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Poblano vs. Jalapeno — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 17, 2024
Poblano peppers are mild with a deep green color, used often in Mexican dishes like chiles rellenos, whereas jalapeños are smaller, spicier, and used in a wide range of cuisines.
Poblano vs. Jalapeno — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Poblano and Jalapeno


Key Differences

Poblano peppers are known for their mild heat and large size, making them ideal for stuffing and roasting in traditional Mexican recipes such as chiles rellenos. On the other hand, jalapeños are smaller and pack more heat, which makes them a popular choice for adding a spicy kick to dishes in various global cuisines.
Poblanos typically register between 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units, which places them on the milder end of the spectrum. In contrast, jalapeños can range from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville units, indicating a higher level of spiciness.
When it comes to physical appearance, poblano peppers are larger and heart-shaped with a dark green, almost black coloration, which makes them suitable for roasting and peeling. Jalapeños, however, are smaller, typically bright to dark green, and are often used sliced or diced in cooking.
Poblanos, when dried, are called ancho chiles and are used to add a mild, sweet chili flavor to dishes. Jalapeños, when dried and smoked, turn into chipotles, offering a smoky, spicy depth to recipes. Finally, poblanos are often used in their whole form to take advantage of their size for stuffing, while jalapeños are versatile, used whole, sliced, pickled, or as a condiment in numerous dishes.

Comparison Chart

Scoville Heat Units

1,000 - 1,500
2,500 - 8,000

Common Uses

Stuffing, roasting, mole sauces
Salsas, toppings, spicy dishes

Physical Appearance

Large, heart-shaped, dark green
Smaller, cylindrical, bright to dark green

Dried Form

Called "ancho chiles"
Called "chipotles" when smoked

Flavor Profile

Mild, slightly sweet
Spicy, with a sharper bite

Compare with Definitions


A mild chili pepper originating from Mexico, commonly used in traditional dishes.
He stuffed the poblano peppers with cheese and beans for dinner.


Commonly found in grocery stores and varies from green to red when ripe.
He picked a bunch of green jalapeños for the grill.


Known for its large size and mild heat, making it ideal for roasting.
She roasted poblano peppers to bring out their sweet flavor.


Often pickled or used fresh in recipes.
The taco topping included freshly sliced jalapeños.


Features a dark green, almost black color when fresh.
The poblano's deep green color intensified after roasting.


Can be smoked and dried to become chipotles.
Smoked jalapeños, or chipotles, added a smoky flavor to the sauce.


Often dried and referred to as ancho chile.
The recipe called for ancho chile, which is a dried poblano.


A hot chili pepper used to add spice to dishes in various cuisines.
She diced jalapeños to spice up the salsa.


A staple in Mexican cuisine, particularly for chiles rellenos.
Poblano peppers are essential for authentic chiles rellenos.


Ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale, indicating its heat level.
The jalapeño's heat was perfect for the spicy beef chili.


The poblano (Capsicum annuum) is a mild chili pepper originating in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Dried, it is called ancho or chile ancho, from the Spanish word ancho ("wide").


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 a mild or fairly pungent dark green, thick-skinned fruit used in cooking.


The fruit of this plant.


A mild green chile pepper native to Mexico; when dried, the chilis are called anchos or wide chilis.


Alternative spelling of jalapeño


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


Hot green or red pepper of southwestern United States and Mexico

Common Curiosities

Why are poblano peppers often used in chiles rellenos?

Their large size and mild heat make poblano peppers ideal for stuffing and roasting in chiles rellenos.

What makes poblano peppers different from jalapeños in terms of use?

Poblano peppers are often used for stuffing and roasting due to their mild flavor and large size, whereas jalapeños are favored for adding heat to dishes through slicing, dicing, or pickling.

Can you substitute poblano for jalapeño in recipes?

Substituting poblano for jalapeño may alter the dish's heat level and size suitability, with poblanos being milder and larger.

Are poblano peppers hotter than jalapeños?

No, poblano peppers are significantly milder than jalapeños, with fewer Scoville heat units.

Are poblano and jalapeño peppers available year-round?

Both poblano and jalapeño peppers are typically available year-round in many regions, especially in supermarkets.

How do the flavors of poblano and jalapeño peppers compare?

Poblano peppers are milder and slightly sweet, whereas jalapeños have a sharper, spicier bite.

What are the best dishes to use jalapeños in?

Jalapeños are versatile and can be used in salsas, spicy dishes, as toppings, or pickled for various cuisines.

How does the heat level of a pepper affect its culinary use?

The heat level determines how a pepper is used; milder peppers like poblanos are good for milder dishes, while hotter peppers like jalapeños are used to add significant heat to dishes.

What should I be aware of when handling jalapeño peppers?

When handling jalapeño peppers, it's advisable to use gloves to avoid irritation from their capsaicin, especially if cutting several.

How can I reduce the heat of jalapeños in cooking?

Removing the seeds and membranes from jalapeños can help reduce their heat in cooking.

What is the dried form of jalapeños called?

The dried form of jalapeños is called chipotles, especially when they are smoked.

How does the size of poblano peppers affect their culinary uses?

The larger size of poblano peppers makes them perfect for stuffing and roasting, unlike the smaller jalapeños.

What is the nutritional value of jalapeño peppers?

Jalapeño peppers are low in calories and rich in vitamins C and A, making them a healthy addition to any diet.

Are there any popular festivals associated with poblano or jalapeño peppers?

Yes, in Mexico, there are festivals that celebrate chili peppers, including both poblano and jalapeño, showcasing their significance in Mexican cuisine.

Can I grow poblano and jalapeño peppers in a home garden?

Both poblano and jalapeño peppers can be grown in home gardens, provided they have enough sunlight and warmth.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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