100+ Recipe Substitutions – Replacements

I’m sure you have all been in this situation.  It’s time to cook and you have found the perfect recipe. Except for one tiny detail.  You are missing one of the ingredients.  Or perhaps you are trying to lose weight and want some lower calorie replacements.  Many are adapting to Vegetarian, Paleo or Gluten free diets and need replacements, too.

100+ Recipe Substitutes and Replacements - thegardeningcook.com/recipe-substitutes-replacements

I’ve been there so often that I can’t count.  But don’t worry.  Most baking and recipe ingredients can be replaced by substitutes without changing the taste of texture of a dish.  And there are loads of other replacements that will fit the diet you are trying to stick to.

I’ve combined some of my favorite substitutes and also some of those from my fans of the Gardening Cook on Facebook.  (their replacements are in bold and red below.)   Some of the replacements can be used for any cooking technique or recipe, others are better suited to limited uses.  (I will show this in brackets if this is the case.)

There is also a section at the end of the list which talks about healthy substitutes, replacements for weight loss and gluten free substitutes.

It’s time to rescue that recipe!

Baking substitutesBAKING SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  2. 1 tsp lemon juice = 1/2 tsp vinegar
  3. 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate = 4 tbsp cocoa powder + 1 tbsp butter
  4. 1/4 cup cocoa = 1 oz square of unsweetened chocolate
  5. 1 tsp cream of tartar = 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
  6. 1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all purpose flour less 2 tbsp
  7. 1 cup self raising flour = 7/8 cup all purpose flour = 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp arrowroot = 1 tbsp flour or 1 tsp cornstarch
  9. 1 tbsp gelatin = 2 tsp agar agar
  10. 1 tsp lemon zest = 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  11. 1 cup of cake flour = 2 tbsp cornstarch and all purpose flour to fill one cup
  12. 1 tbsp tapioca = 1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
  13. 1 cup self raising flour = 1 cup all purpose flour + 1/2 tsp salt + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (suggested by page fan Linda Kelly Lee)

RECIPE SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 tsp cornstarch = 2 tsp flour (for thickening)
  2. 1 tbsp butter or margarine = 1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil (frying, sauteing or grilling)
  3. 1 clove of garlic = 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  4. red wine = replace with equal amounts of grape juice or beef broth
  5. white wine = replace with equal amount so apple juice or chicken broth
  6. 1 cup of beer = 1 cup of chicken broth
  7. 1/4 cup of brandy = 1 tsp brandy extract plus enough water to make 1/4 cup
  8. 1 cup ketchup = 1 cup tomato sauce + 1 tsp vinegar + 1 tsp sugar
  9. 1 cup mayonnaise = 1 cup plain yoghurt
  10. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese = 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese or 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  11. 1/2 cup Soy sauce = 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce + 1 tbsp water
  12. 1 tbsp chives = 1 tbsp green onions
  13. Substitute any mushrooms type for meat (suggested by page fan Kathy Cottrell)
  14. 1 tsp Seasoning salt = 1 tbsp fresh herbs

Sugar SubstituesSUGAR SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup packed brown sugar = 1 cup of granulated sugar +1/4 cup of molasses
  2. 1 cup honey = 3/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup liquid
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar = 1 cup sugar + 1/3 tsp cornstarch (blend in a blender in batches)
  4. 2 tbsp sugar = 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (cookies, cakes, brownies)
  5. 1 tbsp sugar = 1/8 tsp Stevia (affiliate link)
  6. 1 cup sugar = 2/3 cup agave nectar
  7. 1 cup corn syrup = 1 1/4 cup white sugar + 1/3 cup of water
fats and oils substitutes
Image shared from All Biz

FAT/OIL SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup butter – 7/8 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 tsp salt
  2. 1 cup butter or oil = 1 cup nonfat Greek yoghurt (cakes, muffins, cookies)
  3. 1/4 cup oil = 1/4 cup applesauce (cakes) (suggested by page Fan Patti Swan Nelson)
  4. 2 tbsp butter = 2 tbsp mashed avocado (sandwiches)
  5. See more fat substitutes in the skinny substitutes list.

Egg SubstitutesEGG SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 2 tbsp water + 1/2 tsp baking powder (cookies/cakes)
  2. 1/2 banana (batters, breads, brownies)
  3. 1/4 cup applesauce (batters, breads, brownies)
  4. 1 egg = 1/4 cup pureed tofu + 1 tbsp flour (for vegans)
  5. 1 egg = 1/4 cup yoghurt (brownies)
  6. 1 egg = 1/2 cup buttermilk (cakes)
  7. 1 egg = 3 tbsp pureed fruit (cakes)
  8. 2 eggs = 1 tbsp white vinegar and 1 tbsp water + 1 tsp baking powder. (stir well – use when cake calls for more than one egg)
  9. 1 egg  = 1/4 cup vegetable oil (cookies)
  10. 1 egg = 1 tbsp cornstarch + tbsp water (cookies)

Dairy SubstitutesDAIRY SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup plain yoghurt
  2. 1 cup half & half = 7/8 cup whole milk + 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  3. 1 cup cream = 1/3 cup butter + 2/3 cup milk
  4. 1 cup sour cream = 1 cup milk + 1 1/3 tbsp vinegar
  5. 1 cup light cream = 1 cup evaporated milk
  6. 1 ounce sliced mozzarella cheese = 1 ounce sliced tofu (great for sandwiches or crackers)
  7. 1/2 cup sour cream = 1/2 cup pureed silken tofu, blended
  8. 1/2 cup of ice cream = 1/2 cup of frozen banana, blended
  9. 1 cup whole milk = 1 cup fat free milk + 1 tbsp canola oil
  10. 1/4 cup butter = 1/4 cup baby prunes (dark cakes or brownies)
  11. 1 cup butter = 1/2 cup buttermilk + 1/2 cup applesauce (cakes, breads, muffins)
  12. 1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese

