What Can I Substitute For Chilli Powder In My Recipes

What Can I Substitute For Chilli Powder In My Recipes


Using spices to replace chilli powder in your recipes is a great option if you want to reduce the spiciness or add more flavour to your dishes. There are plenty of options to choose from, depending on what you are cooking. From cumin to coriander, from paprika to garlic, these spices can offer so much deliciousness and flavour to your cooking.

Let’s explore some of these spices and look at how you can use them as an alternative to chilli powder:


Paprika is made from grinding mild chili peppers and belongs to the same family as bell peppers, jalapeños, and cayenne peppers. It’s most commonly used in Hungarian dishes like goulash and chicken paprikash, but can also be used to season a variety of dishes.

Paprika comes in both sweet and hot varieties, the latter being spicier than the former. Sweet paprika is the mildest form and usually has hints of sweetness in its flavor profile that can be brought out by heat or roasting. It makes a great garnish on top of salads, soups, and meats. Hot paprika packs some heat with a slight smokiness that adds depth when used as a spice rub on meats or fish before grilling or roasting.

Additionally, paprika has been linked to health benefits such as helping lower cholesterol levels and overall inflammation in the body by utilizing antioxidants found in other chili pepper varieties like Capsaicin & Dihydrocapsiate (DC).

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is a type of hot chili pepper that is frequently used to add a spicy flavor to dishes and can range in color from red, yellow, orange or a combination. Because of its flavor and wide variety of colors, this pepper is becoming increasingly popular in cooking throughout the world.

Cayenne peppers are usually dried and then ground before they are used to season food. It can also be found as red in color when fresh. The name “cayenne” comes from the French Guiana city of Cayenne which was once known as the hub for hot peppers. They can be found year round in grocery stores both fresh or dried and powdered depending on demand.

Cayenne peppers are an excellent source for many vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and several carotenoids including beta-carotene. They also have several health benefits that include boosting immunity and decreasing inflammation. They can also aid digestion by stimulating saliva production and helping to break down food more efficiently. For these reasons they have been used medicinally for centuries all around the world.

When cooking with cayenne peppers it is important to note that they should be handled carefully because they are very spicy and even small amounts could cause irritation to eyes or skin if proper precautions are not taken such as wearing gloves while handling them or avoiding contact with eyes or skin when grinding it into a powder form for consumption. It should always be stored away from sources of heat such as ovens, lamps etc due to its flammable nature when exposed to extreme temperatures.

Chipotle powder

Chipotle powder is a dried and ground version of the chipotle pepper, which is a type of smoked jalapeno. It adds a smoky, spicy flavor to dishes and has become increasingly popular in a variety of recipes.

Chipotle powder is made by drying whole chipotle peppers and then grinding them into a fine powder. Depending on the brand, the powder can range from mild to very hot in terms of heat level. Because it’s concentrated, it’s important to use it sparingly. A little bit goes a long way in adding flavor – start with just half a teaspoon per recipe and adjust based on preference.

Chipotle powder has many uses; it can be added to salsas, marinades, dressings, sauces, soups and stews for an extra kick of smoky heat. It’s also great as an addition to grilled or roasted vegetables or sprinkled over roasted meats for extra flavor and spice. The earthy sweetness of the chipotle pepper pairs particularly well with avocado or dairy-based dishes like queso dip, macaroni and cheese or sour cream dip.

When shopping for chipotle powder look for brands that are flavorful and that have no added preservatives or chemicals – opt for all-natural varieties whenever possible. Store unused chips in an airtight container away from light and moisture – they will typically last up to six months if stored properly!


Herbs can make a great substitute for chilli powder in your recipes. Parsley, oregano, cumin, coriander, and garlic powder are all within the same flavour wheel and can be used for a variety of dishes. In addition to adding a dash of spicy flavour, these herbs can also bring out the unique flavours of each dish.

Let’s explore more herbs you can use as a substitute for chilli powder:


Oregano is a very popular herb frequently used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking to flavour pizzas, sauces, salads and more. It has a warm, balsamic-like flavor that lingers on the tongue after it is eaten. Dried oregano keeps better than fresh oregano and has a more intense flavor than fresh, so use it sparingly when adding to dishes. It can be used in both cooked dishes as well as fresh salads. Some popular dishes that make use of oregano are Greek salad, Italian risotto and roast chicken.

When purchasing oregano, look for bright green leaves that have little wilting or discolouration. Store it in an airtight container away from light or this will cause it to lose its aromatic properties over time. Fresh oregano should be washed, rinsed and dried before using or storing; if using it dried, crush the leaves between your fingers before using them so they can better release their aroma into the food you’re making. When adding to cooked dishes that you’ll be simmering for longer than five minutes, add the oregano leaves late in the cooking process; if adding after five minutes of cooking is too late for some recipes, pre-soaking them for an hour will help keep their aroma intact.


