Caraway Seed Substitute (8 Simple Ways to Get Around)

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Caraway seed has a unique, earthy, peppery, and citrusy flavor with a hint of licorice. It can be hard to find another ingredient that offers the same flavor profile, but it is possible.

We took a long, hard look into a variety of possible alternatives to caraway seeds. Although there were many applicants, only a handful made our list.

This article will provide you with great options for caraway seed substitutes. These substitutes will impact your dish in an amazing way. So, Let’s take a look at what we found.

  • Fennel seeds
  • Anise seeds
  • Dill seeds
  • Nigella seeds
  • Dry Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Mustard seeds
  • Corriander

What is Caraway Seed?

Caraway seeds are the dried fruit of the caraway plant and not actually seeds. Yet, these are often referred to as seeds and have a similar appearance.

Caraway seeds are close relatives to carrots, fennel, parsley, and celery. The caraway seed has a unique and strong fragrance. You will see this ingredient in many traditional British recipes.

You can use caraway seed in whole form or ground. It is a sweet yet savory spice that is versatile and easy to use.

How Does it Taste?

The caraway seed has a flavor much like licorice. It is very aromatic and offers an earthy, citrusy, and peppery taste to whatever mixture it is in.

Caraway seeds are often seen in dishes such as:

  • Sausages
  • Soups
  • Curries
  • Vegetables
  • Rubs
  • Mirandes
  • Liquors
  • Bread and baked goods

8 Simple Ways to Substitute For Caraway Seeds

Now that you know about all the benefits that caraway seed offers, let’s talk about some alternatives.

We took a little time to dig into the caraway seed alternatives and found eight ingredients. All the options below provide a similar taste or aroma, making them a good candidate for a substitute.

1. Fennel Seed is a Nutritious Substitute

Fennel seed is full of nutrition. The plant’s oils provide medicinal properties and are great for cooking and baking.

Fennel seed has an anise taste with a hibiscus undertone. You can use fennel seeds in a variety of recipes, especially the sweeter ones.

You see, fennel seed offers a sweeter taste than caraway, which means you need to use it with care.

Fennel Seed Facts

  • It has a licorice flavor.
  • It is sweeter than caraway.
  • Often used for cooking and for medicinal purposes.

Learn more: Top 9 Fennel Seed Substitutes (FOR ANY RECIPES)

2. Dill Seed For a Citrusy Punch

Dill is an herb from the celery family. Most people use this spice to flavor foods like marinades, salads, and stews.

Even though dill does provide the licorice flavor of caraway, it also offers a citrus punch. We compare this flavor to that of a lemon.

This ingredient can be a replacement for caraway, but be careful with the amount you add.

Dill Seed Facts

  • It has a citrusy flavor.
  • It is part of the celery family.
  • It is often found in salads, stews, and marinades.

3. Anise seed For A Big Licorice Flavor

So far, the common thread seems to be that sweet yet spicy licorice flavor. Well, anise seed is no different. This ingredient has a massive licorice presence and will show it off in any dish.

While you can buy anise in whole seed form, it is more common to use it as a powder. If your recipe calls for caraway, you can bet anis seed will make an excellent substitution.

Anise Seed Facts

  • It has a subtle, sweet undertone.
  • Used in Middle Eastern, Italian, and Mexican cuisines
  • It comes in whole seed and powder form.

Learn more: 9 Anise Seed Substitutes You Might Already Have NOW!

4. Nigella Seeds for a Caraway Appearance

Nigella seeds come from a small plant in Western Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. This plant grows pretty bluish purple flowers, but it is the seed that we are most impressed with.

The Nigella Seed has an aromatic flavor similar to oregano. These seeds are small, black, and come in the same shape as caraway. These characteristics are what put Nigella seeds on our caraway substitute list. (*)

Nigella Seed Facts:

  • It has a similar flavor as oregano.
  • It looks a lot like caraway seeds.
  • It is a common ingredient in Western Asia, Eastern Europe, and Middle Eastern dishes.

5. Dried Oregano For a Sweet and Spicy Flavor

Another option you might want to consider is using dried oregano as a caraway substitute. This ingredient carries a sweet, sour, and spicy flavor. It is one of the many spices that provide a wide range of tastes.

