Orange juice is not only a popular breakfast beverage, but freshly squeezed orange juice can add a flavorsome tang to a variety of sweet and savory dishes too. It is perfect for glazing ham steak, marinating meat, making vinaigrettes for salad, steaming fish, making fruit cakes, and so on.
But what if your recipe calls for orange juice and you don’t have any left in your refrigerator?
Don’t worry. There are some excellent orange juice substitutes that you can use instead.
Some of our top alternatives for the juice include apple cider vinegar, orange liqueur, marmalade, orange extract, orange water, lemon juice, and even Coca-Cola.
Here are the best substitutes for orange juice for all your cooking needs
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is among the most suitable replacements for orange juice, especially if you are making a marinade, vinaigrette, a dip, or are baking.
Make sure that you use apple cider vinegar which is labeled “with the mother,” for the best results when using it instead of orange juice for cooking. This label means that the vinegar is unrefined and unfiltered and thus contains beneficial yeast, bacteria, and protein.
Thanks to its acidity, your food will be tangy and delicious even without freshly squeezed orange juice.
If you find that the apple cider vinegar is too acidic and potent for your taste, you can mellow it down with water or add some honey or sugar for the desired level of sweetness.
2. Coca Cola
Coca-Cola may sound like an exotic choice for an orange juice substitute for cooking, but the fact is that you can add some Coke to your receipt when you are baking sweet foods like pastries and cakes.
Since Coca-Cola is not acidic, it will not provide that tangy flavor that orange juice does, but your baked goods will be sweet and fluffy if you substitute the orange juice with Coke next time you are making a cake or other pastry.
3. Orange Marmalade or Jam
If you have run out of orange juice or oranges, but you have orange jam or marmalade, then you can rest assured that you can follow the recipe of your choice even without the juice.
Orange marmalade or jam is an excellent alternative for orange juice, especially when making a marinade or glaze for meat. It is also a great choice when preparing salad dressings and dips, which require the use of orange juice too.
But keep in mind that the marmalade can be quite sweeter than orange juice, so you may want to add some lemon juice to it to add some acidity and reduce the sweetness.
4. Orange Liqueur
If you don’t have oranges or orange juice but you have orange liquor instead, you can use it as an alternative for the juice for just about any recipe.
If you are worried about the alcohol affecting the taste of your food, then don’t because it will be cooked off and evaporate during the cooking.
Orange liquor will give the dish a sweet and tangy taste and a lovely aroma of oranges as well.
It is a great substitute when making a marinade, sauce, soup, or stew, which requires the use of fresh orange juice.
Just remember that the aroma of oranges is much stronger when using the liquor as an alternative, so for every cup of orange juice required by the recipe, you may want to add just one shot of the orange liquor when using it as a replacement.
5. Orange Concentrate
The orange concentrate is orange juice that has most of its water removed, so it is much thicker than orange juice. It is usually sold in frozen form and is pasteurized.
In order to use it as a substitute for fresh orange juice, you should add water to make it more liquid.
Our recommendation is to use ¼ cup of orange concentrate mixed with ¾ cup of water for every cup of orange juice required in the recipe you are preparing.
You can also make your own orange water at home. There are so many recipes that you can find online and follow. The only downside is the waiting time, which could take up to 2-3 weeks to make sure that the liqueur is much concentrated. Still, it’s rewarding because you’ll have a long supply of orange water for your kitchen needs.
6. Orange Extract
Orange extract is made with alcohol, and because it is concentrated, it has a stronger aroma and flavor than regular orange juice.
Still, it is a great substitute to use when making a dessert that calls for the use of orange juice.
You can also use the orange extract when making a marinade, salad dressings, and even for mixing cocktails.
Just be careful to use only a few drops of the orange extract so that it doesn’t overwhelm the taste of your food. Use it like you would use other extracts, such as vanilla extract.
7. Lemon Juice
If you are out of oranges but you have lemons, you can make some lemon juice and use it instead of the orange juice when preparing the recipe.
In order to mellow down the acidity of the lemon, you can add some honey or sugar to the lemon juice if you want.
If you are using lemon juice instead of orange juice for a salad dressing or a marinade for fish or meat, then you can use it in the same quantities as you would use orange juice, and you don’t even need to add honey or sugar to it.
Further Reading: Does Orange Juice Go Bad?
Can I use orange juice instead of lemon juice for a recipe?
Yes, for most dishes, it is the acidity of lemons that is essential, but for some recipes, the added sweetness of the oranges can add to the flavor and aroma.
You can use orange juice as an alternative to lemon juice for most types of foods, marinades, stews, dressings, sauces, and baked goods.
Can I use orange juice instead of apple cider vinegar?
If you are making a salad dressing and prefer that it is sweeter and with milder acidity than when using apple cider vinegar, you can easily replace the vinegar with orange juice.
You can also use orange juice as an alternative to apple cider vinegar for many other recipes as well.
Can I use milk instead of orange juice when baking?
Yes, you can use it as a substitute for some recipes. Please note that milk has no or very little acidity, unlike orange juice, so you may want to add a squeeze of lemon, lime, or pomegranate to give it a tangy taste.
If you are baking a sponge cake that has orange as the main ingredient, then you should add some orange extract, concentrate or liquor to the milk.