In this article, we will learn the four best substitutes for allspice and their different uses.
Do you want to try a new recipe that asks for allspice, but you don’t have any? You might even be all set to cook that Jamaican dish but find that the ground allspice you had lost its aroma. Well, not to worry. You can always use substitutes for allspice to get a similar taste and flavor!
Allspice is not something we use in our daily cooking. Besides, as it loses its fragrance quite quickly, you may want to avoid buying a whole jar for one recipe. Instead, you can use some common spices to replicate the aroma and flavor of your dish.
The name allspice can be a little confusing. Although it sounds like a blend of various spices, it is a single spice made from a type of dried berry.
This spice has a complex mix of sweet, warm, and earthy tastes. Allspice is used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Here, we have made a list of four substitutes for allspice. You can use these common alternatives in your recipe without losing much in taste or flavor.
Substitutes for Allspice
1. A mix of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Clove
While you might not have allspice in your pantry, the chances are you might already have these three common spices, which include cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
The ratio for cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove should be 2:1:1.
So if your recipe asks for two teaspoons of ground allspice, mix one teaspoon cinnamon, half a teaspoon of clove, and half a teaspoon of nutmeg.
This mix will add a similar warm flavor to your dish that allspice provides. If you find you have run out of either clove or cinnamon, you can still make it. You should mix ¾ portion of cinnamon with ¼ portion of clove or ¼ portion of nutmeg. The result will be close enough to replicate the aroma and taste.
However, the peppery kick of allspice is missing in this spice blend. So, if you want to use it in savory dishes, add a pinch of finely ground black pepper to get the peppery taste. This mix works best for
2. Chinese Five-Spice Mix
The Chinese five-spice mix has a strong flavor and tastes closer to allspice. This mix is an essential ingredient in many Chinese dishes and is also used in Hawaiian and Vietnamese recipes.
It contains five different herbs, including cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and ginger. Sometimes, the ginger in the five spices is replaced with Szechuan peppercorn.
You can use Chinese five-spice in sweet as well as savory dishes. The spicy-sweet flavor of the Chinese five-spice is stronger than that of the allspice.
Still, it does the work fairly well. To substitute allspice, use an equal amount of five-spice as indicated in the recipe or a little less.
3. Pumpkin Spice Mix
Like the Chinese five-spice, pumpkin spice is also a combination of different warm spices. The standard components of pumpkin spice include cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and allspice.
So, even if you do not have allspice, you can still make pumpkin spice. To make this mix, you should add one teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg.
If your recipe asks you to add one teaspoon of allspice, substitute it with an equal amount of pumpkin spice mix. This mixture adds a complex flavor to the dish. This blend works very well for sweet dishes.
4. British Mixed Spice
Like pumpkin spice, this spice blend also has allspice in it. If you have British mixed spice in your pantry, you can use this mix to replace allspice in a recipe.
This British spice mix includes a balanced proportion of cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cloves, ginger, mace, caraway, and allspice.
The warm and spicy-sweet taste of British mixed spice can effectively substitute the flavor of allspice. Therefore, for each teaspoon of allspice, add an equal amount of British spice mix.
The rule is that ½ teaspoon of ground allspice substitutes the flavor of 6 whole allspices. You can adjust the amount for other spice blends accordingly.
My Final Thoughts on Allspice Substitutes
The primary purpose of adding allspice to a dish is to enhance the flavor and aroma of that dish. It also adds to the sweet-savory taste.
Allspice got its name for this complex taste and flavor that feels like a mix of different spices. We would advise you to experiment with these spices and see what you like. The other alternatives may not bring the best result. However, depending on the recipe, they will give you a pretty close taste.