11 best ever Substitute for Anchovy Paste

If you love the taste of anchovies but don’t like their texture, you’ll love this substitute. 

When I first started cooking, I learned to make one of the first things was Caesar salad.

I loved how versatile and flavorful this traditional dish can be. 

However, as much as I love anchovies, they’re not always readily available where I live. 

So, when faced with the need for a substitute for anchovy paste, I tried a few different things before finally settling on what works best for me. 

In this blog post, I will share my findings with you if you find yourself in a similar situation. 

Let’s get started!

What is anchovy paste?

Anchovy paste is a type of fish paste made from anchovies. It is a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. It is utilized to add flavor to plates like pasta and pizza. 

Anchovy paste can also be used as a spread or condiment. It is used as a spice to provide meals a savory, umami flavor.

Anchovy Paste is made from salt-cured anchovies with a high salt level and a preservative called sodium benzoate. 

Flaked and canned anchovies are referred to as “anchovy fillets” or sometimes “anchovy paste.” The taste of anchovy paste is intensified.

Anchovy paste is usually packaged in tubes or metal tins.

Taste Best Substitute for Anchovy Paste

Here is the list of alternative paste, sauce, different ingredients used to substitute for anchovy paste. The taste almost comes the same. 

In the last section, I disclosed some of my favorite Anchovy paste alternatives I often used in my recipe.

1. Anchovy Substitute FISH SAUCE 

Fish sauce is a powerful, pungent-smelling amber liquid extracted from fermented raw fish or shrimp.

in your dish use fish sauce instead of anchovy.

Fish sauce has a strong, salty taste that can add flavor to many different types of food. It is frequently used as a seasoning or dipping sauce or included in recipes during the cooking process.

Some popular dishes that include fish sauce include Vietnamese Pho and Thai Tom Yum.

Half-salt fish sauce is a good choice if you don’t want to use or run out of anchovy paste. It’s a suitable replacement for your recipe with less heavy flavor than Anchovy Paste; it’s more like a salty taste to the dishes.

2. Anchovy Paste Substitute for Sauce WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

Worcestershire sauce is a brown, spicy, and tangy sauce made from fermented malt vinegar, anchovies, onions, garlic, and other spices. It is usually used as a condiment for meat or seafood.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE is A perfect substitution for anchovy paste in savory dishes.

A perfect substitution for anchovy paste in savory dishes. Worcestershire sauce is lower in sodium than anchovy paste, and it also has a more complex flavor profile. 

You should note that Worcestershire sauce often includes anchovies if you’re a vegan.

3. Use MISO PASTE Instead of Anchovy Paste for Better Flavor

Anchovy paste can add a distinct flavor to many dishes, but it’s one that not everybody enjoys. 

MISO PASTE is a good substitute for Anchovy Paste for Better Flavor

If you’re looking to use anchovies for something like Caesar salad dressing and want the taste without the strong fishy-ness, try using Miso Paste in its place. 

Miso will give your dish a similar umami flavor without the fishy taste.

Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste used as a seasoning in Japanese cuisine. 

The flavor of miso paste is earthy, salty, and slightly sweet. It adds depth of flavor to dishes such as soup, stew, and marinades. 

Miso paste can also be used as a condiment for rice and noodle dishes.

Much like soy sauce, there are different variations of miso paste that depend on its ingredients and fermentation time.

4. A Good Anchovy Paste Replacement -OYSTER SAUCE

Although anchovy paste is a common ingredient in many Italian cuisines, it has a strong flavor.

a good anchovy paste replacement is oyster sauce.

Some people find anchovies too strong for their palate. If you are having trouble eating your diet because of the taste of anchovies, try using oyster sauce instead.

You can use this type of sauce just as you would traditional anchovy paste, with one exception: do not add salt. Oyster sauce is already salty, so there is no need to add any more. 

Oyster sauce is made from oysters that have been boiled in water and then mixed with several seasonings.

Because oyster sauce has a milder flavor than anchovy paste. It is suitable for many people who wish to add flavor to their dishes without dominating them.

So next time you prepare Italian dishes or any other meal that needs a little boost in the flavor department, give the oyster sauce a try.

5. SHRIMP PASTE for Anchovy Paste Substitute

Although shrimp paste is used as a condiment and flavoring in many Southeast Asian and Southern Chinese dishes, Westerners are not particularly well known. 

Shrimp paste is an anchovy paste substitute made of fermented ground shrimp.

Shrimp paste is an anchovy paste substitute made of fermented ground shrimp. You can add shrimp paste into stir-fries, curries, casseroles or use it as a marinade for fish dishes.

