10 Best Arbol Chile Substitutes

This article may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Chiles de árbol is mostly used in their dried form while cooking. You can always purchase them in quantity at special grocery marts or tied in cellophane bags in the spice category.

If you are on the lookout for Arbol chile substitutes, then you’re at the right place. We’ve got you. Fortunately, this chili species is very identical to many others that are even handily accessible in the US. Even more than the Arbol chiles.

Jalapeno pepper, cayenne pepper, serrano pepper, Guajillo chile peppers, Thai chiles, paprika, chile tepin, Cascabel chile pepper, sweet bell pepper, and crushed red pepper are all great alternatives to Arbol chile.

This little text will discuss some of the best variations that will come in handy for chile de Arbol in the kitchen.

What are Arbol Chiles?

Chiles de árbol is a hot, frail chile that measures about three inches long.

They start green, then change to the red color when they mature and change to a richer, deeper red when they get dried.

When it’s dried, de árbols are occasionally used for chile bouquets.

The Chile de Arbol is a famous pepper species that originated from Mexico; it is well recognized for its use when powdered.

While it is exceedingly familiar in Mexican cuisine, it is only slowly making its way across the world.

Best Chile de Arbol Substitutes

1. Cayenne Pepper

It is generally twice in heat level to the chile de àrbol, so if you’re delighted by an additional kick in your food, here’s your option.

Although it doesn’t have the same nutty flavor as the arbol chile, its thin form makes the cayenne a delicious infusion of chili pepper. It’s effortless to put them into bottles of olive oil or liquor to bring in more spice to the flavor.

Because chile de árbol is frequently utilized when dried or powdered, the simplest alternative you can get is most likely the cayenne pepper powder.

This spice is best when you use it to bring in more heat to your food is an excellent substitute for chile de arbor.

Having a Scoville grading that is around 50,000 SHUs, cayennes will bring the same heat grade to your cooking, if not even more. Another amazing characteristic about this alternative is that they are simple to cultivate.

2. Serrano Peppers

Also known as Capsicum annuum, it is a kind of chili pepper that emerged in the hilly areas of the Mexican states of Puebla and Hidalgo.

The identification of the pepper is connected to the mountains known as “sierras” of these localities. The pepper is generally employed in making giardiniera.

Serrano chilis are an outstanding substitute to chile de Arbol.

Even though they are mostly sold while they are green, serrano peppers will certainly mature, and their colors will change to a bright red, just like arbols.

Serrano peppers are narrowly less spicy, but they have a savory flavor and a moderately fragile wall when related to jalapenos.

You can scorch your serranos yourself with a dehydrator or using the oven, or you can even cook them fresh.

3. Jalapenos

If these two peppers I have discussed above are not accessible to you, you can look for Jalapenos. They will work fine for your dish, but they are slightly lesser in spice and have a larger flesh than the chile de Arbol peppers.

Chiles Jalapenos is an identical pepper variation that is generally sold when they are wholly dried.

You might also be able to discover other dried pepper kinds, particularly during peak yield season.

Don’t forget; chile de Arbol is generally used in simply adding heat and probably a sense of red color. The flavor is not very evident, so any hot pepper with a thin wall will serve well as its alternative.

4. Paprika

If the mild flavor and color of dried chile de arbor is what you want and not the heat, you can attempt using paprika as a substitute. It is just scorched red bell peppers, ground into a powder.

This spice is delicious and brings chile de arbor to mind each time you taste it, but it won’t make your food to be vigorously hot.

I suggest using half paprika and half hot pepper powder to balance the heat. If you wish to bring in some smoky spice to your food, try using the smoked paprika. Rather than just draining the red pepper, they are smoked to put in a strong, vibrant flavor to the paprika.

5. Guajillo Chile

Guajillo chile peppers pronounced as ‘gwah-HEE-yoh’ are protracted -in size, that is, slim, bright red chile peppers that have soft skin.

They are relatively hot chiles that expand an intense, fruity flavor to dishes and sauces.

If you can locate dried guajillo peppers, they will function well as a substitute for chile de arbols.

Mirasol chilis are less in heat compared to chile de arbols, but they possess a unique flavor. They are famous in Mexico and should be susceptible to locate at the market.

6. Sweet Bell Peppers

If fresh peppers that don’t have the heat of chile de Arbol or cayenne are what you want, then try using sweet peppers.

Bell peppers are massive and heavy, so the composition will differ, but the flavor should function with whatever you happen to be cooking.

Aside from bell peppers, there are a lot of other pepper variations that don’t have heat. Some common types are as follows: mini sweet, cubanelle, poblano (mild heat), sweet banana, and jimmy nardello peppers.

