8 Best Guajillo Chili Substitute

Guajillo chili is a type of chili that is commonly used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. It is known for its dark red color, which comes from the dried guajillo peppers that are used to make it. It is also known for its sweet and smoky flavor.

In this article, we will discuss ingredients that can be used as guajillo chili substitute as well as their taste and texture. We will also cover how to use these chilies in your recipes so that you can get the same flavor out of them as you would with real guajillos.

What is guajillo chili?

Guajillo chili is a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cooking. Guajillo chilies are also known as ‘little raisins’ because they are long and narrow, and they have a dark reddish-brown color. The chilies are usually dried, though when fresh they have a very bitter taste. They can be used whole or ground into powder.

The guajillo chili is native to Mexico and was probably brought over by the Aztecs when they arrived on the peninsula in 1300 BC. It grows well in warmer climates, so it is commonly found in areas like Mexico City where temperatures can reach up to 38ºC (100ºF). It has been cultivated since 900 AD and is now grown all over Mexico.

The guajillo chili has two main varieties: one with thick walls (known as ‘mole’) and another with thin walls (called ‘Picante’). The mole variety is typically used for making mole sauce while the Picante variety is often used in sauces such as enchiladas or tacos al pastor.

8 Best Guajillo Chili Substitute

1. Cascabel chilies

Cascabel chilies have a similar flavor profile as guajillo chilies. They’re also dark red with wrinkled skin and range from 2 to 4 inches in length. Cascabel chiles are milder than guajillo chilies and have a smoky flavor that makes them good for salsas and mole sauces.Cascabel chilies

2. Dried New Mexico chiles

Dried New Mexico chiles are dried versions of ancho, pasilla, mulato or chipotle chilies that are used in Mexican cooking. Although they’re not the same as guajillo peppers, they can be used as substitutes for each other in many recipes because they have similar taste profiles.

3. Puya chilies

Puya chilies are a type of dried chili pepper from South America. They grow in the Andes, and have a very similar flavor to guajillo chilies. Their color is a little bit lighter than traditional guajillo peppers, and they have a slightly more fruity flavor.

4. Mulato chilies

Mulato peppers are also known as California mulberry peppers or Mexican mulberry peppers. They’re used extensively in Mexican cuisine and in many different types of chili pepper recipes. Mulatos have an earthy, woodsy flavor that’s similar to poblanos, but they’re not quite as hot as poblanos or jalapenos.

5. Chipotle Chili Peppers

Chipotle chilies are smoked ripe jalapeño peppers. Chipotle peppers are used to make the famous Mexican sauce called adobo, which is used to flavor braised meats and beans.

It’s easy to find in supermarkets, and you can also order it online. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, you can use this chili in place of the guajillo.

6. California Chile Peppers

California chiles are mild peppers that grow wild in California and Arizona. They are about 7 inches long, 1½ inches wide, smooth green in color a thick skin that is too tough to eat raw but softens when cooked. They have a mild flavor similar to bell peppers but without the sweetness found in bell peppers.

California chiles are a type of long green pepper used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, especially for making sauces and salsas, or as a vegetable ingredient in many dishes.

7. Ancho Peppers

Ancho peppers are also known as poblano peppers. They look very similar to guajillo chilies but they have more heat and less sweetness than guajillo chilies. Ancho peppers have smooth skin and are dark red in color with a mild heat level. You can find them in the produce section of your local grocery store or you can order them online by clicking here .

8. Pasilla Peppers

Pasilla peppers are long, narrow, dark brown chilies that are similar in size and shape to anchos but darker in color and considerably spicier than anchos with a medium heat level. You can find them in the produce section of your local grocery store or you can order them online by clicking here.Pasilla Peppers


Is there an alternative to guajillo chili?

Yes. If you don’t have guajillo peppers in your pantry, you can use New Mexico chiles or pasilla chiles instead. They have a similar flavor profile and make great substitutes for guajillo chiles. You can also use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce as a substitute.

Where do I find Guajillo Chili?

You can find dried Guajillo Chilis at any grocery store that sells Mexican ingredients or online at Amazon or the Taste Of Home website. The best prices are usually found online because they often sell them by the ounce instead of by the pound like most stores do.

What is the difference between a guajillo and a pasilla chili?

Both chilies belong to the Capsicum annuum species. Pasilla chilies are dried, while guajillo chilies are sun-dried.

What are the health benefits of using guajillo chili as a substitute for pasilla chili?

Guajillo chili contains capsaicin, which is responsible for its spicy taste. Capsaicin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. It may also help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance.


The guajillo chili is one of the most commonly used chilies in Mexican cooking. It has a fruity flavor and a medium heat.

The most common guajillo chili substitute is the New Mexico chili. It is a little sweeter than the guajillo, but it also has a medium heat level.

Another option is to use Anaheim chilies. They have a similar flavor profile to the New Mexico chili, but they are milder in heat level.

If you do not have any of these options available to you, you can try substituting with paprika or cayenne pepper. Both are hot peppers and will add some spice to your dish!

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