NMSU: In a Pinch Ingredient Substitutions
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In a Pinch Ingredient Substitution


Guide E-131
Martha Archuleta, Extension Food and Nutrition Specialist
College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University.


Have you ever been in the middle of preparing a recipe and discovered you were out of an important ingredient? If so, you had to decide on a solution to the problem—make a suitable substitute for that ingredient from supplies available in your pantry, or make a trip to the grocery store.

The jaunt to the store ensures that you get the ingredient specified in the recipe, but it can also take valuable time and energy you might not have.

Ingredient substitution—or using similar ingredients that perform the same function in a food—is the easiest alternative. The key to success with ingredient substitution is being able to put your finger on the information when you need it. The following information is designed to help you do just that.

Many substitutions are simply another form of the needed ingredient. For example, 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder can be substituted for one small garlic clove. These simple substitutions are called equivalents because the ingredients are similar. When equivalent ingredients are substituted, very little, if any, change will be noticed in the finished product.

Another type of substitution involves using an ingredient with properties similar to the ingredient called for in the recipe. An example would be substituting plain yogurt for sour cream in a salad dressing.

Each ingredient in a recipe has a specific function. Therefore, this kind of substitution can result in a product with different quality characteristics. This means that flavor, color or texture of the product may change because of an ingredient substitution.

Quality in the Making

Ingredient Substitution Chart
Ingredient Amount Substitutes
Allspice 1 tsp • 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cinnamon and 1 ⁄ 2 tsp ground cloves
Apple pie spice 1 tsp • 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 ⁄ 4 tsp nutmeg and 1 ⁄ 8 tsp cardamom
Arrowroot starch 1 1 ⁄ 2 tsp • 1 Tbsp flour
• 1 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cornstarch
Baking powder 1 tsp • 1 ⁄ 3 tsp baking soda and 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cream of tartar
• 1 ⁄ 4 tsp baking soda and 1 ⁄ 2 cup sour milk or buttermilk
(decrease liquid called in recipe by 1 ⁄ 2 cup)
• 1 ⁄ 4 tsp baking soda and 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
used with sweet milk to make 1 ⁄ 2 cup (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 2 cup)
Bay leaf 1 whole • 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon crushed
Beau monde
seasoning
1 tsp • 1 tsp seasoning or seasoned salt
• 1 ⁄ 2 tsp table salt
• 1 ⁄ 2 tsp Mei Yen seasoning
Broth 1 cup • 1 bouillon cube dissolved in 1 cup beef or chicken boiling water
• 1 envelope powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup boilingwater
• 1 tsp powdered broth base dissolved in 1 cup boiling water
Butter 1 cup • 7 ⁄ 8 – 1 cup hydrogenated fat and 1 ⁄ 2 tsp salt
• 7 ⁄ 8 cup lard plus 1 ⁄ 2 tsp salt
• 1 cup margarine
Catsup 1 cup • 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 ⁄ 2 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp vinegar (for use in cooking)
Chicken stock 1 1 ⁄ 2 tsp • 1 chicken bouillon cube base, instant
Chicken stock 1 Tbsp • 1 cup canned or homemade base, instant dissolved in chickenbroth or
chicken stock 1 cup water
Chili sauce 1 cup • 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 ⁄ 4 cup brown sugar, 2 Tbsp vinegar, 1 ⁄ 4 tsp cinnamon,
dash of ground cloves and dash of allspice
Chives 2 tsp • 2 tsp green onion tops, finely chopped finely chopped
Chocolate chips 1 oz • 1 oz sweet cooking chocolate semisweet
Chocolate,
semisweet
1 2 ⁄ 3 oz. • 1 oz. unsweetened chocolate and 4 tsp sugar
Chocolate,
semisweet chips,
melted
6-oz package • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, 2 Tbsp shortening and 1 ⁄ 2 cup sugar
Chocolate,
unsweetened
1 oz. or square • 3 Tbsp cocoa and 1 Tbsp fat
Cocoa 1 ⁄ 4 cup • 1 oz. (square) chocolate (decrease 4 Tbsp fat called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp)
Coconut 1 Tbsp grated, dry • 1 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp fresh coconut, grated
Coconut cream 1 cup • 1 cup whipping cream
Coconut milk 1 cup • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
Corn syrup 1 cup • 1 cup sugar and 1 ⁄ 4 cup liquid (use whatever liquid is called for in the recipe)
• 1 cup honey
Cornstarch
(for thickening)
1 Tbsp • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 Tbsp granular tapioca
Cracker crumbs 3 ⁄ 4 cup • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
Cream,
half-and half
1 cup • 7 ⁄ 8 cup milk and 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
• 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
Cream, Heavy
(36% – 40% fat)
1 cup • 3 ⁄ 4 cup milk and 1 ⁄ 3 cup butter or margarine (for use in cooking and baking)
Cream, light
(18% – 20% fat)
1 cup • 3 ⁄ 4 cup milk and 3 Tbsp butter or margarine (for use in cooking and baking)
• 1 cup evaporated milk, undiluted
Cream, whipped   • Chill a 13 oz. can of evaporated milk for 12 hours.
Add 1 tsp lemon juice. Whip until stiff.
Dill plant,
fresh or dried
3 heads • 1 Tbsp dill seed
Egg 1 whole
(3Tbsp)
• 3 Tbsp and 1 tsp thawed frozen egg
• 2 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp sifted, dry whole egg powder and 2 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
• 2 yolks and 1 Tbsp water (in cookies)
• 2 yolks ( in custards, cream fillings and similar mixtures)
Egg white 1 white
(2 Tbsp)
• 2 Tbsp thawed frozen egg white
• 2 tsp sifted, dry egg white powder and 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
Egg yolk 1 yolk
(1 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp)
• 2 Tbsp sifted, dry egg yolk powder and 2 tsp water
• 1 1 ⁄ 3 Tbsp thawed frozen egg yolk
Flour, all purpose
(for thickening)
1 Tbsp • 1 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cornstarch, arrowroot starch, potato starch or rice starch
• 1 Tbsp granular tapioca
• 1 Tbsp waxy rice flour
• 1 Tbsp waxy corned flour
• 2 Tbsp browned flour
• 1 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
• 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour and 1 ⁄ 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Flour,
all purpose

