The Perfect Red Pepper Flakes Substitute – What Options Do You Have?

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Red Pepper Flakes Substitute – Red pepper flakes (also known as chili flakes or crushed red pepper) represent a common spice in most kitchens out there. However, just like everything else in your kitchen, you might run out of them at the worst possible time.

Red Pepper Flakes Substitute – Some Best Options

red pepper flakes substitute

You do not necessarily have to reach to the closest grocery store, but use your imagination and find a red pepper flakes substitute. So, what options do you have?

The Best Option – Cayenne Powder

Cayenne powder makes great red pepper flakes substitute and it is just as common in the kitchen, so you might have some around. Even if you do have red pepper flakes around, it still pays off to replace them with cayenne powder sometimes.

Why? Unlike flakes, the cayenne powder is not mixed with all kinds of chilies. The heat is not so intense, but flavorful enough. All in all, when using this substitute, make sure you use less cayenne powder.

The Most Common Option – Chili Powder

If you have a decent amount of spices around, you probably have some chili powder as well. Just like the actual flakes, the powder is a cocktail of various hot peppers. The base for chili powder counts less hot peppers. Therefore, the substitution rate implies using more chili powder. Do not overreact, but season to taste.

The Easiest Option – Dried Peppers

While you may not always have any dried peppers around the pantry, they make good red pepper flakes substitute if you are willing to put some extra effort in. Simply make your own pepper flakes by grinding them in a food processor.

This is how companies actually make red pepper flakes, so you are less likely to notice a difference. The heat depends on what kind of peppers you have there. Ideally, you should use peppers similar in heat to cayenne.

Random Alternatives

If you lack any of the above-mentioned solutions, chili paste will do the trick too. Consider both the heat and the consistency. Hot sauces are just as common. They come in a plethora of flavors, so you gain even more options. Use the right one or you risk ruining the final taste.


Bottom line, there are no reasons to despair when you run out of certain spices as pretty much every spice out there has a good substitute. Choose the perfect red pepper flakes substitute with the heat in mind, as you risk killing the taste if you use too much or too little.

See also: Chilli Paste Substitute

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Katie Leslove

I have a passion for cooking different foods every day, and that’s why I have chosen it as the topic for my writings. I cook the dishes, garnish it with green veggies and snap the photo. I like to show those photos to my blog readers. Read More