Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 15 mins
Total: 5 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Yields: 6 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
30 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 27mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The recipe for Worcestershire sauce, pronounced "wu-stuh-sheer," dates back to the early nineteenth century, when the British Lord Sandys acquired it during travels in Bengal. In 1835, he commissioned a pair of chemists back in his English hometown of Worcester to try and replicate the flavor. John Lea and William Perrins gave it a go but were disappointed by the results. They stuck the jars in the cellar and forgot about them.

After a few years, Lea and Perrins found the bottles under a thick layer of dust and decided to give the sauce another chance. During the unintentional aging process, it had developed a rich and savory flavor identified by modern foodies as umami. The partners bottled more, and a taste for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce spread throughout Europe, to America, and across the world.

Now a generic term, Worcestershire sauce is marketed by many other brands, with some proprietary variations in ingredients. Lea & Perrins closely guards its original recipe for the still-thriving company's Worcestershire Sauce, but the main ingredients include vinegar, anchovies, tamarind, molassesgarlic, and onions; along with sugar and undisclosed spices and seasonings.

Consider making your own Worcestershire sauce at home and using it in your recipes, such as homemade meatloaf. It does contain a lot of ingredients, but the method is simple.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large sweet onions, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup tamarind paste

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, minced

  • 1/4 cup anchovies, chopped

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 3 cups white vinegar

  • 1 cup dark beer

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 1 lime, thinly sliced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until soft, about 7 minutes.

    sauté the onions in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños. Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes.

    Onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the remaining ingredients, anchovies through lime, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 hours.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients cooking together in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Test doneness of sauce by seeing that it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce tested on the back of a wood spoon

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Strain the Worcestershire sauce into glass bottles or jars, and refrigerate.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


  • Fresh Worcestershire sauce lasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks. For longer storage, can it in a boiling-water canner according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use Worcestershire sauce to add background flavor to meats, gravies, soups, and vegetable juices. It is also a versatile table condiment and an essential ingredient in the bloody mary cocktail.