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6 Chili Paste Substitutes: Add Some Zing

Who knew finding chili paste substitutes could be such a wild ride? We’ve scoured our spice racks and condiment shelves to bring you the best alternatives for when you’re in a bind.

Whether you ran out mid-recipe or just can’t handle the heat, we’ve got you covered. We’ll share our top picks, and maybe even drop in a few personal favorites.

Plus, discovering new flavors together is always a blast, right? Get ready to spice things up without breaking a sweat!

6 Easy Substitutes for Chili Paste

The great thing about chili paste is that it adds both heat and flavor to a dish. So when looking for a substitute, you want something that can mimic those qualities. Here are our top picks:

1 – Sriracha Sauce

First, who doesn’t love Sriracha? This popular sauce brings heat and a bit of sweetness. It’s a staple in our pantry.

We love its balance of spice and flavor. Sriracha is a versatile substitute. Use it in stir-fries, dips, or even on your eggs.

It’s super easy to work with. Just swap it in equal parts for chili paste. One-to-one ratio, no fuss.

Sriracha’s flavor profile is milder. So, if you’re after more heat, add a bit extra.

For more on this versatile sauce, check out our Sriracha substitutes guide. It’s a spicy read!

2 – Harissa Paste

The second substitute on our list is Harissa Paste. We love its rich, earthy flavor. It comes from North Africa and is packed with hot chili peppers, garlic, and spices. Super flavorful and adds depth.

We usually swap it in a one-to-one ratio for chili paste. Harissa brings a smoky, spicy kick to any dish. Great choice for stews and grilled meats.

Sometimes, we use it in our hummus or on roasted veggies. Interested in more substitutes? Check out our Harissa paste substitutes guide for more ideas.

3 – Sambal Oelek

Sambal Oelek, ever heard of it? If not, you’re in for a treat. This Indonesian chili paste packs serious heat. It’s a simple blend of chilies, vinegar, and salt.

We swap it one-to-one for chili paste. Its pure chili flavor stands out. We love adding it to soups, stir-fries, and marinades.

This paste is more straightforward, no extra spices. Great for those who like it hot and simple. A little goes a long way, so start small.

Interested in more spicy swaps? Check our Sambal Oelek substitutes. Expand your spicy horizons.

4 – Gochujang

While sambal oelek brings heat, Gochujang takes it up a notch with its sweet and spicy tang. This Korean paste blends red chili, rice, and fermented soybeans for a complex, deep flavor.

We use a one-to-one swap for chili paste. It’s perfect for soups, marinades, and even stir-fries. The paste is thick, so thinning with a bit of water or vinegar helps.

We love its versatility. Add it to your grilled meats or mix into sauces. For more ideas, check out our Gochujang substitutes article.

5 – Red Pepper Flakes

The spice that keeps on giving? Red pepper flakes. This fiery substitute offers direct heat without the fuss. Just grab a pinch and sprinkle away.

We usually use half a teaspoon of flakes for every teaspoon of chili paste. Simple!

Red pepper flakes are perfect for pizza toppings. They’re amazing in pasta sauces, too. Just sprinkle to taste and enjoy the heat.

We once overdid it on a homemade pizza. Lesson learned! Start small with these flakes.

Want more spicy ideas? Check our red pepper flakes substitutes article.

6 – Cayenne Pepper

Last, we have cayenne pepper, a fiery kick for your dishes. Replace one teaspoon of chili paste with 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. It’s that intense.

We use it often in soups and sauces. A little goes a long way, so start with less and add more if needed.

It’s perfect for heat without the bulk of a paste. Mix it with some tomato sauce to mimic chili paste consistency. Easy and quick.

We once added too much and had to gulp down milk. Lesson learned. Curious for more? Check out our cayenne pepper substitutes article for more spicy insights.