Pepperoncini (Friggitello) Pepper: A complete guide

Pepperoncini: The Complete Guide, Scoville and Easy Recipes

by wsg team

Peperoncino vs Pepperoncini peppers

 You don’t have to be Italian to enjoy this sweet mildly hot pepper. Pepperoncini is available all around world nowadays. Except maybe the north pole, well, I guess polar bears don’t like hot peppers(there’s a reason chili is used in pepper sprays which are quite an effective method for self defense). Though, that’s not really the case with pepperoncini as these peppers are not among the hottest ones out there.

Anyway, back on hot chili.

They are also very popular in the United States, where they are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers or golden Greek peppers.

Pepperoncini peppers are in the lower mid range of scoville scale, so you can safely eat them even if you are no particularly a fan of having a fire in your mouth. Though, don’t go overboard, as your friends may start calling you Pepe (which means pepper in Italian).

Its slight hotness will wake up and delight your taste buds, but if you eat too much the sensations may not be quite pleasant on the morning, ..

So, What Is Actually A Pepperoncini Pepper?

Peperoncini are a type of chili pepper that originates from Italy. These peppers are typically mild, but they can vary in heat level depending on the variety. Peperoncini are often used as a topping or garnish on various dishes, such as salads, pizzas, and sandwiches.

The Pepperoncini is also known as sweet Italian peppers, Greek peppers or Tuscan peppers. They belong to the same family as bell peppers but have a much smaller size and shape. These peppers have a mild flavor with notes of sweetness and bitterness, which makes them ideal for salads and sandwiches.

They have a crunchy texture and a refreshing tangy taste, which makes them a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. Pepperoncini is native to Italy but today it’s grown and consumed all over Europe as well as North America and Australia. Their cultivation started when farmers brought seeds from Italy to America during the 19th century.

Peperoncino vs Pepperoncini: Is there any Difference?

Even the most basic Italian terms can be confusing. Peperoncino, peperoncini, sometimes peperoncetto… these words all refer to the same spicy pepper! But each word has a slightly different meaning and usage in Italian. Here’s a quick introduction to these words and their meanings in English as well as Italian.

Peperoncino is a pickled preparation of the small hot usually ripe peppers marinated in oil. This is used in a variety of Italian dishes, including Italian sausage, pizza, pasta, and even dolci.

The Word For Hot Pepper In Singular And Plural.

If you get confused, just know that there’s no difference between them and no any peperoncino vs pepperoncini really, as they are different Italian words referring to the same type of chilli pepper. So, it’s peperoncino for singular and peperoncini is the plural form.

How To Say Peperoncini In Italian?

To be honest having a correct pronunciation won’t really help you to improve your cooking skills or enjoy these chili peppers more. But it may be useful when shopping, making a order or sharing your experience with friends.

There are many different ways to say peperoncini, some of which are quite comical. Like these one pepper-oh-nichi, pay/pay/ron/tchee/knee or even Pepperoni. With these you can confuse someone or make them laugh.

So, the proper way to say peperoncini is “pepper-on-cheenee” or in Italian by the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) it will be /pɛp.pɛ.ron.’tʃ

Best Types Of Pepperoncini Peppers To Try

Though they are pretty similar, there are actually 2 main varieties are Italian and Greek with the Greek being slightly sweeter and shorter than the Italian chili.

You may sometimes hear about red pepperoncini, but don’t get confused. it’s just the same pepper that has ripen and turned red and a bit sweeter. The same happens with pretty much all peppers out there.

If you see victoria pepperoncini while shopping, you should know that it’s not a different variety but a brand of pickled pepperoncini sold under the name “Victoria “.

Now that we got familiar with pepperoncini, we come to the next question:

What to do with Peperoncini?

pickled cooked peperoncini peppers in a plate

While you can use peperoncini in a variety of ways, it is best used raw in salads or as a garnish. Try these delicious recipes!

