Let’s say you’re half way through cooking up a meal for your family potluck dinner and you are missing a few spices, what do you do then!

Well, obviously it is too late to run to a grocery store, but the good part is that there are always substitutes available that you can use instead of a certain spice. In this article, I will give you some tips on what substitutes you could use in place of spices you may not have.

Herb and Spice Substitutions to use in your cooking or baking recipes

Here are some substitutes to some commonly used spices:

1. All spice

In case you’re missing all-spice powder in your pantry, you can make your own all-spice powder mix. Substitute the following spices for every 1 teaspoon allspice: Mix ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg and ¼ tsp ground cloves. Note: You could also grind the whole piece of cinnamon and clove to obtain their powder. As for nutmeg, you could grate it using a grater for the powdered form.

2. Apple spice powder

Substitute the following spices for every 1 teaspoon of apple spice powder: Mix ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ⅛ tsp ground ginger and ⅛ tsp ground all spice.

3. Anise

Substitute anise seeds with fennel seed, for 1 whole star anise, use ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds.

4. Cilantro

Use fresh flat-leaf parsley in place of fresh cilantro.

5. Cardamom

Cinnamon and nutmeg are each widely used substitutes for cardamom when baking. A good rule of thumb is that mixing ½ teaspoon of cinnamon with ½ teaspoon of nutmeg or ½ teaspoon of allspice equals 1 teaspoon of cardamom. If you are making curry and don’t have cardamom on hand, you can use an equal part mixture of cumin and coriander powder.

6. Cinnamon

Nutmeg is a perfect one-to-one swap for ground cinnamon in sweet baking recipes, for 1 tsp of cinnamon powder use ¼ tsp of nutmeg powder. In savory recipes, use ¼ tsp of allspice powder in substitute for 1 tsp of cinnamon.

7. Clove

Nutmeg makes a great substitute for clove, for 1 tsp of clove use ½ tsp of nutmeg powder or you can also use 1 tsp of allspice while baking pies or tarts.

8. Garlic powder

To substitute garlic powder use, 1 clove fresh garlic or ½ tsp. bottled minced garlic. Lastly, asafoetida also makes for a great substitute for garlic powder, but make sure to just add a pinch as it has a pungent flavour.  

Herb and Spice Substitutions to use in your cooking or baking recipes

9. Garam Masala

Combine 3/4 tsp of ground cumin with ¼ tsp of allspice, for an easy substitute when you’re in a hurry. Mix and then use it as a substitute for 1 tbsp of Garam Masala in your recipe Curry powder can easily be used in a 1:1 ratio for garam masala in any recipe.

10. Ginger Powder or Fresh ginger

You can use fresh ginger if you want to substitute ground ginger in your recipe. You just need to use more fresh ginger as the ground ginger is more concentrated. For every ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, use 1 tablespoon of fresh-grated ginger in recipes. Converting fresh ginger to ground ginger and vice versa is easy.

11. Italian seasoning

It is super simple to make your own Italian seasoning blend at home. The most prominent Italian herbs are dried oregano, thyme and basil that make a classic Italian seasoning mix. To make a herbs mix –

Add a tablespoon of oregano with two teaspoons of thyme, two teaspoons of basil and a half teaspoon of sage, rosemary and parsley.

12. Oregano: 

Use 1 tsp of thyme or basil for 1 tsp of orgenao.

13. Parsley

Use 1 tsp of cilantro or mint for 1 tsp of Parsley.

14. Pumpkin pie spice:

For 1 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice mix substitute it with ½ tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground ginger, ⅛ tsp tsp. ground nutmeg , and ⅛ tsp. ground clove.

15. Thyme

Use 1 tsp of basil or oregano for 1 tsp of thyme.