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What’s a Good Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce?

Cooking your traditional meatloaf? Or perhaps just making that family-favorite Bloody Mary?

Well, what if you run out of the key ingredient – Worcestershire sauce? That’s the emergency you must be prepared for.  

It’s always convenient to keep a bottle of Worcestershire sauce in your pantry as it’s an intriguing ingredient that can completely change a recipe. However, there are situations when you might not have access to this savory savior.

So, we’re going to show you the top substitutes for Worcestershire sauce.

What is Worcestershire Sauce?

Worcestershire sauce dates back to the early nineteenth century in Worcestershire, England. It’s comparable to soy sauce and gives many dishes a salty, umami flavor as well as a distinct sweetness.

what is worcestershire

Because Worcestershire sauce has a strong, savory flavor, it can work well in recipes where you need to quickly and intensely season a meal. It just takes a very small amount—say, a couple of tablespoons or less—to get the job done.

This is why it frequently appears in a variety of sauces and dressings, meat marinades, juicy burgers, and slow-cooked stews and soups to highlight the flavorful beefiness.

In this article, let’s explore the best Worcestershire sauce substitutes you can use.

What Can You Substitute for Worcestershire Sauce?

1. Soy Sauce

what is soy sauce

Worcestershire sauce can be replaced with anything that contains soy sauce. They have that umami taste explosion and are salty, moderately sweet, tangy, and sweet.

As they have a similar tint and are fermented. Worcestershire sauce can be swapped out for plain soy sauce at a 1:1 ratio.

While soy sauce lacks the British sauce’s acidity and spice, it makes up for it with umami, salty, and sweetness. Additionally, they are consistent and similar in hue.

It’s one of the best substitues for worcestershire sauce in meatloaf.

2. Balsamic Vinegar

balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is an excellent soy-free substitute as vinegar is the foundation of Worcestershire sauce.

Sauces, soups, casseroles, gravies, and stews will all benefit from a generous splash of balsamic vinegar, or even red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar, which will bring sweetness and acidity.

Balsamic vinegar might not be a perfect alternative on its own.

But, you may make a savory, sweet, fully-flavored sauce by combining onion powder, garlic powder, a tiny bit of anchovy paste, and a dash of soy.

This sauce will give any dish a significant flavor boost.

3. Tamarind Paste

tamarind paste

Tamarind paste, a crucial component of Worcestershire sauce, gives food a distinctively sour and savory flavor.

Since it doesn’t have the same sweetness as that enchanting Worcestershire sauce, it might not quite be able to fill in on its own.

To produce a flavorful replacement, combine one teaspoon of tamarind paste, white vinegar, and soy sauce.

Add a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of ground cloves to finish it off. This stand-in won’t let you down, we guarantee it!

4. Hoisin Sauce

what is hoisin sauce

With a blend of sweet, sour, and savory flavors, hoisin sauce is produced from fermented black beans, garlic sauce, and plums.

It is a favorite in many Asian cuisines since it can completely change the flavor of a meal.

Hoisin sauce alone makes an excellent Worcestershire sauce substitute due to its deep, rich flavor that is sweet and savory, especially when used with dishes like duck, turkey, or chicken.

For an excellent balance of sweet and savory with a pleasant hint of acidity, you could even try combining it with soy sauce and a dab of apple cider vinegar.

5. Fish Sauce

what is fish sauce

Worcestershire sauce can be simply swapped out for fish sauce. It is produced from anchovies that have undergone barrel fermentation and have the salty-sweet, funky flavor of the English sauce.

However, due to this ingredient’s strong flavor, cooked Worcestershire dishes are preferred.

Fish sauce isn’t as sweet, so when substituting, start with half the amount and add some brown sugar or molasses for sweetness.

6. Coconut Aminos

coconut aminos

In terms of sweetness and savory flavors, coconut aminos resemble Worcestershire sauce quite a bit, but they are less sour. It’s a gluten free substitute for worcestershire sauce.

Coconut aminos are made from Sea salt and aged coconut sap having a soy-like flavor that is sufficiently sweet. 

Although you might not have it at home, going to the shop is definitely worthwhile because it’s one of the closest equivalents.  

Use it in place of Worcestershire in a 1:1 ratio.

7. Oyster Sauce

oyster sauce

Oyster sauce, another seafood classic, gives your meals a powerful flavor boost.

It’s a great alternative to Worcestershire sauce as it’s made with caramelized oyster fluids, a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and water, thickened with cornstarch.

This sauce is one of the best items to use when you want to add a wonderful dose of umami without the excessive saltiness of something like soy sauce.

It goes great in any fish meal, as well as with noodles and delicately drizzled over salads.

8. Miso Paste

miso paste

A combination of fermented soybeans, salt, kji, rice, barley, seaweed, and other ingredients make up this amazing Japanese paste which is a healthy Worcestershire sauce substitute.

If Worcestershire sauce is all gone and you need something to add a big kick of savory, salty, earthy flavor, miso paste will be your best option.

It’s a fantastic addition to any dish or sauce that needs a boost of rich, powerful flavor.

9. BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce has a thicker texture and a sweeter flavor. However, in cases of emergencies, it is a good Worcestershire sauce substitute.

As needed, you can also thin out the BBQ sauce by adding a little water.

This alternative is unquestionably sweeter while still providing the tangy, onion-based flavor you’re searching for.

10. Marmite


Marmite, which is practically another British produce, is certainly potent as a low sodium substitute for Worcestershire sauce.

You either love it or loathe it, but there’s no denying that it’s a wonderful substitute if you want to give your food a powerful flavor boost.

For vegans, it’s a very effective Worcestershire sauce replacement. In addition to hidden ingredients like specific spices, celery extract, and other vegetable extracts, marmite is produced primarily from yeast extract.

If you’ve never tried it, start by spreading a little on toast with lots of butter. As soon as you’re in, you’re there forever!

11. Steak Sauce

steak sauce

In the absence of Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce may do wonders for anything from a meaty marinade in need of more richness to a silky sauce devoid of flavor or a robust stew in need of a major boost.

It goes without saying that, its flavor will go great with the meat.

But don’t stop there. Steak sauce will be a wonderful complement to any casseroles, meaty soups, sauces, or stews as a Worcestershire sauce replacement. However, it doesn’t quite have Worcestershire sauce’s delicate spice.

You’re on to a winner if you add some onion powder, garlic powder, and a tiny amount of tabasco.

FAQs About Worcestershire Sauce

What keto worcestershire sauce substitute can I use?

There’re many options for you if you want a keto friendly substitute:

  • Tamari Sauce
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce

How Much Worcestershire Sauce to Substitute for Anchovies?

When substituting for anchovies, you can replace one to two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce and still get the desired light “fishy” flavor.

Can You Substitute Worcestershire Sauce for Soy Sauce?

Without a doubt, Worcestershire sauce can be used in place of soy sauce. Even though their ingredients are different, each of them is fermented and gives a savory flavor boost.

Can I Use Worcestershire Sauce Substitute for Beef Broth?

Yes, you can use Worcestershire sauce as an acceptable substitute for beef broth in recipes. The catch is that you cannot use this for soups or stews since a large amount of Worcestershire sauce can change the flavor.

However, you’ll need to add some fat (butter, oil, etc.) when adding Worcestershire sauce for recipes.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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