Note: Specialty flours
added to yeast bread
recipes will result in a
reduced volume and
a heavier product.
1 cup
sifted
• 1 cup and 2 Tbsp cake flour
• 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp unsifted allpurpose flour
• 1 1 ⁄ 2 cup bread crumbs
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1 ⁄ 3 cup cornmeal or soybean flour and 2 ⁄ 3 cup all purpose flour
• 1 ⁄ 2 cup cornmeal, bran, rice flour, rye flour or whole wheat flour and
1 ⁄ 2 cup all-purpose flour
• 3 ⁄ 4 cup whole wheat flour or bran flour and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 cup rye or rice flour
• 1 ⁄ 4 cup soybean flour and 3 ⁄ 4 cup all-purpose flour
Flour, cake
1 cup
sifted
• 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp sifted all-purpose flour
Flour,
self-rising
1 cup • 1 cup minus 2 tsp all-purpose flour and 1 1 ⁄ 2 tsp baking powder
and 1 ⁄ 2 tsp salt
Flour
whole wheat
  • substitute whole wheat flour for 1 ⁄ 4 – 1 ⁄ 2 of white flour called for in recipe
Garlic 1 clove,
small
• 1 ⁄ 8 tsp garlic powder
Gelatin 3 oz.
package
• 1 Tbsp plain gelatin and 2 cups flavored fruit juice
Ginger
powdered
1 ⁄ 8 tsp • 1 Tbsp candied ginger rinsed in water to remove sugar, and finely cut
• 1 Tbsp raw ginger
Herbs, fresh
finely cut
1 Tbsp • 1 tsp dried herbs
Honey 1 cup • 1 1 ⁄ 4 cups sugar and 1 ⁄ 4 cup liquid (use liquid called for in recipe)
Horseradish 1 Tbsp,
fresh
• 2 Tbsp bottled
Lemon 1 tsp juice • 1 ⁄ 2 tsp vinegar
Lemon 1 medium • 2-3 Tbsp juice and 1-2 tsp rind
Lemon peel,
dried
1 tsp • 1-2 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
• grated peel of 1 medium lemon
• 1 ⁄ 2 tsp lemon extract
Macaroni
(4 cups cooked)
2 cups,
uncooked
• 2 cups spaghetti, uncooked
• 4 cups noodles, uncooked
Maple sugar 1 ⁄ 2 cup • 1 cup maple syrup
Maple sugar 1 Tbsp • 1 Tbsp white, granulated (grated and packed) sugar
Marshmallows,
miniature
1 cup • 10 large
Mayonnaise
(for use in
salads and
salad dressings)
1 cup • 1 ⁄ 2 cup yogurt and 1 ⁄ 2 mayonnaise
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup cottage cheese pureed in a blender
Mei Yen
seasoning
1 tsp • 1 tsp Beau Monde seasoning
• 1 ⁄ 2 tsp table salt
Milk, buttermilk 1 cup • 1 cup plain yogurt
Milk, buttermilk 1 cup • 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp sweet milk and 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
(allow to stand 5-10 minutes)
• 1 cup sweet milk and 1 3 ⁄ 4 tsp cream of tartar
Milk, evaporated
(whole or skim)
1 ⁄ 2 cup, plus
1 ⁄ 2 cup water
• 1 cup liquid whole milk
Milk, skim 1 cup • 4-5 Tbsp non-fat dry milk powder and enough water to make one cup,
or follow manufacturer’s directions
Milk, skim 1/4 cup • 4 tsp non-fat dry milk powder plus water to make 1 ⁄ 4 cup, or follow
manufacturer’s directions
• 2 Tbsp evaporated skim milk and 2 Tbsp water
Milk,
sweetened
1 can,
(about
1 1 ⁄ 3 cup)

1 cup
• Heat the following ingredients until condensed sugar and butter
are dissolved: 1 ⁄ 3 cup and 2 Tbsp evaporated milk 1 cup sugar 3
Tbsp butter or margarine

