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Anaheim chiles and New Mexico chiles are two more names for California chiles. They are also known as Green Chiles or Chilacas.

In Mexico, the guajillo chile is known as the chile guajillo, while in the state of Guanajuato, it is known as the chile cascabel ancho. In the United States, it is frequently referred to as guajillo chile or guajillo pepper. So what is the difference between California chile and Guajillo chile?

Guajillo chile is hotter than Chile California, with a Scoville heat scale of 2500 to 5000 SHU compared to 500 to 2500 SHU for Chile California. Chile California is used to make salsas and guacamole, while Guajillo chile is used to make marinades, pastes, adobos, mole, butter, and other dishes.

Today, we’ll identify these two separate chiles and discuss their features, distinctions, and similarities!

What is California Chile?

California chiles are burned Anaheim chilies that are closely linked to New Mexico chilies, which are also dried Anaheim chiles.

These chiles are moderate, with a Scoville heat rating of roughly 500. California chiles are often used in mild flavorings or as ingredients in soups and stews.

They make a delicious, mild enchilada sauce, or you may combine them with other chilies for a more complex sauce.

They are classed as mild to moderately hot. This chili pepper is used in Mexican recipes, sauces, and as a substitute for black pepper for an added kick.

The primary function of California Chiles is storage, despite the fact that they are regularly marketed as a fresh market, mild chile pepper and in minor quantities dried, both whole and powdered.

Fresh Anaheim chiles are often used in the preparation of chili Rellenos.

If you’re not a big lover of spicy chili but prefer more delicate chili tastes, this is the chili for you!

Anaheim chiles are an excellent addition to morning burritos, egg dishes, soups, stews, vegetable dishes, and, as previously noted, enchiladas or tamales.

California Chiles complements mature and young cheeses, pork, chicken, maize, tomatoes, eggs, and black beans. These chilies are also delicious when combined with cumin and coriander.

To bring out even more flavor, dry roast them in a hot frying pan for a subtle depth of smokey flavor. To rehydrate, immerse it in hot water for about 20 minutes and then dry to remove any remaining moisture.

Allowing them to drain for any longer than that will cause them to turn bitter.

Fiery Chili Pesto and Instant Pot Coconut Fish Curry are two popular dishes that incorporate this pepper.

What are Guajillo Chiles?

To begin, one of the most well-known Mexican peppers is the guajillo chile. This dry chili is produced by wilting miraflor chile.

Guajillo chili is commonly used in Mexican cuisine; for example, it is a key ingredient in several salsas, adobos, and moles.

Guajillo peppers have a deep red color and a glossy look. They often range in length from 1 to 3-5 inches.

Contrary to common opinion, the chile guajillo species is used in recipes largely for its particular taste profile rather than for its spice level.

Guajillo peppers have a taste profile that is bright, faintly earthy, and fruity. They bring notes of tomatoes, cherries, and green tea to whatever Mexican cuisine you put them in.

You may completely rehydrate them, cook them, or granulate them into a powder. When compared to other Mexican chilies, they are somewhat mild.

They are an excellent complement to tastier versions such as chile de rbol for this purpose.

Chile California Vs Guajillo: Major Differences

In a nutshell, these are the differences between Chile California and Guajillo Chile.

1. Appearance

Guajillo peppers range in size from 5 to 8 inches. It is a rich, furious crimson hue. It has the shape of an inverted triangle.

Chile California reaches a height of 6 inches. When grown, it may range in hue from brilliant green to deep green to intense red. It may be consumed both fresh and dried.

2. Scoville Scale

The Scoville scale puts Guajillo chile in the middle. It has a heat range of 2500 to 5000 SHU.

California chile, on the other hand, is at the extreme bottom of the Scoville scale. It barely exceeds 500 to 2500 SHU.

3. Uses

Guajillo chile is used to flavor meats, fat, and oil with other ingredients in marinades, salsas, pastes, adobos, mole, butter, and spice rubs.

The guajillo chili, which has a delicate taste, is used as a side dish with fish and poultry or in salsas. Guajillo chilies are also used in a Salvadoran spice blend known as relajo. It is normally not eaten uncooked.

Chile California, on the other hand, has no special use. It may be sliced and served in nachos or on top of certain foods such as Caldo de Pollo, or it can be made into salsas and guacamole.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between California chile powder and regular chile powder?

Chili powder is made from pure powdered dried chili peppers and typically contains no additives. California Chili powder, on the other hand, is a blend of Anaheim chili peppers and additional ingredients such as cumin, peppercorn, oregano, and salt.

Are ancho chiles the same as California chile?

Not at all. Both are dried chilies made from fresh peppers. Ancho chile is a dried poblano chile, while California chili is a dry Anaheim chile.

What is a suitable substitute for California chile?

Cayenne peppers or serrano chilies, fresh or dried, work wonderfully.

What can I replace guajillo with?

Ancho chiles, Pasilla chiles, Cascabel chiles, Chili chiles, and New Mexico chilies.

What is the difference between an ancho and guajillo chiles?

Guajillo chilies are the dried version of mirasol chile and, after poblanos, are the most often used dry chile in Mexican cuisine. Guajillo chilies are used in the preparation of salsas, marinades, pastes, and stews.

Ancho chiles are dried poblanos that are black, wrinkled, and glossy.


In essence, you cannot choose one of the two chilies and select the best. Both are distinct in their own way, and I believe that should be the case.

I hope this post about California chile versus Guajillo chile assists you in your search for knowledge.


What is the difference between Chile California and guajillo?

California. California chiles (dry Anaheims) are in the same taste family as guajillos and make an excellent substitute. Pasilla and Cascabel (mixed). The cascabel chile has earthy, nutty, and smoky flavors, whilst the pasilla chile has sweet, dried fruit overtones.

What’s the difference between chipotle and guajillo?

While chipotle peppers are basically dried jalapeos (2,500 to 8,000 SHU), the guajillo is almost as spicy. As compared to the spice rack mainstay cayenne powder (30,000 to 50,000 SHU), the guajillo is 6 to 25 times milder.

What is the difference between California and New Mexico chili?

Although classified a moderate heat chile, New Mexico Chiles are a touch hotter at 800-1,400 SHU (Scoville Heat Units) and more tasty than California Chiles (500-1,000 SHU).

What is the difference between chile ancho and chile california?

Both are dried chilies made from fresh peppers. Ancho chili is dried poblano, while California chili is dry Anaheim chili.

What is the most similar pepper to guajillo?

Ancho pepper is the simplest guajillo alternative to find.

Ancho peppers are a part of the Mexican “Holy Trinity” of chilies that are considerably simpler to locate in supermarkets. This dried poblano pepper is available at most specialist Mexican grocers and even some supermarkets.

What do dried guajillo chiles taste like?

The dried version of the mirasol pepper is the guajillo pepper. It has a rich fruity and smokey taste, smooth leathery skin, and medium spiciness, with Scoville Heat Units ranging from 2,500 to 5,000, making it hotter than a poblano but milder than a jalapeo.

What spice level is guajillo sauce?

Guajillo peppers are a fantastic option for family-friendly cuisine because to their mild heat level (500 to 5,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale). Guajillo chile pepper is often used in marinades, mole sauce, pozole, chili con carne, tortilla soup, and homemade salsas.

What is hotter guajillo or ancho?

Which is hotter, the ancho or the guajillo? Despite its mildness, the guajillo pepper is hotter than even the hottest anchos. Ancho chilies have a Scoville rating of 1,000 to 1,500, putting them in the moderate category of spicy peppers.

Are guajillo peppers not spicy?

The SHU of Guajillo chiles ranges from 2,500 to 5,000. They are not as hot as a jalapeño pepper, which has a Scoville heat level ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 SHU. Hot levels in Guajillo peppers may vary even amongst plants in the same area, depending on the seeds used.

What is the flavor of California chile?

How do California Chiles Taste? The taste is somewhat spicy and earthy, with a trace of smokiness and tart fruitiness.

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