Crushed Red Pepper Recipe

Crushed red pepper (a.k.a. red pepper flakes) is so much more than a pizza-topping staple. It can be used in nearly any dish to give a dash of unexpected heat. Sure, it’s easy to pick up a big bottle of red pepper flakes from the store, but if you’re truly adventurous, you can make your own. You can then get your perfect level of heat, and since the pepper is crushed fresh, it’s the freshest tasting too.

If you have leftover hot peppers from your garden, this is an excellent way to make use of them. Crushed red pepper keeps for a long time, so you’ll be able to enjoy your harvest all winter long.

Like homemade spice blends? Give these a look too

  • Baharat Spice Blend: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and more meet a little paprika warmth. It’s a delicious spice for Middle Eastern food.
  • Ras el Hanout: Ginger, allspice, and more pair with cayenne pepper. It’s bold and perfect for Moroccan cuisine.
  • Spicy Garam Masala: This fiery blend pairs toasted chili peppers, cardamom, cumin and more. It’s a deliciously warm finishing spice.
Shop Our Spicery On Etsy
Up The Scale Set: Ancho, Chipotle, Habanero Powders
Fan of fiery spices? Meet our most popular spice set from our Spicery. Mild ancho, medium-heat chipotle, and extra-hot habanero powders provide a journey across the Scoville scale.
Buy Now
Crushed red pepper recipe

Crushed Red Pepper Recipe

3.54 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes


  • A mix of fresh hot peppers cayenne, serrano, jalapeño, and bell peppers are all staples, but any hot peppers work. Expect to need 50+ hot peppers to return 1 cup of crushed red pepper


  • Cut the tops off of the hot peppers and lay them out evenly on a cookie sheet.
  • Place them in the oven on low heat to dry them out. This can take 4 to 6 hours, so monitor the chilies to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Place the dried chilies in a food processor and pulse grind them until they reach the coarse texture you prefer.


There are alternative methods to drying chili peppers like food dehydrators and even hanging the chilies in sunlight for a few weeks. They work too, but the oven is the quickest, most universal method around.
Try mixing and matching hot peppers for unique twists on the traditional crushed red pepper mix. For a milder batch, opt for milder hot peppers. For a spicier batch, lean on the hotter end of the pepper scale.
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on March 29, 2022 to include new content.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Would it be possible to use an air fryer?