What can I substitute for guajillo chili powder|8 Alternates

Chilies are a popular spice in Mexican and Southwest cuisine, lending their characteristic flavor to dishes like chili con carne and enchiladas

While the guajillo chili is a common variety used in these cuisines, it may not be easy to find in your local grocery store.

If you’re looking for a substitute for guajillo chili powder, Hot paprika or ancho chili powder would be good substitutes, or you could also try a mix of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika and more… Here are a few options to consider.

What are Guajillo Chilies?

Guajillo chilies are the dried form of mirasol chili, which Scoville score is 25000-5000 units. It is a type of chile pepper. 

Guajillo chilies also known as chile guaco. Guajillo chile has many applications in Mexican and Spanish cuisine including salsa, tamales, Chilate or mole de olla, Carne adobada, Pambazos,Consomés, and more.

What does a guajillo pepper taste like?

A guajillo pepper tastes like a mild to moderately spicy chile pepper. The guajillo pepper has a unique fruit-like flavor with a rich and more pronounced taste that makes a different flavor in Mexican cuisine.

Are guajillo chiles spicy?

Guajillo chiles are less spicy with a rich, pronounced flavor. It is the second most used chilies in Mexican cuisine after poblano or ancho chilies.

What can I use instead of guajillo chili?

While Guajillo chiles run out from my kitchen, I often use which you can use as well. Dried pasilla chili may be easier to find and can be substituted in the recipe.

You can use a regular chili powder, but ancho chili powder will add more depth to the flavor. Chipotle is another easy-to-find alternative and almost gives you the same flavor.

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and You can vary the amount of chili depending on how hot you like your food. Let’s check for more details.

8 Best Guajillo Chiles Substitutes

1. CHIPOTLE The Perfect Guajillo Chile substitute

Chipotle, now known as Chicotle after pronounced by BTS- Jeon Jungkook. Chipotle is also called Chipotle. 

A chipotle is a smoke-dried version of ripe jalapeno pepper primarily used for spice. It is extensively used in Mexican cuisine and recipes with Mexican influences.

chipotle the perfect guajillo chile substitute

Its heat is comparable to that of Guajillo chili. It is used in various dishes ( jalapeno, Hungarian wax pepper, Anaheim pepper).

You can use barbecue sauce or hot sauce. Chipotles are hot with a characteristic smoky flavor. Chipotle in various forms can be used in soups and stews and in meat braising liquid. You may be interested in ideal chipotle substitutes.

2. PASILLA- Good Alternative to Guajillo Chilies

Pasilla, a.k.a chile negro another good replacement for guajillo chilies in various sauces. Pasilla mainly dried form of chilaca chili pepper.


Pasilla chili is a great substitute for guajillo chiles. It has a similar heat level and rich flavor profile to that of the guajillo. Try substituting with an equal amount of guajillo chili.

If you’re looking for an alternative to your favorite dried chili pepper, try pasilla chili instead! This mild-medium spice will add depth and complexity to any dish without overpowering other flavors. 

3. ANCHO CHILE – decent Guajillo Chili Substitute

Ancho chili is a dried poblano chili. It is the most commonly used chili in Mexico. 


It has a fruity, raisin-like flavor and mild to medium heat. You may also try some ancho chile substitutes.

Ancho chili is often used as a substitution for guajillo chili. It is sometimes called “poblano chili,” even though it isn’t the same as a traditional poblano pepper (milder and sweeter than ancho chili).

Ancho chili can be used in place of guajillo chili in any recipe. Still, it should be noted that the heat level and flavor of the dish may be slightly altered.

4. Use DRIED NEW MEXICO CHILES Instead of Guajillo Chili Powder 

Dried New Mexico chiles are a very common chile used in the cuisine of northern Mexico and the American Southwest. They are a mild to medium chile, with a slightly fruity flavor and a touch of sweetness. They are also quite versatile, lending themselves to sweet and savory dishes.

They are primarily used in their dried state but can be roasted and rehydrated. The fresh version has a similar flavor to the dried, but at a fraction of the cost. 

