What can you substitute saffron with? Saffron substitutes include saffron powder, turmeric, safflower, annatto, cardamom, curry powder, marigold, and reddish food coloring.

Saffron is extracted from the flowers of the saffron crocus and is used, among other things, as a spice. In addition, however, it is also a remedy, a dye as well as a fragrance. We have focused on the best saffron alternatives below. The best substitutes and alternatives for saffron:

  1. Saffron powder

Saffron powder is one of the best alternatives for regular saffron because the powder is ultimately made from dried saffron. Thus, this can also be used for many of the same purposes: Among other things, saffron rice can be made from it. Furthermore, saffron powder is suitable for adding a special flavor or fragrance to various dishes. Just like saffron, saffron powder is of course also characterized by health benefits. This is not least due to the high content of antioxidants.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric can be used primarily to replace saffron because of its color, after all, the spice is characterized by an intense yellow hue. It should be noted that the taste of turmeric does not resemble the taste of saffron, but rather turns out bitter and spicy. However, even small amounts are sufficient to provide an intense and yellow hue to most dishes. In addition, turmeric is also suitable as a spice for all oriental dishes. There are also some health benefits from it: Turmeric has a particularly positive effect on digestion. In addition, this can help against Alzheimer’s disease, strokes and chronic inflammation.

  1. Safflower

Since safflower has the same shape and color as saffron, it is the perfect alternative. Only the taste of safflower differs from saffron and is much milder. Thus, safflower can be used exclusively as a substitute for saffron when it comes to coloring dishes. In this course, safflower can be used for the preparation of a wide variety of dishes.

  1. Anatto

Anatto is a powder that is characterized by an intense yellow hue, making it a perfect substitute for saffron when it comes to replacing the color of the latter. For example, anatto is suitable for coloring all rice dishes. However, the taste of the spice differs significantly from saffron: Anatto tastes reminiscent of pepper. The combination of anatto and cheese, for example, is also particularly popular. Anatto also has health benefits, because the spice is rich in vitamin E.

  1. Cardamom

Cardamom is suitable as a substitute for saffron, as it can be used for many of the same purposes: The spice is especially good for preparing various rice dishes and pasta dishes. All curry dishes can also be prepared with cardamom. Due to the sweet and spicy taste, the spice is also suitable for the preparation of various baked goods. Cardamom is characterized by numerous health benefits, because in the spice is a high content of essential oils. Among other things, these have a decongestant and digestive effect. In addition, cardamom helps with severe stomach pain.


  1. Curry powder

Since curry powder is finally characterized by an intense yellowish hue, this can also be used as an alternative for saffron. Advantageous are the many different application possibilities of curry powder: This can be used among other things for the preparation of rice dishes and noodle dishes and provides here for a yellowish hue. In addition, marinades for meat and fish can be prepared from the powder. Curry powder is also a delicious ingredient in various sauces and dips. Curry powder is typically composed of turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili, fenugreek, mustard body and black pepper. However, depending on the variety, there may be other ingredients in the powder.

  1. Marigold

The marigold is one of the most common flowers used as a substitute for saffron. This is due to the fact that it has a similar taste and color. Among other things, the flowers of the marigold can be used for the preparation of curry dishes and other oriental dishes. In addition, they can be used to garnish numerous dishes. Many manufacturers of food coloring already offer it in the shade “saffron”, so there is no need to search for the right shade at all. Food coloring as a substitute for saffron is available in both liquid and powder form.