3 Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes (Updated 2024)

chipotle powder substitute

Running out of chipotle powder? Worry not. Before you abandon your Mexican meal or cancel your weekend barbeque night with friends, know that you can still save your plan by turning to some of the best chipotle powder substitutes.

Sure, while the ingredient remains the top choice to achieve a smoky, earthy flavor, these alternatives can help you arrive at nearly the same result.

In fact, some might even bring you better outcomes! Interested to try some of these out?

Below, we have rounded up the best chipotle powder substitutes you can use in your cooking ventures.

Whether preparing a spicy stew, a smoky barbeque sauce, or a juicy bowl of adobo, these ingredients make the best bet. Read on.

What Is Chipotle Powder?

To know the best alternatives, it’s important to define what chipotle powder is in the first place.

Unlike typical chili powder, which mixes ground chiles with other spices (coriander, cayenne, and garlic powder), chipotle power consists purely of dried and ground chipotle chiles.

If you’re not familiar with chipotle, this refers to fully ripened jalapeños that have been dried by smoking.

Chipotle, Smoked Paprika

Generally, chipotle powder has a mild heat level, with a score of  6 on a heat scale of 1 to 10, and a rich, smoky flavor.

Due to these qualities, it is often used when preparing Mexican dishes, such as soups, stews, and other recipes, to provide a delicious combination of smokiness and spiciness.

Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes

1. Ancho chili powder

Smoked Paprika

First, on our list, we have none other than Ancho chili powder. Considered one of the most famous chili powders, this ingredient is made up purely of dried and ground ancho chiles.

Similar to Chipotle powder, since the Ancho is composed of ground pepper with no additional spices, it can be used as a substitute for the former with the same level of smoky effect.

However, since the poblanos used in making Ancho chili powder are relatively mild, with around 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville heat units, using it in your recipe won’t impart the same level of spiciness.

But aside from that, the ingredient is just as good as chipotle.

When used as a replacement, substitute the same quantity of ancho chili powder as chipotle powder. You can then choose whether to add more if you wish.

2. Smoked Paprika

Smoked Paprika

Next, we have the close cousin of sweet Hungarian paprika: smoked paprika. Essentially, since it is made up of pimiento peppers that have been dried and smoked over a fire, the ingredient infuses a smoky flavor when added to a recipe.

With this quality, it is no wonder many prefer to use it as a substitute for chipotle powder.

However, since generic paprika bought in supermarkets have relatively milder spiciness, you cannot expect the same quality of heat as chipotle powder promises.

Similar to using Ancho chili powder as a replacement, you can use smoked paprika in a 1:1 ratio with chipotle powder.

3. Cayenne pepper powder

Cayenne pepper powder

Meanwhile, if you’re more concerned about the spiciness over the smokiness, you can choose cayenne pepper powder.

Formed from various tropical chiles, this ingredient takes pride in its high heat, with SHU levels of 30,000 to 50,000.

With this feature, it makes a good chipotle powder substitute whenever you want a touch of spiciness in your dish.

However, since cayenne pepper powder isn’t smoke-dried, it does not bring a smoky flavor to a recipe. But, if your palate tends towards the spicy side, this won’t pose much of a problem.

On top of that, cayenne pepper’s impressive nutrition profile can compensate for its lack of smokiness.

Specifically, the ingredient has metabolism-boosting properties, perfect for those who want to shed some weight. Plus it can help lower your blood pressure.

Take note, however, that cayenne peppers provide more heat than chipotle powder, so use only half the amount of cayenne that your recipe originally requires for chipotle.

The Bottom Line

Who says the success of your recipe relies on chipotle powder? Sure, this ingredient promises tons of amazing features.

But, a broad range of other powders will work in replacement in case you’ve run out of chipotle powder.

Which among these alternatives do you plan on using? Discover the best chipotle powder substitute today!


3 Best Chipotle Powder Substitutes

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