Aleppo peppers are a great pepper to use if you are not too keen on a high heat level. As they aren’t as common as various other types of peppers, there are high chances you may not find them easily around you. So, I have made a list of the best Aleppo pepper substitutes.
Even though Aleppo peppers are not very common, they are a staple in many Mediterranean recipes. So, if you are a fan of Mediterranean cooking but don’t seem to have any of these peppers, there is a solution. You can pick the best Aleppo pepper substitute with this article.
Coming to the main question here, what can be used in place of Aleppo peppers? The best Aleppo pepper substitutes are paprika, ancho chile powder, crushed red peppers, Marash pepper, Urfa peppers, chili powder, and peri peri powder.
But, I think some of you may have just come here after reading the ingredient in a recipe book, looking for a substitute for Aleppo peppers. Since they are not so common, let me make it easier for everyone by giving you some information about the same.
Quick Peek: Aleppo Pepper
In this section, you will find all the information about Aleppo peppers. You will get to understand what they are and where they come from, what they taste like, their uses, and nutritional information too.
What Are Aleppo Peppers?
Aleppo peppers, also known by the name Halaby peppers, are a spice belonging to the Capsicum Annuum family. They are named after the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. They are most commonly grown in Syria and Turkey.
Now a little more commonly used, these peppers were not too common in America or Europe until the 20th century. Although they are grown in Syria too, most of the trade of these peppers now happens from Turkey.
For the production of Aleppo pepper flakes, the peppers, once ripe, are de-seeded, sun-dried, and coarsely ground into flakes. After that, the flakes are mixed with salt and olive oil. This results in a moderately hot spice that can be used to season various recipes.
Describing Aleppo Pepper: Flavor And Texture
Aleppo peppers, once they go through all the production stages, have a salt-like appearance but bright red in color. They are coarsely ground, which looks quite similar to any other pepper which is not finely ground.
The flavor of Aleppo peppers is not moderately hot. It has a mild sweetness and tanginess to it with an earthy flavor and cumin-like undertones. The flavor is also slightly salty compared to other types of peppers, as salt is added during the drying process.
The mild heat profile of Aleppo peppers catches up slowly. The flavor is also often described as fruity and almost raisin-like. Moreover, there are also undertones in Aleppo peppers that are described as being similar to sundried tomatoes.
Uses Of Aleppo Peppers
Aleppo peppers are most commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, as mentioned earlier. They are used to season grilled meats and kebabs, along with being a key ingredient in the Syrian red pepper dip called muhammara.
Other than Mediterranean food, Aleppo peppers have many other uses, too, similar to any other type of pepper. Aleppo peppers can be used to add a mild heat level to meat rubs that go especially well with chicken, pork, and beef.
Aleppo pepper can also be sprinkled over pizza, in place of red chili pepper flakes, for a milder flavor. Other than that, you can add Aleppo pepper to eggs in salad dressings, curries, sauces, soups, and stews.
Aleppo Pepper On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Being a type of flavoring agent, Aleppo peppers are generally used in small quantities in all recipes. So, it does not impart any of its health benefits as such. However, there are many health benefits linked to this pepper.
But first, let me tell you about the nutritional values of this pepper. Let us take one teaspoon or around 3 grams as the base measure. This quantity of Aleppo peppers has 5.6 calories, out of which 2.8 are from fat.
It contains almost no amount of cholesterol, carbohydrates, or protein but is rich in vitamin A and C. Vitamin A in Aleppo peppers has been linked to improving eyesight. Other than that, certain compounds in Aleppo peppers have also been linked to helping with weight loss.
Because of various other compounds present in Aleppo peppers, it is said to help lower blood pressure, boost immunity and help with respiratory issues. Aleppo peppers are also good for the heart, help manage diabetes and help with digestive issues.
Why Use A Substitute For Aleppo Peppers?
I know, I have told you a lot of great things about Aleppo peppers. So, this question coming to your mind of why to use a substitute for them is very valid. There are many reasons to use Aleppo peppers, however, I can give you some valid reasons of why you can use a substitute.
