ultimate ingredient substitution guide
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If you’re looking for an ingredient substitute, we’ve got an (almost) complete A-Z list right here for you. Whether you’re out of eggs, flour, yeast, or butter—or need an alternative to fresh herbs, olive oil, or even mayo—we’ve got you covered. Below is a (by no means exhaustive, but pretty expansive) list of common ingredients followed by possible substitutions. The suggested substitutes will vary depending on the particular recipe or technique you’re using, but in a pinch, these should prove helpful.

Use this like a book index—for a specific type of flour, look under “F” for flour, and then scroll down for the qualifying type (all-purpose, cake, etc.); for different types of broth, go to the “B” section and do the same. Use the links below to jump to the section you need:

B

What You Need: Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar (prepare right before using)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus 1/2 cup yogurt, butter, or sour cream

What You Need: Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

baking soda vs baking powder

Pexels

What You Need: Breadcrumbs – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup matzo meal

What You Need: Broth, chicken – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water, well seasoned with salt (you can add a little melted butter for richness)
  • 1 tablespoon or cube of chicken bouillon whisked into 1 cup boiling water (or refer to package directions on your particular brand)

Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Stock and Broth?

What You Need: Broth, beef – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup water, well seasoned with soy sauce or coconut aminos (this adds more umami than just salt)
  • 1 tablespoon or cube of beef bouillon whisked into 1 cup boiling water (or refer to package directions on your particular brand)

What You Need: Broth, vegetable – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup water, well seasoned with salt (and additional seasonings if you like, depending on your recipe)

What You Need: Butter, clarified – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Butter, unsalted – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup unsalted margarine
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup applesauce (for some baked goods)
Does butter need to be refrigerated? How long can butter sit out before it goes rancid?

Souders Studios / Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus

Related Reading: How Long Can Butter Stay Out Before It Gets Rancid? | The Best Butter Substitutes in Cooking and Baking

What You Need: Buttermilk – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 3/4 cup whole-milk or low-fat yogurt plus 1/4 cup milk (for baked goods, not savory dishes)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or distilled white vinegar plus 1 cup whole milk, let stand 10 minutes before using (similar to buttermilk in sour flavor but not in thickness)

C

What You Need: Cheese, parmesan (grated) – as a garnish to finish dishes

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Cheese, cheddar (or fontina, mozzarella, feta, etc.), grated or crumbled – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • The world of cheese is vast, and possible substitutions for even just a handful of common varieties could be its own guide—but in general, pay attention to both the flavor and texture of the cheese you need and use your best judgment (or the internet) to discern an appropriate swap (colby for cheddar, say, or gruyere for fontina).
  • If you’re looking for a dairy-free cheese substitute, that depends on exactly how you’re using it—but see our healthy mac and cheese recipes and our healthy queso guide for ideas ranging from cashew puree to blended butternut squash.
Creole cream cheese

Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock

What You Need: Cheese, cream – 8 ounces

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/2 cup ricotta blended with 1/2 cup plain yogurt

What You Need: Chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet – 1 ounce

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Chocolate, unsweetened – 1 ounce

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, vegetable oil, or shortening (best for small-quantity substitutions)
  • 1 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate and subtract 1 tablespoon granulated sugar from the recipe
dark chocolate

Pixabay

What You Need: Cocoa powder, Dutch-process – 3 tablespoons

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened natural cocoa powder plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda

What You Need: Coconut, fresh  – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup dried, flaked coconut (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup dried, shredded coconut (unsweetened)

What You Need: Corn syrup, dark – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup dark treacle

What You Need: Corn syrup, light – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup (gives a more pronounced flavor)
  • 1 cup light treacle (also known as golden syrup or cane syrup)
  • 1 cup honey
best honey recipes

Vesna Jovanovic / EyeEm / Getty Images

What You Need: Cornmeal, stone-ground – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup regular milled cornmeal
  • 1 cup corn grits
  • 1 cup dry polenta

What You Need: Cornstarch – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons instant tapioca

What You Need: Cracker crumbs – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup matzo meal

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What You Need: Cream, heavy – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Cream of tartar (for beating with egg whites) – 1/2 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

What You Need: Cream of tartar (for baking) – 1/2 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar (just be careful that the additional liquid doesn’t throw off the recipe)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice (just be careful that the additional liquid doesn’t throw off the recipe)

What You Need: Crème fraîche – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

E

What You Need: Egg, whole (for baking) – 1

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons powdered egg substitute plus 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 tablespoons water (chill in the fridge until thickened, about 15 minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup ripe banana, mashed
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba (this works better when whipped in place of egg whites for vegan meringue and cocktails, as opposed to simply mixed into batters for baking)
  • 2 tablespoons water plus 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup carbonated water
How long do eggs last in and out of the fridge and in the freezer?

