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The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili

What is the best way to add spice to your cooking? If you’re looking for a bit of heat, you might want to try Calabrian chili.

This chili is native to the Calabria region of Italy and has a distinctively sharp flavor.

While it can be used in any dish, it is particularly well-suited for pizzas and pasta sauces.

If you can’t find Calabrian chili where you live, don’t worry – there are several substitutes that can give your dishes a similar flavor.

In this article, we’ll look at five of the best substitutes for Calabrian chili.

What is Calabrian Chili?

what is calabrian chili

Calabrian chili is a type of chili pepper that originated in the Calabria region of Italy.

The peppers are small and slender, with a bright red color.

They are typically used in the dried or pickled form and are often used as a topping for pizzas and other dishes.

Calabrian chili peppers have a moderate to high spiciness, with a distinct fiery flavor.

In recent years, peppers have become increasingly popular in the United States, as more people look for ways to add spice to their food.

If you’re interested in trying Calabrian chili peppers, you can find them in many supermarkets or online.

Just be warned: they pack quite a punch.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili

In search of a worthy chili pepper substitute? Check out our top 5 list of the best peppers to use as a Calabrian chili sub.

1 – Anaheim Pepper

anaheim pepper

Anaheim peppers are a versatile ingredient that can add a touch of heat to any dish.

Named for the city of Anaheim, California, where they were first grown, these peppers are milder than jalapenos and have a slightly sweet flavor.

Often used in Mexican and Southwest cuisine, they are a common ingredient in dishes such as enchiladas and salsa.

Anaheim peppers can also be roasted and served as a side dish or chopped and added to salads for a bit of spice.

With their versatile flavor and moderate heat, Anaheim peppers are a perfect way to add some excitement to your cooking.

2 – Serrano Peppers

serrano peppers

Serrano peppers are a type of chili pepper that is typically used in Mexican cuisine.

They are named after the mountainous region of Mexico, where they were first grown.

Serrano peppers are relatively small but pack a punch when it comes to heat.

They are typically hotter than jalapeño peppers, and their heat can vary depending on the individual pepper.

Serranos can be used in various dishes, from salsa to tacos to enchiladas.

When cooking with serranos, it is essential to use caution as their heat can easily overwhelm other flavors.

A little bit of serrano pepper can go a long way in adding some spice to your meal.

3 – Fresno Chili

fresno chili

Fresno chili is a chili pepper native to the Fresno area in California.

The peppers are typically red or green in color, and they have a slightly spicy flavor.

Fresno chilies are often used in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine and can be found in many grocery stores across the United States.

One of the most popular ways to use Fresno chilies is to make salsa.

Salsas made with Fresno chilies are flavorful and slightly spicy, making them a perfect addition to any meal.

If you’re looking for a new chili pepper to try, be sure to check out Fresno chili the next time you’re at the grocery store.

4 – Poblano


Poblano peppers are a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican cuisine.

They are typically mild in flavor but can occasionally be quite spicy.

Poblanos are usually dark green in color but can also be red, yellow, or brown.

When dried, they are known as ancho peppers.

Poblanos can be eaten fresh, roasted, or cooked into sauces and Soups.

They are a popular ingredient in dishes such as enchiladas, Chiles Rellenos, and salsa verde.

Poblano peppers are also a common source of capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat.

As a result, poblanos are often used as a natural remedy for pain relief and inflammation.

5 – Red Pepper Flakes

red pepper flakes

Red pepper flakes are a common ingredient in many cuisines, but their origins are a bit of a mystery.

It’s thought that they were first used by the ancient Greeks, who crushed dried peppers and used them to flavor food.

The Romans also used crushed peppers, but it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that red pepper flakes began to gain popularity.

During this time, traders from Asia brought peppers to Europe, where they quickly became a staple ingredient.

Today, red pepper flakes are used in sweet and savory dishes, adding a unique flavor to any dish.

Whether you’re sprinkling them on pizza or using them to spice up a soup, red pepper flakes are an essential ingredient in any kitchen.


In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you to understand better what Calabrian chili is and some of the best substitutes for it.

Calabrian chili is a great ingredient that can add flavor to your dishes, but it can be difficult to find in stores.

If you can’t find it, don’t worry.

There are plenty of other chili peppers that can be used as a substitute.

Just remember to adjust the amount you use based on the pepper’s heat.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Anaheim Pepper
  • Serrano Peppers
  • Fresno Chili
  • Poblano
  • Red Pepper Flakes


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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