The sauce contains no fish, milk, eggs, starch, or MSG. To begin, I would add 1 teaspoon of shrimp paste to a recipe for anchovy paste. Taste the dish and add more if you need to (up to 1 tablespoon).

6. SEAWEED- A Healthy Alternative to Anchovy Paste

Types of edible seaweed include red algae, brown algae, and green algae. Seaweed is a suitable source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and has been used as food for centuries. 

Seaweed is especially popular in many Asian cultures.

One of the easiest ways to enjoy seaweed is to chop it up and add it to your salad.

Seaweed can also be used in baking recipes, such as cookies or bread. It has a slightly salty taste that goes well with sweet flavors.


Capers (Capparis spinosa) is the edible flower buds of a wild bush that grows in Mediterranean climates. The buds are pickled in vinegar or brine and used as a condiment. 


Capers have a piquant, salty flavor and add zing to food. They are commonly used in salads, sauces, and meat dishes.

One of the great things about capers is that they can be used in various recipes. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Add capers to your salad for a tangy, salty flavor.
  • Mix capers into your pasta sauce for a bit of zing.
  • Stir capers into sour cream for an easy appetizer.
  • Put a few tablespoons of capers on top of your favorite vegetable dishes.
  • Use 2-3 tablespoons of capers in your favorite tuna or chicken salad recipe.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of chopped, fresh capers into some mayonnaise and use it as a sandwich spread.
  • Stir a few tablespoons of capers into your favorite potato salad recipe.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of chopped, fresh capers to your favorite meatball recipe.
  • Mix 1/3 cup of chopped, fresh capers with cream cheese and use as a spread on crackers or toast points.
  • Use 3-4 tablespoons of capers in your next batch of bruschetta.

When it comes to adding capers to your dishes, the choices are unlimited. So, get creative and have a good time!

8. Substitute Anchovy Authentic Taste with UMEBOSHI PASTE

My daughter loves the taste of Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum). I often use it in Bentos. 

But she didn’t like the sourness of the Umeboshi very much, so I tried making a substitute for her using anchovy instead of ume (plum) to make “Anchovy-Umeboshi.” 

It turned out to be very good! Now my daughter loves the substitute, too.

Ume is used in various dishes to make them more authentic. But I think it’s good enough already with Anchovy-Ume (Japanese pickled plum) paste, ready to eat!


-Anchovies (1 can)

-Sake (1 tablespoon)

-Mirin (1 tablespoon)

-Sugar (2 tablespoons)

-Umeboshi paste (1 teaspoon)


1. Drain the anchovies and remove the heads and guts.

2. In a bowl, mix the anchovies, sake, mirin (use a nonalcoholic substitute for mirin), and sugar together until the anchovies are coated.

3. Spread the mixture on a tray and let it dry in the sun for about 2 hours (or in a dehydrator at 50 degrees Celsius for 2 hours).

4. Once it’s dried out, put them into a food processor and blend until it is the same consistency as anchovy paste.

5. Add Umeboshi paste to taste, mix well until they are blended together.

6. Ready! It goes very well with rice, Udon noodles and pasta too!

9. SOY SAUCE Good Cover-Up for Anchovy Taste

Use soy sauce to substitute for anchovy paste in Caesar salads, pasta dishes, and pizza toppings. 

Soy sauce has a salty, umami flavor paired with savory and sweet ingredients. It also offers a protein boost to your food. ( If you don’t have soy sauce, you can use its substitute instead)

10. SARDINE FILLETS FOR Anchovy Fillets 

Sardine fillets are small, thin fish from the sardine family for those who are unfamiliar with the name.

Sardine fillets are typically less than two inches long and have soft flesh perfect for eating raw or cooked. 

Sardine fillets can be used in various dishes, but they are prevalent in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine.

Substitute for anchovies in caesar dressing

A few different options can be used to substitute for anchovies in caesar dressing. 

Some people suggest using Worcestershire sauce as a substitute, while others recommend using capers or roasted garlic. 

If you’re searching for a little more subtle flavor, you can also use plain olive oil in place of the anchovies. 

Whatever method you use, make sure to include a salty component to help replicate the flavor of anchovies.

It is actually a relatively simple process if you want to make your own caesar dressing from scratch. 

All you require is olive oil, lemon juice, and my favorite ingredients: Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper.

You can crush the garlic and Parmesan with a mortar and pestle or a grinder if you want.

Simply add all ingredients to a mixing dish and blend until evenly blended.

If the dressing is too thick, you can add some water until it reaches the desired consistency.

How to Make Anchovy Paste (Easy Homemade)

The method is relatively straightforward if you want to produce your own anchovy paste.

All you need is some olive oil, fresh parsley, and anchovies. 