Somrudee Doikaewkhao / EyeEm / Getty Images

What You Need: Eggs (for use in savory dishes)

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Espresso powder, instant (for baking) – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

F

What You Need: Fish sauce – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • You can also add a tiny bit of anchovies, blended into the other liquid ingredients, to more closely approximate the flavor of fish sauce.

What You Need: Flour, all-purpose – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

General Mills flour recall

Arisara Tongdonnoi / EyeEm / Getty Images

Related Reading: This Brilliant Flour Substitute Makes Ridiculously Tasty Chocolate Chip Cookies

What You Need: Flour, bread – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

What You Need: Flour, cake – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Flour, rice – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup potato flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour

What You Need: Flour, self-rising – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, plus 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

G

What You Need: Garlic, minced – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • Honestly, there is no perfect substitute for fresh garlic (sorry), but in a pinch, you can use garlic powder to taste (not garlic salt unless you make sure to adjust the rest of the salt in the dish), and/or some minced scallions, shallots, chives, or onion for an allium flavor.

What You Need: Gelatin, leaf or sheet – 4 leaves (4×9 inches)

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope powdered gelatin (about 2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons agar-agar

What You Need: Green onions, chopped – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

green onions vs scallions

Chowhound

H

What You Need: Herbs, fresh – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

Related Reading: 21 Ways to Use Fresh Herbs Before They Go Bad

What You Need: Honey – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

K

What You Need: Key lime juice – 1/2 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Limes and Key Limes?

fresh lime juice

Chowhound

L

What You Need: Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice

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What You Need: Liquid smoke – 1/4 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) smoked Spanish paprika, chipotle (canned in adobo or powdered), smoked salt, or smoky tea like lapsang souchong
  • See our guide to liquid smoke for more.

M

What You Need: Mayonnaise – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup homemade mayo or aioli (made from oil, eggs, vinegar, and mustard)
  • 1 cup full-fat yogurt (season to taste with salt)
  • Depending on the specific use, you can also substitute mashed avocado, hummus, and more—see mayo-free egg salad recipes for some ideas.
roasted garlic aioli recipe

Chowhound

What You Need: Marshmallows – 8 regular

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Mascarpone – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Milk, condensed – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup whole milk boiled with 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoons sugar (see full instructions here; you can also swap in coconut milk for a vegan version of homemade condensed milk)

What You Need: Milk, evaporated whole – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Related Reading: What Is the Difference Between Evaporated Milk and Condensed Milk?

What You Need: Milk, skim (aka, nonfat) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/4 cup instant nonfat dry milk plus 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup evaporated skim milk plus 1/2 cup water

What You Need: Milk, whole – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/2 cup evaporated whole milk plus 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup 1 percent milk plus 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup 2 percent milk plus 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons skim milk plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup skim milk plus 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk

Related Reading: The Best Ways to Use Non-Dairy Milk

What You Need: Molasses

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup agave nectar

What You Need: Mustard, ground – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, lightly toasted

O

What You Need: Oil, olive – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • See our guide to cooking oils for more details on the most common kinds and best uses for each; depending on specific use, you may or may not be able to substitute 1 for 1.
guide to types of cooking oil (when should you use which oil)

Tetra Images/Getty Images

What You Need: Onion, chopped – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • You can substitute red, white, or yellow onions 1 for 1. Otherwise, try:
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 cup chopped scallions

P

What You Need: Pancetta – 1 cup (sliced, diced, or chopped)

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup sliced, diced, or chopped and blanched (i.e., boiled for about two minutes to remove the smoke) bacon

What You Need: Panko breadcrumbs – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup crushed Rice Chex (often used a gluten-free panko alternative)
  • Other ingredients as listed under breadcrumb substitutes above will also work, but will not yield quite the same texture.

