Soy Alternatives: Substitutes for Tofu, Miso, Soy Sauce and More

updated Dec 31, 2020
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

If you’re allergic to soybeans or want to reduce your consumption of soy for other reasons, foods like tofu, miso, and soy sauce are out. A soy-free diet can be even harder if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. Check out this list of soy alternatives and leave your own suggestions in the comments.

Edamame Substitutes: Green peas and fresh fava and lima beans are good substitutes.

Miso Substitutes: Miso is traditionally made from fermented soybeans, but chickpea versions can be found from South River Miso Company and Miso Master, and South River also makes an adzuki bean miso. If you have the patience to wait a year, you can also go the DIY fermentation route (Sandor Katz is a good resource).

Tofu and Tempeh Substitutes: Unfortunately there’s no true substitute for these products, but depending on the dish you may be able to use ingredients like mushrooms (puffballs are especially tofu-like), chickpeas and other beans, or seitan that has made without soy sauce. Ricotta cheese, sour cream, and yogurt can sometimes work in place of silken tofu.

Soy Milk Substitutes: Other milk alternatives like rice and almond milk tend to be much lower in protein, although many of them do have other nutritional benefits. If it’s protein you’re after, consider goat’s milk, hemp milk (which contains 10 essential amino acids), or homemade quinoa milk.

Soy Sauce Substitutes: Soy sauce, shoyu, tamari, and Bragg Liquid Aminos are all made from soybeans. Instead, try coconut aminos made from coconut tree sap. For additional ideas, see this post.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) Substitutes: This soy protein is often used as a substitute for ground meats. Similar textures can be achieved by using hamburger, quinoa, or coarse bulgur.

Did we miss anything? Share your suggestions and experiences in the comments.

(Image: Emily Han)