12 Guajillo Chile Substitutes to Impress Your Mexican Girlfriend

Guajillo peppers are another name for Guajillo chillies. They are the most common chilies used in Mexican cookery. Each chile is around 4 to 6 inches long. It is sturdy and bright red in color. They are also known as dried mirasol chilies.

Guajillo chiles may be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, marinades, salsas, meat, and pastes. It may be used in meals that need a little spiciness but not too much. If you happen to run out, here are some options to think about.

  1. Ancho Peppers
  2. California Chiles
  3. Chile de Arbol Powder
  4. Cascabel Chiles
  5. Chipotle Chili Peppers
  6. Dried New Mexico Chiles
  7. Gochugaru

Before we get into the various alternatives, let’s learn a little more about these beloved Mexican peppers.

12 Best Substitute For Guajillo Chiles 

The heat level of Guajillo chilies ranges from moderate to medium. If you want a more objective assessment, the Scoville scale ranges from 2500 to 5000 SHU. Even with its fire, a guajillo chile may give other unique tastes, a fruity, smoky, and sweet combination reminiscent of berries and tea.

This chile may be found in a variety of Central American and Mexican recipes.

Because the chiles come in two spice levels, you may choose between mild and medium. Although the Guajillo puya is smaller, it is hotter.

Guajillo chilies will get a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 (Team, 2020).

Guajillo chilies are available in powder form. They are available in dry forms that may be processed and burnt into powder. Both the powder and dry versions may be rehydrated and used as a sauce or paste.

Ancho peppers and California Chiles are some of the greatest spiciness replacements.

Ancho Peppers


Ancho peppers have a sweet and smokey taste as well. However, instead of berries and tea, it will provide you with a chocolate and raisin combination. These peppers are also meatier. Their sweeter taste may mask some of the fire you want.

Ancho peppers, in reality, have a low Scoville scale rating of 1000 to 2000 SHU. They are, nevertheless, excellent for marinades, soups, and sauces. You may also use them as a replacement for guajillo in meat rubs.

California Chiles

California chiles are made from dried and matured Anaheim peppers. Their heat levels are moderate, and they are somewhat sweet. People like it because of its strong taste and little acidity. On the Scoville scale, it ranges from 500 to 2500 SHU.

Like Ancho peppers, they work well in sauces, soups, and stews. This substitution may also be used in casseroles.

Chile de Arbol Powder


You may also use chile de arbol powder. It’s made from small, brilliant red peppers. However, only use this if you want to turn up the heat. The Scoville scale ranges from 15000 to 65000 SHU for this replacement.

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Because chile de arbol powder is more hotter than most other replacements, it should be used sparingly. You may use it for the first serving of guajillo necessary for your dish. This manner, you can ensure that the meal does not get very heated. Of course, you may add a bit extra if you’re feeling very daring.

Cascabel Chiles

The hue of Cascabel chiles is brownish red. They are also shorter and rounder. So, based on look alone, they fail to be replacements.

They do, however, offer a wonderful moderate heat with a smokey flavor. Cascabel chiles have a Scoville heat index of 1500 to 2500. They may also be used to make stews, soups, and sauces.

While these chillies are not apparent alternatives, they may give the woodsy flavor of guajillo chillies.

Chipotle Chili Peppers


Chipotle chile peppers are created from dried, smoked jalapeño. So far, they are hotter than the aforementioned replacements, with Scoville heat levels ranging from 2500 to 8000 SHU. They are also capable of recreating the smokey taste of guajillo chilies.

They may be used in a variety of ways, including marinades and sauces, as well as flakes and powders.

Dried New Mexico Chiles

Dried New Mexico chilies have the same glossy skin as guajillo chiles, but they are much longer, measuring 12 to 17 cm. At 800 to 1400 SHU on the Scoville scale, they are moderate when compared to guajillo chilies.

However, they have a sweet and earthy taste, similar to guajillo chilies. You won’t receive berry or tea, but you will get a dried cherry flavor. These chilies, like guajillo chiles, are versatile, working well with rubs and chutneys as well as sauces and salsas.



This Korean red chile pepper is often used in the preparation of kimchi. As a result, you may not anticipate it here. However, it is spicy. It is sun-dried and has a lot of heat in a little package. It is available in flake or powder form.

Gochugaru has the same Scoville heat level as a jalapeño, ranging from 5000 to 8000 SHU. It also includes sweet and smokey tastes to make it taste like guajillo. It is spicy enough that you should use half of it for every serving of guajillo peppers.

Mulato Chiles

The Mulato chile is another somewhat hot replacement. It has a Scoville heat index of 2500 to 3000, which is rather high when compared to the milder varieties of guajillo chillies. It also boasts a nice balance of sweet, smokey, and fruity flavors.

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Mulato chiles are a very common ingredient that may be found in almost any meal. As a result, you should have an easier time finding for this specific alternative.

Pasilla Peppers


Pasilla peppers have a somewhat sweet taste. They have a fruit and chocolate taste to them. They’re long, slender, and wrinkled. They are much darker than guajillo chilies. As a result, they don’t seem to be a suitable match.

However, the taste is comparable to that of guajillo peppers. On the Scoville scale, the heat intensity ranges from 1000 to 2500 SHU. These peppers are excellent for the usual: sauces, stews, soups, and so on.

Piment d’Espellete

The Espellete pepper has a medium heat level. A sweet and fruity taste complements its flavor character. It is more adaptable than guajillo chile and may be used to replace it in any dish. There is a subtle variation in taste that you will notice immediately away.

This pepper’s availability is superior than that of guajillo peppers. They are available at most grocery shops and may also be obtained online.

Puya Chiles


If you want to use puja chiles, you may go on the spicy side. They are smaller and hotter than guajillo peppers. They may also have an intriguing taste character with undertones of cherry and licorice.

