Nutmeg is an intense and fragrant spice often found in baked goods and custards. You can find ground or whole nutmeg for a fresher even more intense spice. Nutmeg is frequently featured in stews, macaroni and cheese, and curries.
Substitute nutmeg with cinnamon, mace, or allspice. Since it is also found in some spice mixes, these also serve as good alternatives in a pinch: pumpkin pie spice and apple pie spice.
Nutmeg is a great addition to baked goods and anything looking for extra spice flavor, but there are many substitutes here that can give off the same spiced flavor when you’re looking for a nutmeg substitute. Some of our favorite substitutes include:
Nutmeg Substitute FAQs
What Can I Substitute for Nutmeg in Lasagna?
Although nutmeg may be more commonly used in baked goods and sweet treats, it can also be used to give savory dishes like lasagna to enhance the flavor of the ricotta cheese. If you don’t have any nutmeg on hand but still want the depth of flavor it provides, try using these substitutes here:
- Black pepper
- Pumpkin pie spice
What’s a Good Substitute for Nutmeg in Apple Pie?
What Should I Substitute for Nutmeg in Soup?
Nutmeg adds a savory component to soups that creates a rich, warm aroma. If you’re wondering “what can I use instead of nutmeg in soups?” We'd suggest using mace or cardamom to reach the same goal.
Can I Leave Nutmeg out of a Recipe?
Leaving nutmeg out of a recipe can drastically change the flavor of the entire dish - depending on what it is. If you leave the nutmeg out of a mac and cheese or lasagna dish, you’ll be left with a delicious dish that won’t be missing too much flavor without the added nutmeg. However, if you’re making a sweet dish like a pumpkin pie, or a chai tea, the nutmeg adds a such a deep, important flavor that you’d be better off substituting the missing nutmeg with one of the spices mentioned above.
Is Nutmeg Similar to Cinnamon?
Cinnamon has a very similar flavor profile to nutmeg, so it works great as a substitute. Cinnamon does have a more pungent flavor than nutmeg, so it’s best to start with half the amount of cinnamon than called for nutmeg and taste along the way to determine if more needs to be added.