Gypsy peppers, also known as Cubanelle peppers, are a cross between sweet Italian bullhorn peppers and bell peppers.
These sweet little peppers are popular in home gardening because they’re easy to plant. They’re also prolific and produce high yields, which any gardener loves!
Keep reading to learn all about the Gypsy pepper, including how to plant it in your home garden and recipes to use the peppers.
Looking for Gypsy pepper seeds? Check availability.
The Gypsy pepper is a small pepper that averages around four inches long. The structure of this pepper resembles that of a bell pepper at the top and a jalapeno at its tapered end.
These thin-skinned peppers start out with a yellowish-green skin that transitions into orange as it matures and ends in red color at full maturity.
The color of these peppers depends on when they are harvested. They are edible through each stage of development.
The flavor profile of the Gypsy pepper depends on when they are harvested. Peppers still in the early stages of development taste a lot like green bell pepper, while mature peppers provide a sweeter flavor with mild floral undertones.
These peppers are known for their lack of heat and slightly acidic but sweet distinctive crunch that only gets sweeter as they ripen.
Gypsy peppers can be enjoyed raw or used as an ingredient for various dishes.
This recipe for a chunky sofrito adds a phenomenal flavor boost to soups and stews. It can also be processed to a smoother consistency if you prefer.
It is delicious when incorporated into rice dishes such as rice and beans. It is often used as a flavor base in Caribbean, Portuguese, Latin American, and Italian cuisines.
This sofrito sauce uses a blend of Gypsy peppers, bell peppers, aji dulce peppers, and other flavorful herbs and vegetables to create layers of aromatic flavor.
Grilled Gypsy Peppers Stuffed with Tomatoes
These grilled Gypsy peppers are stuffed with tomatoes and topped with parmesan cheese for delectable finger food fresh off the grill.
The mixture of olive oil and basil with tomatoes blends deliciously with the melty parmesan cheese. Season these stuffed peppers with salt and black pepper to add even more flavor.
Cubanelle Pepper Rice Pilaf
If you are looking for a flavorful side dish, try this cubanelle pepper rice pilaf recipe!
Roast the Gypsy peppers before incorporating them into the rice pilaf for a full-bodied sweet pepper flavor.
The chicken (or vegetable) broth is flavored with a mixture of peppers, onions, and cilantro, providing a salty but sweet peppery flavor to long-grain rice that pairs well with almost any meal!
Gypsy peppers are mostly water so they are a great choice for weight loss.
They are also a fantastic source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps boost immunity and repair damaged cells in the body. It and vitamin K contribute to bone health and wound healing.
These peppers are also chock full of vitamin A, which promotes healthy vision and helps prevent cancer.
Vitamin B6, contained in Gypsy peppers, reduces the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
The potassium in these peppers helps improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, while the folate in them helps improve the body’s overall function.
To be such a small fruit, the Gypsy pepper contains many vital nutrients!
Growing Your Own
Growing a Gypsy pepper plant in your home garden is simple. These prolific plants produce up to one hundred pepper pods in a single season!
When growing these peppers from seed, start them indoors around eight weeks before the last frost. Use only one seed per pot and place them on a warm windowsill that receives full sun for at least six hours a day.
These seedlings can be transplanted into the ground two or three weeks after the last frost. They should be spaced at least 18″ away from any other plants. These peppers should not be planted in an area where other peppers or tomatoes have been previously grown.
If you can find seedlings at a local nursery, these should be kept inside until about a week or two after the last frost. When buying seedlings, make sure the leaves are intact, and there are no signs of lesions or mold.
Gypsy pepper seeds can be started in a mixture of seed-starting plant food and potting soil. After the peppers are set, you can fertilize the soil around the base of the plant with a 5-10-10 fertilizer.
Whatever soil you decide on needs to drain well to prevent root rot. The soil should be kept consistently moist but not soaked.
The pods can be harvested at any stage of maturity, depending on the flavor profile you prefer. Peppers harvested in the early stages tend to resemble bell pepper’s bittersweet taste, while peppers harvested at peak ripeness are sweeter.
Pests and Diseases
Gypsy pepper plants are resistant to some mosaic viruses, such as tobacco mosaic virus, but they are still susceptible to other pests and diseases.
Verticillium wilt is a fungal infection that affects pepper plants. If it is not treated it may lead to the death of the plant. This disease can be prevented by spraying a neem oil fungicide onto the plant leaves.
Common pests that are attracted to these peppers are aphids and spider mites. These can be rinsed from the plant with water and repelled using neem oil.
Where to Buy Seeds
We hope we’ve convinced you what a great addition a Gypsy pepper plant makes to any culinary garden. We’ve got you covered if you’re ready to grow your own!
When purchasing pepper seeds, always be sure to purchase them from a reliable source. We recommend the Gypsy pepper seeds sold online by one of our favorite retailers, Hoss Tools.
Some local nurseries may carry Gypsy pepper seedlings, so look for them if you want to jump-start the planting process by transplanting straight into the ground.
Try Out the Gypsy Pepper!
If you are looking for a sweet pepper with no heat, give the Gypsy pepper a try! It is easy to grow in your home garden, and each plant produces bountiful yields of tasty fruit.
For more information on pepper plants and how to grow them, please visit the Pepper Plants page on our website! We have blog posts about different pepper varieties, plus helpful growing and care guides.