Best Cayenne Pepper Substitute (Alternative and Replacement)

Cayenne pepper belongs to the species Capsicum annuum, which includes some of the world’s most popular varieties of hot peppers.

This species is also specific because its fruits grow upright on the bush. Such a variety of peppers is called frutescens, and tabasco peppers belong to it, for example.

Cayenne pepper is a hot pepper originating most likely in South or Central America.

It got its name from the port city of Cayenne, which was the main place where these peppers were exported from Latin America to Europe.

Cayenne pepper is grown today in wide specific varieties.

Most of these varieties have a recognizable red color, but there are also yellow and purple ones. In the 19th century, yellow cayenne peppers were grown more often.

In addition to the color of these varieties of cayenne peppers, they also differ in their spiciness.

Most of them are mildly hot, but there are also very hot ones and even a few mildly hot varieties.

Cayenne pepper has from thirty thousand to fifty thousand Scoville heat units.

Scoville heat units are a measure of pepper’s spiciness.

For comparison, we will only mention that the hottest Carolina Reaper pepper reaches two million two hundred thousand Scoville heat units.

Some of the famous varieties of cayenne peppers are Cayenne large red thick, Cayenne Carolina, Cayenne Thomas Jefferson, Cayenne Turkish, Cayenne Iberian, Cayenne Indonesian, Cayenne long thick red, Numex las cruses Cayenne, Cayenne passion, Ring of Fire, Golden Cayenne, Cayenne Sweet or Cayenne violet.

As with other peppers, the medicinal properties of Cayenne largely depend on capsaicin, a natural alkaloid.

Capsaicin protects the body from various inflammatory processes, and one of the main characteristics of capsaicin is that it has the property of relieving pain.

Capsaicin reduces inflammatory processes by increasing blood circulation, thereby promoting the elimination of toxins from the body.

Cayenne pepper is very effective in burning fat because capsaicin is thermogenic and helps the body to produce more heat, thereby speeding up the metabolism.

In addition to helping the body burn calories, capsaicin also reduces excessive appetite and aids in digestion.

Best cayenne powder alternative

Hungarian paprika is a good alternative to cayenne powder, but they have some differences.

Cayenne peppers are ground into a coarser powder than Hungarian pepper, which is ground into a smooth fine powder.

In addition to having a rougher texture, Cayenne also has a lighter color, which is more orange, and the Hungarian pepper has a darker shade, which is redder.

Chile de arbol powder, Chili powder, Guajillo powder, Gochugaru, Kashmiri chili pepper, Cajun powder, Red Amazon Chili Peppers, and Chipotle pepper powder are excellent substitutes for cayenne powder in addition to Hungarian pepper.

Hungarian paprika

Hungarian paprika is an excellent substitute for ground cayenne pepper.

Depending on the type, the spiciness of these peppers varies, and the hottest Hungarian pepper reaches ten thousand Scoville heat units.

Hungarian paprika has a special aroma and taste.

herefore, Hungarian cuisine uses it as a spice in many dishes, especially the famous goulash dish.

Chile de arbol powder

Chile de arbol powder is an ingredient in many Mexican hot sauces, adobos, and salsas. This small and mighty red pepper is also known as the bird’s beak chili.

Chile de arbol is an excellent cayenne powder substitute because they are almost identical in spiciness.

Chili powder

Unlike chile powder, made only from ground dried chile peppers, chili powder combines ground dried chile peppers and other spices.

In addition, cumin, oregano, peppercorn, and salt are usually added.

Guajillo powder

Guajillo powder is made from ground guajillo chilies grown in the Mexican state of Zacatecas in the Durango region.

Guajillo powder is a basic ingredient in Mexican cuisine.

The aromas and flavors of this powder are very complex and contain aromas of berries, pine nuts, and green tea.


Gochugaru is a Korean chili powder whose main ingredient is red chili peppers called taeyangcho.

In Korean cuisine, this pepper powder is used for all kinds of dishes.

Gochugaru has a smoky aroma and is distinctively red.

There are several types of gochugaru on the market, which differ in their spiciness, but also in how many seeds the powder contains, so they can be found completely without seeds, but also those that contain a large percentage of seeds.

They can also vary in the fineness of the powder, so some gochugaru is produced as chili flakes.

Taeyangcho pepper has 1,500 to 10,000 Scoville heat units and is milder than cayenne pepper.

