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5 BEST Substitutes for Chipotle Powder: Flavor Boost

A whiff of smokiness and a hint of heat from chipotle powder can transform the whole flavor of a dish.

For all those who like some spice in their food, it is an ideal choice and a permanent item in the kitchen.

You can sprinkle it on your food or add a few spoonsful according to your tastebuds.

But what when it runs out, and you can’t rush to the store to get it? Why worry at all? There are several options in times of emergency.

You can use some other spices instead of your favorite chipotle.

Today we will look at the 5 best substitutes for chipotle powder.

What is Chipotle Powder?

what is chipotle powder

Smoked and dried ripe jalapeno peppers are the source of chipotle powder.

When thoroughly dried and smoked, you ground the peppers.

In powder form, it becomes chipotle powder.

The word chipotle is a combination of two Aztec Nahuatl words; chilli and poctli, which mean hot pepper and smoke.

Chipotle peppers have a smoky and hot flavor with a hint of sweetness.

They are spicier than ancho but milder than several other pepper varieties.

They are quite flavorful and used in many Mexican dishes.

Nowadays, many cooking enthusiasts and chefs use chipotle powder in different dishes.

If you have ripe jalapeno peppers and a smoker or a charcoal grill, or a fireplace, you can make your homemade chipotle powder.

You simply have to smoke and dry them and pound the peppers when done.

To make the peppers completely dry after being smoked, you need a dehydrator.

However, you can also dry the peppers in the oven at about 200 F till they are completely dry.

You can even dry the peppers out in the sunlight for a more natural flavor.

Grind the peppers when they dry out entirely.

You can use an electric grinder or a mortar and pestle and pound with your hand.

5 Best Substitutes For Chipotle Powder

When you run out of your favorite spice, you can use the following as a replacement for a similar kick and flavor.

1 – Smoked Paprika

smoked paprika

It comes from dried and smoked peppers and can be hot and sweet at the same time.

Smoked paprika offers a similar flavor to chipotle powder, and so it finds itself on top of the list.

However, most varieties are sweet rather than hot.

So, if you like to have a spicier flavor, add a hot sauce or your other favorite spice.

There is also a hot variety of smoked paprika if your tastebuds want some high degree of heat.

Smoked paprika is versatile as you can use it in different dishes, including vegan and meat dishes.

Besides adding flavor, it also offers health benefits.

Suitable ratio:

  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder = 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (taste and add some more if necessary).

2 – Ancho Chili Powder

ancho chili powder

Poblano pepper is the source of ancho chili powder.

Smoked, dried and pound ripe Poblanos become ancho chili powder.

It has a similar flavor to chipotle powder but is milder in heat.

A regular feature in many Mexican dishes, ancho chili powder, has gained popularity in recent times with chefs and home cooks.

You can use ancho powder in various dishes as per preference and requirement.

As with smoked paprika, you can add some hotter stuff if you want more heat in your dish.

Poblano peppers are very nutritious, and they are packed with nutrients, including vitamins A and C.

So, when you add ancho to your food, you get plenty of good stuff.

Suitable ratio:

  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder = 1 teaspoon ancho powder (add more if needed).

3 – Chili Powder

chili powder

Chili powder is another spice that you can use instead of chipotle powder.

There are a variety of chili powders on the market that you can choose from.

Some packs contain blends of other seasonings like oregano, cumin or ancho chili powder.

You may also get varieties that contain various types of peppers.

Those with ancho will have a smoky flavor and are very similar to chipotle.

Since different peppers have different degrees of heat, one kind of chili powder will taste hotter or milder than the other.

It is also a seasoning that you can use in vegan or meat dishes.

You can even include it in desserts if you like spicy sweets.

There is always room for experiments.

Include in salads, fried meals, meat, seafood and other dishes as required.

While it flavor foods, chili powder is not without health benefits.

It can boost the immune system, protect the heart and help in weight loss.

Suitable ratio:

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle = 1 teaspoon chili powder (put more if you want more spiciness).

4 – Cayenne Powder

cayenne powder

If you are looking for a spicier version of chipotle powder, cayenne powder is a suitable replacement.

However, it has a neutral taste. If you want smokiness, there are two things that you can do.

First of all, you can add other ingredients that give a smoky taste.

Secondly, you can also smoke and dry cayenne peppers and ground them and mix them with the cayenne powder.

You will have the heat as well as the smokiness.

You can add cayenne powder to soups, stews, salads and a whole lot of dishes, whether fried, baked or roasted.

Often, it is best to add it at the beginning or end of the cooking process.

As with other spices, cayenne peppers also have nutritional value.

Suitable ratio:

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle = 1/2 teaspoon cayenne.

5 – Gochugaru Powder

gochugaru powder

If you are familiar with Korean cuisine, you know about it.

Gochugaru powder is an essential spice in Korean dishes made from sun-dried chili peppers.

It can also be an excellent replacement for chipotle powder, especially if you are into Asian food.

Like chipotle, it has a sweetness and smokiness flavor.

It isn’t available everywhere, but buy some packs if you get hold of it.

They will come in handy.

You can use it in various dishes according to needs and preferences.

You can use gochugaru powder in any Korean dish, Asian dishes, soups, stews, and salads.

It can work well if you don’t have chipotle whenever you want some hot, sweet, and smoky flavor.

Suitable ratio:

  • 1 teaspoon chipotle = 1 teaspoon gochugaru (taste and put more if you want extra heat).


While chipotle maybe your favorite, it may not be available in your kitchen all the time.

But since there are so many options, you don’t have to worry.

Use one of those mentioned above.

Add the amount as required, and you can have a delicious dish.

If none are available, you can also use dried jalapenos, pasilla powder, crushed red pepper, etc.

You will still get a similar flavor and aroma, and your food will taste amazing.

With so many options, you can use any spice and experiment with different dishes.

You might even come up with a unique dish when you least expect.

the best substitutes for chipotle powder

The 5 Best Substitutes for Chipotle Powder

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ancho Chili Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Gochugaru Powder


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Follow the substitution ratio to determine how much is required in your recipe.
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