Best Chili Powder Substitute

Don’t have chili powder, or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best chili powder substitute to use in recipes.

Making a recipe that calls for chili powder and don’t have it? Here’s a few options that are suitable as a substitution. Chili powder is a spice blend made with dried chilis and other spices. It’s the main spice in chili, and is used often in Mexican cuisine. There’s really nothing like it! But, here’s the good news: you can fake it if you need to. Here are a few ideas for substitutions for this spicy ingredient.

Best chili powder substitute

1. Homemade chili powder mix

The best substitute for chili powder? A homemade chili powder mix! To make homemade chili powder, simply combine the following spices to make ¼ cup chili powder:

  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne

2. Paprika, cumin and cayenne

The next best substitute for chili powder? A mix of paprika, cumin and cayenne. If you don’t have all the spices above, you can make a “cheater” version. Here’s the ratio to use:

  • Substitution Ratio: For every 1 tablespoon chili powder, use 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, and a scant ¼ teaspoon cayenne. You can customize the cayenne to taste based on your spice preference.

3. Chipotle chili powder

This chili powder substitute must be treated with caution, but chipotle chili powder can bring some of the savory pepper flavor to dishes along with the heat. However, keep in mind that it is extremely spicy!

For every 1 tablespoon chili powder, we’d substitute only ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, though you could use more to taste. It would also work in combination with paprika and cumin: use 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder.

Here are some recipes that use chili powder:

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Description

Here’s how to make homemade chili powder! Mix this all natural blend into a batch of chili, or use it for grilled or roasted veggies, dips, and more.


  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • ½ tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne


  1. Whisk the ingredients together in a small bowl. Transfer to an airtight container or jar. Store for 6 months to 1 year in a cool, dry place.

  • Category: Seasoning
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Spice Blend
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Chili powder substitute