When you have a recipe that lists Worcestershire sauce as an ingredient and you do not have it, using a substitute or an alternate can be done. For alternatives when you do not have Worcestershire, this list includes so many choices that there is likely something you have already that you can use in a pinch. There are many quick ingredients that can be used instead. Many you may have in your pantry ready to go. But I have also shared a quick recipe for the best substitute for Worcestershire when you need a deep flavorful alternate.
Depending on what you will be cooking or making, you may need to take into account the salt level or ingredients that others may be allergic to. If using Worcestershire sauce as a means to add salt and season a dish, the alternate ingredients that can be used are quite easy. If you are making a recipe that needs a bigger bolder flavor profile that comes from the Worcestershire, my homemade recipe below is the recipe you need.
Worcestershire sauce is a rich flavor enhancer. It is great served with beef (like in my recipe for Beef & Cheddar Sliders), making sauces and marinades, and adding to casseroles. Like salt, it brings out the flavors of any dish it is used it. That is probably why it is a popular condiment in the USA, UK, and other countries.
Substitute cooking is easy to do. Just start with what you have in your pantry and look for something with the same flavor profile. These ideas all work great just like the suggestions I make if you need a substitute for sesame oil. Cooking should be fun, so don't stress - we got this.
- Worcestershire Sauce vs Soy Sauce Ingredients
- Worcestershire Sauce Uses & Recipes
- Best Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce
- How to Make Worcestershire Sauce at Home
- What Flavor Does Worcestershire Sauce Add
- How to Make Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
- PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
- Homemade Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce vs Soy Sauce Ingredients
There is only one ingredient similar ingredient in each of these two sauces - salt. With that being said if the reason for the Worcestershire sauce is simply to add salt to a dish, salt is a good substitute. However most of the time a recipe is calling for Worcestershire sauce to add more than salt, but also a rich umami flavor that is sweet, salty, and seasoned.
Worcestershire sauce ingredients include anchovies, garlic, vinegar, molasses, onion, cloves, chili extract, tamarind, salt, and high fructose corn syrup. It is a gluten-free food but is not vegetarian or vegan due to the anchovy that lends so much saltiness to the sauce.
Soy sauce ingredients include soybeans, wheat, enzyme puree, and salt. This is not a gluten-free or soy-free food so may not be the best straight-up substitute for Worcestershire sauce for those with food allergies.
Worcestershire Sauce Uses & Recipes
For some recipe ideas on what to use your Worcestershire sauce on, try these recommendations from BON APPETITE. Here are some of my favorite recipes that use Worcestershire.
If you end up making one of these substitutes for sesame oil, make enough to try some of these recipes too. The homemade Worcestershire Sauce alternate recipe below is also great for making stews, sauces, stir fry, dressings, or marinades.
The Worcestershire sauce substitute recipe and ideas work great in the following recipes as well. So if you need an alternative to make one of these, go for it!
- SHEPHERD'S PIE
- BEEF STROGANOFF
- CRAB CAKES
- CHEX MIX
- PHILLY CHEESESTEAK SANDWICHES
Best Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce
These easy pantry staples can be a quick substitute for Worcestershire sauce. If you have a recipe and need to use something instead, try one of these replacements.
- Soy Sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Anchovy Paste
- A1 Steak Sauce
- BBQ Sauce
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Malt or Cider Vinegar
- Red or White Wine Vinegar
- Coconut Aminos
- Lemon or Lime Juice
How to Make Worcestershire Sauce at Home
Alternatives to Worcestershire can be simply using commonly found items you may already have in your pantry or refrigerator. So the next time you run out, rest assured it is easy to replace it in a recipe by using any of the ideas I share below.Â
I also include my favorite homemade recipe for the best Worcestershire replacement.Â It is quick, easy, and works as a substitute for any recipe you are making.Â Â
If you are in a pinch and do not have time to make a homemade Worcestershire sauce recipe, here are some quick substitutes you can use instead. Based on what you need to bring to a recipe, here is what I suggest you use alternate ingredients when you are out of Worcestershire.
- For Salt in a recipe - salt, soy sauce, tamari, or fish sauce
- For Sour in a recipe - lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar
- For Sweet in a recipe - brown sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup
- Spice in a recipe - red pepper flakes, garlic, minced dry onion, black pepper, hot sauce
What Flavor Does Worcestershire Sauce Add
The key to making a quick and easy Worcestershire sauce in a pinch, understanding what each ingredient brings to the famous sauce is important.Â Â To make a homemade recipe alternative, mimic all the flavors that combine to make Worcestershire that well-known rich umami flavor. So let's break down the ingredients by flavor profile:
- Salt - anchovies & salt
- Spice - garlic, onion, clove, & chili extract
- Sweet - molasses & high fructose corn syrup or sugar
- Sour /Acid- tamarind & vinegar
To best make a homemade recipe, I wanted to mimic all those four flavors to get that one special sauce combination. I think I got it down just right.
How to Make Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
This recipe has several versions of Worcestershire sauce that are a great alternative to use in your favorite recipe. I share how to make vegan or vegetarian recipes. The recipe can be made without shellfish due to allergies as well.
In addition, this Worcestershire sauce is also gluten-free & grain-free; therefore, it is the perfect allergy-free recipe with just a few changes.
To ensure we have all the ingredients needed for each flavor profile, here is what will be used for the substituted homemade Worcestershire sauce which is a gluten-free recipe:
- Salt - Tamari/fish sauce & salt
- Spice - garlic, clove, & chili powder
- Sweet - molasses or brown sugar
- Sour /Acid- lime juice & vinegar
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Soy sauce is probably one of the most common swaps when you need a Worcestershire sauce alternative. It is salty and has umami flavors that make it a quick problem solver. It is a great substitute when making cheesesteaks, crab cakes, or Chex mix.
Many people think that A1 sauce is a mix of ketchup and Worcestershire. But it is not. However, the similar flavors make it a great substitute. A1 will be thicker and a different color but when making things like meatloaf, burgers, stroganoff, or meatballs you can use A1 as an alternative to Worcestershire.
Due to the seafood ingredients in Worcestershire, it is not vegan-friendly. Most brands contain anchovies. However, if you want a vegan alternative make my homemade recipe below and omit the fish sauce.
It is not spicy but it does have a combination of spices and seasoning for an intense flavor punch. A little goes a long way. To make a spicy version, try out the homemade recipe below and add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Flavor overload!
Homemade Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ Cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Tamari gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Molasses or brown sugar vegan processed molasses if you can find it
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce lime juice for vegetarian or vegan
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/16 teaspoon clove
- 1/16 teaspoon chili powder
- In a small saucepan, add all ingredients. Whisk to combine.
- Turn the heat on medium and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk often to stir.
- Turn off the heat and cool. Use as you would in any recipe calling for Worcestershire sauce.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It can be frozen also for up to a month. Defrost in the refrigerator before using.
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