My boyfriend is allergic to the skins of chilies, peppers and tomatoes, which he's found means he can have chili powder (and variants), but not dried pepper/chili flakes or fresh versions of the aforementioned.

So could I use chili powder/paprika/maybe cayenne pepper in a hot sauce recipe instead of true chilies?


  • 1
    I'm confused... Paprika and cayenne are types of chiles... is there something about the powder form that's ok?
    – Catija
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:22
  • Yes, that has confused him too! Seems to be drying eliminates the thing that causes his reaction - although he does seem to have a very slight reaction to cayenne pepper so I try and avoid that now. Apr 12, 2016 at 16:27
  • That is interesting... particularly as you say that it's only the powdered, dried version that is OK... whereas whole dried chiles are not. So is it the skins of all three types of fruits or only the skins of tomatoes?
    – Catija
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:29
  • He can't have the skins of all 3; but it was diagnosed when he was younger, so it might certainly be worth him getting it checked out again by a doctor, as it might have worn off (hence he can have the powders). Apr 12, 2016 at 16:32
  • Chili powder has the skins included, so should be the same as chili flakes.
    – GdD
    Apr 13, 2016 at 8:22

1 Answer 1


Sure, you can do that. It'll be a slightly different style of hot sauce than you'd get with fresh green chilis, less bright and fresh pepper flavor, more of a deep, rich flavor. If it's just a plain pepper and vinegar hot sauce, with the peppers providing a lot of the bulk, the texture isn't going to be the same, though.

If the lack of that brighter pepper flavor is an issue, you might seek out recipes that already have plenty of non-pepper ingredients. Acids like lime and vinegar, fruits, and herbs could all help fill in the gaps.

Also, I don't know how severe your boyfriend's allergy is, but if you end up experimenting a lot, I'd suggest being careful to have him try chili powders before you use them in large quantities. I've never heard of chilis being peeled before made into powder, so I wouldn't be too surprised if not all chili powder is actually okay for him.

  • Thank you! I shall certainly have a go at a small quantity here and there. The worst that can happen is someone else gets given a jar of homemade hot sauce and we try and come up with another substitution :) Fortunately I only ever use the powders to flavour things, not in huge quantities, but I have to use about half what I normally would else it can be too chili-i for him. Apr 12, 2016 at 16:34
  • Keep an EpiPen handy, for safety reasons. Or at least Benadryl.
    – Paulb
    Apr 12, 2016 at 16:58
  • @FaithfulJewel: did he get any allergic reactions? Because otherwise I've got an idea of making your own spicy oil without skins.
    – Fabby
    Apr 16, 2016 at 12:48

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