3 Guajillo Chili Powder Substitutes

Guajillo chili powder is an important of many dishes. What happens if you can’t find any and need a substitute?

The best guajillo chili powder substitutes include ancho chili powder, pasilla negro chili, and cascabel chili powder.

1 .Ancho Chili Powder

Ancho chili powder is the ground version of the Ancho chili pepper, a small reddish-brown pepper with a sweet and spicy flavor. Ancho chili powder is an excellent choice for those who are averse to spice, as it has a mild spiciness that won’t be too offensive to the tongue. This pepper is commonly used in tamales, and the flavor has been compared to raisins. Talking about tamales learn how to reheat leftover tamales.

This works as a replacement for guajillo chili powder due to the sweet notes in the pepper. This is most closely comparable to the berry note of the original spice and can be used a little more heavily in order to replicate the flavor. You can even make this at home if you have ancho chilis on hand.

  • First, take off the tops of each ancho chili that you are using, taking extra care that the stems don’t make their way into your spices.
  • Slice the pepper in half, going from the top to the bottom of the pepper.
  • Remove the seeds, as they will not be a welcome addition to the spice, of each ancho chili.
  • Use a food processor to grind the peppers until you have the consistency that you would want! (In a pinch, a coffee grinder will work as well.)

2. Pasilla Negro Chili

Pasilla Negro Chili powder is powder made from the chilaca chili pepper. The name changes to pasilla negro after the pepper is dried, due to its raisin like appearance. The complexity of the spice is comparable to guajillo, despite having different notes. This spice ranges in its flavor, going from woodsy to rich, and scores a 1,000 – 7,000 on the Scoville spice scale. This means that it is not as spicy as some jalapeños but will mostly be comparable spice wise. 

Pasilla negro chili will be harder to come by than ancho and will be slightly more expensive to attain. The pods to pasilla are a whopping $18.87 dollars at Walmart, while the spice itself will be about $5 for a smaller container.

3. Cascabel Chili Powder

Cascabel chili powder is another great example of the mirasol pepper powder in action. The flavor is similar to the guajillo powder, but cascabel powder can be very hard to come by. It is cheaper than many of the alternatives on the list, at $2.99 for a full bag.

The actual pepper is a plump, smooth and small chile that goes from green to red when it starts to ripen. It has a moderate heat, so it may not be suitable for people who can’t handle spice. It has a very fruity flavor and is often used in soups and stews, but you won’t be able to find it at your local grocery store.