 11%
Vitamin C 101% 83%

Can I Substitute Banana Peppers for Pepperoncini and Vice Versa?

Yes, they are a perfect substitute for one another. Although not identical, they are both pleasantly spicy, sweet, and crunchy.

The only time pepperoncini may not be an appropriate substitute for banana peppers is in stuffing recipes. Pepperoncini may not hold up well after being filled and fried due to their thin walls. This dish will need a different substitution, such as piquillo, bell peppers, or other thick-walled pepper replacements.

Aside from that, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use banana peppers instead of pepperoncini in recipes that call for that peppery crunch and taste, such as pizzas, sandwiches, salads, shawarma, and gyro.

Store Availability: Pickled or Raw?

When shopping for fresh chili peppers, banana peppers are the natural option. Banana peppers are one of the most popular chillies offered in supermarkets today. Although fresh pepperoncini are accessible, they are not as prevalent as banana peppers.

Banana peppers’ thick walls are one of the elements that contribute to their broad availability. Thin-walled pepperoncini are inappropriate for stuffing recipes, but they hold their shape better when sliced into wheels and diced fresh for salads, pizzas, sandwiches, shawarma, or kebabs.

Additionally, the pepperoncini’s less sweet taste plays a role. Banana peppers are more popular on the market because they are sweeter and fresher tasting than pepperoncini (which tend to be rather bittersweet).

Pepperoncini, on the other hand, shine a bit brighter than banana peppers when pickled! Because of its thinner walls and superior pickling absorption, pickled pepperoncini are widely available at retail places around the country and online.

Although pickled banana peppers are common, we prefer pepperoncini in this circumstance.

Pickled pepperoncini also adds the perfect tang and heat to pizzas, sandwiches, and a number of other foods! Here are some of the finest places to buy pickled pepperoncini online:

  • Mt.Olives Pepperoncini
  • Bell Views Golden Greek Baby Pepperoncini
  • Stumps Pepperoncini Peppers

As can be observed, both the banana pepper and the pepperoncini have distinct characteristics that are well-represented in grocery store aisles. While pickled pepperoncini are preferable, fresh banana peppers are preferable. They may also have almost similar looks and heat levels, but each has a totally distinct past.


There’s no disputing how similar these peppers are, but one thing is certain: they’re both unmistakable, and you now know exactly how to tell them apart.

One clear clue is the texture and color of their mature skin, but as you can see, there are many other subtle, small changes. Pepperoncini, for example, is hotter, whilst banana peppers are sweeter.

Overall, banana and pepperoncini peppers are equally popular on the market, and their exquisite taste and gentle kick may elevate a meal from good to great!


Do banana peppers and pepperoncini taste the same?

While both peppers have extremely similar aromas and are practically indistinguishable when pickled, both fresh pods have a “sweet” flavor, while pepperoncinis do not. Some others even detect a hint of bitterness in them. They are, however, more juicy.

Can you substitute banana peppers for pepperoncini?

Because of their startling similarities in taste, banana peppers are sometimes regarded as the best substitute for pepperoncini. Due to their modest levels of heat, both of these peppers fall into the same Scoville range.

Why are pepperoncinis called banana peppers?

A full fruit will be around 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) long, with a curved form and yellowish hue similar to a banana, thus the popular name. Friggitelli (pepperoncini) are often misidentified as banana peppers.

How hot is pepperoncini compared to?

On the Scoville heat unit scale, each pepperoncini pepper measures between 100 and 500. That’s somewhat more than a standard green bell pepper, which has a value of zero. A jalapeo, on the other hand, has a Scoville heat unit range of 2,500 to 8,000. You may choose between mild and spicy.

Which is hotter banana peppers or pepperoncini?

Pepperoncini peppers have a scoville value of 100-500 SHU, while banana peppers have a scoville rating of 0-500 SHU. Banana peppers are hence milder than pepperoncini peppers.

What pepper does Papa John’s give you?

Pepperoncinis. Our unique whole pepperoncini peppers are medium-heat, slightly sweet chilies cultivated in Mediterranean locations. In every Papa John’s Pizza box, they’re wrapped in our tangy brine and served on the side.

What are banana peppers called at the grocery store?

The Banana Pepper, also known as the yellow wax pepper or banana chili, has a mild, sweet flavor that is used in a variety of dishes.

Why does Papa John’s put a pepper in the box?

Every package of Papa John’s pizza contains an Italian pepperoncino pepper. This stems from owner John Schnatter’s days as a dishwasher at his father’s tavern, when the complimentary pepperoncini was “his thing.” In the 1990s, there was a global pepperoncini scarcity, which Papa John’s blames on themselves.

What pepper is most similar to pepperoncini?

Because they taste so close, banana peppers are the greatest alternative for pepperoncini. Both peppers are relatively mild and rank in the same Scoville scale range. What exactly is this? Because these two peppers are so similar, they are sometimes mislabeled in stores.

What are the yellow peppers at Subway?

Water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative), turmeric, sodium metabisulfite (preservative), natural flavors, and polysorbate 80 are the ingredients in this recipe.

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