From Soup to Nuts, Substitute Ingredients for Recipes
What to Use Instead of the Listed Ingredient
It happens to the best of chefs. You are preparing a recipe that calls for an ingredient that you don't have on-hand. Or, perhaps you are looking for a cost-saving alternative, you have a food sensitivity, or you need to eliminate gluten, dairy or animal products from your diet. Below you'll find a whole batch of acceptable substitutes that won't compromise your lifestyle, your dietary needs, or the final outcome: your dishes.
- Alcohol: If you're avoiding alcohol due to cultural restrictions or to eliminate it from your diet for another reason, here are substitutes you can use whether you are using alcohol for flavor or for its acidic/meat tenderizing qualities.
- Beer: Use these substitutes for recipes calling for light or dark beers.
- Red Wine: If you are looking for color, try any of these.
- White Wine: Depending on the recipe, try these eight different substitutes.
- Wine: Here's what to use for savory and sweet dishes.
Herbs, Spices and Flavoring Substitutes
Herbs and spices always heighten the flavor and taste of a dish. However, it's impossible to keep every spice on-hand. In a pinch, you can try these herbs, spice, and flooring substitutes.
- Almond Extract
- Apple Pie Spice
- Celery Salt
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Garlic Cloves
- Garlic Salt
- Lemon Juice
- Maple Syrup
- Mustard, ground
- Mustard, prepared
- Peppercorns, black
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Vanilla Bean
- Vanilla Extract
Baking Ingredients Substitutions
It can be tricky to use substitutions when you are baking. Baking is a science and it takes just the right chemistry to get a good result. Before you venture out on your own, try these wise substitutes.
- Bread Flour
- Cake Flour
- Cream of Tartar
- Pastry Flour
- Self-Rising Cornmeal
- Self-Rising Flour
- Semolina Flour
Sugar and Sweetener Substitutions
Sometimes your recipe calls for a specific type of sugar or sweetener. Here is how to make a substitution when you don't have the requested ingredient.
- Brown Sugar: This is as easy as pie. If you have molasses and white sugar in the cupboard, there is really no reason to buy brown sugar. Just mix the two together.
- Castor Sugar
- Dark Corn Syrup
- Demerara Sugar
- Muscovado sugar
- Turbinado Sugar
Chocolate and Cocoa Substitutions
Don't panic, these substitutes don't mean you're eliminating chocolate. There are ways to substitute one type of chocolate for another in a recipe when necessary.
- Chocolate, bittersweet
- Chocolate, Mexican
- Chocolate, semi-sweet baking
- Chocolate, unsweetened baking
- Chocolate, white
- Cocoa powder, Dutch-processed
- Cocoa powder, unsweetened
Dairy Product Substitutions
You may need these substitutions because you are on a dairy-free diet, you have a vegan recipe, you wish to reduce the amount of fat in your diet, or you ran out of the preferred ingredient. You'll find alternatives for most of these cases with these substitutions.
- Butter, salted
- Butter, unsalted
- Evaporated Milk
- Half and Half
- Heavy Cream
- Powdered Milk
- Sour Cream
- Mushrooms, fresh: Mushrooms do not have a long shelf life, but dried mushrooms do. Here's how you can substitute dried mushrooms for fresh when needed.
- Onions, chopped
- Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Juice
Miscellaneous Substitutions from Soup to Nuts
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Boullion Cubes
- Nuts: Seven substitutes for nuts in baking.
- How to Substitute Dried Herbs for Fresh Herbs
- How to Substitute Fresh Herbs for Dried Herbs