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Spice Substitutes


While there is no true replacement for the flavor of that certain spice in a certain recipe, we understand that you might find yourself without said spice at the worst possible moment. That’s why we created our spice substitution guide. If you do not find the specific substitution you are seeking below, email us at, and a real spice expert will reply to you promptly.


Aleppo Pepper Substitute

Aleppo pepper gives a somewhat sweet and moderately hot flavor to dishes. Aleppo is a type of pepper that has a similar flavor to ancho peppers, however Aleppo has a slight cumin flavor with a hint of salt and vinegar flavor.

Out of Aleppo pepper? Read our Aleppo pepper substitutes here!


Allspice Substitute

Allspice is a unique aromatic berry with origins in Jamaica. The taste resembles a blend of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg - giving its encompassing name. Allspice’s warm flavor is often found in barbecue sauces and jerk seasoning as well as baked goods like gingerbread and apple pie.

Out of allspice? Read our allspice substitutes here!


Almond Extract Substitute

Almond extract is used in a lot of dessert recipes, especially around the holiday season, along with beverages and baked goods. We love using almond extract in Swedish pound cake, Mexican hot chocolate, and five spice cookies.

Don't have almond extract? Read our almond extract substitutes here!


Arrowroot Substitute

Arrowroot powder was originally used to heal poison-arrow wounds, and has since become an essential ingredient to thicken many dishes like gravies and white sauces. Arrowroot flour is also loved for being gluten-free.

Don't have arrowroot powder? Read our arrowroot substitutes here!


Basil Substitute

Basil is an aromatic herb that has a subtle, sweet flavor profile. Basil also has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and has been used medicinally in many cultures. In the culinary world, basil is a popular choice to add a sweet, herbal aroma to your dish

Out of Basil? Read our basil substitutes here!


Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are aromatic and generally used in cooking to bring out the flavor and cut through the richness in a dish. Bay leaves come from the laurel tree and are prominent in many different cuisines from all over the world from India to the Caribbean and East Asia.

Don't have bay leaves? Read our bay leaves substitutes here!


Caraway Seeds Substitute

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.

Out of caraway seeds? Read our caraway seeds substitutes here!


Cardamom Substitute

Cardamom has a uniquely complex flavor, so if you’ve run out of this spice, you may think your dish will be ruined, however cardamom flavors are surprisingly easy to recreate with just a couple of pantry spices you probably have on hand.

Read our cardamom substitutes here.


Celery Seeds Substitute

Celery seeds are small and slightly bitter seeds that are commonly used in sauerkraut, pickling, and in cold vegetable salads, like coleslaw and potato salad. These tiny seeds have a nice mild crunch and a strong flavor. Celery seed provides a strong and familiar celery flavor without the stringy, fibrous texture found in celery stalks. Ground celery seeds are a great spice to add to your sauces or dressings.

Don't have celery seeds? Read our celery seed substitutes here!


Chai Spices Substitute

Chai spices are a sweet blend of Indian spices used for the classic hot beverage, chai masala. It's also a popular flavoring for pastries, desserts, and ice cream.

Don't have any chai spice? Read our chai spice substitute here!


Chili Powder Substitute

Chili powder is a rich, bittersweet blend of ground chiles and other spice ingredients such as paprika, cumin, garlic, oregano, and more. It is a star ingredient in many Tex-Mex recipes and in barbecue meat rubs.

Out of chili powder? Read our chili powder substitutes here!


Chives Substitute

Chives are a bright green herb with a subtle onion-like flavor. In fact, they are in the same family as onion, leeks, and garlic. Primarily used for garnishing, chives can also be used in sauces and broths.

Out of chives? Read our chives substitutes here!


Cilantro Substitute

Cilantro is the versatile leaf of the coriander plant which is a member of the parsley family. The taste is bright, fresh and citrusy. Originally from the middle east, cilantro is now used worldwide. It is a main ingredient in guacamole, asian soups, and ful medames.

Out of cilantro? Read our cilantro substitutes here!


Cinnamon Substitute

Cinnamon is a fragrant spice that is derived from the inner bark of a Cinnamomum tree and can be purchased in quills, sticks, or freshly ground powder. Cinnamon can lend both a sweet and savory element to dishes worldwide from cinnamon rolls and snickerdoodles to Moroccan chicken and Mexican Mole sauce.

Out of cinnamon? Read our cinnamon substitutes here!


