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Does Worcestershire Sauce Have Anchovies?

Wondering whether Worcestershire sauce has anchovies. Not a fan of the taste of this small fish or perhaps even have an anchovy allergy? Whatever the reason you are here, this is what you need to know.

So, does Worcestershire sauce have anchovies? Traditional recipes of Worcestershire sauce will include anchovies, as one of the main ingredients. Most of the major brands, including Lea & Perrins, are known to include anchovies too. Although, there are some brands to buy or recipes to follow to make this sauce anchovy-free.

So, there is not a definitive answer.

But, it is better to assume that anchovies are present.

Unless you are specifically going out of your way to source an anchovy-free option.

We will now see why by looking at the typical ingredients of this sauce.

But all is not lost. Keep reading and I’ll introduce you to my favorite brand of anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce, and a recipe if you are interested in making your own.

What Is In Worcestershire Sauce?

Worcestershire Sauce is typically made up of barley malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, anchovies, tamarind extract, shallots, garlic, and flavorings.

Although the exact ingredients do differ and range by brand or recipe.

For instance, here is the full ingredient list of perhaps the most famous brand of Worcestershire sauce, Lea & Perrins:

Malt Vinegar (from Barley), Spirit Vinegar, Molasses, Sugar, Salt, Anchovies (Fish), Tamarind Extract, Onions, Garlic, Spice, Flavourings

And many other brands will often include a similar recipe.

As such, this sauce is mostly off the table for those with anchovy allergies, or those avoiding the consumption of fish, such as vegans/vegetarians.

But not all do, as we shall soon see below.

Does All Worcestershire Sauce Have Anchovies?

Not all brands and recipes of Worcestershire Sauce has anchovies, although most of them do. You will need to look for brands marketed as vegan/vegetarian or specifically labeled as anchovy-free.

Here is one such popular example of anchovy-free Worceshire sauce on Amazon.

As you will see, there are no anchovies included:

Water, Sorghum, Apple Cider Vinegar, Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Soy Beans, Wheat, Sea Salt, Yeast)

And it has great reviews too; many stating it tastes like the ‘real thing’.

And then there are other, vegan-friendly options too.

There is a brand on Amazon called Annies which markets itself as vegan.

Again, keeping this small fish firmly out of the recipe:

Water, apple cider vinegar, molasses, soy sauce (water, soy bean, salt, wheat, alcohol), canesugar, tamarind, sea salt, cornstarch, xanthan gum, garlic, onion, clove, chili pepper

So another safe option for sure.

So as we can see, there are alternatives on the market. And good ones at that!

How To Make Your Own Worcestershire Sauce Without Anchovies

Making your own anchovy-free Worcestershire Sauce is incredibly simple. But you do need quite a number of ingredients for it.

Generally, it will take you up to 20-30 minutes to produce this sauce:


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • Step One: place all ingredients in a saucepan and stir together,
  • Step Two: Bring to a boil while continuing to stir,
  • Step Three: Simmer for 1-2 minutes,
  • Step Four: Cool and serve.

Or you can always transfer it to a bottle/jar/container and refrigerate for future use.

Just be sure that the storage vessel is airtight!

Nevertheless, this sauce tastes very similar to the original – so do give it a try if you have the time!


Worcestershire sauce does typically have anchovies.

So if you do have an allergy, it’s safe to assume that this will be mostly a no-go. Especially if you are out or are not sure of the brand/ingredients.

That being said there are certainly options and alternatives to ensure you can still enjoy this sauce if you desire.

Either opting for a specific brand or making your own, from scratch.