Herb & Spice Substitutions

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a recipe, open the spice cupboard - and you’re out of an herb or spice needed? Fear not, here is a list of close substitutions of herbs and spices that should get you through your cook successfully. Keep in mind that these alternatives will not taste exactly like the ingredients listed.

  • Allspice – Cinnamon, cassia, dash of nutmeg or mace, or dash of cloves
  • Aniseed – Fennel seed or a few drops anise extract
  • Basil – Oregano or thyme
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Sherry or cider vinegar
  • Brown Sugar – 1 tablspoon of light molasses added to 1 cup of sugar
  • Cardamom – Ginger
  • Chervil – Tarragon or parsley
  • Chili Powder – Dash bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
  • Chive – Green onion, onion, or leek
  • Cilantro – Parsley
  • Cinnamon – Nutmeg or allspice  (Use only 1/4 of the amount.)
  • Cloves – Allspice, cinnamon, or nutmeg
  • Cumin – Chili powder
  • Ginger – Allspice, cinnamon, mace, or nutmeg
  • Italian Seasoning – Blend of any of these: basil, oregano, rosemary, and ground red pepper
  • Mace – Allspice, cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg
  • Marjoram – Basil, thyme, or savory
  • Mint – Basil, marjoram, or rosemary
  • Nutmeg – Cinnamon, ginger, or mace
  • Oregano – Thyme or basil
  • Parsley – Chervil or cilantro
  • Poultry Seasoning – Sage plus a blend of any of these: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary
  • Red Pepper – Dash bottled hot pepper sauce or black pepper
  • Rosemary – Thyme, tarragon, or savory
  • Saffron – Dash turmeric (for color)
  • Sage – Poultry seasoning, savory, marjoram, or rosemary
  • Savory – Thyme, marjoram, or sage
  • Tarragon – Chervil, dash fennel seed, or dash aniseed
  • Thyme – Basil, marjoram, oregano, or savory
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