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Sport Pepper Substitute

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Sport pepper is a kind of pepper that is widely used in pickled form on hot dogs and other sandwiches. It is well recognized as a component in a Chicago-style hot dog.

Sport peppers are comparable to Tabasco peppers in size, but they are bigger, measuring around 1-inch long and inches broad. They are numerous on vigorous plants and have a medium heat level.

Continue reading for more wonderful facts about sport pepper, as well as scrumptious dishes you can use it in. I also mentioned three excellent sports pepper replacements for case you’re in a hurry.

What Is Sport Pepper

Sport Pepper Substitute

Pickled peppers are made from a little green pepper that has been pickled in vinegar until it becomes light green.

These peppers are seldom longer than 1.5 inches in length. The pepper resembles a pickled small green tabasco pepper. These peppers are similar to serrano peppers or milder tabasco peppers.

They are somewhat peppery and have a tangy, vinegary taste. They combine to provide a tangy taste that virtually everyone immediately appreciates.

Sport peppers have a medium-hot heat that ranges from 10,000 to 23,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. The sport pepper is somewhere between 2 and almost five times hotter than a 5,000 SHU jalapeo pepper.

Sport peppers have a wonderful taste and are well-known, but their origins are unclear. Even though their seeds are sold separately, some people assume sport peppers are just pickled serrano peppers in seasoned brine.

These peppers, which are from the Capsicum Annuum variety, are said to have originated in Mexico. The name “sport” may, however, apply to a broad variety of pickled peppers in that family.

Sport Pepper Uses in Recipes

Sport Pepper Substitute

Sport peppers are often offered in jars at Chicago-area beef joints and restaurants such as Vienna Beef and Buona Beef. Aside from hot dogs, sports peppers are an excellent complement to a variety of dishes and may even be used as a pizza topping.

Here are some wonderful dishes that employ sport peppers:

  • Sport Pepper Sauce
  • Pickled Sport Peppers
  • Chicago-Style Hot Dog
  • Homemade Chicago-Style Giardiniera Recipe
  • Windy City Hot Dogs with a Twist
  • Chicago Deep Dish Pizza and Hot Dogs
  • Chicago-Style Sandwiches
  • Chicago Red Hot Poppy Seed Buns
  • Chicago Hot Dog Pasta Salad
  • Kosher Italian Beef Topped Chicago Dog
  • Elena Bessers’ Recipe for a Chicago-Style Hot Dog Sandwich
  • Keto Chicago Hot Dog with Romaine Lettuce
  • Grilled Chicago Hot Dog
  • Chicago Hot Dog Potato Chip Nachos

Sport Pepper Substitutes

Sport pepper is a delicious pickled pepper that can be used in a variety of cuisines. However, I’ve included some of the best sport pepper replacements in case you don’t have any and your recipe asks for it.

Roland Foods Calabrian Chili Peppers


If you don’t have any sporting peppers on hand, pickled Serrano peppers are an excellent replacement.

If your grocery shop does not carry sport peppers, check for pickled serrano peppers in the pickled and foreign sections. Pickled Serrano peppers are available from Latin food producers and may be easier to get.

It’s worth noting that some people regard sport peppers to be pickled serrano peppers, and whether they are or not, they have a lot in common.

The serrano’s thin and long form complements hot dogs, and the heat intensity is in the same medium range on the Scoville scale (10,000 to 23,000 Scoville heat units).

Serrano peppers are a spicy chili pepper. They are categorized as a fruit, and they are second only to the jalapeño pepper in popularity in Mexican cuisine.

Wheeled Pickled Jalapeno Pepper

Yes, in a pinch, jalapeño pepper may be substituted for sport pepper if you only have pickled ones.

Pickling also affects the texture of the jalapeño pepper. Pickled jalapenos are gentler than fresh jalapenos, which have a sharpness akin to bell peppers.

Pickled jalapeño jalapenos, frequently cut into wheels, are widely available and perfect for sandwiches and salads. While it lacks the shape and overall chili eating experience of a sport pepper, it does offer a nice sour taste.

Jalapeno peppers are gentler than sport peppers, having a spiciness that is half or less of sport peppers. As a consequence, you gain convenience while losing heat overall. Many individuals like the heat of jalapeos, thus the decrease in spiciness may be missed.

Matiz Piparras, Basque Guindilla Peppers


When in a pinch, wheeled pickled pepperoncini will do as a suitable sport pepper replacement.