If you’re like most people, you probably have a jar of peperoncini peppers in your pantry that you’ve been meaning to use but haven’t quite gotten around to it.
Here are five ideas for what to do with peperoncini peppers (or any other type of pepper) that might be cluttering up your kitchen and making you feel guilty about not using them:
1) Make pepper sauce by combining the peppers with olive oil, garlic, onion and salt. Add tomato paste and water to thin the mixture if desired and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly.
2) Add chopped or thinly sliced peppers to a green salad; they add color as well as flavor.
3) Grill whole peppers over an open flame, then peel off the skin before chopping them into strips and adding them to pasta dishes, sandwiches or pizzas.
4) Slice fresh peppers into rings and freeze for later use in stir-fries or vegetable soups.
5) Cut fresh peppers into cubes or strips and sauté briefly in olive oil until soft; then toss with cooked pasta and chopped tomatoes before serving.
– Add them to a salad for a bit of flavor and heat
– Use them as a pizza topping
– Garnish a sandwich with them
– Make a peperoncini-based sauce or dip
– Add them to a soup or stew
You can use them in many recipes as an ingredient or as garnish for food such as pizza, pasta or even in marinara sauce. You can also add them on top of pizza along with sliced onions and fresh basil leaves which will give the pizza a nice bite but not too much spice. They are also great for cooking in stews and other dishes that require slow cooking over low heat for hours on end until tender.

Pepperoncini peppers are good for incorporating into soups or sauces that require hot peppers such as salsa verde (green sauce) and serve it along with grilled chicken or fish instead of tomato sauce if you want something with a little more kick from the sauce without adding too much spice from cayenne pepper like salsa verde does when served alone with grilled chicken or sweet potato salad.

Pepperoncini is often used as an ingredient in many different kinds of dishes such as pizza sauce, tomato sauces, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, stews, salad dressings, you name it…

There are many different recipes that use pepperoncini including: pepperoncini pizza sauce – The Best Sauce for Pizza

These mildly spicy sweet peppers can be preserved by drying or freezing them. Drying them is the easiest way to preserve them. To dry peperoncini, simply place them in an airtight container for about 6 to 8 weeks. When dried, peperoncini will keep for up to 2 years if stored properly. Peperoncini can also be frozen. To freeze them, simply place them in a freezer bag for 3 months before using.

You can also make your own pesto dip with fresh peperoncini and olive oil. This recipe adds flavor and depth to any dish you put it in.


Pepperoncini Health Benefits and Nutrition

It is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, calcium, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), dietary fiber, potassium, selenium, magnesium, folic acid, vitamin E and phosphorus. In addition, a 30 g serving contains about eight calories, which is good news for people looking to lose unnecessary weight.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbate and ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. Actually, this means that the human body cannot store this essential vitamin, so it must be obtained through the diet.

The synthesis of carnitine (formed in the kidneys and liver), which is responsible for the conversion of fat into energy in its energy-producing structures in cells, is influenced by the level of vitamin C.

In addition, this vitamin is a powerful antioxidant that protects the body from free radical damage resulting from pollutants, normal metabolism and toxins.


Capsaicin is the real source of the heat or spiciness in peppers and chilies and has been deeply studied for decades now. So, below we’ll look at some of its benefits.

For example, some studies found that consuming foods rich in capsaicin caused apoptosis in more than one type of prostate cancer and considerably stopped the spread of prostate cancer cells.

In addition, some research established that this active component of peppers urges prostate cancer cells to be eliminated.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, many creams contain capsaicin, as it is beneficial for relieving pain from a variety of conditions, such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, low back pain and nerve pain.

Vitamin A

These peppers are a source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), which the body needs to maintain all skin cells both externally and internally. Signs and symptoms of vitamin A deficiency include: scaly skin, night blindness, poor growth, brittle hair and nails, and weak immunity.

Side Effects

The amount of sodium in these peppers depends on the method of preservation (close to zero in its natural form). For example, some types of canned pepperoncini have about 600 mg of sodium in a serving of just 3 peppers. That’s quite a lot.

