Chili Flakes vs Red Pepper Flakes: Which One’s The Best

You could be asking whether red chili flakes and red pepper flakes are the same things, and if not, which is preferable.

Red pepper flakes are available in jars at almost every pizzeria, and chances are you’ve sprinkled some on your pizza, food, or drink at some time. But do you understand what red pepper flakes are specifically and how they differ from red chili flakes?

Here is a full comparison of the key characteristics of the two spices to assist you in deciding whether to use red chili flakes or red pepper flakes.

Red Chili Flakes


Red chili flakes are usually made of a single type of red chili pepper. You can find different types of red chili flakes, including Chipotle chili flakes, Aleppo chili flakes, Urfa Biber chili flakes, and many more.

The idea of the red chili flakes is to highlight the spiciness and flavor of a specific red hot chili pepper, which makes them more one-dimensional than the red pepper flakes, which are made up of different types of peppers.

The color

As the name suggests, the color of the red chili flakes is primarily red. This is because red peppers are used for the making of chili flakes, and in most cases, the seeds have been removed prior to drying. The color of the different chili flakes differs depending on the type of peppers used and the brand and can vary from a lighter red to darker red.

The taste

The taste of the red chili flakes depends on the type of red peppers used, but it is usually milder than that of red pepper flakes because the seeds are removed, and only one type of hot chili pepper has been used.

Suitable uses

These flakes are perfect for people who are not ready to add too much spice to their foods just yet.

Red chili flakes are a great choice for making sauces, a topping for pizza and others, and will usually provide just a mellow kick that will not jolt the systems of people who are new to the world of spicy foods.

Related: What Goes With Chili: Super Bowl Sunday Chili Menu Ideas

Red pepper flakes

The ingredients

Red pepper flakes have more ingredients than red chili flakes, which is the main difference between the two.

Red pepper flakes can include all types of red chili peppers from the capsicum annum family, such as Fresno, bell, jalapeno, Anaheim, or other peppers. Usually, the main ingredient in the red pepper flakes is cayenne. They will also normally include some or all of the seeds from the peppers as well.

The color

Due to the fact that red pepper flakes are a mixture of different types of peppers and have added seeds, the color can differ as compared to the more uniformly colored red chili flakes. It will be more colorful and can include different hues of red and white all mixed up.

The taste

Due to their different ingredients and composition, red pepper flakes can be quite hot to very hot, depending on the types of chili peppers and seeds used for the blend. The more seeds there are in the mix, the spicier it will be.

When buying red pepper flakes, make sure to check out the label for the hotness level and pick one which suits your taste. Thankfully there is a wide variety of options available – from mellow to extremely hot.

Suitable uses

Just like the red chili flakes, red pepper flakes can be used as a condiment and for cooking different dishes and snacks. Many of the pizza places offer red pepper flakes as an optional topping for their pizzas.

The flakes are also often added to chili con carne in chicken glazes, different dips, sauces, and other dishes.

If you don’t have experience with red pepper flakes or are a newbie in the world of spicy foods, make sure that you handle these flakes with caution.

Check the label and start with just a little of the flakes, and then if needed, you can add more.


Are red pepper and red chili flakes inter substitutable?

Yes, in most cases, you can use either of the two for seasoning your food or for cooking. But keep in mind that usually, the red pepper flakes are much spicier than the red chili flakes, and you will need to adjust the quantity you use accordingly.

We recommend that you double or even triple the number of chili flakes you are using if you are substituting them for red pepper flakes. And vice versa – use half or less the amount if you are replacing red chili flakes with red pepper flakes.

Of course, the amount of seasoning you use depends on your taste, but it is a good idea to start with smaller quantities and then taste and grow it from there.

Is one cheaper than the other?

The prices of the red pepper and red chili flakes differ according to the brand and type. There are cheaper and more expensive options of each type, so it really depends on the brand you choose, and where you are shopping from.

Our suggestion is to opt for the product that fits your budget and your taste best without compromising the quality of the flakes you are buying.

Which one is better?

Whether the red chili flakes or the red pepper flakes are better depends on your personal taste.

If you are a fan of very spicy and hot food, then you may prefer to use red pepper flakes, but if you are not ready for extreme spiciness and prefer milder flavors, you will probably like the red chili flakes more.

If you love very hot condiments and foods, then we recommend that you choose red pepper flakes like the Sonoran Spice Ghost Pepper Flakes, Korean Red Chili Flakes, or Gochugaru Flakes.

Beware that a single teaspoon of these flakes will make the food very, very hot. But the good news is that the red pepper flakes will add a more flavorful and savory taste to your dish or snack as well.

If you cannot tolerate hot food, then you should probably stick to the red chili flakes, which will still provide the food with a kick, but a much more moderate one.

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