Skip to Content

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corned Beef

5 from 2 votes Only logged in users can rate recipes

Few things are more iconic than a big pot of corned beef and cabbage simmering away on the stovetop.

The rich, salty flavor of the corned beef paired with the sweetness of the cabbage is truly a match made in heaven.

But what if you’re trying to avoid beef for health or ethical reasons? Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious alternatives to corned beef that will satisfy your hunger without causing any guilt.

In this article, we’ll share the five best substitutes for corned beef, so you can still enjoy your favorite dishes without any negative consequences.

What is Corned Beef?

what is corned beef

Corned beef is a type of beef that has been preserved in salty brine.

It is typically made from brisket, a cut of beef that comes from the chest area of the cow.

The name “corned beef” comes from the salt used to preserve the meat once known as “corns” of salt.

Corned beef has been around for centuries, and it was created to extend the meat’s shelf life.

In modern times, it is typically served as part of a traditional Irish meal on St.Patrick’s Day.

It can also be enjoyed on its own or as part of a sandwich or wrap.

No matter how you enjoy it, corned beef is a delicious and hearty option that is sure to please.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corned Beef

If you don’t have corned beef on hand, don’t worry.

These five substitutes will give your dish the same delicious flavor.

1 – Pastrami


Pastrami is a delicious smoked meat that is typically made from beef brisket.

The beef is cured in a mixture of spices, and then it is smoked for several hours.

This gives the meat a deep, rich flavor that is simply irresistible.

Pastrami can be enjoyed on its own or used as a sandwich filling.

It is also a popular ingredient in many recipes, such as pastrami chili and pastrami fried rice.

No matter how you enjoy it, there is no doubt that pastrami is a uniquely flavorful and delicious food.

2 – Roast Beef

roast beef

Anyone who loves a good roast beef dinner knows there is nothing quite like the smell of a beef roast cooking in the oven.

The key to a perfect roast beef is to cook it slowly at a low temperature so that the meat is evenly cooked and juicy.

The best cuts of beef for roasting are usually the more marbled ones, such as the rib roast or strip loin.

Another important tip is to let the roast rest for at least 20 minutes after cooking so the juices can redistribute throughout the meat.

When done correctly, a roast beef dinner is sure to please any appetite.

3 – Ham


Ham is a cut of meat that comes from the hind leg of a pig.

It can be cured, smoked, or roasted and is often served as a holiday dish.

Many different types of ham are available, ranging from lightly to very salty.

The curing process helps preserve the meat and give it its characteristic flavor.

Ham can be cooked in various ways, including baking, frying, or boiling.

It is often served with side dishes such as potatoes, greens, or beans.

When served as a larger meal, ham can make an excellent main course.

4 – Beef Brisket

beef brisket

Beef brisket is a cut of meat that comes from the chest area of a cow.

It is generally a tough cut of meat with many connective tissue.

This makes it ideal for slow cooking methods, such as braising or smoking.

When cooked properly, beef brisket can be extremely juicy and tender.

Beef brisket is often used in Tex-Mex dishes, such as barbacoa or fajitas.

It can also be served on its own, either sliced or shredded.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic Tex-Mex dish or simply want to try something new, beef brisket is a delicious option that is sure to please.

5 – Pork Shoulder

pork shoulder

Pork shoulder is a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the pig’s front leg.

It’s a fatty cut of meat that is full of flavor, and it’s often used in recipes that call for slow cooking.

When cooked properly, pork shoulder can be incredibly tender and juicy.

Pork shoulder is often sold with the bone still in, which helps to add flavor to the meat.

It’s a popular cut of pork for making pulled pork, and it can also be roasted or braised.

Pork shoulder is an inexpensive cut of meat, making it a great option for budget-friendly meals.


In conclusion, corned beef is a fantastic dish that can be enjoyed by all.

However, there are many substitutes for corned beef that can be used in order to create a healthier and more flavorful meal.

These substitutes include leaner cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and fish.

Each of these options provides a unique flavor and set of nutrients that can help to boost the overall health of your meal.

When choosing a substitute for corned beef, it is important to consider the flavor, texture, and nutrition that each option provides.

This will help you to create a dish that is both delicious and nutritious.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corned Beef

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Pastrami

  • Roast Beef

  • Ham

  • Beef Brisket

  • Pork Shoulder


  • 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