Guide to Ingredient Substitutions

You’re all set to cook, but you realize you’re out of bread crumbs or fresh basil. Here are some work-arounds to help you out in the kitchen.

Spices Wendell Webber

Use: fresh lime juice or half the amount of white or red wine vinegar


Fresh Basil
Use: fresh mint (slightly less) or fresh cilantro


Dry Bread Crumbs
Use: crushed cracker crumbs, cornflakes, or croutons


Chili Powder
For 1 teaspoon, use: 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1⁄4 teaspoon dried cumin, and a dash of bottled hot sauce


Kosher Salt
Use: fine table salt, substituting 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 the amount called for


Fresh Cilantro
Use: fresh flat-leaf parsley


Use: Colby, Monterey Jack, or American


Fresh Herbs
Use: the dried version, substituting 1⁄3 the amount called for


Use: cinnamon, ginger, or allspice (for sweet, not savory, recipes)


For 1 cup, use: 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar), plus enough milk to equal 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes)


Use: pecorino or Asiago



Don’t be caught empty-handed again. Download our checklists to learn which basic spices and gourmet spices you should always keep in your pantry.



Read More About:Herbs & Spices

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Quick Tip

Mint leaves

The pesto can be made up to 1 day in advance. Cover it with a thin layer of oil to prevent the mint from browning, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.