A little spicy, warming, and very distinctive, ginger is a great addition to any number of sweet or savoury dishes. If you've just run out or don't like it as much, here are some ginger substitutes for your cooking or baking needs!

For some more guides on kitchen substitutes, see the best 3 lemon juice substitutes and everyday tahini replacements.

Several types of ginger and other spices in small glass bowls.
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Best Ginger Substitutes

The magic lies in ground allspice, nutmeg, mace, or cinnamon for cooking and baking. These alternatives offer a similar zing, ensuring your culinary creations remain flavorful and exciting.

Remember that the effectiveness of substitutes may vary based on the specific recipe, so it's a good idea to experiment and adjust quantities according to your taste preferences. Consider the role of ginger in the recipe (whether it's for flavour, aroma, or other properties) when choosing a substitute.

If you're looking for a ginger substitute, there are a few options depending on the context of your recipe. Ginger adds a warm, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor, so it's good to choose a substitute with similar qualities. Here are some alternatives.

Ground Ginger

If your recipe calls for fresh ginger, ground ginger can be a suitable substitute depending on context. Use about ½ teaspoon of ground ginger for every tablespoon of fresh grated ginger. This could work for a red lentil daal – though it won't be as spicy – but not for salad dressing.

Candied Ginger

If you have candied ginger, you can use it as a substitute for fresh ginger. Keep in mind that candied ginger is sweetened, so you may need to adjust the sugar content in your recipe. This works best in desserts (like this vegan ginger cake) and sweet sauces.

Ground Allspice, Cinnamon, or Nutmeg

These spices can provide a warm and somewhat sweet flavor, making them suitable ginger substitutes in certain recipes. Adjust the quantity based on your taste preference.


While turmeric has a different flavor profile, it can add a warm and slightly bitter taste to dishes. Use it cautiously, as it's more potent than ginger. You can use ground or fresh turmeric depending on the context (fresh is less bitter than ground).


If you have access to it, galangal is a rhizome similar to ginger and can be used in its place. It has a milder and slightly more citrus flavor. It would be an excellent sub in this peach and ginger cashew cheesecake.

Dried Coriander or Cumin

In certain savoury dishes, coriander or cumin seeds can add depth and warmth, serving as a substitute for ginger.

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Several types of ginger and other spices in small glass bowls.
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5 from 2 votes

Ginger Substitutes

If you're looking for a ginger substitute, there are a few options depending on the context of your recipe, like allspice, turmeric, nutmeg, and more.
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Servings: 1
Author: Sophie


  • Ground Ginger
  • Candied Ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Galangal
  • Coriander or Cumin


  • Ground Ginger: use ½ teaspoon ground ginger for every 1 teaspoon fresh called for in a recipe. This can work for soups, stews, and curries but is less effective for things like vinaigrette. It works well in sweet dishes.
  • Candied Ginger: only for sweet dishes like desserts and sweet sauces. It can usually be subbed 1:1 but keep in mind that it is sweetened so you may need to adjust the sweetener in your recipe.
  • Cinnamon: or ground allspice or nutmeg. These are warm and a bit sweet, so they can work well in certain dishes, but will have to be adjusted to your taste. They make good substitutes for ginger in baking.
  • Turmeric: if you can get fresh turmeric, it's a pretty good 1:1 substitute for fresh ginger. If using ground, note that it is stronger and a little bitter, so it should be used more sparingly.
  • Galangal: probably the best substitute for fresh ginger but often hard to find, if you can get it, it's the ideal option and can be used in the same amounts as ginger.
  • Coriander or Cumin: for use in savoury dishes like curries, this will have to be adjusted to your taste. They add a warming flavour that can be similar to ginger.

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