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Savor Flavor: 5 Best Corned Beef Substitutes

Corned beef’s off the table? No sweat!

We’ve been there, rummaging through the fridge, craving that hearty, savory goodness but coming up short.

It’s a plot twist in your meal plan that can throw you for a loop.

Good news though, we’ve got your back with some ace alternatives that won’t make you miss the classic.

Think outside the corned beef can – there’s a world of flavors waiting to pitch in.

From the earthy depths of mushrooms to the humble chickpea, alternatives abound.

Grab a fork, and let’s dig into these top-notch swaps that’ll keep your plates exciting and your taste buds guessing.

what is corned beef

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corned Beef

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

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsSubstitute Ratio
PastramiDeli meat made from beef brisket that is seasoned, smoked, and steamedUse an equal amount of pastrami as a substitute for corned beef
Roast BeefSlow-cooked beef with a tender and juicy textureUse an equal amount of roast beef as a substitute for corned beef
HamSalt-cured pork meat that can be sliced or choppedUse an equal amount of ham as a substitute for corned beef
Beef BrisketCut of beef from the chest area that is typically slow-cooked or braisedUse an equal amount of beef brisket as a substitute for corned beef
Pork ShoulderCut of pork that is flavorful and versatile, often used in slow-cooked dishesUse an equal amount of pork shoulder as a substitute for corned beef

If you’re looking for alternatives to corned beef, here are five substitutes that can savor your 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.

To substitute corned beef with pastrami, use an equal amount. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 pound of corned beef, you would use 1 pound of pastrami instead.

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.

It can be used as a 1:1 substitute for corned beef. Replace the corned beef in your recipe with an equal amount of roast beef.

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.

Use an equal amount of ham to replace the corned beef in your recipe.

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.

Use an equal amount of beef brisket to replace the corned beef in your recipe.

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.

Use an equal amount of pork shoulder as a substitute for corned beef.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Corned Beef

Elevate your corned beef alternative with our list of the 5 best substitutes. Whether it's savory pastrami or flavorful turkey, these alternatives offer a delicious twist to traditional corned beef, ensuring a satisfying and diverse culinary experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • 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.
Keyword substitutes for corned beef
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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