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18 Best Pomegranate Molasses Substitutes That Will Never Disappoint  

When you think of molasses, you probably think of something sweet, like sugar beets. Pomegranate molasses substitutes are simply the juice of pomegranates but cooked to a thick consistency; it is a condiment. 

The dark brown color of pomegranate molasses makes it perfect for cooking. The juice is usually a bright red color which then thickens and changes into an appetizing darker color. Molasses are naturally sweet, but pomegranate molasses are generally more sour than sweet. 

Pomegranate molasses has a unique texture and flavor and is an excellent ingredient for many of your recipes. However, you might not find pomegranate molasses at some point, and there might be no time to get it because you need to prepare the dish quickly. 

You might also not like pomegranate molasses but are still looking for a great replacement to achieve the same fruit flavor. 

Pomegranate molasses substitutes are beneficial when making those special dishes.   

Quick Table: Pomegranate Molasses Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories Per 100g
Raspberry Jam53
Plum Sauce184
Lemon Juice and Honey132
Grenadine268
Balsamic Vinegar And Sugar14
Cranberry Juice Concentrate60
Cranberry Sauce151
Simple Syrup And Grenadine Juice268
Pomegranate Salad Dressing60
Tamarind Paste And Honey287
Cassis Syrup376
Fresh Pomegranate Seeds83
Sorghum Molasses329
Maple Syrup260
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses50
Orange Marmalade246
Lemon Juice22
Grapefruit Juice Concentrate146

Substitutes For Pomegranate Molasses

Here are some immensely popular pomegranate molasses to try. 

1. Raspberry Jam 

This is an excellent substitute for pomegranate molasses if you want a fruity flavor but don’t like pomegranate molasses, the raspberry jam will do the trick. You will love the fruity, sweet, and tangy taste. 

The best part is that it has this sweet, tangy taste and a thick, sticky consistency, just like molasses which works perfectly when used as a marinade, glaze, or that excellent addition to your dip or salad dressing. 

Raspberry jam is sweeter than acidic, which is why it is commonly used in desserts and sweet pastries. But if you don’t mind the savory-sweet combination, there are other options. 

How To Substitute

You will need mashed raspberries, white sugar, and lemon juice to create a great raspberry jam.

Put the smashed raspberries into a saucepan and boil them, then cook them for 4 minutes. Add the white sugar and lemon juice and mix them well.

Keep stirring as the mixture boils, and then cook for 4 minutes more, and your raspberry jam will be ready to be used as a glaze for your baked goods or a marinade.

2. Plum Sauce 

This is another wonderful pomegranate molasses substitute for those who would love plums in place of pomegranate. Plum sauce has a texture, richness, and color similar to molasses making it a great alternative. It is smooth, thick, dark-colored, and a combination of tart and sweet. 

The origin of plum sauce is China because it is their popular condiment, basting sauce, dipping sauce, and meat glaze. Plum sauce has a sweetness, but it is milder than pomegranate molasses.

The versatility of plum sauce makes it easy to use in various dishes such as rice, noodles, spring rolls, dumplings, all types of meats and seafood, and even desserts.

How To Substitute

Bake your pork tenderloin for 30-40 minutes in a preheated oven of 425F then as your pork tenderloin cooks, prepare your plum sauce. Take a medium skillet, combine cubed plums, balsamic Vinegar, and honey, and let it boil.

Reduce to a simmer and occasionally stir while uncovered. The plum should soften and emit juices. Turn off the heat and cover and allow it to sit for another 10 minutes before serving it.

This will provide a suitable thickening for the sauce. You can then apply the plum sauce over the pork tenderloin.

3. Lemon Juice And Honey 

This alternative is one of the most effortless replacements for that unique molasses flavor. You can make it with the ingredients you have in your kitchen. Lemon juice has that extraordinary fruity acidity found in pomegranate, while honey is the healthier alternative for sugar. 

Naturally, the honey has this sticky texture that is achievable when pomegranate juice is reduced to the syrup. 

