Missing an ingredient? Browse through these substitutions!


Acorn Squash – butternut squash or pumpkin

Active Dry Yeast (1 1/4-ounce package) – 1 .06-ounce cake compressed yeast or 1 scant tablespoon granulated dry yeast

Agar/Agar – gelatin

Allspice (1 teaspoon) – 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (for baking) or 1 teaspoon nutmeg (for baking) or 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (for cooking)

Anise Seed – Fennel seed or caraway seed (use more)

Apples, Chopped (1 cup) – 1 cup chopped firm pears plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Apple Cider – use 100% apple juice

Arrowroot (1 tablespoon) – 2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch or 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Arugula – Endive or dandelion greens


Baking Powder (1 teaspoon) – 5/8 teaspoon cream of tartar plus 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, or 1/4 teaspoon baking soda plus buttermilk as a substitute for 1/2 cup of the liquid called for in recipe

Basil, Dried – Dried tarragon, thyme or oregano

Basil, Fresh – Basil dried , half the quantity of fresh.

Bay Leaf (1) – 1/4 teaspoon thyme

Black Pepper, for Cooking – Allspice plus a dash of salt

Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage – Savory or green cabbage

Brandy – Cognac or rum

Bread Crumbs, Dry (1 cup) – 3/4 cup cracker crumbs, 3 slices dried bread, crumbled, or 1 cup rolled oats

Broth, Beef or Chicken (1 cup) – 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup boiling water, or 1 teaspoon powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water

Bulgur – Cracked wheat, brown rice, couscous or millet

Butter (1 cup) – 1 cup margarine; or 7/8 cup shortening, lard, or vegetable oil (it is not recommended to use oil in baked products); or 4/5 cup strained bacon fat; or 3/4 cup strained chicken fat

Buttermilk, for Baking (1 cup) – 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or vinegar); 1 cup milk plus 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar; or 1 cup plain yogurt


Capers – Chopped green olives

Caraway Seed – Fennel seed or cumin seed

Cardamom, Ground – Ground cinnamon or mace

Cayenne Pepper – Ground hot red pepper or chili powder

Celery Seed – Dill seed

Chervil, Dried – Dried tarragon or parsley

Chili Sauce (1 cup) – 1 cup tomato sauce plus 1/4 cup brown sugar plus 2 tablespoons vinegar plus 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon plus a dash ground cloves and a dash allspice

Chive, Fresh, Chopped – Chopped green onion, or leek

Chocolate, for Cooking or Baking – Unsweetened (1 ounce): 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter plus 2 tablespoons water; or 3 tablespoons carob powder plus 2 tablespoons water
Semisweet (1 ounce): 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Semisweet (6 ounces chocolate chips): 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa plus 1/4 cup and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 3 tablespoons butter

Cilantro, Fresh, Chopped (1 tablespoon) – 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

Cloves, Ground – Ground allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg

Cognac – Brandy or whiskey

Coriander Seed, Ground – Ground caraway plus cumin or allspice with a pinch of lemon zest

Corn Syrup, Dark (1 cup) – 3/4 cup light corn syrup plus 1/4 cup light molasses, or 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar plus 1/4 cup water

Corn Syrup, Light (1 cup) – 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1/4 cup water

Cornstarch, for Thickening (1 tablespoon) – 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or 2 tablespoons granulated tapioca

Couscous – Bulgur, quinoa, kasha, millet, orzo or rice

Cracker Crumbs (3/4 cup) – 1 cup dry bread crumbs

Cream, for Cooking or Baking (1 cup) – Half and Half: 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup, or 1/2 cup light cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk
Light Cream: 3 tablespoons melted butter plus enough whole milk to equal 1 cup
Heavy Whipping Cream: 1/3 cup melted butter plus 3/4 cup whole milk (not to be used for whipping)

Cream Cheese (1 cup) – 1/2 cup cottage cheese plus 1/2 cup cream

Cream of Tartar (1/2 teaspoon) – 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cream, Whipped – Chill a 13-ounce can evaporated milk for 12 hours, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and whip until stiff

Creme Fraiche (1 cup) – 1 cup sour cream in a recipe, or 1/2 cup sour cream plus 1/2 cup heavy cream for a sauce

Cumin Seed (1 teaspoon) – 1/3 teaspoon anise seed plus 2/3 teaspoon caraway seed, or 1 teaspoon fennel seed

Currants, Dried (1 cup) – Finely chopped raisins, soft prunes or dates


Dates – Raisins, figs or prunes

Dill Seed – Caraway seed or celery seed


Edible Flowers, for Garnish and in Salads – Blue borage, chive blossoms, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, roses or violets (purchase from specialty produce markets or supermarkets that carry gourmet produce)

Eggs (1) – 2 tablespoons water plus 2 tablespoons flour plus 1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Evaporated Milk – Light cream or half and half


Fennel Seed – Anise seed or caraway seed

Feta Cheese – Ricotta cheese “salata” (aged and salted)

