Red Jalapenos vs. Green Jalapenos

The same…but different.

Jalapeño peppers are hands down the most popular hot pepper around, but most don’t know that it comes in different shades.

That’s right – there are green jalapeños and red jalapeños. What’s the difference? Is one spicier than the other? Do they taste different? Are the red versions hard to find? Let’s break down what makes these two hot pepper options tick in another PepperScale Showdown.

Red jalapeño vs. green jalapeño: What makes them different colors?

The big difference between these two peppers is simply age. They are the same pepper, just a green jalapeño is picked early in the ripening process, while a red jalapeño is left on the vine to mature. During the ripening, jalapeños, like other chilies, turn red. The process takes time so many jalapeños end up multi-hued, various shades of green and red during the aging process. And the same pepper plant may have some green, some red, and some various hues of each.

Is one better for you than the other?

All peppers are full of vitamins and antioxidants, so every type is good for you. But there is something to be said for eating hot peppers that have been longer on the vine. The longer a chili has to mature, the more of these healthy compounds they have. So a red jalapeño, with its increase in capsaicin (known for great health benefits), vitamins, and antioxidants, is going to have some added health benefits compared to the green versions.

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