Sodium in general is an essential mineral for human health that helps regulate fluids by letting the human body know when it’s time to discard or replenish water.

However, too much sodium can be bad for you, because when you consume too much sodium regularly, the body retains extra water. This happens due to the fact that the kidneys maintain a special ratio of electrolytes.

In addition, salt (sodium is about 40 percent of table salt), as well as salty and salty foods, are a cause of stomach cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund.

Pepperoncini Vs Banana Pepper

They both look quite similar, but they are not the same. So, what is the difference between pepperoncini and banana pepper?

banana pepper in the garden

banana pepper

Despite the confusion caused by the similarity of these two peppers, however, there are specific ways to distinguish them from each other. It is noteworthy that peppers have differences in appearance, temperature and taste.

Arm yourself with the skill to distinguish pepperoncini from banana pepper, so that the next time you go to the grocery store, you will immediately understand what to choose.

Appearance. Both pepperoncini and banana pepper have a length of 5 to 8 cm, and the shape of pepperoncini is the same as that of banana pepper. However, you can definitely see the difference between them if you look at them carefully. Here’s what you need to distinguish:

Skin type. Check the types of pepperoncini and banana bell pepper peels. Pepperoncini has more wrinkles and creases than banana peppers, which are usually quite smooth and strait .

In addition, pepperoncini has thin walls, unlike the thick walls of banana peppers.

Color. As banana peppers ripen, their color changes from green to yellow or orange, and sometimes red. On the contrary, pepperoncini has a green shade, which immediately changes to dark red after ripening. As a rule, banana peppers are yellow, and pepperoncini are bright green in adulthood.

Of course, confusion often happens, as some pepperoncini can turn yellowish-green. When this happens, the next thing you will need to check for appearance is the edge of the pepper.

Shape. Since both peppers have the same shape as a banana, the best way to distinguish them from each other is to check the ends. Banana peppers have pointed ends, and pepperoncini has a rounded tip.

The heat factor. The spice aspect of pepper is measured on the Scoville scale. Although pepperoncini and banana peppers have almost the same temperature, however, there is a slight difference that will help you distinguish the pepper.

Pepperoncini pepper scores 100-500 points on the Scoville Heat Units scale. In contrast, banana peppers have 0-500 Scoville heat units. In general, some banana peppers may be softer than pepperoncini.

The spice factor in both pepperoncini and banana pepper is considered very mild, and many people can tolerate it.

Taste. Pickled pepperoncini and pickled banana peppers may taste the same, and for this reason it will be difficult for you to distinguish them from each other when they are in this state. However, the raw versions of these peppers are much easier to distinguish by taste.

Although both peppers are sweet, pepperoncini is not as sweet as banana pepper. Pepperoncini has a bit of bitterness, and is also significantly juicier than its banana pepper counterpart.

Culinary use: pepperoncini vs. banana pepper

You can add pepperoncini and banana pepper to salads, sandwiches and pizza.

Both peppers can be pickled, although the best pepper for pickled cucumbers is pepperoncini. Thanks to its thin walls, it absorbs brine well.

Pepperoncini is also the best choice for casseroles and many snacks.

Banana peppers also have many uses: Banana pepper is great for filling. Since it has thicker walls, you can easily stuff its insides without worrying about it breaking.

Banana pepper is also used in many variations of soups, omelet recipes and pastas. Surprisingly, it is even used in ice cream!

Which has a better nutritional profile?

Both peppers are healthy and nutritious, however, banana pepper has a better nutritional profile due to its higher content of vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. As a side note, don’t consume too much pepperoncini as it is loaded with sodium.

Pepperoncini Vs Jalapeno

Pepperoncini reach 100 to 500 Scoville heat units on the Scoville scale, while jalapenos range from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, which puts them on the lower end of medium-heat peppers. This makes a pepperoncini pepper five to eighty times sweeter than a jalapeno.

Jalapeno Spiciness level: 2000-8000 SHU

Jalapeno peppers are the most popular pepper variety in the United States.

