5 Best Caraway Seeds Substitute: That Tastes Better and are Healthier!

Marsha Habib

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Caraway seeds have great fame to enhance the taste of some familiar dishes like rye bread, sauerkraut, etc. Plus, its distinctive flavor turns ordinary dishes into special ones. It is natural that sometimes we face run out of caraway seeds while making a dish that especially requires this spice. 

Besides, we do not have enough time to rush to the local grocer or spice shop; what would be the solution then. Let’s look at our listing of the best caraway seeds substitute that will deliver your required flavor that caraway is known to bring.

Related Informational Guides:

What Are Caraway Seeds?

caraway seeds substitute

Caraway seeds, one kind of dried fruit or achenes, are used as cooking and herbal medicine ingredients. 

Plus, just like other aromatic flowering plants (celery, parsley), caraway seeds are members of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family.

We had seen the people of the Neolithic period harvest it because of its medicinal and culinary properties. Although it is called seeds, they are not; here each fruit has a single seed. People usually dry this seed and then convert it into powder or use it as a whole. 

Now, let’s clarify a question like “what does caraway seeds taste like”. 

As for the taste, it offers a slightly bitter, earthy flavor, which is similar to anise, coriander, fennel, and licorice. The use of this seed is typically found in both savory and sweet dishes, for instance, bread, curries, stews, and pastries.

People use caraway seeds with tea or take it as a supplement while using it as a medicine. Another way to use it is as an essential oil on the skin. 

The nutrition value of 1 tablespoon (6.7 grams) caraway seeds includes:

Calories: 22Protein: 1.3 grams
Fat: 0.9 gramsCarbs: 3.34 grams
Fiber: 2.6 gramsCopper: 6.7% of the DV
Iron: 6.1% for womenMagnesium: 5.4% of the DV
Manganese: 4.8% for womenCalcium: 3.6% of the DV
Zinc: 4.6% for womenHealth-promoting antioxidants (carvone and limonene)

Top 5 Best Substitute caraway seeds Reviews:

01. Aniseeds

Best for:

Used as a substitute for caraway in baked goods. 

  • Add flavor to drinks, like coffee.
  • Add flavor to after dinner or dessert drinks. 

Not recommended for:

  • It may cause problems to people with hormone-sensitive conditions.

Among the caraway seed substitutes, aniseed lies in the top position due to having a close similarity in the flavor. This seed’s usage is typically found in Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, and German cuisine to strengthen the licorice flavor. Some items like Italian biscotti, charcuterie, and dessert also use aniseed. 

However, they have close relationships with the cumin and carrot family. The color is gray, and the shape is curved. Plus, the flavor you will find herein is licorice. That flavor makes it a good substitute for the item (bread and cookies recipes) that requires caraway. Caraway and aniseed come from the carrot family and are similar in flavors. 

Note: While using anise instead of caraway, you need to adjust the anise quantity because the caraway flavor is much stronger than the anise. Our recommendation is to take half a teaspoon of anise seeds instead of a teaspoon of caraway seeds while baking bread. 

The nutritional value of aniseeds will help you in digestion and prevent flatulence and intestinal gas. People of India typically offer this item to chew after the meal. However, to ensure a long time using aniseeds, you need to store the whole or ground in a cool and dark place. Notably, you can easily use it for three to four years, but it will lose its potency so quickly. 

One of the reliable brands with good ratings to packed organic aniseed is Starwest Botanicals store. They offer organic anise seed in a 1-pound Bag. Besides that, you can keep the Indian brand Rani Star Anise Seeds on your choice list.

02. Fennel Seeds:

Best for:

  • Enhance sweet taste to dishes.
  • It can be used as a crust for fish fillets or beef. 
  • Typical ingredients for savory foods.
  • Enhance the taste of seafood.
Not recommend for:
  • Those who are suffering from endometriosis, ovarian cancer, or uterine fibroids.

Like the aniseed, fennel seed is a carrot family member and a good substitute for caraway seeds. Many Italian, Indian, and Middle Eastern dishes use this spice due to having strong licorice. You can use it as a replacement for caraway, and the taste will remain the same. 

