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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Red Chili Peppers Substitutes

Are you worried about running out of Red Chili Pepper?

Have you ever wondered what are the BEST substitutes available? Look no further.

In this article, we will guide you through the five best substitutes for Red Chili Peppers.

You won’t have to compromise on taste and flavour anymore.

What’s Red Chili Pepper?

Red Chili Pepper is an ingredient that is used in a variety of Mexican cuisine and dishes.

It has a bright red color and a spicy taste profile, making it perfect for adding depth and flavor to dishes.

Red chili pepper powder can also be used as a condiment to add some kick to other meals.

The heat index for red chili peppers can range from mild to hot, depending on the variety.

The most common type of red chili pepper used in cooking is the Anaheim pepper, followed by the jalapeño, serrano, chipotle, and habanero peppers.

When using red chili peppers in recipes, it’s important to keep in mind that their spicy flavor will become more intense over time as they cook along with other ingredients.

That’s why it’s important to adjust their quantity accordingly.

How to Cook with Red Chili Peppers?

Red chili peppers are a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world.

From Mexican chiles to Indian curries, red chili peppers can be seen in dishes from every corner of the globe.

Known for their spicy flavor and deep red hue, red chili peppers add heat and depth of flavor to any dish.

However, some home cooks may dislike the spice level associated with this peppery ingredient or find themselves short of it in the kitchen.

Fortunately, with a few alternative ingredients on hand, you can easily substitute for red chili peppers in any recipe.

5 BEST Red Chili Peppers Substitutes to Consider

Are you looking for a way to add a kick to your dishes without using red chili peppers? When consumed in moderation, red chili peppers bring a range of flavor nuances and culinary benefits.

For example, they add color, texture, and heat to all sorts of dishes — from tacos and sandwiches to soups and salads.

Sadly, some people simply can’t tolerate the heat of red chili peppers — or don’t have easy access to them.

Thankfully, there are a few excellent ingredients that offer similar heat levels – but with much less intensity.

Here are the top five substitutes for red chili peppers:

1 – Jalapeno Peppers

Jalapeno peppers are the most common, and the most easily accessible, substitute for red chili peppers.

They are milder than chili peppers, with a Scoville rating of 2,500-10,000 Heat Units (compared to 30,000-50,000 for red chili peppers).

The jalapeno is slightly longer and slimmer than a chili pepper and has a sharp, distinctive flavor.

If you’re looking for an extra kick, some jalapeno varieties have been known to reach upwards of 1 million SHU while others hover around 10,000 SHU.

When used as a substitute in dishes that call for red chili peppers, jalapenos can offer both flavor and spice in equal measure.

2 – Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a bright red pepper with a sweet and spicy taste.

It is one of the hottest peppers available and its heat ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units.

This makes it an excellent substitute for the red chili pepper because it has just as much flavor and heat.

Cayenne peppers have a thinner flesh than other varieties and are usually ground into a powder for use in cooking.

They can also be used whole or mashed into a paste.

Cayenne’s pungent flavor and color work well in sauces, curries, spicy salsas, soups, chili recipes, and other dishes that require an extra kick of heat without sacrificing any of the flavor.

3 – Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are an extremely mild chili pepper and are available in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, orange, and purple.

The red bell pepper is the most sweet and tender of all varieties.

They have a mild flavor that is slightly fruity and can vary from sweet to spicy depending on when they’re harvested.

Red bell peppers can be used raw as a crunchy snack or added to salads or stir-fries for color and flavor.

They can also be roasted or grilled for deeper flavor and softer texture.

Roasting concentrates the sweet flavors of the pepper, making it even more flavorful when used in dishes such as dips or sauces.

Bell peppers contain Vitamins A and C, which have antioxidant properties that may help reduce inflammation in the body.

4 – Pasilla Peppers

Pasilla peppers, also known as chile negro, are a variety of dried chili pepper.

Related to ancho peppers but milder, these dark-colored members of the capsicum family offer slight sweetness, subtle smoky and raisin-like flavor tones.

Pasilla peppers measure in at 1000-1500 Scoville units – relatively lower than cayenne or red chili peppers – and are characterized by their wrinkled appearance, thin walls and tapered shape.

You can often find pasilla peppers combined with other chiles for traditional Mexican recipes like Chile Colorado or Chile Verde.

These smoky pasilla chilies are also used to make sauces like Mole Poblano and in dishes from Chile Rellanos to tamales.

When substituting pasilla peppers for other chili varieties, keep their heat levels in mind; they have a more pronounced flavor than their spicier counterparts.

As such, you may want to add slightly more pasilla pepper than your recipe dictates when making the substitution.

5 – Ancho Peppers

Ancho peppers are a type of dried red chili pepper that are widely used in Mexican cuisine.

These peppers have a mild but complex flavor, with a mix of smoky sweetness and earthy spiciness.

Ancho peppers can be used as an alternative to other types of red chili pepper such as jalapeno, serrano or habanero peppers.

They can also be used to infuse sauces or marinades for meats, vegetables or seafood for rich and flavorful dishes.

Ancho peppers are commonly sold already dried, but some grocers may carry the fresh variety from time to time.

The fresh variety has a milder flavor than the dried ones though they can be just as potent when it comes to its spice level.

If you can’t find ancho peppers in your local grocery store, you can substitute them with other types of dry chilis like pasilla or guajillo chilis which also have smoky sweetness and earthy flavors.


Adding red chili peppers to a dish can provide zing and spice to the flavor.

If you’re looking for that same kick without the heat, there are plenty of substitutes available.

From paprika to bell peppers, jalapenos, and cayenne pepper, you’ll be able to find a suitable substitute for your next recipe.

Be aware that some alternatives may also bring color or texture changes that you weren’t expecting.

So when it comes time to make your dish, don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and flavors until you find the right one.

With so many great alternatives out there, it won’t take long before you have a winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a red chili pepper?

Ans: A red chili pepper is a pepper with a spicy flavor that can vary in heat intensity depending on the variety.

They are commonly used in cooking to add flavor and heat to dishes.

How can I substitute red chili peppers in a dish?

When substituting red chili peppers for a dish, you should use the same amount of the substitute, such as cayenne pepper, as you would of the red chili pepper.

You may need to adjust the amount depending on the heat intensity of the substitute.

5 BEST Red Chili Peppers Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 – Cayenne Pepper
  • 3 – Bell Peppers
  • 4 – Pasilla Peppers
  • 5 – Ancho Peppers


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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