Accent seasoning or Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is known for making any type of recipe taste better.
You will find it as a common ingredient in products you find at your local grocery store but you can also purchase it to add it to your recipes.
However, you might not be able to find this ingredient at all or you might want to avoid it altogether. If that is the case, we gathered the best substitutes for accent seasoning that you can count on!
The best substitute for accent seasonings is salt, but you can use others such as different spices, herbs, and even beef broth. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about accent seasoning substitutes!
Best Substitutes for Accent Seasonings
Choose the substitute for accent seasonings that resonates with your health but also with your taste. Also, some of them will be more suitable than others, depending on the recipe you prepare.
Salt is by far the best substitute for MSG or accent seasoning. Adding a pinch of salt to your food will enhance all the other flavors, giving you a great taste once you finished cooking your recipe.
You can add salt to both savory and sweet dishes and it will balance the flavors beautifully.
There are many types of salt and all of them can be used as a replacement for accent seasonings as long as you use them in moderation.
Plus, salt has the advantage to make the meat in your dish juicy and much more tender. Use salt in moderation as just a pinch of it can change the taste of your food.
More: 10 Best Substitutes for Italian Seasoning
Spices were used to add flavor to dishes way before accent seasonings. You can make your spice mix along with some salt and add it to your dish.
A good secret to know is that if you fry your spices mix before adding it to your dish, its taste will be that much more potent.
Choose the savory spices you like the most and make sure you don’t forget salt and pepper. Garlic could also be a good choice if you like its strong aroma.
Depending on the spices you choose to mix, you might have to add more or less of it than the number of accent seasonings you would add. Taste your mix before including it in your food to make sure you adjust it exactly to your taste.
Herbs are used in the kitchen for centuries and even thousands of years. The sky is the limit when it comes to what herbs you can use to season your food.
From oregano, basil, and thyme to rosemary, parsley, and cilantro, you can use any herbs you like to add some flavor to your food.
Create a combination of herbs you want to use in your dish and you can also add some spices to them from salt to pepper and even chili.
As for the ratio, it will take more herbs to season your food compared to accent seasonings but the quantity will be up to your taste.
4. Beef broth
Beef broth can add a great taste to your dish and you can either make it at home or purchase it already made. Both beef broth and beef stock bring a lot of umami taste to your food.
You can use this in sauces, soups, stews, and even on top of baked recipes. The ratio you use will depend on the type of dish you prepare.
Soups and stews might need a bigger quantity than sauces for instance. But either way, you will use more beef broth than accent seasonings.
5. Vegetable broth
If beef is not the flavor you want in your dish but you are still looking for an umami flavor, you can choose a vegetable broth.
Vegetable broth can be made at home from any type of veggies you prefer and make sure to add salt as well as other spices you might want in your dish.
The vegetable broth will be a great choice for a tasty soup or stew and you will use it differently than your accent seasonings. You will need more broth than accent seasonings to obtain the taste you like.
6. Bouillon cubes
Bouillon cubes come in different flavors such as chicken, veggies, or beef. You can find them in almost all grocery stores and they give your food a very rich taste.
You can use one bouillon cube for each teaspoon of accent seasonings you use in your food.
These cubes are often used as an ingredient in broths and one only cube can make a difference in your recipe. They will dissolve fast and your dish will instantly taste better.
These cubes have concentrated flavors and all you have to do is drop them in your soup or stew as it is getting cooked.
You won’t be able to use them in all types of dishes though. For instance, they are not the best choice for dry dishes or sauces.
Some bouillon cubes even contain accent seasoning or MSG as part of their ingredients! Also, take into account that these cubes taste much better in cooked dishes rather than cold ones because their taste activates when they are exposed to heat.
7. Soy sauce
Soy sauce can add a great umami taste to your dishes. However, this substitute will not be suitable for all the recipes.
It can be a great choice for soups and stir-fries but it might not match all baked dishes. Soy sauce adds an Asian flavor to the food as well.
Soy sauce contains a lot of salt as well as soybeans and wheat. Start by adding a tablespoon of soy sauce for each teaspoon of accent seasonings. You can always increase the soy sauce quantity if you like the taste it gives to your food.
8. Garlic and onion mix
Creating a garlic and onion mix will give you a good replacement for accent seasonings, especially if you add a pinch of salt as well.
You can mix equal parts of ground garlic and onion before adding the mix to your food but you can also roast this mix before.
