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Are peppers herbs or spices?

Is pepper a herb or spice?
Herbs are typically considered the leafy part of the plant, such as basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, cilantro, and oregano. Spices, on the other hand, are typically come from the root, stem, seed, fruit, flower or bark of a plant or tree. So peppers are usually considered a spice, and they are also a fruit.

Although, as with many things, these terms aren't always black and white...
Peppers are also considered herbs.

In fact, the International Herb Society deemed that peppers were the Herb of the Year in 2016 – citing that peppers were outstanding in at least two of the three major categories for Herb of the Year selection: medicinal, culinary, or decorative. So for their Herb of the Year award, peppers qualify for their herb definition and are outstanding in all three categories.

Aleppo Pepper was named Herb of the Month September 2023
The Aleppo Pepper was named Herb of the Month in September 2023

Additionally, the Herb Society of America recently named one of our favorite peppers, the spicy Aleppo Pepper, as the Herb of the month is September 2023. While these special peppers are hard to find in stores, you can grow your own Aleppo peppers in your garden. These special unique-tasting peppers dry very easily and can be stored in glass jars whole or as crushed pepper flakes to keep in your herb & spice cabinet for year round use in recipes like sauces, stews, roasts, soups, chili, tacos you name it!

Are pepper herbs or spices?

So yes, peppers are spices –
and yes, peppers are herbs.
Peppers are also fruit.

Our language is complicated and definitely not often black and white. But, whether you consider peppers herbs or spices, we know one thing – they belong in the kitchen! Where would we be without peppers to add flavor and heat to our foods?

Is pepper a herb or spice? Both!

Learn how to dry peppers even without a dehydrator so you can add them to your herb & spice cabinet!

One last note...
Pepper vs Peppers

Black pepper (of salt and pepper) is not related to capsicum peppers, and is made from dried berries (peppercorns) that grow on a tropical flowering vine called Piper nigrumis in warm places such as the Malabar Coast of India. Black pepper is also considered both a spice and herb in the culinary world. It also packs a tasty punch and Many chefs use the term "seasonings" which covers all bases when cooking up delicious food.


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