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The 5 Best Substitutes for Pink Peppercorns

Have you been particularly fond of a certain spice recently? No matter how much you use it, one that seems to last forever.

That spice is pink peppercorns- a type of berry that has been used in cooking for thousands of years and is increasingly becoming a favorite among professional chefs.

They are not related to the more commonly known black, white, and green peppercorns.

Pink peppercorns taste spicy, with a hint of sweet aftertaste.

The peppercorns are often used in sauces, dressings, and marinades.

They can also serve as a colorful garnish for desserts and other dishes.

However, what if pink peppercorns aren’t readily available for your next meal? There are five great substitutes that you can use in its place.

What is Pink Peppercorn?

what is pink peppercorn

Pink peppercorn is a spice derived from the berries of an Asiatic shrub.

Pink peppercorn has a sweet, mildly spicy flavor with hints of citrus and fruit undertones.

It is often used in salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and desserts.

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The berries are commonly dried before being used in cooking.

Pink peppercorns have a similar appearance to black pepper but are sweeter, milder, and lack the heat of black pepper.

Furthermore, the two spices have different flavors – while black pepper is pungent and spicy, pink peppercorn is sweet and aromatic.

The taste is similar to a mixture of berries, pepper, and cherry.

Most people find the taste of pink peppercorns too strong, so it is often mixed with black pepper.

Those sensitive to piperine (the compound that gives the hotness of chili peppers) may tolerate pink peppercorn more than black pepper.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pink Peppercorns

If you are unable to find a pink peppercorn substitute, you can use any of the following instead:

1 – White Peppers

white peppers

White peppers are an excellent substitute for pink peppercorns.

The flavor is milder than black pepper because the pepper’s skin has already been removed before drying.

White peppers generally have a sweeter flavor than black peppercorns.

It has a slightly peppery aftertaste, and just like all other types of peppers, it has a spicy kick.

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White peppers are more common in the United States but consumed in Europe.

When trying to substitute it for pink peppercorn, bear in mind that the flavor is milder.

2 – Green Peppercorns

green peppercorns

Green peppercorn is not simply unripe peppercorns.

It’s the fruit of a small climbing vine.

The berries are picked and then dried immediately.

Bear in mind that green peppercorns generally have a stronger and more peppery flavor than pink peppercorn and black pepper.

This spice is most commonly used in sauces and dressings.

Green peppercorns are grown and consumed worldwide.

However, they are most popular in Europe and the United States, especially in French cuisine.

Depending on your taste, you might need to add more of this spice.

However, you mustn’t add too much because an overdose can cause heartburn.

3 – Sichuan Pepper

sichuan pepper

Sichuan pepper is one of the most popular spices used in Chinese cuisine.

It has a fragrant and citrusy flavor with a hint of heat.

It’s often used in salads, soups, and sauces.

Sichuan pepper is often added as a crunchy element to stir-fry dishes.

In addition, it may be used as a key component of Chinese five-spice powder.

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This spice comes from the Sichuan province in China after being harvested from the prickly ash tree.

Sichuan peppercorns are available in the United States and Europe to enjoy Chinese cuisine.

It is also worth noting that they can be used as replacements for pink peppercorns or as a standalone spice.

4 – Black Peppercorns

black peppercorns

This is often the most suitable option.

Bear in mind that black pepper has a very pungent and spicy flavor.

Thus, it’s not recommended for those who don’t want to add any heat to their meals.

Black peppercorns are ground into a fine powder and then added to many different dishes or sprinkled on top.

This spice is typically produced in India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Brazil.

Black peppercorns are available throughout the world.

This may be the best option for those who don’t want to add heat to their meals.

5 – Mix of Peppercorns

mix of peppercorns

If you’re unable to find any of the above spices, a mixture of peppercorns may be the solution.

Blends are most common with black and pink peppercorns but can also consist of white or green pepper.

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Pink peppercorns are sweet and have a stronger flavor than black pepper, so it is not recommended for sensitivity to spicy food.

If you’re unable to find pink peppercorns, any of the above spices may be used instead.

However, keep in mind that they all vary in flavor, and it’s best to experiment until you get the correct taste.


Pink peppercorns are a spice that is popular in gourmet cuisine.

However, you may not find it at your local grocery store.

Therefore, if pink peppercorn is a key ingredient in the dish you’re planning to make, bear in mind that there are several alternatives.

In addition, these substitutes can also be used as replacements for pink peppercorns if you cannot find them.

Depending on your taste, you can mix different salt and spices until you find your perfect blend.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pink Peppercorns

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pink Peppercorns
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • White Peppers
  • Green Peppercorns
  • Sichuan Pepper
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Mix of Peppercorns


  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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