21 Substitutes for Salt

Substitutes for Salt
Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Salt is often a major ingredient in many recipes, but it can be replaced with many alternatives to make dishes healthier and tastier.

Potassium-based substitutes for salt can be used as direct replacements for sodium-based table salt, while herbs and spices such as oregano or basil can be used to flavor foods substitutes for salt. 

Other tasty substitutes for salt include garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, lemon juice, lime juice, mustard seeds, smoked paprika, and cinnamon.

With the right combination of these ingredients, you can create some delicious flavors much healthier than regular table salt.

Let’s move on to various substitutes for salt

1. Paprika

Paprika is first on our list of substitutes for salt. It is a great substitute for salt, adding texture and flavor to a dish.

It can be added to vegetables or proteins for the perfect heat, sweetness, and smokiness. 

Paprika also contains vitamins A, B6 and antioxidants that can make a dish healthier.

Additionally, paprika is easier on people’s diets as it provides flavor without worrying about excessive amounts of sodium.

This combination of health benefits and great flavor makes paprika an ideal replacement for salt in many dishes.

2. Oregano

Oregano is also on our list of substitutes for salt. When trying to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, oregano can be an excellent substitute as it offers many of the same flavor-enhancing properties as salt.

Oregano is a popular herb that can bring zest and flavor to many dishes while simultaneously making them more healthy. 

While using oregano as a substitute for salt will require some experimentation before finding the perfect balance, it is worth it to get accustomed to it because this herb can provide many benefits!

3. Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is an increasingly popular substitute for regular table salt due to its natural, spicy flavor.

Not only can it add a delicious kick to your dishes, but it can also provide health benefits. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper helps to reduce inflammation and improve gut health.

This can help with cardiovascular issues, allergies, and even diabetes.

Plus, unlike table salt, almost entirely sodium chloride, cayenne pepper contains other vitamins and minerals that the body needs, like vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium.

All of this makes cayenne pepper a healthier substitute for salt when looking for a way to spice up your meals!

4. Low-sodium broth

Low-sodium broth is a great way to flavor dishes without adding extra sodium. Made with herbs and spices, it tastes good without all the added salt.

Low-sodium broths can add just the right amount of flavor to any meal, leaving your dish tasting delicious without that extra sodium content.

You can easily find many variations of low-sodium broths available in stores or make your homemade version.

Low-sodium broth makes great substitutes for salt and adds extra flavor to your cooking!

5. Basil

Basil is a great herb used as a healthy substitute for salt in many recipes.

This allows those wanting to reduce the amount of sodium they consume to add flavor without going overboard.

Basil has a unique flavor that pairs well with tomatoes, and other herbs, making it extremely versatile. 

Although it doesn’t have the same salty flavor as salt, basil can be combined with other ingredients if desired.

In any case, using basil as a substitute for salt is an excellent way to increase flavors without increasing sodium levels above most health organizations recommend.

6. Thyme

Thyme can be a great substitute for salt in food. The herbal notes of thyme pair nicely with ratatouille, roasted vegetables, sauces, lovely dressings, and other savory dishes that are typically significantly high in sodium from salt and pre-packaged ingredients like bouillon cubes. 

Salt and thyme bring out the flavor in foods and work powerfully to enhance any recipe when used together.

Thyme has quite a mellow taste compared to table salt, making it an ideal replacement depending on your cooking.

7. Sage

Sage is next on our list of substitutes for salt. It is a great alternative to salt when adding flavor and aroma to foods.

It has a unique, somewhat sharp, and pungent taste, which works well with many dishes. 

Its intense flavor, even in small amounts, can balance a dish’s sweet or acidic elements.

The herb is also high in antioxidants, which can help the body protect itself from free radicals, and some studies suggest that sage may help improve immune system health.

Sage brings complexity and interest to any dish without using unhealthy salt levels and can be used fresh or dried in many dishes.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric often comes to mind when looking for a healthy substitute for salt. Turmeric is an effective substitute for salt because of its mild flavor.

The subtle taste of turmeric can enhance any dish’s flavor without using extra salt. 

In addition, turmeric, as one of the substitutes for salt, contains powerful antioxidants which can help improve digestion and boost the immune system.

Therefore, using turmeric as a substitute for salt is not only helpful in cutting down on sodium intake but also offers numerous other health benefits.

9. Apple Cider

Apple cider vinegar is one of the excellent substitutes for salt as a seasoning.

It has many health benefits, from aiding digestion to reducing cholesterol and controlling blood pressure. 

It adds a tart tanginess and delicious flavor to food while providing the savoriness that people may enjoy from salt-seasoned dishes.

It can be added to virtually any cuisine, making it a great option for those seeking less salty flavor.

10. Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a wonderful substitute for salt because it adds a savory depth of flavor to all dishes.

It has a sweet-tart and slightly acidic flavor that brings out the bright flavors in vegetables, meats, and other ingredients. 

As a substitute for salt, balsamic vinegar can be used to season salads and cooked vegetables or as a finishing touch on savory dishes like pasta or pizza.

Balsamic vinegar can be added as an accent to sweet desserts like berries or ice cream. So if you want to reduce sodium, balsamic vinegar is a great option!

11. Red wine vinegar

Red Wine Vinegar is a great substitute for salt in many recipes. As an ingredient, it adds flavor without the high sodium content of table salt.

It can be used in dressings, marinades, and sauces, giving food a zesty and robust flavor. 

