List of Caper Substitutes for Cooking: We had a total of 16 people.

Capers are renowned to improve foods and brighten their color from antipasti to eggs, especially when paired with fish in tartar sauce.

They are very acidic and leave tangy, salty, bitter, and sour flavors. Capers may hold their taste for months if kept immersed in brine.

If you require capers in a dish but don’t have any on hand, or if you simply want a more acceptable and healthier option (since you’ve reached your quercetin limit), there are various caper substitutes you may use.

  1. Green Olives
  2. Black Olives
  3. Kalamata Olives
  4. Nasturtium Buds
  5. Fresh Thyme
  6. Green Peppercorns
  7. Dill Pickles
  8. Lemon
  9. Lime

Every single option presented in this article adds a distinct taste to the meal, therefore you must determine what flavor you want the replacement component to contribute to your dish. You may then make the best replacement.

16 Best Substitute For Caper 

Capers are derived from the prickly Mediterranean plant Capparis Spinosa. They are the small green flower buds that are commonly preserved in aqueous brine or pickled in vinegar.

They may also be cured in salt. When preserving in salt, rinse well before using in a recipe.

Aside from being healthful when taken in moderation, capers offer a lot of flavor in a tiny package. They enhance the flavor of numerous foods, including sauces, salads, chicken piccata, fish dishes, and pasta puttanesca. Some folks, though, may find the taste they offer a little too strong.

Green Olives

If you want capers in your meal but don’t have any on hand, one of the better and probably more accessible substitutes is green olives.

Green olives, like capers, have a bitter and salty taste character, making them an excellent replacement.

Casseroles, chicken piccata, salads, and sauces may all benefit from the swap. The two substances’ hues are similarly comparable. To make the replacement, first cut the green olives into little pieces.

Black Olives​

If you want to use olives instead of capers but don’t have any green ones on hand, black olives are a fine replacement. Because black olives were left on the tree for a longer period of time before being picked, they are softer and have a less strong taste.

When used in place of capers, black olives will give your meal a less powerful salty and bitter explosion. To acquire the finest taste, choose high-quality olives from your neighborhood deli.

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Kalamata Olives

Kalamata olives are another good caper replacement from the olive family. Kalamata olives, like green olives, have an oily, acidic, and savory taste that most people like in their meal.

This sort of olive has a deeper green tint and may change the color of your cuisine. To replace for capers, cut the kalamata olives to the desired size for your meal.

The substitution ratio will be determined by the size of the olives available. Two capers for every regular-sized kalamata olive is a good rule of thumb.

Nasturtium Buds

You may use nasturtium buds as a substitute if you want to be a little more imaginative. If you dislike the bitter taste of capers, the edible flower bud is a wonderful substitute.

Nasturtium imparts a strong peppery taste to your food. Nasturtium may be purchased from both specialty food shops and gardening stores. Because of its scarcity, you may desire to cultivate some at home. This way, you may eat them whenever they are in season.

The key to utilizing this option is to utilize the buds when they are still green and immature, then place them in a tiny jar with onion, garlic, dill, and vinegar, and refrigerate the mixture until ready to use. Nasturtium blossom is an eye-catching garnish on its own.

Fresh Thyme

If you like herbs, fresh thyme may be used in place of capers since it has a similar sharpness and lemony taste.

However, since the replacement produces a more pungent-tasting meal, don’t use too much fresh thyme.

If you want to use dried thyme instead of fresh, use a bit less of the item since dried thyme has a stronger taste.

Fresh thyme is best used as a substitute for capers in prepared meals when capers are not the major element.

Green peppercorns

Green peppercorns are a good choice for adding visual interest to your meal. The green variety is a rather uncommon black peppercorn variation that is the result of early harvesting. As a consequence, the great spiciness that black peppercorns are renowned for is lost.

Green peppercorns are an excellent caper substitute if you want your meal to preserve the same look as when using capers. After all, the appearances are almost identical. The greatest aspect is that the mildly flavored peppercorns will not overpower the flavor of the meal.

Dill pickles

If you run out of capers when making salads, antipasto, or tartar sauce, dill pickles may save the day. Dill pickles, also known as cornichons, combine sweet and tart flavors in a single mouthful.

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Dill pickles are a delicious complement to pasta salads, tartar sauce, and antipasto when sliced. It has a distinct taste profile than capers and a sharper texture. Dill pickles lack the extremely bitter flavor of capers.


A squeeze of lemon adds a wonderful acidic finishing touch to your meal or salad dressing in place of capers. A sprinkling of freshly ground pepper will aid in the creation of a little bitter flavor with some bite.

The amount of lemon you swap for caper will depend on your taste. In most circumstances, a little squeeze over your meal is all that is required.


When substituting lime for capers, follow the same method as when substituting lemon juice. However, the flavor may change significantly. Lime is a little spicier than capers.

Depending on the recipe, you may use the pulp of the lime, but be sure that the seeds do not wind up in your cuisine. Use lime extensively to produce the same amount of acidity as capers. Taste as you go to ensure you’re not dominating the meal.

