Six Common Peppers You’ll Find In Most Stores

| Last Updated: May 2, 2020 |

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The world of peppers is big. How big? Take a look at our hot pepper list which features 130+ different chilies (and growing). That’s a lot of heat. But most of those chilies you won’t find in grocery stores. So what are the most common peppers you’ll find in your local supermarket? And in what aisle do you find them? Here are seven common peppers you should know and the common forms you’ll find them in.

Bell pepper

  • Heat level: Mild (0 Scoville heat units)
  • Where to find: Produce section (fresh bell peppers), canned/jarred vegetable aisle (roasted), spice aisle (bell pepper powder)
Bell pepper facts

Easily the most popular pepper around, bell peppers are sweet peppers, not hot peppers, packing zero Scoville heat units. You’ll find bell peppers throughout even the most sparse supermarket as a staple in the fresh produce aisle.

Jalapeño pepper

  • Heat level: Medium (2,500 to 8,000 SHU)
  • Where to find: Produce section (fresh green jalapeño), pickles aisle (pickled jalapeños), canned/jarred vegetable aisle (canned jalapeños)
Jalapeno not spicy

Jalapeños are the most common hot pepper you’ll find in the typical supermarket. Supermarkets normally carry green jalapeños, not the ripened red jalapeño. Green jalapeños tend to have a brighter, grassier overall flavor and a milder heat than mature red jalapeños.

Pickled jalapeños are also very popular and common in the pickle aisle. Try pickled jalapeños on everything from sandwiches and pizza to salads and sauces. Take a look here at our list of fun pickled jalapeño uses.

Chipotle pepper

  • Heat level: Medium (2,500 to 8,000 SHU)
  • Where to find: Spice aisle (chipotle powder), Mexican/International foods aisle (chipotle in adobo sauce, dried chipotle)
chipotle pepper

Chipotle peppers are dried and smoked jalapeños peppers. They are a perfect complement to barbecue and red meats to add an earthy, fiery flavor.

Don’t look for chipotle pepper in the fresh produce aisle. They aren’t commonly there. Instead, your best bet is the spice aisle. Chipotle powder has grown in popularity to the point where it’s a common spice rack seasoning. You may also find chipotle in your international foods section. Chipotle in adobo sauce is a common site in most supermarkets, and some well-stocked stores may carry whole chipotle peppers.

Cayenne pepper

  • Heat level: Medium (30,000 to 50,000 SHU)
  • Where to find: Spice aisle (cayenne powder)
cayenne pepper powder

You won’t normally find fresh cayenne pepper in your local supermarket, but in the spice aisle it’s one of the staples. Cayenne has a more neutral peppery taste, so in powder form, it’s an excellent way to add some heat to a dish without changing its underlying flavor.

Crushed red pepper (red pepper flakes) can also feature cayenne pepper, but crushed red pepper is typically a mix of different chilies, not just cayenne.

Banana pepper

  • Heat level: Mild (0 to 500 SHU)
  • Where to find: Pickles aisle (pickled banana peppers)
Pickled Banana Peppers

Pickled banana peppers are another common pepper you’ll find in the pickles aisle. They carry a lot less heat than jalapeño peppers, so for those looking for a milder tangy bite, pickled banana peppers are an excellent option. You won’t normally find banana peppers in the fresh produce aisle (but there’s a chance as these are growing in popularity).

Pepperoncini

  • Heat level: Mild (100 to 500 SHU)
  • Where to find: Pickles aisle (pickled pepperoncini)
Pepperoncini

Pickled pepperoncini are much like banana peppers. In fact, they are so much alike (whether fresh or pickled) they are often mistaken for one another. Pepperoncini are another excellent option for those looking for a mild spicy tang for sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads, and more.

Other common peppers you may find

Not every supermarket will carry these, but some do. Get to know these common peppers as well to know what’s what in the store.


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