Easy vegan & gluten-free ingredients substitutions for plant-based recipes to make your own unique variations! Check below for the ratio for inclusion!
Some of the most commonly asked questions I receive on the blog and Instagram are about ingredient substitutions.
If you’ve been around here a while, you know that in each blog/recipe post, I typically share some simple substitution options, but I figured it might be nice to have a more overarching post to direct you to.
Now more than ever, I figure we could use some solid subs, yeah?
I don’t know about you, but some of my best recipes have come from making a ton of substitutions to a recipe.
It’s so fun and easy to adapt recipes to mix things up when you don’t have all of the ingredients!
Whether you have a food allergy or intolerance, don’t have the ingredients on hand, or just don’t like an ingredient—I got you!
In this Easy Vegan & Gluten-Free Ingredient Substitutions post, I list some of my favorite ingredient swaps so you can use what you have available to you to make something delicious and uniquely yours.
If you have any questions or if I missed something, please leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you with my best answer!
Let’s get substituting!
Let’s start with the most common ingredient swap I get asked about…baking flours!
I most commonly use almond flour, oat flour, and coconut flour in my recipes.
If you don’t have almond or oat flour on hand, you can create your own by pulsing almonds/oats in a high-speed blender or food processor until a fine flour forms.
Use the following flours interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Almond flour: sub hazelnut flour or sunflower seed flour
- Oat flour: sub any all-purpose baking flour you have available
- Coconut flour: no real sub! I will update if I find one!
If you’ve only got good old-fashioned white or all-purpose flour and are not gluten-free, these will work as an even sub to oat or almond flour with varied results.
Looking for some sweet sweetener options?
Try using the following to replace your liquid and dry sweeteners.
I prefer refined-sugar-free sweeteners, but if you’ve got regular Domino sugar in the cabinet, it will work!
Liquid sweeteners to use in a 1:1 ratio:
- Date paste
- Maple syrup
- Coconut nectar
Dry sweeteners to use in a 1:1 ratio:
- Unrefined coconut sugar
- Any sugar you have on hand!
Looking for entirely sugar-free options?
Use the following nondairy milks interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Coconut milk
- Cashew milk
- Oat milk
The only exception is canned coconut milk.
Canned coconut milk has a higher fat content and is irreplaceable if you want to achieve a creamy consistency in your recipes.
Ah, baking without eggs couldn’t be easier.
My favorite way to mimic eggs is with a flax “egg”—a gelled mixture of ground flaxseed and filtered water!
Don’t have ground flaxseed or aren’t sure about this whole flax “egg” thing?
Try swapping out the ground flaxseed with ground chia or hemp hearts.
Use the following seeds interchangeably in your flax “egg” mixture:
- Flax “egg”: swap out the ground flaxseed with ground chia seed or hemp hearts
- Neat egg—I’ve also had success with this store-bought version!
DISCLAIMER: If you are not plant-based (or?) vegan and would like to use regular eggs in F&V recipes, go for it! This hasn’t been tested in the F&V kitchen but I have confidence it will work for you.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds and nut and seed butters are so easy to adapt in recipes!
They’re easy to swap out with any other nut or seed for a unique variation based on your preference.
Use the following nut and seed butters interchangeably in a 1:1 ratio:
- Peanut butter: sub SunButter or any nut or seed butter
- Almond butter: sub SunButter, cashew butter, or any nut or seed butter
- Cashews: sub almonds, walnuts, or peanuts
- Sunflower seeds: sub pumpkin seeds
- Hemp hearts: sub chia seeds or ground flaxseed
Use the following purées interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Pumpkin purée: butternut squash purée, winter squash purée, or sweet potato purée
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Mashed banana
In my dressings, I always add an acidic touch for a well-balanced sauce.
Pro tip: as long as you have a sour touch, it doesn’t *really* matter what you use!
Use the following acids interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon or lime
Use the following oils interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Avocado oil: sub any high-heat cooking or baking oil you have available
- Olive oil: sub any medium-heat cooking or baking oil you have available
- Coconut oil: sub any low-heat cooking or baking oil you have available
And sometimes, you don’t want any oil in your recipes at all.
Here are some of my favorite oil replacements in baking:
- Any nut or seed butter
- Dairy-free almond milk yogurt
- Unsweetened almond milk
Here are some of my favorite oil replacements in cooking:
- Filtered water
- Vegetable broth
The easiest fruit swap is to swap out frozen for fresh and vice versa!
- Fresh fruit: sub frozen fruit using a 1:1 ratio
When swapping out frozen fruit in a baking recipe, try thawing and draining the frozen fruit to remove excess moisture that might impact recipe consistency.