Finely Chopped Pickled Onions

Pickled onions have an astringent taste and a strong vinegar flavor. Finely chopped pickled onions may be used in place of capers in a variety of recipes.

To use in lieu of capers, chop the pickles into smaller pieces beforehand. Make use of the 1:1 substitution ratio. Depending on your taste, you may opt to use a lower quantity of pickled onions.


If you’re making a slow-cooked dinner and want to add some salty taste, anchovies are a good option. Yes, you can substitute anchovies for capers! Anchovies and capers are clearly quite different in many aspects. But you’ll be amazed and thrilled when you start using capers in almost all of your dishes.

The main thing to keep in mind when substituting thin fish for capers is that you need to use much less anchovies than capers. This is due to the fish’s saltiness, oiliness, and intense fish taste.

The quantity of anchovies you use will be determined by the taste you desire in your salads, sauces, and cooked foods. Similarly, since anchovies dissolve when cooked, you can’t get the texture that capers do.

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Artichoke Hearts

If you’re seeking for caper substitutes but only have artichoke hearts on hand, you’re in luck! The component will work well as a replacement in a variety of meals. You’re also fortunate to have artichoke hearts on hand, since they’re not always easy to come by.

Depending on what you have on hand, you can marinate or pickle artichoke hearts. Simply drain and trim the vegetables into the appropriate size before using. Add artichoke hearts as a replacement for capers, depending on the flavor you prefer.

Mustard Greens

If you’re not a fan of pickled foods, maybe you’ll appreciate your favorite recipes with a twist. To produce a spicy, peppery taste, substitute mustard greens for the capers.

Just be sure you sauté the mustard greens with some salt first. This will assist your food to have a caper taste.


If you want a milder taste, substitute caperberries for the capers. Don’t be fooled since the two are not the same, despite the fact that they both come from the caper bush. Capers are the unopened buds of the shrub, while caperberries are the fruits.

Pickled caperberries are larger and include seeds. When compared to capers, their taste is significantly milder. This is an excellent replacement for those who like to keep the taste of their foods intact.


When you’re looking for a caper substitute, go no further than your pantry. Sure, vinegar has considerably more acidity and no citrus taste, but it would be a good alternative anyway.

Add the same quantity of vinegar as you would lime or lemon juice to replace capers. Just bear in mind that the taste will vary.

Vinegar has an acidic and bitter flavor that complements every cuisine, from salads to cooked foods.

Red or White Wine

If you want to be a bit more daring with your substitute, why not try substituting white or red wine for the capers? Wine will not provide the same taste as capers. Instead, your meal will have fruity and acidic undertones, which some people may appreciate.

Remember that both red and white wine contain alcohol. As a result, you should avoid giving the meal to minors or persons who do not want alcohol in their cuisine.


What is a substitute for capers in cooking?

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 is a substitute for capers in tartar sauce?

Instead of capers, I prefer to use sliced dill pickles. Some pickle juice is used to thin the sauce, but you may use the same quantity of lemon juice instead. Most recipes ask for white vinegar with sugar added; I prefer rice wine vinegar, which meets both criteria.

Can you omit capers in chicken piccata?

Capers aren’t for everyone, so feel free to skip them even if they lend a salty taste to the meal. If you don’t have capers but have meaty green olives on hand, cut them up and add them to the recipe. They’ll give you a salty bite.

What spice can I substitute for capers?

peppercorns, green

This alternative for capers is a convincing lookalike. Green peppercorns are less spicy and powerful than black peppercorns, so use them without fear of overpowering the meal. Use them right out of the jar, or make your own with water, salt, and lemon.

What do capers taste like flavor?

Capers: What Do They Taste Like? Capers, despite their tiny size, deliver a powerful taste punch: they’re acidic and provide a lemony, olivey blast of flavor to recipes. The mustard oil (methyl isothiocyanate) produced by glucocapparin molecules gives the caper its intensity.

What is in the same family as capers?

Because both families generate glucosinolate (mustard oil) chemicals, the Capparaceae have long been regarded closely related to and often placed in the Brassicaceae, the mustard family (APG, 1998).

Do Italians cook with capers?

Meat dinners, pizzas, and a variety of other Italian meals are available. Tartar sauce, which is frequently served with cured or cold-smoked salmon, also contains capers.Capers in Italian Food

Capers are used in a variety of pasta and seafood recipes.

What is the purpose of capers in a recipe?

What Is the Purpose of Capers? Capers are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, notably in seafood dishes like baked fish and pasta sauces like puttanesca. However, they also provide a salty, savory, lemony flavor to a variety of foods, including hallmark caper recipes like chicken piccata.

What sauce is made of mayonnaise and capers?

Remoulade is a typical French sauce prepared of mayonnaise, herbs, capers, pickles, and maybe some anchovy oil or horseradish.

Do you rinse capers from the jar?

Capers at the grocery store will be pickled and packaged in either salt or brine. If they’re packed in brine, drain and rinse before using to eliminate some of the salinity. Capers with salt should be soaked in water for around 15 minutes before being washed.

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