Best Allspice Substitute?


Need an allspice berries replacement in a hurry? We've got the best substitutes using the spices you probably already have on your shelf.

Sometimes referred to in Jamaica as “pimento” (Spanish for “pepper”), allspice got its name because its flavor shares some of the characteristics of these three spices along with that of peppercorns. Allspice berries are core flavor base of many South Asian dishes and varies regionally as well as from one cook to another. Be wary of pre-ground allspice berries and other pre-ground spices on store shelves- these are often ground months ago and have typically lost their flavor profile.

Best Allspice Substitute The highest quality allspice berries will have a high percentage of volatile oils, for super flavorful cooking. Once ground, the volatile oils in allspice berries dissipate quickly, losing their flavors after a few weeks or months.

If you're totally out of allspice or your ground allspice has been sitting on the shelf for far too many months (or years!), we've got some allspice substitutes for you.

Best Bets:

Equal parts cinnamon, nutmeg and clove

Any Combination of Individual Spices:





Star Anise

Black Peppercorns

Spice Blends to use in a Pinch:

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Apple Pie Spice

Best Allspice Substitutes Best Bet: Equal Parts Cloves, Nutmeg & Cinnamon

The blend of these spices can therefore create a reasonable approximation of allspice’s complex flavor. The most popular blend recipe is a combination of all three spices in equal amounts. If you recipe calls for a teaspoon of allspice, you would use a teaspoon of this blend in its place. You can omit the nutmeg or try two parts cinnamon for one part each of nutmeg and cloves. Some blends include a pinch of black pepper.

Second Choice: Any Combination Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, Black Peppercorns The powerful flavor of cloves has much in common with the flavor of allspice. However, it is important to note that the pungency of cloves can easily overpower other more delicate flavors. When using ground cloves as an allspice substitute, you will need to use less of the cloves. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of allspice, you will need to use 1/2 a teaspoon of ground clove.

Last Resort: Pumpkin Pie Spice or Apple Pie Spice Most pumpkin pie spice blends include allspice along with other spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves. The fact that allspice is one of the ingredients in pumpkin pie spice is one reason that it makes a good allspice substitute. Pumpkin pie spice is a one to one substitute, so you would use exactly the same amount of it that your recipe specifies for allspice.


  • Renata

    Your suggestion for an allspice substitute was very helpful. Thanks very much. It saved my jamaican patty filling !

  • Mitch

    Hi Kyki! We would suggest approximately a half teaspoon.

  • Kyki Nicholls

    If recipe calls for 6 berries, how much of the combination/substitute do I use?

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