The 5 Greatest Calabrian Chili Paste Substitutes

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Calabrian chili paste, also known as Calabrian chile sauce, is a spicy (but not hot) condiment prepared of red bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and basil.

Calabria is the Italian province where this condiment originates.

This spicy sauce is mostly used in southern Italian cookery.

In Italian cuisine, Calabrian chili paste is a well-known condiment.

It has a distinct spicy flavor that adds distinctive flavor to meals while also helping to lower fat levels in dishes by increasing satiety.

This condiment may be used to season many sorts of meat, seafood, spaghetti sauce, and pasta meals.

Using Calabrian chili paste as a healthier alternative to certain foods or dishes is a great idea.

The heat of the chili adds flavor to your food, making it more appetizing without sacrificing nutrition.

If you are not accustomed to spicy foods, it is best to start with a moderate version of this sauce.

These are the top five Calabrian chili paste replacements.

What is Calabrian Chili Paste?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili Paste

It’s a very spicy sauce created from chilies cultivated in Italy’s Calabria area.

The ingredients vary, but they usually include crushed red peppers, garlic, and salt cooked in olive oil or sunflower oil.

Thyme and rosemary are two more options.

The most well-known type is nduja, which originates from Palermo, the capital of Calabria.

Use gloves while working with this chemical since it is very hot.

The flavor is difficult to define; there are undertones of garlic and red peppers, but the taste is unlike anything you’ve ever had.

This chile paste is an excellent holiday present.

When adding this to adobo or other dishes, use gloves.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calabrian Chili Paste

Since Calabrian chili paste is so difficult to come by, here are five alternatives you might try in your own kitchen:

1 – Harissa

Paste made using New Mexico and Guajillo peppers. Harissa is a very spicy chili sauce.

It is popular in North African cuisine and may be used to add spice and flavor to meals.

It has a fairly spicy flavor, so people who are sensitive to hot dishes should start with half the suggested quantity before adding more.

Harissa, like Calabrian chili paste, is an excellent ingredient to stews.

But, it is also an excellent condiment for meats, eggs, pizza, and sandwiches.

You may also use it as a spread or dip.

Try harissa if you’re feeling daring and looking for something out of the norm.

2 – Sriracha Sauce

This fiery chili sauce has a sweet, tangy flavor.

It has garlic, sugar, salt, and chili peppers in it.

Its brilliant hue appeals to many individuals.

It’s worth noting that sriracha can now be obtained at practically every grocery.

Yet, there are various sauces that may taste similar but are not the same.

Sriracha, which has the same intensity and tastes as Calabrian chili paste, is an excellent replacement.

If you want to try something new, it’s also simple to prepare at home.

3 – Sambal Oelek

Sambal oelek is a traditional Asian paste consisting of chili peppers, vinegar, sugar, and salt.

It is quite versatile and may be used in cuisine to provide heat, spice, and taste.

This, like harissa, is an excellent choice for simmering meats, eggs, pizzas, or sandwiches.

It’s also great as a dipping sauce or spread.

One disadvantage of sambal oelek, like with other hot sauces, is that it is not suitable for persons with sensitive palates.

The flavor is somewhat different from Calabrian chili paste, but it still has that characteristic flavour.

4 – Jalapeno Pepper

If you want a milder flavor, replace the Calabrian chili paste with jalapenos.

This is an excellent choice for individuals who wish to add spice to their recipes without sacrificing taste.

Jalapenos have a somewhat sweet and peppery flavor that makes them ideal for use as a condiment or marinade.

When substituting jalapenos for Calabrian chili paste in recipes that call for red peppers, add a pinch of paprika to brighten the color.

It is also crucial to remember that you should use gloves while handling this hot pepper or properly wash your hands after usage since it might burn.

5 – Red Chili Flakes

Finally, instead of Calabrian chili paste, use red chili flakes.

Although they have a completely different flavor, they are nonetheless a fantastic replacement.

This, like the preceding alternatives, is fantastic for adding heat to meals like stews and spaghetti.

It’s also delicious sprinkled over eggs or cooked meat.

Please be cautious while utilizing it since it might get overwhelming.

Some cooks advise beginning with a little amount and gradually increasing the amount.

For a spicy kick, add this to your favorite marinade.


Calabrian chili paste is an excellent condiment for enhancing the heat and taste of foods.

It has a strong spicy flavor, so don’t add too much at once.

There are several excellent replacements for this difficult-to-find item, depending on your preferences.

If you’re feeling brave, try harissa or sriracha.

For individuals who can’t tolerate too much heat, use jalapenos or red chili flakes.

If nothing else seems to be a possibility, feel free to combine various replacements (such as harissa and sriracha) to get the same flavor without the intensity.


What can substitute for Calabrian chili paste?

If you can’t get Calabrian chilis, the first thing you should look for is Calabrian chili paste. Nevertheless, if neither can be obtained or chili paste does not match the recipe, additional Calabrian chili substitutes include red chili flakes, Serrano pepper, and Ahaheim pepper.

Can I substitute harissa for Calabrian chili paste?

Harissa. Harissa is a spicy chili paste from North Africa prepared from roasted red peppers, chili peppers, garlic, and spices. It has a comparable heat level as Calabrian chili paste and may be used in recipes that call for it as a replacement.

What is in Calabrian chili paste?

Their taste has been characterized as smokey, salty, and spicy. Dried Calabrian peppers (peperoncino) are mashed with olive oil, salt, and vinegar to produce a paste. As a consequence, a spicy condiment is created that may be used to add spice to everything from pasta meals to sandwiches and much more.

What Calabrian chili paste does Giada use?

Certain niche retailers, as well as specific Italian markets, should stock it. We happen to stock the crushed Calabrian Chili Paste from Tutto Calabria, which Giada has always used and liked. Click here to purchase a jar!

What is the best chili substitute?

Paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper

This is the appropriate ratio: Ratio of substitutions: 1 tablespoon chili powder equals 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin, and 14 teaspoon cayenne. Depending on your spicy preferences, you may adjust the cayenne to taste.

What is another name for Calabrian chilis?

Calabrian chile peppers, also known as the Hot Calabrian chile pepper, Little Red Cherry pepper, Devil’s Kiss, and Peperone Picante Calabrese, which translates to “spicy pepper of Calabria,” are moderately hot peppers that range from 25,000 to 40,000 SHU on the Scoville scale.

What do Calabrian chilis taste like?

The Calabrian pepper, one of the world’s most diverse and outstanding peppers, mixes fruity, spicy, and salty flavors, creating a lovely lasting impact on your tongue.

How hot is Calabrian chili paste?

Is the calabrian chili paste spicy? The Calabrian chili peppers used to make the paste are very fiery, with Scoville units ranging from 25,000 to 40,000. A jalapeño has a Scoville rating ranging from 2,500 to 8.000 units. Because of the inclusion of oil and spices, Calabrian chili paste is somewhat less fiery than raw pepper.

Can you substitute gochujang for Calabrian chili paste?

Gochujang has a spicy, sweet, and savory flavor profile, making it a versatile spice that can be utilized in a variety of cuisines. Gochujang is frequently significantly hotter than chili paste. As a consequence, when replacing gochujang for chili paste, additional chillies must be added to provide the necessary amount of spiciness.

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