Is Worcestershire sauce gluten free?

Is Worcestershire sauce gluten free?

Worcestershire sauce is sometimes gluten free, but this will depend largely on its country of origin. We’ll explain why this is the case below. You’ll also find links to brands that are gluten free, and recipes to make your own Worcestershire-style sauce, if you’re into that.

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Bloody Mary from Johann Trasch via Unsplash

Worcestershire sauce is a liquid condiment that could be considered a distant relative to garum, the original fermented fish sauce, which has been made since at least 79 AD. It’s called Worcestershire because it originated in Worcestershire, England. Unlike fish sauce, Worcestershire is only mildly fishy. Instead, it adds an umami flavor and salty depth to sauces, soups, and meat marinades. It’s commonly used in Caesar salad, deviled eggs, and bloody mary cocktails.

Worcestershire Ingredients

The original Worcestershire sauce from the 1800s included: barley malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, sugar, molasses, salt, anchovies, tamarind, shallots, garlic, spices, and various flavorings. Soy sauce is sometimes included in modern recipes.

Malt vinegar and soy sauce are the main issues for people with celiac disease, because they’re not usually considered gluten free. The vague ‘flavorings’ can also be an issue, but usually it just means that a secret blend of spices and herbs was included. Most modern versions of Worcestershire made in the US have moved away from including malt vinegar and instead use distilled vinegar in their recipes. They’re also much better at identifying if their products are gluten free.

Is Lea and Perrins Gluten Free?


The original sauce from Taste Atlas

Lea & Perrins is the original Worcestershire sauce whose creation dates back to 1835 in England. The version of Lea & Perrins sold within the US uses distilled vinegar and is clearly marked gluten free. However, Lea & Perrins sold in the UK and countries outside the US are made with barley malt vinegar and are NOT gluten free. Most Worcestershire brands outside the US are NOT gluten free, so always double-check the brand before consuming.

Buy Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce

We’ve linked some gluten free Worcestershire options below. If you live outside the US, be sure to check the ingredients as these vary according to region! You’ll also find some vegan options, in case you want to skip the fish. Note that some of these options are not certified gluten free, but they do not contain any gluten ingredients. Choose according to your needs. As always, you’ll probably find the best prices at your local store.


Worcestershire pour from My Recipes

Gluten Free Worcestershire Sauce Recipes

If you like DIY fermentation projects or just want to make your own gf condiments, then this section is for you!

* Title image courtesy of The Spruce Eats.

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