Substitute for Chili Powder to add hotness in dishes

You’re creating a dish that asks for chili powder, but you don’t have any on hand. Here are a few choices that could be acceptable as a substitute for chili powder. A spice combination prepared from dried chilies and other components is known as chili powder. It’s the major spice in chili and is widely used in Mexican cuisine as a flavoring. There’s nothing else exactly like it, trust me! But, here’s the good news: if you need to, you can make up for it.


Here are a few possibilities such as sambal Oelek, various peppers etc.  for replacing this hot chili powder component with something else shared below.

1. Cayenne Pepper

Since cayenne pepper is the main component of chili powder, replacing some for the original is a natural decision. According to Spruce Eats, the fierce heat of cayenne pepper is subdued in chili powder due to the other spices in the blend. On the other hand, a bottle of branded cayenne includes solely dried and powdered cayenne peppers, which means it will put your tongue on fire!

Cayenne pepper should be used in place of every teaspoon of chili powder called for in the recipe, not more than 1/8 teaspoon. After that, taste your food to decide the amount of spiciness before adding more.

It’s vital to understand that cayenne pepper is just one component of chilli powder. While it will deliver some chilli pepper spice and heat, it will not supply you with the entire spectrum of flavors that chilli powder brings to the table. However, you may combine these qualities by putting some form of those other components, such as fresh or powdered garlic, a bit of salt, or a squeeze of lime juice to simulate the lemony flavor of coriander, into your recipe.

cayenne-pepper image

2. Taco Seasoning

The chances are excellent that you’ll stumble discover a dusty, forgotten packet of taco seasoning when searching around in your cabinet. And that’s wonderful news since you can fully swap it (or your homemade taco seasoning) for chilli powder in several dishes.

According to Chile Pepper Madness, many of the elements in taco seasoning mixes are the same as chilli powder, and these components include cumin, paprika, garlic, and ground chilli peppers. Taco seasoning will give your recipe a burst of flavor, and it works especially well for flavoring meats for tacos, nachos, and burritos, as well as other Mexican foods.

Because it is taco seasoning, there will be a distinct “taco” taste to the meal. According to SPICEography, cumin and oregano are the most widely used spices in taco seasoning combinations. When taco seasoning is replaced for chilli powder, the spice tastes will be more noticeable than when chilli powder is used. Although it may have a tiny bite to it, depending on the spice mix chosen, you can always add more by whisking in a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or adding freshly sliced hot peppers.

3. Ancho Chile Powder

This is one of those chile powder vs. chilli powder clashes that we described previously in the text. Ancho chile powder is manufactured from a single dried and powdered pepper known as ancho chilli pepper. To manufacture anchos, poblano peppers must be dried.

Poblano peppers are tall, dark green peppers often used in Latin American recipes such as traditional moles and cheese-stuffed chile Rellenos. Ancho peppers are available in several forms, including whole, dried, and powdered into powder.

According to the magazine, cooking Light advises replacing an equivalent quantity of ground ancho chilli pepper for the chilli powder called for in your recipe. Because cayenne pepper is incorporated in most chilli powder mixes, utilizing Ancho chile powder will offer an earthy peppery taste to your food, as well as a sense of smokiness.

Ancho chile powder will have some heat since poblanos are on the mild side, but it will be less than cayenne pepper because poblanos are mild. Depending on how intense you want it, you may use only the ground ancho chilli pepper or mix it with additional spicy ingredients to produce a heat level similar to ordinary chilli powder.

image Ancho-Chile-Powder

4. Cumin

Cumin has a toasty, nutty taste that is intrinsically connected with Mexican and Latin American cuisine, while it is also used in Middle Eastern and other cuisines. According to Spruce Eats, it is one of the key constituents in chilli powder, and thus it stands to reason that it may be replaced when chilli powder is not available for purchase.

The taste of cumin isn’t fiery, but it is quite tasty, and it will go a long way toward substituting the flavor of chilli powder when used in a dish, especially in chilis, and to flavor meats. checkout alternatives for cumin to use in its absence.

According to Healthline, you may replace up to twice as much cumin for the chilli powder stated in the recipe if you want to make it spicier. This is because cumin does not contain the same degree of heat as chilli powder. However, since ground cumin has a strong taste, it is advisable to start with the same quantity of cumin as the recipe specifies for chilli powder and work your way up from there.

You may also incorporate garlic powder to give it a savory taste of cayenne pepper to give it a little bite. Adding paprika to your food will give it a bit of the red color that chilli powder generally imparts to dishes.

cumin seeds image

5. Chipotle Pepper Powder

When used instead of chilli powder, this spice will provide your dish with a large quantity of flavour.

Chipotle pepper powder is a sort of chile powder, which means it includes just one type of pepper and no additional components other than the pepper itself. Following the website Chili Pepper Madness, chipotle peppers are manufactured from fully ripened red jalapenos that have been dried.

The peppers are smoked for a lengthy period, providing a rich, smoky taste to the final product, in contrast to chipotles, commonly offered in cans with a spicy tomato-based sauce known as “Adoremos,” chipotle pepper powder is prepared exclusively from the dried chilies themselves.

