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The 5 Best Substitutes for Licorice Root

Have you ever wondered what gives black licorice its unique flavor? The answer is licorice root.

This Parsons project is all about this underused but delicious spice.

Licorice root has a long history of use in cooking, and it’s especially popular in European and Middle Eastern cuisines.

It’s also used in some traditional medicines.

If you’re looking for a way to add some depth of flavor to your cooking, licorice root is a great option.

But what if you can’t find licorice root? Fear not.

There are several substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the best substitutes for licorice root.

What is Licorice Root?

Licorice root is a sweet-tasting herb that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries.

The roots are typically dried and powdered or used to make liquid extracts and teas.

Licorice root is native to Southern Europe and Asia and has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine.

The herb is thought to be beneficial for a variety of issues, including stomach upset and respiratory problems.

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Licorice root is also a common ingredient in candy and desserts.

It has a sweet, molasses-like flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

When used in cooking, it can be added to sweet or savory dishes.

Licorice root can also be made into a tea by simmering the roots in water or combining them with other herbal teas.

Some people find the taste of licorice root too sweet, while others enjoy its unique flavor.

Either way, it’s worth trying this versatile herb to see if it works for you.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Licorice Root

If you’re looking for a licorice root substitute, you have several options.

Here are the five best substitutes for licorice root:

1 – Licorice Extract

Licorice extract is a concentrate made from the root of the licorice plant.

It has a strong, sweet flavor that can be used to enhance the taste of many foods and beverages.

Licorice extract can be purchased in both liquid and powder form.

It is also available in different grades, depending on the concentration of the extract.

The higher the grade, the stronger the flavor.

Licorice extract can be used as a flavoring agent in baked goods, candy, ice cream, and other desserts.

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It can also be used to add sweetness to savory dishes such as chutneys and curries.

To substitute licorice extract for licorice root, use 1/8 teaspoon of extract for every ounce of root called for in the recipe.

2 – Anise

Anise, also known as aniseed, is a member of the parsley family.

It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia.

The seeds of the plant are used to flavor food and beverages.

Anise has a sweet, licorice-like flavor.

It is used to add flavor to baked goods, candy, and liqueurs.

The seeds can be used whole or ground.

Anise can also be used as a substitute for licorice root.

It has a similar taste and texture.

When substituting anise for licorice root, use 1/3 less anise than you would licorice root.

3 – Star Anise

Star anise is a popular spice used in many Asian dishes.

It has a strong, licorice-like flavor and can be used whole or ground.

The texture of the star anise is slightly chewy and crunchy.

When substituting for licorice root, it is important to use half as much star anise because it is more potent.

Ground star anise can be added to baked goods, curries, and marinades.

It can also be steeped in hot water to make tea.

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Whole star anise is often used as a decoration or to flavor liquors.

Try adding some star anise to your next dish for a unique flavor.

4 – Dandelion Root

Dandelion root is a popular herbal remedy that has been used for centuries.

It is thought to have numerous health benefits, including detoxification, digestion, and weight loss.

Dandelion root can be consumed fresh, dried, or roasted.

It has a slightly bitter taste and a crunchy texture.

When cooked, it resembles the taste and texture of sweet potatoes.

Dandelion root can be used as a substitute for licorice root in many recipes.

It can also be brewed into tea or added to soups and stews.

When taking dandelion root supplements, it is important to start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed.

High doses of the dandelion root can cause gastrointestinal distress.

5 – Valerian Root

Valerian root is a plant that is native to Europe and Asia.

It has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb, and today it is still prized for its calming and relaxing effects.

The root has a strong, pungent aroma, and it is this scent that is said to be one of the most important therapeutic components of the plant.

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The taste of valerian root is somewhat bitter, but it can be added to other herbs or sweeteners to make it more palatable.

When used as a substitute for licorice root, valerian Root can provide many of the same benefits without the characteristic sweetness.

Valerian root is available in tea form, tincture form, and capsule form.

It can also be found in some over-the-counter sleep aids.


In conclusion, licorice root is a popular flavoring agent that can be used in many different dishes.

If you are looking for a substitute for licorice root, there are several options available.

Anise, star anise, dandelion root, and valerian root are all good substitutes for licorice root.

Each of these substitutes has its own unique flavor that can add a new dimension to your cooking.

When substituting for licorice root, it is important to start with a small amount and adjust as needed.

This will help you find the perfect balance of flavor for your dish.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Licorice Root

The 5 Best Substitutes for Licorice Root
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Licorice Extract
  • Anise
  • Star Anise
  • Dandelion Root
  • Valerian Root


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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