Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce


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 as a substitution. 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.



Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce PN1 a bottle of worcestershire sauce in the foreground and a bottle of soy sauce and fish sauce in the background




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 this will 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. 

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Classic Homemade Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich
Tender beef and melty cheese are delicious in this iconic sandwich, easy enough to make at home.
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Substitutes for Worcestershire Sauce

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.  I also include my favorite homemade recipe for the best Worcestershire replacement.  It is quick, easy, and works as a substitute for any recipe you are making.  


Other Alternates to Worcestershire Sauce

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. 

  1. For Salt in a recipe – salt, soy sauce, tamari, or fish sauce
  2. For Sour in a recipe – lime juice, lemon juice, or vinegar
  3. For Sweet in a recipe – brown sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup
  4. Spice in a recipe – red pepper flakes, garlic, minced dry onion, black pepper, hot sauce  


Substitutions to Make Worcestershire Sauce

The key to making a quick and easy Worcestershire sauce in a pinch, understanding what each ingredient brings to the famous sauce is important.   To make a homemade recipe alternative, mimicking 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.



Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce bottles on a table




How to Make  Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

This recipe has several versions of Worcestershire sauce that are a great alternate to use in your favorite recipe.  I share how to make vegan or vegetarian recipes. The recipe can be made without the 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 




Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce PIN


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Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce featured

Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce

When you are making a recipe that calls for Worcestershire sauce and you do not have any, this substitute works best as an alternative. Replace Worcestershire sauce with this homemade recipe substitution for an easy swap.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup


  • ½ Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Molasses or brown sugar vegan processed molasses if you can find it
  • ½ teaspoon fish sauce omit for vegetarian or vegan
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 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.
Keyword condiment, dip, marinade, sauce, savory


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