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11 Substitutes for Ginger (+ Easy Alternatives)

Ginger adds a nice punch of sweet spice to a recipe.

So when you’re mid-bake and find you’re all out, you’ll need one of these substitutes for ginger.

11 Substitutes for Ginger

10+ Ginger Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

You’ll find ginger fresh and ground in pretty much every grocery store around the world.

And like fresh nutmeg vs. ground, fresh ginger is much more aromatic than its powdered counterpart.

That said, you only need about 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for every 1 tablespoon of fresh.

But when you have neither, there are a few great options you can use instead.

For example, you can also find ginger paste in a lot of stores. And it brings a wallop of flavor.

Or, go for something spiced and sweet, like nutmeg or cinnamon.

Best Substitutes for Fresh Ginger

Fresh ginger is absolutely delicious. It’s spicy, with a hint of sweetness. And it adds incredible flavor to every dish. 

If a recipe calls for fresh ginger, the good news is there are other types of ginger you can use instead.

Whole Dried Ginger Roots on a Plate

1. Dried Ginger

Dried ginger (ground ginger) is a fantastic option when you’re out of fresh ginger. 

The non-perishable nature means you can stockpile it. So you don’t have to worry about running out.

And beyond its convenience, dried ginger offers another benefit – flavor intensity!

Far more than the fresh stuff. 

It’ll work really well in most recipes, including sauces, soups, and baked goods.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of dried ginger.

Chunks of Frozen Ginger in a Plastic Container

2. Frozen Ginger

This stuff is just as tasty and fragrant as the traditional variety. However, it is much easier to work with. 

Unlike fresh ginger, there’s no need to spend valuable time mincing and prepping. It comes already chopped up!

So, your meal will be ready much faster. 

Plus, frozen ginger has the added benefit of lasting longer than its fresh counterpart. Its flavor will stay strong for weeks on end.

Use this in any recipe that calls for fresh ginger, including cookies and bread.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1 tablespoon of frozen ginger.

Note: You can freeze ginger root yourself. Just pop it into an airtight container and label it with the date.

Chunks of Crystallized Ginger on a Wooden Spoon

3. Crystallized Ginger

Need a fun fresh ginger substitute for that batch of cookies? Then you have to try crystallized ginger.

It’s made by soaking small pieces of fresh ginger in sugar water. When it’s soaked through, each piece is rolled in sugar and left to dry out. 

It can last up to 2 years because sugar and dehydration preserve it. 

Plus, it’s less messy because you don’t have to chop and peel it.

Needless to say, it’s best in sweet recipes.

I like it in Christmas cakes and fruit cakes instead of ground ginger because you get the fun texture too.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 3 tablespoons of crystallized ginger.

Ginger Whole Next to Ginger Paste on a Woven Cloth on a Wooden Table

4. Ginger Paste or Minced Ginger

Ginger paste, or minced ginger, is a fabulous substitute for fresh ginger!

It’s easier to use and often more readily available. Plus, it’s made from fresh ginger, so it shares the same flavor and benefits.

This spicy paste can be added to many recipes. I love it in dishes like stir-fries and curries.

Its consistency is ideal for sauces and marinades. And the flavor is super intense.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1 tablespoon of ginger paste. 

Galangal Roots on a Wooden Plate

5. Galangal

Another fantastic swap for fresh ginger is galangal!

It comes from the Zingiberaceae plant family, which is the same plant family as ginger.

The flavor is citrusy and spicy with more pine and pepper notes than ginger. And the texture is firmer, too.

I often use it in savory dishes like curry. But in the right quantities, you could use it in desserts.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/2 tablespoon galangal. Add more as needed.

Best Substitutes for Ground Ginger

Any of the below swaps can be used in place of fresh ginger. But I’ve split them up for a couple of reasons:

  1. It’s easier to swap a ground spice with a ground spice.
  2. Recipes with fresh ginger often need something with more kick.

