How to counteract too much nutmeg? (5 ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much nutmeg?”. We will elaborate on different ways to help you counteract too much nutmeg in your recipe. 

How to counteract too much nutmeg?

To counteract too much nutmeg:

  • Physically remove nutmeg
  • Add cinnamon
  • Add garlic
  • Add dairy
  • Dilute the recipe

If you have used too much nutmeg, these approaches will help you to make your dish good to eat. 

What are the different ways to counteract too much nutmeg in a recipe?

Nutmeg is a wonderful spice when added in limited quantities. It is a common ingredient of apple pies and pumpkin pies. However, it can ruin a dish if added in excess amounts. 

Too much nutmeg can not only bring a nutty and bitter flavour to the dish, but it can also be toxic for health as well. Consumption of too much nutmeg can result in nausea and dizziness. 

Note that it takes only 2-3 tsp of nutmeg to reach a toxic level. 

If, by mistake, you have added too much nutmeg to your dish and are hopelessly searching for ways to counteract it, don’t be worried, here we have made a long list of methods to help you counterbalance too much nutmeg in your dish, and to make it perfect for serving. Try the approaches below:

Physically remove nutmeg 

If you have added too much nutmeg to your dish, the first thing you can do is to remove the excess directly. However, this approach will not work if you have added grounded nutmeg to your recipe. 

If you have used too much nutmeg in a soup or eggnog and you can still find it on the surface, simply separate the nutmeg from the soup or eggnog using a ladle-sized slotted spoon just when you have realised your blunder.  

This way you will be able to remove the nutmeg before it discharges its volatile oils. 

In case the nutmeg is in the marinade that is on the top of the meat, you can simply wash it before reseasoning.

Add cinnamon

If you have not added way too much nutmeg, try to balance the spice in your recipe by adding cinnamon. In many dishes, cinnamon’s warmness can be perfect to counterbalance nutmeg’s sweet flavour. Cinnamon is an extremely useful addition to nutmeg in desserts. 

It must be noted that since it is a very strong spice, cinnamon may not be a good choice for all dishes that include nutmeg. Keep in mind the overall flavour profile of the dish prior to using cinnamon.

Add garlic

The strong flavour of garlic can help to mask the nutty flavour of nutmeg. If your recipe already includes garlic, use more extra of it. Though your recipe will taste too garlicky, its flavour is generally more pleasant as compared to nutmeg when added in abundance.

Add dairy

Dairy can work really well to counteract too much nutmeg in a recipe. The mild taste of dairy can serve to neutralise the nutty flavour of too much nutmeg. 

It can be used in many dishes that include nutmeg, mainly because spice is commonly added to dessert dishes. 

For instance, a rice pudding with too much nutmeg can be counteracted with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Carrot soups that demand nutmeg usually have heavy cream added to them; just add more of it.

Dilute the recipe

If your recipe is too spicy or the above-mentioned tricks did not really work for you, you will have to choose between diluting it or wasting it.

In such a case, you can double the main ingredients. For example, if you are making eggnog and the recipe directs 1 cup of heavy cream, add 1 more cup of heavy cream but do not add any nutmeg this time. 

You may have to add other ingredients, but by increasing the portion of heavy cream, you have literally divided the excess of nutmeg in the eggnog. This means it will taste halfway spicy. You may then reserve the extra eggnog for a separate recipe or store it for later use.

Similarly, if you want to counteract too much nutmeg in a soup or stew, you can add more vegetables including spinach, potatoes and onion. These will help to even out the flavour profile of the dish.

We hope these approaches will benefit you. Still, if nothing works for you, don’t be sad. Learn from your mistakes and start all over again.

Other FAQs about Nutmeg  that you may be interested in.

Where do nutmegs come from?

What to use instead of nutmeg?

How much nutmeg is safe


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much nutmeg?”. We have also elaborated on different ways to help you counteract too much nutmeg in your recipe. 


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