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7 Tasty Espelette Pepper Subtitutes: Spice Up Recipes

Shaking up your spice rack has never been easier, and we’ve got just the thing to add some zing to your meals.

Espelette pepper might sound fancy, but finding substitutes that work just as well is totally doable.

We’re talking about ingredients you probably already have stashed away. You won’t need to run around town looking for obscure items.

Sometimes, the perfect spice swap is closer than you think. Trust us, these seven substitutes will keep your taste buds on their toes.

7 Easy Substitutes for Espelette Pepper

The best substitute for Espelette pepper is, of course, the real thing. But if you don’t have it on hand or can’t find it at your local grocery store, here are some tasty alternatives:

1 – Red Pepper Flakes

First off, let’s talk about red pepper flakes. These bad boys are a solid stand-in for Espelette pepper. They’re usually made from crushed red chili peppers, which pack a punchy heat ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 SHU.

We love how versatile red pepper flakes are. You can sprinkle them on pizza or toss them into your pasta sauce. The heat is more intense than Espelette pepper, so use half the amount to start and adjust to taste.

Check out our red pepper flakes substitutes guide for more spicy goodness!

2 – Cayenne Pepper

Next up, cayenne pepper. This fiery friend is a lifeline in the spice world. Bringing heat levels from 30,000 to 50,000 SHU, it turns the heat way up. Use just a pinch of cayenne for a big spice payoff.

Cayenne’s hotter than Espelette, so start with half the amount and taste as you go. It’s perfect for those who love serious spice. Sprinkle it in soups or blend it in rubs for a kick.

Check out some great cayenne pepper substitutes if you need more options.

3 – Aleppo Pepper

For a milder pepper substitute, check out Aleppo pepper. With a heat level of around 10,000 SHU, it’s a gentler option.

We love how its fruity yet smoky flavor adds depth to dishes. It’s not just about heat; it’s about taste.

Swap Espelette with Aleppo at a 1:1 ratio, but remember, Aleppo’s more subtle. Perfect for when you want a bit of warmth without overwhelming the dish.

You can use it in pretty much anything – soups, stews, and even rubs will benefit. Interested in more substitutes? Visit Aleppo pepper substitutes for more ideas.

4 – Ancho Chili Powder

Next up is Ancho chili powder – our mild and sweet pepper buddy. With a heat level of around 1,000 to 2,000 SHU, it’s a breeze in the spice world.

We love it for its rich, smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness. Ancho is the dried form of poblano pepper, which makes it perfect for those who enjoy subtle heat.

Use it at a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for Espelette pepper. It’s great for sauces, rubs, and even chocolate desserts. If you’re curious about more options, check out our guide to ancho chili powder substitutes.

5 – Smoked Paprika

If you love a smoky flavor with a hit of sweetness, smoked paprika is your go-to. It has a mild heat level of around 250 to 1,000 SHU, making it one of the gentler options on this list.

We enjoy using smoked paprika in everything from soups to stews. The smokiness gives dishes an extra layer of flavor that’s hard to beat.

When substituting for Espelette pepper, use it at a 1:1 ratio. This easily makes it a convenient option. Want more ideas? Check out our smoked paprika substitutes resource.

6 – Chipotle Chili Powder

For a smoky and hot substitute, chipotle chili powder is top-notch.

The heat level ranges from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU. This is perfect for those who enjoy medium-level heat.

We love it for its rich, smoky flavor that elevates dishes. It’s made from smoked, dried jalapeños.

Use chipotle chili powder at a 1:1 ratio for Espelette pepper. It’s amazing in sauces, rubs, and marinades.

It’s so good, we often sprinkle it on our popcorn. For more cool ideas, check out this chipotle chili powder substitute guide.

7 – Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Flakes)

The next substitute on our list is Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Flakes). This spicy superstar brings a medium heat ranging from 4,000 to 8,000 SHU. We think it’s perfect for those who like a kick without going overboard.

We find Gochugaru’s flavor to be a mix of sweet, spicy, and smoky. It’s awesome for adding depth to dishes. Use Gochugaru in a 1:1 ratio as a swap for Espelette pepper. Our favorite way to use it is in marinades and even sprinkled over some eggs for breakfast.

Need more info on spice swaps? Check out the Gochugaru substitutes for some great ideas.