No Chilli Flakes At Home? Here Are 5 Red Pepper Flake Substitutes (Feb 2024)
best red chili flake substitutes

No Chili Flakes At Home? Here Are Some Red Chili Flake Substitutes (Feb 2024)

If you are out of red pepper flakes, then these red pepper flakes substitutes can be a good alternate solution as well.

Why trust us?

Our reviews are research-based, and all trials and testings are conducted in-house over days and weeks. We have a strict no-free-sample policy to ensure our reviews are fair and impartial.

Red chili flakes (chili flakes) have become a common household spice and we cannot imagine our pizzas without a generous addition of some red pepper flakes. Red chili flakes add a lot of spice to the dish and bring a beautiful heat to the recipe. Used widely in Italian and Mexican cuisine, red chili flakes are easily available online and in local grocery stores as well.

Many people often get confused between chili flakes and red pepper flakes. So is crushed red pepper the same as chili flakes? The main difference between chili flakes and red pepper flakes lies in the core ingredient.  While red pepper flakes are made using a variety of red peppers, red chili flakes are made with only chili peppers.

Red chili flakes can be stored in larger quantities as well as it has a long shelf life. But, if you are preparing some exotic dish in the kitchen, and have run out of the bright red chili flakes, here are a few red chili flakes substitutes. Chilies are dried and blitzed into flakes, and can be used in lots of International recipes. In case, you are cooking and are out of red chili flakes, here are other substitute for chili flakes you can opt for.

Did you know? A study suggests that a small amount of chili flakes in your diet often helps in heartburn.

Popular Substitutes For Red Chili Flakes

Here are the best alternative both DIY and ready to use option in case you are looking for an alternative to red chili flakes. Let us see of them in detail below:

1. DIY Chili Flakes With Dry Chillies

red chilli pepper
Best way is to make it yourself at home with a handful of dried chillies.

It is a great red pepper flakes substitute as you get the exact form of dry chili as per your taste. You need to take some dry chilies and then ground them into a coarse texture. The only thing you need to be cautious of is that the chili must be moderately spicy or else it won’t add proper heat to the dish. You can buy them from any local grocery store or any supermarket. Ancho and guajillo chilies are the most popular ones.

Related Products
*Based on Mishry's internal reviews and ratings

Now let’s understand the process to make red pepper flakes. First of all, take a few red chilies and tear them into even halves. You can also further cut them to ensure they get fit in the jar of your mixer. Now blend them until you get a coarse mixture of chili flakes. Another way out for DIY red pepper flakes substitute is to prepare it using the food dehydrator. When you are carrying out the drying process on your own, peppers like jalapeños or red serrano chilies can be chosen.

2. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper also belongs to the primary family of peppers. It is also an alternate red pepper flakes substitute. If you are adding cayenne pepper to any dish, it gives the exact amount of spice as you get with the red pepper flakes.

Ad: Join Mishry's Sampling Community
Ad 13 - Share Your voice

Another advantage of these flakes is you can get them easily. This form of pepper undergoes the blending process and turns into a fine powder. Hence, you do not get the same texture as that of chili flakes. Cayenne pepper is hotter in taste in comparison to red pepper flakes. This is because they possess a higher amount of capsaicin, which helps in weight control as well. Interestingly, it can help reduce the hunger hormone.

3. Urban Platter Cayenne Pepper

This cayenne pepper from Urban Platter is a vegetarian product. It comes in a quantity of 80 gm and adds a zesty twist to dishes. You can add this to chutneys, pickles or curries for a dash of spicy kick. It has medium heat level.

Urban Platter Cayenne Pepper
Urban Platter Cayenne Pepper

Product Features:

  • Multipurpose Use. 
  • Easy to store jar bottle. 
  • Adds a nice spicy flavor.

4. Gochugaru

Another red pepper flakes substitute 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 and can also be a great substitute for cayenne. If you find a recipe for Korean kimchi, notice that it will always use Gochugaru.