Thyme is a perennial herb with a scientific name of Thymus vulgaris and many different species. It is an evergreen shrub that grows to be 16 inches tall and has aromatic leaves that are either green or grey-green in color, depending on the variety. The leaves have a culinary flavor that is both spicy and minty and it can be used fresh or dried.

Thyme pairs well with vegetables, casseroles, soups, sauces, stuffing, poultry, lamb and fish dishes. This herb also has many medicinal properties; it has antibacterial properties, can help to reduce inflammation, and aids in digestion.

Try adding some thyme to your next recipe for an extra depth of flavor!


Rosemary is an evergreen shrub of the mint family, with needle-like leaves, pink or blue flowers and a warm, sweet aroma. A popular herb in many cuisines, rosemary is most commonly used in Mediterranean dishes but has a rich history in traditional medicine for its antiviral and antibacterial properties.

For culinary purposes, rosemary is normally used fresh (dried sprigs can be found in some grocery stores). The leaves have a slightly sweet and earthy flavour with peppery notes that pair well with roast meats and vegetables. Rosemary also makes a delicious infusion for tea.

In traditional medicine, rosemary has been used to:

  • aid digestion
  • regulate the menstrual cycle
  • boost circulation

It’s also known to have anti-inflammatory properties making rosemary extract an ingredient found in many natural skin care products.

Other Substitutes

If you don’t have chilli powder for your recipes, you don’t have to worry. There are a variety of other substitutes that you can try. Some popular alternatives include:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried ancho chiles
  • Cayenne pepper powder
  • Chinese five spice powder

Each of these alternatives can provide the flavor and heat you need without using chilli powder. Let’s discuss these alternatives in further detail.

Garlic powder

Garlic powder is a seasoning made from dehydrated and powdered garlic cloves. It has a strong, pungent aroma and flavor, similar to fresh garlic but with a more intense taste. While fresh garlic is typically used when preparing savory dishes, garlic powder may be substituted when time or convenience is an issue.

Garlic powder can be used as an alternative to fresh or pre-minced garlic in any recipe that calls for the latter. It can be used alone in recipes such as marinades and rubs, or mixed with other dried herbs and spices. It can also be mixed into sauces and dressings or sprinkled atop salads and soups. To approximate the flavor of one clove of fresh garlic, use about 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder. Keep in mind that ground spices lose their potency over time, so it’s best to use smaller amounts as needed to achieve the desired flavor.

Onion powder

Onion powder is a seasoning which can easily be added to recipes as a flavor substitution for diced onion, onion juice or canned onion. Its unique flavor and shelf-stability makes it a convenient ingredient for use in dishes such as dressings, soups, sauces, rubs and more. Onion powder comes in several forms and usually consists of dried, ground onion bulbs. It’s typically used to add the full flavor of onions without adding texture or water content that would otherwise affect the consistency of the finished dish.

When considering substitutions for real onions, you should remember that onion powder gives your dish an intense, pungent flavor while real diced onions have more subtle flavors. Also, onion powder is a dry ingredient and adds no moisture to your recipe whereas real onions do. Generally speaking though, one tablespoon of fresh chopped onions can be substituted with one teaspoon of onion powder in most recipes.

Due to its potent flavoring power, it’s recommended that you start with a smaller amount of onion powder than specified in recipes that call for fresh diced onions so that you can accurately gauge the flavor. If you don’t have any fresh or frozen onions on hand but require an onion flavor, then onion powder is an excellent solution!

Curry powder

Curry powder is a spice blend that usually includes cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper. This mix of spices adds wonderful flavor to dishes like Indian curries, masalas and more. While curry powder is a flavorful addition to many dishes, there are other substitutes available if you don’t have curry powder on hand.

  • Garam Masala: Garam masala is a pantry staple in Indian cuisine consisting of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper and other spices. It is used as both a marinade and an accompaniment to Indian dishes.
  • Coriander & Cumin: If you only have one of the two main components of curry powder (coriander or cumin), you can still make delicious meals by just using one. Even the combination of these two spices helps add flavor to most any dish.
  • Tandoori Masala: Tandoori masala is made up of mostly savory herbs like ginger, garam masala and clove making it an intensely flavorful alternative to regular curry powder. It provides heat from black pepper as well as sweetness from ground cinnamon making it perfect for dishes like tandoori chicken as well as curries made with potatoes or cauliflower.
  • Chaat Masala: Chaat masala is full flavored but much less potent than traditional curry blends due to its use of lemon juice concentrate or tamarind paste in place of turmeric. You can use this blend in place of curry powder for vegetable pakoras or samosas for subtle tangy hints in your dish.
  • Panang Curry Paste: If you need something quick and easy for your Thai-inspired cuisine such as green noodles or stir-fry veggies; then Panang Curry paste may be just what you’re looking for! Panang paste combines sweet spices with chile peppers which gives your dish a spicy kick without being too overbearing against other ingredients within the dish itself.

