Yellow Peppers Guide: From Mild To Extra Hot

Chili peppers come in many colors – in fact, they’re so colorful that they have as much love as edible landscaping as they do in the kitchen. Our yellow peppers guide helps you matching pepper color to taste and heat, so you can find that perfect bright hottie for you and your need. Let’s review your options, from mild to extra hot.

Note: We cover both yellow ornamental peppers and culinary hot peppers below in this list. We also allow for multi-colored ornamental pepper plants where yellow is a predominant color and plants where yellow is predominant color in its maturation cycle (but the chili may not end yellow in its fully matured state). Therefore, you will see some photos below that show multi-colored plants as well as chilies that tend towards more a yellow-orange.

Mild Yellow Peppers

Trinidad Perfume

0 to 500 Scoville heat units
See our full Trinidad Perfume profile here.

Trinidad Perfume

Trinidad Perfume age to a yellow (or sometimes a yellow-orange) hue. They have a dangerous look – sharing that scorpion-like tail of many super-hots, but really this chili is a teddy bear in the heat department. It has a mild simmering warmth and a delicious tropical sweetness that pairs well with salsas.

Banana Pepper

0 to 500 Scoville heat units
See our full banana pepper profile here.

PIckled Banana Peppers

The banana pepper is well known as a pickled condiment, but the fresh pepper is real fun to eat, too. It has a natural tang to its flavor, along with a little sweetness. It matures from green to a banana-like yellow – though the yellow can be streaked with shades of green. They are delicious on salads and sandwiches fresh, or it’s very easy to make pickled banana peppers at home.

Chilly Chili

1 to 1,000 Scoville heat units
See our full Chilly Chili profile here.

Chilly Chili

As an ornamental pepper, the Chilly Chili is a real looker, with a wide variety of yellow, orange, and red peppers on the plant as it ages. And unlike many other ornamentals, this hot pepper carries very little heat (comparable to a poblano pepper at its hottest). The downside – there’s not a lot of complexity to the overall flavor of the Chilly Chili. It’s not a real standout in the kitchen beyond cooking with the multiple colors.

Medium Yellow Peppers

Hungarian Wax Pepper

5,000 to 10,000 Scoville heat units
See our full Hungarian Wax profile here.

Hungarian wax pepper

Hungarian wax peppers look a lot like the banana pepper (aging to a banana-like yellow) and also share that natural tangy sweetness. But, the heat profile is completely different. These chilies are comparable to jalapeño level heat (even slightly hotter). It’s still a very edible heat – a perfect step up for real spicy cooking.

Bolivian Rainbow Pepper

10,000 to 30,000 Scoville heat units
See our full Bolivian rainbow pepper profile here.

Bolivian Rainbow Pepper

Another multi-colored ornamental pepper beauty, the Bolivian rainbow pepper has its fair share of yellow in its color palette, along with shades of purple, orange, and red. The pods stand upright and their cone-like shape gives the appearance of Christmas lights. It packs a punch in the heat department, sharing the exact sam profile as the cayenne pepper.

Lemon Drop Pepper

15,000 to 30,000 Scoville heat units
See our full lemon drop pepper profile here.

lemon drop pepper

Often used as an ornamental pepper because of its goldenrod-yellow color, the lemon drop pepper delivers in the taste department more than most ornamentals. Like many other yellow peppers, there’s a sweet tanginess here and a more significant heat. It matches well against the serrano pepper in spiciness, but can reach up to cayenne pepper level heat. The lemon drop pepper’s pods hang down on the plant, so the look isn’t as dramatic as the Chilly Chili or other plants with upright pods.

The aji amarillo is the most popular Peruvian chili pepper, and for good reason. It’s flavor is tropical, yet sun-kissed, with a little raison-y finish – making it a delicious culinary chili pepper to explore. In terms of color, it starts as a yellow pepper and as it ages it takes on more of a fiery yellow-orange. There’s also a decent amount of heat here, comparable, too, to the cayenne pepper.

Aji Charapita

30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units
See our full aji charapita profile here.

Aji Charapita

These tiny chilies are another Peruvian favorite, with lots of fruitiness and decent heat. And when we say tiny, we mean tiny – the pods are typically 1/4 an inch wide – comparable to chiltepin in size. The size and beautiful yellow color may scream “ornamental pepper”, but the plant itself is bushy and the pods are tiny, so the effect isn’t as dramatic as a typical ornamental.

NuMex Twilight

30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units
See our full NuMex Twilight profile here.

numex twilight

Yellow is part of the overall color profile of this popular multi-colored ornamental pepper. The pods of the NuMex Twilight start purple, then age into yellow and shades of oranges and reds. The pods are small (one inch long), but they stand upright on the plant giving a blast of color to landscaping. It has a cayenne level heat and an overall neutral peppery flavor that can tend towards salty and bitter. Read: it’s not the most flavorful pepper on the planet, but really it’s all about the looks here.

Prairie Fire Pepper

70,000 to 80,000 Scoville heat units
See our full prairie fire pepper profile here.

Prairie Fire Pepper

The prairie fire pepper has a Christmas light look – with yellow as part of the mix, along with green, red, orange, purple, and cream. It’s almost candy-like in color, but the heat is anything but. This is a chili that borders on extra hot – often twice the heat of a cayenne. It has a neutral peppery flavor behind the heat, so this ornamental pepper is perfect for making colorful salsas.

Extra Hot Yellow Peppers

Devil’s Tongue Pepper

125,000 to 325,000 Scoville heat units
See our full Devil’s Tongue pepper profile here.

devils tongue pepper

The Devil’s Tongue is apt for the heat of this pepper. It’s habanero-level spiciness here, and with it that typical fruitiness seen with habanero-like peppers. The most common variety of Devil’s Tongue pepper ages into a yellowish orange color, really brightening up a garden for those growers into extreme heat eats. Interesting fact – while you may think “Caribbean pepper” with the Devil’s Tongue flavor and heat, the roots of this pepper is actually Amish country in Pennsylvania.

Madame Jeanette Pepper

125,000 to 325,000 Scoville heat units
See our full Madame Jeanette profile here.

Another habanero-like chili, the yellow Madame Jeanette (a.k.a. the Suriname Yellow) packs a big-time punch. But while other chilies of this type enjoy pronounced fruitiness, the Madame Jeanette is more subdued in flavor (beyond extreme heat), particularly when eaten raw. When it’s cooked, the Madame Jeanette does provide a light tropical fruitiness. Fun fact – the fiery Madame Jeanette is named after a famous Brazilian prostitute.

Fatalii Pepper

125,000 to 400,000 Scoville heat units
See our full fatalii pepper profile here.

Fatalli Pepper

The common yellow fatalii is much like a habanero as well, but the heat profile ticks things up another notch. It’s scorching with a decent amount of citrusy fruitiness to the flavor. But you may be hard-pressed to get to the flavor as fatalii have a very quick heat. There’s no slow burn here. That quick heat is perfect for fiery tropical hot sauces and salsas.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 2, 2022 to include new content.
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