Caraway seeds have a somewhat nutty and bittersweet sharpness, with a touch of citrus and pepper, creating a unique combination of flavors. Caraway seeds are high in natural essential oils, which also contributes to the unique flavor profile.
Fennel seeds are the closest alternative to caraway seeds and make an excellent substitution because they’re both relatives of the carrot family, although they aren’t the same plant. Even though these two spices don’t have quite the same flavor, they have a similar essence, and light licorice notes.
Caraway Seed Alternatives
Although the flavor of caraway is so unique, there are plenty of substitutes you can use to recreate the bold uniqueness. The best substitute for caraway seed are fennel seeds, however there are many others you can use as well, as seen here.
Common Caraway Seeds Recipes and Substitution Questions
What Do Caraway Seeds Taste Like?
Caraway seeds have a bittersweet, almost nutty flavor with a touch of citrus and pepper along with a mild licorice, or anise, flavor.
Caraway Seeds Substitute in Bread
The best substitute for caraway seeds in rye bread are dill and anise seeds. These options have the same licorice-like taste, but won’t overpower the bread flavor with strong or bitter aromas. Try our Caraway Cheese Bread, Swedish Rye Bread or this Classic Irish Soda Bread with any of these substitutions.
Caraway Seeds Substitute in Sauerkraut
In sauerkraut, the best substitute for caraway is fennel seeds, however dill or anise will also work, but are more pungent than fennel, so should be used more sparingly. Check out our Choucroute recipe, which is ribs with sauerkraut, to try out a caraway substitute.
Ground Caraway Substitutes
For ground caraway substitutions, you can use any of the substitutions listed above, but instead of using the full seed, use the ground version. For example, you’d want to use ground fennel seeds or ground anise.