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
Ingredients for coconut aminos recipe on a board with text overhead shot

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:

  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Vegan

They also:

  • Contain about 60-70% less sodium than soy sauce
  • Don’t contain any MSG
  • Contain 17 amino acids
DIY coconut aminos substitute in two jars with rice in background horizontal image

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, coconut aminos are a good option.

They are:

  • Not as salty as soy-sauce
  • Slightly sweet tasting
  • A good source of savory, umami flavor
Coconut aminos substitute being poured over rice vertical image

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 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 for us.

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 substitute in jars on a countertop

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.

Homemade coconut aminos in two jars on a countertop with rice in background

Here are some other DIY seasoning and sauce recipes we love:

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!

DIY coconut aminos substitute in a jar with spoon close up vertical image with text at top

Like this Recipe?


Split image with text in middle. Sauce being poured over rice on top and close up of sauce in a jar on bottom

FAQ About coconut aminos and alternatives

What are coconut aminos?

Coconut aminos are a liquid made from coconut tree sap and sea salt. Read more about coconut aminos.

What can I use as a substitute for coconut aminos?

You can use this DIY coconut aminos recipe. Other alternatives are soy sauce and liquid aminos.

What do coconut aminos taste like?

Coconut aminos taste similar to soy sauce, but are less salty tasting and have a slightly sweet flavor. Read more about coconut aminos.

Are coconut aminos healthy?

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.

Is there MSG in coconut aminos?

Coconut aminos are free from MSG. In addition there is no MSG in this substitute DIY coconut aminos recipe.

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DIY Coconut Aminos Substitute

An easy recipe for a 5 ingredient DIY coconut aminos substitute you can make at home with only a few minutes of prep time. Plus, you'll save some money!


  • 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.

Last Step:

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  • 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.
Calories: 39kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1941mg, Fiber: 1g
Did you make this recipe?Tag @realsimplegood with hashtag #realsimplegood on Instagram. We love to see what you make!
DIY Coconut Aminos SubstituteDIY Coconut Aminos Substitute