Also, they have a totally different flavor that is simply not found in the dried version because they are so thin. The dehydrated peppers flatten out so much during the dehydration process that they are sometimes called New Mexico flat chiles. They are usually dark red but can be found in various colors.

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5. MULATO PEPPER- Another Option to Replace Guajillo Chili Powder

Mulato pepper is a chili pepper with a smoky, earthy flavor. It is often used in mole sauce and can also replace guajillo chili powder in recipes. Mulato pepper is available in most grocery stores and can be found online as well.

Mulato pepper is related to pasilla pepper, which has a similar flavor and appearance. Both Mulato and pasilla peppers are commonly used in mole sauce.

mulato pepper is another option to replace guajillo chili powder

Mulato pepper can be found in several colors, but red Mulato peppers are the most commonly available. When dried, Mulato peppers are dark brown or black.

The flavor of the Mulato pepper is very rich and smoky, with subtle notes of chocolate. The heat level is mild – if it is used in a recipe, the heat may not be noticeable at all.

Recipes commonly call for Mulato pepper include Mole Poblano and Spicy Beef and Cheese Gorditas.

6.PIMENT D’ESPELETTE – Similar to Guajillo Chile

Piment d’Espelette also known as Espelette pepper. It is a type of chili pepper grown in the French region of Espelette. It has a moderate heat level and a sweet, fruity flavor.

While guajillo chili is the most commonly used chili in Mexican cuisine, Espelette pepper can be used to substitute in any recipe. It has a slightly different flavor than guajillo chili, but it is still a flavorful and versatile pepper.

Espelette pepper is available in most grocery stores, and it can also be found online.

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7. CASCABEL CHILIES- Replacement for Guajillo Pepper

Cascabel chiles are an excellent replacement for guajillo peppers in recipes. They have a similar flavor but are a bit milder, making them a good choice for those who don’t like things too spicy.

Cascabel chiles are an excellent replacement for guajillo peppers in recipes.

Cascabel chiles are similar to guajillo chilies in that they also contain mild bitter flavors and earthy notes. Still, since they are more fleshy, they tend to be slightly spicier.

Cascabel chiles are often used in Mexican salsa recipes. They are usually combined with other chilies, like guajillo or chipotle peppers.

Cascabel chiles are the dried version of the rattle chili or “rattlesnake” chili. This type of chili is commonly grown in Mexico and found throughout Latin America.

Cascabel chiles are among the most popular peppers in Mexican cuisine and can be found in many traditional Spanish recipes.

8. Use TABASCO SAUCE Replace of Chile Guaco

Tabasco sauce is a spicy condiment prepared from tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt. It is a famous sauce used in Mexican cuisine.

tabasco is widely used in cooking recipes.

Tabasco sauce can be used to substitute guajillo chili in a recipe. Still, the heat level and flavor of the dish may be slightly altered.

Read More- Tabasco Sauce Alternatives

What can I use instead of dried guajillo chiles?

One possible substitution for dried guajillo chiles is ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are also dried, but they are sweeter and have a deeper flavor than guajillo chiles. Some Mexicans prefer the taste of ancho chiles.

I am using the recipe for dried guajillo chiles, but if you do not have dried chiles, you can use ancho chiles instead. It will give it a very unique flavor that I believe works really well in salsa.

When using this substitution, one thing to note is that the guajillo chiles are hotter than ancho chiles, so you may choose to use less, depending on your preference.

If you do not have chipotle powder, ancho chile powder can be substituted because it can be a little bit sweeter. However, if you do not have ancho chile powder, the best choice would probably leave out the chipotle powder.

The substitution for canned chipotle chiles would be pickled jalapeno peppers. If you do not have chipotle chiles, you can use jalapenos instead.

If you do not have pasilla powder, ancho powder can be a suitable substitute. Pasilla chili powder is slightly spicier than ancho chili powder, so if you use this substitution, you may want to use it slightly less.

