5 Ancho Chili Paste Substitute

Ancho chili paste is a popular addition to many dishes. It is made from dried poblano peppers. Ancho chili paste has a slightly smoky flavor that comes from the dried poblanos. It has a medium level heat, though if you are not a fan spicy it may be a little too hot for you. Ancho chili paste is often used to make enchilada sauce, marinades, for tamales, it can also be used in other sauces and dressings. 

There are a few things you can use to substitute ancho chili paste. Hot sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, red peppers flakes, and ancho chili powder all will work out wonderfully when needing to replace ancho chili paste. 

Ancho Chili Paste Substitutes

1. Hot Sauce

There are some different hot sauces that can be good replacements for ancho chili paste. When you are using hot sauce as a replacement, you want to be sure that you find a good thick hot sauce with a chili flavor. Sriracha is one of the best hot sauce replacements for ancho chili paste because it’s slightly thicker than other hot sauces. You don’t want to use hot sauces that have a vinegar base because it will throw off the whole flavor of the dish. 

2. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can be used as ancho chili paste replacement. However, you may not want to use just straight up tomato paste. The great thing about tomato paste is that it will have the same consistency as ancho chili paste, but the flavor will be lackluster. To your tomato paste you may want to add chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin and garlic powder to give your dish some more flavor. You can even use tomato paste to help thicken hot sauces, like sriracha and substitute ancho chili paste that way. If you are making a marinade or a sauce or dressing, this is a great way to go to keep the consistency the same.

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3. Chili Powder

Chili powder is another option you have to replace ancho chili paste. Chili powder has a very similar flavor to ancho chili paste, but of course you won’t have the same consistancy. Like we mentioned above, you can add chili powder to things like sriracha or tomato paste to better match ancho chili paste, or you can use it as is and just have a slightly different dish. 

4. Red Pepper Flakes

Red pepper flakes aren’t the exact same, but will do the job if you don’t have any other options. They work better as an addition, like chili powder, but in a pinch, will be a fine substitute for ancho chili paste.

5. Ancho Chili Powder

Lastly, ancho chili powder is one of the best substitutes because the flavor will be the exact same. The issue here lies in the consistency, but like with red pepper flakes and chili powder, if you add ancho chili powder to a hot sauce or to tomato paste, you basically will get ancho chili paste. You may not even be able to tell the difference! 

Ancho chili paste is a common addition to many Mexican dishes, and has a wonderful flavor that isn’t too spicy. If you are unable to find ancho chili paste, or maybe you just don’t have it or maybe you are looking for a version that is a little less spicy, don’t worry because from just using a different hot sauce, to something as simple as tomato paste, you have many replacement options!