How To Substitute

For the lemon juice and honey alternative, you will only need those two ingredients mixed by whisking until the consistency is achieved. When preparing a salad dressing, add the seasoning you prefer, spices, and herbs, and then pour them over the salad.

Mix that salad with a wooden spoon and ensure that it is evenly coated with the dressing for the best result.

4. Grenadine

This is a word originating from the french word grenade, which means pomegranate. The original french recipe indicated the main ingredients were pomegranate juice, lemon, and sugar. 

The ingredient list is similar to the one for homemade pomegranate molasses, but the difference lies in the cooking time and the level of consistency. 

Grenadine has the store-bought type, which is far from being the tart-sweet mix of flavors that is anticipated. The store-bought version has fructose corn syrup and is sweeter but lacks that notable tartness and acidity. 

How To Substitute

Grenadine can be used for mocktails, cocktails, and other beverages to replace pomegranate molasses. In addition, the special red food coloring brings a special pop of color to make your drink colorful.

If you would love a more authentic flavor, consider making your grenadine at home. Take two parts of granulated sugar into one-part pomegranate juice and dissolve them in a saucepan. Then, add fresh lemon juice to achieve the flavor you want.

You can use your homemade grenadine to add that special touch of sweetness and color to your tequila sunrise, cherry lemonade, or Bahama mama. Grenadine is good, especially the homemade one.

5. Balsamic Vinegar And Sugar

This is another pomegranate molasses substitute that is so simple to make and convenient, especially if you need one of those quick but effective salad dressings. 

Balsamic Vinegar has this acidity that can be found in lemon and pomegranate in molasses. Sugar is an excellent addition to balsamic Vinegar if you want something to sweeten it and ease the acidity. 

How To Substitute

Apart from salad dressing, this mix can be used as a dipping sauce or the perfect sauce to drizzle on your grilled vegetables.

You might wonder if it will be effective as a sauce, but the truth is that it is effective and will never fall short when delivering that rich flavor. So, use this as a sauce for your vegetables or a dish that requires sauce.

6. Cranberry Juice Concentrate

This is one of the best fruit substitutes for pomegranate molasses because it is a type of fruit that is a bit similar to the pomegranate molasses. 

Cranberry juice concentrate could lack the sourness and acidity found in pomegranate molasses, but that can be corrected by adding lime or lemon juice. But, if the concentrate is too tart, some sugar will balance it out.  

How To Substitute

It is effortless to make this juice, and you don’t need fancy kitchen appliances or complex ingredients. All you will need is a large pot for boiling the berries, and ensure it has a lid. Then, get a strainer or a slotted spoon to strain the berries from the juice.

You will need berries, water, and the sweetener of your choice. Stevia or maple syrup as sweeteners are plentiful in this case, but sugar is also a common sweetener and readily available if you don’t have the above.

Experiment with your measurements to achieve the desired taste for this concentrate. When done right, the cranberry juice concentrate works beautifully to replace pomegranate molasses.

7. Cranberry Sauce 

If you want something rich and fuller than cranberry juice concentrate, the cranberry sauce will exceed expectations and be a perfect alternative to pomegranate molasses. 

How To Substitute

Cranberries are great with turkey because the two distinct flavors are made for each other. You can use this sauce to spread over turkey, other meats, veggies, and salads in the place of pomegranate molasses.

To create the cranberry sauce, rinse the cranberries and pick out any damaged or bruised ones, then boil water with sugar and stir to dissolve them. Add those cranberries and let them cook until they burst.

You can then leave the cranberry sauce as it is or consider dressing it up with other ingredients like chopped pecans or orange zest. You could also add raisins, currants, or blueberries for additional sweetness or add spices like cinnamon, allspice or nutmeg.

You can then remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool at room temperature. Next, you can transfer the bowl and let it chill in the refrigerator. The more the cranberry juice cools, the more it will thicken.

