Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

5 from 3 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes

Have you ever looked at a recipe and seen “anchovy paste” listed as an ingredient and thought, “what the heck is anchovy paste?”

Or maybe you’ve seen it in the grocery store and wondered what to do with it if you bought it.

Well, wonder no longer.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about anchovy paste: what it is, how to cook with it, and some delicious recipes that feature this unique ingredient.

We’ll also share some of our favorite substitutes for anchovy paste in case you can’t find them at your local grocery store.

So whether you’re a curious cook who wants to learn more about this umami-packed ingredient or a home chef in search of a new flavor profile for your next meal, read on for everything you need to know about anchovy paste.

What is Anchovy Paste?

what is anchovy paste

Anchovies are small, oily fish often used as a flavoring agent in food.

While fresh anchovies can be eaten whole, they are more commonly found in the canned or jarred form.

Anchovy paste is made by grinding anchovies into a thick, spreadable paste.

It has a strong, salty flavor and is often used as a seasoning or condiment.

Anchovy paste can be added to sauces, dressings, marinades, top pizzas, and other dishes.

It is also a popular ingredient in Caesar salad dressing.

While anchovy paste is readily available in grocery stores, it can also be made home using just a few simple ingredients.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

For those of you who don’t like the taste or smell of anchovies, there are plenty of substitutes that will give your dish the same umami flavor.

Here are the five best substitutes for anchovy paste:

1 – Anchovy Fillets

anchovy fillets

Anchovies are small, oily fish often used as a flavoring agent in food.

While they may not be everyone’s favorite ingredient, anchovies can add a depth of flavor to dishes that is hard to achieve with other ingredients.

Anchovy fillets are a common form of anchovy, and they can be found canned or jarred in most grocery stores.

When using anchovy fillets, it is important to drain and rinse them before adding them to your dish.

This will help remove some excess salt and oil from the fish.

Anchovies can be added to various dishes, including pasta sauces, pizza toppings, and salads.

If you want to add more flavor to your cooking, consider giving anchovy fillets a try.

2 – Fish Sauce

fish sauce

Fish sauce is a popular condiment in many Asian countries.

It is made by fermenting fish or shellfish in salt water for several months.

The resulting liquid is then strained and bottled.

Fish sauce has a strong, pungent flavor that is often used to add savory umami notes to dishes.

It is an essential ingredient in many Southeast Asian cuisines, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian.

Fish sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, a marinade, or even a splash of flavor added to soups or stir-fries.

While it may take some getting used to for those not accustomed to its flavor, fish sauce is a delicious way to add depth and complexity to any dish.

3 – Worcestershire Sauce

worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a flavorful addition to many dishes, but have you ever wondered what gives it its distinctive taste? The sauce contains various ingredients, including vinegar, tamarind, soy sauce, garlic, onion, and chili peppers.

These ingredients are combined and then left to ferment for up to two years.

During this time, the flavors meld together to create the unique taste of Worcestershire sauce.

While the exact origins of the sauce are unknown, it is believed to have been created in the nineteenth century by two English chemists trying to recreate a popular Indian condiment.

Today, Worcestershire sauce is enjoyed all over the world, and it continues to be an essential ingredient in many iconic dishes.

4 – Capers


Capers are the unopened flower buds of the Capparis spinosa, a low-growing shrub native to the Mediterranean region.

The plant has been used for centuries as food and medicine, and its flowers have been used to make aperitifs and perfumes.

Capers are harvested in the spring and early summer when the buds are still young and tender.

They are then pickled in vinegar or brine, which helps to preserve their flavor.

Capers have a sharp, tangy flavor often used to add depth to dishes such as pizza and pasta sauce.

They can also be used as a garnish or added to salads.

5 – Chopped Kalamata Olives

chopped kalamata olives

Chopped Kalamata olives are a delicious and healthy way to add flavor to any dish.

The olives are first picked and then chopped into small pieces.

This ensures that each bite is packed with flavor.

In addition to being a great way to add flavor, chopped Kalamata olives are also a good source of healthy fats and antioxidants.

They can be used in various dishes, including salads, pasta, pizzas, and more.

Whether you’re looking for a healthy way to add flavor or just want something new to try, chopped Kalamata olives are a great option.


In conclusion, a few different substitutes for anchovy paste can be used in a pinch.

While some might not have the same intense flavor, they can still add a nice depth of savory taste to your dish.

When it comes to finding a good replacement, it depends on what you are looking for and what you have on hand.

Experimenting is key to finding the perfect fit for your needs.

Do you have a favorite anchovy paste substitute? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Anchovy Paste

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Anchovy Fillets

  • Fish Sauce

  • Worcestershire Sauce

  • Capers

  • Chopped Kalamata Olives


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

Recipe Video

About The Author