11 Cayenne Pepper Substitutes to Add Flavor to Your Recipes!

Cayenne pepper is certainly one of the most well-known and widely available spices on the market. It’s available everywhere, from your local grocery shop to several health food stores.

Cayenne peppers are a kind of chili pepper with a moderate, spicy flavor that helps to improve the flavor of any meal that uses them.

Cayenne pepper is available in powder form, allowing you to add smokiness and spice to your dishes without using a full fresh pepper.

Even though you can easily get this spice at the store next to you, occasionally an emergency arises and you have no time to purchase.

So, what should I do now? Are there any decent Cayenne pepper substitutes? Fortunately, there are many options, and we selected the finest ones for you.

The most effective Cayenne pepper replacements are

  1. Chipotle Flakes
  2. The spice black pepper
  3. Powdered Chili Pepper
  4. Fresh bell peppers
  5. Paprika
  6. Spicy Sauce
  7. Serrano Chiles
  8. Paprika de Espana
  9. Gochugaru
  10. Powdered Chipotle
  11. Cumin

Continue reading the remainder of the article to learn more about the aforementioned replacements.

Substitute For Cayenne Peppers

Chili Flakes

Chili pepper flakes, like cayenne pepper, are among the most widely used spices on the market. It is primarily used to season food after it has been cooked, but that doesn’t imply you can’t use it during cooking.

Chili flakes are manufactured from many types of crushed and dried chiles. To replace cayenne peppers with chili flakes, twice the number of cayenne peppers. Of fact, the only change you’ll notice is the texture.

Black Pepper


Do I even need to ask whether you’re familiar with black pepper? It is the one important component in the kitchen, and I am sure you have it, regardless of whether you like the flavor of it in your recipes.

Black pepper has a moderate flavor and is a decent replacement for Cayenne pepper if you can’t withstand the heat of Cayenne.

Black pepper is unquestionably the most affordable spice and can be found in almost every shop. Black pepper may be used in dishes, garnishes, and even certain hot winter beverages.

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Chili Pepper Powder

While chili pepper powder resembles cayenne pepper and paprika, they are not the same. Chili powder is a spice prepared from sun-dried chili peppers (the most often used pepper) that has a sweet, mild taste with a decent chili bite. It is produced from many types of chili peppers.

Chili may be used to give a little spice to your foods or as a garnish. Since this Cayenne pepper substitute is mild, you may double the quantity when replacing it.

Cayenne Powder


This is the most apparent powdered alternative for raw Cayenne pepper. Cayenne pepper powder can undoubtedly benefit you if you want to replace cayenne peppers in your meals, and vice versa.

Cayenne pepper powder has a milder taste than fresh peppers, so you’ll need to use a little more of it to obtain that fiery sensation.

Fresh Peppers

When it comes to replacing a spice that you don’t have in your cupboard, hot peppers might come in handy. True, your foods will lack the smokey taste that Cayenne pepper is known for, but it will enough to give your dish a good, peppery, spicy flavor.

You may add ghost pepper (one of the hottest peppers on the market), fresh bell pepper, chile pepper, or any other spicy pepper that works well.

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Paprika is derived from a variety of chili peppers and adds a smokey taste to your foods. You can get it at your local grocery shop in a variety of spice levels, ranging from sweet paprika to mild, and, of course, hot paprika. I suggest choosing the hot paprika since it may easily approximate the heat level of cayenne pepper.

Hot Sauce

What is the simplest method to add heat to your food without thinking twice? Of all, one of the simplest ways to spice up any food is with spicy sauce. Tabasco and chile peppers are often used to make hot sauce.

In the kitchen, hot sauce serves many functions. You may use it in your recipes, on top of fried chicken, or as a dipping sauce. I recommend adding Tabasco sauce to make your meal more spicy.

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Tabasco sauce is a spicy condiment prepared with salt, vinegar, and Tabasco chiles. It is one of the most well-known spicy sauces available.

Serrano Peppers

Serrano peppers have a long and narrow shell, similar to Jalapeno peppers. They are a kind of chili pepper that may be used for garnishes, chilies, salsa, and spicy sauce.

They lend an incredible spicy kick to everything you put them in. Serrano peppers may also be eaten simply pan-fried with a small amount of oil on top. It’s an excellent pre-course for the summer.

Serrano peppers may be substituted with fresh cayenne peppers or Cayenne powder.

