Background Phytophthora capsici Leonian (P. capsici) can cause wilting and roots rotting on pepper and other cash crops. The new fungicide cinnamaldehyde (CA) has high activity against this pathogen. However, its potential mechanism is still unknown. Methods In order to gain insights into the mechanism, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomics was used to analyze P. capsici treated with CA. The iTRAQ results were evaluated by parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) analysis and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis was used to speculate the biochemical pathways that the agent may act on. Results The results showed that 1502 differentially expressed proteins were identified, annotated and classified into 209 different terms (like metabolic process, cellular process, single-organism process) based on Gene Ontology (GO) functional enrichment analysis and nine different pathways (glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism, fatty acid metabolism and so on) based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. This study suggested that CA disordered fatty acid metabolism, polysaccharide metabolism and leucine metabolism. Based on PRM analysis, five proteins including CAMK/CAMK1 protein kinase, glucan 1,3-beta-glucosidase, 1,3-beta-glucanosyltransferase, methylcrotonoyl-CoA carboxylase subunit alpha and isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase were down-regulated in P. capsici treated with CA. Furthermore, the qRT-PCR analysis showed that the gene expression level of the interested proteins was consistent with the protein expression level, except for CAMK/CAMK1 protein kinase, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase subunit alpha. Conclusions CA destroyed the metabolic homoeostasisof P. capsici, which led to cell death. This is the first proteomic analysis of P. capsici treated with CA, which may provide an important information for exploring the mechanism of the fungicide CA against P. capsici.