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Dried Ancho Chiles Substitute

Chiles are thought to be one of the defining ingredients for many Mexican cooking recipes. Dried ancho chiles are one of those types of chiles. Dried ancho chiles are pepper known for their spicy taste, and it is packed with spicy property that makes them a delight in many kitchens, not just in Mexico but also in other parts of the world.


There seems to be a challenge with finding a substitute for dried ancho chiles, so many people have apprehension about the possibility of finding a replacement. However, there is no replacement for dried ancho chiles in so many dishes you would want to prepare. Some of the substitutes for dried ancho chiles are paprika, pasilla chile powder, which you should get familiar with.

What is Dried Ancho Chiles?

Dried ancho chiles are made from poblano chiles, deep green, and fat. They contain a rich dose of flavor and are quite spicy. This they lend to the dried ancho chiles. Dried ancho chiles have a flavorful nature that is thin-like, fruity, and also cherry-like. Perhaps it’s bragging right comes from the fact that it adds excellent spiciness to dishes.

This chile carries this property of being spicy with pride, and this perhaps makes it a well sought-after ingredient in meals. It is made by basically crumbling or grounding it before adding it to your dish.

Dried Ancho Uses in Recipes

Those lovers of pepper, especially in Mexico and South America, would most likely use dried Ancho in most of their dishes. It has a blend of smoke-like, sweet, and fruity taste and maintains this flavor even when dried. Dried ancho chiles can be used in making sweet and savory dishes, and they can heat things in these dishes and emit great flavor in them.

If you want your dried ancho chiles to be more responsive to your recipe, you might want to recondition it. You can achieve this by covering the anchos in hot water for a few minutes. Dried anchos are pretty popular due to their flavor and spiciness, and that’s why they are the choice spice for recipes such as:

Dried Ancho Chile Substitute

There are times when this very famous spice will be out of your ingredient stock at home, and you can not possibly find another one immediately. Another thing about the dried ancho chiles, especially for the grounded ones, is the concern that they may irritate the eyes and throat. Also, some people have an allergy to chili oil, and there may be a burning sensation from it. These are the many reasons why a substitute is essential.

In selecting another option that would be used in dried ancho chile, it is vital to note the spicy heat. In that light, you can choose from the array of options highlighted to substitute for your dried ancho chiles while making your dishes. These substitutes are as follows:




This substitute for dried ancho chiles comes in a powdery form. It results from the grounding of red peppers together, giving it its intense reddish color. Paprika has a spicy flavor, though it is not overly pronounced. This makes it a suitable replacement for dried ancho chiles. It combines the forces of red peppers, bell peppers, and chile peppers to make it.

Paprika comes in two basic forms: sweet paprika, less spicy, and smoked paprika, which has a toast-like flavor. It is advised that where you have dried ancho chiles in your recipe, you should use paprika in the same proportion as the quantity of Ancho.

Pasilla Chile Powder

Pasilla Chile Powder


As its name implies, this spice is made from pasilla chiles without other mixtures. In terms of taste, the pasilla chile has a similar fruity, flavorful feel to the dried ancho chile. Another similarity that the pasilla shares with the dried ancho chile: they both are mild in heat. Because of its earthy flavor, the pasilla works well in sauces such as the mole.

The pasilla seems to be a star-studded spice, with black and purple as the colors in which it comes in. It is packed with a fruity flavor as well. In your recipe, use it as a complete replacement for your dried Ancho and in the same amount.

Chipotle Powder

Chipotle Powder


This is another good substitute for the ancho chile. Although Chipotle is spicier than Ancho, it can be a viable option as it is one of the most common chiles in the market. If id mostly powdered in nature after it has been toasted and grounded. Made from the jalapeno chili pepper, this ancho substitute blends seamlessly into local Mexican recipes with its earthy flavor. How hot this pepper is will determine how much of it you can use as a substitute for the dried ancho chile,

Mulato Pepper Powder

Mulato Pepper Powder


Pablano pepper has just two variants, and the Mulato pepper is one of them. The difference between the Mulato and the Ancho is that, while the mulato is the version of poblano that dries up in maturity, anchos are plucked off fresh and then kept to dry. This explains why it has a higher heat level than the Ancho. Mulato can be used in moles, stews as well as deserts. You can do an equal amount while substituting the powdery form for your Ancho in dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are guajillo chiles the same as ancho?

Yes, they are the same, although they may have different taste feel. Whereas one has a heavy and earthy flavor, the other, which is guajillo, has a bit of a fruity feel.

Is chili powder the same as ancho chili powder?

The ancho chile powder is made through the grounding of the poblano pepper, but the chili powder is a mixture of many spices.

How do you make ancho chiles?

Immerse the ancho pepper into high-temperature water for 14-31 minutes. Once it is softened, you can go ahead and the ground into a powdery form for your use.


The popularity of dried ancho chile as an excellent spice ingredient, especially among Mexicans, is not in doubt. However, some people would like to avoid it for certain reasons or not available. We have outlined some great substitutes for such persons, and you can check them out to have a feel. They are flavorful and nutritious as a substitute for Ancho for your dishes.