Red Wine Vinegar also has nothing artificial, so it is a more natural and healthier substitute for salt.

Red Wine Vinegar can give your food a delicious kick that you won’t find with regular table salt.

12. Parsley

Parsley can be an excellent alternative to salt in recipes, as it adds flavor and works great as a natural seasoning.

In most cases, simple fresh parsley will do the trick to add flavor to your meals without too much sodium. 

Parsley is also considered high in antioxidants and several essential vitamins, such as Vitamin C and K, which helps boost the overall nutritional value of dishes.

Parsley is versatile; it can be added at the beginning, middle, or end of the cooking process, depending on your recipe and preference.

Finally, using parsley instead of salt helps reduce sodium intake, which is beneficial for anyone looking to watch their salt intake without sacrificing the flavor in the kitchen!

13. Coriander

Using coriander as one of the substitutes for salt can be an effective way to reduce sodium intake without losing flavor.

Studies have shown that coriander is an effective substitution due to its natural aroma-enhancing properties and strong flavor. 

Eating high sodium levels increases the risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and other serious issues.

Incorporating coriander into one’s diet in place of salt can help reduce sodium intake and add a unique and flavorful kick to food.

14. Dried onion

Dried onion, made from dehydrated onion flakes or powder, can be used as a substitute for salt in many dishes.

It has a much milder flavor than salt, but the flavor intensity can be adjusted by adding the more dried onion. 

Because it is natural and contains fewer additives than processed salt, you can enjoy a lesser sodium load than other seasoning options.

Additionally, dried onion offers a unique texture that can help transform ordinary recipes into something extraordinary.

15. Kelp granules

Kelp granules are excellent substitutes for salt in cooking as they add flavor and texture similar to salts.

Kelp granules are a rich source of iodine and many other minerals, including potassium and calcium. 

In addition, kelp is high in dietary fiber and low in sodium, making it healthier than regular salt.

It also contains natural plant compounds that help the body absorb nutritional content from food more efficiently.

Therefore, kelp granules can be used as a substitute for salt to reduce the amount of sodium intake while still getting the necessary nutrients from the food.

16. Rosemary

Rosemary is also among the great substitutes for salt in dishes such as stews and roasted vegetables.

It gives a flavorful herbaceous note to dishes, is also full of antioxidants, and can help reduce your sodium intake without compromising flavor. 

Rosemary, as one of the substitutes for salt adds an extra layer of flavor that makes dishes more interesting- something that plain old salt can’t do!

Throw some fresh or dried rosemary into your next dish to experience its unique flavor and nutritional benefits.

17. Lemon juice

Lemon juice is an excellent substitute for salt in a variety of recipes.

It adds a citrus flavor to dishes and can reduce sodium consumption, adding beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and calcium. 

Furthermore, a small amount of lemon juice goes a long way – just 1 tablespoon contains around 17 milligrams of vitamin C, and the same amount has just 6 calories.

In addition to being one of the best Substitutes for salt, lemon juice can brighten up the flavors in certain recipes and enhance particular aromas while cooking.

18. Dill

Dill is a great substitute for salt due to its strong flavor. Aside from its flavorful shock, dill adds a unique layer of spicy and tangy complexity while lightening the taste profile of dishes.

It’s perfect in seafood dishes like pan-fried trout or steamed mussels. 

Dill can also be mixed with melted butter and spread onto cooked vegetables like asparagus to boost flavor.

Finally, when mixed into sour cream sauces, dill is amazing for a smoky edge to perk up your favorite main course.

19. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a great alternative to salt, allowing you to add an umami flavor without increasing your sodium intake.

This vegetable-derived product is also filled with vitamins and minerals not in regular table salt. 

Unlike table salt, which adds flavor, nutritional yeast provides various health benefits, including B Vitamins, zinc, folate, magnesium, and chromium.

Nutritional Yeast has a nutty taste and is considered the “vegan Parmesan” due to its cheesy flavor, so it’s versatile enough to use on anything from popcorn to soups and sauces.

20. Black pepper

Black pepper, commonly known as the “other” spice, can be one of the great substitutes for salt.

It adds flavor without sodium and contains trace minerals, including magnesium, zinc, and manganese. 

With its many health benefits, such as aiding digestion and improving circulation, black pepper is an excellent alternative to salt when seasoning everyday dishes.

Used on its own or combined with other herbs and spices, it provides an intense aroma and richness, elevating any meal to a higher state of deliciousness — all without adding more sodium.

21. Garlic

Garlic is last on our list of substitutes for salt. Consuming garlic as a substitute for salt is one of the best ways to get the necessary minerals and vitamins in our everyday diet.

It is known for its strong anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce high blood pressure, ease digestion and boost immunity. 

Garlic has higher levels of sulfur compounds than regular salt providing a vast range of medicinal benefits from reducing cholesterol and cleansing the bloodstream to reducing arthritis pain.

As a delicious and nutritious substitute for salt for regular food seasoning, garlic can be added to almost every dish, enhancing its flavor and offering health benefits.


After exploring all the different options for substitutes for salt, it’s clear that there are a lot of good alternatives to use when cooking and baking.

From soy sauce and tamari to lemon juice, herbal salts, seasonings, and more, these substitutes can add flavor to your dishes without containing as much sodium as salt. 

Ultimately, your choice should be based on personal preference and dietary restrictions.

But no matter what you go with, salt-free cooking can still be delicious!

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