Firstly, Aleppo peppers are still not as common as various other types of peppers. As they are not too common everywhere, you may have to visit a Mediterranean market to catch hold of this wonderful spice.
Well, the point here is, why bother going through so much trouble when you can easily use a substitute? Many of the substitute options given in this article are very easily available and will for sure be present at your local supermarket.
Other than that, Aleppo peppers have a milder heat profile initially that slowly catches up. Not everyone may be fond of this sort of flavor profile. So, if you want to use a pepper in your recipe that has a slightly different flavor, you can consider using one of the substitutes.
Lastly, if you don’t have either of these issues but have just run out of Aleppo peppers, just save your time and energy and use a substitute instead! Trust me, a substitute will work just as well, and I am sure at least one of the options given will be present in your pantry.
I truly think that was enough information about Aleppo peppers that will help you with picking your substitute. So, before your mind is soaked with the information, let me take you to the main topic, the best Aleppo pepper substitutes.
8 Best Aleppo Pepper Substitutes
In this section, you will find the best substitutes you can use in place of Aleppo peppers. You will get to understand the heat range of each substitute and what recipes they work best in. Along with that, you will also get to know the exact ratio of substitution.
Paprika generally has a milder flavor profile as compared to various other types of peppers. Moreover, it has an earthy and smoky flavor, quite similar to that of Aleppo peppers. This makes it a great substitute for the same.
Paprika comes in various forms, such as smoked paprika, regular paprika, and hot paprika. Depending on what sort of flavor profile you are looking for, you can choose what works best for you.
Hot paprika is the best option to use if you want a heat profile that is more similar to that of Aleppo peppers. If you are particularly interested in a milder flavor, regular paprika powder and smoked paprika powder will do the trick.
Paprika, moreover, has almost the same color as that of Aleppo peppers. So, that’s a big plus. You can use paprika in place of Aleppo peppers in any recipe, whether raw or cooked, all in a 1:1 ratio of substitution.
2. Ancho Chile Powder
Ancho chile powder is often referred to as mild paprika. It has a mild and smoky flavor that can compare well with that of Aleppo pepper. So, you can use ancho chile powder as a substitute for the same in various recipes.
A lot of people often describe the flavor of ancho chile powder to be quite similar to that of Aleppo peppers. It also has a similar color to that of Aleppo pepper, just that it can be a little coarse in texture.
If that is not really a bother for you, you can easily use Ancho chile powder in place of paprika in all cooked and uncooked recipes in a 1:1 ratio. Ancho chile powder is not as salty as Aleppo peppers, so you will have to adjust the salt content accordingly.
3. Crushed Red Pepper
Crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes are usually a combination of various types of chili peppers in one. Though they don’t have the exact same flavor profile as that of Aleppo peppers, you can use them as a substitute for the same.
As crushed red peppers are a combination of various peppers, cayenne pepper being one of the main ones, you may find the flavor a little hotter than that of Aleppo peppers. However, if you are particularly interested in a hotter flavor, this substitute is a great option.
Moreover, this pepper mix will lack the smoky flavor that Aleppo peppers have. But, they do work well in all recipes and will be perfect for you if you are more interested in a spicy flavor. Use half the quantity as a substitute as compared to Aleppo peppers.
4. Chili Powder
Chili powder is again a combination of various types of peppers, cayenne being one of them. Though it is hotter in flavor, chili powder does have the smoky taste that Aleppo peppers have and can work as a substitute.
Chili powder is again a good option to use if you want something with a higher heat content. While crushed red peppers work equally well, they won’t give you the smoky flavor which you will get out of chili powder.
Chili powder will work well in all cooked recipes and is also a great addition to meat rubs and marinades. The best part, it is very easily available! While substituting, use only half the quantity first, as adding too much chili powder might make your food too spicy.
5. Peri-Peri Powder
Peri-peri or Piri Piri powder is a hot pepper powder from Africa. It is hotter than Aleppo peppers for sure, however, it has a slightly smoky flavor too. This can work well as a substitute if you want a hotter flavor.