Combination of Spices

Using a combination of spices instead of chilli powder can add just the right amount of flavour to your recipes. In this article, we will look at different spices that you can use to substitute for chilli powder in your recipes. Whether you’re looking for a mild or a fiery flavour, these substitute spices can help you get just what you want.

Here are some of the substitute spices that you can use:

  • Cumin – for a mild, smoky flavour.
  • Curry powder – for a mild, earthy flavour.
  • Garam Masala – for a mild, sweet flavour.
  • Cayenne pepper – for a fiery, hot flavour.
  • Chipotle powder – for a smoky, spicy flavour.

Cumin, coriander and garlic powder

Cumin, coriander, and garlic powder are among the most popular spices used in world cuisine. As a combination, their flavor is earthy and slightly sweet with notes of citrus. Popular in Northern African cuisine and Middle Eastern dishes, this combination of spices adds a flavorful kick to many dishes – from roasted vegetables to grilled chicken or fish.

Cumin is an aromatic spice with a sour-earthy flavor that adds warmth and complexity to foods. It can be used as both an ingredient in a dish or as part of a spice blend. When combined with other herbs and spices like coriander, cumin’s smoky nutty flavor balances the richness of flavors found in the dish.

Coriander has an intensely fragrant and slightly sweet flavor with hints of lemon. Coriander imparts a unique sharpness when combined with other herbal flavors like cumin. Coriander pairs well with numerous types of food, including roasted meats such as lamb or beef, egg dishes like frittatas, curries and anything from couscous to plantains.

Garlic powder has less pronounced taste than fresh garlic cloves but still provides delicious garlicky flavor without having to mince fresh cloves for your recipes every time you cook them. Garlic powder also eliminates prep time when making sauces, soups or rubs as you don’t need to worry about chopping it up finely; simply sprinkle some garlic powder into your dish to add garlicky goodness throughout! When combined with cumin and coriander it creates dynamic depth that can’t be duplicated any other way!

Cumin, coriander and paprika

Cumin, coriander and paprika are among the most popularly used spices in Indian, Middle Eastern, South American and Mexican cuisine. All three of these spices have a pungent, smoky flavor and can be used to season many types of dishes. Cumin is made from the dried seeds of a plant native to Southeast Asia; it has an earthy taste and can be ground or used whole. Coriander is a powder made from the ground dried seed of cilantro plants; it has both sweet and savory notes. Paprika is made from ground dried red chili peppers; it’s lightly spicy with a slight sweetness.

Cumin, coriander and paprika can be added as single spices to dishes or they can also be used together in combination to create more complex flavors. For example, they are often combined together when making Indian curries; this gives the curry additional depth and complexity without overpowering the other flavors in the dish. In Mexican cuisine, cumin, coriander and paprika are blended together with other spices to make chili powder mixtures like chili con carne or adobo seasoning mixes for tacos. They also play an important role in Middle Eastern recipes such as hummus or baba ghanoush; their smokey flavor complements foods like roasted vegetables very nicely.

Garlic powder, onion powder and oregano

Garlic powder, onion powder and oregano are an excellent combination of spices to use in your cooking. They are all very common ingredients in many popular dishes, and when paired together, they add a wonderful complexity of flavor.

Garlic powder is a powdered form of the garlic bulb, commonly used to provide a less pungent version of garlic flavor. Onion powder is the ground version of dehydrated onions and has an intense oniony flavor. Oregano is an aromatic herb that has a spicy and slightly bitter taste, adding depth to many dishes.

When using this combination, it’s important to consider the ratios you choose for each spice; balancing properly will determine which flavor shines through more clearly in your dish. In general, for every 1 teaspoon of garlic powder used you should use 1/4 teaspoon onion powder and 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Additionally, you can adjust this ratio depending on the desired intensity or type of flavors that you would like in your dish—increasing one spice will inevitably reduce the strength or perception of another, allowing subtle variations on recipes with only minor changes to ingredients.

Whether you’re making savory pasta sauce or simply wanting some extra flavor on roasted veggies or grilled proteins, this combination of spices adds both texture and aroma to any culinary experience with its delightful blend of savory notes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I substitute for chilli powder in my recipes?

A: You can substitute paprika for chilli powder as it has a similar flavour profile. However, it does not contain any heat so you may want to add some cayenne pepper to your recipe to get the same level of heat. Alternatively, you can use cumin, garlic powder, oregano, or dried herbs for a milder flavour.

Q: How much chilli powder can I substitute for paprika?

A: Generally, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of chilli powder for 1 tablespoon of paprika. However, depending on the recipe, you may want to adjust the amount to get the desired flavour.

Q: Can I use other spices as a substitute for chilli powder?

A: Yes, you can use other spices such as cumin, garlic powder, oregano, or dried herbs as a substitute for chilli powder. The amount of spice you use will depend on the recipe and your personal preference.

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