9 Best Fennel Seed Substitute


Native to the Mediterranean, the fennel plant is a spice that has been utilized for culinary just as therapeutic purposes.

While fennel bulbs are being used as vegetables, the seeds are being used as a spice. They are among those mainstream flavors that are utilized widely in Italian and Indian food.

9 Best Fennel Seed Substitute

An essential understanding of fennel seed substitutes may take care of you when running out of this spice.

Individuals who are allergic to fennel seeds may choose its substitutes while planning dishes that require this flavor. Here are the nine best substitutes of Fennel Seed for you.

Anise Seeds

Both fennel seeds and anise seeds share a comparative flavor profile despite coming from two unique plants. Fennel seed’s natural name is Foeniculum vulgare, while the herbal name for anise is Pimpinella anisum.

Their flavors are comparative enough that they are at times confused with one another. Note that anise seeds are more modest than fennel seeds yet are more impactful.

This implies that you can use it in an equivalent sum when utilizing anise seed as a fennel seed substitute.

Like fennel seeds, you can utilize anise seeds whole or ground. Regarding size, anise seeds are somewhat more slender.


An ideal substitute for fennel seeds is anise seeds, as they have a comparative flavor. When contrasted with fennel, anise seeds are somewhat more modest and are sharper.

Caraway Seeds

If you do not have any of the fennel seeds, you may go for caraway seeds. Even though caraway seed comes up short on the sweet kind of fennel, it can bestow a somewhat comparative taste.

These are an individual from the fennel family and have a comparative licorice flavor and comparative appearance. In caraway seeds, there are other flavor notes alongside the licorice flavor.

Caraway isn’t as sweet as fennel and has a fairly nutty note; however, there are rye bread recipes that can be made with caraway seeds. In numerous dishes, it tends to be a satisfactory substitute.


Despite being called seeds, they are fruits yet exceptionally small and look marginally like fennel seeds. Regarding flavor, fennel seeds and caraway seeds are comparative.

Dill Seeds

You can choose another spice from the Apiaceae family on the off chance that you don’t have anise seeds, licorice, or caraway seeds nearby. Dill seeds are one more fennel relative that can fill in as a substitute.

Dill seeds have a flavor like that of caraway seeds and can be utilized similarly. Note that, like caraway seeds, they are not as delightful as fennel or anise seeds.

Dill is most usually used to make dill oil and dill tea. Additionally, they are the most loved flavoring in the USA, and numerous individuals who love eating chips and pickles will dill.


Talking about flavor, they are like caraway and can be used in numerous comparative habits. Even though they’re tart, they’re not as fragrant as fennel seeds. The flavor is stifled.

Cumin Seeds

Broadly utilized as a significant fixing in many Latin, Indian and Mexican dishes, cumin seed is possibly the most favorite flavor on the planet.

In correlation with fennel seeds, cumin seeds have a fiery taste and strong fragrance, making them marginally unique regarding flavor.

How individuals utilize these seeds in cooking is not something very similar.

At the same time, fennel seeds are normally used to season the food; while cooking, cumin seed goes about to add surface to salads, sauces, soups, tortillas, and some different dishes cooked.

It is effectively blended when utilized in powder form.


Cumin and fennel marginally contrast in flavor. If you require one teaspoon of fennel seeds, you may supplant it with an equal measure of cumin seeds. It’s also accessible as powder.

Licorice Root

The flavor of fennel seed is similar to licorice root. However, try to utilize a lesser amount of licorice, as it has a more grounded flavor when contrasted with fennel.

If you require a teaspoon of fennel, a large portion of a teaspoon of licorice would be adequate as a substitution.

Fennel tastes fundamentally the same as licorice root, which makes it a decent substitute. It tends to be utilized in both exquisite and sweet dishes.

If you use it in this form, you’ll need to soak the roots in a hot fluid and use the liquid to enhance your dish.


It’s not amazing that a spice having a marginal licorice flavor can be subbed by licorice powder. It tends to be used in both sweet and delicious dishes, very much like fennel.