Unlike caraway seeds, oregano doesn’t have a licorice flavor. What it does have is that same peppery undertone and a mixture of potent aromas.

Dried oregano looks nothing like caraway seeds. You never want to use it in recipes that need this spice for its appearance. It is also important to note that dried oregano has a stronger flavor compared to fresh; use it with caution.

Dried Oregano Facts:

  • It has the same peppery flavor as caraway seeds.
  • It offers a strong and potent aroma and flavor.
  • It is often used in Italian and Mexican dishes.

6. Cumin Looks A lot Like Caraway

Cumin is a small plant from the Mediterranean to Central Asia. This aromatic seed comes from the parsley family and is most popular in the powdered form.

Cumin is one of the most popular spices in the culinary world. This spice is often a yellowish brown color and is an addition to many spice blends.

This seed has a similar appearance and flavor makeup as caraway seeds. The biggest difference between these two ingredients is cumin’s earthy undertone.

Cumin Facts

  • Cumin has an earthy undertone.
  • Cumin looks like caraway seeds
  • Cuman is one of the most popular spices used today.

Learn more: What Can I Substitute For Cumin?

7. Mustard Seeds are a Must Try

Mustard seeds give off a similar array of flavors as caraway seeds. It helps that both products provide a warm and earthy tone.

The most notable difference between caraway and mustard seed is their appearance. Caraway seeds are small, oval, and black, whereas mustard seeds are round and yellow.

Mustard seeds can be an ideal substitute for caraway seeds in recipes for stews, sauces, and soups.

Mustard Seed Facts

  • It looks completely different from caraway, with a yellow shade and round shape.
  • Used for dishes like stews, soups, and sauces.
  • It offers a warm, earthy flavor.

Learn more: The Best Mustard Seed Substitutes

8. Coriander Seeds Make the Perfect Caraway Seed Substitute

Corriander seeds have an interesting flavor profile that mimics that of caraway well. It is a spice offering an earthy tone with hints of citrus and nutty taste.

Because coriander is so close to caraway, it can be a great substitute in man dishes. Some of the best recipes for the swap include

  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Biscuits
  • Bread

This ingredient is a good alternative to caraway. And is perfect for everything from sweet treats to savory dinners.

Coriander Facts

  • It has a flavor mixture of citrus, nutty, and earthy tones.
  • You can use it in sweet and savory dishes.
  • It is one of the best substitutes for caraway.

Great Recipes With Caraway Seed

We found a bunch of great recipes online that use caraway seed as an ingredient. To show you all the many ways you can use this product, we listed a few of our favorites below.

  • Caraway Seed Cake– If you are a fan of almonds, this caraway seed cake is perfect for you. Click here for the full recipe.
  • Buttered Cabbage with Caraway– This cabbage recipe uses caraway seeds, black pepper, celery seeds, and butter to create a delicious, mouth watering dish. Click here for the full recipe.
  • Irish Soda Bread with Caraway Seeds– This Irish soda bread is a fabulous recipe for St. Patrick’s day. Click here for the full recipe.
  • Egg Noodles in Caraway Butter– Can you think of a better comfort food than egg noodles in creamy caraway butter? Try this dish out; click here for the full recipe.
  • Caraway Pork Roast- You will never look at another pork roast the same way again. Try this delicious pork roast recipe utilizing caraway seeds. Click here for the full recipe.

Remember, if you don’t have any caraway seeds on hand, you can use one of our alternatives.


If you are looking for fantastic caraway substitutes for the, we have you covered. You can use any one of the items listed above for an amazing flavor in any dish.

Caraway seeds provide a unique flavor and can bring a dish together with a small amount. Even so, it can still have replacements that work well when needed.


Where Can You Buy Caraway Seed?

You can buy caraway seeds from almost any grocery store. You will find this product in the spice section in the aisle with baking ingredients.

What Are The Best Dishes for Caraway Seeds?

Although caraway seeds can be a great addition to many recipes, it is best for flavoring meat. You can use caraway to flavoring to turn any bland dish into a delicious recipe.

Are there Health Risks to Using Caraway Seeds?

Caraway seeds are pretty safe as an ingredient in a recipe. Eating too much can cause upset stomachs, belching, bloating, and heartburn.

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