The Best Simple Ras El Hanout Substitutes

Excited to try a new Moroccan recipe but don’t have any Ras el Hanout? I’ve got you covered. Here are my favourite simple Ras el Hanout substitutes.

What is Ras el Hanout?

Ras el Hanout is a Moroccan spice blend. The name literally translates to ‘top of the shop’ meaning it’s the best spice blend a spice merchant sells.

Traditional blends can include exotic ingredients like Spanish fly and hashish. My spice merchant includes the following in his blend: Paprika, Cumin, Ginger, Coriander Seed, Cassia, Turmeric, Fennel Seed, Allspice, Cardamom Green, Dill Seed, Galangal, Nutmeg, Orris root, Bay Leaves, Caraway Seed, Cayenne, Cloves, Mace, Black Pepper, Brown Cardamom, Whole Kashmiri Saffron Stigma.

It works well with meat, poultry, seafood and vegetables.

The Best Ras el Hanout Substitutes

1. Make Your Own

My go-to spice blend when I’m out of Ras el Hanout is a simple mix of equal parts ground cumin, ground coriander and smoked paprika. I sometimes add black pepper as well. The flavour profile is different but I’ve found this blend to be equally delicious. Substitute this blend 1:1

2. All Spice

All Spice tends to be included as one of the spices in Ras el Hanout. Even though All Spice has a different flavour profile, it will work well as a substitute. All Spice tends to be quite strong so start with half the recipe requirement for Ras el Hanout. You can always add more but it’s hard to subtract spice!

3. Baharat

While this blend is Lebanese rather than Moroccan, it will work in a similar (if slightly less complex) way to Ras el Hanout. Because the flavours of Baharat tend to be stronger, I’d start with less and add more as needed instead of going for a 1:1 substitution.

4. Ground Coriander

While this is a completely different vibe, plain ground coriander will give a fresh lemony spice flavour to your dish. I recently used plan coriander instead of ras el hanout in a chicken dish and the results were different but just as delicious.

More Tips for Cooking with Spice

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x