These are medium-sized peppers that can range from slightly spicy to quite spicy.

Green jalapenos are green and are usually used for pickling. Ripe jalapenos are multicolored or completely red.

Jalapeno peppers lack the sweetness that pepperoncini peppers have. They taste more like peppers: earthy, vegetable and spicy.

Because jalapeno peppers are spicier than pepperoncini, we recommend that you adjust the amount you use, otherwise the dish may turn out to be spicier than expected.

Jalapeno peppers are very versatile and very easy to find. You can use fresh jalapeno peppers in cooked dishes, roast or pickle them.

If you like a bit hotter peppers, then Jalapenos can replace pepperoncini in almost any dish you make. You can use these peppers for stews, soups, sauces, salads, etc.

Yummy Easy Stuffed Pepperoncini Peppers Recipe

Easy Stuffed Pepperoncini Peppers Recipe

If you are bringing this antipasto appetizer to a party, be sure to get the recipe with you, because everyone will ask you about it after trying them out.

Easy Stuffed Pepperoncini Peppers Recipe

Stuffed Pepperoncini Peppers Recipe

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Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Servings 36


  • 6 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
  • cup chopped shallots
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced (for decoration or use tomato slices)
  • 1 package 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 32 ounces pepperoncini


  • In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is golden brown. Move the bacon to paper towels. Save the bacon juice.
  • In the cooking juice, cook the shallots and red pepper over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and milk with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir the bacon and shallot into the mixture.
  • Pour the cream cheese mixture into a thick plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner to extract the filling from it.
  • With a small knife, make a cut lengthwise in each pepper. Do not cut the pepper entirely.
  • Squeezing the bag, pour the cream cheese mixture into the peppers.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to a day.

That’s it. Enjoy!

Nutritional information

Calories: 52.2 calories
Carbohydrates: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 10.1 mg
Fat: 4.4 g
Saturated fat: 2.1 g
Trans fat: 0
Unsaturated fats: 0
Dietary fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 1.3 g
Sodium: 384.8 mg
Sugars: 0.2 g


How to Make canned Pickled Pepperoncini Peppers?

It’s a lot of fun to marinate your own pepperoncini peppers. Begin with a pound or more of fresh pepperoncinis. Water, sugar, vinegar, pickling salt, garlic, and any other herbs you wish to add for taste should all be on hand. Make your own fast pickled pepperoncinis at home with the recipe below.

  • 4 cups pepperoncini peppers
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns


Wash the peppers and carefully cut a slit at the bottom of the pepper rib. This will help the flavor to infuse the pepper. Bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil. While the mixtures are coming to a boil, fill your pot with the peppers, bay leaves, garlic and peppercorns. Pour the boiling liquid over the peppers and cover., Let the jar cool slightly before refrigerating it. Refrigerate for 3 days, although I can hardly ever wait that long.

Peperoncini pickled / marinated in brine recipe

Need a caveman(paleo), gluten-free, primal and full 30 side friendly dish?  In such case Peperoncini marinated in brine could be a great recipe to try. This recipe makes 2 servings with 162 calories, 9g of protein, and 2g of fat each. For $2.7 per serving, the recipe covers 25% of your daily vitamin and mineral needs.

A mixture of water, unrefined ground sea salt, peperoncini peppers and a handful of other ingredients are enough to make this recipe so delicious. From the preparation to the plate, this recipe takes about 20 minutes.


  • 1 bay leaf, laurel
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 946 milliliters fresh whole peperoncini peppers, well packaged fresh whole peperoncini peppers, well packaged
  • 2 pscts finely ground sea salt unrefined
  • 1 package vegetable starter culture
  • 710 milliliters filtered water (this is the filter that you can use to i use)filtered water (this is the filter I use)


1 Pour the water into a medium-sized saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until it reaches about 100 F.

