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Tasty Tweaks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Pomegranate Molasses

Cooking is an art, and sometimes we find ourselves missing a key color from our palette. Pomegranate molasses is one of those unique ingredients that can truly make a dish pop. However, it’s not always at hand.

We’ve all been there, ready to whip up a storm in the kitchen only to realize that one special ingredient is missing. No need to pause your cooking plans. We’ve got you covered with five amazing substitutes that will keep your culinary creativity flowing.

Our experiences have taught us the importance of improvisation in the kitchen. These alternatives may even become your new favorites.

What is Pomegranate Molasses?

what is pomegranate molasses

First, let’s get one thing straight – molasses are sugars that have been removed from their source.

In the case of pomegranate molasses, these sugars are extracted from pomegranates.

The process for making pomegranate molasses is much like that of apple cider.

Pomegranates are crushed, the juices are collected, and then boiled until they turn into a thick syrup.

Finally, sugar may be added to reduce the tartness of the product.

So what’s so special about this sweetener? One taste and you’ll see that the tartness is unique and wonderful.

The pomegranate molasses we offer at Olive Nation contains no preservatives – it is all-natural.

Pomegranate molasses can be used to substitute balsamic vinegar or lemon juice in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and desserts.

It is also great as a glaze for roasted vegetables.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a rich and tangy syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice.

It adds a unique and vibrant flavor to dishes, but if you don’t have pomegranate molasses on hand or are looking for alternatives, there are several substitutes that can provide a similar taste.

Check out our top 5 best substitutes for this unique product:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Balsamic Vinegar and SugarSweet and tangy flavor combination1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
Fresh Pomegranate SeedsProvides a burst of tangy sweetnessUse 1 tablespoon of fresh pomegranate seeds per tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
Cranberry Juice ConcentrateTangy and slightly sweet flavorUse equal parts cranberry juice concentrate as a substitute for pomegranate molasses
Grenadine SyrupSweet and fruity flavorUse equal parts grenadine syrup as a substitute for pomegranate molasses
Pomegranate Juice with SugarSimilar flavor profile to pomegranate molasses with added sweetnessReduce pomegranate juice by half and add sugar to taste

Now let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Balsamic Vinegar and Sugar

balsamic vinegar and sugar

Another option is to use balsamic vinegar and sugar.

This may depend on what you’re cooking, but the taste will be somewhat similar.

Sugar will add sweetness, while balsamic vinegar will add a bit of tartness.

Beware that too much sugar can change the original taste quite a bit.

Also, consider that many balsamic vinegars contain added sugar, so pay careful attention to the ingredients.

First, mix the balsamic and sugar and then reduce it over low heat when using this substitute.

Remember that you may need to add a bit more vinegar during cooking due to evaporation.

Proper Ratio: Mix 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar with 1 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of pomegranate molasses required in your recipe.

2 – Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

fresh pomegranate seeds

If you have fresh pomegranate seeds, they can be used in many different ways, similar to the taste of pomegranate molasses.

Keep in mind that you may need to add some water or even lemon juice when cooking with them.

These seeds are very tart.

So if you want to balance out the flavors, add some sugar or honey.

Proper Ratio: Use 1 tablespoon of fresh pomegranate seeds as a substitute for every tablespoon of pomegranate molasses in your recipe.

3 – Cranberry Juice Concentrate

cranberry juice concentrate

Cranberry juice concentrate doesn’t need to be cooked.

It is great simply because it adds an intense tart-sweet taste that’s very close to the flavor of pomegranate molasses.

The interesting thing about this substitute is that you can use it as a sauce or glaze for roasted chicken, pork, veggies, and even lamb.

In addition, cranberry juice concentrate is thicker than pomegranate molasses.

So you may need to add a bit of water during cooking – the flavor will still be great.

When cooking with cranberry juice concentrate, keep in mind that it may lose its intense flavor.

If you’re planning to use the sauce as a glaze and want the original strong flavor, add it at the end.

Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of cranberry juice concentrate as a substitute for pomegranate molasses in your recipe.

4 – Grenadine Syrup

grenadine syrup

Grenadine syrup is a sweet red liquid normally added to cocktails and other drinks.

However, there are many interesting alternatives.

Grenadine syrup may be used to substitute for pomegranate molasses in food dishes like stews, sauces, marinades, or even desserts.

This substitute works well with dishes that involve meat, seafood, or poultry.

However, it’s important to note that many foods lose their flavor with this substitution.

The interesting thing about grenadine syrup is that it contains citric acid – the sweetness is usually added through sugar or corn syrup.

You may also find some brands that contain food coloring and flavoring.

Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of grenadine syrup as a substitute for pomegranate molasses in your recipe.

5 – Pomegranate Juice with Sugar

pomegranate juice with sugar

Last but not least, pomegranate juice with sugar is truly delicious.

If you’re making a sauce or marinade, mix pomegranate juice and sugar – this substitution will taste great.

When cooking with this substitute, keep in mind that you may add some water or even lemon juice if the sauce becomes too thick.

You can also add some dried fruits or nuts to balance the flavors.

It’s important to note that there are many different types of pomegranate juice on the market – so always read labels.

Some brands contain added sugar or corn syrup.

You may even find added flavorings or colorings in some brands.

And remember – check the label before buying.

The healthiest pomegranate juice is 100 percent pure, with no added sugars or flavors of any kind.

Proper Ratio: Reduce pomegranate juice by half over low heat, then add sugar to taste. Adjust the amount of sugar based on desired sweetness.


These substitutes can effectively replace pomegranate molasses in your recipes, offering similar flavors and characteristics.

However, keep in mind that each substitute may alter the overall taste and texture of the dish to some extent.

Adjust the ratios according to your personal preference and the specific recipe you are preparing.


Pomegranate molasses is a delicious ingredient that adds tart-sweet flavor to many dishes.

However, if you can’t find it in your local grocery store, other substitutes are worth trying.

Depending on what you’re cooking, you can experiment with many different substitutes for pomegranate molasses.

Keep in mind that the best substitute is fresh pomegranate seeds – but other options can be found at local grocery stores.

These products all have their unique tastes and textures.

So before heading to the store, take a look at the list above and choose what you like best.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pomegranate Molasses

Looking for alternatives to pomegranate molasses? Your search ends here! We've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes that will seamlessly replace pomegranate molasses in your recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Balsamic Vinegar and Sugar
  • Fresh Pomegranate Seeds
  • Cranberry Juice Concentrate
  • Grenadine Syrup
  • Pomegranate Juice with Sugar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for pomegranate molasses
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