Habanero peppers (Capsicum chinense) and scotch bonnet peppers (Capsicum chinense) are closely related and are often used interchangeably in cooking. However, there are some differences between them.

“Mixed Peppers” Photo by Krista Bennett via Unsplash

What Makes Habanero Peppers Different From Scotch Bonnet Peppers?

Appearance: Habanero peppers are typically smaller and more elongated than scotch bonnet peppers, which are more squat and round in shape. Both peppers come in a range of colors, including green, yellow, orange, and red.

Heat: Habanero peppers are very hot, with a Scoville rating of between 100,000 to 350,000 units. Scotch bonnet peppers are also very hot, with a similar Scoville rating of between 100,000 to 350,000 units. Some people claim that scotch bonnets are slightly hotter than habaneros, but this can vary depending on the particular variety and growing conditions.

Flavor: Both habanero and scotch bonnet peppers have a fruity, tropical flavor, but scotch bonnets are often described as having a more complex and slightly sweeter flavor than habaneros.

Culinary use: Habanero and scotch bonnet peppers are both used in Caribbean and Latin American cuisine to add heat and flavor to dishes such as salsas, marinades, and hot sauces. They can also be used in a variety of other dishes, such as stews, soups, and curries.


Overall, while there are some differences in appearance, heat, and flavor between habanero and scotch bonnet peppers, they are both extremely hot chili peppers that can add a powerful kick to any dish.