Substitutes for Cayenne Pepper 

Homestead How-To

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What is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne is a vibrant red pepper from the capsicum annum plant family.

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10 Best Cayenne Pepper Substitutes When You're in a Pinch

Red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes taste similar to cayenne pepper and provide the same level of heat.

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Chili powder

Chili powder is a fantastic substitute for cayenne pepper as it shares a similar flavor profile and composition.

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Paprika has different flavors, ranging from sweet to hot. For the closest match to cayenne pepper's taste, choose hot paprika.

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Serrano peppers

Serrano peppers are quite hot, ranging between 10,000 to 23,000 on the Scoville heat scale, so they will deliver the same heat level as cayenne pepper.

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Gochugaru is a Korean chili flake seasoning commonly used in Korean cuisine. Its vibrant red color and smoky heat make it a fantastic substitute for cayenne pepper.

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Black pepper

Black pepper has a strong aroma and a mild, peppery taste with hints of citrus. It will add a touch of heat to your dish while enhancing its overall flavor.

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Chipotle powder

Chipotle powder is made from dried and smoked jalapeno peppers, giving it a smoky and mildly spicy flavor.

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Habanero powder

Habanero powder is known for its intense spiciness, scoring between 100,000 and 350,000 on the Scoville scale. Habanero powder brings both heat and fruity flavor.

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Fresh habanero pepper

You can use fresh habanero pepper in various dishes that call for cayenne pepper. It works well in sauces and stews.

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Hot sauce

If you need a quick and easily accessible substitute that you likely already have in your kitchen, hot sauce is a great option.

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