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Spice Substitutions When In a Pinch

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in the process of preparing dinner when you realize you don’t have a crucial spice for one of the dishes.  Don’t despair! This chart of spice substitutions can help you get by “in a pinch.”

Spice Substitution
Allspice Cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg or cloves
Aniseed Fennel seed
Apple pie spice For 1 tsp. –  use ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, a dash of allspice and a dash of ground cloves or ginger
Basil Oregano or thyme
Cardamom Ginger
Chervil Tarragon or parsley
Chili powder A dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus oregano and cumin
Chives Green onions, onions or leek
Cilantro Parsley
Cinnamon Nutmeg or allspice (1/4 of the amount)
Cloves Allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg
Cream of tartar For ½ tsp. – use 1 ½ tsp. of lemon juice
Cumin Chili powder
Curry powder Mix turmeric, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cumin and chili powder
Five Spice Powder Mix equal parts of anise, cinnamon, clove, fennel and Szechuan peppercorns
Ginger Allspice, cinnamon, mace or nutmeg
Gingerroot For 1 tsp – use ¼ tsp. ground ginger
Italian seasoning Mixture of  basil, oregano, rosemary and ground red pepper
Mace Allspice, cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg
Marjoram Basil, thyme or savory
Mustard Horseradish powder, 1 tsp. of dry equals 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
Mint Basil, marjoram or rosemary
Nutmeg Cinnamon, ginger or mace
Oregano Thyme or basil
Parsley Chervil or cilantro
Poultry seasoning For 1 tsp – substitute ¾ tsp. sage plus a ¼ tsp. blend of any of these: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper, and rosemary
Pumpkin pie spice For 1 tsp – ½ tsp. cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. allspice and ⅛ tsp. nutmeg
Rosemary Thyme, tarragon or savory
Saffron Dash of turmeric
Sage Poultry seasoning, savory, marjoram or rosemary
Savory Thyme, marjoram or sage
Tarragon Chervil, dash of fennel seed or aniseed
Thai seasoning For 1 tbsp. – use 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. garlic powder and ¼ tsp. onion powder
Thyme Basil, marjoram, savory or oregano
Turmeric Dash of saffron plus ground mustard powder (one to one ratio)

Cooking Tip: When substituting, be aware the flavor may not turn out exactly originally intended in the recipe. Consider starting your seasoned substitution with half the specified recipe amount and adjust to your own personal tastes.