7. Thai chiles

Thai chilies are naturally three to four times more heated than chile de àrbol. They may be small, but they have quite the hit. Analyze your recipe well enough before using it.

Use only a quarter of the amount demanded, but you can put more to your taste. Thai chilies with their thin shapes are also wonderful for chili infusions.

They are relatively susceptible to locate in most Asian grocery stores.

8. Cascabel Chile Pepper

The Cascabel chile is also identified as the rattle chile.

It is a plump, round, smooth, and tiny chile that evolves from green color to red as it matures. When it gets dried, the color grows dark, and it takes the form of a deep reddish-brown with practically translucent but hard skin.

When fully mature, they measure about 1-1/2” in diameter. Distinct from many chiles, they are recognized by the same name, even if they are fresh or dried. Recipes that demand Cascabel chiles generally are suggesting dried chile.

They are ideal to toast on a hot skillet before usage, and then they can either be ground or rehydrated in warm water so you can make them into a paste or a sauce.

You can also pair these with different Mexican chiles for more complicated levels of flavor.

If you are rehydrating them, though, we propose not moistening them for anything more than 20 minutes, or they become bitter.

The nutty flavor of Cascabel, when roasted, pairs nicely with tomatoes or tomatillos in casseroles, enchiladas, fajitas, salsas, sauces, soups, stews, tamales, and tacos.

The flavor outline of the Cascabel is woodsy, sourish, and somewhat smoky with tobacco and nutty undertones.

It is considered a mild heat chile; it is measured to be around 1,000-3000 on the Scoville Heat Scale.

I know, right? The cascabel chili is nowhere near in spiciness compared to the chile de àrbol, But what it doesn’t have in heat, it has in taste.

It has its own very distinct, nutty, and earthlike flavor that can bring in something special to your dish. If you’re searching for a flavor alternate, the cascabel is a fantastic option for chile de àrbol.

These chiles give creamier flavors of apricots and scorched apples, as well as a subtle smokiness.

9. Crushed red pepper

Crushed red pepper or red pepper flakes is seasoning or spice that consists of dried and granulated red chili peppers.

This condiment is frequently developed from cayenne-type peppers, although commercial producers can utilize a variety of distinct cultivars that usually measure within the 30,000–50,000 Scoville unit range.

Mashed red pepper is employed by food manufacturers in pickling blends, chowders, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, soups, and sausage.

If all you are searching for is an identical degree of spiciness, it’s right there in your spice rack.

Crushed red pepper generally has a cayenne pepper base cut with deficient heat peppers.

This lessens the heat profile to about the same level as chile de àrbol. This is an obvious trade-off, though.

Of course, you’ll get the heat, but not the same flavor or the efficient demonstration that is probable with a dried pepper.

10. Chile Tepin

These round, shiny peppers may be little, but they carry a lot of heat. The fruits deliberately mature, and their colors evolve from green to red, and they get hotter as they turn.

They are both eatable and decorative because they look elegant in containers, gardens, and landscape plantings.

This variety is sometimes called the “bird pepper” because birds love to eat the fruit, but don’t try it. Birds don’t feel the heat like humans do!

The most popular usage for Tepin peppers is to dry and mash them to season soups and stews; handle with care, though, make sure. You’ll be just fine.

Chile Tepin peppers are utilized as hot pepper seasoning stews, sauces, bean dishes, and soups in Hispanic, Indian and Asian Foods. You’ll get Chile Tepin readily available dried, fresh, and in powder forms.

Chile Tepin will survive for up to a week if you store them unwrapped in your refrigerator. They are more costly, and you’ll most likely find them in Mexican grocery stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are chile de arbols called in English?

It is literally translated to “tree pepper.”

What do you use Chile de Arbol for?

You can put chile de árbol to tacos, chicken, pasta, and vegetables such as green beans or corn. You can also use it to formulate chile powder by crushing dried peppers and use this to flavor soups, stews, and sauces.

Can I use Guajillo in place of Chile de Arbol?

Yes! If you can get dried guajillo peppers, they will work as an alternative to chile de arbols too.

Are Thai chiles the same as Arbol?

No, they are not. Thai chilies are commonly three to four times more heated than chile de àrbol.

Are cayenne and Arbol the same?

No, they are not. Chile de Árbol is similar in shape and size to its hotter cousin, the cayenne, but they are not the same.

Why is it called chile de Arbol?

The Chile de árbol, which is Spanish for tree chili, was titled about the woody stems connected to the pod.

Scroll to Top