Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes for Poppy Seeds

5 from 2 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes

Have you ever wondered what gives your bagel that nutty flavor? Or how to add a bit of crunch to your salad? The answer is poppy seeds.

These small, black seeds are the fruit of the opium poppy and have been used in cooking for centuries.

Poppy seeds can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and they are a common ingredient in baking, salads, and Indian cuisine.

While they are most often used as a topping or garnish, poppy seeds can be ground into a paste or used to make Poppy Seed oil.

That being said, poppy seeds can be difficult to find and are not always cheap.

So, if you’re in a pinch, here are the five best substitutes for poppy seeds.

What is Poppy Seed?

what is poppy seed

Poppy seeds are the small, dark seeds of the poppy flower.

These seeds have a mild, nutty flavor and are often used in baking.

They can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.

When used whole, poppy seeds can add a crunchy texture to baked goods.

They can also be ground into a powder and used as a thickener for sauces or soups.

Additionally, the poppy seed oil is sometimes used in salad dressings or as a finishing oil for dishes.

To toast whole poppy seeds, add them to a dry pan over medium heat.

Shake the pan frequently until the seeds are evenly toasted.

Then, remove from heat and use as desired.

Ground poppy seeds can be found pre-ground or can be made at home by pulsing whole seeds in a food processor or coffee grinder.

When storing poppy seeds, it’s best to keep them in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

Poppy seeds can be used for both sweet and savory dishes.

Try them in muffins, cakes, doughnuts, or on top of a salad.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Poppy Seeds

If you’re looking for a poppy seed substitute, you have a few options.

Here are the five best substitutes for poppy seeds.

1 – Toasted Sesame Seeds

toasted sesame seeds

Toast sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, frequently stirring, until they are golden brown and fragrant.

Watch carefully, as they can burn easily.

Once toasted, remove from the heat and let cool before using.

Toast sesame seeds add a nutty flavor and crispy texture to various dishes, including stir-fries, salads, and baked goods.

They can also be used as a garnish for soups and noodle dishes.

Toasting the seeds brings out their natural oils and enhances their flavor, so be sure to give them plenty of time to toast before removing them from the heat.

Once toasted, let them cool completely before using to prevent them from burning.

2 – Black Sesame Seeds

black sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds are the perfect way to add a little extra flavor and nutrition to your meals.

These small, nutty seeds contain essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium.

They also contain high levels of antioxidants, which can help to protect your cells from damage.

In addition to their nutritional benefits, black sesame seeds also have a delicious nutty flavor that works well in sweet and savory dishes.

Whether you use them in baking or sprinkle them on top of salads or rice dishes, black sesame seeds are a versatile and healthy ingredient that will liven up any meal.

3 – Chia Seeds

chia seeds

Chia seeds are a so-called “superfoods” that have become popular in recent years.

And for a good reason – these little seeds are packed with nutrients and offer various health benefits.

For example, chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that support heart health.

They’re also high in fiber, which can help to promote digestive regularity.

In addition, chia seeds are a good source of protein, making them a perfect addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet.

So if you’re looking for a nutritional powerhouse, add chia seeds to your grocery list.

Your body will thank you.

4 – Nigella Seeds

nigella seeds

Nigella seeds are native to Africa and the Middle East and have been used for centuries in traditional medicines.

The small, black seeds have a pungent, earthy flavor and aroma and are often used as a spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Nigella seeds are a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

They have been shown to boost immunity, fight inflammation, and protect against chronic diseases.

Nigella seeds can be used whole or ground and are available in many grocery stores and online retailers.

If you’re looking for a unique flavor addition to your next meal, consider trying nigella seeds.

5 – Flax Seeds

flax seeds

Flax seeds are an incredibly nutritious food, providing a good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

But what exactly are flax seeds, and how can you incorporate them into your diet? Flax seeds are small, brown, or golden-colored seeds that come from the flax plant.

They can be eaten whole or ground up into a powder and can be added to a variety of different dishes.

When it comes to incorporating flax seeds into your diet, the possibilities are endless.

You can add them to smoothies, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, baked goods, and more.

With so many ways to enjoy flax seeds, there’s no excuse not to add them to your diet.


In conclusion, these are the five best substitutes for poppy seeds.

If you need a replacement for poppy seeds in your baking or cooking, any of these ingredients will work well.

Just keep in mind the flavor and texture each one will add to your dish.

With a little experimentation, you’ll be able to find the perfect substitution for poppy seeds in any recipe.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Poppy Seeds

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Toasted Sesame Seeds

  • Black Sesame Seeds

  • Chia Seeds

  • Nigella Seeds

  • Flax Seeds


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

Recipe Video

About The Author