What is A Good Substitute For Aleppo Pepper?

image of aleppo pepper substitute

You have your recipe, and you start gathering the ingredients. As you go down the list, you see Aleppo pepper. Oh no, your Aleppo Pepper is finished! You start to wonder what a good substitute for Aleppo Pepper could be. Well, you know you need something spicy. Yet, not too spicey.  

Luckily, there are chili spice variables easily accessible. The odds of having one or more on your spice rack is probable.

Keep reading to learn more!

image of Aleppo Pepper

What Is Aleppo Pepper?

The Aleppo pepper is made from a chili known as Halaby. It hails from the Northern City of Aleppo in Syria. Today, this spice is predominately sourced from Turkey.  

Given their origin status, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine use Aleppo spice regularly. Equally, it complements an array of dishes outside of this cuisine.  

The Halaby chili comes in at around 10 000 Scoville units, making it a medium-heat chili. Its rich burgundy color brightens your dish alongside the smokey, slightly fruity, oily notes. 

Quick Reference Scoville Scale Units:

– Sweet Paprika: 250 – 1000

– Cayenne Pepper: 30 000 – 50 000

– Hot Paprika: 250 – 1000

– Ancho Chili Powder: 1000 – 1500

– Crushed Red Pepper: 35 000

– Marash Spice: 6000

– Uraf Pepper: 30 000 – 50 000

– Chili Powder: 500 – 1500

– Piri Piri Powder: 50 000 – 175 000

The Best Substitutes for Aleppo Chili

Notably, some of the Aleppo pepper alternatives may be slightly more or less hot. Even so, your dish will be delicious!

Sweet Paprika and Cayenne Pepper Mixture 

We love this DIY quick fix. All you require is a mixture of these two spices.  

Cayenne pepper is extremely hot, coming in at around 30 000 – 50 000 units. In contrast, sweet paprika is on the lower end at 250 – 1000.

We suggest you start with the sweet paprika, then slowly add the cayenne pepper until you reach your desired heat. A great way of doing this is to put a bit of the mixture on the tip of your tongue. Once you hit the heat level you enjoy, you are good to go.  

Also, this mixture makes a great salt replacement and goes exceptionally well with an egg mayonnaise sandwich.

Terrific Tip: it is an excellent idea to add a pinch of salt to counteract the sweetness of the sweet paprika.

Learn more: What Is a Good Substitute for Sweet Paprika? (8 Best Alternatives)

Hot Paprika 

When compared to Apello pepper, hot paprika is considerably milder. It comes in around 250 -1000 units on the Scoville scale. 

For this reason, it is an excellent choice for heat-sensitive palettes.  

The taste resembles our DIY mix above, offering a subtle sweetness, not as much heat, and a gorgeous color. 

Hot paprika is easy to find in your local supermarkets – if you do not already have it on your spice rack.

We recommend a 1:1 ratio when substituting Aleppo pepper with hot paprika. As the heat factor is a little less, you can add a touch of cayenne to up the kick. 

Again, remember to use a pinch of salt to reduce the sweet back taste of hot paprika.

Tempting Tip:  hot paprika is delicious on baby roast potatoes. All you do is toss your par-cooked baby potatoes with extra-virgin olive oil, a healthy pinch of salt, and a generous sprinkle of hot paprika. 

Toss well. Then roast in the oven or an air fryer. These crispy potatoes go exceptionally well with a garlic mayo dip!

Learn more: Top Paprika Substitutes (#7 YOU MIGHT HAVE NOW)

Ancho Pepper Powder

Ancho pepper powder is a popular spice used in Mexican cuisine. So, it is the ideal Aleppo pepper substitute if your dish has a Mexican flare.  

This spice is made from dried poblano peppers and rates on a mild heat scale of 1000 – 1500 units. Along with the pleasant smokey flavor, similar to paprika-based options, it offers exceptional health benefits.  

Ancho is essential to get that authentic Mexican flavor if you make guacamole or salsa. 

Certainly, the heat level is lower than Aleppo pepper, so adding a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes will give it an extra punch. We recommend a 1:1 ratio for substitution.