To begin, finely cut the parsley and set it in a bowl. Smash the anchovies with a fork until they are completely broken down.

Slowly incorporate the olive oil until it is thoroughly mixed in. 

If you want to use this paste in caesar dressing, try adding a little bit of mustard to help round out the flavor.

Substitute for Anchovies in Puttanesca

Another popular dish that uses anchovies as the main ingredient is puttanesca sauce. 

This sauce is typically made with tomatoes, olives, capers, and anchovies. 

Suppose you are looking for a substitute for anchovies in this recipe. In that case, you can try roasted garlic or even salted sun-dried tomatoes.

Just be aware that both substitutes might change the flavor quite slightly.

Vegan Anchovy Paste Substitute


Kalamata olives are a delicious and versatile Mediterranean ingredient. They are perfect for adding a salty, briny flavor to dishes. They also make an excellent condiment for sandwiches and wraps.

If looking for a vegan substitute for anchovy paste, look no further than chopped Kalamata olives. They have an identical flavor and texture to anchovies, and they are a great way to add salt and umami to your dishes.

Try chopped Kalamata olives in pasta sauces, salad dressings, or marinades. 

They are also delicious on pizza or in sandwiches. You can find them in the grocery store near the other olive products.

Vegetarian substitute for anchovy paste

There are a few Vegetarian Anchovy Substitutes

for anchovy paste that can be used in recipes. 

One is a vegan version made with mushrooms, found at some health food stores. 

Another is a mixture of sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and capers. Either of these can be substituted for the anchovy paste in most recipes.

Dried Anchovies Substitute

There are a few substitutes for dried anchovies. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use other types of fish or seafood.

Bacon and ham are other salt-rich meats that can be used as a substitute for dried anchovies. 

These ingredients are high in protein and add a smoky flavor to dishes. 

They are also reasonably inexpensive, so they can be used in budget-friendly meals. 

On the other hand, bacon will leave a streak of grease in your dish if there is too much.

Some people may choose a vegetarian option to substitute the dried anchovies if they avoid meat. 

Tofu is a good choice since it absorbs flavors well and has a similar texture when cooked properly.

You can also use mashed potatoes if you do not want the soy taste of tofu. 

Another option is using a vegan fish sauce to replace anchovy paste or sauce. This will give you the same umami flavor without any meat.

No matter what substitute you choose, make sure to read the recipe carefully so that you can get the measurements and proportions correct. 

Otherwise, you risk making a dish that is either excessively fishy or too salty.

How much Anchovy Paste Equals one Anchovy?

While the amount of anchovy paste needed to equal one anchovy fillet will vary depending on the brand, typically, one tablespoon of anchovy paste is equivalent to one anchovy fillet.

This means that if you are looking to add some flavor to your dish but don’t want to add too many fishy flavors, a small amount of anchovy paste should do the trick.

Additionally, suppose you are looking for a vegan or vegetarian-friendly way to add some savory depth to your dish. In that case, anchovy paste is a great option.

Simply check the ingredients list to ensure no animal products are in the paste.

My All-time Favorite Anchovy Paste Replacements

· Fish Sauce

· Umeboshi

· Soy Sauce

· Worcestershire sauce

· Miso Paste

Wrap Up On Anchovy Paste Substitute

If you’re searching for a substitute for anchovy paste, there are a few different options that you can try. 

Some of the available substitutes include capers, olives, and green beans. 

However, if you want a more authentic option, you can also use trout or sardines. 

If you are looking for a vegetarian option, you can use mushrooms. 

Whichever substitute you choose, the most important thing is to ensure that the dish’s flavor profile is similar to what you are aiming for.

No matter what substitute you choose, it is essential to experiment with different recipes until you find one that you like. 

The substitutes listed above are just a few available options, so feel free to explore other possibilities. 

Thanks for reading! I believe this article has helped you find a suitable substitute for anchovy paste. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below, and I will respond as quickly as possible. 

FAQs Related To Anchovy Paste & Its Alternatives 

Q1. Is anchovy paste as good as canned anchovies?

No, anchovy paste is not as good as canned anchovies. The reason is that the quality of the anchovy and the way it has been processed will affect flavors and textures. 

Canned anchovies are cooked twice to remove all bones and scales and make them into a paste. They also undergo specialized curing processes that give them a longer shelf life. 
On the other hand, Anchovy paste is made by mashing anchovies with salt and then adding oil or vinegar to preserve it. 

This means that the quality of the anchovy and how fresh it is will affect the taste of the paste. 

Generally speaking, canned anchovies are going to taste better than anchovy paste. 

However, there are occasions where anchovy paste can be a better option, for example, if you are looking for a lower calorie or salt alternative.

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