11 Best White Pepper Substitutes For You

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Today, let us talk about the best white pepper substitutes. Pepper is the most commonly used spice in most countries in various parts of the world. When paired with salt, it acts as a perfectly balanced flavoring and can be added to absolutely any recipe. 

White Pepper

Though most people have this versatile spice stocked in their cabinets all the time, there are always chances of running out! In that case, just use a substitute; it will definitely work equally well! This article has the best white pepper substitutes. 

I am sure at this point you must be wondering, what are the best white pepper substitutes? Some of the best white pepper substitutes you can use are black pepper, green peppercorns, pink peppercorns, ground ginger, ground mustard, and paprika. 

However, before we start discussing the substitutes, let me tell you a little more about white pepper. This will help you understand the ingredient, making it easier for you to choose your substitute. So, let’s get started. 

Quick Peek: White Pepper

This section has all the information on white pepper. You will know what the spice is, its flavor and texture profile, uses, and nutritional benefits. 

What Is White Pepper?

White pepper, similar to black pepper, is a spice made from the berries of the pepper plant. The pepper plant is also known as ‘piper nigrum.’ White pepper comes from completely ripe berries, unlike black pepper. 

The berries are soaked and fermented, after which the outer layer is removed, leaving only the inside. This way, some of the piperine is removed along with volatile oils. Hence, it has a much milder flavor than that of black pepper. 

Describing White Pepper: Flavor And Texture

White pepper, just like black pepper, is available whole and in powder form. Whole white peppercorns are about the same size as black peppercorns, with a similar texture. 

When we talk about flavor, it is considered to be milder than that of black pepper. The flavor of white pepper is often described as grassy or slightly fermented. It also depends on the processing and handling of the spice. 

Uses Of White Pepper

White pepper, just like black pepper, is used in various recipes to add a flavor of pepper to them. It is usually used in recipes where you want a pepper flavor but don’t want black flakes in your food. 

White pepper is used quite a lot in French food, too, for visual appeal in lighter-colored food. Moreover, it is also very popular in Chinese, Swedish, and Vietnamese cooking. It can, however, be added to any recipe from any cuisine in the world. 

It can give a great flavor to soups and salads. Moreover, it pairs well with cheese and is good in marinades and eggs. It also makes a great addition to mashed potatoes instead of black pepper powder. 

White Pepper On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

White pepper is generally used in various recipes in extremely small quantities. Hence, it does not really impart any vital nutrients or minerals to food. However, regardless of that, white pepper does have various health benefits attached to it. 

White pepper is packed with antioxidants, even more than black pepper. It has anti-inflammatory properties, prevents gas, and helps with better digestion. Moreover, it also reduces blood pressure and is heart-friendly. 

On top of that, certain studies have shown that white pepper contains capsaicin. Hence, it may also help prevent prostate cancer. Moreover, since it helps keep the gut healthy, certain studies show that it may also help prevent colon cancer. 

Why Use A Substitute For White Pepper?

I am sure you must have thought of this at least once by now. While there are many reasons for using white pepper, there may be a few reasons why you can consider using a substitute. 

To start off, the flavor of white pepper is slightly milder than that of black pepper. Although there is not that big a difference in the flavor, white pepper may have a flavor that might be too subtle for certain people’s palates. 

In that case, a substitute with a sharper flavor can be used. Moreover, if you just seem to be out of white pepper, why run out to buy some when you can easily use a substitute? This will definitely save you a lot of time and energy. These might not be too many reasons. However, they are reasons good enough to consider using a substitute for white pepper.   

I think that is enough information on white pepper. Now, let me quickly take you to the main part of this article, its best substitutes. So, let us discover the best white pepper substitutes!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

11 Best White Pepper Substitutes

This section has information on all the best white pepper substitutes. Moreover, you will also get to know how to use each substitute in your recipes! So, read on to know all about them!

1. Black Pepper

Black pepper is essentially made from the same berries as white pepper. Hence, they share certain similarities in flavor. So, it can be used as a substitute for white pepper.

Black pepper will give a nice peppery kick to all your food. Moreover, it has a stronger flavor than that of white pepper. Black pepper is also a staple spice that might probably already be present in your pantry!

However, the one downside of using black pepper is that it will leave black specks in your food. White pepper is generally used to give food a peppery kick and not make alterations to the color of the dish. 

However, if that is not too much of a problem for you, black pepper definitely makes the best substitute for white pepper. Since its flavor is stronger, try using half the quantity first to substitute for white pepper. 

