Ingredient Substitutions

Photo Credit by Carlos Porto

Sometimes you may need to substitute one ingredient for another when you don’t have a certain ingredient on hand. Here’s a list of substitutions you can use; keep in mind it can change the taste and texture of your recipe.

  • Allspice (1 tsp) – 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, and 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Arrowroot starch (1 tsp) – 1 Tbsp flour or 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Bacon–crumbled (1 slice) – 1 Tbsp cooked bacon pieces
  • Baking mix (1 cup) – 1 cup pancake mix or 1 cup Easy Biscuit Mixture
  • Baking powder (1 tsp) – 1/2 tsp cream of tartar plus 1/4 tsp baking soda; or 1/4 tsp baking soda plus 1/2 cup buttermilk (decrease liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup)
  • Beer (1 cup) – 1 cup nonalcoholic beer or 1 cup chicken broth
  • Brandy (1/4 cup) – 1 tsp imitation brandy extract plus enough water to make 1/4 cup
  • Bread crumbs, dry (1/4 cup) – 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs, or 1/4 cup cracker crumbs, or 1/4 cup cornflake crumbs, or 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • Broth–chicken or beef (1 cup) – 1 bouillon cube plus 1 cup boiling water or 1 Tbsp soy sauce plus enough water to make 1 cup or 1 cup vegetable broth
  • Brown sugar (1 cup, packed) – 1 cup granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup molasses, and decrease the liquid in recipe by 1/4 cup; or 1 cup white sugar; or 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Butter–salted (1 cup) – 1 cup margarine or 1 cup shortening plus 1/2 tsp salt; or 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 tsp salt; or 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 tsp salt
  • Butter–unsalted (1 cup) – 1 cup shortening or 7/8 cup vegetable oil; or 7/8 cup lard
  • Buttermilk (1 cup) – 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough whole milk to make 1 cup (let stand for 5 minutes before using); or 1 cup whole milk plus 1-3/4 tsp cream of tartar, or 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup) – 1 cup shredded Colby cheddar; or 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Chocolate–German sweet cooking (4 squares or 4 oz) – 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1/3 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp shortening
  • Chocolate–semisweet (1 square) – 1 (1 oz) square of unsweetened chocolate plus 4 tsp sugar; or 1 oz semisweet chocolate chips plus 1 tsp shortening
  • Chocolate–unsweetened (1 square) – 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder plus 1 Tbsp shortening or cooking oil
  • Chocolate Chips–semisweet (1 cup) – 1 cup chocolate candies; or 1 cup peanut butter or other flavored chips; or 1 cup chopped nuts; or 1 cup chopped dried fruit
  • Cocoa (1/4 cup) – one (1 oz) square unsweetened chocolate
  • Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup (10.75 oz can) – 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of celery, cream of chicken; or golden mushroom soup
  • Cornstarch (1 Tbsp) – Use 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (for thickening)
  • Corn Syrup–light (1 cup) – 1-1/4 cup sugar plus 1/3 cup water; or 1 cup honey; or 1 cup light treacle syrup
  • Corn Syrup–dark (1 cup) – 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup molasses; or 1 cup light corn syrup
  • Cracker crumbs (1 cup) – 1 cup bread crumbs; or 1 cup matzo meal; or 1 cup ground oats
  • Cream–half and half (1 cup) – 7/8 cup milk plus 1Tbsp butter
  • Cream–heavy (1 cup) – 1 cup evaporated milk; or 3/4 cup milk plus 1/3 cup butter
  • Cream–light (1 cup) – 1 cup evaporated milk; or 3/4 cup milk plus 3 Tbsp butter
  • Cream–whipped (1 cup) – 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • Cream cheese (1 cup) – 1 cup pureed cottage cheese; or 1 cup plain yogurt, strained overnight in a cheesecloth
  • Cream of Tartar (1 tsp) – 2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
  • Creme fraiche (1 cup) – Combine 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 Tbsp of plain yogurt. Let stand for 6 hours at room temperature.
  • Egg–whole (1) – 2 egg yolks; or 2-1/2 Tbsp of powdered egg substitute plus 2-1/2 Tbsp water; or 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute; or 1/4 cup silken tofu pureed; or 3 Tbsp mayonnaise; or half a banana mashed with 1/2 tsp baking powder; or 1 Tbsp powdered flax seed soaked in 3 Tbsp water
  • Evaporated millk (1 cup) – 1 cup light cream
  • Fats for baking (1 cup) – 1 cup applesauce; or 1 cup fruit puree
  • Flour–bread (1 cup) – 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp wheat gluten (available at health food stores & some supermarkets)
  • Flour–cake (1 cup) – 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Flour–self-rising (1 cup) – 1 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Garlic clove (1) – 1/2 tsp bottled minced garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic powder; or 1/2 tsp garlic salt–reduce salt in recipe
  • Gelatin (1 Tbsp, granulated) – 2 tsp agar agar
  • Ginger–dry (1 tsp) – 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • Ginger–fresh (1 tsp, minced) – 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
  • Green onion (1/2 cup, chopped) – 1/2 cup chopped onion; or 1/2 cup chopped leek; or 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • Hazelnuts (1 cup whole) – 1 cup macadamia nuts; or 1 cup almonds
  • Herbs, fresh (1 Tbsp, chopped fresh) – 1 tsp (chopped or whole leaf) dried herbs
  • Honey (1 cup) – use 1-1/4 cups of sugar plus 1/3 cup water; or 1 cup corn syrup; or 1 cup light treacle syrup
  • Hot pepper sauce (1 tsp) – 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper plus 1 tsp vinegar
  • Ketchup (1 cup) – 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1 tsp vinegar plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • Lard (1 cup) – 1 cup shortening; or 7/8 cup vegetable oil; or 1 cup butter
  • Lemon grass (2 fresh stalks) – 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • Lemon juice (1 tsp) – 1/2 tsp vinegar; or 1 tsp white wine; or 1 tsp lime juice
  • Lemon peel, shredded (1 tsp) – 1 tsp dried lemon peel
  • Lemon zest (1 tsp) – 1/2 tsp lemon extract; or 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Lime juice (1 tsp) – 1 tsp vinegar; or 1 tsp white wine; or 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Lime zest (1 tsp) – 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Macadamia nuts (1 cup) – 1 cup almonds; or 1 cup hazelnuts
  • Mace (1 tsp) – 1 tsp nutmet
  • Maple syrup – use 1-1/4 cups of sugar plus 1/4 cup more liquid.
  • Margarine (1 cup) – 1 cup butter or 1 cup shortening plus 1/4 tsp salt; or 7/8 cup vegetable oil plus 1/2 tsp salt; or 7/8 cup lard plus 1/2 tsp salt
  • Milk–whole (1 cup) – 2/3 cup evaporated milk plus 1/3 cup water, or 1 cup water plus 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder; or 1 cup soy milk; or 1 cup rice milk; or 1 cup water or juice; or 1/4 cup dry milk powder plus 1 cup water
  • Mint–fresh (1/4 cup chopped) – 1 Tbsp dried mint leaves
  • Molasses (1 cup) – 1 cup honey; or mix 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Mustard–prepared (1 Tbsp) – 1/2 tsp dry mustard plus 2 tsp vinegar; or mix 1 Tbsp dry mustard, 1 tsp water, 1 tsp vinegar; and 1 tsp sugar
  • Onion, small chopped (1/3 cup) – 1 tsp onion powder or 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • Orange juice (1 Tbsp) – 1 Tbsp other citrus juice
  • Orange zest (1 Tbsp) – 1/2 tsp orange extract; or 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup, grated) – 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese; or 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Parsley (1 Tbsp, chopped fresh) – 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chervil; or 1 tsp dried parsley
  • Pepperoni (1 oz) – 1 oz salami
  • Raisin (1 cup) – 1 cup dried currants; or 1 cup dried cranberries; or 1 cup chopped pitted prunes
  • Rice–white (1 cup, cooked) – 1 cup cooked barley; or 1 cup cooked bulgur; or 1 cup cooked brown or wild rice
  • Ricotta (1 cup) – 1 cup dry cottage cheese; or 1 cup silken tofu
  • Rum (1 Tbsp) – 1/2 tsp rum extract plus enough water to make 1 Tbsp
  • Saffron (1/4 tsp) – 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Salami (1 oz) – 1 oz pepperoni
  • Shallots, chopped (1/2 cup) – 1/2 cup chopped onion; or 1/2 cup chopped leek; or 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • Shortening (1 cup) – 1 cup butter; or 1 cup margarine minus 1/2 tsp salt from recipe
  • Sour cream (1 cup) – 1 cup plain yogurt; or 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar plus enough cream to make 1 cup; or 3/4 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/3 cup butter
  • Soy sauce (1/2 cup) – 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp water
  • Stock–beef or chicken (1 cup) – 1 cube beef or chicken bouillon dissolved in 1 cup water
  • Sugar–white granulated (1 cup) – 1 cup packed brown sugar; or 1-1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar; or 3/4 cup honey; or 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • Tomato Juice (1 cup) – 1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
  • Tomato sauce (2 cups) – 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 1 cup water
  • Vegetable oil–for baking (1 cup) – 1 cup lard; or 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • Vinegar (1 tsp) – 1 tsp lemon or lime juice; or 2 tsp white wine
  • Wine (1 cup) – 1 cup chicken or beef broth; or 1 cup fruit juice mixed with 2 tsp vinegar; or 1 cup water
  • Yeast–active dry (1 pkg or .25 oz) – 1 cake compressed yeast; or 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast; or 2-1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • Yogurt (1 cup) – 1 cup sour cream; or 1 cup buttermilk; or 1 cup sour milk

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