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What Can I Substitute for Nutmeg?

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You’d be hard pressed to find a kitchen anywhere in the globe that didn’t have some kind of nutmeg on hand. This spice is so ubiquitous that it appears in almost every meal, giving its versatile taste to culinary excellence. Nutmeg, like many other extremely adaptable substances, may become unduly reliant on a small number of users. And if you run out, you could think all hope is gone since you’ve gotten used to its familiar taste and application.

But don’t worry, there are some tasty replacements for nutmeg all around you. Most of these alternatives have a flavor that is similar to the spice, while others may be tailored to individual tastes. Finally, these substitutes are as adaptable as the spice itself, since they may be used in both cooking and baking. But first, let’s look at what makes nutmegs so special and why the world loves the spice.

NutmegNutrition Facts

What Can I Substitute for Nutmeg?

Nutmeg- Why It’s so popular?

What Can I Substitute for Nutmeg?

Nutmeg is derived from an evergreen tree known as Myristicafragrans, which grows naturally on the Indonesian island of the Moluccas. The area is well-known for being the birthplace of numerous spices across the globe, which is why it is also known as the Spice Islands. But it’s the fact that nutmeg can be used in nearly everything that makes it so popular.

The spice may be found in both sweet and savory recipes from different locations, and it works well in cooked, baked, fried, roasted, and braised foods. The spice has a distinct warm, nutty, spicy, and sweet taste that it adds to any dish. It is available in ground or whole form, with the latter being used by grating the required quantity onto meals.

One of the things that makes nutmeg so appealing is its warmth. Because nutmeg is adaptable to so many different flavors, it may be found in practically any spice blend. It goes well with mace, cardamom, cumin, cloves, ginger, and a variety of other spices. Furthermore, it is not only added to meals, but also to drinks.

Nutmeg is popular not just for its taste, but also for its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. The spice includes antioxidants, which aid in the prevention of chronic illnesses. It’s also high in anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory chemicals, which aid with mood, blood sugar, and heart health.

  • Donuts
  • Carrot cake
  • Cookies
  • Salmon recipes
  • Bread
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Lasagna
  • Salads
  • Apple cider
  • Curries
  • Tea
  • Apple pie
  • Pork chops
  • Alfredo
  • Puddings and custards
  • Casseroles
  • Steak dishes
  • Pasta sauce
  • Smoothies
  • Hot chocolate
  • Roasted sweet potatoes
  • Turmeric lattes
  • Eggnog
  • Bechamel sauce
  • Cakes
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Mac and cheese

Substitutes for Nutmeg

As delicious as nutmeg is, it doesn’t last long in the cupboard since it loses taste over time. So, you may either dash out because you don’t want anything to go wrong, or you could forget about it and discover that it has gone wrong when you need it. In any case, use any of these substitutions to avoid missing out on the nutty flavor of nutmeg in your food.


This alternative is without a doubt the finest choice to consider when you’re short of nutmeg for one simple reason: it originates from the same plant. While nutmeg refers to the tree’s seed, mace is derived from aril, which is the outer coating of the same seed. And since they come from the same plant and area, the taste profile is almost identical. As a result, mace may be used in place of nutmeg in any recipe and the taste will not be affected.


Allspice, according to its name, refers to the ground berries of the Pimento doc tree, an evergreen plant native to the Caribbean. It is also known as the Jamaican pepper and has a rich taste profile that includes pepper, juniper, berries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. since of this, allspice may be used in lieu of nutmeg in many recipes, and it is also a handy alternative since it is readily available. Furthermore, you may use allspice for nutmeg in your recipes.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

While this item is often requested in pie recipes, it may also be used in other cuisines. In many circumstances, it may also be used in instead of nutmeg. Traditional spices such as cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg are used. When used as a replacement, it may provide adequate nutmeg taste for your meals. In many recipes, pumpkin pie spice may be substituted for nutmeg in equal quantities.

Garam Masala

This spice is a frequent component in South Asian and Indian cuisine, and it comprises a complex combination of things that differ depending on area. However, in its most basic form, it contains spices like as cloves, cardamom, cumin, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper. The greatest garam masala alternatives for nutmeg are those that include both mace and nutmeg in their blends. However, any other kind will do as long as it includes nutmeg or mace and may be used in similar amounts in various recipes.


