ginger substitute

8 Flavorful Ginger Substitutes You Should Know About

Ginger is a unique spice with a warm and earthy sweetness to it that almost feels irreplaceable. However, there are a number of ideal substitutes for this kitchen essential that can impart the same flavor. Are you searching for a good ginger substitute for your dish?

Here’s a curated list of the top 8 substitutes you can use for ginger, whether you’re substituting for the fresh root or dried ground spice.

#1. Allspice


Allspice, also known as Jamaican Pepper, is by far the most recommended substitute for ginger by both home and professional chefs. It is derived from the dried brown berries of the tropical Pimenta Dioica tree. Its taste is often described as the cumulation of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg, making it the ideal substitute for ginger in recipes that need a bit of kick.

Allspice has an even balance of sweetness and spiciness, with a classic dry minty aftertaste that ginger gives. You can use Allspice as a substitute for ginger with meat, stew, and vegetable broths. Start with substituting ½ tbsp of Allspice for 1 tbsp of ground ginger, and taste before adding more.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = ½ Tbsp Allspice.

If your recipe requires freshly grated ginger:

1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger = ¼ Tbsp Allspice.

#2. Cinnamon


If you have ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks at home, you’re in luck! You won’t need to make an extra trip to the store. Cinnamon is a common household cooking spice derived from the skin of fragrant cinnamon tree bark. It has a spicy, sweet, and slightly minty flavor, so it makes a near-perfect substitute for ground ginger in most recipes.

Cinnamon is a popular ingredient in various cuisines involving chicken, lamb, stews, Asian dishes, and even baked goods like cakes and pastries. If you have a recipe that requires ground ginger, you can substitute it with cinnamon without losing any flavor.

If you are replacing ground ginger with cinnamon powder substitute:

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = 1 Tbsp Cinnamon Powder.

If your recipe requires freshly grated ginger:

1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger = ½ Tbsp Cinnamon Powder.

#3. Nutmeg


Nutmeg is another popular cooking spice with a similar flavor profile to ginger. It has a sweet, spicy, and slightly nutty taste. Nutmeg comes from the seeds of trees in the Mystica Fragrans family, a tropical evergreen tree native to Indonesia.

Nutmeg is commonly used to add flavor to sweet dishes, baked goods, and confections. You can purchase ground nutmeg at any local store. Although, for a richer taste, it would be better to buy nutmeg seeds instead and grind them up yourself.

Just keep in mind that Nutmeg is sweeter than ginger but less spicy. So if you’re planning to make something sweet that involves ginger, you need to use less nutmeg when substituting. On the other hand, if you’re preparing a spicy dish you may need to add chili powder or another hot spice to make up for the sweetness of nutmeg.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = ¼ Tbsp Ground Nutmeg.

If your recipe requires freshly grated ginger:

1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger = ⅛ Tbsp Ground Nutmeg.

#4. Mace


Mace has a warm, sweet, and mellow flavor, making it a wonderful substitute for ginger. It’s derived from the bright red outer coating of nutmeg but has a relatively delicate taste. In other words, it’s more on the sweet side than spicy.

Mace is commonly added to baked sweet dishes like cookies, donuts, and cakes. It’s also used in various spice blends to add flavor to dishes with meat, curries, stews, and sauces. But you should know, mace can turn bitter if cooked for too long. A better idea is to add it in the end as a finishing spice.

You can use mace as a substitute for ginger in both sweet and spicy dishes.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = ½ Tbsp Mace.

If your recipe requires freshly grated ginger:

1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger = ¼ Tbsp Mace.

#5. Turmeric


Turmeric is a warm, bitter spice most commonly used in Asian cuisines, particularly Indian food. It’s a good way to replace ginger but only for spicy/savory dishes as there is no sweetness in turmeric. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in curry and gives a golden yellow color to dishes when fully cooked.

Turmeric has a very strong flavor so you can only substitute it for ground ginger for dishes with chicken, curry, rice, or stew.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = 1 Tbsp Turmeric.

#6. Cardamom


Cardamom is a complex cooking spice with a sweet, citrusy flavor and almost menthol-like aroma. Its distinctive flavor can complement both sweet and savory dishes. Foods like poultry, sausages, curries, lentils, and teas pair equally well with both cardamom and ginger, so they can be perfectly substituted for each other.

You can substitute them in a 1:1 ratio for the most part, but you may have to adapt in some cases.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = 1 Tbsp Cardamom.

#7. Galangal


Galangal is a challenging substitute to use even though it’s closely related to ginger. In fact, it’s probably the best substitute for fresh root and is easy to find in Asian grocery stores.

Both ginger and galangal have a fresh sweet-spicy taste but Galangal is sharper, spicier, and a bit more peppery. So when you’re swapping ginger for galangal, be it grounded or freshly grated, the amount of galangal you use should always be less.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = ¾ Tbsp Galangal Ground.

If your recipe requires freshly grated ginger:

1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger = ¾ Tbsp Freshly Grated Galangal.

#8. Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice is a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes even Allspice. As you can imagine, the resulting flavor and aroma this medley of exotic spices give are hard to put into words.

You can use pumpkin spice as an equal substitute to ground ginger powder in almost every recipe, although it works best for baked dishes.

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger = 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences.