Best Cayenne Pepper Substitute: Five Cayenne Pepper Alternatives

Cayenne Pepper Substitutes | 5 Cayenne Pepper Alternative

There are many cayenne pepper substitute that are easily available. You can have same kind of spiciness and flavor with cayenne pepper alternatives also. Know
more from here about cayenne substitute.

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What do you do when you are out of cayenne pepper? Simple, you use cayenne pepper substitutes. If you are looking to add just a little bit of heat, then cayenne peppers might just provide the correct flavoring you need. In other words, the mild spice quotient of cayenne peppers is known to add flavor to the food, without causing you any discomfort. Cayenne Peppers belong to the same family as jalapeños and bell peppers and are used in a variety of dishes to add flavor and color. This red pepper can add lots of color and flavor to a bland dish.

Cayenne Peppers also have a slew of health benefits and have been used for their medicinal properties for centuries. The active ingredient that makes cayenne pepper such a beneficial spice is Capsaicin. It is on account of this compound that cayenne peppers are spicy, and also the reason behind most of its benefits, including weight loss. Cayenne peppers are believed to boost metabolism, a significant factor for those trying to push weight loss. Capsaicin is also known to aid digestion. Cayenne powder is easily available in grocery stores.

If you don’t have cayenne pepper or looking for cayenne pepper alternatives, here is all you need to know. All you have to do is match the spice levels of your choice, and find cayenne pepper alternative that also adds that vibrant color to your food. Let’s take a look at some cayenne pepper substitute along with their spice quotient.

cayenne pepper alternative
Cayenne Pepper Alternative

5 Cayenne Pepper Substitute Options

You if want to add spice to your food then you can add cayenne pepper. But what if you don’t have cayenne pepper. Worry not, cayenne pepper substitute are easily available. There are many cayenne pepper alternative that you can use instead of cayenne pepper. Cayenne substitute can add spice quotient as close to cayenne pepper. Read below to know more about cayenne pepper replacement options.

1. Chili Powder

In order to substitute something spicy, red chili powder should obviously be everyone’s first choice. Chili powder is a great cayenne pepper alternative. Ground red chili powder is a popular ingredient that has probably been in demand since the day of its discovery. It can be added to almost all of the dishes, and it can also act as an cayenne pepper substitute and almost all of the known spicy flavorings. Apart from its great work, it is important that you take note of the ingredients of the chili powder that you have bought from a market place since the mixture varies from brand to brand.

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red chili as cayenne substitute
Chili powder is one of the most easily available cayenne pepper substitute.

Also Read – Substitute For Chili Powder | Substitutes For Tarragon

2. Paprika

Paprika, unlike other is cayenne pepper substitute and is itself present in a number of varieties. Out of them, the Hungarian, and Spanish paprika are amongst the hottest, which means that it is much smokier in taste when you compare it with cayenne pepper. However, in the case of mild paprika, the smokiness is similar to that found in cayenne pepper. In order to achieve the desi red cayenne pepper-like flavor, it is advised to mix a half teaspoon of paprika with half a teaspoon of chili powder. These can make a great cayenne substitute.

Paprika as cayenne substitute
Paprika can be added as cayenne pepper substitute.

3. Red Chili Flakes

A teaspoon of red chili flakes is enough to provide an adequate amount of spice to your meal. In fact, it is advised that if you are looking for it cayenne pepper replacement then just add a little bit, as it is more spicy and flavorful. Too much of it will end up dominating the overall flavor and aroma of the dish, making it unappetizing due to its lack of taste and excess of spice. So it’s very important to choose right cayenne pepper substitute.

Red Chili Flakes as cayenne substitute
Red chili flakes are easily available as cayenne pepper substitute.

4. Chipotle Powder

While searching for cayenne pepper alternative you will come across chipotle powder also. Not to be confused with chipotle sauce, which is mildly spicy, the chipotle powder is instead a more concentrated form of a smoke-dried blend of chile (not chili) pepper that is used as a seasoning. Chipotle powder is normally linked with a mild earthy spiciness and is commonly used as a key spice-agent for sauces. Having a distinct smoky flavor and made from thick chile, chipotle works well when added in a slow-cooked meal, as it has enough time to dissolve in the mix perfectly. At last we can say that it can be a good cayenne pepper substitute.   

