Substitute For Chipotle Powder – 7 Easy Swaps That Work

Looking for a substitute for chipotle powder? Luckily, there are enough replacement options to save your recipe. Something that is smoky and hot is the ideal choice. In this article, you’ll find the best ingredients to use in place of chipotle powder without comprising the flavor profiles of your recipe.

What Is Chipotle Powder?

Chipotle powder is a moderately spicy chili powder made from chipotle peppers, which are dried and smoked jalapeno peppers. It renders a smoky heat to the dishes with a mild fruity undertone.

It’s a common ingredient used in Mexican or Mexican-inspired dishes. This tasty and versatile seasoning is frequently used to marinate meats and in barbecue sauces. Sprinkle it on anything from meat, fish, eggs, stews, or sauces.

The mild heat of chipotle powder with a smoky tang elevates the taste of your dishes to another level. It can turn your barbecue into an absolute relish and give an earthy smokiness to any meat.

Best Substitute For Chipotle Powder

Don’t panic if you have got no chipotle powder in stock. There are plenty of alternatives that can replicate a similar heat, smokiness, and fruitiness to your favorite barbecue or grilled meat. Fortunately, many of these substitute ingredients you might already have in your kitchen cabinet. Here are the top 7 chipotle pepper substitutes worth giving a try:

1. Smoked Paprika Powder

Smoked paprika, often called smoked Spanish paprika or pimenton, is made from peppers that are smoked and dried over oak fires. There are different versions of paprika according to the type of dried peppers used from the Capsicum anuum family such as cayenne, poblano, or Aleppo peppers. Some of them are very hot but most types of them are moderately hot and sweet.

Undoubtedly, the best substitute for chipotle powder is none other than smoked paprika. It has not only the flavor profiles of chipotle but is also easily available in most places. Paprika is mildly spicy and sweet like chipotle with the very same smoky flavor. Also, see if any of the paprika substitutes you can use in an emergency.

2. Other Chipotle Products

If you are looking for the easiest yet most accurate replacement for chipotle powder then turn to chipotle paste, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or chipotle hot sauce. They may not fit into all the recipes but certainly work for many recipes that call for chipotle powder.  Importantly, most chipotle condiments come with other ingredients. For example, Adobo sauce and chipotle hot sauce have tomato as the base ingredient, also they are liquid-based. However, they all have chipotle flavor in dominance, especially the smoky flavor which is rare with other chilies. While using any of them to replace chipotle powder, start out with less in the recipe to avoid other flavors overwhelming your dish.

3. Ancho Powder

Ancho powder is ground ancho (poblano) peppers which is a dark smoky chili with mild to medium level heat and rich flavor. The flavor is somewhat sweet and a little raisin-like.

You have another excellent alternative to chipotle powder in ancho powder because it has the characteristic smoky flavor and fruity punch like chipotle. But some may not like ancho powder for its over sweetness and lack of heat in comparison to chipotle.  If you love to munch on less spicy foods then ancho is a wonderful choice for you. For those who enjoy spicy foods, adding a pinch of other hotter ground peppers to ancho powder is a nice option.

4. Chili Powder

Chili powder is another good chipotle powder substitute, especially in spicy or savory dishes. Traditional chili powder is a mixture of ground chili peppers that include chipotle powder, paprika, cayenne, and a few other common spices like cumin, oregano, coriander, and garlic powder, and onion powder. While substituting, use chili powder in 1:1 for chipotle powder.

5. Smoked Cayenne Powder

Cayenne pepper is a hot chili in the Capsicum family with much higher heat levels than chipotle. You can find in some groceries a smoked version of cayenne powder or else you can smoke-dry the cayenne pepper before grinding. Being hotter than chipotle, use it in about half the quantity of chipotle required in your recipe. Besides being a good substitute, cayenne is superior to chipotle for its many health benefits. Some of the substitutes for cayenne pepper also could be a good option to consider.

6. Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes or crushed red pepper, known for its spicy heat, come from a range of capsicum peppers like Jalapeno, Fresno, bell peppers, or Anaheim. It does not have the smoky tang of chipotle yet is a workable option to turn your dishes hot and spicy. Occasionally, you can also find smoked red pepper flakes that would be ideal substitution for chipotle. Crushed pepper is hotter than chipotle; use it in less quantity than chipotle powder needed in your recipe.

7. Pasilla Powder

In our final recommendation, smoked Pasilla powder is a fine substitute for chipotle powder. Like chipotle, Pasilla powder has a rich taste and medium-level heat. You’ll experience a gentle fruity flavor in Pasilla that is akin to raisins or prunes. If you’re lucky, you can even find a smoked version of Pasilla powder though rare. Use Pasilla powder in 1:1 replacement for chipotle powder.