However, it resembles the same as caraway seeds and offers the same licorice taste. The only difference lies in color and flavor like it provides green-brownish color and meaty flavor.

When you look at the nutrition, this small item offers multiple. It includes iron, calcium, and magnesium, which help to regulate blood pressure. Moreover, you will find manganese that is considered beneficial for bone health and healing. 

Besides, a study reveals that chewing the fennel seeds will increase the nitrites amount in saliva. That increased amount will help to improve cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. 

Similar to most other spices and seeds, fennel seeds need a cool, dark place to store. But one caution is you can’t store there for more than 6 months. 

Now, let’s clarify a question like where do you find the fennel seeds? Well, from many other products here, we bring Happy Belly packed fennel seeds. You will find good positive customer reviews. Another product you can check named Frontier Co-op Fennel Seed packed by Frontier Co-op. 

03. Nigella seeds:

Best for:

  • Food preservative.
  • Add taste, aroma, and texture to your dish.
  • Make savory dishes.

Not recommend for:

  • The kidney patient should take advice before intake. 

Nigella seeds (also known as black seeds, charnushka, or kalonji) contain many health-beneficial ingredients. From Egyptian times to still, people use it widely in cooking and medicine. Like caraway, fennel, and anise seeds, nigella seed offers licorice notes that make it a worthy substitute. 

You can get it’s good benefits when you toast and fry it before adding it to your cooking. 

However, the flavor is mildly strong, and you will get a bitter, pungent, slightly smoky taste after a bite. Besides, it smells like a unique blend of oregano, peppery, and onion undertones.

You can use this to enhance the taste of curries and stews. Plus, they add oodles of flavor to many savory dishes like cheese, bread, vegetables, etc. In Ayurveda, nigella seeds have extensive use. Here included nutritional values: vitamins, crude fiber, minerals, fatty acids, iron, calcium, etc. 

Moreover, you will get antioxidants and immunity-boosting benefits from this tiny seed. 

To store, you need an air-tight container and avoid direct light or heat. Besides, if you ensure a tight lid of the box, the spice can retain freshness. Interestingly, the flavor will last for a year or more. 

Hopefully, you don’t face difficulty finding nigella seeds in your nearby departmental store. However, we bring Rani Kalonji packed by a good-rated Rani brand. Another product named Bliss of Earth Certified Organic Black Cumin Kalonji Seeds also has good customer reviews.  

04. Dill seeds:

Best for:

  • Light dishes such as cream-based soups.
  • Enhance the taste of roasts and stews. 
  • Salad dressings

Not recommend for:

  • Those who have allergies.

Dill seeds are another best alternative to caraway when you want a distinct licorice taste on your recipe. Dill seeds are also members of the carrot family just like the caraway seeds are.The fruits of the dill plant are known as the dill seeds. You can easily detect this spice with its brown line, dark in the center, and oval shape appearance.  

If you need to cook light dishes such as cream-based soups, dill seeds will help you significantly. Moreover, the dill seeds are considered ideal for recipes that are made of cabbage-like vegetables. Most Eastern European countries widely use the dill seeds to make cakes, cookies, and rye pieces of bread. 

The storing isn’t complex; instead, you can easily keep it in an air-tight container in a dry, cool, and dark place. Notably, after ensuring proper storage, you can get the best flavor for six months. 

If you are interested in buying dill seeds, you can check Organic Dill Seeds. This non-GMO spice is packed by the Food to Live in 1 pound pack. Another product is Rani Dill Seeds which is natural and GMO-free. 

 05. Star Anise

Best for:

  • Sweet dishes and desserts.
  • Use as a medicine for cough and flu. 
  • Use in savory recipes, especially the meat.
  • Fattier meat braised dishes.

Not recommend for:

  • Japanese star anise contains potent neurotoxins that may lead to seizures, hallucinations, and nausea.

Here is our last item that you can use ideally as the substitute for caraway seeds. Star anise is widely popular among the Chinese as spice and medicine. The appearance makes it a little bit different than other types of spice. It looks like a star with eight cloves, and the color is brownish-green.  