2. Pink Peppercorns

Pink peppercorns go through a similar fermentation process as white pepper and hence, have a mild flavor, similar to white pepper. So, they can easily be used as a substitute for white pepper. 

Pink peppercorns or even pink pepper powder can be used to substitute for white pepper. It might be a little difficult to find in certain places. However, if you do have them handy, you might as well use them as a white pepper substitute. 

The flavor of pink pepper is mild and gels extremely well with most recipes. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about the color of your dish either! Pink peppercorns have a very subtle pink hue that does not really change the color of food. 

While using it as a substitute for white pepper, you can follow the standard 1:1 ratio. In case the flavor seems too mild, you can add more later. 

3. Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns are another variety of pepper. They have a mild flavor similar to that of white pepper, making them a good substitute for the same. 

Green pepper might again be a little difficult to find everywhere. However, if you do get them handy, you can even use green pepper powder to substitute for white pepper. 

Moreover, similar to pink peppercorns, the color of green peppercorns is extremely mild. Hence, it won’t really make any changes to the color of your food. 

Since they have a milder flavor than white pepper, use green peppercorns as a substitute in a 1:2 ratio. So, add double the quantity of green pepper to get a proper fiery kick. 

4. Ground Ginger

Though it does not belong to the same family as pepper, ginger has similar earth yet spicy flavor to white pepper. Hence, it can be used as a substitute for white pepper in various recipes. 

The flavor of ground ginger generally works well in both savory and sweet recipes. Moreover, it is pale in color, similar to white pepper. Hence, it won’t change the overall color of your dish. 

As an added bonus, ground ginger is a staple found in most kitchens. Hence, that makes it a very easy swap for white pepper. However, in case your recipe already calls for ginger, you might have to adjust the quantity a bit.

Nevertheless, it can be used as a substitute for white pepper in most recipes in a 1:2 ratio. So, use half the quantity of ground ginger compared to white pepper powder so that the flavor of ginger does not overpower your food. 

5. Ground Mustard

Ground mustard carries a spicy kick to it, similar to white pepper powder. Though the flavor profile may be slightly different from that of white pepper, it can still be used as a substitute for white pepper. 

Ground mustard is another spice that is very readily available. It might already be present in a lot of people’s pantries! Ground mustard, moreover, compliments various other flavors in a dish. 

However, one downside to using ground mustard is its darker yellow hue. There are high chances of this color being imparted to the rest of your food. However, if that does not worry you, you can very well use it as a substitute for white pepper. 

Mustard powder tends to have a more complex and intense flavor as compared to white pepper, despite certain similarities. So, use half the quantity as compared to the amount of white pepper in a recipe as a substitute. 

6. Turmeric Powder

Though turmeric powder may not be the first substitute that comes to mind for white pepper, it can work in certain recipes. It has a pungent taste and a kick of warmth, along with a slight amount of bitterness. 

Turmeric powder generally makes a great substitute in Thai food and various other curries. It will provide a hint of spice that can be quite similar to that of white pepper. Moreover, turmeric powder has various health benefits too!

Again, a downside of using turmeric is the color. Turmeric will definitely stain your food and give it a yellow color. So, it might not make the best alternative for a substitute in color-specific recipes. 

However, if the color is not a problem for you, you can go ahead and use turmeric as a substitute. It can be used in a standard 1:1 ratio as a substitute. 

7. Paprika Powder

Paprika is another spice that is very readily available. It has a hint of spice to it and can be used as a substitute for white pepper in various recipes. 

Paprika comes in various forms with different heat levels, from mild to extremely hot. However, the regular variety that is in between the two extreme levels of heat works best as a substitute for white pepper. 

Papika again has the same issue as many of the substitutes mentioned here, it’s color. However, paprika tends to affect the color of food and give a red hue only if used in very large quantities. 

So, you may want to pick paprika as a substitute for recipes where a color difference is not an issue or where white pepper is used in small quantities. You can follow a 1:1 ratio for substitution. 

8. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper carries a lot of heat to it. Though it may not be an exact match to the mild flavor of white pepper, it can still be used as a substitute for the same in various recipes. 

Cayenne pepper can be a welcome change to white pepper, especially if you are fond of an extra kick of spice in your food. Cayenne pepper is, moreover, extremely easily available and might already be present in your pantry!

One good thing about cayenne pepper is that, unlike paprika and turmeric, it won’t leave a red hue in your food. So, you don’t really need to worry about the color of your food changing because of it. 

