Difference Between Chile Mulato and Ancho

There are different types of pepper and you might have come across the two we are going to discuss today – chile Mulato and ancho. Here is a quick chile Mulato vs. ancho comparison.

Quick Overview

Ancho Chili Pepper
Ancho Chili Pepper
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Chile Mulato
Chile Mulato

Before we go any further, are Mulato and ancho closely related? Yes, they are. These are two forms of dried poblano peppers. They are made using two varieties that are related closely.

As for Mulato chilies, poblano peppers are harvested when close to the aging cycle. That is when they are almost dark brown. However, for the ancho chilies, the peppers are picked when close to a red hue.

Flavor and Appearance

With a length of close to six inches, a chile Mulato is very similar to an ancho in appearance. They have dried skin. However, a Mulato chili is darker and it has some brownish undertones.

As for the flavor, Mulato chili is sweeter and smokier with some tastes of chocolate and licorice.


When you taste either of these chilies, you will notice that a chile Mulato is hotter than a regular poblano pepper. A Mulato chili is double or triple an ancho’s heat. The reason is the time it has spent on the vine and the variation of poblano compared to an ancho.


There is a wide range of uses for the two. That means they are great for salsas, marinades, mole sauces, and other amazing Mexican sauces.

Other names for chile ancho?

One of the most common questions we get asked here at ChileAncho.com is “What is another name for Chile ancho?” Because this particular variety of chili pepper is not as well known as some of the others, it can be difficult to find it in stores. Here are a few other names that you can look for when trying to find Chile ancho peppers:

Poblano peppers: These are the most common type of chile ancho pepper, and they can be found in most grocery stores.

Anaheim peppers: These are a bit milder than poblano peppers, but they will still give you the same flavor.


Cascabel peppers: These are a bit spicier than poblano peppers, so if you like your food with a bit of a kick, these are the peppers for you.

All of these peppers can be used interchangeably in recipes, so don’t worry if you can’t find Chile ancho peppers under that specific name. Just look for one of the other varieties and you’ll be all set!

Ancho chili substitute

Ancho chili is a popular ingredient in many dishes, but if you can’t find it or if you’re looking for a substitute, there are many options available. Here are some of the best substitutes for ancho chili:

  1. Chili flakes or chili powder Chili flakes or chili powder can be used as a substitute for ancho chili. They have a similar heat level, but the flavor may not be as complex as ancho chili.
  2. Guajillo and mulato peppers – These peppers are dried and have a similar flavor profile to ancho chili. They can be rehydrated and used in place of ancho chili
  3. Poblano peppers – Poblano peppers are fresh peppers that can be roasted and peeled before use. They have a mild flavor and heat level, but can be a good substitute for ancho chili in certain dishes.
  4. Chipotle powder – Chipotle powder is made from dried and smoked jalapeno peppers. It has a smoky flavor and a similar heat level to ancho chili.
  5. Mild paprika – Mild paprika can be used as a substitute for ancho chili if you’re looking for a milder flavor and heat level.

If you’re looking to substitute ancho chili powder, you can use regular chili powder and crushed red pepper in equal amounts to match the heat level.

Ancho chili powder vs chili powder

there are some key differences to note. Ancho chili powder is made exclusively from dried and ground ancho peppers, while the chili powder typically found in a spice rack is a mixture of spices and chili peppers, often including cumin, garlic, and oregano.

In terms of flavor, chili powder has a more complex profile with a range of heat levels and flavor notes. In contrast, ancho chili powder is milder and has a slightly sweet taste. Both types of chili powder can be used in savory dishes, but their different flavor profiles may impact the final dish.


  • What are Mulato peppers used for?

Mulato peppers are a type of chili pepper that is commonly used in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. They are typically used in dishes that are made with mole sauce, as the pepper’s smoky flavor pairs well with the rich sauce. Mulato peppers can also be used in salsa, chili, and other spicy dishes.

If you’re looking to add a little bit of heat to your dish, you may be wondering if you can substitute guajillo Chile for ancho chiles. While both of these chiles are commonly used in Mexican cuisine, they do have some differences that you should be aware of before making a substitution.
Guajillo chiles are typically hotter than ancho chiles, so if you’re looking to keep the heat level down, you’ll want to stick with ancho chiles. Additionally, guajillo chiles have a more fruity flavor, while ancho chiles tend to be smokier.
So, if you’re looking to duplicate the flavor of your dish as closely as possible, you’ll want to use ancho chiles instead of guajillo chiles.

Final Words

These two are very similar to each other in different ways. However, their flavors might differ a bit. We hope to hear from you what you think of the chile Mulato vs. ancho difference. Which one do you prefer?

Also, read:

Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

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