2 Sprinkle with salt and whisk in hot water until dissolved.

3 Pour the warm salted water into a pitcher and let it cool to room temperature.
4 Whisk in the starting culture, if you use it.Pack a quart-sized fermentation jar (like this or like these) with whole
5 Place the garlic cloves and bay leaf among the peperoncini and pour in the cooled salted water brine. Seal the slow cooker and let the peppers ferment for 10 days. Their color will fade and turn yellow. After about 10 days, open the slow cooker and try a pepper. If you prefer a more sour flavor, continue fermenting the peppers until they acquire the flavor you like, testing every 5 to 7 days, as desired.

6 Transfer to the refrigerator or refrigerator. Peperoncini marinated in brine will last about 1 year, fermented properly.


How To Make Pepperoncini Juice And What Is It?

pickled Pepperoncini Juice in a cup


Peperoncini juice is just the liquid the peppers are marinated and it’s called brine. You can use it as an ingredient in other recipes or consume / drink it as is, but in moderation as it’s not the healthiest thing to drink.

So, if you need Peperoncini juice, just strain pickled Peperoncini peppers and use the liquid for your recipes.

How Hot Are Peperoncini Peppers (Scoville Scale)?

There are many different kinds of hot peppers in Italy, and the heat level is different for each variety. A pepperoni (pepperoncino) from Piedmont is much milder than a peperoncino from Campania.


Scoville pepper heat scale - Pepperoncini


As mentioned the pepperoncini has a score of 100 to 500 SHU (Scoville Units of Heat). These medium hot peppers are a real staple of Italian and Greek cuisine. And for a reason. It won’t burn your mouth, but will still provide you a nice mild hotness to spice up your meal.

Pepperoncini Scoville heat units: 100-500 SHU

On the Scoville heat scale, strong parents measure from 100 to 500 units of Scoville heat, which is quite mild. Peppers, without heat, have ZERO Scoville Heat Units, while the popular jalapeno pepper averages about 5000 Scoville Heat Units, which makes these peppers about 50 times sweeter than jalapeno peppers.

To put it another way, jalapeno peppers are about 50 times hotter than pepperoncini peppers.

Check out the information on the Scoville scale here.

Where do you find Peperoncini?

Pepperoncini are usually found in Italian specialty markets. In the United States, you can find them at some specialty food stores or by ordering them online from a few different places. You can also order them from, but be aware that it is difficult to know what you are getting if you order from there because they do not label the peppers by type or country of origin. Pepperoncini can also be found at some Italian grocery stores in the United States such as Gourmet Food Store and O’Brien’s Food Markets.


What to use as a pepperoncini substitute?

If you don’t have pepperoncini peppers in your kitchen, there are many alternatives that you can use. These peppers are usually available at Italian grocery stores or gourmet food stores. However, due to their limited availability, not everyone can get their hands on these peppers. But don’t worry; there are plenty of substitutes for this ingredient that will work just as well as the original one!

Pepperoncini substitutes must have a salty and slightly spicy flavor similar to pepperoncini to blend well into a recipe.

You can use fire-roasted red bell peppers or jalapeño peppers if you want a milder taste than what hot peppers offer. If you want something spicier, then try using banana or habanero chilies as well

You’ve got to love a versatile ingredient. Pepperoncini peppers are great for adding a little tangy flavor to your dish, but if you’re looking for something different, we have 6 pepperoncini substitutes that will add a new dimension of taste to your recipe!

Banana Pepper

The first alternative to pepperoncini peppers are banana peppers. This is one of the good choices because they taste quite similar if we can cook properly.

In fact, banana peppers are sweeter than pepperoncini peppers, but both are more suitable for salads and sandwiches as added spices. In addition, pepperoncini peppers are spicier than banana peppers, so you need to consider the amount of banana peppers added as your desire.

Among the different types, pickled banana peppers can also be an alternative to pickled peppers. You just need to add the same amount of pickled pepper as you do with pepperoncini.

Cayenne pepper

The second substitute for pepperoncini peppers is cayenne peppers. The flavor of these peppers is more intense than pepperoncini peppers. So, you should pay attention to the amount in your recipe.

a pepper that is very small and extremely hot. These peppers are usually only grown in southern Italy and are used as a spice in many dishes, including puttanesca sauce. These peppers are often dried and are usually red or orange in color.