As it has a very high level of heat, use paprika very sparingly as a substitute for white pepper. Start by using ¼ teaspoon of paprika for every 1 teaspoon of white pepper. In case you want more heat, you can always add more later. 

9. Lemon Pepper Mix

Lemon pepper mix has a great flavor of peppers mixed with lemons. Along with adding a peppery flavor to food, it also gives a zingy zest to food. Hence, it can be used as a substitute for white pepper. 

The best thing about lemon pepper mix is that the lemon flavor blends extremely well with other ingredients in most recipes. It adds bursts of freshness to food which is welcome in most recipes. 

With lemon pepper mix, however, you might want to have a look at the ingredients in the mix. If certain ingredients are present in a large quantity, you can adjust the rest of the spices in your food.

Generally, while using it as a substitute for white pepper, you can do a direct 1:1 swap. However, do remember to adjust the acidity and some other ingredients so that the flavor does not get too overpowering. 

10. Garlic Pepper Mix

Garlic pepper mix is another type of spice blend commonly available in the market. It carries a pepper flavor with a zest of garlic, making it a good substitute for white pepper in various recipes. 

Most recipes usually call for a clove of garlic or garlic powder in them. Hence, this garlic pepper mix can be a great addition to such recipes, as it will bring out the flavor of garlic and blend well. 

However, similar to the lemon pepper mix, have a look at the ingredients present in the garlic pepper mix. Adjust the quantities of other spices in your food, as per the spices present in the garlic pepper mix. You can generally use garlic pepper mix as a substitute for lemon pepper mix in a 1:1 ratio. If you want a stronger flavor, you can always add more. 

11. DIY Spice Mix

DIY Spice Mix

A homemade spice mix is another great substitute for white pepper powder. Here, you can combine the spices of your liking, which is the best thing. 

If you feel like experimenting with the flavor of your food, a spice mix definitely comes in handy. To use as a substitute for white pepper, make a spice mix using cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt. 

This spice blend generally provides a good flavor that can be similar to that of white pepper. However, there is always room for experimentation! In case there are some other spices you like, you can always add them to your spice mix!

While using it as a substitute for white pepper, use this homemade spice mix in a 1:1 ratio. However, make sure you adjust the quantities of other spices in your food so that the flavor does not overpower. 

Short Recap For Best White Pepper Substitutes

I am sure that by now, you must have gone through all the best substitutes for white pepper. However, are you confused about which one would work best in your recipes? I have broken it down further into three categories to make it easier. 

Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for white pepper is black pepper. 

Easily Available: Black pepper, turmeric powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and ground ginger are the most easily available white pepper substitutes. 

Best Flavor Profile: Pink peppercorns will give the best flavor profile when used as a substitute for white pepper. 

How To Use White Pepper Substitutes In A Recipe

White Pepper

White Pepper Substitutes

White pepper is a spice made from the berries of the pepper plant. The flavor of white pepper is often described as grassy or slightly fermented. If you're out of white pepper, don't worry because it's easy to substitute it!
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  • Black Pepper
  • Pink Peppercorns
  • Green Peppercorns
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Mustard
  • Turmeric Powder
  • Paprika Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon Pepper Mix
  • Garlic Pepper Mix
  • DIY Spice Mix


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Word

As we have reached the end of this article, I hope it has helped you find the best white pepper substitute for your recipe. While white pepper is an extremely versatile ingredient, it is also an ingredient that can very easily be substituted. 

That being said, all the substitute options given above make very worthy alternatives. You can pick what works best for your recipe and as per your flavor profile. Of course, if you are in the mood to experiment, definitely try the homemade spice blend, and I am sure you will cook up a storm!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between white pepper and black pepper?

White pepper has a milder flavor as compared to black pepper as a lot of chemicals are stripped away when the skin of white pepper is removed.

What is white pepper good for?

White pepper has a lot of health benefits, amongst which some are reducing pain and inflammation.

Is white pepper healthier than black pepper?

Both white pepper and black pepper are equally healthy and carry the same health benefits.

How do you eat white pepper?

White pepper can be used in various recipes to add a kick of spice.

Can white pepper make you sick?

White pepper can make you sick only when consumed in extremely large amounts.

Which one is stronger white pepper or black pepper?

Black pepper has a stronger flavor and carries more heat.

Is white pepper good for digestion?

Yes, white pepper can be good for digestion.

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