10 Best Substitutes For Poppy Seeds

Poppy Seeds

Seeds are considered a very important ingredient in many ways in cooking.

There should be at least something in our kitchen cabinet either to coat our baking goods or to add in salads or other dishes. The taste and smell they provide will make your meals even tastier and harder to resist.

Poppy seeds usually find their way in our kitchen cabinet and are included in many ways in our cooking recipes. They have a nutty flavor with a crunchy texture. The poppy seeds are tiny and can be added to bagels, muffins, bread, and many more baking goods.

Usually, they are combined with other spices to create something very unique and tasty. This is a typical ingredient in many Indian and European recipes.

Poppy seeds are also very healthy and can help with various health issues, however, if you have none at hand, you probably wonder what will be the closest to replacing these seeds.

Can I substitute poppy seeds? For sure

Some of the best substitutes for poppy seeds include toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, nigella seeds, or some of the following products.

Also, we have extra tips for you, that might come in handy. Read below and find out more about what is the best alternative for your cooking recipe. 

10 Best Poppy Seeds Substitutes

Poppy seeds are unique seeds with a very crunchy and nutty taste that they may be difficult to replace in most recipes.

However, there is no need for you to worry because below are 10 substitutes that can help save almost every recipe. Also, you have an extra tip that will come in useful.

Read below and find out more about what suits your recipe best.

1. Toasted sesame seeds

Sesame Seeds

The toasting increases the taste of the seeds and actually, that is what makes them very similar. Since you can use the toasted sesame seeds as a replacement, you’ll get close results.

You can add toasted seeds in most of the recipes that require poppy seeds, as they will provide nice crunchiness. They are perfect for many baking goods with the aroma that they will be given, once it’s baked.

You can use a 1:1 ratio to replace. 

2. Black sesame seeds

Black sesame seeds

Similar to the poppy seeds are the black sesame seeds which are another suitable replacement. This substitute may be the most common one, because of the similarities they share.

The only difference is in the taste. The black sesame seeds have a stronger nutty flavor so note that when you add. Reduce the amount and increase if you feel like you need to. 

3. Sesame seeds

Sesame Oil

If you need another replacement and you only have sesame seeds in your cabinet, you won’t regret using them instead of poppy seeds.

They will provide a similar texture, even though they are larger sesame seeds will be ideal. Crunchy with savory and traces of sweetness, the sesame seeds will be perfect for any sweet and savory pastries and other baking goods.

Use either equal amounts or adjust the quantity based on the taste. 

4. Chia seeds

Chia seeds

Small, dark-colored seeds have a crunchy taste and can replace the poppy seeds in many recipes. Chia seeds also absorb liquid and expand because they have fiber.

When added to some dishes if they absorb more liquid they may turn more chewy than crunchy. It’s recommended to add it to dishes that have little or no moisture at all. 

5. Nigella seeds

Nigella Seed

Similarly to poppy seeds we have the nigella seeds which are perfect to replace them. Typically used in Indian cuisine, these seeds have a very close taste to the poppy seeds.

Suitable for savory dishes or as a topping for bread and other Indian dishes. You can add equal amounts to your recipes. 

6. Flax seeds


You can imitate the crunchy texture and nutty flavor of the poppy seeds if you use flax seeds. Very healthy and nutritious, these seeds can complement many dishes, especially the ones that require poppy seeds.

Even though the appearance may not be the same, the other important similarities are here, so use them in many recipes. 

7. Hemp seeds

Hemp seed oil

Similar to poppy seeds, hemp seeds are another substitute.

They will offer a similar flavor, but keep in mind that the taste may be a bit stronger. The crunchiness is similar, especially if you choose lightly toasted hemp seeds.

Use in savory dishes. They are also dark, which makes them suitable for many recipes. 

8. Mustard seeds

mustard seeds

Mustard seeds are small and round which can replace poppy seeds in almost every recipe. The color is different, meaning the mustard seeds have a yellow color to white but can be used as a replacement.

They have a similar taste, i.e. nutty with pungent traces. Add it to salads, veggies, or meals that include meat.

9. Basil seeds

Similar to sesame seeds but black, the Basil seeds are considered as another substitute for poppy seeds. These seeds are usually used to season food and have a very crunchy texture with a mild floral taste.

You can also add it to drinks or baking goods for aroma and taste. 

10. Amaranth


Lastly, on our list, you’ll find Amaranth. This is another replacement for poppy seeds in different ways. Very healthy and nutritious, the amaranth can be used in many ways.

Either use it to make breakfast, add the grains in salads, or to some baking goods to make something very healthy and delicious. The nutty taste and crunchy texture make it suitable to replace the poppy seeds. 

Extra Tips

If you are not in the mood for replacing the poppy seeds or just you need something different, the other solution that we could recommend is to omit any type of seeds.

Basically, you can just omit the poppy seeds and any other. You can add less sugar to your recipes to obtain a slightly bitter taste. However, you won’t notice much of a difference in the texture without the seeds. 

Related Questions

Do poppy seeds really add flavor?

Poppy seeds add not just flavor but also an aroma that will make your baking goods irresistible. They are usually added to bread, muffins, bagels, etc. You’ll also get extra crunchiness as well as health benefits.

Do chia seeds taste like poppy seeds?

Chia seeds have a milder nutty taste but they serve as a good replacement for poppy seeds. Raw chia seeds are crunchy and similar to poppy seeds which is why they are a suitable replacement. 

Are nigella seeds and poppy seeds the same?

Nigella seeds and poppy seeds are not the same. However, they are found in similar places. So, nigella is found in the head of the plant, just like the poppy seeds. They can serve as a substitute for each other. 

What is the difference between chia seeds and poppy seeds?

Chia seeds and poppy seeds have many health benefits. They provide a lot of fiber and make a perfect choice for many recipes.

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