Substitutes for White Pepper

White Pepper
White Pepper

White pepper is commonly used in creams, light-colored dishes, and white sauces. White peppers are also used in many French dishes for their ability to disappear in creamy sauces, but they are also a good option when you need a milder pepper flavor than you would get from black peppers. White pepper is used greatly in recipes for appearance only, usually in white sauces where you might not want dark specks. Knowing that the black specks will show, You can substitute black pepper for white pepper.

The best substitutes for White pepper are:

Black pepper

Black pepper

Adding black pepper to light-colored dishes, which demands white pepper, gives a similar taste but with black specks. Black pepper has a much stronger flavor than white pepper, so you may want to add less to maintain the taste of your pasta. You could use ½ teaspoon of black pepper instead of 1 teaspoon of white pepper for an appealing taste.


Black peppers come from the same Piper nigrum plant as white peppercorns. They are the same fruit at different stages of ripeness, and that has been processed differently. Black peppers have several compounds not found in white peppers, resulting in a more intense aroma and heat.

Green Pepper

Green Pepper

Green pepper is another great substitute for white pepper as it is less visible than black pepper and retains the presentation of your dish. It is generally available in two forms; pickled and dried. It tastes milder than white pepper, so you must add 1 ½ teaspoons of green pepper instead of 1 teaspoon of white pepper.

Pink Pepper

Pink Pepper

Light in color, pink pepper is the best fit for dishes that are light in appearance. Add it in the same quantity as white pepper and feel no difference in the taste. In addition to the fact that they look like true peppercorns, they also have a light taste similar to that of peppercorns. They make a great substitute for white peppercorns because of their mild peppery taste and their light color makes them a better fit for paler dishes. Use pink peppercorns as a 1:1 substitute for white peppercorns.

Ground Ginger

Ground Ginger

Pale in color and similar in taste to ground white pepper, ground ginger can easily blend in your recipe and act as a great white pepper substitute. Ground ginger has a mild spiciness along with a pale color that is similar to that of ground white peppercorns. It does not have as strong a flavor as fresh ginger and should work well in many applications requiring white peppercorns.

Ground Mustard

Ground Mustard

Ground mustard may give a yellow tinge to your sauces, but it serves as a good substitute for white pepper. Its spiciness can smoothly replicate white pepper’s flavor. Ground mustard has a sharp flavor, mild heat, and a pale yellow color. The color and the gentle heat make it an effective alternative to white pepper in most applications.

Facts Summary Table

Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
Black Pepper Pungent, spicy Coarse, granulated Seasoning, marinades, sauces Dried and ground peppercorns
Green Pepper Mild, slightly tangy Crunchy, crisp Salads, stir-fries, garnishes Fresh, unripe pepper
Pink Pepper Delicate, fruity, peppery Crunchy, berry-like Salads, seafood, desserts Dried berries of Schinus species
Ground Ginger Warm, zesty, aromatic Fine powder Baking, Asian dishes, beverages Dried and ground ginger root
Ground Mustard Pungent, tangy Fine powder Sauces, dressings, rubs Ground seeds of mustard plant


Can I use red pepper instead of white pepper?

Red pepper (typically red chili flakes or powder) has a different flavor and heat level than white pepper. While you can use red pepper in some recipes, it might alter the taste and color of the dish.

What is a substitute for white pepper in Chinese food?

Black pepper is a common substitute for white pepper in Chinese food. It provides a similar peppery flavor but might be slightly more noticeable in appearance.

What does white pepper do to a dish?

White pepper adds subtle heat and zing to dishes without adding the visible black specks that black pepper would. It’s often used in lighter-colored dishes to maintain a consistent appearance.

Is there a difference between white pepper and regular pepper?

Yes, there’s a difference. White pepper comes from the same peppercorn as black pepper, but it’s processed differently. The outer layer is removed, resulting in a milder flavor and lighter color. Regular or black pepper includes the outer layer and has a stronger taste.


White pepper is a versatile spice that can be used in various dishes. However, it is not always available or may not be to everyone’s taste. If you are looking for a substitute for white pepper, a few options will work well in a pinch. The best substitute for white pepper will depend on the flavor profile of your dish and your personal preferences. Some good substitutes for white pepper include black pepper, green peppercorns, and Sichuan peppercorns.

Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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