Clove Substitute

Cloves are aromatic, warm, and strong and can be found in both savory and sweet dishes along with drinks and desserts. If you don’t have any cloves in your spice rack, but are hoping to whip up something spice forward, you can find all of the best substitutes here.

Out of cloves? Read our cloves substitutes here!


Coriander Substitute

There are multiple types of coriander, at The Spice House we carry Indian Coriander Seeds, Moroccan Coriander Seeds, and Ground Moroccan Coriander Seeds. Each type of coriander has a different flavor and is best used in different dishes.

Out of coriander? Read our coriander substitutes here!


Cream of Tartar Substitute

Cream of tartar is a mystery ingredient to many people, and despite its name, is not actually creamy at all. Cream of tartar is a dry, powdery substance and is a byproduct from fermenting grapes that are being turned into wine.

Out of cream of tartar? Read our cream of tartar substitutes here!


Cumin Substitute

Cumin is a savory, nutty and almost lemony spice that’s used in many different dishes from many different regions of the world. It is also a key flavor in American chili and barbecue sauces, certain Swiss and Dutch cheeses, Mexican bean dishes, and many Central Asian dishes. We source our seeds from India and Turkey.

Don't have any cumin seeds? Read our cumin substitute here!


Curry Powder Substitute

Curry powder is essential for your favorite Indian and Thai dishes like this red Thai curry and this chicken with coconut red curry sauce. If you’ve run out of curry powder in the middle of whipping up one of these dishes, you can still create the necessary curry spice and flavor with other ingredients in your cabinet.

Read our curry powder substitutes here!


Dill Weed Substitute

Dill weed has a unique flavor that has an earthy and almost grassy essence. It is a very fragrant herb without any heat and adds a great flavor to Middle Eastern and North African dishes. Dill is very popular to see in yogurt sauces, potato salads, and even baked breads and crackers.

Out of dill weed? Read our dill weed substitutes here!


Fennel Substitute

Fennel is a fragrant sweet seed with a taste similar to anise. The seed can be found in biscotti, Kashmiri dishes, as well as in sausages - its uses are many. It blends well with seafood, pork and tomatoes.

Out of fennel? Read our fennel substitutes here!


Garam Masala Substitute

Garam masala translates to warming spices and comes from northern India and is highly aromatic. This spice blend is great on everything from lamb and pork to fish, vegetables, and potatoes.

Don't have garam masala? Read our garam masala substitutes here!


Ground Ginger Substitute

Ground ginger is the perfect way to add a zing to almost anything. Most dried ginger in the U.S. comes from India, but the highest quality ginger actually comes from China. Ginger from China can be hard to find, but The Spice House always has some on hand for you.

Don't have ground ginger? Read our ground ginger substitutes here!


Harissa Substitute

Harissa paste is a fragrant and spicy paste made from chilies and originates from North Africa. The Spice House’s Harissa paste comes from the Mahjoub family estate in Tebourba, Tunisia where the local cuisine traditions have been passed down for generations, giving you an authentic North African taste.

Don't have harissa? Read our harissa substitutes here!


Herbes De Provence Substitute

Herbes de provence is a blend from France that contains many Mediterranean herbs, dried at their peak that adds a summery essence to poultry, fish, vegetables, and many other dishes.

Don't have any herbes de provence? Read our herbes de provence substitutes here!


Kosher Salt Substitute

Kosher salt was named due to the use by practicing Jews to dry brine meats. Kosher salt doesn’t have any additives, which gives it the purest of salt flavors. This pure salt also effectively absorbs moisture, binding to other ingredients and dissolving easily.

Don't have kosher salt? Read our kosher salt substitutes here!


Lemon Zest Substitute

The lemon peel zest from The Spice House is three times stronger than fresh lemon zest, and it is guaranteed to be free of the bitter pith that can sometimes be mistakenly added to dishes when zesting your own lemons.

Out of lemon zest? Read our lemon zest substitutes here!


Marjoram Substitute

Marjoram is a delicate, citrusy, and piney-tasting herb closely related to Oregano. It can be found in blends such as herbs de provence as well as za’atar. Dishes that showcase marjoram include chicken cacciatore as well as goulash.

Out of marjoram? Read our marjoram substitutes here!


Nutmeg Substitute

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.

Out of nutmeg? Read our nutmeg substitutes here!


Onion Powder Substitute

Often used in savory dishes, onion powder has the added benefit of tear-free cooking. It comes in many forms from toasted onion powder to dehydrated chopped onions depending on the needs of your dish.