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Also Read: 7 Perfect Substitutes For Lemon Grass

5. Hot Sauce

Spicy sauce such as Tabasco would prove to be a great cayenne pepper substitute. However, it won’t work well in recipes that involve cayenne pepper to be mixed with a dry masala. Using hot sauces for the preparation of spicy curries, on the other hand, would turn out to be quite satisfying. All you have to know is how much of the sauce would deliver the required spice into your dish. Sauces made with the tabasco pepper is almost equivalent to cayenne pepper. So it may used as cayenne pepper replacement.

hot sauce as cayenne substitute
Hot Sauce can be a great cayenne pepper substitute.

Cayenne Pepper Uses

There are many cayenne pepper uses. Below are the ways in which can use cayenne pepper. You can also use cayenne pepper substitute if you don’t have cayenne pepper. If you want to use cayenne pepper replacement in below dishes you can use them without any doubt. Know more from here.

Marinades – A light weeknight dinner with grilled chicken or grilled seafood defines perfection. Cayenne pepper in marinades of grill recipes tastes fantastic. Add some cayenne pepper powder or paste to your trustworthy marinade for chicken, shrimps, fish, tofu or paneer and grill away!

Soups – A pinch of cayenne pepper in your boring old clear soup or a broccoli-mushroom soup guarantees a burst of flavors. If you are out of cayenne pepper you can switch to cayenne pepper substitutes easily.

cayenne pepper can be used in soups
Cayenne pepper can be used in soups.

Salad Dressings – Olive oil, lemon, salt, brown sugar, and cayenne pepper make for a lovely, fresh salad dressing. From a simple avocado-tomato salad to an elaborate Greek salad or a desi macaroni salad, this dressing goes well with almost any salad.

Cayenne pepper can be used as salad dressing
Cayenne pepper can be used as salad dressing.

Seasoning Mix – Cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs like sage, thyme and oregano can turn into an aromatic all-purpose spice mix or seasoning. Many store bought all-purpose seasoning mixes also use a similar spice and herb combination. Pizzas, grilled veggies, chicken, or even pasta. Add a pinch for a delicious flavor.

cayenne pepper used as seasoning
Cayenne pepper can be used as seasoning mix.

Sauces – Adding Cayenne pepper to any sauce lifts up the heat and flavor in an instant. Many boring, bland recipes come to life with some hot pepper-sauce. One of the most popular pepper rich sauce is romesco. Romesco sauce is a Spanish sauce made with roasted tomatoes, garlic, toasted almonds, olive oil and peppers.

cayenne pepper sauce
Cayenne pepper can be used in sauces.


It must be clear by now that every kind of pepper that can be dried and ground can be a cayenne pepper substitute. And in case of curries or any other mixture of spice that is not dry, a spicy sauce would be a much better cayenne pepper alternative. However, for the best results (and if your craving for cayenne pepper is far from being satisfied), it should be advised that you go and buy some. Otherwise, some good old traditional spices present on your kitchen shelf would just do the trick and you can use it as cayenne pepper replacement. And make your dish flavorful with the help of your favorite ingredients and spices.


  1. What is Gochugaru?

    Gochugaru are Korean red pepper flakes used widely in Korean cooking. Gochugaru is made with long, slim and mild peppers which are sun dried. These peppers can be red or green. Gochugaru can also be a great substitute for cayenne. If you find a recipe for Korean kimchi, notice that it will always use Gochugaru.

  2. Are cayenne pepper and paprika the same?

    Cayenne pepper and paprika are not same but they share same properties. But they both are different spices.

  3. Can I substitute cayenne pepper for red pepper?

    In order to substitute something spicy, red chili powder should obviously be everyone’s first choice. Chili powder is a great cayenne pepper alternative. It can be added to almost all of the dishes, and it can also act as an cayenne pepper substitute and almost all of the known spicy flavorings.

  4. What are the health benefits of cayenne pepper?

    There are many health benefits of cayenne pepper and the active ingredient that makes cayenne pepper such a beneficial spice is Capsaicin. It helps in weight loss, boost metabolism, healthy digestion etc.

  5. How hot is cayenne pepper?

    According to the Scoville Scale the cayenne pepper is between 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville heat units (SHU), which means it's somewhere in the middle of the Scoville scale.

  6. Which is the world's spiciest pepper?

    The world's spiciest pepper is the Carolina Reaper which is 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU) while a bell pepper is the mildest with no heat.

  7. Which is the hottest pepper in India?

    Bhut Jolokia or ghost pepper is the spiciest pepper in India. It's rating on the Scoville Scale is 1,041,427 SHU.

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