I personally taste-tested a variety of Vegeta 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 substitute for Vegeta seasoning is the Knorr vegetable recipe mix. If you’re seeking a salt-free, MSG-free alternative, try Mrs. Dash seasoning. But if you don’t have dietary restrictions, any all-purpose seasoning blend will get the job done. You can also make your own Vegeta.
I made small batches of (a super yummy) chicken noodle soup to try different Vegeta seasoning substitutes.
Vegeta Seasoning is a seasoning blend that originated from Croatia. Unlike other seasoning mixtures that are made with herbs and spices, Vegeta is made with dehydrated vegetables, including carrots, onions, and celery. It also contains parsley and sometimes MSG. You can use it to flavor soups and stews, sprinkle over vegetables before roasting, or make stock.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix||Similar flavor with a missing umami kick due to being MSG-free||9/10|
|Mrs. Dash Seasoning||Salt-free and MSG-free alternative||9/10|
|Other Seasoning Blends||Start with ½ the amount and add more to taste||9/10|
|Bouillon Cubes||1 tsp Vegeta = ¼ bouillon cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder||9/10|
|Homemade Vegeta Seasoning||Time-consuming, but allows you to customize||8/10|
Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix
Similar to Vegeta, the Knorr vegetable mix is made of dehydrated vegetables including carrots, cauliflower, peas, and leek, so it boasts the same savory flavor. It’s a good MSG-free substitute (although you can get MSG-free vegeta), but the missing umami flavor does mean it lacks some depth.
If you still want that umami hit, try mixing in a pinch of nutritional yeast. This ingredient is naturally loaded with umami that doesn’t come from MSG.
This vegetable mix is advertised as a great base for your favorite creamy artichoke dips, but it worked perfectly with my chicken noodle soup. It’s in powder form, so you can treat it exactly as you would Vegeta and sprinkle it over anything that needs an extra flavor boost.
How to Substitute: Replace Vegeta in a 1:1 ratio with Knorr vegetable recipe mix.
Mrs. Dash Seasoning
Looking for a salt-free alternative to Vegeta? Look no further than the classic Mrs. Dash Seasoning. Mrs Dash is a brand of salt-free substitute mixes, each with a unique flavor. I went with the original version for my chicken noodle soup and while it tasted different from Vegeta, it was still delicious.
You definitely won’t miss the salt because there’s a mix of 14+ other herbs and spices to add flavor, including cayenne pepper, cumin, and coriander. Because of all the strong spices involved, I recommend adding half the amount of Mrs Dash seasoning to your recipe at first and then adding more to taste.
Psst… go for the jalapeno version if you like spice.
How to Substitute: Replace Vegeta in a 1:1 ratio with Mrs. Dash seasoning.
Other Seasoning Blends
If you’re not on a low-sodium diet, there are plenty of commercial seasoning blends you can use as Vegeta substitutes like Spike Seasoning, Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, or Kingsford All-Purpose Seasoning.
Spike seasoning gave my soup more of a fresh twist because it has dried citrus fruits in (but don’t worry – these flavors aren’t overwhelming). I didn’t want to add too much of Lawry’s seasoned salt because I didn’t want to oversalt the dish. But even a little dash was enough to add some savory flavor.
And Kingsford all-purpose seasoning has a sweet-smokey thing going on because of the paprika. This one was the most different from the Vegeta recipe, but I still ate all of it!
Pro-tip: Remember to check the ingredients label to check exactly what’s in the spice blend you’re using so you can get an idea of the flavor before you buy it.
How to Substitute: Start with ½ the amount of your choice of seasoning blend and add more to taste.
Those bouillon cubes sitting in your cupboard will save you an emergency grocery run if you ever run out of Vegeta. Bouillon cubes are concentrated stock, meaning they’re packed to the brim with savory, umami goodness.
They’re traditionally used for making instant broth, but you can also use them as a flavor enhancer. Toss the cubes straight into your soups and stews or blitz them into a powder and sprinkle it over your roasted veggies or proteins.
You can use vegetable bouillon, but I think the chicken version matches Vegeta better. Beef bouillon is a bit stronger and I’d recommend avoiding it if you can.
How to Substitute: Replace 1 tsp Vegeta with ¼ bouillon cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder.
Homemade Vegeta Seasoning
Normally the homemade version of a seasoning blend is the first thing I recommend, but the process of making Vegeta seasoning is more involved than normal. It’s not just a case of mixing herbs and spices together.
This recipe from The Spruce Eats walks you through the process, which involves blitzing all the veggies into a paste and then roasting the mixture under low heat for about 4 ½ to 5 hours to dehydrate them.
The good thing about making your Vegeta seasoning is you can tailor it to your needs. Make it an all-natural blend and leave out the MSG powder or try incorporating other umami-rich ingredients like dried mushrooms to get the same depth.
How to Substitute: Replace Vegeta seasoning in a 1:1 ratio with the homemade version.
Substitutes To Avoid
I saw one website recommending adobo seasoning as a substitute for Vegeta. And while adobo seasoning is great, I don’t recommend using it as an alternative to Vegeta. It has a bolder flavor, with a zesty kick that will overpower your dishes. It’s meant to be the main flavor rather than an enhancer like Vegeta.
Best Vegeta Seasoning Substitutes + 1 To Avoid
- 3 medium onions
- 6 stalks of celery, diced
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 3 large orange bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 3 large green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 10 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of fresh parsley
- Heat the oven to 175 F.
- Using a food processor, finely blitz all the vegetables. Transfer the mixture into a strainer, then let it drain for 30 minutes.
- Spread the vegetables in a flat, even layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 4 1/2 to 5 hours. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.
- In a food processor, blitz the baked veggie mixture until everything is pulverized into a fine powder.