Out of onion powder? Read our onion powder substitutes here!


Oregano Substitute

Oregano is native to the Mediterranean and a member of the mint family. Oregano has flavorful notes of mint and lemon. This bright astringency balances dishes by countering the rich flavors of meat and beans.

Out of oregano? Read our oregano substitutes here!


Paprika Substitute

Paprika is a vibrant spice that can have earthy, sweet, smokey and fiery flavor depending on the variety used. Paprika is a key spice ingredient in stuffed bell peppers, deviled eggs, chorizo, and traditional Spanish rice.

Out of paprika? Read our paprika substitutes here!


Parsley Substitute

Dried parsley is a delicate herb that’s milder in flavor than fresh parsley, but still manages to make a wonderful garnish on almost any dish. Dried parsley has a beautiful deep, emerald color and sweet flavor that will last for several months when stored in an airtight container.

Don't have any parsley? Read our parsley substitutes!


Peppercorn Substitute

Peppercorns come in three different colors, white, black and green. All of these peppercorns come from the same vine but are harvested at different times. Green peppercorns are harvested the youngest, and have the mildest flavor of the three. Black peppercorns are picked later to give them time to mature and develop a stronger flavor. White peppercorns are actually black peppercorns which have been soaked to remove the outer casing, which gives them an intense, slightly fermented flavor.

Out of peppercorns? Read our peppercorn substitutes here!


Pumpkin Spice Substitute

Pumpkin pie spice is a quintessential spice blend for all things autumn and especially thanksgiving dessert. It is a fragrant blend of freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

Don't have any pumpkin spice? Read our pumpkin spice substitutes here!


Ras El Hanout Substitute

Ras el Hanout is an ancient Moroccan blend that roughly means “top shelf” and is rich, colorful, and aromatic. This spice blend is used for grilled lamb, vegetable tagines, and couscous. More contemporary versions of using this spice are in lamb burgers or stewing with chicken.

Out of Ras El Hanout? Read our ras el hanout substitutes here!


Rosemary Substitute

Rosemary is an aromatic herb that has a piney profile, its flavor can pack a punch. Widely popular in mediterranean and Italian cuisine, it marries well with garlic, olive oil, and lemon.

Don't have any rosemary? Read our rosemary substitute here!


Sage Substitute

Sage is an aromatic dried herb of the fuzzy grey shrub by the same name. Revered for its medicinal properties by cultures around the world, sage also is a staple savory herb.

Run out of sage? Read our sage substitute here!


Saffron Substitute

Saffron is a vivid, red, thread-like spice typically used to season and color foods. Harvesting saffron takes a lot of physical effort to get the flowers from the fields to the final destination. One acre and 75,000 flowers, which hold the saffron thread, only produce one pound of the final product.

Out of saffron? Read our saffron substitutes here!


Star Anise Substitute

Star anise is native to northeast Vietnam and Southwest China, and is therefore found in many Chinese dishes and is especially popular to use on pork and chicken. Star anise has a lightly sweet licorice flavor and pairs well with cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Sichuan peppercorns.

Don't have star anise? Read our star anise substitutes here!


Sumac Substitute

Sumac is a unique spice in the cashew family with origins in the Middle East. The dark red berry has a bright, tart lemony flavor profile. A mainstay in Mediterranean dishes such as hummus and kebabs - sumac can also be delicious on fish and popcorn.

Out of sumac? Read our sumac substitutes here!


Thyme Substitute

Thyme is a pungent warm, woody spice related to mint and oregano. One of the oldest culinary herbs, it is a key ingredient in many Mediterranean and French cuisines. In fact there is some flavor nuance to the sweeter softer French thyme compared to heartier Mediterranean thyme.

Out of thyme? Read our thyme substitutes here!


Vanilla Extract Substitutes

Vanilla extract is a fragrant, floral flavor often used in baking. White cakes, custards and frosting often lean on the abundance of flavor vanilla provides. Vanilla can also be an ingredient that runs out and if used rarely, quick substitutes are helpful to have on hand.

Out of vanilla extract? Read our vanilla extract substitutes here!


Za'atar Substitute

Za’atar comes from the Arabic word for thyme. The za’atar from The Spice House is mixed with lemony sumac, nutty sesame, marjoram, thyme, and oregano. This delicious spice mix can be used in very simple recipes, for example, a sprinkle of za’atar mixed with olive oil and spread on naan or bread is a delicious snack.

Don't have any on hand? Read our za'atar substitutes here.

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