11 Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes You Can Try!

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Are you planning to cook some spicy, delicious Mexican cuisine? Wait, what happened? If you are out of chipotle powder, do not worry because today, we are here to discuss the best chipotle powder substitutes you can try!

Chipotle powder

Chipotle powder is a great ingredient to bring a smoky, spicy flavor to your food. However, despite being so versatile, sometimes it is hard to find in our nearby supermarkets! That’s when chipotle substitutes come in handy.

So what could be the best chipotle substitutes? Some of the best chipotle powder substitutes are smoked paprika, ancho chilis, adobo sauce, chili powder, pepper powder, and Piri Piri powder.

 Nowadays, the chipotle powder is gaining a lot of popularity for its flavor profile. However, if you have never heard of chipotle before, you may be unable to substitute it correctly.

Therefore, the next session is dedicated to learning about chipotle powder. We will discuss its taste, uses, health benefits, and many more. I am sure after reading the session; you will have a fair idea of what chipotle powder is.

Quick Peek: Chipotle Powder

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle is a spice that is being added to various cuisines. This section has everything that you need to know about chipotle powder.

What is Chipotle Powder?

All of us must be familiar with jalapenos. It’s something we all love to add to our pasta and pizzas. Chipotle powder is made from the same jalapenos. Chipotle powder is nothing but powdered jalapenos. It is a very famous spice all around the world.

Usually, jalapenos are green, but jalapenos are left on the plant to ripen until they are red. These red jalapenos are used to make chipotle powder. Making chipotle powder is a long process.

To make chipotle powder, jalapenos must be dried and smoked before crushing. Depending upon the time they have been dried, they are classified into two- Morita pepper and chipotle meco. 

Describing Chipotle Powder: Flavor And Texture

As we discussed, the chipotle powder is made from the jalapeno. It has fresh red color and a mild spiciness to it. However, the highlighted flavor of this spice is its mild earthy, smoky flavor.

The two varieties of chipotle powder have different flavors. Morita peppers are soft and red compared to chipotle meco, as they have been dried for only a short period. Chipotle Meco is a more gray color and has an intense smoky flavor.

Since chipotle is grounded in form, it has a coarse and gritty texture. It can be used to add flavor as well as color to food.

Uses of Chipotle Powder

As previously said, chipotle has a particularly spicy flavor. It goes nicely with almost any dish that calls for a fiery flavor. It adds heat to not only the food but also a smoky flavor.

Chipotle pairs well with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods. However, when added to grilled chicken or meat, it works wonders. The smoky flavor is so pronounced that it takes the dish to a whole new level.

You may use the chipotle powder straight from the jar in various meals. You may also simply rehydrate them to produce a delicious chili sauce to serve as a side dish with your favorite dinner.

Chipotle Powder On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Chipotle powder, being a spice, is only used in small quantities in our dishes. Therefore, it won’t contribute much to our food’s nutrient content. As you may already know, the chipotle powder doesn’t have any carbohydrates or fats.

Chipotle powder is effective for reducing cardiovascular diseases. It helps maintain the cholesterol level in our body and keeps us fit. Chipotle powder also contains capsaicin, which helps in lowering blood pressure.

Chipotle powder also contains many oxidants in it. It is therefore good to fight cancerous free radicals in our body. It also has many anti-inflammatory properties, which help relieve muscle or joint pains.

Why Use A Substitute For Chipotle Powder?

After reading about chipotle powder and its benefits, you must be thinking about why you should use a substitute, right? I’ve got a couple of reasons why you should use a substitute for the versatile ingredient.

First and foremost is its availability. Even though it is such a great ingredient, sometimes you won’t be able to find it in your nearby stores. But if your cuisine demands it, you can just use a chipotle powder substitute!

Also, chipotle powder has a smoky and spicy taste. Even though most people love this, some people cannot handle this hot, spicy taste. If you are one of these, you can simply use a less spicy substitute.

Lastly, why run to the grocery store when you have a substitute in your pantry? A good chipotle powder substitute can help you save a lot of time, effort, and money.

I believe I’ve given you enough reasons to try a chipotle substitute. Now let’s move on to the crux of this article: the best chipotle powder substitutes!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes

This section has all the substitutes you can use in place of chipotle powder. Moreover, there is also information on how you can use each substitute. So, let’s get started. 