Peri-peri powder is a very commonly used spice in many kitchens in America. So, there are big chances that it might already be present in your pantry. Despite its hot flavor, peri-peri powder is a great addition to various recipes, especially meat rubs.
However, it is important to remember that peri-peri powder is much hotter than red pepper flakes and even chili powder. So, you will have to use this spice very cautiously. I would suggest adding ¼ the amount as compared to Aleppo pepper in any recipe.
6. Marash Pepper
Marash pepper, not very common in the western world, is again a pepper powder from turkey. It has a very similar heat profile and smoky flavor like that of Aleppo peppers, making it a great substitute for it.
According to various researches carried out, Marash pepper has many qualities that match pretty well with Aleppo pepper. These peppers are also oily, similar to Aleppo peppers which helps them carry the heat well.
Moreover, the smoky flavor of this pepper is definitely a plus and will end up making your food taste quite similar to how it would be if you used Aleppo pepper. However, it is not too easily available. If you do find it though, do a substitution in a 1:1 ratio.
7. Urfa Pepper
Urfa pepper is another pepper of Turkish origin. This pepper has a much more complex flavor than that of Aleppo pepper. However, the smokiness is on point, making it a good substitute for Aleppo peppers.
Urfa peppers have a very complex flavor which is often described as something similar to chocolate and wine. But, the heat level is on par with Aleppo pepper. Other than that, as these peppers are dried in sunlight, they have a smoky flavor.
There are two drawbacks, however, to using this pepper. One is that it is not too easily available. The second is that the color of this pepper is much darker. So, only if the recipe is not color specific you can use this as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
8. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is very commonly used in various parts of the world. It has a much higher heat level than that of Aleppo pepper, however, if you are in a fix, this option can be used as a substitute by tweaking the recipe a little bit.
Cayenne pepper is definitely a pepper that will be present in your household. However, we all know that the spice quotient of this pepper is quite high. So, the best way to use cayenne pepper is by mixing it with some paprika.
Mixing cayenne pepper with some sweet paprika in particular will bring down its heat level and give you a flavor similar to Aleppo peppers. Use 3 parts of sweet paprika and one part of cayenne pepper to make a mix, and use this as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
Short Recap For Best Aleppo Pepper Substitutes
I hope this list of substitutes for Aleppo pepper was helpful to you. I am sure that after reading all the descriptions, most of you may have picked your favorite substitute. But for those of you who haven’t, let me make it easier by breaking it into different categories.
Best Aleppo Pepper Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor That Are Easily Available:
- Ancho Chili Powder
Best Aleppo Pepper Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor That May Be Hard To Find:
- Marash Pepper
- Urfa Pepper
Aleppo Pepper Substitutes That You Should Consider Using Last:
- Peri-Peri Powder
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Powder
How To Substitute Aleppo Pepper
Aleppo Pepper Substitutes
- Ancho Chile Powder
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Chili Powder
- Peri-Peri Powder
- Marash Pepper
- Urfa Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
I hope this article has given you all the information you need on Aleppo peppers. These peppers, as they are not too common everywhere, are definitely a tough find. However, the great news is that there are so many options for substitutes that can be used in their place.
I know quite a lot of substitute options are much higher on the heat level. However, if these options are used correctly, they can work perfectly well in place of Aleppo peppers in various recipes. Moreover, these options are very easily available.
So, if you are ever in a fix and can’t find any of the options that match the flavor or heat level of Aleppo peppers exactly, try experimenting with the other options. I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed! Until then, see you next time!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Aleppo pepper similar to?
Aleppo pepper has the closest flavor profile matching that of Ancho chile peppers.
Is Aleppo Pepper really hot?
Aleppo pepper is moderately hot.
Is Aleppo pepper the same as paprika?
No, Aleppo pepper and paprika are two different types of peppers.
What is another name for Aleppo pepper?
Aleppo pepper is also known by the name Halaby pepper.
Is Aleppo pepper the same as sumac?
No, Aleppo pepper and sumac are two different spices.