There are several good substitutes for turmeric, depending on your dish and what qualities of turmeric you want to replace. Whether you’re looking for the color or the flavor of turmeric, I’ve got some great swap in ideas.
What to Substitute for Turmeric
Saffron (for color)
Saffron can provide a similar golden color to dishes, but it is quite expensive. Use it sparingly, as it has a unique flavor.
Curry powder often contains turmeric along with other spices like coriander, cumin, and fenugreek. It can be a good substitute if you want a blend of flavors.
Fresh or ground ginger can be used as a substitute for turmeric, especially if you’re looking for a warm, slightly spicy flavor.
Annatto is a natural food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree. It can add a yellow-orange hue to dishes but doesn’t have the same flavor profile as turmeric.
Depending on the type, paprika can add color and a mild, slightly sweet or smoky flavor to your dishes.
Cumin has a warm and earthy flavor that can be used as a substitute for turmeric, although it won’t provide the same color.
Ground coriander can contribute a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor to your dishes. While it won’t replicate the color, it can be a good addition to curries.
Mustard powder has a pungent and slightly bitter flavor, and it can add a yellow color to your dishes. Use it in moderation.
Here are some recipes that use turmeric:
- Golden Milk Latte
- Indian Butternut Squash Curry
- Persian Beef Stew
- Instant Pot Dal Recipe with Yellow Split Peas
- Black Bean Curry
- Potato Vindaloo Curry
The BEST Substitute for Turmeric
- Swap 1 teaspoon of turmeric for 1/2 teaspoon curry powder PLUS 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder.
- Enjoy in your favorite recipe.