If swapping out one type of fruit for another entirely, try using fruits from like families for the best results.
Use the following fresh or frozen fruits interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc.
- Stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, mangos, etc.
- Pome fruit: apples, pears, etc.
Looking for fruit-free options on some classics?
Use the following dried fruits interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Dates: sub any dried fruit like raisins, dried cranberries, figs, or apricots
- Goji berries: sub dried cranberries or mulberries
Don’t have fresh vegetables on hand?
Check the freezer.
- Fresh vegetables: sub frozen vegetables using a 1:1 ratio
It’s so easy to throw frozen vegetables in soups, stews, and one-pan meals for a prep-free option.
When adapting recipes with different vegetables than those listed, try subbing vegetables of like families for the best results!
Example: Sub other root veggies for sweet potato, etc.
Use the following vegetables interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Root Veggies: yams, beets, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, etc.
- Cruciferous Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.
- Leafy Greens: spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, etc.
Be mindful that adding or omitting certain veggies could potentially change the cook time of the recipe, so be curious and adjust as needed.
Most importantly, have fun!
For the most part, you can use legumes interchangeably in your eats.
However, some legumes will taste better than others in certain recipes.
Try grouping like beans together to achieve similar coloring and flavoring when possible!
Use the following beans interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- White beans to use interchangeably in recipes: chickpeas, cannellini beans, navy beans, etc.
- Black beans to use interchangeably in recipes: Black beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc.
- Red beans to use interchangeably: small red beans, adzuki beans, pinto beans, etc.
No impastas here.
Try swapping out regular pasta for vegetable pasta or vice versa.
- regular pasta: swap out vegetable noodles
Be sure to follow the cooking instruction differences between regular pasta and vegetable pasta!
I love me a good grain power bowl!
Use the following grains interchangeably in recipes using a 1:1 ratio:
- Brown rice
If you’re not gluten-free and would like to substitute another of your favorite wheat-based grains, go for it!
Don’t feel like adding any grains at all?
Try adding in cauliflower rice for a grain-free variation.
If you’d like to make a toast recipe but don’t have seeded bread, try using rice cakes, crackers, or vegetable chips instead!
Try using the follow as the base for any “toast” creations:
- Seeded bread
- Rice cakes
- Vegetable chips
The addition of tofu and tempeh in recipes adds plant-based protein.
I like to use tofu and tempeh interchangeably in my cooking for a meat alternative.
- Tofu: swap out tempeh
- Tempeh: swap out tofu
If you’re avoiding soy altogether, try using your favorite legumes or grains instead (see above listings for other variations).
If you don’t have a dip on hand, try something different to dress up your meal instead!
- Hummus: swap out tahini to taste
- Guacamole: swap out avocado to taste
- Salsa: swap out hot sauce to taste
Sometimes it’s hard to keep fresh herbs on hand.
Luckily, you can easily swap them out for dried herbs using a 1:3 ratio.
Dried herbs are much more concentrated than fresh so be sure to use 1/3 the amount!
- Fresh herbs: swap out dried herbs using a 1:3 ratio
For example, if a recipe calls for fresh basil, use one third of the amount listed when swapping out dried basil instead.
Seasonings & Spices
Confession: I don’t cook a lot with “real” garlic and onion lately.
Try stocking up on garlic and onion powder so you have a shelf-stable option ready at your disposal.
- garlic: sub garlic powder; ~1/8 tsp garlic powder = 1 clove fresh garlic
- onion: sub onion powder; ~1/2 tsp onion powder = 1/2 onion, chopped
- pumpkin pie spice: sub cinnamon using a 1:1 ratio
One spice blend I don’t recommend you swap out is my favorite Tandoori Masala seasoning.
It’s absolutely the best!
- Cornstarch: swap out arrowroot starch using a 1:1 ratio
- Agar-agar—can be used as a thickener, but I don’t have a clear ratio for you depending on what dish you create.
I love to use chocolate chips and cacao nibs interchangeably when creating my desserts.
If you don’t have either, use any chocolate bar or chocolate chips you have on hand.
- Cacao nibs: sub dairy-free dark chocolate chips
- Dark chocolate chips: sub any chocolate chips
- Unsweetened shredded coconut: sub any shredded coconut and reduce the sugar in the recipe if coconut is sweetened
If you use any of these substitutions in your recipes, please let me know!
I love to see your variations on recipes to make them yours with ingredients you have on hand.
Please share it with a friend if you think this information might help them, too.
For more recipe resources, check out my 75+ Plant-Based & Gluten-Free Pantry Recipe Guide!
Check out my Pinterest page to pin more recipe like this one to make later!
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