Making a recipes with coconut aminos? Here are the best coconut aminos substitutes, plus tips for how to swap in recipes!
Coconut aminos is an ingredient that has been showing up in more and more recipes lately, including many of my own! It’s a gluten free and soy free alternative to soy sauce that adds unique umami flavor.
Because coconut aminos is relatively new, you may not have any on hand. Whether you’re trying to get dinner on the table fast or need to work around a sensitivity, I’ve got five of the best coconut aminos replacements for you to choose from!
What is coconut aminos?
Coconut aminos is a savory seasoning sauce made from the sap of coconut palms. It’s a dark, thinner sauce that’s slightly salty and sweet. It can be used in marinades, sauces, and sautés, and is great with sushi. It’s very similar to both soy sauce and liquid aminos, but it has much less sodium.
What can you substitute for coconut aminos?
The best substitute for coconut aminos is soy sauce or tamari. Both are similar in taste and texture, but they have significantly more sodium. In recipes with coconut aminos, you made need to reduce the seasoning slightly so your dish doesn’t end up too salty. If you have a sensitivity to gluten, go with tamari since it’s gluten free.
While that’s the short of it, here are a few more details on exactly how to make swaps, plus how to reduce the seasoning according to the recipe!
5 Best Coconut Aminos Substitutes
1. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is traditionally made from fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt. It is one of the best coconut aminos substitutes because it was originally created as a sub for soy sauce! It does have a stronger flavor, and typically contains gluten and soy. If you have an allergy to gluten, try to find an organic gluten free soy sauce.
Soy sauce has three times the sodium of coconut aminos. While a 1:1 swap can work in some cases, you’ll want to use slightly less soy sauce in recipes when using it as a substitution.
2. Tamari (gluten free)
Tamari is a Japanese seasoning sauce that is similar to soy sauce. It is also made from fermented soybeans and is completely gluten free. The biggest difference between coconut aminos vs tamari is tamari contains soy, while coconut aminos is completely soy free. It’s also darker, richer, and tastes slightly less salty than traditional soy sauce.
The flavor of tamari and coconut aminos is similar. Because tamara has about three times the sodium as coconut aminos, you want to use slightly less tamari in recipes.
3. Liquid Aminos (gluten free)
Not to be confused with coconut aminos, liquid aminos is a dark, salty seasoning sauce made from soy similar to tamari. It’s milder than soy sauce, so it’s a good substitute in terms of flavor. While it contains soy, it doesn’t contain gluten or preservatives, and is non-GMO. Liquid aminos typically has the same amount of sodium as traditional soy sauce and tamari. So, if you use liquid aminos as a substitute, you’ll want to use slightly less in recipes.
4. Homemade (soy and gluten free)
Another option if you don’t have coconut aminos is simply to make your own! This is one of the best substitutes because it will have a similar flavor and sodium content. It’s designed to mimic the level of umami, salt, and sweet that many of us find so appealing in recipes that include coconut aminos. It can also be made both gluten and soy free.
5. Teriyaki Sauce
Teriyaki sauce combines soy sauce, mirin (rice wine), sugar, and sake to create a distinctively sweet and salty sauce. While it’s a little thicker, you can use it in place of coconut aminos because it provides a similar flavor. You may want to add a small bit of water to the teriyaki sauce to make it more runny and pourable like coconut aminos.
There are many brands of teriyaki sauce now available, including some that are soy and gluten free! The sodium content can also vary with teriyaki sauce, so if you’re using it as a substitute, check to see how much it has. It may have the same or as much as double the amount of sodium.
Tips for making swaps in recipes
Most substitutes will have 2-3x the sodium of coconut aminos, including soy sauce. While you can swap soy sauce (or other alternatives) for coconut aminos, it’s best if you reduce the amount you use to accommodate the change in sodium. Otherwise, your dish may end up a little too salty. Here’s some quick tips for how to substitute coconut aminos in recipes:
- Skip or reduce the added salt in the recipe. 1/4 teaspoon salt has 525 mg of sodium, which is equivalent to about 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
- Use less. If a recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of coconut aminos, use 1-2 tablespoon of your swap. Add 1-2 tablespoons warm water to accomodate for the change in liquid volume if it’s part of a stir fry sauce.
- Use a reduced sodium sauce. For example, reduced sodium soy sauce has a little less than half the sodium as regular soy sauce.
Recipes to Try with Coconut Aminos (or coconut aminos substitutes!)
Ready to try coconut aminos or one of these replacements? Check out one of my favorite recipes:
- Healthy Orange Chicken
- Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
- Breakfast Fried Rice
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Egg Roll in a Bowl
The Bottom Line
Using coconut aminos is a delicious way to add a unique umami flavor to a variety of recipes. However, you may not have any on hand and need to make dinner fast! If that’s the case for you, a substitute can work!
Got another sub for coconut aminos you love? Share below! I always love hearing from you!