Ingredient Substitutions for Recipes

What to Use Instead of the Listed Ingredient

Various colorful spices on wooden spoons
Various colorful spices on wooden spoons. Getty Images/Yagi Studio

You are preparing a recipe that calls for an ingredient that you don't have on hand. How can you avoid running to the store? You may also be looking for a cost-saving alternative using a less-expensive ingredient. You may also want to avoid a food sensitivity or eliminate gluten, dairy or animal products. Check the details on how to make an acceptable substitute for these ingredients.

Alcohol Substitutions

  • Alcohol: You may want to avoid alcohol due to cultural restrictions or to eliminate it from your diet. Here are substitutes you can use whether you are using is for flavor or for its acidic/meat tenderizing qualities.
  • Beer: Use these substitutes for light or dark beer in recipes.
  • Red Wine: If you are looking for color, try these.
  • White Wine: Depending on the recipe, try these eight different substitutes.
  • Wine: What to use for savory and sweet dishes.

Herbs, Spices and Flavorings Substitutes

How often do you want to avoid running to the store for a particular herb or spice that a recipe calls for? In a pinch, you can try these substitutes.

Baking Ingredients Substitutions

It can be tricky to make substitutions when you are baking. It takes just the right chemistry to get a good result (or any result), and you will need to make only wise substitutions.

Sugar and Sweetener Substitutions

Your recipe may rely on a specific type of sugar or sweetener. Here is how to make a substitution when you don't have the requested ingredient.

Chocolate and Cocoa Substitutions

Don't panic, these aren't eliminating chocolate. They are ways to substitute one type of chocolate for another in a recipe when necessary.

Dairy Product Substitutions

You may need these substitutions because you are on a dairy-free diet, you want a vegan recipe, you wish to reduce fat, or you ran out of the preferred ingredient. You'll find alternatives for most of these cases with these substitutions.

Vegetable Substitutions

Miscellaneous Substitutions from Soup to Nuts

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