Red Chili Flakes Vs Red Pepper Flakes: Which Is Better?

red chili flakes vs red pepper flakes

Red chili flakes vs red pepper flakes might sound similar, if not completely the same, to some people. However, they are not. These two spices do hold lots of differences in the initial ingredients, color, taste, and use.

Thus, today’s post is more than perfect if you want to detail and tell these flakes apart. Stay tuned!

Quick Facts

Red chili flakes: 

  • Ingredients: Only one type of chili
  • Color: One shade of red
  • Taste: Milder hot
  • Uses: On any dish that you want a slight kick of heat

Red pepper flakes:

  • Ingredients: Many types of peppers
  • Color: Many shades of red and white
  • Taste: From hot to the hottest
  • Uses: On any dish that needs a variety of spicy punches. 

Are They The Same?

Not exactly. Although you can use these products interchangeably from dish to dish, these two differ from one another. 


The first and most distinctive difference is their ingredient.

Typically, people only dry and grind one kind of chili to make chili flakes. This exclusive use allows you to appreciate the flavor and purity of that specific chili in only one take of the specialty in which people use chili flakes.

Although you can make these flakes using any pepper you want, the most common type of chili used in chili pepper flakes are the chipotle chili, Urfa Biber chili, and Aleppo chili.

On the other hand, the pepper flakes are like a pepper feast. However, unlike the above, these complex flakes include so many types of grounded pepper at once.

Its ingredients vary according to the chosen pepper species, including Fresno chili, bell pepper, Anaheim pepper, jalapeño pepper, and cayenne pepper, which are presently in demand.


The majority of red chili flakes are red due to the manufacturing. Although the product’s color varies based on the pepper processed, they usually come in two shades: deep piping red and bright hazy red.

On the other hand, the pepper flakes can be white or have various tones of red. In addition, these flakes are often multicolor because of the combination of different chilies included and the drying procedure. 

Also, as red chili ones only remain powder after processing, they won’t have any white seeds remained.


Chili flakes, as contained peppers, are hot. However, the degree of spiciness is lower, and they might taste sweet based on the species of chili utilized.

Thus, people who are new to chili eating should try this type first since they don’t significantly impact their dish.

On the other hand, the spiciness level in red pepper is something to think about carefully. Its taste is usually pretty intense due to the presence of chili seeds. 

Therefore, always read the packaging before purchasing so you don’t end up with one super spicy product that you couldn’t handle. However, if you’re a loyal friend of spiciness and heat, this one option is the go-to.


One can always sprinkle a pinch of chili flakes to practically any recipe; it works well with nearly all the foods in the world, from salads to pizzas and numerous savory delicacies.

Indeed, you might feel amazed by how much of a change a small pinch of red chili flakes can bring to your meal.

Similarly, red pepper ones also have a more extensive range of applications. They are versatile and hot enough to enhance any dish out there. However, if you’re a beginner, you should always handle red pepper ones with extra caution since they are scorching.

Can They Substitute Each Other?

Yes, you certainly can. For instance, if you’re preparing buffalo fried wings’ dressing, you can substitute 5 tbsp of chili flakes instead of 3 tbsp of red pepper.

Because chili is not as hot as red pepper, you’ll want to use twice or three times as much the quantity. For instance, if you require 1 tsp or a tbsp of chili powder for your vegetable vinaigrette, replace it with 1 tsp or a spoonful of red pepper ones.

Alternatively, if you want the recipe to be less hot, use chili powder and pair them with any food.

Begin by using only a quarter tsp of red pepper flake, then go up from there for extra safety. If you want a little extra heat, apply extra gradually.

Which One Is Cheaper?

In fact, both of them have affordable and pricey choices available. Price-wise, there’s not a lot to choose from. It varies according to different brands. Moreover, quality also has an impact on the pricing of chili flakes or pepper flakes. So, it’s all up to you.

Which One Is The Better?

There is no specific answer to this question as each one is best for a specific target. All that matters is how spicy you can tolerate it. 

If highly spicy food is what you’re looking for, we strongly recommend opting for red pepper flakes. Indeed, these flakes are wise options if you’re constantly making and consuming extra heated dishes.

On the other hand, chili flakes are still a good option, especially if your heat tolerance is not that high. It’s ideal for adding a slight punch to your dish to give it a spicy flavor. Yet, whatever you do, keep in mind that balance is still the goal.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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