The Best Tasting Peppers to Grow for Beginners

​When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to narrow down the chillies you want to grow.

Best tasting peppers jalapenos and habaneros

If fact, Wikipedia estimates that there are over 50,000 varieties of Capsicum cultivars (pepper plants). (I’m sure most of these are delicious, but let’s make this best tasting peppers list simpler.)

​Here’s​ the criteria for my “best peppers to grow list.” The pepper must:

  • ​Be on the easier side to grow
  • Be hardy (In other words, it has to be able to produce a lot.)
  • Be some of the most flavorful peppers (in my humble opinion 😉 )
  • Be one of the best chile varieties for popular uses like salsas and chili

​Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to it!

The Most Flavorful Peppers for Different Uses

These next sections list the types of peppers that are commonly used for each condiment or dish. You can definitely substitute other chillies when you’re ready to experiment. It’s just here to give you a starting point.

​Best Peppers For Cooking

An easy way to cook these chillies is to sauté them in your favorite fat for a few minutes, and then salt them to your liking. (I love cooking them in grassfed ​ghee or coconut oil — yum!) ​These​ peppers are also great options for fajitas.

Shishito peppers are most flavorful when sautéed
Shishito Peppers

Best Peppers For Salsa

​A big factor in making salsa is what your heat preference is. In this list, Banana peppers are ​the least spicy, while Habanero peppers ​are the hottest.

Habaneros are spicy and flavorful hot peppers
Orange Habanero Peppers

Best Peppers For Chili

Chili can be a very complex dish filled with all kinds of flavors, from mild to hot or ​fresh to smoky. I didn’t include common smoked or dried peppers, such as chipotles or anchos, because those require preparation. The peppers listed below can be used fresh and ​are delicious!

Serrano peppers are some of the best tasting peppers
Serrano Peppers

Best Peppers For Pickling

The chillies below are common​ly used for p​reserving. ​To create a striking jar, pick these peppers at different maturity levels (i.e., when they are green versus red or whatever color they’re supposed to be when mature).

banana peppers
Banana Peppers

Best Peppers For Topping Sandwiches and Pizza

Slice these chillies up and layer them on your pizza before it goes in the oven. They are also delicious as fresh peppers on a sandwich or even a salad or soup.

Jalapeno peppers growing in an Earthbox
Jalapeno Peppers

Best Peppers For Stuffing

These chillies are large enough to receive whatever delectable filling you want! Cheese, ground meat, sour cream… whatever you’d like. ​​Put them in the oven to ​enjoy them as delicious, edible containers when they’re ready.

  • Bell peppers
  • Poblanos
  • Anaheim Chili
  • Corno di Toro
Bell peppers
Bell Peppers

Best Peppers For Dogs

Wondering if your furry companions can enjoy chilies too? Turns out dogs can eat bell peppers. Perhaps as a snack when hiking with your dog!

If you need help growing any of these peppers, be sure to check out The Pepper Seed Starting Guide. This ebook steps you through all of the processes of starting seeds inside and growing them into strong plants that are ready for the outdoors.

Hey, You Missed Some!

​If you’re thinking that I skipped some great chillies for each category, you’re right!

Here’s why ​they weren’t included:

  • They are in the super hot peppers category. (Believe me, it hurt to leave these out because they are some of my favorites… hence, the name of this site. ;)) Really, really hot chillies are some of the harder types of hot peppers to grow. If you’re a beginner, I don’t want you to get discouraged because you couldn’t get those Carolina Reapers to grow on your first try!
  • I wanted to make sure you could easily pick up these seeds or ​seedling​s in big box stores. These retailers tend to carry ​varieties that have those hardiness and production factors, so that totally fits with our criteria. ​
Tabasco pepper plant
Tabasco Plants Can Be Easier To Find In Stores

Where To Get Your Pepper Plants and Seeds

If you’re like me, you may prefer to purchase from local sources whenever possible. The seeds and plants ​grown in your climate are more likely to be better acclimated to your environment.

Plus, local growers are going to provide varieties that work best in your area. Believe me, that has a lot to do with the success of your pepper plants!

​Besides your nearby garden centers and nurseries, ​​​here are some other places where you can find pepper seeds and plants near you.

  • Your local ​farmer’s market
  • Online neighborhood forum like Nextdoor (there might be some gardening clubs/groups in your area that post ​about plant/seed swaps)
  • Your county extension office (​do a web search on your county name followed by “extension office”)
  • Your local health foods store/grocery store

grow tips

If you want pepper seeds for uncommon varieties, your best bet is to shop online. This Pepper Seed Sellers List has 30 places to buy pepper seeds and plants for superhots, heirlooms, rare pepper seeds and more.

pepper seedlings in peat pots
Pepper Seedling

​​More Posts On Different Pepper Varieties:​

Photo of author


Jenny is the creator of Grow Hot Peppers. She is a self-taught gardener and has been growing peppers and a plethora of veggies for over 10 years. When she’s not writing or gardening, she loves eating spicy foods, hiking, and going to the ocean.

1 thought on “The Best Tasting Peppers to Grow for Beginners”

  1. TRUE LEAF MARKET is great. When I placed an order from the Philippines they were kind enough to email their concerns and clearly state how everything would be handled. I found them here at the beginning of April to be the only one of the listed vendors to have stock of Jalapenos. If my order arrives successfully they will be my #1 source for seeds.

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