Jalapenos are slightly spicy, with a Scoville heat unit value of between 2,500 and 5,000 on the scale, and chipotle pepper powder will have a similar amount of heat. Chipotle pepper powder is a fantastic alternative for chilli powder because of the heat and the brilliant red color to the combination.

6. Chile Peppers

As a consequence of reading about the usage of chipotle pepper and ancho chile powder as alternatives, this advice should come as no surprise to you. After all, these were once entire, dried peppers before they were crushed and packed! Saveur states that other easily accessible dry peppers include cascabel, guajillo, chiles de Arbol, and pequin, among others, in addition to dried anchos and chipotles.

Dried chiles may be reddish and have fruity aromas, or they can be dark, nearly black, and have a sweetness akin to raisins. The amount of heat varies depending on the kind of pepper; for example, pequin peppers are quite spicy, while cascabel and guajillo peppers are softer in taste and intensity.

The smokey and spicy flavor of dried chiles works extremely well as a replacement for chilli powder. To prepare a ground spice, slice the dried peppers, remove and discard the seeds and stem before grinding them in a food processor. According to GourmetSleuth, one dried ancho chilli pepper generates around a tablespoon of ancho powder.

Cooking Light advises you to make an equivalent alternative for chilli powder with a milder pepper like ancho. However, if you’re using a dried pepper with higher spice, you’re better off beginning with half the quantity and tasting your meal before adding more.

Chile Peppers image

7. Harissa

Though not many kitchens have a jar of harissa on hand, it’s a terrific substitution for chilli powder if you do. Harissa is a chilli paste that’s a typical complement to North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s produced by combining red chiles, roasted red peppers, and olive oil with spices that vary from cook to chef, including cumin and garlic. Chiles, cumin, garlic. you can easily see the parallels to chilli powder already!

Harissa paste image

8. Cajun seasoning

Because chilli powder is most frequently found in Latin American cuisine and Cajun spice is only found in Louisiana cuisine, this substitution may appear to be less plausible. However, the two mixes are quite similar in spices, and Cajun seasoning can add an extra kick of flavor to your dish if you don’t have any chilli powder on hand.

Cajun spice blends are intended to replicate the flavors of Cajun cuisine, which originated in France and later settled in Louisiana in the early 1700s. Cajun spice blends come in an array of flavors, and there are numerous Cajun spice blends available in a variety of flavors.

Cajun cuisine is bursting with bold flavors, but the spice combination is no less potent as a result. Along with salt, seasonings typically include black and white peppercorns, ground cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

Cayenne pepper typically adds a small amount of heat to cajun spice, but the amount varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Even though authentic Creole recipes are lighter and more herbaceous in flavor, Creole and Cajun are frequently used interchangeably when referring to this spice combination.


9. Paprika

If desired, replace the chilli powder with bright red paprika for a more vibrant color. Before proceeding, however, it is necessary to determine the type of paprika you have on hand. It depends on the dish you’re preparing. Is it going to enhance the flavor, add a hint of spice, or add a splash of vibrant color to your dish?

According to the website Masterclass, a variety of ground paprika is available, each with its distinct flavor profile. While they are all made with dried red peppers, the types used and the drying method affect the flavors and heat they provide. When cooked, regular paprika, sold in most supermarkets under the generic name “paprika,” has virtually no flavor, regardless of whether it is used in a sweet or savory dish.

With a hint of heat, this is the type of paprika you’ll see sprinkled on deviled eggs and other dishes to add color and kick to your meal.

10. Pepper Flakes

This spice, similar to the crushed red pepper flakes found in small shakers on the table at pizza restaurants, is another that most home cooks will have in their cabinets. According to Bon Appétit, canned red pepper flakes are made by drying and grinding cayenne peppers, the same spice that gives chili powder its fiery kick and bright red color.

Red pepper flakes’ seeds, which appear as yellowish specks in the mixture, are one of the characteristics that set them apart from other types of pulverized peppers. When seeds are added, cayenne peppers are enhanced in spiciness, as the seeds increase the peppers’ heat.

Red-Chili-pepper Flakes

FAQs for chili powder

  • Can you change chilli powder to paprika?

You may change chilli powder to paprika. Your dish is quite sweet rather than heated. but you can use green chilies or its substitutes to keep the hotness intact when chili powder is not available with you

  • Can I have chilli powder with cayenne pepper?

Instead of chilli powder, you may use cayenne pepper, but you get a spicy dinner which will lose the flavor of the spices in the powder.

  • Can I use red chilli powder instead of red pepper flakes?

In chilli powder, you may use red pepper bottles since they are as spicy as chilli powder.


Chili powders are unusual and offer a really special flavor to meals. Some types of chilli powder contain salt so that when using chilli powder, you need to use less salt in recipes.

Before you grill it, you may add it to different soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and vegetables before you grill it. If you want to make chillies in the house, use fresh spices since they are delicious.

In cold and dry places, you may keep your chilli powder blend in glass jars. Do not store powdered chilli for a long time since it loses its flavor and potency. Make a little modest so you may always have chilli powder newly produced.

If you used this recipe to build chilli powder, we would be glad to know. Just let us know how it turns, and you like it. Your recipe may also be presented to us.

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