Among the various types of cayenne peppers, the bed one is the hottest, which can warm anyone’s mouth. In terms of cooking, you need to slowly stir in the cayenne pepper and taste the food for adjustment before adding more to avoid “destroying” the food.

Cherry peppers

Cherry peppers can be the next alternative to pepperoncini peppers in your dishes. If your recipe lists pickled peppers as a must, you can substitute pickled pepper, achieving a similar quality. They are common harvest peppers and share a similar taste. Therefore, you can easily find this alternative to pepperoncini peppers.

If possible, you should find Creole cherry pepper as your substitute. This is more spicy than sweet pepper pepperoncini, so it depends on your taste to change the amount added. It is noticeable that when using the pickled one, you can add a little brine to the dishes for added flavor.

Anaheim Peppers.

Anaheim chiles offer an alternative to Peperoncini  and grilled jalapeno poppers for those looking for less of a kick in the spice department. They are just as easy to make as jalapeno poppers.

There are so many varieties of chili peppers in the world, and so many of them are ideal for stuffing. They are the perfect containers for all kinds of delicious good things. One of the most popular chili peppers is the Anaheim pepper.

Anaheim is a sweet pepper with a flesh thick enough to have a slightly meaty texture, especially when roasted. You will find them in most grocery stores in the fresh fruits and vegetables department, along with other more popular peppers.

Poblano Peppers.

Poblano peppers are quite sweet. The heat of chillies is measured in terms of Scoville units. A jalapeno has a Scoville measurement of between 2,500 and 8,000 units. A poblano pepper measures from 1,000 to 1,500 on the Scoville scale.
Can we eat the skin of the poblano pepper?

You can absolutely eat the skin of a poblano pepper. When you roast a poblano, you may consider removing the skin if it has been blackened by the heat. In this case, cook the peppers to soften them, but don’t burn them, so it’s perfectly fine to take and use all of the skin. I also find that if you remove the skin from a bell pepper that you plan to stuff, the bell pepper is more likely to fall apart when you add the toppings because the skin helps it retain its shape. So, keep that in mind.

Jalapeno Peppers.

If you like spicy dishes, fermented jalapeno peppers will quickly become your new favorite side dish. They go with almost everything! Put one in your mouth with a bite of tender roast, add them to a salad of fresh greens filled with chicken and bacon. Add it to hamburgers, chili, scrambled eggs … In short, their piquant and spicy taste makes them an ideal complement to any recipe.In addition, like any fermented vegetables they are very easy to make.

Tips and FAQ’s

Peperoncini is one of those ingredients that has a lot of flavor, but not a lot of rules. The best way to use peperoncini is to toss it in any dish you want to add some heat and flavor to, such as pasta or pizza.

You can also mix it with olive oil, salt and pepper and drizzle it over sandwiches or baked potatoes. Just make sure the peppers are ripe so they don’t release too much liquid when they’re cooked.

There are a few things to keep in mind when using peperoncini:

  • Peppers should be firm, but not hard (if they’re too hard, they won’t soften when cooked).
  • The stems should be intact when you are buying them(if cut open, the flesh will spoil).
  • There are green, yellow and red Peperoncini peppers depending on whether they are ripe, pickled, marinated. Red Peperoncinis are a bit sweeter and hotter that the young green Peperoncini.


Wrapping Up

You just can’t go wrong with Pepperoncini peppers. They have a distinctive flavor that is spicy and hot with a slightly sweet taste. They are usually used to add heat and flavor to soups and stews, but they are also delicious eaten right out of the jar with a little salt and olive oil (or vinegar). They can be added to salads, pasta sauces and other dishes for extra heat and flavor. They can also be added to marinades for meats and vegetables for extra heat and flavor.

Do you have any suggestions or questions about Pepperoncini? If you do make sure to chime in the comments below.

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