9 Best Chile De Arbol Substitutes

Chile de Arbol is a very popular pepper used commonly in Mexican cuisines and is also gradually making its way across the world. Now, if you ever need chile de arbol peppers for your dishes, but none are available, you will need any of the chile de arbol substitutes discussed below.

Thankfully, the Chilean varieties are very similar to many other peppers available in the United States.

Some of the best substitutes for Chile De Arbol that we will be discussing about today include jalapeno pepper, paprika, serrano pepper, sweet bell pepper, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, gochutgaru, and mirasol chili.

Let’s quickly learn more about them!

Best Chile De Arbol Substitutes

1. Cayenne Peppers

Since the Chile de Arbol peppers are usually gotten in their dried or powdered forms, the easiest and closest substitute you can find is the cayenne pepper powder.

This spice is used to heat your dishes like soups and stews, and not only do the cayenne peppers have a similar shape and color to the Chile de Arbol, it also has almost the same heat level.

With a Scoville heat unit of about 5000 SHU, the cayenne peppers would maintain the same heat as the Chile de Arbol.

2. Serrano Peppers

Another excellent option you can choose to go for is the serrano pepper. Most people prefer to buy these peppers when they are green and leave them for some time to mature to a bright red color, just like the Arbols.

The serrano peppers are slightly less spicy when compared to the Arbol, but they have a similar delicious flavor and relatively thin wall compared to them.

If you want your dish with dry peppers, you can dry them yourself by using a dehydrator, or you can use them fresh.

3. Jalapeno Pepper

If the other two listed above don’t seem right or are not readily available, you can consider going for the jalapeno peppers, but you would have to put a larger quantity since they are less spicy.

Another pepper that is just like the jalapeno peppers is the chiles japones, a variety usually sold in its whole dried forms.

You can also find some other drier pepper types, especially during the peak of the harvest season. It would help you keep in mind that the Chile de Arbol peppers are usually used to add color and heat to your dish, not necessarily flavor, so that any hot pepper would work fine as an alternative.

4. Homemade Powdered Pepper

The fastest and easiest substitute you can get is homemade pepper. All you will need for this is just a variety of hot peppers, a dehydrator, and a grinder.

You want to remove all the moisture content from these peppers and then have them pulverized into flakes or powders. It would be best for you to be extra careful while doing this.

I advise that you have respiratory protection to prevent capsaicin-laced powder, which can cause major irritation, from getting into your lungs.

5. Paprika

If you’re on the lookout for a substitute with just the mild flavor and bright red color of the chile de Arbol with no heat, try out the paprika. Paprika is just dehydrated bell peppers that are then ground into a powder for use.

The spice of this pepper would taste just like the Chile de Arbol, but when it comes to heat, you shouldn’t count it in.

If you want to go a bit over the edge and add a smoky flavor to your dish, you should consider smoking your paprika instead of just dehydrating it, and the smoked pepper adds a rich and powerful taste to dishes. This method is highly recommended, trust me!

6. Chili Flakes

In some countries like Italy, chili flakes are more common than powders. These chili flakes work well in pizzas and portions of pasta and other salad dishes but can also be suitable as a substitute for Chile de Arbol when needed.

One downturn that you can encounter with the chili flakes is that they’re very large. Some dishes like stews and sups would need powdered chiles, so this can fill in for it.

If what you have available is the chili flakes, not to worry; you can try grounding these chili peppers using a manual grinder, as the presence of these peppers in certain dishes might not be pleasing.

7. Sweet Bell Peppers

Just like I have earlier mentioned, the bell peppers would only provide you with a fresh taste and an Arbol-like flavor, but it is not a suitable match when it comes to heat.

The texture of your dish will differ since bell peppers are large and thick, but the flavor should be able to fill in for whatever you are cooking.

The bell peppers are not the only alternative with low heat. If you’re looking for other low heat suggestions, you can try the cubanelle pepper, jimmy Cardello pepper, mini sweet pepper, and sweet banana peppers.

8. Gochugaru

This pepper comes in flaky forms, and they are usually referred to as the Korean spicy dried chili pepper. They are extensively used in Korean dishes, but they can also work well as substitutes for Chile de Arbol.

The Gochugaru pepper is not so easy to find in some parts of the world but when you lay your hands on them, do well to get enough of them as they can also be useful in creating other delicacies.

9. Mirasol Chili

If you can lay your hands on dried mirasol chili (guajillo peppers), they can also work relatively well as a substitute, even if they should be considered a last resort.

Like the bell peppers, the mirasol chilis are less hot than the Chile de Arbol, and they also have their distinctive flavor, which varies a bit from the Chile de arbol’s. The best thing about this pepper is that they are very easy to find in the Mexican market.

These are a few of the substitutes you should try out as they are one of the best, and you can at least get one, if not more, at the grocery market.

Related Questions

What Is Chile Similar to Chile De Arbol?

Some of the chiles that are simar to the Chile de arbol is the dried japones or Thai birl chiles. They both pack a fiery heat with a mild, tasty flavor like the Chile de arbol’s. No noticeable difference would be seen when used in place of the chile de Arbol.

What Does Arbol Chile Taste Like?

The easier way to describe this Chile is that it has a natural, grassy, and mild flavor and heat with a hint of nuttiness. The dried form of this pepper usually has a more distinctive taste than when it is fresh, as the drying process enhances the flavor.

How Spicy Is a Habanero?

The habanero peppers are very hot as they have a whole load of capsaicinoids with a Scoville heat unit of 150,000. These peppers rank among some very hot peppers and should be used with extra care in dishes.

How Hot Is Scorpion Pepper?

The scorpion pepper is also one of the extremely hot peppers your taste buds can come across. With a Scoville heat unit of about 300,000, the scorpion pepper has an overall heat intensity of times two of the habanero peppers.

How Hot Is Cayenne Pepper?

Cayenne pepper might seem like a lot of heat with a Scoville heat unit of 30,000-50,000, but when compared with the scorpion or habanero peppers, it is considered mid. The cayenne pepper belongs in the same league as the serrano peppers and Thai.

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