6 Best Allspice Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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You may need an allspice substitute in the kitchen, but luckily, there are many other spices that can mimic both the flavor and the nutrient profile of this potent spice.

What is Allspice?

Allspice, composed of the ground dried berries of the Pimenta dioica tree, is found in Mexico, Central America, and other tropical areas of the world. It is most commonly seen as a ground spice in North America and other western countries. The name is derived from the unique flavor of allspice, which seems to be a unique combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Packed with antioxidants, such as eugenol, and other active ingredients, this spice is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-flatulent, and carminative properties.

Allspice Substitutes

The best allspice substitute options include ground clove, mace, nutmeg and cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, whole cloves, and whole allspice berries.

Nutmeg and Cinnamon

Considering that allspice is commonly described as a combination of these flavors, using equal parts of nutmeg and cinnamon can often work as a great allspice substitute. The flavors will match up nearly perfectly, particularly if you are cooking a sweet dish or a dessert.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

The warm and sweet flavor of pumpkin pie spice may not be the first thing you think of as a replacement for allspice, but a few pinches of this spice can easily mimic this spice, even in savory meat or caramelized dishes.

Ground Cloves

Cloves have a similar earthy and spicy flavor as allspice, and in ground form, they have a similar consistency. The flavor is slightly stronger in cloves, however, so use this as a replacement sparingly, perhaps 1/2 of the recommended amount of allspice.

Mace

Mace is the spice that is made from the aril – the red covering – of the nutmeg seed. Bearing a remarkable resemblance to nutmeg in flavor, this can also be used in a 1:1 ratio to replace allspice.

Whole Allspice Berries

If you don’t have ground allspice berries, you can simply add some of the whole berries to your dish, particularly sauces or savory stews, and they will impart exactly the flavor you want.

Whole Cloves

Although ground cloves are preferable, whole cloves can also be tossed into a dish, where they can closely mimic the flavor of allspice.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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