8. Simple Syrup And Grenadine Juice

This is the best option if you are interested in getting that hint of grenadine tartness to your non-alcoholic beverages and cocktails but lack the grenadine. 

The syrup will deliver that sweetness and consistency that grenadine will provide. Therefore combine this with some grenadine juice, and you will be all set. 

How To Substitute

You will need a cup of water and granulated sugar or honey. Combine these ingredients in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Let the mixture simmer as you stir, and ensure the sugar and honey dissolve.

Cool it, store it in a container, and ensure it is airtight. You can then use it as food coloring, especially on fruitcakes, when making homemade beer, and on any other dish preparation in the place of pomegranate molasses.

9. Pomegranate Salad Dressing

This is an excellent substitute, especially if you love experimenting with your salad dressing and coming up with unique options. 

If you love adding that bit of extra crunch or texture to your salads, then the pomegranate salad dressing could be a great choice. It might not taste precisely like pomegranate molasses and might not even be as sweet, but on the sour side, it is refreshing. 

How To Substitute

To create this salad dressing you will need pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and caster sugar. Mix all these ingredients to create this beautiful blend which you can use on your dishes.

10. Tamarind Paste And Honey 

Tamarinds have this sweet, tart flavor that is unmatched. Therefore, tamarind paste is helpful in many dishes that require that tart flavor. Tamarind paste and honey mixture is a wonderful combination that will work perfectly as a replacement for pomegranate molasses. 

That sweet-sour flavor of the tamarind paste combined with the sweet, thick, and syrupy honey texture works wonders on various dishes. 

How To Substitute

First, mix that tamarind paste with honey until well blended. You can then use this as a glaze for your meats ranging from filets, beef, pork, and so on. It will enhance the taste of your dishes by adding the existing flavor to the natural taste of your dish. 

11. Cassis Syrup 

Cassis or black currants taste amazing; these berries are where the cassis syrup comes from. The syrup contains this intense blackcurrant berry flavor that is sweet, tart, and earthy.

 It is a wonderful substitute for pomegranate molasses and is perfect, especially when making cocktails. Their mildly bitter flavor makes them so popular. 

How To Substitute

Do you see that favorite cocktail where you use pomegranate molasses? You can use the cassis syrup, which is quite flavorful and will add that desired twist to your cocktail of the sweet, tart, and earthy nature.

12. Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

You can use the seeds from pomegranates as substitutes for pomegranate molasses. These seeds have a sour taste like molasses, and because they are fresh, they work best as substitutes for pomegranate seeds. 

How To Substitute

To substitute, you only need to cut the pomegranate into two pieces to access the seeds, which are tiny and red. You can use these seeds in salads, desserts, or recipes that you need to use them in.

You can also use them as a substitute for salads that require pomegranate molasses. Add the seeds as a topping for the salad as a replacement because that is the best way to achieve that fresh taste in your salad.

13. Sorghum Molasses

Sorghum molasses, also called simply sorghum, is a syrup created by this popular cereal grain. It has this sweet-sour taste, and just like honey it is a bit thinner than molasses, but it still makes a great substitute. 

How To Substitute

Use sorghum molasses when baking cookies. Just mix it in the cookie mixture and when well combined with the other ingredients, place it in the oven to bake until ready.

The sweet-sour taste in your cookies, courtesy of the sorghum molasses, is unmistakable. Remember to use the 1:1 ratio during your mixing.

14. Maple Syrup

Maple syrup has this unique flavor that is malty and caramel-like. If you use maple syrup as a substitute for your pomegranate molasses, ensure that you use only the darkest maple syrup. 

Remember that maple syrup is a bit thinner than pomegranate molasses, which can be tricky if you use it as a substitute in baked dishes. Still, do your measurements accordingly and use it as a substitute only for dishes you are sure will be better with maple syrup as an ingredient.  

How To Substitute

You can use maple syrup as a sweetener for dishes that require pomegranate molasses as flavor. Make sure you do your measurements accordingly to avoid the issue of excess or too-little use. The ratio of 1:1 will also work perfectly in this case.

15. Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

If you have been using store-bought pomegranate molasses and run out of it, this could be the time to make some of your own at home. Having homemade pomegranate molasses is one of the best ways to substitute the store-bought one, which is a far cry from the homemade one. 

The best part is that it is not a complicated option because anyone determined can create the perfect homemade pomegranate molasses and use them in their recipes. 

How To Substitute

Take fresh pomegranates and squeeze the juices to have the brightly colored molasses. Clean and blend them until they are all crushed, and then remove the puree and squeeze out the juice as much as possible.

Boil the juice and avoid overcooking and then add sugar and lemon juice and allow it to simmer for about one hour. You can reduce the heat 10-15 minutes before the end. After this, you will have ready homemade pomegranate molasses to use in whatever dish you desire.

16. Orange Marmalade

Pomegranate molasses, the main ingredient in traditional Middle Eastern cooking, is hard to find outside the Middle East. Substituting it with orange marmalade can be tricky, but the results are worth it.

In Middle Eastern recipes, you may use orange marmalade for pomegranate molasses, such as rice pudding with pomegranate molasses and pistachios. You may also make a salad with pomegranate molasses, almonds, and orange zest.

How To Substitute

Use orange marmalade to replace pomegranate molasses equally.

17. Lemon Or Lime Juice

Pomegranate molasses is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine and is used in many traditional dishes, such as mujadara and labneh. In addition, you may substitute pomegranate molasses with lemon or lime juice in many recipes.

This substitution will not affect the flavor in some dishes, while in others, it will. Pomegranate molasses is a very sour and tangy liquid produced by extracting the juice from the fruit of the pomegranate. 

You may use lemon or lime juice to create a similar effect in your recipe.

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of pomegranate with one teaspoon of lemon or lime juice.

18. Grapefruit Juice Concentrate

Pomegranate molasses is a tangy, sweet, naturally-made syrup that you can use in place of sugar in many recipes. The syrup is made from crushed pomegranates boiled in water until the juice is extracted.

The process can be time-consuming, but it allows for the concentration of the molasses. However, if you are looking for a substitute for pomegranate molasses, you can use grapefruit juice concentrate.

How To Substitute

Use grapefruit juice concentrate to replace pomegranate molasses in an equal ratio.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Really Pomegranate Molasses?

This is simply pomegranate juice made from pomegranate seeds. This special juice is usually reduced to this thick consistency using lemon juice and sugar. 

After the reduction, the deep-red pomegranate juice changes into this dark brown or almost black color, indicating that it is ready for use. 

Why Do We Need Substitutes For Pomegranate Molasses?

We need pomegranate molasses substitutes because it might reach a point where your store-bought option runs out, and you need something similar. When this is the case, you must have some quick options on standby because no need deserves to be ruined because of a lack of a particular ingredient. 

Will My Pomegranate Molasses Require Refrigeration?

If you want the proper storage for your molasses, transfer the cooled molasses into a glass bottle or a glass container and then keep it refrigerated. Refrigeration can happen for up to a year. 

18 Best Pomegranate Molasses Substitutes That Will Never Disappoint  

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Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes
Total time

30

minutes

The Best Pomegranate Molasses Substitutes That Will Never Let You Down

Ingredients

  • Raspberry Jam 

  • Plum Sauce 

  •  Lemon Juice And Honey 

  •  Grenadine

  •  Balsamic Vinegar And Sugar

  • Cranberry Juice Concentrate

  • Cranberry Sauce 

  • Simple Syrup And Grenadine Juice

  • Pomegranate Salad Dressing

  • Tamarind Paste And Honey 

  • Cassis Syrup 

  • Fresh Pomegranate Seeds

  • Sorghum Molasses

  • Maple Syrup

  • Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

  • Orange Marmalade

  • Lemon Or Lime Juice

  • Grapefruit Juice Concentrate

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith