6 Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

Worcestershire sauce is often used in many recipes, from your classic meatloaf to a grilled cheese sandwich. It enhances the flavor and gives the dish a salty and umami-ish taste. Yummy.

However, if your recipe calls for worcestershire sauce and you don’t have any to hand, or if you are just not a fan of the flavor, then what can you substitute it with?

6 Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

Fortunately, we have the answer. In fact, we have 6 answers for you to try when it comes to swapping worcestershire sauce for something else.

So, let’s take a look at what other options there are.

1. Anchovies

For a really simple substitution, anchovies will be a great choice. Not only are they a little salty, but they provide some flavor too, just like worcestershire sauce.

However, while chopped anchovies will provide the saltiness and savory flavor, it will not suit every dish.

For example, if you are making a dish revolving around Welsh Rarebit, then anchovies will not be a good option. 

So, before heading for this substitution, check to see if it will match the dish you are hoping to create.

2. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a popular choice for substituting worcestershire sauce. This is because it is one of the main ingredients within worcestershire sauce, so it only makes sense to use it. 

It provides the tanginess alongside a sweeter flavor. It is also a great substitute just generally when it comes to worcestershire sauce.

For example, if you would like your bolognese to be sweeter, then always go for balsamic vinegar rather than worcestershire sauce.

If you do not have any balsamic vinegar in your cupboard, then you could also use a couple of drops of red wine (see also ‘6 Red Wine Substitutes‘) mixed with a pinch or two of brown sugar for a similar flavor. 

3. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce (see also ‘The 5 Top Alternatives For Black Soy Sauce‘) is not a main go-to for worcestershire sauce, but it can be a great substitute.

While it will not give you the tanginess or sweetness associated with worcestershire sauce, it does provide the salty and umami flavor, so it works well.

In fact, it can pretty much be used in any recipe too because it mixes in well and does not overpower the other ingredients. 

It also has the consistency of worcestershire sauce too, which will make it easy to work with in a 1:1 ratio. 

If you do want it to be a little sweeter, add in a teaspoon of ketchup too (see also ‘12 Best Substitutes For Ketchup‘). That will provide the tart and sweet flavor that the soy sauce cannot provide.

4. Miso Paste

Miso paste (see also ‘4 Miso Substitutes‘) is a fermented condiment, just like worcestershire sauce. It has a sweet and salty flavor that will work well in place of any recipe that calls for worcestershire sauce.

You will need to add some water however, as the miso paste will be too thick compared to worcestershire sauce.

You can add some to a small bowl and mix in some water to achieve a runnier consistency.

You will notice that it is quite cloudy looking so you might not want to use it in any garnishes or even special cocktails that use worcestershire sauce (they do exist). 

5. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a strong condiment that, while is a great worcestershire sauce substitute, it does have limited uses.

You might want to avoid using it with your salad, and instead use it alongside your soup or chili.

You can use it in a 1:1 ratio just fine, just make sure to test the amount first so as to not overpower your meal with a salty and fishy flavor by accident because you have added too much. 

If you want to add in some sweetness, opt for a little bit of brown sugar just to provide an all round worcestershire sauce substitute. 

6. BBQ Sauce

If you do not have worcestershire sauce, you might just have BBQ sauce in your kitchen. It is not the best substitute when it comes to worcestershire sauce, however it will do the trick if you are in a bit of a pickle.

It has a sweet flavor and similar texture, though it is on the thicker side. Also, there is quite a lot of sugar in BBQ sauce (hence the sweetness).

If you do not mind any of that, then BBQ sauce is a great way to add into recipes for a similar flavor enhancement. 

Final Thoughts

Whether you are dishing out a caesar salad or creating a special gravy, worcestershire sauce is a great addition to enhance the flavor. 

It really packs a punch, and can be added to a meal last thing to season – though do be careful, as it is very flavorful.

While worcestershire sauce is a good addition to any cupboard, you may find that you do not have any available, or that you do not like the flavor.

From balsamic vinegar to anchovies, there are plenty of other substitutes to try. Hopefully you have found something to suit your dish within the list above!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Created Worcestershire Sauce?

Two scientists, William Henry Perrins and John Wheely Lea, created the first worcestershire sauce back in the early 1900s. 

You might have guessed it already, but they were based in Worcestershire in England. They launched the company Lea & Perrins and sold the fermented liquid as a condiment throughout the country.

What Is Worcestershire Sauce Made From?

The actual recipe is a complete secret, so nobody really knows. However, the sauce is put into barrels to age over time, and that is what gives it its unique flavor. 

When Is Worcestershire Sauce Used In A Dish?

Worcestershire sauce is not the mildest of flavors, so you will add it to a dish that requires a big punch of flavor. It has an intense tangy taste that is similar to an umami flavor. 

So, if you want to quickly season a snack or meal, then worcestershire sauce is a great option. Even just a couple of tablespoons will tickle those taste buds.

6 Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

6 Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

Recipe by Jenna

In this article we take a look at 6 worcestershire sauce substitutes for you to try when you do not have any to hand

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Anchovies

  • Balsamic Vinegar

  • Soy Sauce

  • Miso Paste

  • Fish Sauce

  • BBQ Sauce


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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