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Substitute for Pasilla Pepper

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If you like chili, you should be familiar with the dried wrinkled richly flavored pepper known as pasilla pepper, often known as the tiny raisin in English. These peppers are famously grown and consumed in Mexico. It imparts an earthy, gently peppery, and smoky taste to recipes; it is most often used in Mexican foods such as moles and salsas, but it also combines well with sauces, soups, chicken, vegetable dishes, and so on.

Pasilla peppers have a distinct taste and are used in a variety of cuisines; nevertheless, these peppers are simple to acquire in Mexico but would be difficult to find elsewhere. When creating a dish that calls for pasilla pepper, having a replacement on hand is essential. Luckily people can use other peppers in their place, and I will discuss this in this article.

What is Pasilla Pepper?

Pasilla peppers, pronounced pah-SEE-yah by Mexicans, are a popular spice grown in Mexico. It has a dark green tint that matures to a dark brown tone. Pasilla’s taste is spicy, earthy, fruity, acidic, and mild peppery. Pasilla’s spiciness is often modest when compared to its relative Ancho chilies (dry poblano peppers), with which it is frequently coupled in dishes.

Pasilla peppers, like other spices, are available in fresh, dried, and grinding forms; when fresh, they are known as chilaca pepper. The dried variety of the chilaca pepper (Pasilla) has a longer shelf life and may be pounded into a fine powder.

Pasilla pepper production and consumption may be traced back to about 6,500 B.P. by the natives of the Puebla area in southern Mexico. Pasilla peppers are now grown in Michoacan, Valisco, Zacatecas, and Guanajuato.

Pasilla Pepper Nutrition Facts

Pasilla Pepper uses in Recipes

Pasilla peppers are used in a variety of Mexican and non-Mexican recipes; they also serve as a mild spicy option for persons who cannot tolerate a lot of heat from peppers. When used in meals, these peppers enhance the overall flavor and texture of the dish, leaving sweet and savory notes on the palate. These peppers are used in the following recipes:

  • Cauliflower And Cheese Cakes In Chili Ancho Sauce
  • Crockpot Barbacoa
  • Tortilla Soup
  • Real Chile Chili
  • Onion And Pepper Stir Fry With Chicken Sausage
  • Fava Bean Soup
  • Kivas Mole Sauce
  • Chili Mulato Beef Flaken Short Ribs
  • Cream Of Chicken Verde Soup
  • Chili Chicken Stew
  • Wild Hog en Salsa Roja (wild hog in red sauce)
  • Slices Of Fresh Pasilla Chilies
  • Nopales And Pork Stew
  • Baked Short Ribs And Pasilla Pepper Sauce
  • Garlic And Pasilla Chili Soup
  • Steak And In Pasilla Sauce

Pasilla Pepper Substitutes

The culinary world is vast, and new dishes emerge all the time. Mexican cuisine has grown in popularity in various nations. And this has resulted in increased demand. Mexicans are renowned for using peppers to improve tastes in cuisine, and the pasilla pepper is a well-known component in several of these recipes.

Assume you’re trying out a dish that asks for this pepper and you don’t have it on hand. In such scenario, there is no need to be concerned since other options have almost identical qualities to the pasilla pepper and would work well in your dish. Among them are the following:

1. Ancho Chilies

In recipes, the Ancho chili is often used with the Pasilla pepper. The two dried peppers have a similar appearance but vary somewhat in taste. The Ancho pepper has a more fruity flavor with earthy undertones than the Pasilla pepper, and it is a touch fiery, but it will still impart the Pasilla pepper flavor to a dish.

The Ancho Chile is also known as poblano peppers; the fresh and dried peppers have different names in Mexico. The Ancho is the dried variety, whereas the Poblano is the fresh variety. Ancho may be crushed into powders for further processing. When substituting Ancho for Pasilla, the exact measurements can be applied but keep in mind that the Ancho peppers are a bit spicy, so you may want to reduce it by taking half off or starting in smaller portions if youre not a fan of spicy foods.

2. Mulato Peppers


Mulato peppers are a wonderful substitute for Pasilla peppers, since they have the same mild peppery, smoky, fruity flavor with notes of chocolate. Mulato peppers are considered a variant of the Ancho Chile. Although harvested differently, mulatto peppers have a less spicy taste than Ancho peppers. In dishes, the mulatto pepper is frequently used with the Pasilla and ancho peppers.