Kashmiri chili pepper

Kashmiri chili pepper is an Indian chili primarily known for its vibrant shade of red.

The taste of this chili is pleasant, spicy, and fruity at the same time.

Kashmiri chili pepper is one of the most valued chilies in India precisely because of its color, which is not surprising because, in South Asian cuisines, many spices are used simultaneously, which builds many delicious levels in each dish.

Still, the color of the prepared dish is also extremely important.

On the Scoville scale, it ranges from one thousand to two thousand heat units.

Cajun powder

Cajun powder is a mixture of spices consisting of cayenne peppers, black pepper, white pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika.

Cajun powder can also contain salt, mustard powder, chili peppers, or cumin in some variants.

Red Amazon Chili Peppers

Red Amazon Chili Peppers are a good replacement for ground cayenne pepper.

Red Amazon Chili Peppers are dried Tabasco chile with mild celery flavors.

Chipotle pepper powder

Chipotle pepper powder is made from jalapeno peppers that are dried and smoked, then ground into a fine powder.

In Mesoamerica, drying and smoking have been practiced since ancient times as effective ways of preserving food.

However, Jalapenos can’t just be dried in the sun because there is always a lot of moisture left in their thick, fleshy fruits, which makes them susceptible to rotting.

For dried and smoked jalapeno peppers, in addition to the usual name chipotle, other names are also used: chile ahumado and chile meco.

According to the drying method, there are two chipotle chili powders before grinding: Chipotle Morita Chile Powder and Chipotle Meco.

For the Chipotle Morita Chile Powder, jalapenos are dried until wrinkled and brownish-burgundy.

Moritas still have a little moisture, and their taste is fruity.

Chipotle Meco is a favorite in Mexico. To obtain this chipotle, a fully ripe jalapeno is smoked twice as long as the jalapenos used to make moritas.

As a result, Chipotle Mezzos are so smoky and dry that they look like cigars and have an ashy brown color.

Best fresh cayenne pepper alternative

Fresh Cayenne can be substituted with: Prik Jinda peppers, Prik Kee Noo Suan peppers, Tabasco Peppers, Guajillo chilies, African Bird’s Eye or African Devil, and Malaqueta Chili Peppers.

Prik Jinda peppers

Prik Jinda peppers are very hot pepper. This describes its aroma as grassy, so they call it green aroma.

Prik Kee Noo Suan peppers

Prik Kee Noo Suan peppers are the most popular pepper in Thailand and are often used in many dishes in Thai cuisine.

There are many types of chile peppers in Thailand, and the hottest range from fifty thousand Scoville heat units to one hundred thousand, much hotter than cayenne peppers.

Still, these peppers will be an excellent substitute for cayenne peppers.

Tabasco Peppers

Tabasco peppers are very similar to the cayenne pepper in terms of heat.

When fully ripe, tabasco peppers are red, sweet, slightly fruity, and smoky.

Tabasco peppers that are not ripe have a completely different and stronger taste.

Tabasco peppers are named after the Mexican state of Tabasco, where they are traditionally grown.

Still, since 1868, this type of pepper has been mainly associated with Louisiana and Avery Island, where it is grown for the production of Tabasco sauce.

The fresh tabasco pepper is very juicy, which makes it different from most chili peppers.

Guajillo chilies

In Spanish, Guajillo chilies are also known as mirasol chilies, which means sunflower or looking at the sun.

Guajillo chilies are divided into two varieties that differ in hotness and size.

Guajillo puia is a smaller variety. The name of this variety in translation means to poke. On the Scoville scale, it ranges up to fifteen thousand heat units.

Another variety of guajillo chilies is longer and wider and slightly less hot.

The Scoville scale ranges from two and a half thousand to five thousand heat units.

Guajillo chilies are reddish-brown. Their skin is thin and smooth.

African Bird’s Eye or African Devil

African Bird’s Eye or African Devil is a small chili from Sudan. It is also known by the names peri-peri and piri-piri.

On the Scoville scale, it climbs to one hundred and fifty thousand heat units.

African Devil, when fully ripe, have a red or purple color. Their shape is conical, which ends with a blunt tip. They never grow more than an inch.

Today, this chili is very popular outside of Africa, and it is especially widely used in Southeast Asia, in Malaysian, Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, Filipino, and Indonesian cuisine.