1. Ancho Powder

Ancho Chili Powder

Ancho powder, just like chipotle powder, is a spice powder. It has a smoky and spicy taste and can be regarded as one of the best chipotle powder substitutes. 

Ancho powder has a sweet undertone to it, just like that of raisins. If you are someone who cannot manage the heat of chipotle powder, ancho powder will be a good choice.

Ancho powder is also a flavor enhancer. It goes extremely well with most spices and adds a special flavor to the dish.

2. Chili Powder

Chili Powder

Chili powder can be regarded as one of the best chipotle powder substitutes. It has a very spicy taste with a sweet undertone. Also, it works well with almost all dishes.

Chili powder also has a crimson red texture to it. Therefore, while adding the flavor, it also contributes to the flavor of the dish. Therefore, choose chili powder if you are searching for a spicy counterpart to chipotle powder.

However, chili powder will have heat; you should do this only if you are spice tolerant. When using chipotle powder, you can use half a teaspoon of chili powder for one teaspoon of chipotle powder.

3. Red Chili Flakes

Chili Flakes

The chipotle powder can easily be replaced with red chili flakes. Chili flakes have a flaky texture, yet they have a flavor similar to chipotle powder.

Red chili flakes are nothing but flaky red pepper. It has a similar spiciness as that of chipotle powder. However, it lacks chipotle powder’s smoky, earthy flavor and aroma. 

Red chili flakes can be employed in most dishes. However, it works extremely well as a garnish on meat and soup items. While replacing, you can add two tablespoons of chili flakes for one tablespoon of chipotle powder.

4. Aleppo Pepper Powder

Aleppo pepper powder

The Aleppo pepper has a fruity, spicy, and cumin-like flavor. It’s not as spicy as cayenne, but it’s hotter than chipotle powder. However, when used as a chipotle substitute, it works great.

Aleppo is named after a city in Syria. Even though this pepper is not common in the US, it’s quite easy to find in Middle Eastern countries. It has a bright, eye-catching red color and adds perfect spiciness to dishes.

Aleppo, like salt, enhances the flavor. In most recipes that call for chipotle powder, Aleppo can be used instead. In recipes that call for chipotle powder, substitute half a teaspoon of Aleppo for one teaspoon of chipotle powder.

5. Sweet Paprika

sweet paprika powder

Sweet paprika has a very mild spiciness, just like chipotle powder. Therefore, it can be considered a good chipotle powder substitute. 

The sweet paprika powder is crimson red and looks very similar to chipotle powder. It has a spicy taste with a fruity undertone. It goes extremely well with almost all the dishes, especially the meat dish.

Sweet paprika can be used to add flavor as well as color to the dish. It can also be used as just a garnish. To get a similar flavor profile, slightly smoke the sweet paprika powder.

6. Peri-Peri Powder

piri piri powder

Peri-peri powder is very flavorful. It is spicy with a citrusy aroma. Therefore, peri-peri can be used as a chipotle substitute without a second thought.

Peri-peri powder often has a spicy, tangy taste with a herbal aroma. It can be combined with a number of dishes in place of chipotle powder. However, it goes extremely well with meat dishes and french fries.

As we have discussed, peri peri is a mixture of different spices. Mostly, it enhances the flavor of your dish. However, sometimes it won’t go with some particular dishes. Therefore, before adding it, do a quick taste test.

7. Cayenne Pepper Powder

cayenne pepper

Cayenne has a fruity aroma and a spicy flavor. Cayenne has neither an earthy nor a smoky flavor, yet it provides the best flavor profile when used in place of chipotle powder.

Cayenne pepper complements practically all chipotle powder-based meals. On the other hand, Cayenne pepper is spicier and hotter than chipotle powder. When substituting cayenne pepper for chipotle powder, use less of it. 

Adding a little sugar or honey to the cayenne pepper will help cool it down. For the best taste profile, add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to a teaspoon of chipotle powder.

8. Guajillo Powder

Guajillo Powder

Another famous Mexican spice powder is Guajillo pepper powder. It has a spicy and smoky taste, like chipotle powder, and can be used as a chipotle substitute.

