How to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce? (5 ways)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “How to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce?”. We will discuss different ways that will help you counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe. 

How to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce?

There are many possible ways to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce. If you have added too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe and are desperately searching for ways to counteract it, you can:

  • Dilute the recipe
  • Add something starchy
  • Add ketchup
  • Add more tomato puree 
  • Add red wine, sugar and lemon juice 

Why should you counteract too much Worcestershire sauce?

You should counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in your recipe because the excessive ingestion of Worcestershire sauce can cause negative effects. If the dish is too concentrated with the sauce, it is required to reduce its concentration.

A study reported that moderate impairment of the renal functions was possibly caused by the excessive ingestion of Worcestershire sauce over time. This damage was due to the ingredients of the sauce, which contains acetic acid, garlic, black pepper, and a variety of other spices (10).

What are the different ways to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe?

The different ways to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe are explained In the following sections:

Dilute the recipe

You can quickly fix too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe by adding more of the other ingredients. This will help neutralize the excess Worcestershire sauce, helping you save your dish. 

You can add more meat, extra oil, extra water, and everything that makes up the base of your recipe.

Dairy, meat and vegetables may be added to absorb spice molecules of the worcester sauce. Meat and dairy contains fat and may absorb molecules. Vegetables contain aromatic substances, which also help to mask flavors. 

Bitter compounds in  vegetables, such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates found in cabbage and cauliflower can counteract the flavors (4).

Adding more water might affect the thickness of the sauce, but you can cover this up by adding some cornflour into the dish.

This method has the added benefit of making an extra amount which you can separate and save for another day. 

You may have to re-season your dish with some herbs and fresh spices after diluting to have a well-balanced flavor.

Add something starchy

You can also add a starchy ingredient to your dish that can help absorb the excess Worcestershire sauce.

Starch is composed of two different types of glucose polymer: the linear amylose, and the highly branched amylopectin backbone with linked side chains. The amylose to amylopectin ratio varies for waxy starches (mainly composed of amylopectin chains) and for high-amylose starches (where amylose exceeds 40% of the total starch). 

Linear amylose chains have been reported to possess greater capacity to interact with many plant compounds, such as phenolics, tannins, and alkaloids than highly branched amylopectin chains, thus forming non-inclusion complex at the external surface of the starch polymer, mainly through hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic interaction or electrostatic and ionic interactions (2). 

Cornstarch or other starch-rich foods are able to absorb the flavor compounds and spices of the Worcestershire sauce, reducing its effect in the food.

Adding a peeled potato will also reduce the effect of the Worcestershire sauce, due to the starch in the potato. Throw in a few raw potato slices into your dish. The potato will absorb the excess Worcestershire sauce and distribute starch into the dish, diluting it further. Discard the potatoes afterwards and proceed with your recipe as if nothing happened. 

You can also add a small dough of flour to neutralize the flavor. This will help absorb the extra Worcestershire sauce right away and also do not soak up any liquid, so be careful about how long you keep it in.

Add ketchup 

You can also add ketchup as required. This will also neutralize the flavor of the Worcestershire sauce. Add ketchup slowly, tasting after every addition to make sure that you do not add too much of it.

Ketchup is typically a strong-tasting sauce that contains spices, vinegar, sugar, and salt and is commonly used to mask the flavor of food (5).

Add more tomato puree 

Increasing the amount of tomato puree will also help neutralize the taste of  Worcestershire sauce. Tomato puree contains salt, sugar and acids, which together may mask the taste of the sauce (5,6,7)

Add red wine, sugar and lemon juice 

To even out too much Worcestershire sauce in your recipe, you can mix some red wine and sugar into the recipe with a sprinkle of lemon juice. Acids can neutralize pungency of foods and sugar masks acids and pungent tastes (6,7)

Is excess Worcestershire sauce bad for you?

Yes, Worcestershire sauce if consumed in excess can be bad for you. That is because Worcestershire sauce has a lot of sodium and sugar, so the key is to consume in moderate amounts.

Worcestershire sauce is an ultra processed food. The consumption of large quantities of ultra processed foods may result in poorer dietary quality, and also higher risks of all-cause mortality, obesity, cardio-metabolic diseases, cancer and gastrointestinal disorders, according to several studies (8).

However, consuming it in moderation can provide many health benefits. It may improve digestion and give strength to people with osteoarthritis, and improve the function of joints (9).

How to use Worcestershire sauce?

The best way is to start with a quarter tsp per serving: a recipe that serves 4 persons will need about 1 tsp to build up the umami flavor in the dish. 

Worcestershire sauce is a brown seasoning made up of vinegar, molasses, cloves, anchovies, tamarind, chili peppers, shallots, garlic and onion, among other things. Worcestershire sauce is a fermented product, and if made with distilled vinegar rather than malt vinegar, it should be gluten-free, and the elimination of anchovies or oysters should make it vegan (3). 

It has a combination of savory, sweet, and tangy flavors. It adds a strong umami flavor to a dish and is often used in marination and dipping. It is sour as it has vinegar and tamarind added to it. It also has some sweetness due to the sugar with a spicy tinge to it. 

Too much of the sauce will easily ruin the taste and there is a fine line between too less, just enough and too much. Hence, it should be added in the form of a few drops at a time.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

What can I use Instead of Chili Garlic Sauce?

How to thicken the sauce without flour or cornstarch?

What Can I Use Instead of Louisiana Hot Sauce


In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “How to counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe?”. We have discussed different ways that will help you counteract too much Worcestershire sauce in a recipe. 


  1. García‐Casal, Maria Nieves, Juan Pablo Peña‐Rosas, and Heber Gómez Malavé. Sauces, spices, and condiments: definitions, potential benefits, consumption patterns, and global markets. Annal New York Acad Sci, 2016, 1379, 3-16.
  2. Giuberti, Gianluca, Gabriele Rocchetti, and Luigi Lucini. Interactions between phenolic compounds, amylolytic enzymes and starch: An updated overview. Curr Opin Food Sci, 2020, 31, 102-113.
  3. Smith, J. Can you say Worcester? 2021. University of Illinois.  
  4. Beck, Tove K., et al. The masking effect of sucrose on perception of bitter compounds in Brassica vegetables. J Sens Stud, 2014, 29, 190-200.
  5. Puputti, Sari, Ulla Hoppu, and Mari Sandell. Taste sensitivity is associated with food consumption behavior but not with recalled pleasantness. Foods, 2019, 8, 444.
  6. Smutzer, Gregory, et al. Detection and modulation of capsaicin perception in the human oral cavity. Physiol behav, 2018, 194, 120-131.  
  7. Liu, David T., et al. Bitter Taste Disrupts Spatial Discrimination of Piperine-Evoked Burning Sensations: A Pilot Study. Biology, 2021, 10, 886.
  8. Baker, Phillip, et al. Ultra‐processed foods and the nutrition transition: Global, regional and national trends, food systems transformations and political economy drivers. Obes Rev, 2020, 21, e13126.
  9. Srinivasan, K. J. F. R. I. Role of spices beyond food flavoring: Nutraceuticals with multiple health effects. Food Rev Int, 2005, 21, 167-188.
  10. Holmes, G. Worcestershire sauce and the kidneys. Brit Med J, 1971, 3, 252.

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