African Bird’s Eye can be used as a substitute for Cayenne, but be prepared for a powerful kick.

Malaqueta Chili Peppers

Malaqueta Chili Peppers are very popular in Brazil, Portugal, Mozambique, Angola, and the Caribbean.

On the Scoville scale, it ranges from sixty thousand to one hundred thousand heat units.

Malaqueta Chili Peppers never grow taller than two inches.

Best pickled cayenne pepper alternative

Peppers are pickled in a brine of vinegar and salt water. Herbs, spices, peppercorns, coriander, dill, and bay leaf are usually added to the brine for additional aromas.

Hungarian wax peppers

Hungarian wax pepper is a type of medium hot pepper.

On the Scoville scale, they range from completely mild, which does not exceed one thousand heat units, to medium hot ones, which do not exceed fifteen thousand heat units.

The hottest Hungarian wax pepper is the Bogyiszloi pepper, traditionally grown in the Hungarian village of Bogyiszlo, after which it got its name.

Pickled Bogyiszloi paprika is a great alternative to pickled cayenne peppers.

Serrano peppers

Serrano pepper is a Mexican type resistant to frost and low temperatures. It originates from the mountainous regions of Hidalgo and Pueblo.

It is recognizable because it is very meaty, so it is used to prepare pico de gallo and salsa.

Serrano peppers are eaten fresh but are very popular pickled.

Serrano peppers range from ten thousand to twenty-three thousand heat units on the Scoville scale.

Jalapeno peppers

The Jalapeno pepper is firm and smooth chili pepper.

When fully ripe, it is red, but it is usually picked before it is ripe, and the most common jalapenos you can find in stores are green.

Jalapeno pepper is milder than serrano pepper. The Scoville scale ranges from four thousand to eight and a half thousand heat units.

Jalapeno, translated from Spanish, means from Xalapa because this pepper was traditionally grown in the area of Veracruz in Mexico.

Pickled jalapenos are a great alternative to pickled cayenne peppers.

Jalapenos are preserved by pickling by either slicing them or processing them whole.

Jalapenos can be eaten fresh or fresh stuffed with cheese.

Jalapenos picked fully ripe and then dried in smoke are called chipotles.

Cherry peppers

Cherry peppers are slightly less hot than jalapenos, and on the Scoville scale, heat units range from two and a half thousand to five thousand.

Cherry peppers are small and round, and their skin is very firm. Because of these characteristics, cherry peppers are the best type for pickling.


Pimento is similar in size to cherry pepper, but unlike them, pimento is not spherical but a little more irregular, resembling the shape of a heart.

Pimento is used fresh or pickled.

The hottest varieties of this type of pepper are Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande.

A specific use of pimento peppers is as a filling for green olives.


Peperoncini is the Italian name for hot peppers.

The first written description of chili peppers grown in Italy dates back to 1568, and they were first mentioned in an Italian cookbook in 1694.

Italian chef Antonio Latini’s recipe for salsa alla Espanola describes how tomatoes, onions, salt, oil, and chopped pepperoncini combine in this dish.

In Calabria, pepperoncini are hung on wires hanging from houses. In this way, the pepperoncini are naturally dried in the sun.

On the Scoville scale, it ranges from fifteen thousand to thirty thousand heat units.

Best Cayenne peppers sauce alternatives

Cayenne peppers are used as the main ingredient in many hot sauces.

The popularity of these hot sauces surely lies in the recognizable aromas of Cayenne.

The most popular Cayenne pepper sauces include Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce, Crystal hot sauce, MAHI Cayenne & Cranberry Pepper Sauce, and The Chili Alchemist Flame, Ghost Pepper, and Cayenne Hot Sauce.

Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Instead, Frank’s Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce offers natural hot sauce notes in its ideal flavors and aromas.

In addition to being very tasty and adding a natural cayenne pepper aroma to dishes, this sauce can be found in stores in a practical package of six bottles of one hundred and forty-eight milliliters.

Crystal hot sauce is made from red cayenne peppers, salt, and vinegar.

This hot sauce was first produced in Louisiana, in New Orleans, in 1923.

Crystal hot sauce is reddish-orange. Compared to Tabasco sauce

Crystal hot sauce is hotter and has more pronounced dark aromas and chili flavor than vinegar, whose notes are muted.