Both garlic and onion have strong flavors so combining them will offer you a great mix for your savory dishes.
However, you can add a double quantity of this mix compared to the accent seasoning quantity you would normally use. Also, feel free to add other herbs and spices to enrich the taste of this mix in order to suit your taste better!
9. Creole seasoning
Creole seasoning is the most common substitute for accent seasoning in all types of recipes.
This seasoning contains spices and herbs such as paprika, oregano, black pepper, basil, onion, garlic, pepper, and thyme. Depending on the manufacturer, the creole seasoning might have different ingredients as well.
This mix is spicy and salty so you don’t want to add too much of it.
To start with, add creole seasoning in the same quantity as you would add your accent seasoning. You can always increase the quantity according to your taste.
10. Cajun seasoning
Cajun seasoning might not be the first option you think about when you need to replace accent seasoning in your food.
But if you give this substitute a try, you will not be disappointed. Cajun seasonings contain paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, and pepper but you will find them in different varieties.
These seasonings are not as rich in flavor as accent seasonings. So, you will have to use two teaspoons of cajun seasonings to make up for one teaspoon of accent seasoning. But you can use this substitute in all recipes that call for accent seasonings.
Also Check: Cajun vs Creole Seasoning
What ingredients are in Accent seasoning?
Accent seasonings contain Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) as the main ingredient. Besides MSG, these seasonings also contain different types of peppers such as chili peppers, black peppers or cayenne peppers, thyme, basil, onion, garlic, and bay leaves.
All ingredients are used as powders, giving the accent seasonings a texture that will dissolve fast in any type of dish.
How do I make Accent seasoning?
Maybe you don’t want to substitute accent seasonings but rather you want to create your own. The good news is that you can prepare your accent seasonings without the MSG ingredient.
You will need the following ingredients to make your accent seasonings:
- 26 oz. table salt
- 5 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbsp. black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. onion powder
- 3 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 3 Tbsp. chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. thyme
- 1 Tbsp. sweet basil
- 1 Tbsp. bay leaf
Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix them for half a minute. You can blend them in less time if you notice that they achieve the powder-like texture faster.
Add the salt
When your ingredients are well mixed and have a powder texture, add the salt. Blend for an additional five seconds so the salt gets well mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
Store your mix in a sealed container
It is important to store your seasonings in an airtight container. You don’t want humidity to get to them and change their texture.
Note that you can increase the quantity of a certain ingredient if you like its taste and want to have more of it in your food.
You can get creative when you put together your seasoning mix and the best part of doing that is that you have the freedom to adapt it exactly to your preferences.
What does Accent seasoning taste like?
We know that the taste of accent seasoning can enrich the flavor of all types of foods. You will find MSG in stores in white powder form.
By the texture and white color, accent seasonings resemble sugar and salt. Unlike sugar or salt, accent seasonings don’t have a distinct flavor or smell. These seasonings become valuable when they are combined with other ingredients.
In terms of taste, MSG doesn’t have any flavor by itself either. Although, when mixed with other ingredients, it activates their flavor giving the food a much richer taste.
But, even if Accent seasonings don’t have a taste of their own, they will add a distinct flavor to your food.
Does Accent make food taste better?
Yes, Accent seasonings are notorious for the way they enhance the taste of all types of dishes.
Adding just a pinch of these seasonings will make your dish taste more flavorful and enhance all the other tastes in the rest of the ingredients.
The way these seasonings add flavor to different dishes remains a mystery even for scientists.
With no taste of its own, it is difficult to understand and explain how accent seasonings can have such a significant culinary impact on the recipes it is added in.
There are different debates among chefs and nutritionists regarding how safe it is to consume MSG.
However, FDA considers MSG to be safe for human consumption in moderation. Due to its quality of enhancing the flavor in all dishes, MSG is one of the most popular food additives all over the world. It can be a great alternative for those that want to reduce their salt intake as well.
Accent seasonings can truly make the difference between an average dish and one with an exquisite taste. It highlights all the flavors coming from the rest of the ingredients, and it can transform your dish into a delicious one with only a pinch added to it.
Make sure you don’t overdo it, though. MSG is still a chemical that can affect your body in an unpleasant manner.
The most present risk encountered with the overuse of MSG in foods is obesity. This is why it is important to use this ingredient rare and not to enhance the taste of every meal.
The substitutes in this guide will help you enjoy your food just as much as accent seasonings would, but with natural and safer seasonings.