Capers Substitutes: 13 Excellent Substitutes

Capers are an essential flavor ingredient in many recipes, from sauces to salads to pasta, but if you don’t have any on hand or can’t find them at your local grocery store, there are plenty of caper substitutes that carry the same Spicy taste and bright saltiness.Here we look at some Best Capers Alternatives Can bring a unique savory and tangy flavor to your dishes.

substitute capers

Capers are small immature flower buds from a Mediterranean bush。 They have a tangy salty and lemony taste and are often used as a topping for sauces, salads, salad dressings, sandwiches, stir-fries, pasta, or dips like hummus or guacamole. Capers can also be pickled and eaten as a condiment. A caper substitute should be able to mimic its function.

The best substitutes for capers are chopped green olives, chopped kalamata olives, lemon juice, pickles or pickled onions, green peppercorns, fresh or dried thyme, pickled or marinated artichoke hearts, anchovies , nasturtium seeds, lime juice, vinegar, and red or white wine. Read on to discover more about each option, including alternative instructions. Get more information from the FAQ section.

1. chopped green olives

green olives

Instead of capers in the kitchen, you can use large green olives soaked in water。 Green olives mimic the saltiness of capers and are a great substitute for any meal.

Roughly chop the olives before using. For best results, substitute 1 tablespoon of olives for 1 tablespoon of capers.

2. Chopped Kalamata olives

Kalamata Olives

Kalamata olives are a great substitute for capers in a variety of dishes, especially salads。 They have a lemony taste of capers that enhance the flavor of dishes. Olives also create a contrasting texture.

Replace the capers with chopped kalamata olives in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Lemon juice


If you have some lemons in your pantry, they can come in handy in place of capers in your meals。 Lemons have the same acidity and tartness as capers, which pairs well with chicken piccata. A pinch of freshly ground black pepper is added for a hint of bitterness. Lemons, on the other hand, have high acidity. Taste your meal when adding lemon so it doesn’t become too bitter.

4. Kimchi or Pickled Onions

Pickled Red Onions

Although pickles have a stronger crunch than capers, they’re still a great substitute for your meal. Pickled red onions are ideal, but you can also use pickled red onions if you don’t mind the color change.

Cut pickles or onions the size of capers and substitute in equal amounts.

5. Green pepper

green pepper

Green peppercorns are a great substitute for capers. Compared to black peppercorns, they are less pungent and intense. Green peppercorns have a balanced flavor that blends well with other ingredients so they don’t stand out in a dish.

When substituting capers, use green peppercorns straight from the jar or pickled ones. You can buy picked green peppercorns or make your own. Check out Kannamma Cooks for an easy recipe for homemade pickled bell peppers.

Replace capers with green peppers in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of capers, use 1 tablespoon of green pepper.

6. Fresh or dried thyme


While thyme might seem like a far-fetched substitute for capers, it has some qualities that make it a great substituteThyme has a pronounced pungent and lemony caper-style bitterness.

Fresh or dried thyme can be used instead of capers. Dried thyme must be used in less amount than fresh thyme, as it has a deeper flavor that can overwhelm the other ingredients of the dish if used in excess.

Thyme is a great substitute for capers in slow-cooked dishes or sauces. However, it is not the best choice in dishes where capers play a leading role.

7. Marinated or Pickled Artichoke Hearts

Pickled Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts have the same salty flavor as capers and are a great substitute。 They have an earthy quality that can add complexity to your recipes.

Pickled or marinated artichoke hearts can be used in place of capers, depending on your preference. Drain and quarter artichoke hearts before adding them to chicken, fish, or pasta recipes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

8. Anchovies


Anchovies work surprisingly well as a caper substitute。 They are rich in salt and umami. With a touch of lemon, anchovies bring out the same salty and lemony flavor of capers. However, anchovies must be used sparingly so as not to impart a strong fishy taste to your dishes.

9. Nasturtium seeds

nasturtium seeds

Nasturtium seeds are an incredible substitute for capers in most foods, thanks to their similar taste. To improve the flavor of this dish, marinate nasturtium seeds with vinegar, garlic and dill. Store any leftover nasturtium seeds in the refrigerator until the next time you need them.

Substitute nasturtium seeds for capers in a 1:1 ratio.

10. Lime Juice


Similar to lemons, limes are a good substitute for capers, although they are more bitter. Therefore, you should use less lime juice to avoid overly bitter dishes.

When following a recipe that calls for capers, simply use an equal amount of freshly squeezed lime juice. Use whole limes or freshly grated lime zest as a garnish for salads, sandwiches, and fish dishes. Add fresh lime slices to drinks like margaritas or mojitos for extra flavor without the caper sodium.

11. Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Vinegar is a great substitute for capers and should be saved for last when you have exhausted all other options。 Vinegar will add the tartness of the capers to your dish, but it’s much more acidic and doesn’t have the lemony taste. So it’s a good idea to adjust the flavor of the vinegar by adding seasonings.

Use white wine or champagne vinegar in place of the capers in recipes in equal amounts. To balance the acidity of the vinegar, a little sugar is added to replicate the mild saltiness of the capers. For a more complex flavor, add fresh herbs like thyme or parsley.

12. Red or white wine

red and white wine

Red or white wine is a good substitute for capers because of its fruity and tart taste. However, it has no brine or lemon flavor.

Use a ratio of one part red or white wine for every two parts caper brine. Heat the mixture over low heat until all the liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Add the reconstituted wine blend to sauces, dressings, marinades, or other recipes in place of the original caper brine.

common problem

Learn more about capers and their substitutes.

What’s the difference between caper berries and premium capers?

Capers are small edible flower buds that come from a species called capers. They are usually pickled in brine or vinegar. The two main varieties of capers are super capers and caper berries. Superb Capers It is the smallest species, only about 2-3 mm in diameter. They have a tangy, sour flavor and are often used as a seasoning in many dishes, such as sauces, salads, and fish. caper berriesOn the other hand, it is about three times larger than a common caper, with a diameter of about 6 mm. Unlike the premium capers, which are often pickled, most caper berries can be eaten whole because of their larger size and softer texture. Their taste is milder than that of the best capers, and they are ideal in salads, or simply as an appetizer with cheese or olives.

What’s the best substitute for capers in chicken picatta?

The best substitute for capers in chicken piccata is green olivesDue to their similar color, saltiness and taste.

Do you need to store capers in the fridge?

Yes, it is best to store caper berries in the refrigerator after opening。 They will stay fresh for up to two weeks if kept in an airtight container. For longer storage, freeze them for up to six months.

What can I substitute for the salmon capers?

There are many great substitutes for capers when it comes to salmon, such as olives, anchovies, pickles or capers.

in conclusion

If you like Mediterranean recipes, you know how important it is to have capers in your kitchen. However, if you run out of capers, you can use different substitutes such as nasturtium seeds, green olives, and green peppercorns. Use these substitutions in moderation, as they can change the flavor of your recipe.


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