What You Need: Pasta, cooked – 1 package

What You Can Use Instead:

  • Cooked rice, quinoa, or other grains (in most cases, they’re just as delicious with your pasta sauce of choice spooned on top)
  • Cooked polenta or grits (ditto)
  • Zucchini noodles, squash noodles, Palmini, or other veggie noodles
  • Commercial gluten-free pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Homemade pasta (though if you don’t dry your pasta, the texture will be far more delicate, so choose your sauce accordingly)
zucchini noodles and squash noodles

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What You Need: Polenta, dry – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup corn grits

R

What You Need: Rice, arborio or carnaroli for risotto (raw) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Rice, cooked – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup cooked orzo (a rice-shaped pasta that can work in its place in many side dishes like pilafs)
  • 1 cup cooked polenta (when using as a mild side dish or base for soaking up saucy recipes)
  • 1 cup cooked whole grains like quinoa or couscous
  • 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice
  • See our guide to types of rice for more on the differences between the most common varieties.
steamed white rice recipe

Chowhound

S

What You Need: Salt, kosher (Diamond Crystal) – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Morton kosher salt

What You Need: Salt, kosher (Morton) – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
never salt pasta water before it boils

Foodcollection RF / Getty Images

What You Need: Salt, fine – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Morton kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Related Reading: All the Salts You Need to Stock Your Pantry

What You Need: Scallions, chopped – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Shortening (for baking) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup applesauce

What You Need: Sour cream – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Soy sauce – 1 teaspoon

What You Can Use Instead:

What You Need: Sugar, light brown – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses pulsed in a food processor
are brown and white sugar interchangeable in baking?

Michelle Patrick / EyeEm / Getty Images

What You Need: Sugar, dark brown – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 cup coconut sugar (this may make baked goods slightly drier, so add a bit more moisture)

What You Need: Sugar, granulated – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey (use a lighter honey like clover and reduce the liquid in the recipe by a quarter; if the recipe doesn’t call for baking soda already, add 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (and reduce the liquid in the recipe by a quarter)
  • 1 cup cane syrup, also known as light treacle or golden syrup (and reduce the liquid in the recipe by a quarter)
  • 1 cup light corn syrup (and reduce the liquid in the recipe by a quarter)
  • There are also several artificial sweeteners that can work in place of sugar.

Related Reading: When to Substitute Brown Sugar for White Sugar in Baking

What You Need: Sugar, powdered – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

T

What You Need: Tahini – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 tablespoon all-natural nut butter or seed butter
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil plus more to taste (for hummus)
  • You can also make homemade tahini from sesame seeds and sesame or olive oil.

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What You Need: Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 tablespoon reduced tomato puree or tomato sauce (boil 1/4 cup of either until reduced down to 1 tablespoon; adjust ratio as needed for recipe)

What You Need: Tomato puree – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup diced, whole, or crushed tomatoes, pureed in a blender or food processor and strained through a fine mesh strainer
canned tomatoes: what kind to buy and how to use them

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What You Need: Tomato sauce – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1/2 cup tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water and seasonings like pepper, basil, etc. to taste

Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Canned Tomatoes

V

What You Need: Vinegar, white – 1 tablespoon

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Other types of vinegar may also work in some applications (like in a vinaigrette or marinade), but the flavor profile will change, of course, so always taste the vinegar by itself before using.
apple cider vinegar

Getty Images

W

What You Need: Wine, red (for cooking) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup beef broth plus 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup grape juice (red), cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice

What You Need: Wine, white (for cooking) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth plus 2 teaspoons wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry vermouth
  • 1 cup white grape juice plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Related Reading: The Best Wine Delivery Services & Subscriptions to Try

Y

What You Need: Yeast, active dry – 1 (¼-ounce) envelope (about 1 scant tablespoon), dissolved in warm water (around 110 degrees Fahrenheit)

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 scant tablespoon rapid-rise instant dry yeast
  • If you can’t find yeast in stores or online, make sourdough starter (which uses the wild yeast in your environment!)
sourdough starter tips: how to make, feed, and use it

karma_pema / E+ / Getty Images

What You Need: Yogurt, plain (whole milk) – 1 cup

What You Can Use Instead:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup crème fraîche or crema
  • 1 cup heavy cream plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
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