A Big Difference Between Green Chilies And Jalapenos And 5 Ways To Use Peppers In Your Cooking

Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Guillermina

Did you know that there is a difference between green chilies and jalapenos? To find the difference between green chilies and jalapenos, it is important to understand what both of these peppers are. A lot of authentic and delicious Mexican foods use raw and fresh hot peppers.

Keep on reading below to learn the differences, similarities, and unique uses for both types of peppers. While it is more common to use jalapenos in cooking, some recipes do best with green chilies! Listed below are five interesting ways to use these peppers in your day to day cooking!

What Are Green Chilies?

So, what are green chilies? Before we know the difference between green chilies and jalapenos, we need to know what each pepper is and how to use them in cooking. Green chilies are hard to understand as every culture categorizes peppers differently. Usually, green chilies sold in stores have a mild flavor and heat level.

Essentially, though, green chilies are green hot peppers. These peppers have a unique look, as they are typically long, but not thick. This differs from jalapenos, as jalapenos can grow thick. Jalapenos to some people are one type of green chilies. Although primarily green, they ripen and change color over time.

 Are green chili peppers hot?

What Are Jalapenos?

Jalapenos have a lot of differences when compared to general green chilies. Unlike green chili peppers, jalapenos are the most common hot pepper used in food. They are favorite in Mexico because of how light the spice level is of this plant. Jalapenos can grow up to 7 inches in length and 2.5 inches in thickness.

However, it is okay to eat a jalapeno at any stage. Actually, the smaller a jalapeno fruit, the more heat and flavor are packed inside of it. Be careful though when cutting, peeling, and handling jalapenos as the oil can burn you.

It is more common to see a jalapeno that is a vibrant green. However, as a jalapeno pepper ripens, the color changes into a red and deep purple. The redder a jalapeno pepper is, the sweeter it becomes. According to the Scoville Heats Unit, a jalapeno is between 2,000 to 8,000 SHU. The hottest pepper in the world is 1 million.

The Difference Between Green Chilies And Jalapenos

The main difference between green chilies and jalapenos is the size and heat levels. For example, green chilies are smaller and pack heat. They are perfect for adding to salsas and hot sauces as they add a vibrant green color. Although this is true, green chilies are still milder in flavor.

Actually, jalapenos are hotter, almost five times as hot as green chili peppers. Keep in mind that the smaller the pepper, the hotter the pepper is as it takes less energy to grow.

The Similarities Between Green Chilies And Jalapenos

 Are jalapenos and green chilies the same?

Unlike the difference between green chilies and jalapenos, there are a lot more similarities. Actually, jalapenos fit under the umbrella term that some people use as ‘green chilies. Both peppers, though, grow in the heat and direct sun.

Green chilies and jalapeno peppers originate from Mexico and the Southern U.S. They grow really well in direct light and temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Green chilies and jalapenos are also common in many recipes and are considered mildly hot peppers.

How To Cut And Slice Green Chilies And Jalapenos

Cut and slicing green chilies and jalapenos has never been easier. There are also a lot of tools and resources that make slicing hot peppers as hands free as possible! Even without these tools, though, you can cut and properly slice green chilies and hot jalapenos for any purpose.

If you are cutting the peppers by hand, you will need to wear gloves and protective gear. As tempting as it is to cut hot peppers on a counter, only use a cutting board after rinsing it. The cutting board should be clean and away from foods that can contaminate the fresh vegetables, like raw meat.

Once the cutting board is in position, find a sharp knife that is not too heavy or small. A dull knife can make it almost impossible to slice through green chilies and jalapenos. While some people skin hot peppers, it is not necessary. The thick outer skin is edible and also hot!

With the knife, take the stem and ‘cap’ off of the peppers. This helps you get access to the inside of your hot peppers. Although you can eat the seeds, it makes it easier to consume when you get rid of the seeds. To do this, scoop out the insides using an appropriately sizes spoon or butter knife.

Once the inside of the hot peppers are clean, you can start slicing downward. The thicker the pieces, the harder and longer it takes to cook them through. Either way, you can eat green chilies and jalapenos cooked and raw.

Different Recipes That Use Green Chilies And Jalapenos

When looking into the difference between green chilies and jalapenos, you can also look at common recipes that share similarities. For example, there are not a lot of differences between green chilies and jalapenos, actually, they are almost interchangeable in recipes.

Have you ever tried to roast your own green chili peppers? This smoky flavor is a delicious addition to sandwiches and heavy meat dishes. Both peppers are also great choices for making salsas and hot sauces as they are vividly colored hot peppers.

Jalapenos are versatile hot peppers that can be added to many dishes like huevos rancheros and enchiladas. Another fan favorite is stuffed jalapenos made with cream cheese, meat, and shredded cheese.


When finding the difference between green chilies and jalapenos, you should also look into the uses for both peppers! Keep in mind that there are many Mexican green chilies since this is an umbrella term for a family of hot green peppers.

What do you think about finding the difference between green chilies and jalapenos? What about the similarities? Let us know down below your thoughts, comments, and concerns! Do you know anyone else interested in the difference between green chilies and jalapenos? Send them our way!

 Is a jalapeño a chili pepper?


What can I use as a substitute for green chilies?

The best substitute for green chilies in recipes is diced or cut jalapenos.

Are jalapenos and green chilies the same?

Technically, jalapenos and green chilies are not the same. Actually, green chilies is an umbrella term for different types of green hot peppers, which does include jalapenos.

Are green chili peppers hot?

Green chili peppers are hot, however, each pepper has a different heat level.

Is a jalapeño a chili pepper?

Jalapenos are one type of many green chili peppers.