Ancho Chili Powder Substitute

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Ancho chile powder is a delectable spice with earthy undertones and deep earthy tastes. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get and is sometimes only accessible at specialist food shops. That’s when ancho chili powder comes in handy.

This chili powder is the essential element for preparing genuine Mexican meals. And it’s one of the region’s most unique spices. Ancho chili powder is a burgundy-colored spice that is often used in hog and beef preparations.

So, what should you do if you go through your cabinet and discover that you are entirely out of ancho chili powder? There’s no need to be concerned since you probably already have a number of acceptable ancho chili powder alternative choices in your kitchen.

What Is Ancho Chili Powder?

Ancho Chili Powder Substitute

Dried poblano peppers are used to make ancho chili powder. This imparts a spicy taste with a little heat and a fruity undertone.

Despite its origins in Mexican cuisine, ancho chili powder is often seen in baked items such as cakes.

Ancho chili powder has a Scoville heat value of about 1,250, which is considered moderate. It also tastes more earthy and smoky than most other chili powders.

Ancho Chili Powder Substitute

Ancho Chili Powder Substitute

What if you want to make a recipe that asks for ancho chili powder but you don’t have any on hand? In this case, a suitable ancho chili powder replacement is required. And we suggest using it when you’re short of ancho chili powder and need some heat.

1. Pasilla Pepper Powder

This holy trinity of spices is made from dried, trimmed, and crushed pasilla chiles. It may be one of the greatest ancho chili powder alternatives due to its earthy overtones.

On that point, the taste of pasilla pepper powder is somewhat sweet. It also has a heat output of up to 8000 SHU. Despite this, it has a chocolaty taste with berry overtones that works well in anything from stews to baked products.

When substituting ancho chili powder, use pasilla pepper powder in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Guajillo Chili Powder

Guajillo chili powder has a similar smokiness to ancho chili powder and is an excellent replacement.

Guajillo chili powder is hotter than ancho chili powder, with a moderate heat of 3,750 SHU. It also has a tangier, more powerful flavor and berry undertones with a tea-like aftertaste.

This chili powder is suitable for use in almost any recipe that asks for ancho chili powder. However, it works best in stews and marinades. It may be used in a 1:1 substitution. However, depending on your preferences, you may need to change the amount.

3. Paprika

Paprika is an excellent ancho chili powder replacement, providing moderate, delicious heat. This spice is produced from the capsicum annuum plant and is available in a variety of mixes.

It is significantly sweeter than ancho chili powder, but it still has hot and smoky undertones. It’s also rather simple to find.

When replacing ancho chili powder for paprika, use a 1:1 ratio.

4. Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder is available at practically every major retailer, making it one of the most accessible choices. It has a heat level of up to 8,000 SHU and is made from dried, smoked jalapeño peppers.

Although this is unquestionably spicier than ancho chili powder, it works well with meats and shellfish. It’s also a tasty addition to tacos and enchiladas.

Just be sure you add a bit at a time and taste often to get your desired heat level.

5. Mulato Pepper Powder

Mulato pepper powder has an earthy taste and is manufactured from poblano peppers as well. As a result, it makes an excellent ancho chili powder alternative.

Mulato pepper powder, on the other hand, is darker and has a deeper taste than ancho chili powder. It also has a greater amount of heat.

Mulato’s licorice and chocolate tastes are ideal for desserts and stews. Begin with a little amount and gradually increase it to your liking.

6. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is native to South America’s northeast coast. It has a heat range of 30,00 to 50,000 units, making it a great hot option for ancho chili powder.

However, it will lack the smokiness of ancho chili powder. When replacing ancho chili powder for cayenne pepper, add pasilla pepper powder for a deeper taste.

1 teaspoon ancho chili powder may be replaced with 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder. Just keep a delicate touch in mind.


The majority of the alternatives listed above are easily accessible, making them excellent go-to selections. They may have a distinct amount of heat and taste. However, any of the ancho chili powder substitutes suggested will provide great results.


What spice is similar to ancho chili powder?

Guajillo chilies are dried poblano peppers, comparable to ancho chillies. The guajillo chili has a stronger taste than the ancho chili but a gentler heat level. Guajillo chili powder is the greatest replacement for ancho chili powder.

What is the difference between ancho chili powder and chili powder?

Alternatively, cayenne pepper. Ancho chile powder is made from dried poblanos that have been crushed up.What exactly is the difference between chili powder and ancho chile powder? Chili powder is a spice combination created from ground spices such as ground chilies, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and others.

What is similar to Ancho chili?

Poblano, chipotle, New Mexico chili pepper, dried Anaheim chili pepper, and pasilla are the finest Ancho Chile replacements.

Can I substitute chipotle chili powder for ancho chili powder?

Chipotle is another well-known Mexican ingredient that may be used in place of ancho chili powder. Because of its smoky qualities, many chefs view chipotle as a first alternative. Chipotle powder is manufactured from nothing but dried and smoked jalapeo chilis.

Is ancho chili powder the same as paprika?

Chile powder is a simpler preparation that consists of dried and powdered chile peppers. In this sense, chile powder is comparable to paprika, although it is often prepared with other types of peppers. The kind of pepper is occasionally mentioned in the name, such as ancho chile powder, which utilizes only dried poblano chile peppers.

What flavor is ancho chili powder?

Ancho chiles are dried poblanos with a slight heat, rich chocolaty-raisin taste, and tobacco overtones. This black chile powder, finely powdered, gives depth, unique flavor, and color to moles, enchilada sauces, adobo, taco seasoning, and the famous pot of chili.

What does ancho powder taste like?

What Do You Think It Tastes Like? It has a sweet, fruity taste with a moderate to medium-heat chile pepper. Ancho powder has a reddish-brown hue and a somewhat coarse texture when processed into a fine powder.

Is ancho chili powder similar to cayenne pepper?

However, there are significant distinctions between ancho and cayenne. Ancho has a more earthy, sweet flavor, while cayenne has a more neutral spicy flavor. There’s also a significant difference between ancho spiciness (1,000 to 1,500 SHU) and cayenne spiciness (30,000 to 50,000 SHU).

Is ancho chili powder really spicy?

Is ancho chile powder hot or mild? In terms of heat, these chilies (and the powder) are fairly moderate. The Scoville scale, which measures heat levels, assigns ancho chile powder a rating of 1,000-1,500 units. To put this in context, it is two to eight times LESS hot than a jalapeño.

Are ancho and chipotle chili powder the same?

Anchos have a somewhat sweeter taste, whereas chipotles have a more earthy flavor. The heat levels vary as well. Ancho peppers have a moderate heat profile that ranges from 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units. Chipotle powder has a higher SHU range, ranging from 2,500 to 8,000.

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