What is a Good Black Pepper Substitute?
Black pepper is one of the most common spices. Everyone has it in the kitchen. Still, if you find yourself facing an empty package, it’s good to know there are ways around it. Find the best black pepper substitute from our selection below.
Black pepper has an intense, pungent, sharp aroma. It also has an earthy flavor and packs quite the heat. Many recipes are enriched by a touch of pepper. But you can always make do with a substitute for black peppercorns.
Find the best black pepper substitute from our selection below.
1. White Peppercorns
White peppercorns are great a alternative for black pepper. And it’s no wonder, since they come from the same plant. White and black peppercorns are small dry berries of the Piper Nigrum plant. The only difference is how they are harvested and processed.
Black pepper comes from unripe berries that are roasted and dried. That is why they are black. White peppercorns come from fully ripe berries. That is why they can be used interchangeably.
However, expect some differences: white pepper is more fruity, mild, and delicate in terms of spiciness, while black pepper is sharper, has a smoky flavor, and it’s well, uhm, peppery.
2. Green Pepper
Green pepper is also a good black pepper substitute. And it’s another of the pepper brothers since green pepper comes from unripe berries of the same plant.
Green pepper is fruitier, fresher, spicy, and has a floral, bright aroma. It’s not as pungent as black pepper. But the two can be used interchangeably when needed.
3. Pink Peppercorns
Pink pepper is a good substitute for black pepper, so, if you have it around you can use it instead.
Just expect a milder aroma and a hint of resin, just like you should expect a sweeter taste. Also, pink peppercorns are fruity and pack a strong bite.
4. Sichuan Peppercorns
Sichuan peppercorns make a great substitute for black pepper. Sichuan pepper can be recognized by its sharp, intense, bold aroma and pungent kick. It tingles on the tongue and can also have a numbing effect. Make sure to adjust the amount you use and start small, going up from there.
5. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds look a lot like peppercorns. And their flavor can replicate black pepper while bringing some extra flavors. You can use them as a black pepper substitute, but do expect a certain freshness, citrusy feel, and a sweet undertone.
You can add capers as a black pepper replacement. Capers will enhance the texture of your dish and will add a tart, piquant vibe. Since they are brined, capers also come with a sour taste, so be mindful about that before you use them in place of black peppercorns.
7. Papaya Seeds
Papaya seeds make for a great black pepper allergy substitute. Now, you might be used to throwing them away, but papaya seeds can be scooped out of the fruit and used in place of peppercorns.
You just have to dry them and bake them until they can be crushed. And just like that, you have a perfectly viable ground black pepper sub.
8. Cayenne Pepper
While it’s made from cayenne peppers, this type of pepper is similar to black pepper. Known in Cajun, Caribbean, and Creole cuisines, cayenne pepper provides plenty of heat and a spicy kick. Make sure to start small, with just a sprinkle, and go up from there.
Paprika is a suitable black pepper substitute. Made from spicy red peppers, paprika can be on the spicy side. It packs enough heat to replace black pepper. But paprika will also alter the color, offering a pink hint, and more of a fruity, aromatic vibe.
10. Ground Ginger
While you might not think so, if you have some ground ginger you can use it as a black peppercorn substitute. Ground ginger packs a peppery kick, but it also brings a touch of citrusy tones. It’s also floral and sweet, but nothing that will seriously alter the dish.
Allspice is a staple in the Caribbean and Middle Eastern cuisines. It actually resembles black peppercorns, so there’s that similarity. Besides appearance, in terms of taste, allspice encompasses pepper tones, nutmeg undertones, and cinnamon touches. Quite the combo to be adding to your dish.
12. Ground Mustard
Yes, ground mustard is a good black pepper replacement. It brings a little of that spicy taste that tingles the tongue, and it also gives a tart, acidic aroma as well as a bitter hint.
So, you were asking yourself how to substitute black pepper, well there you have it: no more, no less than 12 options which you are likely to have in your cupboard. And if you feel like improvising, you’ll probably find even more.