Do you love the smoky flavor and subtle spice of Ancho chili powder but don’t always have it in your pantry?
Don’t worry – there are ways to get some bold flavors without keeping a certain type of chili in stock.
In this article, we’ll explore various options to substitute for ancho chili powder that can help you create the dishes you crave no matter what’s available at the store!
What Is Ancho Chili Powder?
Ancho chilli powder is made from ground, dried poblano peppers.
It has a mild to medium heat level and an earthy flavor with notes of raisins and chocolate.
This type of chili powder is widely used in Mexican and many other dishes, including stews, sauces, marinades, salsas, and more.
Ancho chili powder is also a key ingredient in many mole sauces, adding a depth of flavor to the sauce that can’t be achieved with other spices.
It can also help to balance out the sweetness of the dish.
Additionally, you can use ancho chili powder as a rub for meats or vegetables before grilling or roasting.
Finally, ancho chili powder can be added to soups and stews for flavor. Ancho chili powder is a great addition to any kitchen pantry!
Substitutes For Ancho Chili Powder
Ancho chili powder has a mild flavor with smoky undertones.
If you’re out of it or don’t have any on hand, you have many alternatives available.
Guajillo Chili Powder
Guajillo chili powder is a type of chili powder made from guajillo pepper.
It has a bright, slightly acidic flavor like ancho chili powder but more intense and complex.
The smoky, sweet notes of guajillo chili powder can add depth to dishes such as enchiladas, tacos, salsas, stews, and more.
Additionally, it pairs well with other spices and can add subtle depth and complexity to any dish.
It is an extremely versatile ingredient that is easy to incorporate into various recipes.
Red Chili Powder
Red chili powder is a spicy blend of ground-dried red chilies. It adds color, flavor, and heat to any dish.
Red chili powder can be used as a substitute for ancho chili powder when needed in a recipe.
Ancho chili powder is milder than red chili powder so it will provide a smokier, more mild flavor in your recipes.
If you’re looking for extra heat or color, substitute red chili powder instead. You can also combine the two to get the best of both worlds.
You can use Red chili powder in Mexican and Asian dishes, sauces, and marinades.
It’s essential in many popular dishes, like tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, curries, and marinades.
Red chili powder is also great for spicing up soups and stews.
Pasilla Chili Powder
Pasilla chili powder is made from Pasilla chiles, or chilaca peppers.
It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor profile that can serve as an excellent substitute for ancho chili powder in cooking, especially when used in Mexican cuisine.
The flavor of pasilla chili powder is slightly smoky with hints of chocolate and coffee, making it an ideal choice for making mole sauces or enchiladas.
Pasilla chili powder is also a great addition to soups and stews and used in rubs and marinades for grilled meats.
It has moderate heat intensity that can enhance the flavors of dishes without overpowering them.
Pasilla chili powder is an excellent choice for those seeking a milder alternative to ancho chili powder.
It can also be a great way to introduce new flavors into dishes without overpowering them with too much heat or spice.
Paprika is a type of pepper grown in many parts of the world, including Hungary and Spain. It has a mild flavor and a bright red color.
Paprika can be an ingredient in many recipes, such as soups, stews, salads, sauces, and even desserts.
Unlike ancho chili powder with a smoky and spicy flavor, paprika has a milder flavor with sweetness.
Additionally, paprika can add color to any dish, giving it a vibrant look.
Paprika can be purchased in powder form and flakes and can be used both fresh and dried.
In its powdered form, paprika has a long shelf life and is great for adding flavor to dishes without worrying about spoilage.
Paprika also pairs nicely with spices like garlic powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves.
Chipotle powder is chili powder made from ground, dried chipotle peppers. It has an intense smoky flavor and heat from its capsaicin content.
The smoky flavor of chipotle powder pairs particularly well with Mexican dishes, but it can also add a unique kick to soups, sauces and marinades.
When substituting chipotle powder for ancho chili powder in a recipe, reduce the amount by half as it is more potent.
For a milder alternative, consider using smoked paprika instead.
Chipotle powder can be found in most grocery stores or made at home by grinding chipotle peppers into a fine powder.
Ginger powder is a natural spice made from dried and powdered ginger root.
It has a warm, spicy flavor and works well in sweet and savory dishes.
As an alternative to ancho chili powder, it can add the same depth of flavor without as much heat.
You can use it in stir-fries, curries, soups, and marinades to give a unique flavor that’s slightly sweet and mildly spicy.
It also pairs nicely with other spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg for an extra depth of flavor.
Ginger powder is a great way to bring warmth and flavor to your cooking without overpowering the dish with too much heat.
Cayenne powder is ground chili pepper usually made from dried cayenne peppers.
Cayenne peppers are small vegetables native to Central and South America, with an intense heat level ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.
It has similar properties to ancho chili powder, but the heat level is much higher.
When using cayenne pepper instead of ancho chili powder, you should always use less than what the recipe calls since it’s much hotter.
Cayenne powder can kick dishes like chili, tacos, enchiladas, curries and more. It’s also great for adding flavor to sauces and dressings.
Additionally, it can be used as a seasoning in rubs or marinades for many different kinds of meats and vegetables.
Is Normal Chili Powder Ok In Place Of Ancho?
Yes, you can substitute normal chili powder for ancho, though the flavor may be slightly different.
Ancho chili powder is milder and has a fruity flavor, while regular powder is usually a mix of spices like cayenne and garlic.
If substituting, start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste.
Is Cayenne Pepper Identical To Ancho Chili Powder?
No. Cayenne pepper is a ground powder made from chili pepper that typically has a heat level of 30,000 to 50,000 SHU.
Ancho chili powder has a mild to moderate heat level with 1,000 to 2,000 SHU.
While both ingredients add a spicy flavor to dishes, they are not interchangeable due to the difference in heat levels.
Is Ancho Chili Powder Similar To Paprika?
Ancho chili powder is milder than paprika.
While both have similar smoky and earthy flavors, ancho chili powder has a more intense heat as it is spicier than paprika.
Ancho chili powder is an essential ingredient in many dishes.
But when a recipe calls for it and you don’t have any on hand, there are several great options to substitute for ancho chili powder you can use.
Red chili powder, pasilla chili powder, paprika, chipotle powder, cayenne powder and ginger powder are great alternatives.
All these spices have unique flavors and you can use it in various ways, so experiment with different combinations to find the perfect flavor for your dish!