Pickled pepperoncini, like pickled jalapeño peppers, can be bought at almost any supermarket, making them quite accessible. Pepperoncini have the expected salty taste, but they’re significantly milder than sport peppers or jalapenos.

Pepperoncini has a mild heat, ranging from 100 to 500 Scoville heat units. They are spicier than bell peppers (0) but not as fiery as jalapenos (minimum of 2,500). If you’re not a fan of the overall heat of those chiles, pickled pepperoncini is a terrific family-friendly option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it true that sport peppers are scorching hot?

Some people are unfamiliar with sport pepper, while others cannot eat a hot dog without it. Sport peppers are medium-hot, naturally bite-sized peppers that are wrapped in a seasoned brine for the perfect degree of spice. They’re not as hot as you may think.

What is the origin of the name “sport pepper”?

They are a cultivated version of Capsicum Annuum (they have nothing in common with tabasco, which is manufactured from Capsicum Frustescens). Sport is most likely originated from their usage as a condiment on hot dogs served in sports venues.

Is it true that sports peppers are beneficial for you?

Hot peppers may be helpful to your health, and sport peppers are technically hot peppers when used whole rather than sliced on a Chicago dog. They are almost fat-free and contain just approximately five calories per pepper. The catch is, of course, the salt: two peppers provide 20% of your daily sodium need.


Sport peppers are essential for a proper Chicago dog, as well as other rich dishes that call for them.

However, getting these highly sought-after pickled peppers might be difficult at times. They may be difficult to find outside of Chicago, so where should you look? You already know where I’m going.

These potential replacements for sports peppers featured in this article have a comparable taste and a forceful bite.


Are sport peppers the same as pepperoncini?

Sport peppers and pepperoncini are often contrasted among the several varieties of peppers available on the market. Both have distinct tastes and applications. Sport peppers are tiny and strong, while pepperoncini has a softer flavor profile.

What are sport peppers in Chicago-style hot dogs?

What exactly is a Sport Pepper? The sport pepper is the official pepper of the Chicago dog and is sometimes difficult to locate outside of Chicago and other areas of the south. They are a little light green pickled chili pepper with a tangy taste and medium-hot heat (similar to a serrano pepper).

What pepper is closest to pepperoncini?

What exactly is this? Because of their startling similarities in taste, banana peppers are sometimes regarded as the best substitute for pepperoncini. Due to their modest levels of heat, both of these peppers fall into the same Scoville range.

What is the closest thing to pepperoncini?

The 5 Best Pepperoncini Substitutes
1 – Banana Peppers.
Cherry peppers, number two.
Anaheim Peppers (3rd).
4 – Poblano peppers.
5 – Jalapeno Peppers.

What is considered a sport pepper?

The Sport pepper is a little green pepper that is pickled in vinegar and becomes light green, making them pickled peppers. These peppers are seldom more than 1.5 inches in length. The pepper looks like a pickled tiny green tabasco pepper. They’re a little spicy with a tangy, vinegary taste.

Why are they called sport peppers?

They are a developed variation or cultivar of Capsicum annuum. The word “sport” apparently came from their usage as a condiment on hot dogs served at baseball stadiums. They have nothing in common with tabascos, which are Capsicum frustescens.

What is the tiny red pepper really hot?

The chiltepin pepper is a small, round or oval-shaped chili pepper that grows wild over most of the United States and Mexico. It is very hot, with up to 100,000 Scoville Heat Units. Find out more.

What kind of pepperoncini does Olive Garden use?

They make a delightful (and healthy…a whole jar only has around 30 calories) snack to eat instead of chips. If you’ve ever eaten at an Olive Garden, you’ve probably tried some Victoria pepperoncinis, since this is the same type they use and how I initially became addicted to them.

Are Pepperoncinis just banana peppers?

What exactly are pepperoncini? Pepperoncini are wrinkled and generally offered jarred and pickled, but banana peppers are smooth and crisp on the exterior. Banana peppers normally have a sharp tip, while pepperoncini are spherical at the end and roughly an inch smaller on average than banana peppers.

Are banana peppers just sliced Pepperoncinis?

Pepperoncini peppers have wrinkled skin, but banana peppers have a smoother, waxy feel. Banana peppers have a somewhat curving form and a pointier end, similar to a banana. Pepperoncini peppers are said to be somewhat rounder in form.

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