Flavorful Ginger Substitute Ideas to Use When You're in a Pinch

Fresh out of ginger? Try one of these easy ginger substitutes, which bring in all the spiced, warming notes without an extra trip to the store.

Many of us think of ginger as the golden-hued powder that gets pushed to the back of the spice cabinet until we need it for a baking recipe, such as gingersnaps or ginger-blueberry muffins. But this spicy, aromatic ingredient, which has been used in its fresh form for ages in classic Asian dishes like stir-fries and soups as well as Indian curries, has great potential beyond sweet treats. Its pungent, almost-peppery flavor can warm meats and vegetables in a flash or make an excellent addition to marinades and sauces. If you don't have any ground or fresh ginger on hand, here are some ideas for when you need a ginger substitute, stat.

sliced ginger on cutting board
Con Poulos

Substitutes for Ginger

You can easily swap in other ingredients in your spice cabinet for ginger without losing flavor.

  • For 1 tsp. fresh or ground ginger, substitute 1 tsp. ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground mace, or ground nutmeg.

Converting Fresh Ginger to Ground Ginger

If you don't have any ground ginger, you can use fresh ginger. You'll just need to use more, because ground ginger is more concentrated. For every ¼ tsp. ground ginger, use 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger in recipes. This works in the opposite direction as well. If you don't have any fresh ginger you can substitute dried ground ginger using the same ratio.

The flavor of ginger pairs well with fruits like bananas and apples. Try adding a few dashes of ground ginger or a pinch of fresh grated ginger to your favorite banana bread, banana muffins, or apple crisp. And don't forget about ginger when making savory dishes. It pairs remarkably well with Asian-inspired thai pork burgers or these tasty sweet potato wontons.

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