Pasilla chile is Mexican chile and very popular in many Mexican dishes.
They are black and long and you will find them mostly dried in stores. You can find Pasilla chile as flakes or powder as well and the taste is similar.
This pepper has a heat level of 1,000-2,500 Scoville Heat Units and it is important to know that when you compare it to other chiles.
If you enjoy Pasilla chile or if you are getting ready to prepare a recipe that calls for this pepper, but you don’t have it, you are in the right place.
We gathered not less than ten substitutes that you can use instead of Pasilla chile and you might even prefer some of them better once you try them out.
The best substitutes for Pasilla chile include ancho chile, Pasilla de Oaxaca, Cascabel chile, and many others!
Let’s learn more about each substitute below!
Best Substitutes For Pasilla Chile
Use the following substitutes to Pasilla chile after you taste them so you get familiar with the heat level of each one. Not all of them will taste the same but they can all replace your Pasilla chile in your dish!
1. Ancho chile
With a heat level of 1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units, Ancho chile might be your best alternative to Pasilla chile, and depending on where you live, they are easy to find as well.
Ancho chile is dried peppers and they are commonly used not only in Mexico but also in the United States. You can find them in stores as fried pepper flakes or in powder form.
Use this substitute in various sauces, soups, or stews and you will love the outcome. Since ancho chile has a similar heat level to pasillo chile, you can maintain the same ratio as well.
2. Pasilla de Oaxaca
Pasilla de Oaxaca is a different version of Pasilla chile with a smokier flavor and the same heat level. You can use it instead of regular Pasilla chile if you find it.
However, keep in mind that this alternative might be pricier. Pasilla de Oaxaca is ideal for stir-fries as it adds a delicious, smoky taste to such dishes. However, you will love to use it in stews and soups as well.
If you want to spice up a Mexican salad, this chile is a great option as well. Since the heat level is the same, you can use the same ratio.
3. Cascabel chile
If you find Cascabel chile, know that you can use it instead of Pasilla chile successfully in any type of dish.
The heat level of these peppers is 1,000-3,000 Scoville Heat Units and depending on the strain and how ripe they are, you might find them spicier or milder in flavor.
They resemble Pasilla chile even if they can be hotter so you will want to use less.
Ultimately, you can follow your taste in terms of how much Cascabel chile you add to your dish in order to obtain a perfect flavor.
These peppers are nutty and smoky and they can enrich the taste of any food.
4. Mulato peppers
Mulato peppers are very popular in Mexican cuisine and a great alternative to pasillo peppers in any type of recipe and sauce.
You can use them on top of salads to add a pinch of heat to your veggies. Or you can use them in all your cooked dishes.
Mulato is similar to ancho peppers but a bit milder in terms of taste. These peppers have a heat level of 2,500-3,000 Scoville Heat Units and are best eaten when they are dry.
These peppers are different than others since they also have a chocolate mild taste and a cherry flavor that you will not find in other peppers.
5. Guajillo peppers
With a heat level of 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units, Guahillo peppers can complement all kinds of spicy recipes inside and outside the Mexican cuisine.
This pepper has a sweet taste and a mild heat that will mix perfectly with other vegetables and even with meat and fish.
You can use Guajillo in the same ratio as you would use pasillo peppers and feel free to add it to your sauces as well.
6. Habanero peppers
On the hotter side of the scale, we have habanero peppers with a heat level of 100,000-350,000 Scoville Heat Units.
Being so hot, you will most likely add a lot less of them if you use them instead of pasillo chile. They come in different varieties and range in color from yellow to orange. And they taste great in cooked dishes but if you grind them you can use them in sauces as well.
People love to stuff these small peppers with cheese and eat them as appetizers too. However, take into account that they are significantly spicier than pasillo chile.
7. Poblano peppers
Poblano peppers can successfully replace pasillo chile in your recipe as they have a similar heat level of 1,000-2,000 Scoville Heat Units.
These peppers are green and they will look quite different in your food, compared to the black pasilla chile. But they have a similar flavor and a mild earthly taste that makes them compatible with a variety of dishes.
You will love to use these peppers for stuffing. But you can also chop them in smaller sizes to add them to your stews or soups.
They might not be the best option for sauces though. So, if you want to replace pasillo chile in a spicy sauce, use one of the other substitutes!
Jalapenos are maybe the most popular Mexican peppers worldwide and you can use them as a substitute for pasillo chile too.
They are easy to find in stores and will enrich the flavor of any dish. With a heat level of 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units, these peppers are going to satisfy all tastes and they are easy to cook as well.
You can add them on top of pizzas or pasta and in salads. However, you can also eat them as a side dish next to your favorite stew.
9. Mirasol peppers
If you like Mexican cuisine, you most likely heard and maybe even tried Mirasol peppers. But did you know that you can use these peppers instead of pasillo chile?
Mirasol peppers bring a similar heat to jalapenos with a level of 2,500-8,000 Scoville Heat Units and they are mainly used for the famous Mexican mole sauces.
Mirasol peppers come in a bright, red color and they will look great in soups or baked dishes as well as on top of different foods as a topping.
10. Serrano peppers
The last but still one of the best alternatives to pasillo chile is the Serrano chile.
These peppers have a heat level of 10,000-23,000 Scoville Heat Units. They are used for several decades all over the world, while in Mexican cuisine they are one of the traditional peppers you will find.
You will love these peppers even more roasted and they are the perfect ingredient in salsa and other sauces and garnishes.
Is Chile Pasilla The Same As Chile Guajillo?
Chile Pasilla and chile Guahjillo are very different, even if you can use them interchangeably.
First of all, the chile Pasilla comes from the Pasilla peppers while the chile Guahjillo is the dried version of Mirasol peppers. Therefore, their color and taste will be different.
Furthermore, Guajillo is considered to be spicier than Pasilla peppers even if their flavor is fairly similar.
When it comes to Mexican peppers, the sky is the limit. There are so many strains and so many different levels of heat that you definitely have where to choose from.
Either one of the peppers in this guide will be able to replace the Pasilla peppers successfully in any type of dish. However, make sure to taste the replacement you choose so you can get a fair idea regarding the quantity you want to add to your recipe.