White Pepper Substitutes You May Already Have on Hand

Out of white pepper? No problem! We're sharing white pepper substitutes and tips for using ground pepper.

Whether it's in a savory recipe or on the table to add a little extra spice to your meal, pepper (and its many forms) is a staple ingredient in pretty much every household. We can bet black pepper is already in your pantry, but what happens when you come across a recipe calling for white pepper? Can you substitute black pepper for white pepper? That depends. A lot of recipes call for white pepper to keep the appearance of dishes (think cheese sauces or creamy soups) clean without little dark specks, but the fact is, white pepper and black pepper differ more than just appearance. Read on to find out the best white pepper substitutes for your recipes.

\White Pepper spice

Substituting Black Pepper for White Pepper

Other than the color, white pepper is milder in flavor than black pepper. You can certainly substitute black pepper for white pepper, knowing that the black specks will show. If the specks don't bother you, you may want to start with less black pepper than the white pepper called for and adjust the flavor as you go.

White Pepper vs. Black Pepper

Black and white pepper both come from the same berry plant. The difference is white peppercorns are dried, fully ripened berries that have had their black hulls removed. Their clean, spicy flavor is reminiscent of roasted nuts.

Other White Pepper Substitutes

If you're fresh out of black pepper, too, here are some additional white pepper substitutes to keep in mind:

  • Ground ginger: It's not an exact match for flavor, but a little ground ginger will give some mild spice while keeping the color profile.
  • Ground mustard: Yes, this one's yellow, but the flavor is also mild with a bit of heat. It'll work great as a white pepper substitute in macaroni and cheese.
  • Other peppercorns: If you have pink, green, or a multicolored blend, you can also swap them in for white pepper. As with the black pepper note above, you'll want to start with a lower amount first.

If you bought a jar of white pepper for a specific dish, put it to good use in a new recipe such as these savory pumpkin scones or a creamy Béarnaise sauce to go atop grilled chicken.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles