• Taste differences: If you think that red chili peppers are too hot – or you think they’re not hot enough – a substitute will come in handy for you. 
  • Trying something new: Sometimes, you might want to experiment with your meal. So, you substitute red chili pepper for something else. 

Options for Red Chili Peppers’ Substitutes

Best Overall Substitute for Red Chili Peppers: Serrano Peppers

Most of the people who go for chili peppers do so for their heat and flavor. Well, if you’re looking for something similar, you’ll absolutely love what serrano peppers have to offer. 

These peppers are basically another version of chili peppers, with similar tastes but an even hotter flavor. In fact, serrano peppers are almost twice as hot as chili peppers. If you’re looking for a proper challenge for your taste buds, serrano peppers are definitely the right fit for you. 

Like chili peppers, serrano peppers are still harvested while they’re green. They are especially popular in the United States, and you should have no trouble finding them around. They might be less popular than and options like jalapenos, but finding them shouldn’t be much of a hassle for you. 

If you’re making your dish and you find that you need a little bit more heat, then serrano peppers will be the right choice. However, be sure to adapt the heat levels in your recipe. Since serrano peppers are hotter than red chili peppers, they’re not a one-for-one substitute for the latter. So, you will need to remember the difference in heat levels when cooking. 

Best Available Substitutes: Cayenne Peppers

Anyone who has been cooking for a while will know cayenne peppers when they see them. With a finger shape and a curved, pointy end, this pepper variant is as iconic as you can expect. They’re red and hot, and also an ideal substitute for red chili peppers. 

With cayenne peppers, you get a range of spicy tones. Some of them are mildly hot, while others will blow the roof off your taste buds. Usually, the heat levels will depend on the growing conditions of the pepper and the type of pepper it is. There are different types of cayenne peppers, ranging from Carolina cayenne peppers to golden cayenne peppers and much more. 

Cayenne peppers are also a joy to cook with – you can usually find them fresh, and you can dry them as well. Like the serrano peppers, cayenne peppers are pretty easy to find. They’re available in your favorite stores, so hop in and enjoy your cooking. 

The proportions for cayenne peppers will usually depend on you. If the peppers are mild, then you might need more than you would usually need red chilli peppers. If they’re too hot, you will need less. 

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