Anisette Liqueur

Anisette Liqueur is a French, aniseed-imbued fluid that has a sweet flavor matched with lower alcohol content. It’s produced using a combination of anise seeds, syrup, and an impartial seasoned liquor.

Weakened with water, it’s ideal for cooking various dishes where a fluid enhancing will work pleasantly.

If you need that licorice flavor in cooked meats, add this to your dish. You’ll draw out the flavor without adjusting the texture.

If you’re settling on a sauce that requires fennel seeds yet don’t have any desire to crush them or have the sandy surface, then anise-seasoned alcohol is a savvy decision.


You can easily utilize Anisette Liqueur in various creams and sauces. Just add some to your dish as it cooks to add the licorice flavor while diminishing the consistency somewhat.


Mahlab comes in the form of seeds and powder. If you use sources, you should cook them before adding them to sweet and flavorful dishes.

This way, you can dispose of the bitter aftertaste and release the rich and fruity flavor that mixes well with an assortment of sweet dishes.

Another approach to get every one of the Mahlab kinds is to pound them down with a pestle.

Additionally, remember while substituting fennel that mahlab seeds have oils that scatter rapidly after getting in contact with the air, so you must do that directly before adding them to your dishes.


Mahlab seeds have a taste that joins among sweetness and sourness and has an inconspicuous cherry fragrance. They can be an option when supplies come up short.


Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae developed as a vegetable since the artifact. You unquestionably have a couple of celery stems at home if you’re into green smoothies.

This vegetable has a comparable surface, and it cooks quicker.

However, if you have a dish that calls for fennel, you truly don’t care for the flavor and then go after the celery.

Likewise, you can go after straightforward parsley or chives if you need to add a little flavor without the sweet compliment. Add the spice a little at a time to ensure that you like the subsequent taste.


Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae developed as a vegetable since
vestige. It’s a plant that can be eaten raw or cooked. Keep experimenting with the flavors.

Fennel Oil/Roasted Fennel

Fennel oil is separated from fennel seeds. Thus, you can utilize two drops of fennel oil as a substitute for fennel seeds.

Other than this, fennel oil has a wide scope of uses in different conditions. Fennel oil is utilized as a wellspring of Anethole.

It is utilized for alcohol applications in baked goods and desserts. If you like the fennel seeds’ flavor yet are worried that the taste is only a tad imposing, you can change how you are cooking it.

Rather than adding it raw to the dish, think about roasting it first or sweating it in margarine.


This is a simple answer for people who truly can do without the licorice taste that fennel is used for. Roasted fennel or fennel oil makes an incredible side dish for chicken or fish.


Are cumin and fennel seeds related?

Fennel seeds come from the Foeniculum vulgare plant, while cumin comes from the Cuminum cyminum plant. Both have a place with the Apiaceae family, which implies that they are connected; nonetheless, they’re pretty different plants, and their seeds have very distinct qualities.

Are nigella seeds the same as fennel seeds?

Nigella seeds are likely perhaps the most confounded flavors. Nigella is alluded to as onion seeds, black cumin, black caraway, and fennel blossom. We can call them nigella or kalonji. They are a great substitution for sesame seeds without the sweet component.

What is the difference between fennel and anise?

Anise is an annual, and fennel is a perennial. Anise seed is the sharper of the two. It is frequently utilized in Chinese five-spice powder and Indian panch phoran and confers a heavier licorice flavor than fennel. Fennel has a licorice flavor, yet one that’s less sweet or not as serious.

Bottom Line

I hope this list helped you to know about the substitutes for Fennel Seed. Share your experience with these.

Do you think we missed any reserve? Please share with us in the comments. We’ll make sure to test it out.

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About Barbara Foster

Barbara is a traveler who has traveled to more than 25 countries. She loves the variety of food she gets to experience on her trips and maintains detailed journals of her travels which she plans to publish as a book someday. She loves to bake. Her favorite cuisines are Italian, French, and Mexican.

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