Related Reading:

Out of Chili Powder? Never mind. Try replacing it with these substitutes for chili powder.

5. Urban Platter Korean Gochugaru Hot Pepper Powder

This Gochugaru hot pepper powder from Urban Platter is made using sun-dried chili peppers. It has a hot and sweet flavor with a touch of smokiness. The best part is that it is coarsely grounded and has a texture similar to that of red pepper flakes.

Urban Platter Korean Gochugaru Hot Pepper Powder
Urban Platter Korean Gochugaru Hot Pepper Powder

Product Features:

  • It is coarsely grounded. 
  • Has a texture similar to red pepper flakes. 
  • It is smoky and spicy.

Other Red Chili Flakes Substitutes

Other red pepper flakes substitute also involve red chili peppers, but can differ in taste and texture. The processing technique remains the same as you need to also chop them finely to get a proper texture.

Using fresh chili peppers in any recipe can solve your purpose of replacement of red pepper flakes. Above mentioned are the primary substitutes for red pepper flakes. In case, you cannot get them nearby, there are also a few secondary options to choose from.

1. Chilli Paste

Heat levels between the red pepper flakes and chili paste have a huge difference. Hence, it is important to go through the labels appropriately. It can add excessive heat that would make the dish very spicy. Certain types of chilies are extremely spicy, so you should exclude them or add cautiously.

2. Huy Fong Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste

This chili paste comes in a quantity of 226 gm. It is a jar of ground and fresh chili paste that amps up the flavor of any dish. It is an excellent alternative to red pepper flakes.

Huy Fong Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste
Huy Fong Sambal Oelek Ground Fresh Chili Paste

Product Features:

  • It is a vegetarian product. 
  • This chili paste is fresh.

3. Hot Sauces

Just like a chili paste, hot sauces can also be the secondary red pepper flakes substitute. Using a few drops of hot sauce is sufficient for the alternative. You can get different types of hot sauces like green chilli, cajun or bhoot jolokia. To balance the flavors as per red pepper flakes, the use of Sriracha sauce is also highly recommended.

Related Reading:

Know everything about the Indian spice which gives heat and color to your dish – chili powder.

4. NAAGIN Indian Hot Sauce

It is a jar of hot sauce from Naagin made using Byadgi chilies. This sauce is mildly spicy and comes in a quantity of 230 gm. You can either use it as a marinade, dip or for cooking.

NAAGIN Indian Hot Sauce
NAAGIN Indian Hot Sauce

Product Features:

  • Made using real vegetables.
  • Has no artificial flavors.
  • Made using premium Indian chilies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here we have answered a few interesting FAQs about alternatives to red chili flakes.

Yes. Red pepper flakes can be used instead of chili flakes. But remember that red pepper flakes are spicier than chili flakes.

Yes. Both can be used as a replacement for each other. Chili powder and chili flakes both are made from crushing red chilies.

Over consumption of red chili flakes or red pepper flakes is harmful as there’s a higher amount of capsaicin present in it, which may cause a burning sensation in the stomach/esophagus.

No. Chili flakes are made from red chilies whereas paprika is made from a mixture of chilies and has a sweetness.

No both of these are made using different ingredients. While chili flakes is derived from chili peppers, red pepper flakes is derived from a variety of red peppers.


The above given are few easy substitutes that you can get for red chili flakes (chili flakes). Good options of red pepper flake substitutes are available at grocery stores and online as well. Both chili flakes and red pepper flakes are used in cooking to spice up any dish. They are similar yet so different. Chili flakes are made using chili pepper whereas red pepper flakes are made using red peppers.

To sum up, it is highly essential to pick the red chili flakes to substitute carefully to balance the heat in the food. This is one ingredient that you use regularly. As a result, major taste differences or heat enhancement can lead to disruption in the taste of your regular meals. Meanwhile do check out the top picks here: Urban Platter Cayenne Pepper and NAAGIN Indian Hot Sauce.

Related Reading:

We reviewed and tasted multiple brands of green chili sauce to find the best available in the market.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify Me
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments