Best Substitutes For Anise Seeds: Guide To Delicious Alternatives

As a chef, I have used many substitutes for anise seeds in my dishes, and I found that fennel seeds are the best alternative for ground anise seeds. They give the same flavor and aroma and work well in baked goods, soups, and stews.

However, if you run out of anise seeds in the middle of a recipe and need a quick replacement, try adding a few drops of anise extract or a pinch of ground fennel seeds. It might not be the perfect substitute, but it will enhance the taste and aroma of your dish.

Read on for more of the best substitutes for anise seeds that will help you to get the same flavor and aroma and enhance the taste of your dishes.

What Are Anise Seeds?

Anise seeds.
Anise seeds.

Anise seeds are small, oval-shaped seeds that come from the anise plant, scientifically known as Pimpinella anisum.

They have a distinct sweet and licorice-like flavor. Anise seeds are often used as a spice in cooking and baking, imparting a unique aroma and taste to dishes.

They are commonly used in desserts, bread, and beverages, including teas and liqueurs.

Anise seeds are also known for their potential digestive benefits and are used in traditional medicine for their soothing properties.

Best Substitutes For Anise Seeds

Here are my most favorite and best go-to substitutes for anise seeds, I hope this list helps you the next time you are running around looking for an alternative.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are one of the best alternatives to anise seeds to use in your dishes. Both have a licorice-like flavor, and fennel seeds can easily be found in any grocery store. It is recommended to use ground fennel for ground anise seeds and fennel seeds for whole anise seeds. The ratio should be one to one, so if your recipe calls for one teaspoon of anise seeds, use one teaspoon of fennel seeds instead.

Star Anise

Star anise is another excellent substitute for anise seeds. It has a slightly stronger and sweeter flavor than anise seeds, but it still gives the food the licorice flavor. Star anise is especially suitable for savory dishes, and it is often used in Chinese cuisine. One whole star anise is equivalent to one teaspoon of anise seeds.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds, although they have a slightly different flavor from anise seeds, are a great substitute for them. They have a nutty, sweet flavor, and they work well in a variety of dishes, from bread to stews. The ratio is one to one, so use one teaspoon of caraway seeds for one teaspoon of anise seeds.

Licorice Root Powder

Licorice root powder has the same flavor as anise seeds, and it is a perfect alternative for those who want to avoid seeds in their dishes. It is sweeter than anise seeds, so make sure to use it in moderation. The ratio is one to one, so use one teaspoon of licorice root powder for one teaspoon of anise seeds.


What Is The Difference Between Fennel Seeds And Anise Seeds?

Although fennel seeds and anise seeds have a similar licorice-like flavor, they come from different plants and have a slightly different taste. Fennel seeds have a milder, sweeter flavor, while anise seeds have a more intense flavor. However, they can be used interchangeably in many recipes.

Can I Use Anise Extract Instead Of Anise Seeds?

Yes, you can use anise extract instead of anise seeds. However, keep in mind that anise extract is more concentrated than anise seeds, so you will need to use less of it. The ratio is about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of anise extract to 1 teaspoon of anise seeds.

What Can I Use Instead Of Star Anise?

If you don’t have star anise, you can use anise seeds, fennel seeds, or Chinese Five Spice powder instead.

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.