If you've never been able to figure out exactly what the secret ingredient is in grandma's pasta sauce, it might be something other than what you expect. Ac'cent seasoning isn't actually a seasoning at all but a food additive that enhances the savory flavors of meat. It's not easy to replicate, though if you're looking for a quick substitution, there are a few options.
Overall, bullion powder is the best Ac'cent seasoning substitute. It adds plenty of rich, meaty flavor as well as saltiness. Best of all, you can sprinkle it into just about any dish to deepen its flavor, just like the real thing.
There are plenty of other Ac'cent seasoning alternatives to try. Take a look at the list below and find your favorite.
Best Ac'cent Seasoning Substitute
1. Bouillon Powder
Bullion is the dried essence of reduced soup stock, used to make instant broth or add flavor to dishes. It comes in a variety of flavors, including beef, chicken, seafood, and vegetable, depending on what type of broth you want to make. However, when you're using it as an Ac'cent seasoning substitute, beef is best, as it adds the richest umami flavor.
When using it in place of Ac'cent seasoning, simply sprinkle a bit of it into your dish while cooking. It's not quite as strong as Ac'cent, so you'll need to use a bit more. Try using two parts bullion to every part Ac'cent.
Bouillon comes in a few different forms, and any of them can be used as an Ac'cent seasoning substitute. However, the most useful is definitely the powder because it can be added to both wet and dry dishes for a quick dash of extra flavor.
Sometimes it's best to keep things simple, and it doesn't get any simpler than salt. While it might seem basic, the truth is that plain old salt has the same properties as the active ingredient in Ac'cent, MSG. By seasoning your food with precision, you can draw out its natural flavors, making your meat taste meatier.
There are plenty of different varieties of salt, and each one brings something a bit different to the table. You can use coarse sea salt to sprinkle on food right before serving for a sharper accent and textural component. There's also pink Himalayan salt, which can add a slightly different flavor to your food.
Of course, just be cautious when seasoning your food and add a little at a time throughout cooking. Ideally, you shouldn't be able to taste the salt at all, adding just enough to bring out the natural flavors of the food.
3. Your Own Spice Mix
MSG isn't the only ingredient in Ac'cent seasoning, as it also includes chili pepper, onion, garlic, and other flavors. That means you can make your own spice mix to try and get the flavor just how you like it.
Feel free to experiment to your heart's content, but one simple mix you can try consists of 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, ½ tsp cayenne pepper, and ½ tsp salt. Once you have your base mixture, you can adjust amounts or add in other seasonings to customize your spice mix.
Simple Spice Mix
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
Those who think of anchovies as just the least desirable pizza topping are missing out on one of the best Italian ingredients around. By adding just a bit of anchovy to pasta sauce, stews, stir-fries, and many other recipes, you can add both salty and deep umami flavor whenever you like.
The traditional Italian way to incorporate anchovies into a dish is to put them in olive oil alongside a clove of garlic. Allow both of them to simmer in the oil for about a minute, and then add in your other ingredients. The anchovy flavor will blend into the rest of the food, adding a rich flavor similar to Ac'cent seasoning.
5. Soy Sauce
There's a reason why so many East Asian dishes use a dash of soy sauce. It's an all-purpose seasoning that can add life to pretty much any dish. In fact, you can use it in place of salt to draw the natural flavors out of your food. So it shouldn't be any surprise that it makes a great Ac'cent seasoning substitute.
Of course, the taste of soy sauce differs slightly from that of Ac'cent seasoning. Rather than MSG, it uses amino acids to get its flavor, adding a slightly sweet taste alongside the salty and savory ones.
If you're avoiding MSG, don't forget that many brands of soy sauce have the ingredient in their recipes. So read the ingredients carefully to make sure you know what you're eating.
If you're thinking of adding soy sauce to your next dish, make sure to read up on its nutritional properties first.
6. Cajun Seasoning
There are plenty of seasoning blends that can add life to your dishes, but if you're looking for the closest match to Ac'cent seasoning, there's one that comes closer than any of the others. Cajun seasoning has many of the same ingredients as the original recipe, including onion, garlic, and cayenne, as well as a few others.
Just make sure to add a healthy dash of salt alongside your Cajun seasoning to make sure the flavors really come through.
7. Worcestershire Sauce
Like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce is made by letting the ingredients ferment, which makes the flavor stronger in the end product. However, instead of soybeans, Worcestershire sauce uses anchovies and a range of other ingredients to get its unique flavor.
When you try it for yourself, you'll see the difference. It's sweeter, spicier, and has an all-around more complex flavor than soy sauce. When substituting for Ac'cent seasoning, you can add 1 tablespoon for every ½ teaspoon of Ac'cent. While it will add a different flavor to your food, it will help draw out the savory flavors in the same way that Ac'cent does.
Homemade Ac'cent Seasoning
- 6 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Ac'cent Flavor Enhancer produces a unique "umami" flavor for your recipe, while reducing your sodium intake. However, the fact that it contains monosodium glutamate may be undesirable and even alarming to some people. So, we prepared a short but effective list of the best substitutes for Ac'cent seasoning. Let's take a look at the rundown below along with some notes for cooking.
|Bouillon Powder||With a rich, meaty flavor packed into a powder that's easy to sprinkle, it's no wonder this makes a great Ac'cent substitute.|
|Salt||Salt is chemically similar to MSG, Ac'cent seasoning's main ingredient, so it has a similar taste.|
|Your Own Spice Mix||The right blend of common household spices can capture much of Ac'cent's unique taste.|
|Anchovies||Anchovy is a great way to add a deep, rich umami flavor to sautéed dishes.|
|Soy Sauce||Soy sauce adds both salty and savory flavors, so it makes a perfect Ac'cent alternative.|
|Cajun Seasoning||If you don't want to make your own spice mix, Cajun seasoning has some of the same spices as Ac'cent.|
|Worcestershire Sauce||Worcestershire sauce is similar to soy sauce, with a salty, rich flavor, but it also has other seasonings.|
Most of the umami flavor of Ac'cent seasoning comes from the MSG. This chemical additive doesn't have a strong taste on its own but helps draw out the natural savory flavors of meat.
Ac'cent seasoning also has salt, onion extract, garlic extract, and chili pepper in it, in addition to MSG. Together, they make an all-purpose seasoning that livens up any dish.
There was once a time when people believed that MSG was a harmful food additive that could cause headaches and indigestion. The belief was so widespread that many restaurants even started advertising their food as MSG-free.
However, since then, food scientists have not found any substantive evidence to justify the belief that MSG is harmful to your health. While excessive amounts may cause high blood pressure or headaches, the same is true of salt.
The best rule of thumb when adding Ac'cent seasoning is to treat it like salt. Use it on savory foods, not sweet ones. It's especially good on meat, where it can draw out the natural umami flavors.
However, keep in mind that you need to use much less Ac'cent seasoning than you do salt. Generally, half a teaspoon is enough to flavor a full dinner for four to six people.