How Much Cayenne Pepper To Substitute For Jalapeno Pepper?

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.

Jalapeno peppers are everyday kitchen items, probably because of their availability in supermarkets. The pepper is also favored among cooks and chefs because of its unique, delicious flavor.

You may run out of jalapeño pepper in your kitchen. What then happens? If you have a jar of cayenne pepper, the good news is that you can easily substitute jalapeño pepper with cayenne pepper.

But the important question is, how much cayenne pepper to substitute for jalapeno pepper? We recommend you use 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper per jalapeno to get a similar heat level.

What Is Cayenne Pepper?

What Is Cayenne Pepper

They were originally grown in Central and South America but have spread their tentacles to other regions.

Cayenne peppers are a type of chili pepper and belong to the nightshade family of flowering plants. Cayenne peppers are pretty similar to bell peppers and jalapeños and thus confused with them.

Interestingly, cayenne pepper has an impressive nutrition profile, which includes various antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

Research has shown that cayenne pepper may help boost your metabolism and can be quite useful in relieving pain.

How Much Cayenne Pepper To Substitute For Jalapeno Pepper?

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper will substitute jalapeno for approximately the same heat level.

The only drawback to using cayenne pepper in place of jalapeño pepper is that if your recipe calls for fresh jalapenos, you’ll be missing out on that crunchy, fresh pepper flavor.

What Can You Substitute For Jalapeño Pepper?

What Can You Substitute For Jalapeño Pepper

While cayenne makes a good substitute for jalapeño pepper, a situation might arise where you run out of both jalapeño and cayenne pepper.

What happens then? The good news is that there are various numbers of a good substitute for jalapeño pepper, and they include:

1. Serrano Peppers

Serrano pepper is an excellent alternative to jalapeño pepper. Serranos look similar to jalapenos. However, they are narrower with a thinner wall.

Serrano pepper will provide an almost identical heat level as jalapeño pepper while maintaining a familiar hot pepper flavor.

2. Smoked Paprika Powder

Have you ever heard of smoke paprika powder? Paprika is simply dried, finely ground red chili peppers.

However, smoked paprika pepper won’t replace the heat quality of jalapeño pepper but will add wonderful flavor and color to your meal.

3.  Bell Peppers

Want jalapeño pepper without the heat? Bell peppers are your surest best. Bell peppers, like jalapenos, are of the Capsicum Annuum species, which produces many of the non-spicy pepper varieties. Bell peppers will give you a less spicy meal but a similar flavor.

4. Hot Sauce

This is an obvious alternative. So, if you run out of jalapeño pepper, a nice chunk of hot sauce as jalapeno will do the trick.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Substitute Cayenne Pepper For Jalapeno?

Yes. You can substitute cayenne pepper for jalapeño pepper.

Is Cayenne Pepper Hotter Than Jalapeno?

Cayenne peppers are hotter than jalapeño peppers. Cayenne pepper has a Scoville Heat Units (SHU) ranging from 30,000 – 50,000 on the Scoville Scale, which is about as hot as a serrano pepper. Jalapeno peppers have an average of 5000 SHU on the Scoville Scale.

Can I Substitute Red Pepper Flakes For Jalapeno?

Red pepper flakes use a variety of dried red chilies with cayenne pepper as its main ingredient.

This simply means that the average red pepper flake has higher heat than cayenne pepper. We recommend you use red pepper flakes sparingly to spice the recipe.

Recommended Posts:


You don’t have to fret if you run out of jalapeño pepper. Even if you don’t have a jar of cayenne pepper on standby, you can easily use ball pepper or your favorite hot sauce.

This post has successfully answered the question, how much cayenne pepper to substitute for jalapeno pepper. When substituting jalapeño pepper for cayenne pepper, have it in mind that cayenne is hotter and spicier.