11 Delicious Cornichons Substitutes for Capers and Other Recipes

If you like a charcuterie board, you may have eaten some little green pickles with your cured meats. These pickles are called as cornichons, and they are literally small pickles. Cornichons is a French term for little horns. Gherkins are what the English name these pickles.

They are sweet with a touch of spiciness, making them great for serving as a garnish with your favorite charcuterie mainstays like sausages, pates, terrines, and so on.

Cornichons are widely available in most supermarkets and specialized food shops. If you can’t locate any, here are some suitable replacements.

  1. Dill Gherkins
  2. Capers
  3. Zucchini
  4. Pickled Vegetables
  5. Pickle Relish
  6. Salted Cucumber
  7. White Vinegar

Cornichons go well with most pig meals, such as grilled pork chops or roast pork belly. You may also put them in sandwiches. They’re also delicious with deviled eggs.

Before we get to the complete list of alternatives, let’s learn more about this little fruit and how it’s created.

11 Best Substitute For Cornichons 

Top view of cucumber cornichons or pickles in a container

Cornichons are little fruits that range in size from 2 to 7 cm. They are cylindrical, slender, and straight to slightly bent in form.

Their tips are rounded, and their skin is dark green and hard, with distinguishing bumps and delicate spines. Their flesh is crunchy and light green, and it contains a lot of water. Some are seedless, while others bear a few small seeds. [Source]

How do cornichons get their flavor? The procedure begins with a smaller variety of gherkins. They look like cucumbers, but the gherkins used to make cornichons are not truly cucumbers.

These fruits are pickled when they are approximately 1 inch to 2 inches long and have a rough feel. They are cured with salt overnight to extract the liquid, then soaked in vinegar overnight.

The vinegar-soaked gherkins are boiled for a few minutes before being transferred to jar containers. Before putting the lids on these containers, herbs and aromatics such as bay leaves, cloves, tarragon, pearl onions, and thyme are added. [Source]

Dill gherkins are at the top of our list since they are the closest alternatives for cornichons. Here is a comprehensive list of cornichon replacements.

Dill Gherkins

In terms of taste and texture, dill gherkins are the closest alternative for cornichons. Though they are not identical since dill gherkins are derived from a wider kind of cucumber.

Also, cornichons are crunchier than dill gherkins, but you won’t notice the difference in any dish. It may be used to substitute cornichons in practically any recipe that calls for them.

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The optimal replacement ratio for dill gherkins is 1:1.


Capers are manufactured from Capparis spinosa, a thorny shrub native to the Mediterranean and portions of Asia. The ones you buy at the grocery store are the plant’s green blossom buds.

Flower buds are collected before they mature, sun-dried, and preserved with salt, vinegar, wine, and brine. Capers have a taste that is both savory and briny.

They also work well in most recipes that call for cornichons. Capers have a sour and salty flavor that is comparable to cornichons. Capers give flavor and character to every meal. You may include them into pasta, seafood, and vegetable meals, as well as stews and sauces.

Caper taste varies based on the size and age of the caper bush in general. Younger, smaller buds have a little sour flavor and a delicate texture. The older the buds, the more acidic and crunchier they are.

Use an equal number of capers for every part cornichons in the recipe.


Zucchini is another good replacement for cornichons since they are both gourds (Cucurbitaceae). Although the flavor of zucchini differs somewhat from that of cornichons, it is still a viable substitute.

Keep in mind that zucchini is denser and has less moisture than cornichons. Cucumber is more bitter than zucchini.

The optimal ratio in this dish is one part zucchini to one part cornichons. However, you may make changes based on your preferences.

Simply chop the zucchini into little pieces and marinate them in vinegar with salt and spices. Then, add your pickled zucchini to any dish that calls for cornichons.

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled veggies work well in place of cornichons. Pickled veggies have a sour taste. Pickling may be done with any vegetable, although the most frequent are carrots, radishes, and cabbage.

You may simply create your own pickled veggies, but you can also buy them at your local supermarket. Pickled vegetables with the taste of cornichons may be made using water, vinegar, salt, and appropriate herbs and spices.

The ideal replacement ratio is 1:1.

Pickle Relish


Pickle relish, like jam, is a condiment. It’s created from pickled or fresh cucumbers that have been steeped in vinegar with salt, sugar, and spices. It has a fruity and tangy flavor.

It may improve the flavor of your food. It’s also a wonderful substitute for cornichons. It is often made as salsa and is widely available in most supermarkets.

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Salted Cucumber

Cucumber is an excellent replacement for cornichons. You may replicate the flavor by creating your own version. Slice the cucumbers and immerse them in salt-seasoned vinegar.

With this approach, you may achieve the crunchiness and flavor of cornichons. In many recipes, you may use salted cucumber for cornichons and not notice the difference.

White Vinegar


If you can’t locate a good alternative for cornichons, you may use white vinegar. With white vinegar, your food may take on the flavor of cornichons, enhancing it.

While white vinegar has a distinct texture and flavor than cornichons, it may provide the sharp zesty flavor that your meal may be missing if you don’t have cornichons. Any meal might benefit from the additional liquid.

White vinegar would be a decent substitute for cornichons in meals that do not need a thick texture.

Take notice that vinegar has a more acidic and harsher scent and taste. When using it, start with a tiny quantity and then adjust as needed.


Chutney has a similar tart flavor to cornichons, so it may be a good substitute for your recipes. Chutney has a tangy flavor that complements most dishes. It gives depth to your foods.

Chutney is an Indian spice that is widely used. Nutritionists consider it a healthy spice since it is gluten-free. Vegetables, fruits, herbs, sugar, various spices, and vinegar are the key components. It complements cheese and crackers in addition to improving your cuisine.

They are readily accessible at your local food shop.


Celery, a member of the Apiaceae family and farmed as a vegetable, is another appropriate substitute for cornichons. Celery is a popular culinary ingredient since it is adaptable and may be used to improve a variety of meals. It’s a root vegetable with a distinctive earthy taste.

Cooking celery brings out its sweet tart flavor, which complements many other components. In soups and stews, they work well as a replacement for cornichons.

Green Olives

You don’t have cornichons, but you do have green olives. They may be used in place of cornichons. Green olives are often plucked before they reach ripeness. Because they are initially soaked in lye before being brined in oil, they have a particular taste, flavor, and scent.

Green olives are the healthiest cornichon substitute. They include vitamins A, C, and E, which protect your skin from free radicals and the effects of aging. They’re also high in antioxidants including polyphenols, beta carotene, flavonoids, and lutein.

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The flavor of green olives varies depending on the kind. Some green olives are bitter, while others are tart or salty. They may be used in almost any meal that calls for cornichons.

Baby Dill Pickles


Baby dill pickles are delicate, moderately acidic, salty, and bursting with flavor. They have many similarities with cornichons in terms of texture and taste profile, making them an excellent substitute for cornichons. They may provide the crunch, acidity, saltiness, and subtle sweetness that cornichons contribute to any meal.

Cornichons Substitute Related FAQs

Are cornichons the same as gherkins?

Gherkins are often confused with baby pickles, although they are not the same thing. Cornichons are pickled cucumbers in the French manner. The major components are smaller than those found in supermarket shops.

They are collected while they are young, about an inch or two in length. They have a rough surface roughness.

What is the difference between cornichons and pickles?

Cornichons have a characteristic sweet-salty taste. The flavor will be determined by the herbs and spices that are added to the brine combination. Pickles, on the other hand, have a sour taste.

Are cornichons actually baby pickles?

Cornichons are little pickled vegetables with a crunchy texture and a tangy flavor. They are often served as appetizers. You may also employ them to improve the taste of the majority of your foods.

How can I choose the most suitable cornichon replacement with all these choices?

There are a few considerations:

  • Determine your goal. Do you need a side with the same taste profile as cornichon? If so, dill gherkins and baby dill pickles are ideal. However, if you want your meal to be more acidic without adding texture, white vinegar is the way to go.
  • Take into account the structure and texture of your food. Choose a recipe that will resemble the texture of cornichons, or try changing the recipes to retain the unique cornichon flavor. Your alternative should be as close to the original as possible.
  • When deciding which alternative to use, the final taste is equally as crucial. Look for components that have the most similar flavor to your selected flavor. The ideal method is to choose recipes with a comparable origin to cornichons.
  • Dietary limitations must also be considered. If you or other members of your home have food allergies, or if your diet is restricted due to a medical condition, this should be taken into account. If you need to adjust the recipes, see your doctor.


What is a cornichon substitute?

When a recipe asks for cornichons, it’s referring to dilled gherkins. If you don’t have cornichons on hand, use thin slivers of dill pickles. Remember that not all cornichons are gherkins and that not all gherkins are cornichons.

Are Capers and cornichons the same?

Cornichons are pickled French gherkin cucumbers with a crisp and acidic taste. Organic Capers (the edible flower buds of the Capparis plant) may be found in Mediterranean nations. They are gathered by hand and stored in salt or brine.

What can you substitute for Capers?

What is the best alternative for capers? Green olives, chopped! If you can locate them, use big green olives packed in water – but not the filled sort! They have the ability to simulate the saline taste of capers. If you rough cut them, you may use 1 tablespoon chopped olives for 1 tablespoon capers.

What are cornichons used for in cooking?

2 lemon and 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh parsley.Cornichons are crisp and flavorful little pickles that are often used in pâtés and sauces. Learn how to utilize leftover cornichons in your cuisine. Chop a handful of cornichons finely, then combine with 100g fresh mayo and the juice of 1 lemon.

How do the French eat cornichons?

French cornichons are small pickles with a rough exterior that are around the size of your pinky finger. The flavor is tangy, and the texture is crisp. These potent tiny cucumber relatives are ideal for appetizer platters with smoked pork and seafood, as well as deviled eggs or sandwiches.

What are cornichons also known as?

“Cornichon” is French for “gherkin.” Some gherkins are sweet, but this popular kind is brined with tarragon for a distinctively salty taste.

What do capers taste similar to?

A caper’s flavor is similar to the lemony sharpness and brininess of green olives, but with a flowery tartness of their own. Capers have a strong salty, savory taste character since they are brine-packed.

What is similar Flavour to capers?

Green olives are a good alternative for capers. Green olives have a bitter, acidic, and salty flavor that may be used in place of capers.
Olives noires. If you want something a little less strong, consider black olives.
Berries with Caper.
Peppercorns in green.

What is another name for cornichon pickles?

French gherkins, French pickles, and baby pickles are other names for them. They are a sort of pickled cucumber that may be found in a variety of recipes across the globe. The tiny, sour pickled veggies are often served accompanying charcuterie boards and are also used in many French and other European dishes.

What is a low salt substitute for capers?

Nasturtium seeds are a great caper replacement for individuals who dislike the harsh, salty taste of capers. Instead, you’ll receive a peppery taste that goes well with salads and pizza.

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