Ginger root is one of the most common spices, making it a simple non-nutmeg replacement. It is a Zingiberaceae family root that is often utilized in savory recipes owing to its spicy taste. Ginger may be used in lieu of nutmeg in foods that are more umami than sweet, such as meat-based meals. However, it is also suitable for vegetable recipes and may be used fresh, dried, or crushed. If you want to use ginger instead of nutmeg in your cuisine, use equal amounts of each.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use cinnamon instead of nutmeg?

Yes, in many circumstances. In many cuisines, cinnamon may be used in lieu of powdered nutmeg. However, since it has a stronger taste, only tiny quantities should be used. Replace the nutmeg in the recipe with half the quantity of cinnamon.

What can I use to substitute nutmeg in pasta sauce?

The majority of the solutions listed above will work in any tomato-based sauce, including pasta sauce. However, if you want another convenient solution, choose cardamom. It has a taste characteristic comparable to nutmeg and works well when just a tiny quantity is required.

What can I substitute for nutmeg in carrot cake?

Cinnamon is the finest substitute for nutmeg in carrot cake since its sweet flavor adds to the natural flavor profile of such baked products.


Nutmeg is a versatile item that we always expect to have in our pantry, but when it runs out, a replacement might come in useful. These choices are some of the most popular spices on the market, and they provide similar advantages to nutmeg. Furthermore, they are just as adaptable, so you won’t have to worry about significant taste differences while using them.


Can you leave nutmeg out of a recipe?

If you’re creating a meal that asks for a variety of spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves, you may usually leave out the nutmeg totally without replacing anything else. If nutmeg is the only spice in the recipe, it’s advisable to replace it with another spice to prevent a bland meal.

Can you use cinnamon instead of nutmeg in a recipe?

Cinnamon is a good substitute for nutmeg.

It is derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is available as whole sticks or ground. While cinnamon and nutmeg both bring warmth to sweet and savory meals, their tastes are not the same. Use half the amount of cinnamon as nutmeg, then taste to see if you want to add more.

What can I do without nutmeg?

Try one of these nutmeg substitutes.
Cinnamon. While it has a somewhat distinct taste (more sweet and woody), this ubiquitous spice is likely to be in your cupboard and can do in a hurry.
Allspice. No, this isn’t some spice concoction.
Anise (Star Anise).
Spiced pumpkin pie.
Spiced Apple Pie.

What other spices are related to nutmeg?

Mace. Mace is the spice that is most similar to nutmeg since they are almost identical; “mace” is the name for the ground-up powder of nutmeg’s hard, outer seed covering. In any dish, replace with a one-to-one substitute.

Is nutmeg important in a recipe?

Nutmeg is somewhat sweeter than mace and works well with baked or stewed fruit, custards, eggnog, punches, curries, sauces (especially onion-based and milk sauces), pasta, and vegetables (especially spinach).

Is nutmeg important in baking?

Nutmeg is an excellent way to end a baked or unbaked cheesecake, and it works especially well if there is orange present, such as grated zest or orange-flower water. Nutmeg is an essential component of every spice blend, but it pairs exceptionally well with cinnamon, giving an almost ideal welcome, warming scent.

Is cumin and nutmeg the same?

This well-known spice has a rich, toasty flavor that enhances the flavor of many savory meals. Cumin, like cardamon, has a distinct taste that differs from nutmeg. However, its rich, warm, spiciness complements many of the same meals as nutmeg does.

Does cinnamon and nutmeg taste the same?

Cinnamon comes from tree bark, whereas nutmeg is a seed. Cinnamon is the “hot” taste of many sweets, such as “Hot Tamales,” and is also used in apple pie and cinnamon buns. Nutmeg is a more delicate spice that is often combined with other spices, especially cinnamon. Beyond that, it’s up to your taste senses.

Can I replace nutmeg in the pumpkin pie spice?

If You’re Short on Nutmeg

Nutmeg gives your pumpkin pie spice a nutty taste. Mace is a simple nutmeg substitution.

What spice is most like nutmeg?

1. Mace. Because both spices are derived from the Myristica fragrans tree, mace is the finest substitute for nutmeg. While nutmeg comes from the plant’s seeds, mace is the outer coating of the seed known as an aril (1).

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