Best Guajillo Pepper Substitutes

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Guajillo is a Mexican pepper that develops to be between 2 and 4 inches long. It has a smooth crimson skin and is usually sold dry or whole. However, it is also available in powdered or paste form. It should be noted, however, that the paste includes chemicals and colorants.

The Guajillo pepper is often used in Mexican cooking. In fact, it is one of the top three chili peppers in Mexico. Guajillo peppers have a distinct sweet taste and a slight heat. They’re often used as a foundation for sauces and salsas. The pepper seeds are often used to create tamale salsa.

But what if they aren’t available at your local supermarket, or if you want to try a different sort of pepper? We’ve included a few Guajillo pepper replacements for you to try.

8 Ideal Guajillo Pepper Substitutes

1. Ancho Pepper

There is little question that Ancho peppers should be included on this list. They are a member of the Holy Trinity, a group of Mexican chilies. The Ancho pepper possesses the earthiness of the Guajillo pepper, although it is not as fiery. They only have a heat rating of up to 1500 Scoville heat units.

Ancho peppers have a meatier and sweeter taste than Guajillo peppers. They are also less expensive than the Guajillo pepper.

2. Pasilla Pepper

The Pasilla pepper, another Holy Trinity member, is a Mexican chili that is occasionally moderate in spice. However, at their hottest, certain Pasilla peppers may rival the Guajillo pepper.

Aside from perhaps being hotter, Pasilla peppers have the most similar taste to Guajillo peppers. It tastes somewhat sweet with a hint of chocolate. It’s not a perfect match for earthiness, but it’s near.

Related: Substitutes for Pasilla Peppers

3. Mulato Pepper

Mulato peppers have a sweet, fruity, and smoky taste that pairs well with Guajilloes. They’re rather spicy, although not quite as hot as Guajillos.

Mulato pepper is often available in fresh, dried, or powdered form. They are often used to produce sauces, salsas, soups, and other types of food.

4. Chipotle Pepper

Chipotle peppers are essentially smoked and dried Jalapeo peppers. They are very fiery and are said to be on par with the Guajillo pepper in terms of spiciness. These little peppers may provide up to 8000 Scoville heat units.

Chipotle peppers may be found as flakes, powders, pods, cans, and other forms. They are widely available in supermarkets, particularly in Mexican specialty food shops. Because of their outstanding taste, these peppers are best utilized in soups, marinades, sauces, and salsas.

5. Cascabel Pepper

Cascabel peppers have a distinct look, being short, spherical, and brownish-red in hue. They are not as fiery as Guajillo peppers, but they are excellent alternatives. On the Scoville scale, the Cascabel pepper has roughly 2500 heat units.

They have a nutty, smokey taste that gives your foods a fantastic edge. While not as sweet as Guajillo peppers, they have a similar earthy taste. These peppers work well in sauces, soups, stews, and salsas.

6. Dried New Mexico Pepper

Chilis with long, lustrous red-brown skin. They are not as fiery as the Guajillo pepper, but they provide enough heat to be a good replacement. And they total about 1400 Scoville heat units.

The dried New Mexico peppers have a sweet, earthy flavor that is somewhat acidic. They also have a little cherry taste to them. Sauces, soups, chutneys, stews, grill rubs, and spices all benefit from these peppers.

7. Puya Pepper

Puya peppers are much smaller and more hotter than Guajillo peppers. They have a somewhat fruity flavor with hints of cherry and licorice. They have a heat rating of about 8000 Scoville heat units.

They also have an earthy taste, although not as much as the Guajillo pepper. Puya peppers are best utilized in baked, grilled, or fried vegetable dishes, as well as salsas, stews, and enchiladas.

8. California Pepper

This is essentially the ripe and dried Anaheim pepper. These are mild peppers with a Scoville heat unit rating of about 2500.

They’re somewhat sweet, yet with a crisp flavor and a tinge of acidity. The California pepper is fantastic in stews and sauces.


If you’re in a need, our list of the best 8 Guajillo peppers will surely come in helpful. Whatever substitutions you choose, your dish is sure to be a hit.


What is the closest thing to a guajillo pepper?

Pasilla pepper is the closest in taste.

Not only is the spiciness more suited as a guajillo alternative, but the tastes are as well. Pasillas are mildly sweet with berry and chocolate undertones.

What can I substitute for guajillo chiles in birria tacos?

If dried guajillo chilies are unavailable, dried ancho chiles may be used.

What chile is the same as chile guajillo?

Varieties. There are certain important distinctions between the three mirasol chiles (chile puya, chile guajillo, and chile cascabel). Chile cascabel: this kind is most similar to guajillo chilies in taste and spiciness, but somewhat fruitier.

What can I use instead of ancho and guajillo chiles?

Ancho Chile Powder may be substituted for Guajillo Chili Powder.
Red Pepper Flakes, crushed.
Paprika that has been smoked.
Powdered Chipotle.
Powdered cayenne pepper.
Powdered Peri Peri.
Tabasco is a hot sauce.
Powdered ginger.

What is a guajillo pepper compared to?

The guajillo pepper is classified as a moderate to medium heat chili, with Scoville Heat Units ranging from 2,500 to 5,000. When compared to a jalapeño pepper, which has a heat range of 2,500 to 8,000 SHU, it may be fairly similar.

Can I use ancho instead of guajillo?

Guajillos have a sweet taste and a slight natural smokiness that ranges from moderate to medium-hot. Anchos or pasillas may be substituted.

What is the fresh version of guajillo?

Mirasol refers to the fresh pepper, whereas guajillo refers to the dried variety, which is the second most prevalent dried chili in Mexican cuisine.

What can I substitute for dried Mexican chiles?

8 tsp ground cayenne powder. If you need to replace a whole dried chili, chiles de arbol will do the job.If you can’t get them whole, they’ll most likely be available dried as cayenne powder or crushed as red pepper flakes. 1 cayenne pepper is about equivalent to 1

What is a substitute for dried peppers in birria?

Birria tacos sans guajilo are much easier to prepare than those with dried chiles. There is no need to attempt to rehydrate canned chipotle peppers. Simply slow cook your preferred meat, add sauce ingredients to a sauce pan, bring to a boil, add meat, and prepare your tortillas!

Can I use New Mexico chiles instead of guajillo?

Guajillo and New Mexican chiles are interchangeable in my opinion, so feel free to use either in a pinch. Keep in mind that Guajillos have a more fruity flavor. Another important aspect to remember is that New Mexican chilies pair nicely with others!

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