• Heat the following ingredients until sugar and butter are dissolved:
1 ⁄ 3 cup evaporated milk 3 ⁄ 4 cup sugar 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
• Add 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp dry milk to 1 ⁄ 2 cup warm water. Mix well.
Add 3 ⁄ 4 cup sugar and stir until smooth
Milk, whole 1 cup • 1 cup reconstituted non-fat dry milk and 2 tsp butter or margarine
• 3 ⁄ 4 cup evaporated milk and 3 ⁄ 4 cup water
• 4 Tbsp whole dry milk and 1 cup water, or follow manufacturer’s directions
• 1 cup fruit juice or 1 cup potato water (for use in baking)
• 1 ⁄ 4 cup non-fat dry milk and 2 tsp butter or margarine and 7 ⁄ 8 cup water
Mushrooms 1 pound
fresh
• 3 oz. dried mushrooms
• 1 10 oz. can (8 oz. drained weight)
Mushrooms,
powdered
1 Tbsp • 3 Tbsp whole, dried mushrooms
• 4 oz. fresh
• 2 oz. canned
Mustard, dry 1 tsp • 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
Onion, fresh 1 small • Rehydrate 1 Tbsp instant minced onion
Onions, instant
minced
1 Tbsp • 2 Tbsp fresh onion,chopped
Onion powder 1 Tbsp • 1 medium onion, chopped
• 4 Tbsp fresh chopped onion
Orange 1 medium • 6-8 Tbsp juice
Orange peel,
dried
1 Tbsp • 2-3 Tbsp grated freshorange peel
• grated peel of 1 medium orange
Orange peel,
dried
2 tsp • 1 tsp orange extract
Orange peel,
fresh
1 medium • 2-3 Tbsp grated fresh orange peel
Parsley, dried 1 tsp • 3 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
Peppers,
green bell
1 Tbsp,
dried
• 3 Tbsp fresh green pepper, chopped
Peppers,
red bell
1 Tbsp,
dried
• 3 Tbsp fresh red bell pepper chopped
• 2 Tbsp chopped pimento
Peppermint,
dried
1 Tbsp • 1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh mint
Pimento 2 Tbsp • Rehydrate 1 Tbsp dried red chopped bell peppers
• 3 Tbsp fresh red bell pepper chopped
Pumpkin
pie spice
1 tsp • 1 ⁄ 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 ⁄ 4 tsp ginger, 1 ⁄ 8 tsp allspice and 1 ⁄ 8 tsp nutmeg
Rennet 1 tablet • 1 Tbsp liquid rennet
Rice (3 cups cooked) 1 cup
regular,
uncooked
• 1 cup uncooked converted rice
• 1 cup uncooked brown rice
• 1 cup uncooked wild rice
Shortening,
melted
1 cup • 1 cup cooking oil (cooking oil should not be substituted if recipe
does not call for melted shortening)
Shortening, solid
(used in baking)
1 cup • 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp lard
• 1 1 ⁄ 8 cups butter (decrease salt called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 2 tsp)
• 1 1 ⁄ 8 cups margarine (decrease salt called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 2 tsp)
Sour cream 1 cup • 3 ⁄ 4 cup sour milk and 1 ⁄ 3 cup butter or margarine
• 3 ⁄ 4 cup buttermilk and 1 ⁄ 3 cup butter or margarine
• Blend until smooth: 1 ⁄ 3 cup buttermilk, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 cup cottage cheese
• 1 cup plain yogurt
• 3 ⁄ 4 cup milk, 3 ⁄ 4 tsp lemon juice and 1 ⁄ 3 cup butter or margarine
Spearmint, dried 1 Tbsp • 1 ⁄ 4 cup chopped fresh mint
Sugar, brown 1 cup
firmly packed
• 1 cup granulated sugar
Sugar, white 1 tsp • 1 ⁄ 8 tsp noncaloric sweetener solution or follow manufacturer’s
directions
Sugar, white 1 cup • 1 cup corn syrup (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 4 cup)
• 1 1 ⁄ 3 cup molasses (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 3 cup)
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1 cup honey (decrease liquid called for in recipe by 1 ⁄ 4 cup)
• 1 3 ⁄ 4 cup confectioners’ sugar, packed
Tapioca, granular 1 Tbsp • 2 Tbsp pearl tapioca
Tomatoes Fresh 2 cups • 1 16 oz. can (may need to drain)
Tomato Juice 1 cup • 1 ⁄ 2 cup tomato sauce and 1 ⁄ 2 cup water
Worcestershire 1 tsp • 1 tsp bottled steak sauce
Yeast, active dry 1 Tbsp • 1 cake yeast, compressed
• 1 package (1 ⁄ 4 oz) active dry yeast
Yogurt, plain 1 cup • 1 cup buttermilk
• 1 cup cottage cheese, blended until smooth
• 1 cup sour cream


Initial development of this information by Barbara Willenberg, Extension Assistant and Karla Vollmar Hughes, State Specialist, University of Missouri.


To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at aces.nmsu.edu.

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New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

Reprinted and electronically distributed January 2003, Las Cruces, NM.