If you're on the lookout for a great ancho chile substitute, then take a look at this list of 8 fantastic alternatives! I have a perfectly versatile range of ingredients from mild all the way to spicy. No matter which one you choose, it will taste fantastic as a substitute in any of your recipes!
Best Ancho Chile Substitute
Ancho chiles (and ancho chile powder) are dried poblano peppers. The dried poblano pepper powder is mildly spicy and is great added to a wide variety of recipes.
Ancho chiles date back as far as the Aztecs and were used in everything from hot chocolate, to cakes, and savory stews. If you have a recipe that calls for ancho chile, but you don't have any available, here are my recommendations for the best ancho chile substitute.
1. Guajillo Chili Powder
Guajillo chili powder is a great alternative to ancho chili powder. This powder is mild and has a similar level of heat and flavor to ancho chile powder, although it is a bit spicier.
It is made by grinding the guajillo pepper, seeds, and stem together until they are very smooth. This chili powder is great added to Mexican and southwestern cuisine, as well as soups, pasta, and marinades.
Use guajillo chili powder in a 1:1 substitution for ancho chile powder.
2. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Crushed red pepper flakes are delicious when added to many recipes. They are made from a mixture of peppers such as cayenne peppers, red peppers, jalapeño peppers, and Anaheim peppers.
Depending on where you buy your crushed red pepper flakes, they may be milder or have more heat than other brands. Add crushed red pepper flakes to sauces, soups, salad dressings, or even as a topping on your favorite dish!
Use crushed red pepper flakes in a 1:1 substitution for ancho chile powder.
3. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika is a bold replacement that is a bit milder than ancho chile powder. While smoked paprika doesn't add much heat to your recipe it will add plenty of flavor and color.
It is smokey with a charred flavor that is made from a blend of red bell peppers, red Chile peppers, and red peppers. You will love the flavor it adds to your dish if you need a quick replacement.
Use smoked paprika in a 1:1 substitution for ancho chile powder.
4. Chipotle Powder
Chipotle powder has just the right amount of heat and adds a great layer of flavor to your dish when it is added in place ancho chilis. It is made from smoked jalapeños which means it will have a kick that matches the ancho chile powder.
Add chipotle powder to soups, marinades, casseroles, and dips for an extra layer of deliciousness.
Use chipotle powder in a 1:1 substitution for ancho chile powder.
5. Cayenne Pepper Powder
Cayenne pepper is a bit spicy with a beautiful vibrancy. It is a great substitute for ancho chiles, especially if you like adding heat to your dish.
Cayenne pepper is made from finely ground cayenne peppers, which allows the powder to be extra potent and pack a ton of heat.
They are hot chili peppers that are higher on the scale. If you love an amplified level of spiciness, you will love this substitution.
Use cayenne pepper powder in a 1:2 substitution for ancho chile powder. Use ½ teaspoon cayenne for every 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder called for in a recipe.
6. Peri Peri Powder
If you don't have a single source of heat to add to your dish, maybe you have some peri peri powder in your kitchen! Peri peri powder is a great alternative for ancho chile powder because it is spicy and has many layers of flavor that will enhance your savory dish instantly!
Peri peri is made with a blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, ginger, parsley, oregano, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and ground coriander.
Since this spicy powder has many savory elements it is best to only substitute this in dishes that aren't sweet. Add to soups, pasta, curry, or marinades.
Use peri peri powder in a 1:2 substitution for ancho chile powder. Use ½ teaspoon peri peri for every 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder called for in a recipe.
7. Tabasco Sauce
Tabasco sauce is a great alternative to ancho chile powder! It is made from Tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt.
This sauce has a moderate amount of heat and is full of flavor that will enhance any recipe! Tabasco sauce has a few varieties so be sure to buy the original version or you may be in for a very spicy surprise!
Use tabasco sauce in a 1:2 substitution for ancho chile powder. Use ½ teaspoon tabasco for every 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder called for in a recipe.
8. Ginger Powder
Ginger powder or powdered ginger is a great non-pepper alternative to add to a recipe in place of ancho chili powder. Maybe you are allergic to peppers, or simply don't like them, either way, ginger can help add a mild level of spice and add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.
Use ginger powder in a 1:1 substitution for ancho chile powder in any recipe.
I hope that you found a great ancho chile substitute in this list that can help fulfill your dish and make it the best it can be! Let us know in the comments below which trade-off you enjoyed the most!
😋 Other Great Substitutions!
- Yogurt Substitute
- Arugula Substitute
- Marshmallow Substitute
- Parmesan Cheese Substitute
- Green Onion Substitute
- Coconut Oil Substitute
Best Ancho Chile Substitute: Guajillo Chili Powder (+More Great Alternatives!)
- 1 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- Guajillo chili powder is my favorite ingredient to swap out for ancho chiles or chili powder. Use either guajillo chiles or chili powder in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute.1 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
- The next best options, that can also be used in an equal 1:1 ratio as substitutes for ancho chiles or ancho chili powder, are crushed red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, or chipotle chili powder.1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!