Poblano Vs Bell Pepper: Key Differences

Poblanos and bell peppers are examples of Mexico’s most famous chilies. They are kitchen staples found in sauces, salsas, and a wide range of other meals.

Aside from their uses, these two peppers are nearly identical. But is one stronger than the other? What’s the flavor distinction between poblano vs bell pepper? Is it possible to exchange one for the other?

Bell pepper and poblano chilies differ in flavor, shape, and color. At 1,000 to 2,000 SHU, poblano pepper is typically much hotter than bell pepper, which has zero Scoville scale unit.

Join us as we explore the differences between the poblano and bell pepper!

What are Poblano Peppers?

Poblano peppers are given the name after the Mexican state of Puebla, where they are thought to have originated.

The mild pepper is widely grown and consumed in Mexico and the southwestern United States, and though it can be consumed raw or cooked, it is most commonly roasted.

The poblano chili pepper is a very popular Mexican chili pepper. The capsules are currently 4 inches in length and a very dark green color, germinating to a dark red or brown color. They are mostly harvested when they are green for overall cooking.

They are fairly benign peppers that are quite big and heart-shaped. Their shells are rather bulky, making them ideal for filling because they will hold up well in the oven.

See Also: 6 Best Substitutes For Stewed Tomatoes

What are Bell Peppers?

Bell peppers (Capsicum annum) are plums in the nightshade family.

They are associated with chili peppers, tomatoes, and breadfruit, which are all indigenous to Central and South America. Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers or capsicums, can be consumed raw.

Bell peppers, like their family members, chili peppers, can sometimes be completely dry and pelletized. In that particular instance, they are known as paprika.

They are low in calories but high in vitamin C as well as other antioxidants, making them an ideal asset to a healthy diet.

Under ripe bell peppers come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, orange, and green.

The following are the main compounds found in bell peppers:

  • Capsanthin: Capsanthin is a potent antioxidant found in red bell peppers that is fully accountable for their magnificent red color
  • Violaxanthin: Lutein is the most common carotenoid antioxidant found in yellow bell peppers. While lutein is plentiful in green (unripe) bell peppers and black paprika, it is lacking in ripe bell peppers. Successive increments of lutein may benefit eye health
  • Quercetin: According to research, this polyphenol antioxidant may be useful in the prevention of some persistent diseases such as heart disease and cancer

Poblano Vs Bell Pepper

 Poblano PepperBell Pepper
AppearanceWhen mature, the poblano tends to turn a gloomy red-brown color and can be dehydrateded, at which point it is known as an ancho or mulato.It tends to turn bright red and tastier as it reaches maturity.
ApplicationsAnchos have a raisin-like sweetness to them. Anchos are ideal for sauces due to their high flesh-to-skin ratio.Bell peppers, due to their high humidity, will add moisture to any meal.
Spiciness levelPoblano peppers are hot, but only in a mildly spicy way.The bell-shaped pepper is comparatively huge in size and has a slightly pungent taste when unripe
Alternate nameAnchoGreen pepper, red pepper, sweet bell pepper, capsicum

Poblano chilies have many physical characteristics in common with bell peppers. They have tough outer meaty edges and huge porosities, making them superb for stuffing – just like bells.

 Furthermore, poblanos are becoming increasingly common. Poblano peppers are now available in many grocery stores, right next to the bell peppers in the fresh produce aisle.

What are the major distinctions? Flavor and spiciness.

Poblanos have a fuller, earthier taste that contrasts with the brilliant grassiness of green bell peppers and the sweet taste of most colored bell pepper cultivars. Many people seem to prefer this depth of flavor.

There’s a hint of heat here as well, but only a smidge of it. Poblano chilies have a Scoville heat unit range of 1,000 to 1,500, making them two to eight times milder than a jalapeo pepper. This is a spice that the entire family can tolerate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be used in place of a Poblano Pepper?

If you can’t find poblano peppers, Anaheim Chili Peppers, or jalapenos are a fine replacement. They seem to have more temperature and don’t have the oaky poblano flavor, but they’ll work in most recipes because they’re comparable in size and pepper layer thickness.

Is it true that poblano peppers are warmer than bell peppers?

On the Scoville Scale, they range from 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). When compared to a bell pepper, which has no warmth and measures at 0 SHU, and a jalapeno pepper, which has a maximum heat level of around 8,000 SHU, you can get a clue of the poblano heat threshold.

Are Poblano Peppers hot?

The poblano pepper is not deemed a hot or peppery pepper, but it does have a mild heat. On the Scoville Scale, they range from 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU).

Try comparing that to a bell pepper, which has no temperature and measures at 0 SHU, and a jalapeno pepper, which has a maximum heat level of around 8,000 SHU to get a concept of the poblano temperature standard.


All peppers are members of the genus Capsicum, which encompasses both hot variants (also known as chile peppers) and sweet cultivars (such as the bell pepper).

Peppers were only grown in Latin America long before the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese adventurers in the New World. Along with corn, tomatoes, and beans, the Europeans revived some peppers and initiated the plant to the rest of the world on their trips, where it rapidly spread.

Peppers have become an essential ingredient in foods all over the globe, from Mexico to Thailand, the Congo to India, and Hungary to Tunisia. If you can’t find fresh or frozen chiles in your local grocery store, look for them online.