spice substitutions a-z
We'll answer your spice substitution questions like "Can any other spice be substituted for allspice?" Or "What spices can substitute for pumpkin pie spice?" Top questions also include
"What is a substitute for the spice savory?" and "What spice can be substituted for thyme?" You'll find the answers to those most-searched substitutions and more.
Allspice: If you have them, you can use six whole allspice berries for every 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice or blend together equal parts ground cinnamon, cassia, nutmeg and cloves or mace.
Aniseed (Anise Seed): Swap with fennel seeds in equal amounts. You can also use a dash of anise extract or star anise.
Apple Pie Spice: For every teaspoon of apple pie spice, substitute with a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom and 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice.
Basil: You can use fresh mint (slightly less than called for) or fresh cilantro, oregano or thyme in place of fresh basil.
Bread Crumbs: Use the same amount of crushed cracker or cereal crumbs, cornflakes or croutons.
Balsamic Vinegar: Sherry or cider vinegar are good substitutes for balsamic vinegar.
Brown Sugar: Add a tablespoon of light molasses to a cup of sugar.
Cajun Spice: Substitute equal parts white pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne and onion powder.
Cardamom: Swap in dried ginger.
Chervil: Use tarragon or parsley.
Chives: Substitute half the amount of chives called for with finely chopped onions, scallions or leeks that have been soaked in ice water for an hour.
Chili Powder: For each teaspoon of chili powder, combine 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon of dried cumin and a dash of hot sauce.
Cilantro: Use fresh flat-leaf parsley in place of fresh cilantro.
Cinnamon: Use nutmeg or allspice, but only 1/4 the amount of cinnamon listed in the recipe.
Cloves: Allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg are all good substitutions.
Coriander: Substitute ground caraway seed or cumin.
Cumin: Swap in chili powder.
Fennel Seeds: Use a slightly lesser amount of anise seed, along with a pinch of finely-chopped celery, cumin seeds, caraway seeds or dill.
Garlic: Only garlic can replace garlic. One clove of garlic can be replaced by 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes or 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Since garlic salt adds 3/8 teaspoon of salt, you’ll need to reduce the salt by 3/8 teaspoons to compensate for the added salt.
Garlic Powder: If you’re out of garlic powder, but happen to have some fresh garlic, a single garlic clove is equivalent to approximately 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder. You could substitute about twice as much garlic salt for garlic powder, adjusting accordingly to compensate for the added salt.
Ginger: In a pinch, dried ginger can be replaced with allspice, cinnamon, mace or nutmeg.
Italian Seasoning: Blend together a combination of equal parts basil, oregano and rosemary; then add a pinch of ground red pepper.
Kosher Salt: Use fine table salt, substituting 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount called for.
Mace: Use allspice, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg instead.
Marjoram: Basil, thyme or savory will work.
Mint: Try a bit of basil, marjoram or rosemary instead.
Nutmeg: Swap in cinnamon, ginger or mace. If it's a sweet recipe, you can also try allspice.
Oregano: Thyme or basil should do the trick.
Paprika: Your best bet is ancho chili powder, but cayenne powder will also work. Cayenne is a lot spicier than paprika, so start with a small amount and taste as you go.
Parsley: Chervil or cilantro can serve as adequate replacements.
Poultry Seasoning: For one teaspoon of poultry seasoning, substitute 3/4 teaspoon sage plus 1/4 teaspoon of either marjoram, thyme, black pepper, rosemary or savory.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: To make 6 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice, mix 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 4 teaspoons of ground ginger, 3 teaspoons of ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of ground cloves and 1 teaspoon of ground allspice.
Red Pepper: Add a dash of bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper to your dish.
Rosemary: Thyme, tarragon or savory can work in place of fresh or dried rosemary.
Saffron: A dash turmeric or annatto powder will add this hint of color.
Tarragon: Chervil works, as would a dash fennel seed or aniseed.
Thyme: Basil, oregano, marjoram or savory are your go-to’s when you're out of thyme.
Turmeric: Substitute a dash of saffron for color plus ground mustard powder or annatto powder using a 1:1 ratio.
Vanilla: Substitute maple syrup combined with vanilla-almond or soy milk and seeds from half of a vanilla bean (1 teaspoon extract) or half the amount of almond extract.