5 Best Green Peppercorns Substitute – What Can Replace Green Peppercorns?

If you find a pile of dry, circular seeds among spice stock, you may have met peppercorns. Contrary to common belief, green peppercorns are one of the most used ingredients in Asian cuisine, and their popularity is slowly growing in the US and European countries. 

If you are lucky to have these seeds in your kitchen, you can make stunning side dishes combining with protein to make a fancy entree. But if you don’t have these seeds available for a recipe or cannot find where to buy green peppercorns, check out our green peppercorns substitute presented in this article. 

Let’s go!

What Are Green Peppercorns?

green peppercorns substitute

What are green peppercorns? Green peppercorns are fresh-fruit pepper or peppercorn seeds from Piper nigrum flowering vine plant. Originally from India, green peppercorns are an essential species used widely in cooking and medicine-practicing as a fennel seed substitute

Indian citizens from historical periods have discovered green peppercorns and treated them like a particular cure ever since. Over time, green peppercorns slowly moved their path to Thailand, Cambodia, and many Asian countries as healthy herbal spices. 

Because of its newly-harvested characteristics, fresh green peppercorns are often stored in the pickled form to expand their longevity, making green peppercorns in brine the most popular way to enjoy this spice. Although dried green peppercorns are tastier in comparison, this snack does not have a long shelf life. 

Once you have decided to dry out green peppercorns, you should consume them as fast as possible, or else they will go bad quickly. Green peppercorns have a mild flavor that goes well with protein and vegetables. 

Recommended Green Peppercorns Substitute

1. White Peppercorns

White peppercorns
White Peppercorns

To your surprise, the peppercorn family has more members than green peppercorns only. However, the good thing is that they can substitute each other effectively while one runs out. 

Among all attendees to substitute for green peppercorns, white peppercorn is the most suitable one. From the color, texture, and nutritional value, white peppercorns have all it takes to become a green peppercorn replacement. 

White peppercorns have a mild appearance and mild flavor that can be a stunning side dish, coming from the exact origin of green peppercorns. The soft white color of white peppercorns can substitute for peppercorns in making creamy sauce or mashed pureed. White peppercorn is also an excellent choice of substitute for white pepper

One more notable thing about white peppercorns is that unlike green peppercorns are unripe berry seeds; white peppercorns are ripe seeds. That is why white peppercorns have a more complex flavor than green’s since they are completely ripe. 

You can use these characteristics to twist some recipes that require green peppercorns into white to have a more salty flavor engaged to the dish. This difference also requires you to be careful with white peppercorn’s cooking time – since they are ripe, they need less time to be on heat; otherwise, you can easily overcook them. 

For portion, substitute one usual piece of green peppercorns into white peppercorns, and you can enjoy your meal!

2. Pink Peppercorns

Pink peppercorns
Pink Peppercorns

Although the name “pink peppercorns” makes you think they are another member of the pepper branch, they are not. This pretty pink peppercorn substitute shares no relation with Piper nigrum, as they originate from Peruvian pepper trees. If you catch these tree’s insight, you will see pink peppercorn fruit growing from beautiful baies roses.

Although pink and green peppercorns share no similarities in origin, pink peppercorns can substitute green peppercorns with ease. 

Both species resemble the lingering mild flavor, with pink peppercorns providing extra lightweight-spicy taste as a Mexican cuisine’s thing. While cooked green peppercorn has a light-yellow substance, pink peppercorns ensure a sweet pale pink appearance, which we guarantee will look stunning in your dishes. 

If you are looking for a green peppercorn substitute to replace in a creamy sauce, dressing sauce, or a side dish to use along with seafood, you can substitute green peppercorn with pink peppercorn under a 1:1 ratio. 

3. Black Peppercorns

Black peppercorns
Black Peppercorns

Black peppercorns come from the same origin as green and white peppercorns. However, these seeds do not bear many similarities to be considered as an excellent green peppercorn substitute. The only thing you can guarantee black peppercorn will do great when replacing green corn is flavor. 

Although black peppercorns taste more salty and layered than green, you can use this taste as a twisted flavor to make your dishes bolder. About the appearance, you can only use black peppercorns to make a small mash or side dishes, as the black color does not look appealing enough when made into a sauce. 

However, black peppercorns are the most easy-to-find spices among the peppers type, so you can consider these pros and cons to decide whether to use black peppercorn as a green peppercorn substitute. 

4. Capers


Here is a perfect substitution for brined green peppercorns: capers. Many of you have known capers before, but for those of you who haven’t known, capers are edible unopened finder rosebuds that are mainly salted and pickled. Many people often ask: “Are green peppercorns the same as capers?” because of their similarities, however capers and peppercorns are unrelated.

If you place two jars of green peppercorns vs capers next to each other, you may struggle to find out their differences. Both spices are green with the spherical same-size-and-shape, so interchanging between these ingredients is easy with excellent results. 

About flavor, brined capers are salty with a light citrusy and floral note that goes well with seafood, which takes after canned green peppercorns. However, capers won’t have the similar tartness you can find at green peppercorns. 

If you want to put more tartness using capers, try to season the spice with more salt and pepper. You can substitute capers with green peppercorns, but make sure that you always get your hands on controlling the flavor since capers can be overwhelming if you include too much of it. 

5. Green Olives

Green olives
Green Olives

The last option for a green peppercorn substitute is your sweet olives. Olives don’t include any peppery spice like peppercorn, so they can substitute for your kids if they cannot stand the spicy heat. 

However, chopped olives can deliver the unique salty vibe from the pickled product if you need that taste in your recipe. Brined green peppercorns have the same appearance as green olives, so you can put on some olives for decoration if you run out of pickled peppercorns. 

What Are Tips To Remember When Substituting Green Peppercorns?

Getting a green peppercorn substitute is easy, but what matters is how you can translate them into becoming green peppercorn effectively?

Green peppercorn’s family members, such as black and white peppercorns, resemble each other well since coming out from the same branch, so you won’t have to worry much about flavor and texture when substituting green vs black peppercorns. For black peppercorns, their black color may be discouraged in some dishes, so you should be aware of how much you use them.

When it comes to pink peppercorns, they provide a subtle texture and color that resembles green peppercorns. The only disadvantage is that they can be difficult to purchase in your local market. But once you successfully find it, feel free to substitute green peppercorn with pink under the exact ratio you would use. 

Capers and olives are choices to go for if you want to substitute peppercorns in brine. These two green pickles can temporarily support replacing pickled peppercorns while ensuring great texture and flavor to your recipes.

The Final Word

And that’s the green peppercorn substitute list we hand to you today. With all these substitutes for green peppercorns, we hope you will never struggle to look for a replacement spice again. Please take a look at these spices and remember them for future use. 

Thank you for reading this article and enjoying your green peppercorns substitute.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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