Whether you’re roasting, grilling, or pan-frying your steak, there’s one condiment that truly elevates the dish to a whole new level — steak sauce.
Traditional steak sauce has a smoky, sweet, and tangy flavor profile. This blend of powerful flavors can really salvage a dish, even if the steak is low-quality, overcooked, or dry.
But sometimes, it can happen that you run out and need a backup. In this article, we’ll show you the best store-bought substitutes for steak sauce, along with some of our favorite homemade steak sauce recipes.
We’re all familiar with the famous barbecue sauce! This condiment pairs nicely with steaks because of its sweet and smoky flavor.
Barbecue sauces come in a variety of flavors; some sour, some sweet, and others spicy. Any of these choices will be delicious, but genuine BBQ is nearly always a touch sweeter than the steak sauce you’re accustomed to.
Brown is a black sauce made from tamarind and tomatoes. It’s very similar to steak sauce, only a little sharper. Both of these zesty sauces go well with meat.
The first manufactured brown sauce, known as HP sauce, was introduced in the United Kingdom in the 1870s. HP Sauce got its name from Frederick Garton, who named it in honor of the London Houses of Parliament upon discovering that it was served there.
Worcestershire sauce is a rich, savory sauce prepared with anchovies, tamarind pulp, and a fragrant combination of spices and herbs.
Its savory flavor is similar to, but doesn’t have the sweetness of classic steak sauce. Worcestershire sauce is also a bit more watery, thanks to its vinegar content.
It has a robust flavor, so a little goes a long way. You can drizzle it over meat or use it as a dipping sauce.
You’ve definitely heard of soy sauce, the umami- and salt-filled condiment that originated in Asia and has become popular worldwide.
Soy sauce is a dark-brown condiment made from fermented soybeans that make a combination of sugary, umami, salty, and bitter flavors.
If you decide to go with this alternative, it may overpower your steak with its rich flavor. To balance out the flavors, try combining your soy sauce with some Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
Say hello to teriyaki, the Japanese equivalent of steak sauce.
The sauce comprises soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and can give the steak a delicate savory-sweet flavor. Compared to steak sauce, it’s a bit more watery — but you can always thicken it to achieve a similar consistency.
Teriyaki sauce can add a lovely Japanese touch to your dish and make it more interesting than standard steak sauce. It also gives grilled meats and vegetables a glossy golden color and an umami taste.
Teriyaki sauce is often used as a glaze or marinade for meats and seafood. It’s also great with grilled chicken.
Oyster sauce is a viscous, syrup-like condiment commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
It’s created from oyster extract and tastes salty, earthy, and a little bit sweet. It has a thick consistency and is dark brown in hue, almost black, in fact.
The taste of oyster sauce differs from that of steak sauce. However, the sweetness and tanginess it imparts to the meat are comparable. It can be used as a topping for steak or combined with side dishes like roasted veggies, rice, or potatoes.
It’s so easy to use our store-bought alternatives to steak sauce. Prepare the steak, serve it with the sauce of your choice, and dinner will be ready in a matter of minutes.
Still, if you want quality and richness, then the best sauce is a homemade one. If you have spare time for cooking, you might want to check out our list of homemade alternatives for steak sauce.
A mouthwatering mushroom sauce pairs incredibly well with steak. The recipe yields delicious results and is surprisingly easy to prepare.
- Shitake, portobello, and brown mushrooms
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- ½ stick butter
- 4 tbsp cornstarch + ¼ cup broth (for the slurry)
- 1 tbsp mushroom powder
- ¾ cup red wine
- 1 ½ cup broth
- 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Chop the mushrooms into small pieces, along with the garlic, and tarragon.
Make a thickener slurry by mixing some cornstarch with broth and adding 1 tbsp of mushroom powder.
Sprinkle some olive oil in your pan and cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes on medium heat. Then create a well in the center of the pan, add the garlic and half of the butter, and sprinkle everything with salt.
Remove the mushrooms, and do not clean the leftovers from the pan. Add the red wine, mix to deglaze and combine, and put back the mushrooms and the rest of the broth.
Simmer everything for 5-10 minutes, add the slurry and the remaining butter, and season with salt and pepper. Turn down on low heat. Once it reaches a smooth and shiny consistency, you’ll know your sauce is ready.
Before serving, finish off with tarragon. Remove from heat and let your homemade mushroom sauce sit for about 5 minutes until the tarragon is fully infused.
The French L’entrecote restaurants are renowned for their dishes of thinly sliced, grilled steak served with potatoes, and a creamy, buttery yellow sauce poured on top. Once you taste that sauce, you’ll be charmed by its uniquely French allure.
- 1 medium-sized shallot
- ½ onion
- 250 g butter
- 2 tbsp of chopped tarragon
- 1 bunch of basil leaf
- ½ lemon
- 3 anchovies
- 1 bunch of Italian parsley
- 2 tsp of capers with brine
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- 1 egg yolk
Start by melting half of the butter in a saucepan. Then, add the chopped onions and garlic.
Cook for 2 minutes and add basil, tarragon, parsley, capers, anchovies, and the other half of the butter. Cook for a couple of minutes and squeeze half a lemon.
In another bowl, stir one egg yolk, and add the olive oil and mustard.
Add both mixtures to a blender and blend for 2 minutes. All done. Enjoy your steak.
Salsa verde is one of those strong, robust sauces that add a ton of flavor to every dish. It has a flavor that is similar to pesto but richer. You can use it to garnish salads, scatter it on top of soups or steak, or put it on sandwiches. It’s pretty flavorful and easy to make.
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup of mint, chives, and parsley
- 1 pc of garlic
- 2 anchovies
- 1 tbsp of capers
- Salt and pepper
Mash together the anchovies, capers, and garlic until the mixture resembles a fine paste.
Chop the parsley, chives, and mint leaves, and mix them into your paste. Include extra virgin olive oil and the juice of one lemon.
Season the whole thing with salt and pepper, and you are all done. Enjoy your salsa verde steak.
Steak pairs perfectly with creamy peppercorn sauce. This final sauce will give your steak a nice, almost caramel flavor.
- 4 tsp crushed whole black pepper
- ½ cup beef broth
- ¼ cup sweet port
- ⅓ cup double cream
- Salt to taste
Start by breaking a bunch of black peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Try to grind them as finely as possible.
Meanwhile, start cooking your steak, and once done, deglaze the remaining bits in the pan with some sweet port wine. Let it simmer on medium for about 2 minutes.
Throw the beef stock and season with black pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until it’s slightly thickened.
Whisk in a tiny bit of cream and butter. Let that bubble away for a few more minutes until it’s thick, luscious, glistening, and delicious.
There you have it, then! Steak sauce can be replaced by many alternatives.
To achieve a comparable flavor and consistency in your dish, you can use store-bought alternatives like BBQ, Brown, Worcestershire, Soy, Teriyaki, or Oyster sauce.
Keep in mind that they all have unique flavors, and while many of them provide that signature umami flavor, none of them is an identical duplicate of steak sauce.
If you want to take your dish to the next level, you can make homemade mushroom, entrecote, salsa, or pepper sauces.