Cardamom Substitute: Top 5 Alternatives


Cardamom Substitute

Looking for a substitute to the often pricey and illusive cardamom spice? There’s no denying the distinctive nature of cardamom but there are similar spices that you can use as a cardamom substitute to successfully execute the dish you need it for.

Read on to find out the five best cardamom substitutes to use in a pinch!


This cardamom substitute offers a potent mix of complicated and strong flavors. Nutmeg works perfectly for savory dishes especially anything with rice and meat.

Just make sure to use half a teaspoon of nutmeg to make up one teaspoon of cardamom.

Coriander Seeds

The next cardamom substitute that we recommend is coriander seeds. Not to be confused with the leaves, these seeds have a distinct nutty yet citrus flavor that closely mimics that of cardamom.

Just be sure to add a little at a time and use the same amount as you’d use if you had cardamom, especially if you’re working on a savory dish.

On the other hand, if you’re preparing something sweet then you should start with half of the normal amount and add more if needed.

As for curry dishes, equal amounts of coriander and cumin work beautifully to produce those cardamom flavors, especially if you’re making something like curry sauce! Crushed coriander seeds and cumin closely mimics the earthy and rustic flavor profile of cardamom.



Allspice is one of the most popular and accessible cardamom substitutes on the market, and is made from aromatic berries that are dried right before they ripen to create a spice that’s commonly known as Jamaica pepper.

Allspice is a key ingredient in Jamaican jerk chicken whose flavors are a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Similar to cardamom, allspice has a complex flavor profile that includes a balance of all the included spices.

It has citrusy, fruity and spicy notes all at the same time and hits all the right spots so that you won’t even miss the cardamom! Of course, the taste is a little different but not so much that it puts you off. It’s like that saying, ‘same, but different’.

Cloves and Cinnamon

Cardamom has a complication and unique flavor so it stands to reason that this potent combination of spices would make the perfect substitute.

Cloves have an astringent intensity that pairs well with the sweet woody notes emitted by cinnamon to create a flavor profile that is similar to that of cardamom.

This cardamom substitute works great in seafood and meat dishes. Use half a teaspoon of each spice to equal one full cardamom teaspoon.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg Combination

Last on our list of great cardamom substitutes is the nutmeg and cinnamon combo. Cinnamon is the star of the show here while nutmeg is the least expensive of the two and brings the overall price down.

Regardless of which spice you use out of these two options, use half of the normal amount of cardamom you’d use and then adjust it accordingly as you go along if needed. For more information about spices visit


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