Cayenne Pepper is used all over the world to add spice and kick to the food. It is well known for the hotness it adds to recipes. People with high resistance to spice can easily consume food having a lot of Cayenne Pepper in them. There are, however, several cayenne pepper substitute that you can use if you’re out of cayenne.

Cayenne Pepper is known by many different names such as the African Chilli, hot Pepper, Louisiana pepper, and much more. They originate from the lands of Africa, India, Mexico, and sometimes in the US as well. Its Scoville unit lies between 30000 to 50000 units. This is considered hot.

How is Cayenne Pepper Made?

Cayenne is slightly longer than Green Chillies and is bright orange-red in color. In order to convert them into powder form, they are first dried. There are two ways with which you can dry these Peppers.

Sun Drying: You can place these peppers on newspapers or long pieces of thin fabric on the rooftop or in open, under the sun. This is the natural way of doing it. The drying time ranges from 8-12 hours maximum.

Dehydrator: These peppers can also be dried using a dehydrator. You can put them in the dehydrator for about 5 hours at 135 degrees Fahrenheit and it should do the job well. It may take 8 hours maximum, depending on the capacity of your dehydrator.

Once dried, these peppers are crushed into powder form. They may or may not have seeds in the powder.

Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Though it’s extremely spicy, however, it does have numerous health benefits. Other than kicking you with its high spice content, it does a pretty good job at benefiting your body when consumed. Following are some of the benefits of Cayenne Pepper;

Relief From Pain: Many people who have consumed Cayenne Pepper showed symptoms of pain relief. It may not be as spicy and hot as the ghost pepper but it does the job pretty well. You’ll be surprised to know that Cayenne Pepper is actually used as a pain reliever.

Cayenne is added in many pain-relieving creams that you can apply to several body parts such as;

  1. Face
  2. Joints
  3. Knees
  4. Back pain
  5. Surgery pains

Etc. Once applied it reduces the production of the P substance that causes pain. Thus, reducing pain in the affected area.

Boosts Metabolism: This might sound funny to you but it is a proven fact. The spice levels of Cayenne Pepper are perfect to help you burn down those extra calories. About 1 gram of Cayenne Pepper burns 10 kcals in total.

Reduces Hunger: These Peppers are known to reduce your hunger and induce a feeling of satiety when consumed. There is still some research going on as to how it carries out this process but that’s a story for another time.

Lowers Blood Pressure: High blood pressure has become a common health problem all over the world. Little did we know that this devil pepper can help reduce your blood pressure. For now, experiments have been conducted on animals and have shown good results. Let’s wait until the humans are tested for it.

Cayenne Pepper Substitute

There’s no such thing as running out of Cayenne Pepper, however, if you do you may use its substitutes. Also, if you’re not a spice lover, you can use these Cayenne Pepper substitutes and still enjoy your dish without affecting its flavor.

Following are some of the Cayenne Pepper Substitutes;


Paprika is known to give a very similar taste to the pepper making it a perfect and best Cayenne Pepper Substitute. It is easily available in the market and has slightly less spice content than cayenne pepper.

Red Chilli Flakes

Red Chilli flakes are another good Cayenne Pepper Substitute. Chilli flakes are a variety of peppers crushed together. They are usually served with Pizza, adding a kick in every bite.

Chilli Powder

Chilli Powder is an excellent Cayenne Pepper Substitute. You can add as much as you want depending on your endurance to spice as it does tend to get spicy.


Gochugaru is a Korean spice that is a mixture of red peppers that makes it spicy. It has a smoky taste and a spicy kick to it. Mostly used in Korean foods to add spice. It is spicy enough, trust me.

There are, however, more substitutes but the above mentioned are the ones that can in a way or two match the spice and flavor profile of Cayenne Pepper.

Mouth-Watering Recommendations

Following are some mouth-watering and spicy food recommendations for you to try;

  1. Lemon Grilled Salmon
  2. Pan Seared Bahaman Salmon Pasta
  3. Spinach Dal Recipe Andhra style
  4. Irish Salmon Recipe
  5. Garlic Chicken Spinach Pizza
  6. Instant Pot Chilli Mac
  7. Barbecue Chicken Wings
  8. Panera Lentil Quinoa Bowl Recipe

I hope you try out these recipes using the cayenne pepper or its substitutes. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments.