Site Overlay

Can I Use Cayenne Pepper Instead of Chili in Chili-Flavored Sauces?

Rate this post

Cayenne pepper is a fairly intense chili pepper spice recognized for its brilliant red color and smoky taste. It’s fantastic in stews and soups, sprinkled over this spinach quiche dish, and incorporated into hummus or salads. If you’re feeling brave, you can even put it as a garnish over a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

Given their versatility, it’s no wonder that you’re constantly out of cayenne peppers. But, before you forsake your evening’s cuisine, remember that there are a few cayenne pepper alternative possibilities!

To help you get more acquainted with this ingredient, we will explain what it is, what substitutions we may use in its place, and some dishes that taste better when seasoned with this delicious spice!

What Exactly is Cayenne Pepper?

Can I Substitute Cayenne Pepper for Chili-Flavored Sauces?

The cayenne pepper, like bell peppers and jalapeos, belongs to the Capsicum annuum pepper species. Scoville Heat Units (SHU) range from 30,000 to 50,000, making it regarded quite spicy. On the Scoville Scale, cayenne ranks above serrano and below chile de Arbol in terms of heat.

Cayenne peppers are thin and vary in size from 10 to 25 cm. Its vivid red hue, rippling skin, and narrow, curled tip set it apart from other peppers. These peppers are dried and processed into powder form as a taste enhancer, making them more convenient to use than fresh peppers. Cayenne peppers are used in a variety of cuisines, including Mexican and Asian cuisines, and may be added whole, chopped into minute bits, or powdered to spicy meals.

Top Cayenne Pepper Substitutes

Can I Substitute Cayenne Pepper for Chili-Flavored Sauces?

Have you ran out of cayenne pepper just as you’re ready to season this grilled cajun chicken? There is no reason to be concerned. Here are the top 10 cayenne substitutes you may use so you don’t have to go spice-free for foods that call for it!


Do you need a cayenne pepper substitute? The best option is paprika, which is prepared from a variety of mild red peppers, including cayenne pepper. It does, however, contain three unique varieties that are diametrically opposed to one another. Hot paprika is hotter than sweet or smoked paprika and is comparable to cayenne pepper. Furthermore, they are extremely similar in terms of color and texture.

Furthermore, since it isn’t as hot as cayenne, paprika only has a SHU range of 250 to 1,000; twice the quantity of this spice if you use it in lieu of cayenne.

If you don’t have it, use smoked paprika instead. It is dried using (you guessed it) smoking peppers. Because the peppers are dried by smoking, this alternative will give your food a smoky, spicy taste and fragrance. It is, however, less strong than hot paprika and, as a consequence, less useful as a replacement. Because smoked paprika and cayenne pepper have a smokey taste, this option works. If you’re going to replace it, treat it like hot paprika. Use this in spicy, smoky foods like tandoori chicken, kebab, and other barbecue recipes.

Chipotle Powder

Cayenne pepper, although considerably hotter than chipotle powder, may be used as a replacement. After all, chipotle has a smokey, spicy taste that is comparable to cayenne pepper. The SHU of this backup component ranges from 2,500 to 8,000. As a consequence, if you use it instead, you may need to treble the quantity. Another thing to keep in mind is that it has a spicy taste, so incorporate it carefully into your recipes and adjust other flavors as required. This replacement works well in spicy Mexican meals with a peppery taste.

Chili powder, like cayenne pepper, is an adaptable spice that may be substituted for other varieties of pulverized red pepper. Some powders available in grocery shops, on the other hand, may include other spices and flavors such as garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. It is also smoked on occasion. Before adding cayenne pepper in recipes, check the ingredient list and give it a brief taste. Use a 1:1 ratio when using this replacement.

Korean Gochugaru

We have gone from well-known culinary spices to Korea’s favorite ingredient, gochugaru. It is a sort of ground pepper spice that is also known as Korean chili flakes, Korean chili powder, and Korean dried chili peppers. Gochugaru has a brilliant red hue that resembles cayenne pepper. Its taste profile, on the other hand, is gentler, with a faint note of sweetness and smokiness that lends itself well to Asian and Korean cuisine. Its Scoville Scale value ranges from 5,000 to 8,000 SHU.

Unlike our first three substitutes, this backup ingredient has a coarse texture. However, you can always use a spice grinder to make it closer to cayenne powder. To include this alternative into your recipe, use a 1:1 ratio.

