Cayenne Pepper Substitutes (Red Pepper Flakes & More)

What if I told you that it is possible to grow red pepper flakes in your garden? Isn’t this interesting? I found it fascinating, so I decided to grow them in my garden.

While growing them, I discovered many important basic requirements that you need to know if you also want cayenne peppers to thrive in your garden. The interesting thing is that I learned about many substitutes for cayenne pepper.

What if you don’t have them? You should be aware of its substitutes so that whenever you crave them, you have alternatives on hand. This guide will introduce you to cayenne pepper substitutes. So, let’s begin by understanding these substitutes in detail.

Key takeaways:

  • Cayenne peppers can be used in tea, toasts, curries, stews, etc.
  • These peppers can add magic to your life. They come from a family of hot chili peppers. 
  • Cayenne is a spice made from cayenne peppers.
  • You know a pinch of cayenne peppers can make your dishes so tasty and savory that you can not resist eating them.

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

The pepper belongs to the nightshade family and is known as the cayenne pepper. It grows on the capsicum pepper plant and is also related to bell peppers, Ornamental Pepper Plants, etc, and other varieties of chili peppers.

It will give you the spicy peppers that you will love to eat. It originated from a place named Cayenne which is situated in French Guiana. That is why these peppers are known as cayenne peppers. 

They come in a bright red shade that will give a spicy taste. You can eat them in dried form after the right time of picking cayenne peppers,  in powdered form, or even by cooking them. Growing them is a great addition to getting red seasonings which will add taste to your dishes.

What are some Cayenne Pepper Substitutes? 

There are various substitutes for cayenne peppers. So I need not worry about anything. You will be amazed to know that the substitute items will taste similar to the cayenne pepper. Below are the cayenne pepper substitutes: 

  1. Red pepper flakes 
  2. Guajillo 
  3. Spicy Paprika
  4. Jalapeno Powder
  5. Thai peppers 
  6. Hot sauce
  7. Chile Powder
  8. Chipotle Powder
  9. Black Pepper

Let’s know them in more detail:

Red pepper flakes 

The foremost and most used substitute for cayenne peppers is red pepper flakes. You might have heard about them before. There are various forms of chili flakes that are different from each other. Its texture can be different from that of cayenne powder but the taste will be the same. They developed front-dried seeds which is a type of chili pepper. 

They are rough as compared to the cayenne peppers. There is no difference between the chili flakes and the pepper flakes. By combining the various chili peppers, you will get red pepper flakes. You can add the flakes to sauces, teas, treats, or wherever you want to add a spicy taste.

The amount of heat from the red pepper flakes will be similar to that of the cayenne peppers. Try not to add more than ½ tablespoon of the flakes as it will make the side spicier and might not suit everyone. 


Another type of chili pepper is the guajillo which is also a good alternative to the cayenne pepper. Spanish people call them ‘little gourd’. They can be added as a substitute for cayenne peppers in various dishes and even as toppings on a pizza. 

They produce the same amount of heat as the jalapeno peppers. So, you can use the guajillo if you have it or can buy it from the market and use it for taste as a substitute for the cayenne peppers. 

Spicy Paprika

Do you know about spicy paprika? If not, then you are going wrong somewhere as it is one of the known substitutes for the cayenne peppers that most people are using.

They are also red and the level of the paprika is very low, just like zero. It will give a good red color to the food items and even spiciness.

The dishes you make with the spicy paprika will taste the same as the cayenne pepper. It is milder than that of the cayenne peppers. What else do you need? Go grab your spicy paprika from the market or your garden and add taste to your dishes. 

Jalapeno Powder

You might have used jalapeno powder before. But if not, then you can use them as an alternative for the Cayenne papers. They are made up of fresh peppers by drying and grinding them. It is also made with spicy pepper which will add a great taste to your meals. 

Though they are less spicy than the cayenne peppers you can add more quantity of them. The color of this powder is green in color. It will give magic to any dish. You can also make them at home by grinding the chili peppers. 

Thai peppers 

Guys, if you haven’t tried Thai peppers, then you should if you are a spice lover. Thai peppers add more spice as compared to cayenne peppers. They will diffuse the taste of the other ingredients in the dish.

They are even known as Red Thai chilies that you can use as whole or even in dried or powdered form.  You can taste your dish while preparing it, if it is not as spicy as you want, then add more Thai peppers for a delicious taste.

Hot sauce

It is another type of cayenne pepper substitute that will not add flavor to the dish, but it will add heat to the dish. So adding this hot sauce will easily replace the caye peppers as it fills your tongue with a unique flavor.

So choose the cuisine that will suit you best with a hot sauce. It is because some of the dishes do not like cayenne paper so it will also not like the hot sauce.

Chile Powder

Chile powder is also a substitute for cayenne pepper which will be a versatile option. Various varieties of chile powder come from ground peppers. 

Enjoy the smoky flavour of the chile powder which is the best substitute for cayenne pepper. Using the same amount of chile powder just like the cayenne pepper is good. 

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle powder will give a smoky flavor in substitute to cayenne pepper so you should try this variety.

Though various varieties of this powder are available in the market you will be able to find them easily in the grocery stores.

They are popular in Mexican dishes, so using them will benefit you as they provide a good amount of heat to the recipes. 

Black Pepper

Black pepper is another type of substitute for cayenne pepper that will always be added to your kitchen collection.

It is a mild substitute, but it will add some taste to the recipe, So use it well. You will get the black people easily in the grocery stores. 

So use this ingredient as it will always be available to you. Black paper will not underestimate your need for the substitute of cayenne pepper.

Covering up the context 

In this guide, you come to know about the various substitutes for cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers add spice to your taste and even to your life. Cayenne peppers are one of the most common and famous pepper plants that are grown by every grower in his garden.

You can make different recipes from the cayenne peppers. Cayenne peppers can be used in tea, toasts, curries, stews, etc. These peppers can add magic to your life. 

Thanks for reading! Happy Gardening! 


1. Can you substitute red pepper flakes for cayenne?

Yes, you can substitute red pepper flakes for the cayenne if you do not have it.

2. How much red pepper flakes equals cayenne pepper?

You can put ½ tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder as per ¾ tablespoon of red pepper flakes.

3. Are red flakes and cayenne the same?

Yes, red flakes are the same as the cayenne peppers. It is the common substitute used for cayenne pepper.

Are red flakes and cayenne the same? 


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