The Scoville heat level of 5000 to 8000 SHU suggests that only those looking for greater fire will choose this replacement. Puya is used in a variety of spicy Central American recipes. It may also be applied to cooked vegetables.


Tabasco chiles, salt, and vinegar make up this fiery sauce. It is often used in Mexican recipes, as are guajillo peppers. There will be a difference in flavor and heat intensity, but it is an excellent replacement.

When do you need guajillo substitutes?

You need guajillo substitutes when:

  1. You ran out of the peppers.

You may be in the midst of preparing dinner at home. So you can’t get out of the home quick enough to get anything to utilize. More than likely, you’ll look for something similar in your kitchen.

  1. You don’t have a local merchant who can provide you with the ingredient.

Guajillo peppers may not be accessible in your area. They may be difficult to come by (What may I Substitute For Guajillo Chili?, n.d.). So, although you may need to purchase and wait for the goods, you need immediate assistance.

  1. You need a comparable flavor but with a greater or lower amount of heat.

Not everyone is OK with the same degree of heat. Some people may prefer something milder and sweeter. Guajillo chiles are sweet and mild enough, but some people want a distinct taste profile to go with the fire. Some folks, on the other hand, may like something hotter on the Scoville scale.

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Guajillo Chiles Substitute Related FAQs

Are Guajillo peppers the same as ancho peppers?

Guajillo and ancho peppers have similar flavors, but they are not the same. If you detect a more chocolaty and raisin-like taste, ancho peppers may have been utilized.

Guajillo, on the other hand, has a stronger berry and tea taste.

Are Guajillo chiles the same as New Mexico chiles?

You may have read earlier in this post that New Mexico chilies are excellent alternatives for Guajillo chiles.

These two species of chiles are excellent alternatives for one another in Mexican cookery. New Mexico chilies are darker in color than guajillos.

However, in terms of flavor, they are both on the light side. New Mexican chilies have a milder flavor than guajillo chiles.

Where can I find guajillo peppers near me?

Guajillo peppers are becoming increasingly common in internet retailers and Mexican supermarket stores. As a result, you may need to purchase your supplies ahead of time.

What do you use guajillo chiles for?

Guajillo chilies are a foundation ingredient in Mexican sauces and salsas. They provide a pleasant, fruity taste with a hint of spice. Cooks usually add them to chile de arbol to make it spicier.

The chile, on the other hand, is moderate. As a result, you won’t lose out on the genuine flavor of the food.

Are guajillo chiles considered hot?

They are, indeed, heated. They are not, however, as spicy as some other peppers. They are merely intended to add flavor to a meal and make it more intriguing.

Guajillo chilies are, on the whole, moderate. There is one that is better suited to medium heat.

Are guajillo peppers good for chile?

They are, indeed. Guajillo peppers, in fact, are one of the most popular Mexican ingredients for salsas, soups, and sauces. Chili is on the menu. Guajillo has just the proper heat and sweetness for the dish.

How do you cook dried guajillo chile peppers?

In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once the heat has been turned off, add the guajillos. Then, cover the saucepan and let aside for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the chiles to rehydrate. Allow the peppers to soften and become workable.

Then you may use them in any of your spicy recipes.

How do you use guajillo chiles?

Guajillo chiles may be used in salsas and a variety of other Mexican cuisines. They go well with tortilla chips, enchiladas, tacos, and tamales. You may even include them into your adobos and sauces.


What is a good substitute for guajillo chiles?

Ancho pepper is the simplest guajillo alternative to find.

Ancho peppers are a part of the Mexican “Holy Trinity” of chilies that are considerably simpler to locate in supermarkets. This dried poblano pepper is available at most specialist Mexican grocers and even some supermarkets.

What can I substitute for guajillo chiles in birria tacos?

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

What is the fresh version of guajillo?

This pepper, like many Mexican peppers, has multiple names in fresh and dried form. When fresh, the red peppers are known as “mirasol,” and when dried, they are known as “guajillo peppers.”

Can I use chile ancho instead of guajillo?

Yes, you may substitute ancho chiles for guajillo chili peppers in any recipe, albeit the tastes will differ. Anchos have a more earthy, deeper taste, whilst guajillos are fruitier with green tea undertones. They really function fantastically well together.

What can I substitute for dried Mexican chiles?

However, mulato or guajillo chile peppers may be substituted. Alternatively, use 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or paprika) for each chile called for in the recipe.

What flavor is dried guajillo chiles?

Guajillo chilies have a sweet, fruity, acidic, and smokey taste profile with berry and tea undertones. They have a moderate heat, measuring between 2,500 and 5,000 on the Scoville scale.

Can I substitute chili powder for guajillo?

Yes, Guajillo Chile Powder may be substituted for Ancho Chile Powder and vice versa. The same is true for chile flakes derived from any of these varieties of chilies, as well as entire chiles. They are both interchangeable.

Are New Mexico chiles similar to guajillo chiles?

Are New Mexico Chiles and Guajillo Chiles the same? While both are members of the Capsicum Annuum botanical family, Guajillo Chiles have a distinct taste profile (a little smokier tartness) and deliver greater heat (2,500-5,000 SHU).

Which is hotter guajillo or ancho?

Which is hotter, the ancho or the guajillo? Despite its mildness, the guajillo pepper is hotter than even the hottest anchos. Ancho chilies have a Scoville rating of 1,000 to 1,500, putting them in the moderate category of spicy peppers.

Which is hotter guajillo or chipotle?

Because chipotle peppers are basically dried jalapeos (2,500 to 8,000 SHU), the guajillo is almost as spicy. When compared to the spice rack mainstay cayenne powder (30,000 to 50,000 SHU), the guajillo is 6 to 25 times milder.

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