Aleppo Pepper Substitutes – 5 Similar Peppers To Use

I’m sure that everyone would love to have Myhammara dip or ful medames with their smoky, spicy taste. It’s equally amazing to taste the grilled kebabs marinated with Aleppo pepper.

Aleppo pepper comes from a burgundy chile also known as the Halaby pepper. The ripened peppers are semi-dried, de-seeded, and coarsely ground like the chili flakes. Aleppo is a popular Middle Eastern condiment that is often used to season beans, salads, and meat.

This article explores the best substitutes for Aleppo pepper that you can use in pinch.

Substitute For Aleppo Pepper

Are you looking for an Aleppo pepper substitute? Here you have got the solution.

By the way, the pepper is notoriously difficult to source outside Syrian and Turkish home regions.

If you find that you don’t have Aleppo pepper flakes required for your recipe, still you can save the recipe by using a suitable alternative to it.

Depending on your heat tolerance, choose the right replacement pepper spice agreeable to your recipe. Here are a few good stand-in ingredients for Aleppo pepper flakes.

1. Blend Cayenne Pepper and Sweet Paprika

Aleppo pepper has an earthy flavor with hints of resin and tomato but cayenne pepper lack this flavor profile. However, they both are spicy and hot. On the other hand, sweet paprika is known for its earthy and fruity flavor akin to Aleppo pepper.

Thus, a blend of sweet paprika and cayenne pepper provides a similar flavor and heat to Aleppo pepper flakes. To achieve the closest flavor profile of Aleppo pepper, mix four parts of sweet paprika with one part of cayenne pepper.

In case, you don’t have the Hungarian sweet paprika, use any generic variety of paprika.

2. Crushed red pepper

Red pepper flakes don’t have the exact complex flavor of Aleppo pepper, but in an emergency, you can certainly use it as a replacement.

The subtle sweetness of crushed red peppers is somewhat similar to the Aleppo pepper.

Usually, two or more varieties of chilies are blended to make red pepper flakes, thus, it has a deep heat profile. Before use, crush the flakes into a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle for the infusion of its flavors to the maximum.

Some chefs recommend adding a bit more salt and a few drops of olive oil to the crushed red pepper mixture to achieve that perfect Aleppo pepper consistency.

3. Marash Pepper

Marash pepper, which is known as “maras biberi” in Turkey, is the essence of several genuine Turkish dishes. It’s a close cousin of Allepo pepper.

Marash pepper is known for its rich, complex, and slightly sweet flavor. It is smokier and has more heat than Aleppo pepper.

In Turkish cuisines, they both are used interchangeably.

4. Antebi Pepper

The appearance and flavor profile of Antebi pepper is quite the same as the Aleppo and Marash peppers. It has a milder heat profile than Aleppo but bit fruitier. Undoubtedly, Antebi pepper is a wonderful alternative to Aleppo pepper but they are a scarce variety of pepper rather difficult to trace in most places outside Turkey.

5. Gochugaru

Traditionally made from sun-dried Korean red chili peppers, gochugaru has a complex flavor profile with smoky, spicy, and sweet tastes.

These crushed and seedless red pepper flakes are a good substitute for Aleppo pepper.

In fact, it is difficult to distinguish the taste differences when Gochugaru is used in place of Aleppo peppers.

Aleppo pepper


Is Aleppo pepper the same as crushed red pepper?

Aleppo pepper flakes contain no inner flesh or seeds, unlike the crushed red pepper. Flavor-wise, Aleppo flakes are fairly mild with a sweet, slightly citrusy edge. On the other hand, crushed red pepper is made of medium-hot peppers; mostly the cayenne peppers and they lack the complex flavors of Aleppo but are spicy hot. All the same, these two peppers can be used interchangeably in most recipes that call for either of them.

Is Aleppo pepper the same as Aleppo chili?

Yes, they are the same. Aleppo is also known by different names such as Halaby Pepper, Near Eastern Pepper, Halab Pepper, Pul Biber (Turkey), and Haleb Biber (Armenia). Aleppo chili is a commonly used chili flake in Mediterranean cuisines.

What is the difference between Aleppo pepper and Harissa? Harisa is not a pepper but a hot chili pepper paste, native to the Maghreb. It contains multiple ingredients such as roasted red peppers, Baklouti peppers, and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, and olive oil. Whereas, Aleppo pepper is a chili flake made from Halaby pepper and contains no other ingredients except salt.

What is the difference between Aleppo pepper and Ancho chili powder?

They have many similarities and flavors and uses, but Aleppo pepper has an earthy flavor with a bit of saltiness and a citrusy hint. Ancho chili powder is made of dried and ground Ancho chilies and also contains other spices and herbs like oregano, garlic powder, and cumin. Ancho chiles are a quick substitute for Aleppo pepper and vice versa.

Is Aleppo pepper the same as Cayenne pepper?

They aren’t the same peppers. Cayenne pepper can be 3 to 5 times hotter than Aleppo and has a flat flavor. Usually, the crushed red pepper flakes are made of cayenne pepper but they lack the complex flavors of Aleppo chili which has hints of cumin, salt, and slightly citrusy and smoky notes.

For further reading, see the best substitutes to use for chipotle powder in your cooking.