MAHI Cayenne & Cranberry Pepper Sauce is a gluten-free and vegan sauce. This sauce has a mild and sweet taste and fruity aromas.

It is packed in six bottles of two hundred and eighty grams.

The Mahi company in England produces it. This natural product has no added artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

The Chili Alchemist Flame, Ghost Pepper, and Cayenne Hot Sauce are packaged in one hundred and fifty milliliter bottles.

The Chili Alchemist Flame, Ghost Pepper, and Cayenne Hot Sauce are produced by the UK company Chili Alchemist using all-natural ingredients with no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

This is a very spicy high, quality original sauce.

It is used as an addition to grilled vegetables, meat, soups, and pasta.

Cayenne pepper sauce can be used in marinades and dressings. For a good creamy and spicy dressing, you can mix the cayenne sauce with yogurt or mayonnaise, and for a marinade, it is enough to mix it with olive oil, herbs, and vinegar.

As a substitute for cayenne pepper sauces, we offer you these: Tabasco sauce, Cholula original hot sauce, Yellowbird habanero sauce, Trappey’s Hot Sauce, and Mike’s hot Honey.

Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce is an American hot sauce made from Tabasco peppers.

Tabasco peppers were once grown only on Avery Island in South Louisiana, but their production has spread today.

Tabasco is grown in Africa, Central America, and South America. Tabasco is grown on Avery Island, not used in production but for producing seeds.

Tabasco sauce is made only from salt, vinegar, and peppers. The secret of the taste of this sauce lies in the long maturation process in white oak barrels.

Tabasco peppers range from thirty thousand to fifty thousand heat units on the Scoville scale.

Cholula original hot sauce

Cholula original hot sauce is made from two types of peppers: pequin pepper and chile de arbol.

In addition to these two types of peppers, water, salt, vinegar, xantham gum, and several spices are used to produce this sauce, which is a trade secret.

Cholula original hot sauce contains one hundred and ten milligrams of sodium, which does not classify it among hot sauces with a low percentage of sodium.

Xantham gum is a thickening agent that stabilizes the sauce and prevents the ingredients from separating.

Xantham gum is made from corn sugar that has been fermented by bacteria.

Cholula original hot sauce is a Mexican hot sauce that is produced according to the same hundred-year-old recipe.

Pequin pepper is originally from Mexico. On the Scoville scale, it ranges from forty thousand to sixty thousand heat units.

Pequin peppers are very popular in northern Mexico and are used in many traditional dishes.

Yellowbird habanero sauce

Yellowbird habanero sauce is made from organic carrots, onions, garlic, organic cane sugar, lime juice concentrate, distilled vinegar, tangerine juice concentrate, salt, and habanero peppers.

All these ingredients go perfectly with the fruity sweetness of the habanero pepper.

Yellowbird habanero sauce goes well with rice, salads, chicken, tacos, and pizza.


Tapatio is a Mexican sauce that originated in Southern California. It has been produced according to the same recipe since 1971.

Jose-Luis Savedra, Sr. started making it in Maywood, California.

The production of Tapao uses red peppers, water, salt, garlic, sodium benzoate, acetic acid, xanthan gum, and spices that are a trade secret.

According to the testimonies of Jose-Luis Savedra Sr. himself, he started producing Tapatio in his small warehouse because he could not get any other hot sauce except Tabasco anywhere in California at the time.


You will most likely find Valentina hot sauce in any Mexican taqueria. Compared to Tabasco, it contains less vinegar, and they also differ in that Valentina sauce is thicker.

The production of Valentino uses chili peppers, salt vinegar, sodium benzoate, water, and spices, which are a trade secret.

El Yucateco Chile Habanero

El Yucateco Chile Habanero is made from habanero peppers, water, salt, onion powder, acetic acid, and spices.

El Yucateco Chile Habanero was created in 1986 on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

El Yucateco Chile Habanero is produced in several varieties: Red Habanero, Green Habanero, Kutbilik Habanero, Caribbean Habanero, Black Habanero, Jalapeno, and Chipotle.

Trappey’s Hot Sauce

Trappey’s Hot Sauce is a mild hot sauce with distinctive Cajun flavors. In terms of spiciness, it is somewhere in the middle of the scale of hot sauces.

Mike’s hot honey

Mike’s hot honey is a completely natural hot sauce made from chili peppers, vinegar, and pure honey.

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