Guajillo Powder is obtained from mirasol chili. Even though guajillo powder is spicy, it has a very sweet taste. This distinctive nature of this dish makes it a perfect add-on to most Mexican dishes.

If you plan to make a Mexican dish, think no more if you have guajillo powder on hand. You can safely use this to marinate chicken or add it to soups, sauces, or marinades.

9. Adobo Powder

Adobo Powder

Adobo is a seasoning ingredient. It is a mix of different spices and has a spicy, sour taste. Its mild spicy flavor is similar to chipotle powder and can be used as a chipotle substitute.

Just like peri peri powder, adobo powder is also great for garnishing. We cannot exactly pinpoint the spices included in adobo powder as it varies from country to country.

If you ever have Mexican meatballs, you must have realized the spiciness of adobo seasoning. Usually, it is a little spicy with a tangy flavor. When used as a chipotle substitute, use half a teaspoon for one teaspoon of chipotle powder.

10. Pasilla Powder

Pasilla Powder

Pasilla pepper powder is made from chilaca chile pepper and, when crushed, has a brownish-black color. It has extremely mild spiciness and can be a good chipotle powder substitute.

Pasilla may remind you of pepper powder. But pasilla powder is not spicy at all. Its taste might remind you of chocolate or raisins. It has a distinctive flavor and stands out when added to a dish.

Pasilla powder can go with all of the dishes. However, it tastes extremely well if you use it along with butter or bread dishes. 

11. Gochugaru Powder

Gochugaru powder

Gochugaru powder is the star of Korean dishes. It has a very mild spiciness and dark red color to it. Therefore it can be substituted for chipotle powder.

If you ever had Kimchi, you might have noticed its bright red color. Gochugaru powder is responsible for that color. Gochugaru and chipotle powder have a very similar aroma and mild spiciness.

Therefore both can be used interchangeably in almost all dishes.

Short Recap For Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes

I’m sure you’ve now explored all of the best chipotle powder substitutes. Are you, however, still undecided about which one will work best in your recipe? There’s no reason to be concerned in that instance!

To make it easier for you to choose your alternative, I’ve divided it into three categories. Take a peek around!

Best Easily Available Chipotle Powder Substitutes:

  1. Sweet Paprika powder
  2. Guajillo Pepper Powder

Most Suitable Chipotle Powder Substitutes:

  1. Ancho Powder
  2. Chili Powder

Substitute Options To Consider Last:

  1. Adobo Powder
  2. Chilli Flakes

How To Substitute Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder

Chipotle Substitute

Chipotle powder is a great ingredient to bring a smoky, spicy flavor to your food.  However, despite being so versatile, sometimes it is hard to find in our nearby supermarkets! That's when chipotle substitutes come in handy.
5 from 2 votes


  • Ancho Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Red Chili Flakes
  • Aleppo Pepper Powder
  • Sweet Paprika
  • Peri-Peri Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder
  • Guajillo Powder
  • Adobo Powder
  • Pasilla Powder
  • Gochugaru Powder


  • 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!

Final Word

As we have come to the end of this article, I hope it has helped you find the best chipotle powder substitute. Chipotle powder is still a little hard to find despite being used in different parts of the world.

However, its flavor adds a lot of zing to any recipe. Many of the substitute options are very easily available and can be customized a little bit per your flavor preference. 

However, cooking is all about experimentation. If you find another substitute we missed in this article, let us know in the comment section. Happy cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’S)

What’s similar to chipotle?

Some of the best chipotle powder substitutes are smoked paprika, ancho chilis, adobo sauce, chili powder, pepper powder, and Piri Piri powder.

Can I use paprika instead of chipotle?

Yes, you can. However, using sweet paprika instead of normal paprika will give a more similar flavor to chipotle powder

Is chipotle powder the same as cayenne pepper?

No. Chipotle powder is obtained from dried and grounded red jalapenos. Chipotle powder and cayenne pepper are two different spices, however, both of them are moderately spicy and can be used as each other’s substitutes.

How much dry pepper equals chipotle powder?

Dry pepper is spicier than chipotle powder. Hence use half a teaspoon of dry pepper for one teaspoon of chipotle powder.

Can I substitute ancho chili powder for chipotle?

Yes. Ancho powder is moderately spicy and can be used as a chipotle substitute

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