Spanish Paprika

Spanish paprika, also known as smoked paprika, is prepared from smoked peppers that have been dried and powdered into a fine powder.

This paprika is really next level; it adds a smokiness to everything it touches. Since Spanish paprika has a moderate heat level, it would be a better option for Cayenne.

While this spice is around 5 times milder than Cayenne pepper, use a sufficient quantity of it to approximate the Cayenne flavor.


Gochugaru is a well-known Korean spice made from pulverized red pepper flakes. It is used to provide a smokey taste to Korean dishes. Since this is a milder Cayenne pepper substitute, use more of this spice to reach the same spice levels.

Gochugaru has a lovely crimson hue that can liven up the presentation of your food. This colorful spice is admittedly tough to locate in your typical grocery shop, but you could have better success in spice markets, online retailers, or health-food stores.

But, if you happen to have this spice on hand, it would make an excellent Cayenne alternative.

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Chipotle Powder

Chipotle is a sort of chili pepper that is used as a spice. It is often offered in powder form and is created from dried Chipotle peppers, although it is not limited to that. This powder also contains several spice blends such as garlic, cumin, oregano, and even dried basil.

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Of course, Chipotle powder is used in Mexican cuisine to make spicy Enchiladas, taco spice mix or other seasonings, marinating meat, and even hot sauce. Cayenne pepper may be replaced with Chipotle.


Cumin is included in the list of Cayenne pepper alternatives since the two spices have a very similar earthy taste. Even while cumin lacks the spice of cayenne pepper, it does contribute something to the dish.

If you don’t have anything else to work with, I’d think cumin is a good substitution for cayenne.


What can I use instead of cayenne pepper in recipes?

Flakes of red pepper

What is the greatest substitution for cayenne pepper? Flakes of red pepper. They have a chunkier texture than ground cayenne pepper, but they pack a punch. If you want the same amount of heat as the cayenne, you may need to add a little more.

How much paprika do I substitute for cayenne pepper?

Since this red hot chili pepper is somewhat hotter than paprika, you may want to use less of it in your meal. For example, one teaspoon of paprika is equal to 12 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Is cumin a good substitute for cayenne pepper?

Cumin is a spice that, rather than adding heat, adds warmth and earthiness to a dish. Cayenne pepper has an earthy taste but a greater degree of heat. Cumin may be used in place of cayenne pepper to reduce the heat. Cumin is also dark, but cayenne is orange, therefore the look of the dish would be changed.

What spice is closest to cayenne?

Paprika is an alternative to cayenne pepper powder. Hot paprika works well as a replacement for cayenne pepper. Another adaptable substitute for cayenne pepper is chile powder…. Gochugaru…. Red Pepper Flakes…. Tabasco Pepper…. Serrano Pepper…. Jalapeno Pepper…. Thai Pepper.
More to come…
•Jan 15, 2023

What spice is closest to cayenne pepper?

Paprika. You definitely have some paprika in your spice cabinet, and it works well in place of cayenne. Another kind of finely powdered red pepper is paprika. In look and texture, paprika resembles cayenne pepper, although it lacks heat.

Which is hotter cayenne or paprika?

Cayenne, on the other hand, is significantly hotter than paprika, falling halfway between a jalapeo and a habanero. Cayenne pepper is often used in Cajun, Creole, and Caribbean cuisine.

Does paprika taste like cayenne pepper?

Differences Between Paprika and Cayenne Pepper in the Kitchen

Cayenne pepper is a hot spice that adds fire to any meal, while paprika has a softer, somewhat sweeter flavor. Cayenne pepper has a grittier texture than paprika, which is processed into a smooth, fine powder.

Are cayenne and paprika interchangeable?

Is cayenne pepper synonymous with paprika? In a nutshell, no. Although they have many similarities, paprika and cayenne pepper are distinct spices. Dried chili peppers are processed into the bright orange-red powders we know and love to make paprika and cayenne.

Which is hotter cayenne or cumin?

According to The Epicentre, cumin has little heat and rates just three on the hotness scale. Cumin isn’t quite as spicy as cayenne, which has a hotness rating of eight to nine on the same scale.

Can you substitute Cajun seasoning for cayenne pepper?

2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. 4- 1 tablespoon chili powder + dried thyme + cayenne pepper

If you don’t have many components on hand, you may make a simple Cajun spice alternative using 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt.

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