Red Pepper Flakes

Despite their look, red pepper flakes are a good alternative for cayenne pepper. Red pepper flakes have a gritty texture that works well as a garnish for pizza, salads, scrambled eggs, quiches, and other foods. It may essentially be used as a cayenne garnish alternative.

Because it contains Fresno and Anaheim chilies, which have 2,500 to 10,000 and 500 to 2,500 SHU, respectively, this alternative can only offer mild to moderate heat to a meal. As a consequence, you’ll need to add a bit extra to match the cayenne pepper’s heat level.

Tabasco Peppers

Tabasco is a Mexican chili pepper that is used to make the renowned Tabasco sauce, as well as vinegar and salt. Tabasco has the same intensity and taste as cayenne pepper, weighing 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, and it’s a great substitute for cayenne pepper.

This alternative may be used in recipes that call for fresh cayenne pepper. In recipes, use it precisely like cayenne pepper.

Serrano Peppers

If you are sensitive to spice and do not want the same amount of heat as cayenne pepper, consider this fresh replacement. Serrano peppers range in heat from 8,000 to 22,000 SHU and are less potent than cayenne. In terms of heat, this pepper is hotter than a jalapeo. By increasing the quantity of fresh serrano, you may use this alternative in recipes.

Jalapeño Peppers

Jalapeo peppers are milder than serrano peppers, with SHU levels ranging from 2,500 to 8,000. Cayenne pepper is believed to be 12 times hotter than jalapeo. This pepper has a vivid, green taste as well.

Roasting fresh jalapeo adds a deep, earthy taste to the cayenne flavor profile. You may also double or quadruple the quantity to make a product with cayenne pepper-like fiery heat.

Thai Peppers

Thai chili is twice as fiery as serrano and jalapeo peppers, which are milder than cayenne. It runs between 50,000 and 100,000 SHU. They do, however, have a similar look in that they are both bright red and thin with a slightly curled tip. Both lack the fleshiness of serrano and jalapeo. As a consequence, it is a good alternative in the majority of recipes.

However, since it is twice as fiery as cayenne pepper, decrease the quantity in half or minimize it in recipes that call for ground or fresh cayenne pepper. Adjust the heat to your preference after doing a taste test.

Hot Sauce

Here are several spicy sauces that work well in various recipes, just as we gave alternatives for powdered and fresh cayenne pepper:

Tabasco Sauce

Because it is created from tabasco peppers (which have the same heat as cayenne), this condiment is an excellent alternative for cayenne pepper. It has a vinegary taste, so exercise care when using it in a meal. Start with a tiny quantity and increase as needed in various recipes. This replacement works well in cayenne pepper-required stews and soups.

Crystal Hot Sauce

Crystal Hot Sauce has a more concentrated black chili taste that is fairly hot, and it also has a softer vinegar flavor than tabasco sauce. To use it as a replacement, start with little quantities and gradually increase the taste to your satisfaction.

Frank’s RedHot

Like Crystal Hot Sauce, Franks RedHot has aged cayenne pepper in its ingredient list. It does, however, have less heat and spice than Crystal, and it has a powerful cayenne and moderate vinegar taste. Use it in the same way as you would the other sauces on this list.

Cayenne Pepper Recipes you Should Try

Not scared to experiment with dishes that have a little kick, or maybe a bit more? Here are a few dishes that highlight the unique taste and spiciness of cayenne pepper:

Fried Pickles

Do you like to snack? Prepare this recipe using nutritious components such as dill pickles to make it healthier. Fried pickles with rice flour, cayenne pepper, and onion powder are as delicious as any finger food.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

This handmade Cajun spice will enhance the flavor of your favorite New Orleans gumbo. It has a spicy and herb-forward combination of peppers, including cayenne, paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken

This dish makes advantage of your beloved air fryer for a quick and easy supper. This rotisserie chicken is seasoned to perfection with paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, and other herbs and spices.

Grilled Snapper

For a wonderful and easy dinner, combine the tastes of smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano in this recipe. This grilled snapper dish is highly fragrant and savory because to the aromatic and flavorful ingredients and the smokey taste produced by the grill.

Cayenne Pepper Powder Applications

Even if you don’t have any cayenne pepper powder in your cupboard, here are a few strong reasons to get some (or create your own!).

Taco seasoning: To make your tacos more hot, add in a few dashes of cayenne pepper powder.