Crushed Red Pepper 

Certainly a favorite in many home kitchens and restaurants! Crushed red pepper flakes are a combination of mild to hot peppers, such as:

  • Cayenne
  • Bell
  • Jalapeno
  • Anaheim
  • Fresno

Cayenne is the predominant ingredient, upping the heat scale to approximately 35 000 units. As red pepper flakes are three times hotter than Aleppo pepper, we suggest using one-third of the amount in the recipe.  

Red pepper flakes make an excellent sprinkle for pizza and pasta. Moreover, it is delicious in cream cheese dips and adds a punch to any meat-based marinades.  

Tempting Tip:  garnish hummus with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. They add color and a crunchy texture.

Marash Pepper

Authentic Turkish cuisine uses Marash pepper to give recipes a rich and slightly sweet flavor, unlike its cousin spice, Aleppo pepper, which has a smokey touch. 

With this said, Marash pepper is the best alternative to Aleppo pepper.

The Scoville scale units for Marash pepper is 6000 units. Therefore, it is not as hot as Apello pepper’s 10 000 units. Marash peppers have an oily quality to them. Hence, the heat is carried through a dish perfectly.

Marash pepper is not readily available in supermarkets, and you may have to go on a hunt for it. Even if you don’t necessarily need it and stumble upon it, grab a bottle or two as a backup.

We suggest a 1:1 ratio of Marash pepper for a tasty dish sensation.

Urfa Pepper 

Uraf pepper joins the family of Turkish spice favorites. This spice is usually dried out in the sun. Doing so releases a rich natural smokey flavor without actually being smoked. 

As with cayenne pepper, Uraf pepper is high on the Scoville scale with a 30 000 – 50 000 heat rating. Moreover, Uraf pepper is far darker in color. 

In fact, it is closer to black with a touch of burgundy. So your dish may not carry the brightness when compared with Marash pepper, which is vibrant red and orange.

Yet, the smokiness you enjoy from Aleppo pepper is there.

As with Marash pepper, Uraf is less common in supermarkets. However, we suggest you try to get these spices online.  

Due to the heat factor, we recommend you use half the amount in your recipe. Certainly, an excellent substitute for Aleppo pepper, especially if you want a rich smokey flavor in your meal.  

Chili Powder

A safe and reliable Aleppo pepper alternative is chili powder. Firstly, chili powder is easily accessible. Secondly, it gives your dish the spicey touch you seek.

The only downside is chili lacks the fruity back taste of Aleppo pepper. An easy way to fix this is to add a touch of sweet paprika to the mix.  

Chili powder varies in heat depending on the ratio of cayenne pepper. With this in mind, we recommend you taste a bit of the chili spice you have before you add it to your dish. 

Most chili spices have a heat rating of 500 -1500 Scoville units. Even so, better to be safe than sorry to avoid too much heat.

Piri Piri Powder 

Last but certainly not least is Piri Piri powder. This spice offers the ultimate heat level, between 50 000 – 175 000 Scoville units. Compared to Aleppo pepper at 10 000 units, that is an enormous difference.

Piri Piri spice is closely related to the tabasco pepper and grows wild in parts of Africa. As with other chili powder, piri piri spice is dried and ground into a coarse powder. You can expect a sweet and salty flavor with a subtle sour-back taste.  

Decidedly, piri piri spice is an excellent substitute for Aleppo pepper if your palette loves extremely spicy food. 

For this reason, we highly recommend you use this spice sparingly.

Finally, piri piri spice will likely be available online rather than in local supermarkets.

Terrific tip: pour some extra-virgin olive oil into a little bowl. Add a pinch of piri piri and a heaped teaspoon of fresh parsley—a delicious, spicey dip for freshly baked bread.


Final Thoughts

Have you found what a good substitute for Aleppo pepper could be? 

We understand this can be tricky as this spice is unique in flavor, texture, and taste. 

Nevertheless, we hope our list of alternatives may be on your spice rack and spark some ideas for your next spicey meal adventure.

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