White Pepper: Peppery, Powdery, and Ground Alternatives 

White pepper is more popular around French and Chinese cuisines.

The French love that peppery goodness in their creamy salads and sauces. It’s best used to add a subtle touch of spice to your white pasta, or to add a nice bite to your creamy white soup, or simply as a condiment for when you’re having pizza for dinner.

White Pepper Alternatives

You get the distinctive flavor you want with white pepper, but with a less pungent feel to it than its black category. It is essentially a milder spice relative to black pepper, plus you don’t have to deal with the black specks you get with the latter.

Although processed from the same berry as black and green pepper, white pepper goes through a fermentation procedure that changes everything. It gives way to a change in how the spice functions.

Hence, you’re always aware it’s a peppery heat in your food but the kind that doesn’t linger in your nostrils too long. But be careful, peppercorns breathe identity, and too much white pepper will overtake and consume the rest of the flavors in your food in no time!

Health Benefits of White Pepper: At a Glance

  • Great for stimulating tastebuds and bringing back an appetite to eat
  • An efficient anti-inflammatory agent for bowel issues like constipation and boosting metabolism
  • Makes up for a fresh breath
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Cleanses the body of toxins and chemicals and promotes healthy blood circulation
  • Helps tackle heart diseases early on

What do experts say about the health benefits of white pepper?

“White pepper helps in preventing cancer by preventing formation of free radicals. It also aids in weight loss due to the presence of capsaicin, that burns fat in the body.” –  Monisha, a Delhi-based Nutritionist  

Peppery Business 

If it’s white pepper you’re looking to substitute, why not go for an entire peppery course? We have black pepper, green pepper, and of course pink pepper.

The formers belonging to the same family tree (Piper Nigrum), and the latter boasting an unnoticeable similarity with the Piper berries. But to put things frankly, all three colors are really ‘levels’ to the spice you want to add to your recipe. Let’s break it down.

Black Pepper: Heat Level Max

  • Black peppercorns come from the same plant that gives us the white kind
  • They are the same berries but go through a different processing
  • Black peppercorns retain their skin during the drying stage; white peppercorns do not
  • Black peppercorns have numerous properties that white peppercorns do not, and because of this, they are hotter, have a more robust flavor, and a distinct aroma.
  • White pepper has a milder and more earthy flavor in comparison.
  • Black pepper is more commonly used in colorful, mouth-watering dishes for its bold flavor and overpowering scent.
  • Therefore, keeping the differences in mind, use half a teaspoon of black pepper for every teaspoon of white pepper
  • Black pepper offers numerous health benefits, including boosting metabolism, fighting heart and liver diseases, improving digestion, aiding weight loss, etc.

Monisha, a Delhi-based Nutritionist, says “Black pepper aids digestion by stimulating enzymes and juices. It is also a remedy that cures cold and cough by stimulating circulation and mucous flow.”  

Green Pepper: Heat Level Mild 

  • Green peppercorns also come from the Piper Nigrum plant but go through an entirely different processing.
  • Unlike black peppercorns, green peppercorns are picked quite early before maturing. They are the unripe versions of black peppercorns.
  • You’ll find green peppercorns in pickled form, and that too can be used in some dishes that you’d typically use white pepper in.
  • Don’t worry because you can find dried green peppercorns that you can later ground for precise use.
  • Green pepper goes better in light-colored dishes, especially when you don’t have white pepper and want to avoid using black pepper.
  • Green pepper is much milder than white pepper, so always use more of it to cover up.
  • It is rich in vitamins, like Vitamin C. This helps absorb iron more readily and tackles iron deficiencies like Anemia.
  • Green pepper promotes eye health because of a chemical compound it consists of called ‘lutein’. Lutein is what gives foods like carrots and eggs their orange and yellow colors and is known to improve eye health.
  • Among other vitamins, green pepper comes with Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Potassium, etc.

Pink Pepper: Heat Level Match!

  • Although pink peppercorns aren’t authentic peppercorns, they do a fine job.
  • Pink pepper is a spice rooting from South America and look quite similar to its black and white counterparts.
  • Pink pepper share the most similar wavelength of spice with white pepper; you use the same amount of it as you would with white pepper.
  • Their light tone blends in perfectly with colorless dishes.
  • Pink pepper is a natural remedy for menstrual spasms, rheumatism, bronchitis, and UTIs.
  • It can also be taken orally to treat colds, coughs, and asthma.

A Grounded Grind & Some Powdery Business 

When it comes to ground and powder alternatives, there’s plenty to choose from. If you want a yellow solution, there’s turmeric powder, mustard powder, and ground ginger.

There’s also fiery red paprika powder and cayenne powder to go with if you want more colors. Sometimes, that white pepper is too dull to bring the crowd together in a rejuvenating dinner-table conversation, and let this following list convince you why.

Turmeric Powder

  • Turmeric powder has a milder flavor and heat level. But its taste is more particular and needs to be catered to when adding to recipes
  • Turmeric powder is also a great anti-inflammatory agent, helps prevent cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
  • Turmeric powder is also great at tackling age-related illnesses and slows aging down.
  • Turmeric powder is a natural remedy for skincare.
  •  Be attentive when adding turmeric powder to your food as a white pepper alternative, because its distinctive taste can overtake the overall flavor, so add conservatively as you go.

Paprika Powder

  • Paprika comes from red peppers and can add a red hue to your food.
  • Paprika powder has a sweet peppery scent and a sweet and spicy taste.
  • It is generally more robust than white pepper in terms of flavor and taste.
  • Paprika powder goes great with meat marinades and more pungent food.
  • You can ground paprika at home to get fresh paprika powder quickly at home.
  • Paprika, like turmeric, shares antioxidant properties while improving your immune system, promoting digestive health, reducing possibilities of developing cancer and heart diseases.
  • Since paprika is spicier and red in color, use in small amounts to adjust to taste.

Cayenne Powder

  • Cayenne powder is hotter than paprika and definitely more potent in flavor than white pepper.
  • Cayenne powder is famous for its versatility; it goes with a range of dishes like meat stews, stir-fries, spicy chicken curry, etc.
  • It is available in mild to high spice levels, so if you’re unsure about the end result, go with the softest spice level just to be safe.
  • ⅛ teaspoon is an excellent measurement to begin with.

Ground Cumin 

  • Ground cumin is an uncommon choice but goes well with most white pepper recipes.
  • It is milder and has an inviting fragrance that will boost the overall taste of your dish.
  • For each teaspoon of white pepper, begin with ½ a teaspoon of ground cumin and then alter as required.
  • Cumin has a unique, earthy taste with a hint of spice and goes great hummus, all kinds of meat, and adds more depth to any food you cook.
  • Health benefits include anticancer properties, antioxidant properties, improves digestion, fights against bacteria. and strengthens the immune system, may aid in lowering blood cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, etc.

Ground Mustard

  • Ground mustard is an excellent alternative to white pepper when in powder form.
  • A light yellow color means it won’t change the overall tone of the dish by much.
  • Sharp flavor and subtly spicy, it blends in perfectly in white sauces, goes nicely with beef recipes, and when butter or cheese are involved.
  • Using too much can make your food turn yellow, and that can be a bummer if not intended.
  • Has similar flavor and spice levels, making it an ideal substitute for white pepper; however, a pinch or two should be more than enough.
  • Mustard may prevent cancer, tackle symptoms of contact dermatitis offers immunity against infections, etc.

Ground Ginger

  • Ground ginger will be your best friend when you’re out of peppery solutions.
  • It has a yellow color, a spicier flavor, and a bold aroma; therefore, add ground ginger in conservative amounts only.
  • Ground ginger mixes in with creamy food, light-colored sauces just as well as white pepper.
  • Best used in stews, soups, and meat dressings.
  • It has numerous health benefits that include easing period cramps, reduces nauseating feeling, its antibacterial properties aid in keeping your mouth healthy, preventing gum infections, etc.
  • Ground ginger is also known to decline cancer growth, ease arthritis symptoms, relax sore muscles, lowers blood sugar levels, etc.


1. What’s the primary difference between white pepper and black pepper?

Although they come from the same plant, they are harvested and processed differently. Black peppercorns dry with their skin while white peppercorns do not. Black pepper is stronger in flavor and spice, while the latter is milder.

2. Why is white pepper more expensive than black pepper?

White pepper goes through lengthy processing and more layers of harvesting, making it more expensive.

3. Why is white pepper good at preventing heart diseases?

Peppers of any kind have anti-inflammatory properties and some even keep the immune system healthy. These reasons make white pepper a healthy spice to incorporate in your eating routine.

4. What are some of the recipes that go hand in hand with white pepper?

Casserole dishes, meat stews, soups, white pasta, creamy sauce, etc. are all excellent recipes to pick from if you want to use white pepper or any of its substitutes.


White pepper is a marvel among spices and makes your recipes more appealing to taste. It’s hard to keep track of all the groceries you’re running out of, let alone the spices and herbs.

This comprehensive list of various alternatives gives you a wider perspective to cooking the finest recipes while ensuring the quality isn’t hindered. Moreover, the added health benefits go a long way into your eating habits and who knows? You may find a new favorite spice to replace white pepper for some time too.

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