Chili: Whether it’s vegetarian chili or chili con Carne, the tastes aren’t complete until there’s a sufficient quantity of hot cayenne pepper. On the other hand, we enjoy our cuisine hot.

Cayenne pepper is typically used to give a little spiciness to a bloody mary, and it helps you forget about yesterday night’s terrible mistakes.

A vitamin Yes, cayenne pepper contains a lot of vitamin A. All red pepper cultivars are high in beta carotene, which is one of the reasons they are so lovely in red!

Your next batch of grilled BBQ chicken will taste even better with 4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.Cayenne pepper should be your new secret marinade ingredient. It’s an excellent method to add spice without dominating the meal. With just one

Aiolis Cayenne pepper is a great way to spice up mayonnaise aiolis. Delicious on sandwiches or burgers.

Detox Lemon Water: As part of the cleansing diet, cayenne pepper and lemon water are believed to cleanse the body. We don’t know whether this diet is good or not.

Can I Substitute Cayenne Pepper for Chili?

Most ground red chili pepper items in the spice aisle, including Mccormick’s renowned seasoning, are manufactured from ground cayenne peppers. When a recipe asks for it, we may use either red chili powder or ground cayenne pepper interchangeably.

Is Cayenne Pepper the Same as Chili Pepper?

They taste different.

Chili peppers are not all created equal. Poblanos and other Capsicum family members are significantly milder than cayenne pepper, which is fiery, peppery, and earthy. Chili powder is sure to taste different than pure powdered cayenne pepper since it is produced using a variety of peppers.


Cayenne pepper does more than just provide spice to your foods; a handful of these peppers can enhance and improve any dish! If you run out of the spice, try these tasty cayenne pepper replacements to rescue your meals and, eventually, the day!


What can I use as a substitute for chili sauce?

9 Delicious Chili Sauce Substitutes
Sauce with harissa.
Sauce with Sriracha.
Cayenne pepper and ketchup.
Peppers, fresh.
Tomato Sauce with a Spicy Kick.
Ketchup with a kick.
Paste de Chili et Garlic.
Hot Sauce on the regular.

Can you substitute cayenne pepper for chilli pepper?

No, in general, you should not use ground cayenne pepper and chili powder interchangeably. Ground cayenne pepper is significantly stronger than chili powder and is best used to impart a sharp, peppery heat to a meal or to enhance other tastes, such as in this Baked Macaroni and Cheese or these Curried Chicken Thighs.

Can I substitute red chili flakes for cayenne pepper?

Cayenne pepper requires double the quantity of red chili flakes.Chili flakes, like paprika, aren’t as fiery as cayenne, so you may need to add a little more. Measure: Apply the same amount to 1-1.

What spice is closest to cayenne pepper?

Tabasco is the closest counterpart to cayenne pepper in terms of heat. It also has a similar taste.

What is a substitute for 1 cup of chili sauce?

Chili sauce may be substituted with ketchup or cayenne pepper. Because it has a comparable sweetness and thickness, ketchup is an excellent alternative. If you want to add spice to the meal without affecting the taste too much, try cayenne pepper as an alternative.

What is the best chili substitute?

Paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper

Here is the appropriate ratio: Ratio of substitutions: 1 tablespoon chili powder equals 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 14 teaspoon cayenne. Depending on your spicy preferences, you may adjust the cayenne to taste.

What’s the difference between cayenne pepper and chilli?

Cayenne pepper is hotter than chili powder; in fact, cayenne pepper powder is nearly eight times hotter than chili powder. Cayenne pepper and chili powder are two heat-inducing spices.

Why not to use cayenne pepper?

Things to Keep an Eye Out For

Cayenne peppers are safe to consume and provide a tasty, spicy complement to a variety of recipes. However, eating too many might result in unpleasant side effects such as an upset stomach or heartburn. If you are sensitive to spices, you may have an unpleasant burning feeling in your mouth.

Does cayenne pepper taste like paprika and chili?

The distinction between cayenne and paprika in the kitchen manifests itself in three ways: Cayenne pepper is a hot spice that adds fire to any meal, while paprika has a softer, somewhat sweeter flavor. Cayenne pepper has a grittier texture than paprika, which is processed into a smooth, fine powder.

Are chili flakes the same as cayenne pepper?

However, the cayenne pepper is the most usually used pepper for crushed red pepper flakes. The bulk of red pepper flakes will be a blend of peppers, with cayenne accounting for the lion’s share. The makeup will differ based on the brand or business you choose.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *