Skip to Content

The 11 Best Substitutes for Steak Sauce

In this article, I’ll share several amazing substitutes for steak sauce and discuss what steak sauce is made of so that you can make your own.

The best substitutes for steak sauce include British brown sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce. Good substitutes for a steak sauce marinade are soy sauce, tomato paste, or ketchup, while teriyaki sauce and chimichurri make perfect toppings. You can also easily make your own steak sauce.

Let’s get started! 

Steak with steak sauce on the side

1. Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce is an excellent alternative when you don’t have steak sauce. It’s very versatile and works wonderfully as a marinade, topping, or condiment. 

Barbecue sauce’s taste and texture are rather similar to that of steak sauce. They have the same basic ingredients: 

  • Tomato 
  • Vinegar
  • A variety of spices 

However, there are more sweeteners in barbecue sauce, which is the main difference between the two.

While barbecue sauce is significantly sweeter, it’s also salty, smoky, and has a thick texture, just like the standard steak sauce. If you need to make a marinade, don’t hesitate to grab barbecue sauce because it’s easy to find in grocery stores, and you likely already have it in your kitchen pantry.

Of course, the best part is that barbecue sauce complements meat and enhances its taste, making a tasty and highly enjoyable topping for your steak.

2. Ketchup

You might think ketchup is a rather simple option compared to steak sauce. It’s a classic condiment you’ll see on dinner tables or paired with French fries and similar. However, ketchup is also a great sauce with features that make it a suitable substitute for steak sauce.

Its base is also made of tomato paste and vinegar, accompanied by various salted spices. The saltiness of this sauce makes it suitable for use in marinades, and is why it’s such a popular condiment. While it’s not as thick as steak sauce and lacks smokiness, it can substitute its other cooking qualities.

In addition, ketchup goes well with virtually any kind of meat. The versatility of this simple sauce allows you to use it as a topping for many dishes, including steaks. If steak sauce is unavailable, you can count on ketchup.

Related Can I Substitute Ketchup for Tomato Sauce? | With 5 Alternatives.

3. Brown Sauce

Brown sauce is essentially the British version of the widely popular US steak sauce. It would be more appropriate to say that steak sauce is a variation of British brown sauce. The latter initially appeared in England in the early 19th century and was remade into the steak sauce we know today in the US.

A bowl of British brown sauce

When brown sauce was first introduced, its purpose was not to complement steak’s flavors but to disguise them. The poor quality and odor of old beef called for a topping that would make the dish more pleasant and enjoyable by bringing in its own flavor, strong enough to dominate the steak’s taste.

Brown sauce is made from the following ingredients: 

  • Tomato 
  • Vinegar 
  • Apples 
  • Raisins 
  • Tamarind 
  • Rich flavoring
  • Various spices

Brown sauce is very similar to steak sauce and is an ideal substitute. Depending on where you live, getting your hands on a bottle of brown sauce could be challenging. Still, suppose it’s available in your local grocery stores. In that case, I highly recommend you give it a try. 

4. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire Sauce is yet another 19th-century British invention we still enjoy today. It’s named after its place of origin: Worcester, a city in Worcestershire, England. It was initially created by Lea and Perrins, the original Worcestershire sauce brand that still exists today.

It was created by chance when chemists worked on a new sauce and discarded yet another unsuccessful recipe. The entire batch was put in the basement, where it fermented and became something entirely different, with a unique and complex taste that its inventors discovered only a couple of years later.

This is how the recipe was born. The base is vinegar, which allows for fermentation and protects the liquid from going bad. Other ingredients include:

  • Tamarind 
  • Anchovies 
  • Molasses
  • Onion
  • Garlic

Compared to steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce lacks some sweetness. However, that’s compensated by the unique and original flavor. Other than that, this sauce has all the qualities you need in steak sauce, would be a wonderful substitute, and bring something new to your dish.

5. Chimichurri

Chimichurri doesn’t feature tomato, a smokiness, or a thick texture and isn’t even cooked. However, it can still make a wonderful substitute for steak sauce.

Chimichurri originates from Argentina, a country famous for its excellent steaks. The fact that the locals prefer to serve their top-quality beef with chimichurri sauce is enough to consider when looking for a steak sauce substitute.

Chimichurri is a fresh sauce with lots of vegetables and vinegar that add tanginess and saltiness. You can use it as a marinade or topping with equal success. If you have trouble finding it at your local store, you can make chimichurri, which is delightful and aromatic when freshly cooked.

If you’d like to try it, check out this delicious and easy-to-make recipe by Bon Appétit. You’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Parsley 
  • Red jalapeño 
  • Shallot 
  • Garlic 
  • Cilantro
  • Olive oil 
  • Oregano

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. Finely chop all the ingredients, except the spices and liquids. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to create a thick and even mixture, and stir well. 
  3. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes so the flavor and aroma can develop fully.

6. Tomato Paste

Like ketchup, tomato sauce is salty and shares its main ingredient with steak sauce. However, it’s a simpler and healthier substitute, as tomato paste typically has fewer ingredients and a more neutral taste.

A bowl of tomato paste

Tomato paste doesn’t work as well as a topping, and you should use ketchup instead if you have it. However, it will work as a substitute if you need to make a marinade and pair it with other ingredients like olive oil and vinegar.

Related What Can I Substitute for Tomato Paste in Sloppy Joes?

7. Homemade Steak Sauce

If you’re committed to using steak sauce and want to stay as true to it as possible, make your own! It may taste even better, as freshly cooked homemade sauces are always the perfect match for any dish, especially a meat one. Homemade steak sauce is easy and quick to make.

To create your steak sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Ketchup 
  • Worcestershire sauce 
  • Vinegar
  • Yellow mustard 
  • Your favorite hot sauce 
  • Basic spices like salt and pepper

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well. 
  2. Let the sauce sit for at least 30 minutes. You can wait longer for an even richer and more enhanced flavor.
  3. Use the steak sauce as you normally would, and refrigerate any leftovers. 

8. Soy Sauce

When it comes to meat marinades, soy sauce is one of the best things to use, as it’s very salty. However, it works even better when paired with honey or sriracha sauce, depending on whether you want more spice or sweetness.

Soy sauce is believed to have originated in China, but today you can find it in most grocery stores. As a topping, it’s mainly used for rice and fish; however, it makes a wonderful marinade for meat thanks to its unique flavor.

Soy sauce is the perfect way to describe umami, the fifth taste that was also discovered in Asia, often called savoriness in English. It’s made of five primary ingredients: 

  • Grains
  • Yeast 
  • Salt 
  • Water
  • Soybeans

9. Teriyaki Sauce


Another delicious Asian sauce that is an excellent substitute for steak sauce is teriyaki. While it’s similar to soy sauce, it’s much closer to steak sauce in its flavor profile.

Teriyaki sauce is dark, thick, and salty but has a lot of sweetness. Because of this, it makes a great marinade and a delicious topping that works wonderfully with meat. If you’re into Asian cuisine, you’ve probably tasted teriyaki chicken or beef and know for yourself how delicious these dishes are. Consider trying this sauce for your steaks, too.

10. Oyster Sauce

Oyster sauce is another delicious sauce that can compliment the taste of your beef and spice it up with the sweet tanginess of umami. It’s brown and thick, which may remind you of steak sauce, yet its taste and ingredients are entirely different, though still perfectly suitable for steaks.

This sauce originated in China. Like Worcestershire sauce, it was created accidentally: Lee Kum Sheung, who later became known as the founder of the Lee Kum Kee brand, which sells Chinese sauces, was making oyster soup and forgot he was doing it.

The soup was left to its own devices and kept boiling until Lee Kum Sheung finally remembered to check on it. By that time, it wasn’t much of a soup but rather a dark, thick, savory paste that intrigued its unintentional creator.

Despite the extravagant main ingredient, oyster sauce is quite common today and can be easily found at any grocery store. Other ingredients of this topping include:

  • Flour
  • Corn starch
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Related The 5 Best Types of Oil for Cooking Steak.

11. Miso Paste

The final steak sauce substitute is miso paste, which also has Asian origins. If you’ve ever enjoyed a hot bowl of freshly made miso soup, you’ll be familiar with this paste’s exceptional flavor.

Using it as a steak topping may not seem obvious, but once you’ve tried it, you’ll understand why it’s suitable. Combined with vinegar or soy sauce (or both), it makes an excellent marinade.

Miso paste is thicker than steak sauce, and the taste is more concentrated. This means you should use less miso paste than steak sauce. 

The paste is made of soybeans that undergo fermentation for anything from several months to several years. The result is more intriguing the longer miso paste is left to age. It also offers additional health benefits, such as probiotics to help your digestive system.

What Steak Sauce Made Of

The main ingredients in classic steak sauce are tomato (which brings in the flavor), and vinegar, which gives it tang and a unique taste. But what else is it made of, and how complex is it?

Steak sauce is made primarily of tomato and vinegar. Raisins and corn syrup can be added for sweetness, with dried onions, garlic, and a range of other spices.

Similar Substitutes for A1 Steak Sauce

A1 Steak sauce is highly popular and used exclusively in some families. However, what can be used instead if you don’t have it at hand?

British brown sauce and Worcestershire sauce are good similar substitutes for A1 steak sauce. You can also use barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, chimichurri, or ketchup, as they go well with beef and make an excellent marinade and topping.

For more, don’t miss 18 Versatile Substitutes for Tomatoes in a Recipe.