You don’t always have to buy coconut aminos at the store. Here is an easy recipe for a 5 ingredient DIY coconut aminos substitute that you can make at home. It only takes a few minutes of prep time and it’s made with cheap pantry ingredients so you’ll save some money!
How to make coconut aminos at home
You can use some common pantry ingredients to mimic the depth of flavor of coconut aminos pretty easily. All you have to do is simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes to reduce and thicken into a sauce and you’re all set!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Beef broth – To get that savory, umami flavor
- Balsamic vinegar – Adds a little sweetness and acid balance
- Fish sauce – Another layer of umami and salty goodness
- Tomato paste – Adds depth of flavor and thickness to the sauce
- Onion powder – Flavor to help mimic a “true” coconut aminos taste
- Maple syrup – Optional, adds a little sweetness similar to coconut aminos
- Sea salt – Also optional, if you’re looking for a saltier sauce you’ll want to add a pinch
But wait, what are coconut aminos?
Don’t want to read the details on coconut aminos? Click here to jump straight to the recipe.
Coconut aminos are a liquid made from coconut tree sap and sea salt. They have become popular as an alternative to soy sauce, with much less sodium.
Coconut aminos are naturally:
- Contain about 60-70% less sodium than soy sauce
- Don’t contain any MSG
- Contain 17 amino acids
An alternative to soy sauce
Coconut aminos are typically used as an alternative or replacement for soy sauce. If you are avoiding soy for any reason (you can read more about the dangers of soy here) coconut aminos are a good option.
- Not as salty as soy-sauce
- Slightly sweet tasting
- A good source of savory, umami flavor
Coconut aminos vs. Liquid aminos
Don’t be fooled by liquid aminos. Although they have “aminos” in the name, they are not the same. In fact, liquid aminos (such as Bragg) are a liquid protein concentrate made from soybeans and very similar to soy sauce. Liquid aminos are much saltier than coconut aminos and contain soy so they are not a recommended soy sauce alternative.
Coconut aminos and Whole30
We discovered coconut aminos for cooking when we started eating mostly Whole30 and have never looked back. They are the perfect ingredient for asian-inspired meals, sauces and marinades. They add depth of flavor to any dish. You’ll find them in many of our recipes and you can find all of our Whole30 recipes here.
This DIY coconut aminos recipe is Whole30 compliant as long as you don’t include the maple syrup. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it! You’ll still get the salty umami flavor you are looking for and still get a tiny bit of sweetness from the balsamic vinegar.
Coconut aminos and the Keto diet
Because coconut aminos are made from coconut tree sap, which is basically a syrup, they are not very keto friendly. However, this coconut aminos substitute recipe is much lower carb than the average store bought coconut aminos.
Here is the breakdown:
|Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos||DIY Coconut Aminos Substitute|
All amounts above are per 1 tbsp serving
So, good news! You can use this homemade version to replace coconut aminos or soy sauce in your favorite Keto recipes. You’ll get similar flavor with a lower carb count.
But why make a coconut aminos substitute?
While coconut aminos are great, there are a few reasons you might not want to use it or buy it at the store.
- It can be expensive
- Some stores don’t carry it
- Which brand of aminos to buy can be confusing (see coconut aminos vs. liquid aminos above)
- You may have trouble finding it in your area to purchase in store or online (Certain countries)
- Maybe you can’t eat coconut or soy but want a sauce similar to coconut aminos or soy sauce
You might like the homemade version better
Personally, I like making my own sauces and seasonings at home. Once you try it, you’ll never go back! It’s much cheaper to make them at home and you don’t have to spend an hour at the store looking at ingredients on all the bottles.
Here are some other DIY seasoning and sauce recipes we love:
- CHIPOTLE AIOLI
- PALEO TACO SEASONING
- 5 MINUTE ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE
- 6 EASY WHOLE30 SAUCES
- 10 EASY HOMEMADE SPICE BLENDS
Your turn to try this DIY coconut aminos and soy sauce alternative
Grab a handful of items from your pantry and put them on the stove to simmer for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to recreate the flavor of coconut aminos in your own kitchen! Leave a comment below to let us know how it goes. Also, take a pic and tag us @realsimplegood on Instagram, we love seeing what you’re cooking!
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FAQ About coconut aminos and alternatives
Coconut aminos are a liquid made from coconut tree sap and sea salt. Read more about coconut aminos.
You can use this DIY coconut aminos recipe. Other alternatives are soy sauce and liquid aminos.
Coconut aminos taste similar to soy sauce, but are less salty tasting and have a slightly sweet flavor. Read more about coconut aminos.
Coconut aminos are a healthier option than soy sauce and contain less sodium. They are perfect for the Paleo, Whole30 and Keto diets. Read more here.
Coconut aminos are free from MSG. In addition there is no MSG in this substitute DIY coconut aminos recipe.
DIY Coconut Aminos Substitute
- 2 cups beef broth, See recipe notes for freshness
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp maple syrup, (optional, omit for Whole30)
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, (approximate, adjust to taste)
- Place all of the ingredients except the sea salt in a saucepan. Stir with a whisk to mix.
- Over high heat, bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once the boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce will reduce and concentrate.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool. Taste and season with sea salt if needed. Start with 1/4 tsp, mix and taste. Add more as desired.
- Place in a jar with an airtight lid and refrigerate for up to two weeks (see recipe notes). Use as a 1 to 1 replacement for coconut aminos.
- This recipe is best if used within 2 weeks. However, this will depend on the expiration date of the beef broth used. Use the freshest broth possible to extend the life of this sauce.
- The recipe as written will make approximately 2 cups of sauce. It can easily be cut in half or doubled if desired. Just enter in the amount of cups you want to make in the serving box above and the ingredients will automatically adjust.
- Nutrition facts are an estimate provided for those following a Ketogenic or low-carb diet and do not include the optional maple syrup for this recipe. See our full nutrition information disclosure here.
- The nutrition amounts below are per cup of sauce, not per serving. To get the amounts per tbsp, divide the amounts below by 16.
Thank you for sharing this. I’m on the AIP diet (no nightshades) and was wondering if this recipe would work without the tomato paste. Is there maybe a substitute you could recommend?
I think it would be best to try the recipe without the tomato paste, as I don’t think there is a good substitute.
Can you freeze this if you make a bigger batch. Just thinking of saving time. I am allergic to soy so this is a great substitute for me.
Yes, you can absolutely freeze this.
One of the best blog posts ever. Bookmarked for the future!
Can I omit the vinegar?
We recommend it to balance out the flavors, but you could try it without.
What jars did you use? They are adorable!
Hi Amanda, they are Weck jars and they have them in different sizes. The ones in this picture are the 1/5 L Jelly Jars.
Can chicken broth work instead of beef broth?
Yes, chicken broth will work. I just think beef broth provides a little more depth of flavor.
One of the best blog posts ever. Bookmarked for the future!
this is good site and this is very helpful and thanks for sharing this information for us
How is it vegan if it requires fish sauce?
In the post describing coconut aminos I note that they are naturally vegan. This substitute however is not.
For a Vegan version, sub mushroom stock for beef broth and use seaweed (kelp, dulse, Wakame, etc.) in place of fish sauce