My meals are never complete without spices and peppers.
There are so many varieties of pepper out there, and pimiento happens to be one of them.
The word pimiento is actually the Spanish name for pepper. Pimiento is usually bright red in color and is usually large in size.
Its flavor is much sweeter compared to that of bell pepper. Pimiento is commonly sold in tins and jars.
You can buy pimiento in either its striped, diced, or sliced form. It is also blended to form paprika which is one of my favorite spices.
Pimiento may be a bit difficult to find, and you may have to use an alternative in your recipes once in a while.
There are a few substitutes that work just as well as pimiento including; peppadew peppers, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg or mace, five spice powder, star anise, mixed spice, pumpkin pie spice, red bell pepper, and canned pimiento.
Before we discuss these substitutes in detail, let us educate ourselves about pimiento so that we know how best to substitute them.
What does pimiento taste like?
Pimiento is a mild pepper. It is not spicy like most other peppers. Instead, it is sweet and succulent.
You are likely to find pickled pimiento in grocery stores and specialty stores, but if you are lucky enough you can get the fresh pimiento. Use pimiento the same way you use bell peppers in your recipes.
If you are feeling motivated, you can dehydrate the peppers and grind them to form chili powder.
This is exactly how paprika is made. It is a great addition to a wide range of dishes.
Pimientos are great for stuffing, drying, pickling, and daily cooking. They are also great for sauces and dips.
Some of the popular pimiento recipes that you may have come across are southern pimiento cheese, stuffed pimiento peppers, and pickled pimiento peppers.
- Peppadew peppers
Peppadew peppers are suitable pimiento substitutes. They are sweet and spicy and are readily available, which is a plus. The spicy flavor of these peppers is quite unique, but it is also very mild.
I suggest using this substitute for stuffing and baking purposes. Alternatively, chop them up and add them to your fresh salads. You can also serve sliced peppadew peppers on toasted baguette slices.
When substituting pimiento with peppadew peppers, use the same quantity you would have used if you had pimiento.
- Ground cloves
Ground cloves also make for a decent substitute. You can use them in most recipes that call for pimiento.
I love this substitute because the cloves give dishes a sharp flavor that elevates the dish. I suggest adding ground cloves to stews, curries, casseroles, and beverages.
Substitute pimiento with ground cloves in equal amounts. The cloves will give you amazing results.
If you want a substitute that has a strong fragrance and intense flavors, cinnamon is your best bet. Cinnamon offers both fragrance and intense flavor.
Cinnamon is an ideal substitute for savory dishes. It works well on its own, but I recommend adding a little bit of nutmeg or ground cloves for the best results.
- Nutmeg or mace
Ground nutmeg or mace is another ideal substitute. I particularly love nutmeg because it is very versatile. It is an ideal pimiento substitute because it has a similar flavor and aroma.
To substitute pimiento with nutmeg, mix it with a little bit of mace or ground cloves for better results.
- Five-spice powder
The origin of the five-spice powder can be traced back to China. It has a mild flavor and is, therefore, a suitable alternative to pimiento.
The five spice powder flavor complements a wide range of savory dishes. I recommend using it in woks and curries as well.
- Star anise
Star anise is another substitute that you can use. It is a great option if you want to add a strong flavor to your dish but don’t have any pimiento in hand.
Star anise has a rather intense flavor. This makes it suitable for marinades, curries, and stews. It gives them a pimiento-like flavor.
- Mixed spice
As its name suggests, mixed spice is a combination of several spices including nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice.
Mixed spice is an ideal substitute because it offers both sweetness and mild spiciness that most people find pleasant.
You can use the mixed spice in any recipe that calls for pimiento.
- Pumpkin pie spice
Pumpkin pie spice is another ideal substitute that is often confused with mixed spice. It is a combination of allspice, nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
Although pumpkin pie spice is mostly used as an ingredient in desserts, you can use it to substitute pimiento in savory dishes.
Do not use too much of it as it can easily overwhelm your dish. I suggest only adding a pinch of it to your dish for the best results.
- Red bell pepper
Red bell pepper is arguably the most common variety of pepper out there. The fact that it is readily available is a plus. You can find red bell peppers in grocery stores or supermarkets close to where you live.
You can substitute pimiento with red bell peppers in any recipe. The bell peppers are not as sweet as pimiento but they work just fine.
Substitute pimiento with red bell pepper in equal amounts.
- Canned pimiento.
If you are unable to find fresh pimiento, I suggest you try using canned pimiento instead.
The canned pimiento is readily available in most supermarkets and grocery stores. They are also quite affordable.
Use canned pimiento the same way you use fresh pimiento in your recipes. It will give you similar results and the same amazing flavor fresh pimiento gives dishes.
Pimiento is an amazing ingredient, but unfortunately, it is not readily available in the United States.
If you come across a recipe that calls for pimiento but you have none on hand, you can always use any of the substitutes that we have discussed above.
My personal favorites are peppadew peppers, ground cloves, and cinnamon, but the other substitutes also give decent results.