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    9+ Substitute for MSG Seasoning (Best Alternatives!)

    We all know that MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) is a flavor-enhancing seasoning in our dishes, and sometimes there comes a point when we have to look for substitutes for MSG seasoning. 

    There are many MSG substitutes that you can try in your recipes. For example, beef stock, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, dulse, soy sauce, mushrooms, and many more that we will discuss afterward. 

    The fact that there are other healthier alternatives since MSG is not beneficial for your recipes. 

    This post will discuss all of the greatest substitutes from which you can select and try one in your recipe.

    What is Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)?  

    MSG is a flavor-enhancing seasoning that will add a rich, umami flavor to your recipe without changing the dish’s taste. Eating it without any meal will not taste like whole salt but a bit milder than salt. 

    It is very popular worldwide, and people use it in their recipes like pasta, salad, mac n cheese, fried rice, and even in some snacks like popcorn or apple pie. 

    When you get used to adding MSG to your recipes, it becomes hard to switch to other options. 

    5 Important Facts About MSG

    1. It has a hearty umami flavor that will make your dish flavorful without you knowing it.
    2. It provides a natural savory taste in your recipes, especially in soups.
    3. It is the only seasoning that gives extra luscious flavor and less sodium.
    4. For healthy metabolism, your body needs glutamate, and MSG is the only go-to option.
    5. More importantly, scientific research and government authorities have declared that MSG is safe to add to your diet. 

    Best Substitutes for MSG

    If you run out of monosodium glutamate, you can use its alternatives that are easy to find and common everywhere. Let’s get started!

    1. Beef Stock

    Beef stock as a substitute for msg seasoning
    Image: Freepik

    Beef stock is the greatest substitute out of other stocks to use in your recipes for seasoning. You just need to add more of it for a proper taste. 

    A healthy beef stock is an essence from beef bones, including herbs and spices, in boiling water, which tends to be nutritious and meaty flavored stock.  

    If you are searching for a replacement that requires less sodium, beef stock is the perfect option. You can also store it as beef cubes and add one cube per dish in many recipes.

    2. Parmesan Cheese

    Parmesan cheese
    Image: Freepik

    Parmesan cheese is a great alternative to MSG because it tastes healthier and more delicious. It is an Italian cheese made with superior milk.

    This cheese is not tasteless like MSG; you will get the nutty and fruity flavor in your recipe. Parmesan cheese goes amazing in Italian dishes like pasta, pizza, or risotto. You can also use it in salads, soups, stews, and even breakfast, such as omelets. 

    Some studies show that parmesan cheese contains MSG of 0.05 g, but it is safe to use this substitute in your recipes. 

    3. Cheddar Cheese 

    Cheddar Cheese
    Image: Freepik

    Cheddar cheese, everyone’s favorite, works great if you want to replace MSG. The creamy, thick, and flavorful cheese will make your dish delicious.

    Just like parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese also contains monosodium glutamate. You should feel free to use this cheese in any way you want to.

    Eat cheddar cheese raw with fruits or salads, add sandwiches and omelet for breakfast, and top it on pizza, casseroles, pasta, or spaghetti squash lasagna. It will give you the best flavor in these recipes. 

    4. Soy Sauce 

    Soy sauce
    Image: Freepik

    Soy sauce can perfectly replace the MSG seasoning in recipes like salads, soups, and stews, and you can directly add it to your dish. It tastes extremely tasty.

    Moreover, it contains MSG naturally. It has a sweet, umami, salty, and slightly bitter flavor. But you have to remember that soy sauce’s saltiness is top-tier, so try to use it in less quantity. 

    5. Dulse 

    Dulse is a salty seaweed that works great as a substitute for monosodium glutamate and will surely enlighten your dish and boost your meal’s flavors. 

    Sadly, dulse seasoning is available in most Asian stores and markets because it is popular in Asian dishes more than in other cuisines. Moreover, you can add it for flavoring and as raw to salads, pesto, tapenade, pickles, and tartare

    Also, you can use dulse seasoning in soups, stews, and fish pies or even sprinkle it on vegetable dishes for an outstanding taste. 

    You should not add too much; use the same amount as MSG because more than the required quantity might ruin the flavor and make it extra strong. 

    6. Mushrooms

    Image: Freepik

    Mushrooms might sound absurd when you hear of them for the first time. But that’s not true; you can consider it an alternative to monosodium glutamate because it will surprisingly enhance the flavor of your meal.   

    You might not know, but many cooking experts are falling back on mushrooms from MSG only for that unreal umami flavor. 

    Mushrooms have a high source of nutrients. It is safe because it will benefit your health, unlike monosodium glutamate, which creates excitotoxicity

    You can add them as a topping on almost everything. People who like mushrooms find it best to add them to pizza and other fast food items. Moreover, instant pot beef stew is also a great option. 

    Mushrooms are undoubtedly best in anything, and surprisingly they will also satisfy your sweet cravings!

    7. Yeast Extract

    Yeast extract is also a good replacement for MSG. Even though it does not contain much MSG but still has some natural glutamate which makes your recipe good enough. 

    The difference between yeast extract and monosodium glutamate is the flavor. Well, MSG is neutral and does not create any flavor. In contrast, yeast extract does its job rightly by adding spicy and savory flavor to the food. 

    It will enhance your dishes like soups, salads, marinated meat, and many more. Most importantly, this essence is easy to find at any store, and that too at an affordable price. 

    8. Anchovies

    Image: Freepik

    Anchovies can also be a good substitute for MSG seasoning. It is a fish product that contains glutamate, delivers an amazing umami taste to your food, and easily merges with other ingredients. 

    Remember that anchovies are too salty, so do not add them much to your meal. Many cooking experts suggest not adding salt when using anchovies.

    Although anchovies are delicious to cook in many recipes and even as a topping on pizza, pasta, or lasagna, you must try them in air-fried fish tacos; they will work great. Their salty and fishy taste perfectly works in sandwiches and wraps etc. 

    9. Oyster Sauce 

    Oyster sauce as a substitute for msg seasoning
    Image: Freepik

    Oyster sauce is an epic choice if you use it by choosing the right flavor because it comes in various flavors. Some people like this sauce, while others do not consider it a great substitute.

    Although it works great in dishes by providing a savory taste and helps in enhancing the flavor of your meal, you can add it to meat, vegetable dishes, noodles, and many more.

    10. Herb Mix

    Herb mix
    Image: Freepik

      The mixture of dried herbs is a go-to substitute when MSG is not available. It is very common in every household. Most people make herb mix at home; you can buy it from any nearby store. 

      No need to worry about the taste as it has a rich and hearty flavor that will satisfy your cravings in many recipes like an omelet, sandwiches, soups, pasta, and many more. 

      11. Salt

      Salt is a key replacement for MSG seasoning. Unfortunately, it contains sodium, which might not be suitable for those who want to reduce their sodium intake.

      Well, it works great in all recipes; you must add it according to your taste. Also, salt is always available in our kitchen stock most of the time so when you run out of MSG, then add a pinch of salt, it will surely save your day!


      MSG seasoning provides a great umami flavor without adding any taste. If you run out of it sometimes, there is no need to panic because many easy options are available.

      The substitutes mentioned above will help you replace MSG deliciously and more healthily. So, try out one of them and enjoy your food!

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      Areena is a talented writer at The Foodnom, where she enthralls readers with her captivating food-related content.

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