If You're Out Of Nutmeg, This Is The Best Substitute

Nutmeg has a warm, spicy, and earthy aroma that reminds many of the holiday season, partially because it's a staple in recipes like gingerbread (via Allrecipes) and eggnog (via Allrecipes).

However, nutmeg can be called for in recipes year-round. For example, even some fettuccine Alfredo recipes call for a healthy shake of nutmeg (via Food). But what's to be done if you were a bit heavy-handed with your nutmeg over the holidays and your spice drawer is now lacking?

Luckily, there are a number of effective substitutes, all of which can be used at a one to one ratio — which means there are no complicated calculations needed. You simply use it as you would use nutmeg.

The most logical replacement is mace (via Healthline). If you've got some in your spice rack, go with that. Mace comes from the same plant as nutmeg, the Myristica fragrans tree, but whereas nutmeg is the seed of the plant, mace comes from the covering of the seed.

Additional nutmeg substitutes

If you're okay with your dish taking on the flavor of additional spices, garam masala might be a good fit. Garam masala is a blend used in Indian dishes that consists of a variety of spices including nutmeg. On top of that, though, it also includes cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom which will certainly add a range of flavors to your dish along with the nutmeg.

If you're making something with a festive flavor, you can replace nutmeg with pumpkin pie spice. It doesn't contain any pumpkin in it, but is typically used to flavor pumpkin pies. Like garam masala, it typically includes some nutmeg, along with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves.

While allspice is sometimes mistakenly thought to be a blend of all major spices (an understandable mistake to be sure) it actually comes from the berries from one specific evergreen tree known as the Pimenta dioica. While it doesn't actually consist of any nutmeg, people say that it has a flavor akin to it, in addition to hints of pepper, juniper, and cinnamon.