The Best Simple Capers Substitutes

capers substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Capers? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Capers substitutes.

What are Capers?

Capers are the edible flowers from the Caper Bush. While they can be eaten fresh, they are generally preserved in either salt or vinegar and eaten in their delicious pickled form. The flavour is slightly floral with a salty briney tang.

Caper Berries are the actual fruit from the caper bush. The berries are larger and have a stronger flavour in a similar manner.

Simple Capers Substitutes

1. Olives

While olives tend to be stronger and of course more ‘olive-y’ they will work in most cases where capers are used. Green olives are a closer match than black.

2. Gerkins or Cornichons

Diced cornichons or gerkins or even dill pickles will provide a little burst of punchy flavour that can work well to replace your capers.

3. Caper Berries

If you do happen to have caper berries, they can be diced and used to replace the caper flowers. Just start by adding less because their flavour is more intense.

4. Roast Almonds or Pinenuts

If your recipe calls for fried capers to add as a crispy topping to a dish, roast nuts will provide a similar textural and flavour highlight.

5. Feta

This is taking things in a completely different direction but crumbled feta can provide a salty tang to replace your capers.

6. Fresh Herbs

Again, this is taking things in a completely different direction but torn fresh herbs like basil, flat leaf parsley or tarragon will add a different aromatic flavour highlight to replace the floral notes of your capers.

7. Preserved Lemons

Another left field idea, but diced preserved lemon flesh will add a tangy freshness to your dish in a similar manner to capers. As preserved lemon tends to be super salty, start with less and add more as needed.

8. Sea Salt Flakes

If you don’t have any of the above, a good spinkle of sea salt flakes will go some way to making up the salty flavour burst of your caper berries.

How to Store Capers

In an airtight container in your pantry. Once a jar of pickled capers is open I keep them in the fridge.

Capers Flavour Pairings

  • Anchovy & Capers
  • Fish & Capers
  • Olive & Capers
  • Tuna & Capers
  • Cream & Capers
  • Dill & Capers

More Articles Similar to Capers Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x