What Can I Substitute for Chili Paste?

By Luc Braybury

Chili paste is used to add heat and strong pepper flavor to a variety of dishes, including chili, enchiladas and stir fry. When choosing a substitute, it is important to choose an ingredient similar in flavor and spiciness to the original ingredient.


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Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


Crushed red pepper flakes are usually dried cayenne peppers that have been crushed. These flakes usually have a large number of small seeds, which makes for a very hot, peppery flavor.

Bottled Hot Sauce


A bottle of your favorite hot sauce is a simple substitution for chili paste. While lacking the consistency of chili paste, the intense chili pepper flavor (usually from cayenne, jalapeno or habanero peppers) and spiciness make hot sauce an easy replacement ingredient.

Ketchup With Ground Cayenne Pepper


Ketchup has a very similar texture to chili paste, and with the addition of ground cayenne pepper it can make for a suitable substitute. One to two teaspoons of ground cayenne pepper to one cup of ketchup makes for a fiery replacement for chili paste.