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5 Great Replacements for Soy-Based Foods

a table ladden with examples of the different kinds of products soy is found in
naito29/Shutterstock

Whether you have a soy allergy or you want to cut down on your soy intake for reasons, there are options. From tofu replacements to soy sauce alternatives, we’ve got you covered.

For people that live on vegan and vegetarian diets, soy is one of the main alternatives to things like meat and dairy. Luckily, it’s not the only alternative. Let’s take a look at things you can replace soy products with.

Substitutes for Soy Milk

Dairy milk and soy milk aren’t the only alternatives out there when it comes to having milk for cereal, baking, and dipping cookies. There are a plethora of options. Even if you have a nut allergy, you can still find a milk substitute.

Some soy milk substitutes include:

  • Almond Milk
  • Cashew Milk
  • Hemp Milk
  • Pea Milk
  • Rice Milk
  • Oat Milk
  • Coconut Milk

Experiment with different kinds of milk for various purposes. You might find that one milk alternative tastes best for, say, your cereal and another tastes best with shakes or when used in a recipe.

Substitutes for Soy Sauce

Soy sauce adds a distinct flavor and salty taste. But if you’re avoiding soy, there are still some options.

Don’t be fooled by some substitutes. Tamari and many popular liquid aminos—seasoning sauces made with amino acids—are made with soy proteins. One of the best alternatives for soy lovers is coconut aminos. You may also want to consider trying something different, like Worcestershire sauce or a fish sauce. These include that salty flavor and gives dishes a more robust flavor.

Substitutes for Edamame

Edamame has become a popular addition to salads and rice dishes. When you buy them in the shell, they look just like pea pods. Unbeknownst to a lot of people, however, edamame is soybeans!

If you want some green pods or peas in your dishes, just use green beans (podded or not). You can also substitute lima beans and fava beans.

Substitutes for Miso

From a popular marinade choice to a glaze loved on chicken, miso is the product of fermented soybeans. If you like miso, but want to avoid soy, you can find miso made from chickpeas.

Substitutes for Tempeh and Tofu

Tofu and tempeh are both popular in Asian cuisine and have been used as substitutes for meats, cheeses, and more for those eating meat-free diets. So, what do you do when you need to replace something that itself already serves as a substitute?

It may seem like there are no tofu substitutions, but creative vegetarians and vegans have found ways to create the same textures with things like mushrooms, chickpeas, and other beans. If your recipe calls for silken tofu, consider a dairy-free and soy-free yogurt (there are both almond-based and coconut-based yogurt products on the market).

Substitutes for Textured Vegetable Protein

If you’re a fan of vegan meats options, some of the ingredients in those products are likely soy-based. While not entirely analogous, if you need some texture in your dish your favorite textured vegetable protein substitute can be replaced by quinoa or bulgur in a pinch—and, of course, if you’re not avoiding meat entirely, you can always replace your textured vegetable protein with hamburger.


With a little experimentation, we’re confident you can find delicious substitutes for soy and enjoy many of the same dishes you enjoy now.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow has been a professional writer for almost two decades. Yvonne has worked for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and much more as a writer and editor. She's also a published poet and a short story writer. Read Full Bio »

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