Bobby Flay's Best Jalapeño Substitute If You Don't Love Spicy Heat

Bobby Flay's love for spicy peppers is not a national secret. The celebrity chef has quite the reputation for bringing fiery heat. Flay's affinity for all things spicy was on full display when he gave a tour of his pantry to Misfit Market via Instagram. Flay revealed he has a whole section devoted to peppers, including his go-to Calabrian chiles. Flay chirped, "People make fun of me for using these so much, especially on 'Beat Bobby Flay,' but in my restaurant in Malfa, we use a ton of these. It adds great flavor to food." However, Italian chiles aren't the only pepper that has captured Flay's affection.

Flay is also a fan of the jalapeño and uses it to spice up everything from pesto to grits. And it's a pepper that packs no small amount of heat, clocking in at anywhere between 2,500 and 8,000 units on the Scoville Heat scale. Of course, truly hot peppers tip the scale into the millions, but a jalapeño is definitely not for those who shy away from spice. So, what does Flay do when he is cooking for someone who has a mild palate? The Iron Chef has just the jalapeño pepper substitute to try if you can't stand the heat.

Poblano peppers are mild

Bobby Flay shared with Bon Appétit that if you want to use peppers but not jalapeños or any other variety that will have you reaching for a glass of milk, you should try a poblano. Flay explains that, generally, the bigger the pepper, the milder the flavor. So while spicy jalepeños are typically no bigger than an index finger, poblanos run roughly the size of your hand. 

Flay says if you want to substitute poblano peppers for jalapeños, you simply want to "roast, peel, and seed" them. Poblano peppers are thick enough for chile rellenos and mild enough to be tossed in a bolognese. And because their heat level is fairly low, you won't have to worry about any drama from the kiddos at dinner time. That said, it's always wise to taste the peppers before serving them as their heat level can be more variable than, for example, consistently mild bell peppers.