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Jalapeno vs. Anaheim: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 19, 2024
Jalapeños are small, spicy chili peppers used in Mexican cuisine, while Anaheims are larger, milder peppers often used in Southwestern dishes.

Key Differences

Jalapeños originate from Mexico and are widely used in Mexican cuisine for their spicy kick. Anaheims, on the other hand, are commonly used in Southwestern American dishes, known for their mild flavor.
Jalapeños have a significant heat level, measuring 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale. Anaheims are much milder, typically ranging from 500 to 2,500 on the Scoville scale.
Jalapeños are typically 2-3 inches long and have a firm, green appearance. Anaheims are larger, about 6-10 inches long, and have a more elongated shape.
Jalapeños are often used fresh, pickled, or smoked (as chipotle). Anaheims are versatile, used fresh, roasted, or dried (as New Mexico chiles).
Jalapeños are widely available and popular in various cuisines, especially in salsas and spicy dishes. Anaheims, while also widely available, are particularly favored in the American Southwest.

Comparison Chart


New Mexico, USA

Scoville Heat Units

2,500 - 8,000
500 - 2,500


2-3 inches
6-10 inches


Typically green
Green to red as they mature

Culinary Uses

Salsas, spicy dishes, smoked
Roasted, stuffed, mild sauces

Jalapeno and Anaheim Definitions


Mexican Cuisine Staple.
Jalapeños are essential in many Mexican dishes.


New Mexico Chili When Dried.
Dried Anaheims are called New Mexico chiles.


Spicy Pepper.
She added jalapeños to the salsa for extra heat.


Mild Pepper.
Anaheim peppers are perfect for those who prefer mild flavors.


Small Green Chili.
He diced a jalapeño for the guacamole.


Southwestern Cuisine Feature.
Anaheims are popular in Southwestern recipes.


Chipotle When Dried.
Smoked jalapeños are known as chipotle.


Large Chili.
She roasted a large Anaheim for the stuffing.


Common in Salsas.
Jalapeños give salsas a spicy kick.


Versatile in Cooking.
Anaheims are great for roasting and stuffing.


A cultivar of the tropical pepper Capsicum annuum having a very pungent green or red fruit.


A cultivar of the tropical pepper Capsicum annuum having long, tapering, mildly pungent green or red fruit.


The fruit of this plant.


(rare) Anaheim


Alternative spelling of jalapeño


A city in southern California (southeast of Los Angeles); site of Disneyland


Plant bearing very hot and finely tapering long peppers; usually red


Hot green or red pepper of southwestern United States and Mexico


How spicy are jalapeños compared to Anaheims?

Jalapeños are significantly spicier than Anaheims.

What is an Anaheim pepper?

A large, mild chili pepper often used in Southwestern American dishes.

Do Anaheim peppers change color?

Yes, Anaheims turn from green to red as they mature.

Can you substitute jalapeños for Anaheims?

Yes, but expect a difference in heat and size.

Are jalapeños hotter when red or green?

Red jalapeños are slightly sweeter and milder than green ones.

What nutritional value do Anaheims offer?

Anaheims are low in calories and contain vitamins A and C.

What is a jalapeño?

A medium-sized, spicy chili pepper commonly used in Mexican cuisine.

Can jalapeños be eaten raw?

Yes, jalapeños can be eaten raw, often in salsas or as a garnish.

Are Anaheim peppers good for stuffing?

Yes, their size and mild flavor make Anaheims ideal for stuffing.

What color are jalapeños when ripe?

Jalapeños are typically green but can turn red when fully ripe.

What is a common use for Anaheim peppers?

Anaheims are commonly roasted, stuffed, or used in mild sauces.

What dishes are jalapeños commonly used in?

Jalapeños are used in salsas, spicy dishes, and as toppings.

How are Anaheims typically prepared?

Anaheims can be roasted, dried, or used fresh in cooking.

How do you store jalapeños?

Store them in the refrigerator for short-term or freeze for long-term use.

What's the best way to store Anaheim peppers?

Anaheims can be stored in a cool, dry place or refrigerated.

Is it easy to grow Anaheim peppers at home?

Yes, they can be grown in gardens or pots with sufficient sunlight.

Do jalapeños have nutritional benefits?

Yes, they're high in vitamins C and B6, and have antioxidant properties.

Are jalapeños used in any diets or health programs?

Yes, they're used in diets that encourage spicy foods to boost metabolism.

Where do Anaheim peppers come from?

Anaheim peppers originated in New Mexico, USA, and are used extensively in Southwestern cuisine.

What is the origin of jalapeños?

Jalapeños originated in Mexico and are a staple in Mexican cuisine.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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