Substitution Guide

ingredient substitution guide

Cooking is a creative endeavor that doesn’t always go as smoothly as planned, even for the most accomplished cook. Being able to adapt in the kitchen is one of the greatest strengths you can exercise – and our handy guide of ingredient substitutions helps you do just that.  

Who knows, you may even like your finished dish better with a few substitutions (and we know you’ll love not having to make an extra trip to the store)! 

Pantry 

All-purpose flour: For baking, use equal parts cake flour and bread flour. 

Baking powder: Mix baking soda with a pinch of cream of tartar or a squeeze of lemon juice. 

Brown sugar: For baking, beat granulated sugar with honey (roughly 1 tablespoon of honey per cup of sugar). 

Eggs: Replace 1 whole egg with ¼ cup of commercial egg substitute 

Oils: Neutral oils like canola, coconut, corn, peanut, and vegetable are all interchangeable. For olive oil, you can substitute avocado or sunflower oils.  

Rice: 1 cup of cooked rice in a recipe can be replaced with equal portions of barley, bulgur, brown or wild rice. 

Stock: Water seasoned with orange or apple juice, melted butter, milk, miso paste, mushroom stock, olive oil, soy sauce, and even tea (depending on the recipe’s flavor profile). 

Vanilla extract: For baking, use equal amounts of maple syrup. 

Wine: For every cup of water, mix in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. 

spring clean- cook for your life- anti cancer recipes

Dairy 

Butter: Applesauce or pureed avocado for recipes for baked goods (the final result will be slightly denser, but still delicious). If using for pan-frying, use olive oil or another fat.  

Buttermilk: For baking, mix whole milk with a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar.  

Cream: For giving soups a creamy texture, boil sweet onions or cook white beans until completely tender, then puree until completely smooth. 

Milk: Use half the amount called for in the recipe with heavy, diluted with water until it reaches the recipe amount.    

Parmesan: Sprinkle toasted breadcrumbs for a salty garnish. 

Sour cream: For baking, use strained Greek yogurt in equal parts.  

Produce 

Alliums: Onions (red, white, yellow), leeks, scallions, and shallots can easily substitute for each other.  

1 garlic clove: Replace with 1/8 tsp. garlic powder 

1 tbsp. raw ginger: Replace with 1/8 tsp. ground ginger 

  • 1 medium onion: Replace with 1 tbsp. onion powder 

Greens: Depending on how greens are being cooked in a recipe, these are the more common substitutes. 

  • Tender: chard, lettuce, spinach, tatsoi 
  • Bitter: arugula, endive, frisee, radicchio, radish greens, watercress 
  • Sturdy: kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, escarole 

Potatoes: Choose firm vegetables like parsnips, turnips, butternut squash, or sweet potatoes. 

Tomatoes: 1 1/3 cups diced fresh tomatoes can be replaced with 1 cup of canned tomatoes.  

veggies- anti-cancer recipes - Cook For Your Life

Meats & Seafood 

Chicken: If substituting bone-in, skin-on thighs for chicken breasts, increase the cook time until meat reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Decrease cook time if replacing chicken thighs with chicken breasts. 

Fish: Substitute lean fish for other lean fish (cod, halibut, sole, tilapia), and fattier fish for other fatty fish (salmon, swordfish, tuna, char). Do not substitute lean fish with fatty fish, and vice versa. 

fish - cook for your life

Can’t find an ingredient substitution you were looking for? Please comment below or contact us and we’ll get it added to the guide! 

Registered Dietitian Approved

There are many misconceptions about nutrition and cancer in widespread media. By using current scientific literature, plus recommendations of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute, and the American Cancer Society, our Registered Dietitian, Kate Ueland, MS, RD, and our team of editors work to help our readers discern truth from myth.

The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. Always consult your physician or registered dietitian for specific medical advice.


Recipes You Might Also Like...


Leave a Review