Looking to find an Aleppo pepper substitute for your recipes? We’ve got great options here! Explore our top recommendations, along with ratios and usage tips.
Here’s our go-to substitute for Aleppo pepper and our quick tip on how to use it. For even more substitute options, read below.
Ancho chili powder. Replace Aleppo pepper with ancho chili powder using a 1:1 ratio for dishes like tacos, enchiladas, grilled veggies, and hearty soups.
Finding a suitable Aleppo pepper substitute can be challenging due to its unique flavor, limited availability, variable taste and heat, and occasional smoky notes. So here are some of the best Aleppo pepper substitutes, as well as guidance on their effective use in your cooking.
If you are in a hurry, here are all of our substitutions for Aleppo peppers. To learn all of the details about when and how to use them, just scroll down.
|Ancho Chili Powder||1:1 ratio|
|Chipotle Powder||1/2 t chipotle for 1 t Aleppo|
|Crushed Red Pepper||1/2 t crushed red pepper for 1 t Aleppo|
|Korean Red Pepper Flakes (Gochugaru)||1:1 ratio|
|Red Pepper Flakes||1:1 ratio|
|Sweet Paprika + Cayenne Combo||2/3 t paprika + 1/3 t cayenne for 1 t Aleppo|
How Spicy Is Aleppo Pepper?
Aleppo pepper is a moderately spicy pepper, with a heat level of about 10,000 Scoville heat units (SHU). This is about half as spicy as cayenne pepper, and about the same heat level as a jalapeño pepper.
However, it is important to note that the heat level of Aleppo pepper can vary depending on the batch and how it is processed. For example, Aleppo pepper that has been deseeded will be milder than Aleppo pepper that has not been deseeded.
If you are new to using Aleppo pepper, it is best to start with a small amount and add more to taste. You can always add more pepper, but it is difficult to remove it once it has been added.
Substitutes For Aleppo Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Red pepper flakes are commonly used in many cuisines and are easily accessible in most supermarkets. While they do have the spicy flavor of Aleppo pepper, they lack its distinct smoky and fruit notes. They work well with pizza, pasta dishes, stir-fries, and even popcorn for a spicy twist.
Replace Aleppo pepper with an equal amount of red pepper flakes.
Ancho Chili Powder
This powder is made from dried poblano peppers. It’s milder than Aleppo pepper but offers a rich, somewhat sweet taste with a hint of smoky flavor.
Add ancho chili powder to your Mexican dishes like enchiladas, tacos, and mole sauce. It also complements roasted chicken and grilled vegetables.
Use it as a 1:1 substitute for Aleppo pepper.
Korean Red Pepper Flakes (Gochugaru)
Gochugaru has a vibrant color and a fruity-spicy flavor that’s reminiscent of Aleppo pepper. Keep in mind, though, that Gochugaru has a unique taste which might slightly alter the flavor profile of the dish.
Experiment with Gochugaru in dishes like kimchi, bibimbap, and bulgogi, as well as a flavorful addition to soups and stews.
Use them in a 1:1 ratio to Aleppo pepper.
Sweet Paprika + Cayenne Combo
The sweet paprika and cayenne combo features the mild, sweet notes of paprika with the fiery kick of cayenne, offering an effective way to replicate the fruity and spicy elements of Aleppo pepper.
Ideal for those who can’t find Aleppo but want its warm flavor, this blend can be adjusted to match your preferred heat and sweet levels. Use this combo in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes like kebabs, hummus, and shawarma, as well as in spice rubs.
Mix 2/3 teaspoon of sweet paprika and 1/3 teaspoon of cayenne pepper for every teaspoon of Aleppo pepper.
Crushed Red Pepper
Similar to red pepper flakes, it often contains seeds that can intensify the heat. As a substitute for Aleppo pepper, it can provide a comparable spicy kick but without the fruity and mildly cumin-like elements of Aleppo.
Also, be aware of its potentially greater heat because of the seeds. Add crushed red pepper to pizza, pasta, or scrambled eggs for a quick spicy kick.
Use 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper for every teaspoon of Aleppo pepper.
Made from smoked, dried jalapeños, chipotle powder has a deep and distinctive smoky flavor. While spicier than Aleppo pepper, it elevates dishes with its rich smoky character.
Beyond its heat, chipotle powder offers a rustic and warm tone, making it a favorite in many Southwestern and Mexican dishes, from salsas to meat rubs. Its smoky profile also adds depth and complexity.
Replace a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper with 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle powder.
When substituting, remember that the heat level can vary between substitutes. If you’re using a spicier option like crushed red pepper, start with a smaller amount and taste as you go. You should use more for milder substitutes like sweet paprika to achieve the desired heat level.
How To Substitute
Substituting Aleppo pepper is easy! Just follow these easy steps:
- Choose your substitute. Pick one of the above substitutes that best matches your flavor preference.
- Determine the quantity. Start by using your chosen substitute in equal amounts to the Aleppo pepper specified in the recipe.
- Adjust to taste. Taste as you go! If you desire more heat or a deeper flavor, gradually add more of the substitute.
Adjustments To Consider
When using a substitute, keep these adjustments in mind:
- Heat level. Some substitutes may be spicier or milder than Aleppo pepper. Taste your dish as you add the replacement to achieve the desired heat level.
- Flavor depth. Aleppo pepper has a unique flavor profile, so substitutes may replicate it differently. Try using them and adjust seasonings as needed to match the depth of flavor.
- Quantity. Always start with the recommended quantity and adjust to taste. It’s easier to add more spice than to tone it down if it becomes too hot.
The bottom line
Whether you’re going for a smoky note, a spicy punch, or a mix of both, these Aleppo pepper substitutes have got you covered! Just have a clear goal of what you want your dish to taste like.
Cooking is all about creativity, so embrace the adventure of mixing and matching these alternatives to find the perfect twist to your favorite recipes. Again, remember that when substituting with Gochugaru, you only need a 1:1 ratio with Aleppo pepper.
- Red Pepper Flakes: 1:1 ratio
- Ancho Chili Powder: 1:1 ratio
- Korean Red Pepper Flakes (Gochugaru): 1:1 ratio
- Sweet Paprika + Cayenne Combo: 2/3 t paprika + 1/3 t cayenne for 1 t Aleppo
- Crushed Red Pepper: 1/2 t crushed red pepper for 1 t Aleppo
- Chipotle Powder: 1/2 t chipotle for 1 t Aleppo
- Replace Aleppo pepper with one of our 6 recommended options.
- Use one of the above ratios when substituting for Aleppo pepper in a recipe.