Mulato peppers may be difficult to locate in certain physical shops, particularly in the United States, although they may be found in Mexican spice stores. The chef may use the same measurements in any dish when replacing mulatto pepper for pasilla pepper.

3. Chipotle Powder


Chipotle powder is a finely powdered reddish-orange powder made from crushed dried and smoked jalapeo peppers. This spicy powder will lend a smoky and earthy flavor to your cuisine without becoming overpowering. They are suitable for seasoning fresh meat, fish, and poultry. They are also used to make sauces, tacos, curries, quesadillas, soups, stews, and other dishes.

The spiciness of chipotle powder is not as intense as that of other chilies and would work nicely in place of Pasilla. When cooking, a 1:1 ratio might be used.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can you store pasilla peppers?

Fresh pasilla peppers may be preserved in the refrigerator for up to a year, while dried pasilla peppers can be stored in airtight containers. Ground pasilla would have a significantly longer shelf life. Fresh pasilla peppers should not be kept for too long since they will lose their taste.

What is the heat level of pasilla peppers?

Pasilla peppers have a moderate heat range of 1000 to 2500 SHU, according to the Scoville Heat Unit, which is used to measure the hotness of peppers.

Is pasilla chili powder mixed with other ingredients?

Most pasilla chili powders comprise solely ground dry Pasilla and no additional spices.


Pasilla peppers are one of the most often used spices in many Mexican dishes, and if you run out, there are a few alternative spices that may be used in their place. These spices would complement the pasilla tastes while also adding some excellent flavors of their own.


Is pasilla the same as poblano?

Poblano and pasilla peppers are not the same thing. There is a distinction between poblano and pasilla peppers in the United States. Poblano is a fresh pepper that appears similar to a bell pepper but is a darker green and a little longer and thin.

Which is hotter pasilla or jalapeño?

Pasilla chiles range from 250 to 2500 on the Scoville heat scale. To put this into perspective, jalapeo peppers have a SHU range of 2500 to 8000. As a result, the hottest pasilla chile is comparable to the mildest jalapeo.

What does pasilla pepper taste like?

Pasillas have a smokey, tangy, earthy taste similar to berries and dried fruits (such as raisins). Pasilla peppers have a taste comparable to ancho chiles, although they are less sweet.

Can I substitute pasilla for ancho?

Fortunately, various different varieties of peppers may be used. Poblano, chipotle, New Mexico chili pepper, dried Anaheim chili pepper, and pasilla are the finest Ancho Chile replacements.

Do pasilla and poblano peppers taste the same?

How do these chilies vary in flavor? The poblano, being a fresh pepper that is normally consumed while green, has a considerably distinct taste profile than the pasilla or ancho. They have a deep, earthy taste and a meaty texture owing to their thick walls, which are akin to bell peppers.

What’s the closest pepper to poblano?

Anaheim pepper is the greatest poblano pepper alternative.

Its walls are strong enough to support packing, and it has a comparable girth (albeit not as broad) as the poblano. Anaheim chilies will also work nicely in most recipes that call for chopped or sliced poblanos.

Is chile pasilla same as chipotle?

Pasilla peppers have a Scoville heat unit (SHU) rating of 2,500, but chipotle, which is made from dried and smoked jalapeos, has a SHU rating of 8,000. They may easily be three times as hot, if not more. If you like the smoke but don’t like the heat of the jalapeo, this is a fantastic chipotle pepper substitute.

How spicy is pasilla?

Pasilla peppers are a moderate to medium chilli pepper that ranges in spiciness from 500 to 2,500 Scoville units.

What is the difference between ancho and pasilla peppers?

Anchos have a sweet flavor with smoky, earthy overtones. The taste profile also includes traces of chocolate and tea. Pasillas have a somewhat sweeter taste than anchos, with undertones of chocolate and berry running through them and a sweet-earthy raisin-like finish.

What are pasilla peppers good for?

Pasilla peppers are widely used in Mexican cuisine and cookery, notably in the preparation of sauces such as moles, table sauces, and salsas. The peppers are also processed into a powder for use in similar applications or as spices.

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