4 Best Substitutes for Capers in Cooking (Updated 2024)

Capers substitutes

Are you missing capers in your ingredient list? If so, check our top substitutes for capers in this article.

Whether you’re preparing some appetizing sandwiches, a nice plate of pasta, or a nutritious salad dressing, these pickled flower buds are sure to make your dish even more delightful. But what are some good substitutes for capers if you don’t have any on hand?

Fortunately, tons of different seasonings are worthy replacements for capers. So, you can now remain faithful to your pre-planned meals without compromising their taste.

Here are a few of the most recognized and appreciated caper substitutes that will make your cooking even more spectacular.

Read on…

Best Substitutes for Capers

Now you know what capers are; it’s time to discover what substitutes you can use to replicate their distinct, bitter flavor.

1. Green Olives

Green Olives as Alternative to Capers

Since olives offer the same pungent taste as capers, they can serve as a good replacement.

Not only are they blessed with the same color as capers, but they also promise tons of health benefits, including antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and many more.


However, since they are also much bigger, it’s best to cut the olives into half to replicate the size of capers.

This way, whether you want to prepare a nice casserole or chicken piccata, you are sure to arrive at the same salty, bitter flavor that will exhibit the appearance associated with capers.

2. Thyme

Thyme as Alternative to Capers

Another savory addition you could use when you’ve run out of capers is none other than aromatic thyme.

Since this ingredient acts as an herb, it comes with a broad range of health benefits, including Vitamin A, iron, and carotenoids.

Moreover, it also offers a strong, bitter taste that can be used as a good substitute for your favorite pickled flower buds when preparing a special sauce or casserole.

However, if you want to maximize its culinary potential, use fresh thyme early in your cooking. This way, the fragrance, and flavor can fully absorb into the other ingredients; hence, making your dish even more delectable and soothing to the taste.

3. Nasturtium Buds

Nasturtium Buds as Alternative to Capers

Serving as another edible flower, nasturtium buds come as a potential substitute for capers. This ingredient promises a peppery flavor rather than a bitter one.

However, it still serves as a good flavor enhancer perfect for salad, pasta, or any sauce.

It’s best to pick these edible flowers when they’re still young and have a greenish complexion.

Once you’ve collected enough buds, put them into a small container, and mix them with other flavor enhancers, such as vinegar, onion, and garlic. Once finished, leave the mixture until you need to use it in your cooking.

This will help create an even more impressive flavoring power that will leave your cooking with a mouthwatering fragrance and delectable taste.

4. Green Peppercorns

Green Peppercorns as Substitute to Capers

Another alternative you should try is a green peppercorn. Since this ingredient has the same color and appearance as capers, you can use it to replicate the latter’s visual appeal.

Aside from this, their fruity flavor, which overpowers both white and black pepper, also comes as a must-have when preparing your dish.

However, to remain faithful to the taste of capers, it’s best to brine the green peppercorns first. To do so, you’ll only need to brine them with lemon, turmeric powder, and salt for a few hours before adding them to your dish.

What are Capers?

Since we reviewed the best caper substitutes, let’s discuss what exactly capers are. Often used as a seasoning, these green, round condiments are the unripened flower buds of the caper bush, dried in the sun and later brined or packed in salt.

Given their bitter taste, they add texture and tanginess to a variety of recipes.

The Bottom Line

Who says you need to delay your cooking just because you’ve run out of capers to complete your recipe? With these worthy substitutes, you are sure to still arrive at your preferred dish without hurting its overall flavor.

Don’t hesitate to try any of these caper substitutes and see for yourselves what you like best.


4 Best Capers Substitutes

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Best Capers Substitutes

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