One possible substitution for green tomatillos is red tomatillos. Red tomatillos are sweeter than green tomatillos, so you may want to use one less red tomato.

What is the difference between an ancho and guajillo chiles?

Ancho chiles are dried poblano peppers, while guajillo is the name for a dried mirasol pepper. There are a few subtle differences between poblanos and mirasols, but generally, they are interchangeable.

The label will say whether it’s a real poblano or a mirasol unless you buy it loose or pre-mixed.

If you can’t find ancho or mirasol chiles, you can use red pepper flakes or cayenne.

Read More- Best Green Chilies Replacement

Can I use ancho instead of Guajillo?

Yes, you can. Ancho is a dried poblano pepper that will give a slightly earthier flavor. Still, the overall taste will be very similar.

Wrap Up On Substitutes for Guajillo Chilies

Guajillo chilies are a staple in Mexican cuisine and offer an earthy flavor. You can substitute regular chili peppers, but they don’t have the same depth of taste as guajillos. If you don’t have any on hand, we recommend using serrano or jalapeño pepper instead.

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FAQs Related To Guajillo Chiles & Its Alternatives

Q1. Are guajillo chiles the same as ancho?

No. Guajillo chiles are less sweet, with a more intense flavor than the sweeter ancho chile.

Although both chiles start with the same letter and look similar in dried form (they’re both dark reddish-brown), each tastes entirely different.

Ancho chiles are poblano chiles that have been dried and they tend to be milder than guajillos. Guajillo chiles are the most widely used dried chiles in mole sauces and red chili stews. They tend to be more complex and rich with slightly bitter undertones.

Q2. pasilla vs guajillo

Pasilla and guajillo chiles are both medium-hot chiles; however, they have different flavors and appearances. Their heat is “medium,” so these chiles can be used in dishes that call for hotter chiles without losing the other flavors in the dish.

Their flavor is described as somewhat mild with a raisiny taste. Pasillas tend to be sweeter than guajillos, but both are quite good. Both chiles are perfect for use in sauces or for stuffing.

Guajillos are used in many different Mexican recipes, from mole sauces to table salsas. Pasillas are also used in many of the same dishes as guajillos, although they tend to be used more in sauces and moles. 

They can both be substituted in recipes, but you may have to adjust the amount to suit your tastes.

Both chiles are medium hot with a raisiny flavor. Pasilla tends to be slightly sweeter than guajillo, but both are quite good! Both chiles are perfect for use in sauces or for stuffing.

Q3. Can I use chili powder instead of guajillo?

You can use chili powder instead of guajillo if you have it at home. There are two issues with using chili powder instead of guajillo. 

The first issue is that guajillo is not very spicy; it’s more medium heat. If you use chili powder, the taste will be more hot than medium. 

The second issue is that not all chili powders are created equal. Some are hotter than others, some have different flavors in them. 

I recommend that you wait to use chili powder until the end of your cooking time and taste it. If it’s too hot for you, try adding some plain cocoa powder or chocolate to remove some of the spicinesses.

Q4. Can I use pasilla instead of guajillo?

Although pasilla and guajillo are often used interchangeably, Just like with anchos and Mulatos, they have different purposes and flavors. 

Guajillos are much spicier, so if you’re looking for a hotter result, that would be the way to go.

Q5. Are guajillo chiles hotter than ancho?

Yes. Guajillo chilies are hotter than ancho chile. The Scoville heat rate of guajillo is 2500 to 5000, whereas ancho has only 1000 to 1500, which is lower than guajillo.

Q6. What can I substitute for New Mexico chiles?

If you can’t find New Mexico chiles, you can substitute ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are dried poblano chili, and they are the most commonly used chili in Mexico. They have a fruity, raisin-like flavor and a mild to medium heat.

Guajillo pepper and chipotle powder because they are similar flavors to each other.

Q7. Where to buy guajillo chiles?

You can find guajillo chiles at most Mexican groceries. They’re on the lighter side of spicy, but they’re tasty. If you can’t find them, you could substitute Ancho chiles.

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