Yes, you can get plenty of kick from ground ginger. But there’s something missing when you compare the two directly.

Plus, certain recipes call for ground ginger specifically for its powdery finish (fresh ginger can give recipes a grainy texture).

So, let’s take a look at the best ways to swap out ground ginger.

All Spice Berries Spilled from a Glass Jar

6. Allspice

Allspice is a magical spice. And it’s a fabulous ginger substitute! 

This versatile and complex spice is derived from dried, unripe berries of the Allspice plant. Allspice has an earthy and robust taste.

A taste that holds its own in a recipe. 

Plus, it adds the same sweet spiciness you expect from ginger. But the overall flavor will change a little. 

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground allspice.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/2 teaspoon of allspice.

Cinnamon Stick Bundles Next to a Pestle and Mortar Filled With Powdered Cinnamon

7. Cinnamon

Many cooks find that cinnamon is an excellent substitute for ginger, especially in a pinch. 

This warming, sweet spice has a unique flavor that brings any dish to life. You only need a sprinkle of the stuff. 

Cinnamon is just as accessible as ginger- possibly more so. At least more people probably have cinnamon in their pantries. 

Also, studies have shown that, like ginger, cinnamon has beneficial health effects.

These include reducing blood sugar levels and helping combat inflammation.

So, it really is a fantastic option!

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Powdered Mace in a White Ceramic Bowl

8. Mace

Mace is an ideal substitute for ginger in cooking. Especially, for those that don’t love ginger.

It has a lighter, more delicate flavor than its relative. This makes it great for adding just a hint of spice without overpowering other ingredients. 

Mace also loses less aroma over time. Therefore, you’re guaranteed to get the same taste no matter how long it’s been simmering. 

Plus, it contains several essential minerals like iron and potassium. It is not only tasty but also nutritious.

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground mace.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of mace.

Whole Nutmeg in a White Bowl and Powdered Nutmeg in a Wooden Spoon on A Wooden Plate

9. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is an excellent substitute for ginger because of its similar taste, texture, and consistency. 

Just like ginger, nutmeg has a distinctive warmth and sweet spiciness. 

Nutmeg is a delicious substitute in baking and dessert making. Plus, it has the added benefit of being in most people’s pantries. 

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.

Powdered Turmeric Spilled on a Wooden Table Next to a Spoon of Turmeric Powder

10. Turmeric

Turmeric is an excellent substitute for ginger, thanks to its earthy flavor and sharpness.

It does not have the same level of spiciness, however.

As a bonus, turmeric is known for its medicinal properties.

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that might help to improve overall health. 

Turmeric is widely available, making it easy to find in any grocery store. 

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of turmeric.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.

Bowl Ground Cardamom with 6 Cardamom Pods On Top

11. Ground Cardamom

Ground cardamom works well as a substitute for ginger in many recipes. 

It shares properties found in ginger, such as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects.

And this piquant spice is versatile! It is used in dishes from breakfast to dessert. Although its flavor is a little bolder. 

But my favorite part is the fragrant aroma it infuses into any dish. Cardamom smells so darn good!

Ground cardamom keeps its strong flavor after cooking. The same cannot be said for all of the substitutes on this list. So, it’s quite an attractive option!

How to Substitute: Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

Note: Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom.

Best Substitute for Ginger

Cuisine: American
Servings

1

serving
Prep time

3

minutes
Total time

3

minutes

No fresh ginger, no problem. These substitutes for ginger prove there’s more than one way to add a kick to your meal! And you probably have a few already.

Ingredients

  • Option 1 – (Best for Fresh Ginger) Frozen Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon frozen ginger

  • Option 1 – (Best for Ground Ginger) Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

Instructions

  • (Best for Fresh Ginger) Frozen Ginger
  • Swap 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger with 1 tablespoon of frozen ginger.
  • (Best for Ground Ginger) Allspice
  • Swap 1 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of ground allspice.
Substitutes for Ginger

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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