Spice SubstitutesSPICE SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 tbsp fresh herbs = 1 tsp dried herbs
  2. 1 tsp allspice = 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ginger + 1/4 tsp cloves
  3. 1/4 tsp saffron = 1/4 tsp turmeric
  4. 1/2 tsp cardamom= 1/2 tsp ginger
  5. 1/2 tsp cinnamon = 1/4 tsp nutmeg or 1/4 tsp allspice
  6. 1 tbsp cumin = 1 tbsp chili powder
  7. 1 tsp apple pie spice = 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp nutmeg + 1/8 tsp allspice + dash of ground cloves
  8. 1 tbsp Italian seasoning = 1/3 tsp each of basil, oregano and rosemary
  9. 1 tsp poultry seasoning = 3/4 tsp sage + 1/4 tsp thyme
  10. 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice = 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + 1/4 tsp ground ginger + 1/4 tsp ground allspice + 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  11.  1 1/4 tsp Chinese 5 Spice Powder  =1 tsp ground cinnamon + 1 tsp ground cloves + 1 tsp ground fennel seed + 1 tsp ground star anise

HEALTHY SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup sugar = 1/2 cup applesauce
  2. 1 cup butter = 1 cup mashed avocado (good in chocolate brownies etc)
  3. Butter/oil/margarine = equal parts of either unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana (for baking)
  4. 1 egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water – grind in a spice mill  (affiliate links)
  5. 1 egg = 2 egg whites
  6. 1 cup butter or shortening = 3/4 cup prunes + 1/4 cup hot water – pureed (brownies, chocolate cakes, dark baked goods)
  7. 1 cup bread crumbs = 1 cup ground oats
  8. Mashed potatoes – try mashed cauliflower
  9. Pasta – try zucchini ribbons
  10. Ground beef – substitute ground turkey

SKINNY SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup oil or butter = 1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce + 1/2 cup oil or butter (anything)
  2. 1 cup oil or butter = 1 cup mashed bananas (brownies, cookies)
  3. 1 cup of heavy cream = 1 cup evaporated skim milk (whipped cream, cakes, biscuits)
  4. 1 can of diet soda = 1/c cup of oil +3 eggs (boxed cake mixes)
  5. 1 cup of butter = 1/2 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (spiced breads, cakes or muffins, or pancakes)
  6. 1 tbsp chervil = 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  7. 1 tbsp regular peanut butter + 1 tbsp reduced fat peanut butter
  8. 1 cup frosting = 1 cup meringue
  9. on Baked potatoes, substitute 1 tbsp plain yoghurt for 1 tbsp sour cream (suggested by fan Annette Rogers)
  10. Substitute 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips for 1 cup of regular chocolate chips to save calories
  11. 1/4 cup of butter = 1/4 cup of marshmallow creme (frostings)

Gluten Free SubstitutesGLUTEN FREE SUBSTITUTES:

  1. 1 cup Panko bread crumbs = 1 cup of almond flour (baking or breading)
  2. 1 cup of flour = 1 cup of pureed black beans (brownies)
  3. For Sandwich bread, substitute corn tortillas
  4. Pasta – substitute spaghetti squash
  5. Couscous – substitute quinoa
  6. Soy Sauce – substitute Tamari (affiliate link)
  7. Butter – substitute coconut oil
  8. Eggs – Ener G Egg Replacer (affiliate link)
  9. Flour for thickening – try tapioca starch

 Do you have some favorite recipes substitutes that I have not mentioned?  Please leave them in the comments below and I will add my favorites to the article and tag your name.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission from the sale, but the price is the same for you. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  8 comments for “100+ Recipe Substitutions – Replacements

  1. 08/05/2014 at 12:05 am

    I’m pinning this on my personal site as well as my blog site. I love this list!

    • admin
      08/05/2014 at 10:22 am

      Thanks Sarah. I am glad that you find the list useful. Thanks for sharing it. If you put it on my site, please link to my article. Carol

  2. Lisa
    08/25/2014 at 8:44 pm

    Hi, my name is Lisa I live in Alaska and I have been asking all over if there is a substitute for citrus, (i.e. lemons, limes, oranges, etc.) including citric/abosorbic acids for when you make jams or other homemade yummies. I’m highly allergic.

    • admin
      08/25/2014 at 10:14 pm

      Hi Lisa. Thanks for the question. I’m afraid I don’t have an answer for you on this one though. Extracts might work for the taste but don’t have the bulk that the actual citrus fruits have. Carol

  3. 10/24/2015 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for sharing us this very wonderful information, now we can cook with a more healthy food substitute..

    • Carol
      10/25/2015 at 12:14 pm

      My pleasure Barbara. Glad you enjoyed the article.

  4. Diana
    12/10/2015 at 2:57 pm

    Is there a print friendly version of is available? It is such a helpful list! Thanks!

    • Carol
      12/10/2015 at 5:54 pm

      HI Diana. No I am afraid I don’t have a graphic of it. 100 subsititutes is a LOT of things to put into one photo and I didn’t have time to do that. You could print the whole page out with your file menu on the browser though.
      Carol

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