9 Best Pasilla Chile Substitutes

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Pasilla Chile Substitutes



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Pasilla Chile is a Mexican chili that is very popular in many Mexican cuisines. They are usually black and very long and can be found in groceries or supermarkets as they are quite popular.

Pasilla chilies have a Scoville heat of about 1000-2500 SHU. It would be best to be careful when adding them to your dishes because excess pasilla Chile can make your meal too spicy and completely inedible.

So, what happens if you want to prepare a recipe that calls for pasilla Chile and you have none at home and in the grocery store? Well, there are plenty of other popular pasilla chile substitutes you can use.

Ancho Chile, Cascabel Chile, Pasilla De Oaxaca, Mulato Peppers, Guajillo Peppers, Jalapenos, Serrano Peppers, and Mirasol Peppers are all suitable alternatives to pasilla chile that you can turn to and still enjoy similar flavor.

Let’s quickly look at these peppers in details!

Best Pasilla Chile Substitutes

There are a lot of other chilies that can replace pasilla Chile in your dishes, and even if they do not make the dish taste the same as Pasilla Chile would; their taste is near that of pasilla.

1. Ancho Chile

Ancho Chile is probably the best alternative for pasilla Chile with a Scoville heat of about 1000-2000 SHU.

Ancho chiles are also readily available in many continents in Europe, Asia even in countries like Mexico and the United States; they can be found in stores as fried pepper flakes or in powdered form.

You can use ancho chiles in various soups, stews, and salads, and the outcome would be amazing. Since the Scoville heat level of ancho chiles are almost the same as that of pasilla, you can maintain the same ratio when replacing it for the other.

2. Cascabel Chile

These pepper looks like the pasilla pepper but is much hotter with a Scoville heat unit of 1000-3000 SHU.

It is advisable that when using cascabel as a substitute, you should be mindful of how much of it you should use in your dish because just a slight mistake in the amount can make your dish a lot hotter.

Cascabel Chile is nutty and smoky, which gives them the ability to enrich your food.

3. Pasilla De Oaxaca

Pasilla de Oaxaca is just like a different version of the pasilla Chile with a smokier flavor than the pasilla chile.

Pasilla de Oaxaca has the same SHU as the pasilla Chile which gives it an advantage over other substitutes because you can always use it comfortably in place of pasilla chile.

However, pasilla de Oaxaca is more expensive than the normal pasilla Chile. Pasilla de Oaxaca is perfect for making stir-fries, soups, and also stews as it adds a nice delicious and smoky taste to these dishes.

So when you want to spice up your salad, you can always use this, and the ratio of substitution can remain the same since they both have the same SHU.

4. Mulato Peppers

Mulato peppers are similar to ancho peppers, but they are milder in taste and flavors. These peppers are best eaten when they are dry or ground and have a 2500-3000 SHU.

They can be used as salad toppings to add a bit of spice to your veggies, or you can also use them in your cooked dishes and soups.

These peppers are considered very different from other peppers because they have a cherry-flavored and mild chocolate taste that you would not find in any other pepper.

5. Guajillo Peppers

This pepper has a sweet taste and mild heat, making it suitable to mix perfectly with other vegetables, soups, and even stews.

Guajillo pepper can complement any dish that requires a lot of sweet spice as it has a Scoville level of 2500-8000 SHU.

Feel free to add guajillo peppers to your sauces in the same ratio as the pasilla Chile pepper but always ensure that you add these peppers by the tablespoon and taste it as you go to prevent ending up with a very peppery dish.

6. Poblano Peppers

Poblano peppers are green with a Scoville heat unit of about 1000-2000 SHU. They can successfully replace guajillo Chile pepper in any dish, and give a bright outlook to your soups and salads.

Poblano peppers are very good for stuffing’s apart from the fact that you can chop them in tinier pieces for soups and stews.

They are not great in sauces, so if you’re on the lookout for a spice that can work well in sauces other than pasilla Chile peppers, you should consider other substitutes instead.

7. Jalapenos

Jalapeno is one of the most popular peppers used in Mexican dishes, and they can also serve as a great substitute for pasilla Chile.

Finding them in grocery stores worldwide is very easy, and they add a lot of nutrients to the body. Having a Scoville heat of about 2500-8000 SHU, these peppers will satisfy all your taste desires.

They can be added as toppings for pizzas, kinds of pasta, and even salads, and they can also be used as a side dish next to your favorite stews.

8. Mirasol Peppers

Mirasol peppers are mostly used in making the famous mirasol mole sauce. They bring the same heat level as the jalapenos with a Scoville heat unit of 2500-8000 SHU.

Mirasol peppers are bright red and would look great in soups and stews and can also be used as toppings for various foods.

9. Serrano Peppers

Serrano peppers have been in use for several decades worldwide and are still used presently in many Mexican cuisines.

These peppers are the perfect ingredients in salsas, sauces, and garnishing, and these peppers are more enjoyable when roasted.

The serrano peppers are very hot. They have a heat level of 10000-25000 Scoville heat unit; when using this pepper as a replacement for pasilla Chile, you should do it in a ratio of about 4:1(serrano peppers: pasilla Chile).

Is Pasilla Chilethe Same as Guajillo?

Pasilla Chile and guajillo peppers are not the same, even if one can substitute for the other.

Pasilla Chile comes from the pasilla peppers, while guajillo peppers are the dried version of the mirasol peppers making their color different and their taste slightly different.

Guajillo is hotter than the pasilla Chile pepper and should be used when a hotter pepper is required.

Is Pasilla the Same as Poblano?

The answer to this question depends on your location. In Northern Mexico, they consider pasilla the same as the poblano.

Still, pasilla is referred to as a dried chilaca pepper in other continents and countries like Asia. Also, in Asia, poblano is dried peppers known as ancho pepper in their dried form.


When it comes to Mexican peppers, the funny thing is that everyone you come across can replace the other if they are used in the right quantity.

So, when shopping for pasilla chile substitutes, consider researching first to be sure of what would fit the pepper you want to replace perfectly, both taste-wise and flavor-wise.


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