Flour, for Thickening (2 tablespoons) – 1 tablespoon cornstarch, potato starch or rice starch; or 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca

Flour, Whole Wheat (1 cup) – 1 cup graham flour or 2 tablespoons wheat germ plus enough white flour to make 1 cup

Flowers (see Edible Flowers)


Garlic, Minced (1 clove) – 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Gelatin, Flavored (1 tablespoon) – 1 tablespoon plain gelatin plus 2 cups fruit juice

Ginger, Fresh, Grated (1 tablespoon) – 1 teaspoon powdered ginger plus 1/4 teaspoon white pepper plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Ginger, Powdered (1 tablespoon) – 1 teaspoon mace plus 1 teaspoon lemon peel


Herbs, Fresh (1 tablespoon) – 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried

Honey, for Baking (1 cup) – 1 1/4 cups sugar plus 1/4 cup more liquid than called for in recipe; or 1 cup corn syrup, maple syrup or molasses, depending on desired flavor

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.


Jicama – Water chestnuts

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.


Lemon Juice (1 teaspoon) – 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

Lemon Rind, Grated (1 teaspoon) – 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

Lemongrass, Fresh, Minced – Grated lemon zest


Mace, Ground – Ground allspice, cloves or nutmeg

Maple Syrup (2 cups) – 2 cups sugar plus 1 cup water; bring to a clear boil, remove from heat and add 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring

Marjoram, Dried – Dried thyme or savory

Mayonnaise, for Salads and Salad Dressings (1 cup) – 1 cup sour cream; or 1 cup cottage cheese pureed in a blender; or 1/2 cup yogurt plus 1/2 cup mayonnaise

Milk (1 cup) – Nonfat: 1/3 cup dry nonfat milk plus 3/4 cup water
Sour: 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar) plus milk to equal 1 cup (let stand 5 minutes)
Whole: 1/2 cup evaporated milk plus 1/2 cup water, or 1 cup nonfat milk plus 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or margarine

Molasses – Honey


Nutmeg, Ground – Ground cinnamon, ginger or mace

Nuts, for Baking – Bran buds or other cereal nuggets


Oil, for Sauteing – Melted margarine, butter, bacon drippings, shortening or lard

Onion Powder (1 tablespoon) – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh onion

Orange (1 medium) – 1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice or 2 to 3 tablespoons grated orange peel

Oregano, Dried – Dried marjoram, rosemary or thyme


Parsley, Fresh – Fresh chervil or tarragon

Pimiento, Chopped (2 tablespoons) – 1 tablespoon dried red bell pepper; or 3 tablespoons chopped fresh red bell pepper

Pine Nuts – Blanched slivered almonds or chopped walnuts

Polenta – Cornmeal or grits

Poultry Seasoning (1 teaspoon) – 1/2 teaspoon ground sage plus a blend (1/8 teaspoon each) of any of the following: thyme, marjoram, savory, black pepper and rosemary

Prosciutto -Country ham

Pumpkin Pie Spice (1 teaspoon) – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon plus 1/4 teaspoon ginger plus 1/8 teaspoon allspice plus 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.


Raisins – Currants, soft prunes or dates

Red Pepper, Ground – Cayenne pepper or chili powder


Saffron (1/8 teaspoon) – 1 teaspoon dried yellow marigold petals, or 1 teaspoon safflower herb, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric

Savory, Dried – Dried thyme, marjoram or sage

Shallots, Chopped – Chopped scallions (use more), leeks, or standard onions (use less)

Shortening, for Baking – Butter or stick margarine

Sour Cream (1 cup) – 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt; or 3/4 cup sour milk (or buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt) plus 1/4 cup melted butter; or 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or white vinegar) plus evaporated whole milk to equal 1 cup

Soy Sauce – Teriyaki sauce

Sugar, for Baking or Cooking – Confectioners’ or Powdered (1 3/4 cups): 1 cup white sugar
Granulated White (1 cup) : 1 cup packed brown sugar or 1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Light Brown (1 cup): 1/2 cup dark brown sugar plus 1/2 cup white sugar, or 1 cup white sugar plus 2 tablespoons molasses


Tahini (1 tablespoon) – 1 tablespoon finely ground sesame seeds, or 1 tablespoon unsalted sunflower seeds (or blanched almonds) ground with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Tarragon, Dried – Anise seed (use less), dried chervil (use more) or a dash of fennel seed

Thyme, Dried – Dried marjoram, oregano or savory

Tomatillos – Fresh green tomatoes plus a little lemon juice

Tomato Sauce (1 cup) – 6 tablespoons tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water

Turmeric – Powdered mustard or curry powder

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.


Vanilla Extract, for Baking – Almond extract or other extracts

Vinegar – Lemon juice (in cooking and salads), grapefruit juice (in salads) or wine (in marinades)

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.


Yogurt – Buttermilk or sour cream

Sorry, there are no entries for this letter. If you would like to suggest an entry, please leave a comment.

One thought on “Substitutions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s