Wondering If Worcestershire Sauce Is Gluten-Free? We’re Sharing Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce Brands, Ingredients To Watch Out For & More!
Label reading is the name of the game on a gluten-free diet, and it seems like there’s always something new to check!
Since we’ve been using it in several recipes lately, I thought I’d share all about Worcestershire sauce. What is it? How do you use it? Which brands are gluten-free? We’re breaking it all down today so you can stop searching for answers and start cooking!
Here’s what you need to know about buying gluten-free Worcestershire sauce.
Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce, At A Glance:
So What Is IN Worcestershire Sauce?
Worcestershire Sauce is a fermented liquid condiment invented in Worcester England in the early 19th century by pharmacists/chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins. It’s punchy, tangy, and adds umami to all sorts of dishes. (More on that in a minute!)
So, what are the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce? Worcestershire sauce is often made with ingredients like vinegar (malt vinegar or distilled/white vinegar), molasses, sugar, water, salt, onions, anchovies, garlic, cloves, tamarind paste or tamarind extract, and pepper or chili pepper extract. Some brands use soy sauce, high-fructose corn syrup, caramel color, preservatives, natural flavoring, thickeners, or other flavorings.
Is Worcestershire Sauce GLuten-Free?
It can be, but not always! In the United States, Worcestershire sauce is often made without gluten ingredients, but not always labeled gluten-free. The FDA requires that to be labeled gluten-free, a product must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, which requires strict production policies to be in place. Not all brands go through the process of testing and certifying their products gluten-free, but those with the gluten-free label can be safely trusted if you have Celiac disease or gluten intolerance!
Ingredients To Watch Out For: soy sauce (most commercial brands of soy sauce contain wheat), malt vinegar (derived from barley).
Brands OF GLuten-Free Worcestershire Sauce:
Theses brands are certified gluten-free and considered safe for Celiacs and gluten sensitivity:
- Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. The most popular, famous, and widely available Worcestershire sauce on the market, Lea & Perrins is certified gluten-free! (Note that it’s gluten-free in the United States only, as versions in Canada & The UK are made with malt vinegar.)
- The Wizard’s Worcestershire Sauce. This sauce is both gluten-free AND vegan! It’s also made from organic ingredients.
- French’s Worcestershire Sauce. This brand isn’t certified gluten-free, but contains no gluten ingredients and has production policies in place to minimize cross contamination. French’s is owned by McCormick & Company, whose allergy policy states, “Our facilities have allergen, sanitation, and hygiene programs in place. Our employees follow good manufacturing practices and are trained in the importance of correct labeling and the necessity of performing thorough equipment clean-up and change over procedures to minimize cross-contact of ingredients.”
- Sprouts Worcestershire Sauce. The Sprouts’ store-brand Worcestershire sauce is certified gluten-free!
- Savory Spice Worcestershire Sauce – This one is both vegan and gluten-free!
Brands Of Worcestershire That Are NOT Certified Gluten-Free:
These brands contain no gluten ingredients, but are not certified gluten-free:
- Heinz Worcestershire Sauce – Doesn’t contain gluten ingredients, but is not certified gluten-free
- Kroger Worcestershire Sauce – Contains no gluten ingredients, but is not certified gluten-free
- Great Value – Walmart’s store brand doesn’t contain gluten ingredients but is not certified gluten-free.
- Simple Truth Organic – Doesn’t contain gluten ingredients but is not certified gluten-free
- Whole Foods 356 Organic – Doesn’t contain gluten ingredients but is not certified gluten-free
These brands are NOT gluten-free and contain wheat or barley ingredients:
- Market Pantry – Not gluten-free. This brand uses malt vinegar which contains barley/gluten.
- Bourbon Barrel – Not gluten-free. Contains wheat-based soy sauce
- Annies Worcestershire Sauce – Not gluten-free because it contains soy sauce made from wheat
11 Gluten-Free REcipes That USe Worcestershire Sauce
So what do you use Worcestershire sauce for? Adding a layer of umami and flavor to all kinds of dishes! While a list of the ways to use Worcestershire sauce would be much longer than mine, these are some of my favorites.
- Caesar Salad Dressing. The briny, saltiness is part of the signature flavor in this Caesar Salad Dressing.
- Chex Mix. I LOVE what Worcestershire sauce adds to this Gluten-Free Chex Mix. YUUUUM!
- Pot Roast & Stew. Many pot roast and beef stew recipes add a little Worcestershire sauce. I love it!
- Spaghetti Sauce. Try it in our Gluten-Free Spaghetti Sauce recipe!
- Meatloaf. Our gluten-free meatloaf just wouldn’t be the same without a little Worcestershire!
- Steak Sauce & Marinades. It’s common to see it as an ingredient in steak sauces and marinades.
- Hamburgers. Add a little splash to the meat as you grill hamburgers!
- Bloody Marys & Bloody Mary Mix. I don’t drink, but I love Bloody Mary Mix, the spicy vegetable/tomato juice that’s used as a base for the drink. Worcestershire adds a kick and savory note that gives this drink its signature flavor. (We also add it to our Bloody Mary Tomato Soup!
- Barbecue Sauce. It’s common to add a splash or two of this when making barbecue sauce.
- Sloppy Joes. We always add a little to our Gluten-Free Sloppy Joes!
- Baked Beans. These are my all-time favorite baked beans!
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
Is Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce Gluten-Free? It is in the United States! In the UK and Canada, their original recipe contains malt vinegar which is derived from barley and contains gluten.
What’s The Difference Between Worcestershire Sauce And Soy Sauce? Though both sauces are fermented and add umami, they have very different flavor profiles. Soy sauce is made of soybeans (or wheat), salt, and sometimes alcohol. Worcestershire includes vinegar, molasses, garlic, and anchovies. Both sauces require careful reading of ingredient labels and allergy statements to be sure you’re buying a gluten-free product.
What Can I Use Instead Of Worcestershire Sauce? The best substitute will depend on what you’re adding the sauce to. Gluten-free soy sauce or tamari, balsamic vinegar, A1 sauce, and fish sauce can all be options, but it will really depend on the flavor your recipe needs. You can also make homemade Worcestershire sauce that’s the best substitute for store-bought!
Is Worcestershire Sauce Vegan? Most brands are not, since they contain anchovies or anchovy paste. Edward & Sons The Wizard’s Worcestershire sauce and Savory Spice Worcestershire are gluten-free AND vegan! (Annie’s is vegan but NOT gluten-free)
Can You Make Your Own Worcestershire Sauce? Yes! Try this Worcestershire sauce recipe using gluten-free ingredients.
The Bottom Line
Carefully read labels when buying Worcestershire sauce, as not all brands are gluten-free. Look for brands like Lea & Perrins that are certified gluten-free and watch out for ingredients like malt vinegar and soy sauce.