I personally taste-tested a variety of Knorr Liquid Seasoning substitutes to find the best one for every cooking occasion. Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or want a swap that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
The best substitutes for Knorr Liquid Seasoning are Maggi Seasoning or a combination of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Tamari is also a good option. If you’re just using Knorr as a flavor enhancer, fish sauce, oyster sauce, or even anchovies can replace it.
I made small batches of fried rice to put different Knorr Liquid seasoning substitutes to the test.
Knorr Liquid Seasoning is an all-purpose condiment you can use for cooking, marinating, in dipping sauces, or as a condiment. It has a salty, umami flavor with a subtle sweetness that works superbly in pretty much any dish. I use it in noodles, salad dressings, and in my scrambled eggs.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Substitutes||How to Substitute||Verdict|
|Maggi Seasoning||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Soy Sauce + Worcestershire Sauce||1 tbsp Knorr Liquid Seasoning = ½ tbsp soy sauce + ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce||9/10|
|Tamari||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Fish Sauce||1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning = 1 tsp of fish sauce||8/10|
|Oyster sauce||1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning = ½ tbsp of oyster sauce||7/10|
|Anchovies||1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning = 1 tsp anchovy paste||7/10|
|Leave it out||Start with a teaspoon of salt and pepper, adjust to taste||5/10|
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the infamous Maggi seasoning is an excellent substitute for Knorr Liquid Seasoning. They both share a savory, umami-rich taste that will instantly boost your dish’s flavor profile.
I find Maggi seasoning a tad saltier than Knorr, and it has hints of celery, parsley, and fennel that set it apart from the more savory Knorr. The differences were small enough that they didn’t make much of a difference in my fried rice, but you might find it more noticeable in dipping sauces.
Pro tip: Maggi seasoning has a strong flavor, so a few drops go a long way!
How to Substitute: Replace Knorr Liquid Seasoning in a 1:1 ratio with Maggi Seasoning.
Soy Sauce + Worcestershire Sauce
Don’t have the time for an emergency grocery run? A quick mixture of soy sauce and Worcestershire can stand in for Knorr Liquid Seasoning.
Soy sauce tastes too one-dimensional on its own, but mixing it with a splash of Worcestershire sauce gives it more complexity and takes it closer to Knorr’s rich flavor. This substitute was great with my fried rice.
I used equal parts of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, but the beauty of this substitute is you can personalize it. Start with a base of soy sauce and add Worcestershire incrementally until you hit the sweet (or salty!) spot.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp Knorr Liquid Seasoning with ½ tbsp soy sauce + ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
Tamari is another solid alternative you can use. It’s a gluten-free condiment kind of similar to soy sauce, but it has a richer, more robust umami flavor thanks to the extended fermentation process.
It boasts a savory kick with a subtle sweetness, similar to Knorr, but it’s less salty. The lower sodium content makes tamari an excellent option if you’re watching your salt intake.
Liquid aminos or coconut aminos are two more gluten-free soy-sauce-esque alternatives you can use. Liquid aminos is less salty than soy sauce and has a hint of sweetness to it, but the umami flavor isn’t as strong. Coconut aminos is the sweetest of the three options (I think it’s too sweet to use in the place of Knorr liquid seasoning).
How to Substitute: Replace Knorr Liquid Seasoning in a 1:1 ratio with Tamari.
Fish sauce tastes nothing like Knorr Liquid seasoning, but it’s a fantastic flavor enhancer you can use in a pinch.
It has a bold, briny flavor and lots of umami goodness. It’s not the best option for replacing Knorr in a dipping sauce, but to add a little something extra to my fried rice, it worked perfectly. The key here is moderation; use drops, not splashes, to avoid overpowering the dish and to maintain a harmonious balance of flavors.
Psst… think you added a bit too much fish sauce? Add a spritz of lemon juice to neutralize its saltiness.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning with 1 tsp of fish sauce.
Oyster sauce is a decent swap for Knorr seasoning sauce in things like stir fries. It has a slight briny flavor to it, along with a touch of sweetness (some brands will be sweeter than others). If you don’t enjoy the extra sweetness, you can add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the mix. Or just water the oyster sauce down slightly.
This has the added benefit of thinning the sauce, because it can be pretty thick and gloopy compared to Knorr. You can also mix it with another condiment like soy sauce to thin it out.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning with 1/2 tbsp of oyster sauce.
Anchovies or Anchovy Paste
This is another option that won’t replicate the exact flavor of Knorr Liquid Seasoning, but will add lots of umami to your food.
Lots of people are wary of adding anchovies to their food because they think they’ll leave a super fish aftertaste. But in reality they’ll melt into your sauce leaving behind a savory flavor that no one would ever trace back to anchovies. Need proof?
Did you know most Caesear salad dressings contain anchovies? That’s why it tastes so good!
I prefer using fresh anchovies and mashing them into a paste because I think the flavor is brighter, but you can also use ready made anchovy paste. One teaspoon of paste is equivalent to one anchovy filet.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tbsp of Knorr Liquid Seasoning with 1 tsp of anvochy paste.
Leave it out
If your dish only calls for a small amount of Knorr Liquid Seasoning, you can leave it out and just add an extra pinch of salt and pepper. It’s not the most glamorous alternative and your dish won’t have the same depth or complexity, but this is a quick and easy solution and your food will still taste great.
I also sprinkled a little hot sauce over my Knorr-free fried rice to add a kick. The added spice made up for the missing umami flavor.
How to Substitute: Start with a teaspoon of salt and pepper, and adjust to taste.
Other Umami-Rich Ingredients
The following substitutes are a moving further away from the flavor of Knorr Liquid seasoning, but just like fish sauce and oyster sauce, they’re brimming with umami and are great for using as flavor enhancers.
- Dried Mushrooms: Dried mushrooms have more umami goodness than their fresh counterparts and you can use them in a few ways. You can grind them into a powder, or rehydrate them and add them straight into your cooking. And that soaking liquid? Save it and use it as stock.
- Miso Paste: This condiment is made from fermented soybeans. It has a strong salty, funky flavor, so you only need a small amount. Stick with white miso paste if it’s your first time using this – the darker variety has a stronger flavor that isn’t for everyone.
- MSG Powder: MSG powder doesn’t taste of much when you taste it on its own, but when you add it to a dish it instantly enhances all the other flavors and makes the dish irresistible.
- Yeast Spreads e.g Marmite: Yeast extracts have loads of umami that will add complexity to your dishes the same way Knorr liquid seasoning would. But they can be very salty, so don’t add too much.
Best Knorr Liquid Seasoning Substitutes
- 1 tbsp Maggi seasoning
- ½ tbsp Soy sauce + Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Tamari
- ½ tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tsp Fish sauce
- 1 tsp Anchovies
- Cook your meal according to the recipe.
- Add your chosen Knorr Liquid seasoning substitutes at the appropriate cooking time.
- Mix until thoroughly combined and continue with the recipe.