12 Best Cayenne Pepper Substitutes For You

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We all can agree that cayenne pepper is one of the best spices to have in your cabinet if you want a kick of heat. So, let us discuss the best cayenne pepper substitutes today. After all, we all need substitutes for spices once in a while. 

Cayenne Pepper

While cayenne pepper is a great ingredient to have in your spice cabinet, there may be times when you run out of the same. You don’t need to worry if you are out of cayenne pepper. This article will help you find the best cayenne pepper substitutes. 

So I am sure you must be wondering, what are the best cayenne pepper substitutes? The best cayenne pepper substitutes are paprika, red chili flakes, chili powder, gochugaru, jalapeno powder, chipotle powder, hot sauce, ginger, and black pepper. 

However, before we get to the substitutes, let me tell you more about cayenne pepper itself. This will definitely make it much easier for you to pick your substitute. 

Quick Peek: Cayenne Pepper

This section has all the information you need on cayenne pepper. You will get to understand the ingredient, its flavor, texture, uses, and nutritional information. So, let us discover cayenne pepper. 

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper belonging to the species’ capsicum annum’. This species has various other types of peppers, such as bell peppers, jalapenos, and pimentos. They are long and tapering, usually 4-10 inches in length. 

Although most cayenne peppers are red in color, there are yellow and purple varieties of the same too. Moreover, in the 19th century, yellow varieties of cayenne peppers were extremely common. 

Describing Cayenne Pepper: Flavor And Texture

Cayenne peppers are a hot variety of pepper. However, mild variations of the same do exist. Usually, most cayenne peppers are rated at 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units, which means they are hot! 

Cayenne peppers are generally long and skinny with tapering ends when we talk about the texture. They are red-colored, often with a curved tip and rippled skin. However, most people usually use cayenne pepper powder instead of whole cayenne peppers. 

Uses Of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is generally used to add heat and color to various recipes. They can be used in fresh form or as a dried powder. However, most people generally prefer using dried powder. 

Cayenne pepper makes a great addition to various seafood recipes. Moreover, it makes a great addition to meat dishes, vegetable dishes, and egg dishes. It is used worldwide in all sorts of dishes to add a touch of heat. 

Cayenne Pepper On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope 

Cayenne pepper is generally used in very small quantities in various recipes. Hence, it does not impart any nutritional benefits to food. However, it does have certain health benefits. 

Cayenne pepper has been linked to various health benefits such as pain relief, psoriasis treatment, metabolism boost, digestive health, and reducing high blood pressure. However, these are only imparted when cayenne pepper is used in high quantities. 

Why Use A Substitute For Cayenne Pepper?

I am sure this question must have come to your mind. Why use a substitute when you can just use cayenne pepper? While there are many reasons to use cayenne pepper, there are some reasons why you can consider using a substitute. 

Firstly, cayenne pepper might be a bit too hot for some people. If you are one of those people who cannot handle the heat, using a cayenne pepper substitute will definitely work extremely well for your recipe. 

Moreover, in case you are just out of cayenne pepper, why bother running to the store at the last minute? You can easily use an ingredient that might already be present in your pantry! These are good enough reasons to use cayenne pepper substitutes! 

I believe I have given you enough information on cayenne pepper. Now, let me quickly take you to the best cayenne pepper substitutes! 

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

12 Best Cayenne Pepper Substitutes

This section has all the best cayenne pepper substitutes. Moreover, you will also understand how to use each substitute in place of cayenne pepper. 

1. Paprika

Paprika comes in different variants. Out of these, hot paprika gives a similar flavor to food as cayenne pepper does, making it a great cayenne pepper substitute. 

Paprika also has varieties such as sweet paprika and smoked paprika. However, these are usually much milder in flavor than cayenne pepper. They are generally added to recipes just for the color. 

However, hot paprika does bring heat along with color, making it a great cayenne pepper substitute. Hot paprika as a substitute for cayenne pepper in a standard 1:1 ratio. You can also use any of the paprika substitutes.

2. Red Chili Flakes

Red chili flakes have a lot of heat, similar to cayenne pepper. Hence, they make a great cayenne pepper substitute. Red chili flakes are again available in different varieties. However, red chili flakes made with hotter chili varieties usually work best as cayenne pepper substitutes. 

Red chili flakes have a coarse texture compared to cayenne pepper powder. So, in case you want a finer texture, you can grind them before adding them to your food. Use red chili flakes as a cayenne pepper substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

3. Chili Powder

Chili powder is generally made with different varieties of red peppers. It carries heat to it that can be quite similar to cayenne pepper. Hence, it works as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Chili powder often contains other spices added to it, such as cumin and oregano. However, the standout flavor of this spice is hot peppers. Chili powder might not be as hot as cayenne pepper for some. 

However, chili powder can be used as a cayenne pepper substitute, especially if you want the heat level to be a little milder. You can use chili powder as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

4. Jalapeno Powder

Jalapeno powder is made from jalapeno peppers. Though not very hot, jalapeno powder works as a great cayenne pepper substitute in various recipes. 

Jalapeno powder is not as hot as cayenne pepper. Moreover, it has a different color, too, as compared to cayenne pepper. So, in case you want to retain a red color in your dish, jalapeno powder might not be your best pick. 

But, if you are seeking a milder flavor, jalapeno powder can be considered. Use jalapeno powder as a cayenne pepper substitute in a 2:1 ratio. So, add double the quantity of jalapeno powder for every measure of cayenne pepper. 

5. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is a great spice that packs a lot of heat. It will bring out flavors similar to cayenne pepper and can be used to substitute for the same. 

Chipotle powder is an essential ingredient, especially in Mexican cuisine. It has a lot of heat to it compared to paprika and jalapeno powder. It will especially work well as a cayenne pepper substitute in Mexican recipes. 

However, you can also use chipotle powder as a cayenne pepper substitute in other recipes if you want the same heat level. You can use chipotle powder as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

6. Gochugaru

Gochugaru is a Korean chili spice mix. It has variants from mild to hot. The hot variant of gochugaru works extremely well as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

As gochugaru comes in different variants, the smokiness and amount of spice it adds to a dish may vary, depending on the type you choose. Usually, the hotter variant of this spice mix is the best cayenne pepper substitute. 

However, in case you want a milder flavor, you can always opt for a milder variety of gochugaru powder. It may be hard to find. However, if you find it somewhere, use gochugaru as a substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

7. Guajillo Pepper

Guajillo peppers are small peppers with a lot of heat packed in them. These whole peppers make a great substitute for cayenne pepper in various recipes. 

Though these are whole peppers, you can still use them to substitute for cayenne pepper powder. They can be added whole, or you can grind them into a fine powder before adding them to your food. 

How you add them to your recipe completely depends on what recipe you are using them. You can use these peppers as a substitute for cayenne pepper in a 1:1 ratio. 

8. Serrano Pepper

Serrano pepper carries a mild heat in the beginning but gives a hot aftertaste. It can be used as a cayenne pepper substitute in various recipes. 

Serrano peppers generally impart heat to food the longer they are cooked. So, be careful about using them in recipes where you need to cook them. As the flavor may get too spicy for some after it is cooked. 

However, if you are looking for a substitute with a hotter flavor profile, serrano peppers are an ideal substitute for you. Use serrano peppers as a cayenne pepper substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

9. Spice Mixture

Spice mixtures usually contain various spices added to them; cayenne pepper is one. Certain spice mixtures carry a lot of heat and can work extremely well as cayenne pepper substitutes. 

It is usually best to see what ingredients it has with spice mixtures. Depending on the type of ingredients used in the mixture, you can pick a mild or hot one, as per your personal preferences. 

However, as a cayenne pepper substitute, usually hotter variants of spice mixture work better than milder variants. Use spice mixture as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

10. Black Pepper

Black pepper does not carry as much heat as cayenne pepper. However, it still has a sharp flavor that can work extremely well in many recipes as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

The best thing about using black pepper as a cayenne pepper substitute is that it definitely will be present in your pantry! So, in situations where you cannot find any other replacement, you can use black pepper as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Black pepper will not add as much heat as cayenne pepper. However, it still adds some amount of heat and a sharp flavor to food. To add to the heat level, use black pepper as a cayenne pepper substitute by adding double the quantity. 

11. Ginger

Ginger does not really have the same flavor profile as cayenne pepper. However, it does add some amount of heat and warmth to food and hence can be used as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Ginger is again an option for cayenne pepper substitute when you seem to be out of other substitutes. Ginger usually works best in recipes that need to be cooked. This is because it adds depth to various foods once it is cooked. 

You can also use ginger powder, if not whole ginger, as a cayenne pepper substitute. Use ginger as a substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

12. Hot Sauce

There are many variants of hot sauce available in the market. Usually, the hotter variants of hot sauce work extremely well in various recipes as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Hot sauce is another great option, especially if you are out of other variants. Moreover, the tabasco variant of hot sauce works extremely well in most recipes as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Hot sauce works best as a cayenne pepper substitute in recipes that don’t require cooking. However, it can also work if you add a few dashes of the same in recipes that have to be cooked. Use it as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

Short Recap For Best Cayenne Pepper Substitutes

I am sure you must have gone through all the substitute options. However, are you still confused about which one would work best in your recipe? For that, I have broken it down further into three categories. Have a look! 

Most Suitable: The most suitable cayenne pepper substitute is paprika. 

Easily Available: The most easily available cayenne pepper substitutes are ginger, hot sauce, black pepper, and paprika. 

Best Flavor Profile: Paprika will give the best flavor profile when used as a cayenne pepper substitute. 

Final Word

As we have reached the end of this article, I hope you were able to find the best substitute for cayenne pepper. While cayenne pepper adds a great kick of heat to food, it can be a bit too intense for certain people. 

Having said that, substitutes with a milder flavor profile also work extremely well as cayenne pepper substitutes. You can pick the best substitute based on what suits your flavor profile the best, and I am sure you will cook up a storm!

How To Substitute The Above Mentioned Ingredients For Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper Substitutes

Here is how you can substitute the above mentioned ingredients for Cayenne Pepper
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Ingredients
  

  • Paprika
  • Red Chili Flakes
  • Chili Powder
  • Jalapeno Powder
  • Chipotle Powder
  • Gochugaru
  • Guajillo Pepper
  • Serrano Pepper
  • Spice Mixture
  • Black Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Hot Sauce

Instructions
 

  • 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.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is cayenne pepper the same as chili pepper?

Cayenne pepper is a type of chili pepper.

Is cayenne pepper the same as paprika?

No, cayenne pepper and paprika are different spices.

Is cayenne pepper the same as chili powder?

No, cayenne pepper and chili powder are different types of spices.

Is cayenne pepper hotter than chili powder?

Yes, cayenne pepper has a hotter flavor as compared to chili powder.

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