I vividly remember the first time I ever cooked with pasilla chile as a substitute for something else in my recipe. I was a bit anxious, not knowing how the dish would turn out.
But much to my surprise, it was an amazing experience! It gave the dish a wonderfully smoky and earthy flavor, and I loved it.
But at some point, it became mission impossible to find some of it in my area. This led me to find and study substitutes. It took a bit of trial and error, but I finally found a few that worked great.
Ever since then, I’ve been using pasilla chile substitutes in all sorts of recipes, both traditional and non-traditional. And I’m here to share my knowledge with you!
So, without further ado, let’s get into it. Here are the substitutes for pasilla chile that you need to know:
Substitutes For Pasilla Chile:
- Ancho pepper
- Mulato pepper
- Guajillo pepper
- Cascabel Chile
- Pasilla de Oaxaca
- Serano peppers
- Poblano peppers
- Habanero peppers
This is my go-to substitute for pasilla chile powder.
An Ancho Chile is a dried Poblano. It’s the most popular chili in Mexico and easy to find. Anchos aren’t as common in the US because they’re typically used to make powder, which we’ll get to in a bit.
An Ancho has a heat range from 1000 to 1,500 on the Scoville Scale. To compare, pasilla Chile has a heat range of 1,000 to 2,500 SHU.
Both of these chiles are mild though, so don’t worry about setting your mouth on fire.
Ancho Chile powder is traditionally used in Mole Poblano, one of the popular dishes in Mexico. You can also use it to make enchiladas, tamales, and even soups.
This chile has a mild flavor, so it won’t overpower your dish.
Mulato peppers are a type of dried chili pepper that is closely related to the ancho pepper. They are actually a variety of dried poblano pepper and are typically darker in color and slightly hotter than anchos.
Mulatos also have an earthy flavor and are a bit smokier than their milder cousins.
When used as a substitute for pasilla chiles, they will add more heat to the dish while still providing the same general flavor profile with a trace of chocolate and cherry flavors.
Mulatos can be used in any recipe that calls for dried chili peppers, though they are particularly well suited for mole sauces and other Mexican-inspired dishes.
When it comes to peppers, guajillo is the new pasilla. Though guajillo clocks in at 2,500 to 5,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), making it about as hot as a jalapeno, this pepper has an earthy flavor with hints of cranberry and tea that make it a great substitute for the more pungent Pasilla chile.
Guajillo also has a long history, dating back to the Aztecs who used it to flavor their food. So if you’re looking for pepper with a bit of history and flavor, guajillo is the perfect substitute.
The pepper is a small, dark red chili pepper. It is about 2 to 5 inches long and has wrinkled skin. And the flavor is not as pungent as other chili peppers.
Guajillo is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It is used to make salsa, mole, tamales, and enchiladas.
The Mirasol pepper is a type of chili pepper that is closely related to the guajillo pepper. In fact, Guajillo is the dried form of mirasol.
It is actually a variety of dried poblano pepper and is typically darker in color and slightly hotter than guajillos.
Mirasols also have an earthy flavor and are a bit smokier than their milder cousins.
When used as a substitute for pasilla chiles, they will add more heat to the dish while still providing the same general flavor profile.
On the Scoville scale, a moderately hot cascabel pepper has a range of 1000 to 3,000 Scoville Heat Units.
The hottest cascabel chili is roughly equivalent in heat to a freshly harvested jalapeño. And the two peppers are closely related to the guajillo pepper.
Cascabel is actually a variety of dried poblano pepper and is typically darker in color. It also has an earthy flavor and is a bit smokier than its milder cousins.
When used as a substitute for pasilla chiles, buse carefully, so as not to add too much heat to the dish.
Cascabels can be used in any recipe that calls for dried chili peppers and therefore, is a good substitution for pasilla chile.
Pasilla De Oaxaca
Pasilla De Oaxaca is a smokier version of the pasilla chile, and it has the same heat level in SHU. However, Pasilla De Oaxaca is more expensive than Pasilla chile.
You can use Pasilla De Oaxaca as a substitute for pasilla chile in many cases, such as in soups, sauces, chili, and stews.
It can also be used as a filling for tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
Serrano peppers offer a similar level of heat and can be used in a variety of dishes.
They are originally from Mexico but are now used worldwide in salsas, sauces, and as garnish. They can also be roasted and used in hot dishes. Actually, they are better when roasted.
When substituting serrano peppers for pasilla chiles, use a ratio of 4:1. This means that for every 4 pasilla chili, use 1 serrano pepper.
This is because they are really hot, with a 10000 to 25000 SHU. Serrano peppers are a great way to add heat to any dish!
Poblano peppers are typically mild, with a heat level of 1000-2000 SHU on the Scoville scale.
They are mostly dark green in color, but can also be red or black. When dried, they are known as pasilla chiles.
Poblanos can be used as a substitute for pasilla chiles in many recipes. For example, they can be used to add color and flavor to soups and salads, or they can be used to stuff and chop for tacos and enchiladas.
I wouldn’t advise you to use them for sauces though. Why? Because they can make the sauce taste too sweet.
The difference is these ones have a slightly sweet flavor that pasilla chiles do not have. So, this substitution will add more sweetness to your dish. But without adding too much heat.
If you are looking for a milder chili pepper, you may want to try another variety of poblano pepper, such as the ancho chili pepper.
Jalapeno peppers are a popular type of chili pepper that can be used as a substitute for Pasilla chiles.
They are relatively easy to find and are typically green in color. They are also quite nutritious, containing Vitamins A and C, as well as potassium and fiber.
In terms of heat, Jalapenos range from 2500-8000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU), which is significantly lower than pasilla chiles.
As a result, they are often used as a milder alternative to pasilla chiles in recipes. While they may not provide the same level of heat, jalapeno peppers can still add a flavorful kick to your favorite dishes.
Habanero peppers are one of the hottest chili peppers on the planet, with a Scoville rating of 100,000-350,000.
In comparison, pasilla chiles have a Scoville rating of only 1000-2000. As you can see, there is a big difference in heat levels between these two chili peppers.
As a result, habanero peppers should be used sparingly when substituting for pasilla chiles. A little goes a long way with these peppers!
But for anyone who enjoys spice in their food, habanero is a sure way to go. Also, they come in different varieties and colors, so you can experiment until you find the perfect one for your taste buds.
You can also grind habaneros into a powder and use them as a seasoning in your sauce or you could use them in stuffing recipes.
I’ve seen some people eating it as an appetizer. But I wouldn’t advise you to eat it raw though if you don’t have the heart for a high heat level.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Pasilla Chile?
The pasilla chile is a dried chilaca pepper with a complex flavor profile. It has earthy, smoky, and chocolate notes making it the perfect choice for mole sauces and chili con carne.
Pasilla Pepper Recipes
Pasilla peppers can be used in a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, sauces, and chili. They can also be used to stuff tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.
What is the Best Substitute for Pasilla Chile?
The best substitutes for pasilla chile peppers are the ancho pepper, jalapeno pepper, and habanero pepper. These chili peppers have a similar flavor profile and can be used in many of the same dishes.
What is the Scoville Rating for Pasilla Chile?
Pasilla chiles have a Scoville rating of 1000-2000. This means they are relatively mild compared to other chili peppers.
What is the Difference Between Pasilla Chile and Poblano Pepper?
Pasilla chiles are dried poblano peppers. They have a similar flavor profile but differ in heat level, with pasilla chiles being significantly hotter.
Are chile ancho and pasilla the same?
No, they are not the same. Chile Ancho is a dried poblano pepper while pasilla chile is a dried chilaca pepper. They have different flavor profiles but can be used interchangeably in many recipes.
What is pasilla chile called in English?
Pasilla chile is also known as Mexican black pepper.
Is pasilla the same as poblano?
No, they are not the same. Pasilla chile is a dried chilaca pepper while poblano is a fresh chili pepper. They have different flavor profiles but can be used interchangeably in many recipes.
Pasilla chiles are a versatile chili pepper that can be used in a variety of recipes.
If you can’t find pasilla chiles, the best substitutes are the ancho pepper, jalapeno pepper, and habanero pepper. These chili peppers have a similar flavor profile and can be used in many of the same dishes.
Do you have any questions about substitutes for Pasilla chile? Let us know in the comments below! And be