Quatre Épices Recipe

Quatre épices (French four spices blend)
Dave King / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 5 tablespoons
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
6 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 6
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 8mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This quatre épices recipe, or four spices, is a traditional blend that can be found in many French kitchens, along with some parts of the Middle East. This mix is sometimes referred to as French allspice. The blend contains white pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves and it's used to season everything from soups to grilled chicken. It's often incorporated in pâté, terrines, and sausage.

When you're making your own spice blend, it's important to make sure your spices are as fresh as possible. Take a whiff and if they smell musty, old, or less than vibrant, pitch them and start over. If you can get your hands on whole nutmeg and grate it yourself, the difference in the taste cannot compare to pre-ground jarred nutmeg. It's worth the effort. Similarly, white pepper loses its potency quickly, so if you can grind it fresh yourself, the blend will taste better.

This traditional version of quatre épices uses white pepper, but black pepper can be used as a substitution. White pepper is sometimes used in situations where you want pepper's bite without the black flecks in the dish; it's not uncommon to find it in a French sauce or in Asian dishes. Additionally, white pepper's flavor is typically milder and less complex than black pepper.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Stir the spices together and store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

This quatre épices recipe makes 5 tablespoons, or slightly less than 1/3 cup of the spice mixture.


  • It's traditional, as in this recipe for quatre épices, to go a little heavier on the white pepper amount but feel free to dial it back to 1 tablespoon if you prefer.

  • Some cooks opt to make their blends with allspice instead of pepper or substitute cinnamon for the ginger.


Try using quatre épices in some of these dishes:

How to Store Quatre Épices

This spice blend will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark space for up to six months.

What's the difference between quatre épices and allspice?

Quatre epices is a blend of four spices. Contrary to its name, allspice isn't a blend, it's a spice made from the dried berries of the Pimenta dioica plant, which is a member of the myrtle family. Its name and its aroma can definitely be confusing, as allspice brings to mind cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and nutmeg. But they are two distinct things.