Pasilla peppers are a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. They have a mild to moderate heat level, and their flavor is earthy and slightly sweet.
If you cannot find pasilla peppers, never fear! There are several substitutes for pasilla pepper that will work in your recipe.
So, just stay with me to know the type of substitute for pasilla pepper and how they can be used in your favorite dishes.
However, you can use Chile Ancho, Chipotle, Guajillo, Dried poblano or Mulato chilies, NuMex Big Jim Peppers, cascabel chili, Fresno chile, Pasilla de Oaxaca, Mulato peppers, Jalapenos, Serrano pepper, Chili Powder, etc. to replace pasilla pepper.
Read more: Green chilies alternative
What is pasilla chile?
In Mexico, the word “pasilla” means little raisin. This name is given because of the color of these dried chilies; they turn from green to almost black.
The skin is wrinkled with a slight sheen. When ground, they have a chocolate-like aroma with coffee overtones.
Pasilla chiles are long, thin peppers that are dark brown or black in color. They have a rich, smoky flavor and are used to make sauces, salsas, and stews.
Ideal Substitute for Pasilla Pepper in Detail
1. Chile Ancho is the best substitute for a pasilla chili
Ancho peppers are the dried form of poblano peppers. They have a deep red color with wrinkled skin. Because they are dried, they have a sweeter flavor than fresh poblano peppers with notes of raisins and plums.
Chile ancho imparts a similar flavor to pasilla chili but with less heat. This creates it a suitable choice for those who want to enjoy the flavor of mole poblano without spice.
So, ancho peppers can be used in many of the same dishes as pasilla peppers, including salsa, mole, soup, and chili.
Whether you use chile ancho or pasilla chili in your cooking, it’s sure to add some delicious flavor to your dish.
2. Try Chipotle to replace pasilla pepper
Chipotle peppers are another type of dried chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. They have a moderate heat level, and their flavor is smoky with hints of sweetness.
Additionally, the chipotle powder is made from dried, smoked jalapeño peppers and has a deep, rich flavor with notes of chocolate. It is utilized as a replacement for pasilla pepper in many recipes.
When substituting, use half the amount of chipotle powder as you would pasilla pepper. For example, if a recipe demands one pasilla pepper, use half a teaspoon of chipotle powder instead.
Keep in mind that chipotle powder is spicy, so start with a smaller amount and add more to taste. With its bold flavor and smoky aroma, the chipotle powder is a multipurpose ingredient that is able to add a touch of heat to any dish.
However, chipotle peppers can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. Most brands will sell them ground up into a powder form, which can be used as a substitute for pasilla powder.
3. Guajillo – An ideal alternative for pasilla pepper
Guajillo peppers are a good substitute for pasilla peppers. They have a fruity taste with hints of pine and green tea flavors.
Moreover, they have a similar heat level and can be used in many of the same dishes like salsa, mole sauce, soup, and chili, as well as other Mexican dishes such as carne asada and tamales.
Keep in mind guajillos are a bit sweeter than pasillas, so you may want to adjust your recipe accordingly.
When substituting guajillos for pasillas, you will need about twice as many peppers. Guajillos are also a bit spicier, so you may want to reduce the number of other spices in your dish.
Overall, guajillos make a good substitution for pasilla peppers and can be used in many of the same dishes.
4. Dried poblano/Mulato chilies – a close relative of the pasilla pepper
Mulato chilies are a common substitute for pasilla peppers. They have a similar flavor profile, with notes of chocolate and coffee and a moderate level of heat.
Mulato chilies are also a good option if you want to add some extra smokiness to your dish.
To substitute Mulato chilies for a pasilla pepper, use one chili for every two pasilla peppers called for in the recipe.
If you like to modify the level of heat, you can remove the seeds and ribs from the chilies before using them.
Keep in mind that Mulato chilies may not be available at all supermarkets, so you need to visit a specialty store or order them online.
However, it can also often be found in Hispanic markets.
5. You can try NuMex Big Jim Peppers instead of pasilla pepper
NuMex Big Jims are large bell-shaped chilies that turn bright red when they are ripe.
These chilies have a sweet flavor with earthy undertones, making them ideal for use in salsa and other sauces where you want some sweetness without adding fruit or sugar to the recipe.
However, if you like things spicy, this could be the perfect substitute for pasilla peppers.
6. cascabel chili gives you a similar flavor profile to pasilla pepper
If a recipe calls for a pasilla pepper and you don’t have one on hand, you can substitute a cascabel chili pepper. Both of these peppers are long, dark, and slightly curved, with a wrinkled surface.
They also have an equal heat level, although the cascabel chili is slightly hotter.
The main dissimilarity between these two peppers is the flavor. Pasilla peppers are milder and have notes of chocolate, while cascabel chili peppers are slightly sweeter with a nutty flavor.
When replacing one for the other, keep this difference in mind and adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
For example, if you are using a cascabel chili pepper in a mole sauce, you may need to add more chocolate to balance out the sweetness.
Cascabel chili peppers can be found in most Hispanic markets or online. When
7. Fresno chile – A good substitute for pasilla pepper
If you’re looking for a pepper that’s a bit milder than a jalapeño but still has some heat, then a Fresno chili is a good substitute for a pasilla pepper.
Both peppers are typically used in Mexican and Southwestern dishes, so they’ll work well in similar recipes.
The Fresno chili is slightly sweeter than the pasilla pepper, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar or other sweeteners in your dish accordingly.
You can also use a Fresno chili in place of jalapeño if you want to dial down the heat even further.
Just keep in mind that the Fresno chili is also somewhat brighter in color, so it will give a touch of color to your dish as well.
8. Use Pasilla de Oaxaca to replace pasilla pepper
You can substitute Pasilla de Oaxaca peppers. Pasilla de Oaxaca peppers are similar in size and shape to pasilla peppers, but they have a bit more heat.
They have a little sweet flavor that can add an extra layer of complexity to your dish.
So if you’re searching for a little extra heat, reach for some Pasilla de Oaxaca peppers the next time you’re in the kitchen.
9. Mulato peppers – an excellent replacement for pasilla pepper
The Mulato pepper is a versatile Mexican pepper that can be used as a substitute for the pasilla pepper. Both peppers are long and slender, with dark green skin that turns black when dried.
The Mulato pepper is slightly sweeter than the pasilla pepper, with a chocolate-like flavor that pairs well with meats and stews.
When substituting Mulato peppers for pasilla peppers, it is important to use a smaller quantity, as the Mulato pepper is more potent.
In addition, the Mulato pepper will take longer to cook, so it is important to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
With a little careful planning, the Mulato pepper can be a delicious and convenient substitute for the pasilla pepper.
10. Why not try Jalapenos to replace pasilla pepper
If you can’t find pasilla peppers, don’t worry – you can easily substitute jalapeños instead. Both peppers belong to the same family and have similar shapes and sizes.
The main difference is that jalapeños are much hotter, so you’ll need to use fewer of them in your recipe.
Start by removing the seeds and ribs from the peppers, then chop them into small pieces. Whether you like a milder flavor, you can also roast the peppers before using them in your dish.
Just remember that jalapeños pack a lot of heat, so use them sparingly at first and add more to taste.
With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to create a dish that has all the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine.
11. Serrano pepper – an excellent alternative to pasilla pepper
If you need a pasilla pepper but can’t find one at the store, don’t worry – Serrano pepper can be used as a replacement.
Both of these peppers are long and thin, with dark skin that turns almost black when dried. They also contain a similar heat level, although the pasilla pepper is slightly milder.
The main dissimilarity between these two peppers is that the Serrano pepper is usually harvested green, while the pasilla pepper is allowed to ripen on the vine until it turns red or black.
However, this difference won’t matter much in most recipes. So if you’re in a pinch, go ahead and substitute a Serrano pepper for a pasilla pepper – your dish will still be delicious.
Read more: Lemon pepper substitute
12. I use Chili Powder instead of pasilla pepper
Chili powder is a blend of spices that consists of chili peppers, cumin, garlic, and oregano. It has a moderate heat level, and its flavor is earthy and slightly spicy.
Chili powder can be seen in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.
My Opinion- Is using Pasilla Peppers alternatives worth it?
When looking for a substitute for pasilla peppers, there are several factors to consider. First, what type of dish are you making? Mexican dishes often call for these peppers, and they can be used in both red and green salsas as well as moles.
They can also be applied in soups and chili. If you are making one of these dishes, you will want to find a pepper that has a similar flavor profile.
Another consideration is heat. Pasilla peppers range from 1,000 to 2,500 Scoville units on the heat scale. If you cannot handle spicy food, you will want to find a milder pepper.
However, if you like things spicy, you may want to find a hotter pepper. So above all replacements are worthy.
FAQ’s related to Substitute for pasilla pepper
Q1. Will ancho chili seeds add heat to chili?
Yes, ancho chili seeds will add heat to the chili.
Q2. What is chile negro called in English?
Q3. Are Fresno chiles hotter than jalapenos?
Yes, Fresno chiles are hotter than jalapenos. A single Fresno chile can have the same amount of heat as 10 jalapenos. The heat score of Fresno is between 2,500–10,000 SHU, and jalapenos are about 4,000 to 8,500 SHU.
Fresno chiles are popular in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. They can be used in salsa, guacamole, or anywhere else you would use a jalapeno.
Q4. Do you remove seeds from serrano peppers?
Yes, you can remove the seeds from serrano peppers if you want to. To remove the seeds, simply cut the pepper in half and scrape them out with a spoon.
Q5. How do you make serrano peppers less spicy?
One way to make serrano peppers less spicy is to remove the seeds and veins. Another way is to roast them, which will also mellow their flavor. If you want to use serrano peppers in a dish but don’t want the spice, try one of these methods.