Star anise seeds offer the taste like earthy, licorice which is similar to caraway, fennel and anise seeds. When you cook a large amount of it, it will taste slightly bitter. While cooking bread and cake, you can use the star anise in replacement for the caraway seeds. 

However, the star anise seeds contain some health-promoting compounds, and those are linked to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Interestingly, Chinese and folk medicine use this spice to make tea treat nausea, constipation, respiratory infections, and other digestive issues. Also, traditional Chinese medicine uses star anise for a long time. 

Here is our Frontier Co-op Star Anise Whole packed in 1 pound bulk bag. Apart from that, you can also check another well-rated product named Slofoodgroup Whole Star Anise

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

01. Can you substitute cumin for caraway seeds?

Although caraway seeds are a bit milder than cumin, it is still a worthy caraway seeds replacement. One interesting rule of thumb is that you need to use cumin seeds as a substitute for caraway seeds, and ground cumin needs to be replaced with ground caraway. 

While using cumin as a substitute, the amount should be half the amount of caraway. After that, add more bit by bit to the taste.

02. What can I use instead of caraway seeds in sauerkraut?

While looking for a substitute for caraway seeds in sauerkraut, I find the fennel seeds. Besides that, I find the dill and anise seeds are a worthwhile replacement of caraway seeds. 

03. Are cumin seeds and caraway seeds the same?

Although cumin seeds and caraway seeds look similar, there is a slight difference in flavor. I find the solid aromatic flavor from the caraway seeds, and the cumin seeds are milder. 

04. Can I substitute celery seed for caraway seed?

Yes, while searching, I found the celery seeds are an adequate replacement for caraway seeds. I find the concentrated bursts of flavor from those two spices. Hopefully, I can use celery seed as a perfect replacement for caraway seed in potato salad, coleslaw, and similar dishes. 

05. What is the flavor of caraway seeds?

As for the flavor, I find a nutty, bittersweet sharpness from the caraway seeds. Also, I see a hint of pepper, anise, and citrus. Moreover, caraway seed has its unique flavor due to having a high concentration of natural essential oils.

06. Is black cumin caraway seed?

Black cumin comes from two different plants, and both are used as spices to enhance the taste. 

One is called black cumin (nigella), and the other is black cumin (Kala jeera). I find the similarity in the name, beyond that there is a dramatic dissimilarity in color, size and shape.

07. What’s the difference between caraway and fennel seeds?

I find the fennel and caraway seeds are relatives, but both don’t come from the same plant. The flavor of the fennel seeds is similar to the anise/licorice. On the other hand, the caraway seeds are dominated by another flavor. Plus, I find subtle differences between the appearance of the caraway and fennel seeds. 

08. What foods use caraway seeds?

Caraway seeds offer interesting and flavorful taste and are widely used in Eastern and Central Europe. People use caraway seeds to enhance biscuit taste, rye bread, stews, cakes, cheese, meat dishes, sauerkraut, and pickles. 

Notably, caraway seeds are used as a traditional ingredient to make British seed cakes. 

09. What are the benefits of caraway seeds?

Some studies reveal that caraway seeds work well against digestive problems that are associated with irritable bowel syndrome. Pulse, the caraway seeds, can be used to lower the cholesterol level. Discover more here.

10. Can caraway seeds make you sick? 

Caraway seeds have no significant adverse effect on our body while taking by mouth. Instead, it is considered safe for most people in food amounts and medicine amounts. However, it may cause heartburn, nausea, and burping if you use it with peppermint oil. 

Final Thought

Spice has a significant role in enhancing the taste of our dishes, and also it helps to retain the fresh taste of ingredients. Sometimes, we don’t find the exact ingredients for a recipe, so we want an alternative. This article on the caraway seeds substitute will help you finish the recipe even though you have no caraway seeds. 

Hopefully, your experimental cooking process will not ruin due to the missing caraway seeds. Before saying goodbye, we wish you happy cooking and want to hear your best cooking story.

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