6 Substitutes for Red Chili Pepper

For many years people have had the pleasure of adding hotness to their food by using chili peppers. If you love spicy meals and enjoy the hotness of the meal then chili peppers are one of the main ingredients that you use in your dish.

There are many types of chili peppers, but the red hot chili ones are the ones that we commonly eat and what we can usually find in our local stores. Their primary use is to give spice, a unique taste, sweetness, and sourness to the food. Small peppers that are so hot that you’ll feel like a dragon, meaning you’ll have the feeling of fire coming out of your mouth.

What can I substitute for red chili pepper? You can use Serrano pepper, Cayenne peppers, Pequin chili peppers, Jalapeno, and Tien Tsin Chili. I have made a list with the best chili peppers that will help you save your spicy meal. Always make sure not to overuse the chili peppers, because the hotness varies and you don’t want to make your meal spicier than it should be.

Also, you can find out what to use instead of red chili dried pepper in your recipe. Read the article and found out more about these red chili peppers.

What are actually red chili peppers?

You can use chili peppers in dishes to make meals like fajitas, pasta, or salsa, you can also add serranos to chili stews, seafood, marinades, and many more recipes. They do not just provide us heat but also sweetness, smokiness, and add sourness to your meal.

Actually, the red chili peppers are fruits of Capsicum pepper plants that can provide us with carbs and they also offer a small amount of protein and fiber. They have a lot of vitamins and minerals but we eat them in a very small amount because they do not contribute to our daily micronutrient intake.

Red Chili Peppers Substitutes

Actually, the most important thing to finding an appropriate chile replacement is to know the heat of the peppers, the sweetness, and also the smokiness.

I’ve prepared a list for you to find the perfect replacement. Also, always keep in mind the hotness of the pepper and make sure to use less because of the neatness of the pepper.

1. Serrano Pepper

Serrano Pepper

This is a slightly hotter pepper that is harvested while it is still green. This is a pepper that is one of the hottest chilies with a milder flavor.  They are used in the Southwest USA but you can also find them in markets. It is less popular than the red peppers and jalapeno but it is still used. Make sure to adapt the heat in your recipe because the peppers have a different level.

2. Cayenne Peppers

Cayenne peppers

This is a chili pepper that has an iconic chili shape, fingered with a curved pointy end. The spiciness ranges from mild to hot so it actually depends on the growing conditions and what type as to how spicy the pepper is. They can be found fresh and they can also be turned dried so you can find them in your local food stores.

4. Pequin Chili Peppers

Pequin chili peppers

This is a rectangular shape, it is short and squat around an inch long. They are hot chili peppers that are actually harder to find than the others because the cultivation is limited. They are round and smoked over wood to provide a signature taste.

5. Jalapeno

Jalapeño Pepper

This is one of the most common chili peppers that is found. They are smooth, dark green or red chilies that vary from medium hot to very hot. They are commonly used in Mexican cuisine and are popular worldwide. They have a pack of nutrients and have many health benefits.

6. Tien Tsin Chili

It comes from Northern China and it is a hot chili pepper that is used mostly in Chinese dishes like Szechuan or Kung Pao Chicken. These chili peppers are also known as Chinese Red Peppers. These chile plants have low yields.  They are small and significantly milder but still hot. Make sure when substituting not to add too much.

Dried red chili pepper substitute:

Red chili peppers are commonly used in Mexican cuisine. They are dried but still retain the red color after drying. These are peppers that have a smooth skin and they add light, fruity notes to your meals.

However, no need to worry of course if you don’t have dried red chili peppers at home. I have the perfect alternative in this case.

You can always use paprika. A good quality fresh big red paprika. For 10 dry chilies use 2 paprikas and add accordingly to your hotness level taste. You can always use it to make pork with some vegetables.

Another substitute is the cayenne chili pepper that if you can’t find it as a whole, you can use the dried one as well or simply crushed as red pepper flakes. You can substitute a whole dried chili pepper but try not to overuse. You can add a small amount at the beginning and if there is a need you can always add more.

There is one more dried pepper that I would recommend and that is the dried form of poblano peppers. They are usually low in heat, sweet with a smokey flavor. Because they have low heat, they are very good to add them with meats and soups so your meal won’t be very spicy.

Related questions:

Are red chili peppers hot?

Well, they are types starting from a medium to very hot heat and if you are not used to hot chilies you might think that they are really hot. They have a slight fruitiness in their flavor and are excellent when added in salsa, chile sauces, and adobo sauce.

Are red chili peppers hotter than green?

The green peppers actually taste differently and there is an extra twist. Actually, there is more capsaicin in red peppers than in the green ones, which means that the red peppers are variant of the same pepper that will tend to be hotter.

Are fresh chilies hotter than dried?

Well, the drained peppers have much more capsaicin than the fresh ones.  Technically they tend to be hotter and sometimes the fresh peppers will taste hotter than the drained ones.

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