Agave Nectar Substitute: See the Best Alternatives

Looking for a substitute for agave nectar? You’ve come to the right place.

Agave nectar is a popular sweetener, with a consistency that’s similar to honey, making it useful in both sweet and savory recipes. It is popular with consumers because it is all-natural, has a low glycemic index, and is high in fructose.

If you can’t find agave nectar at the grocery store or just want to avoid using it for personal reasons, there are several options for you. This article includes a list of some of the best substitutes for agave nectar.

What Is Agave Nectar?

Agave nectar is a sweetener that’s made from the juice of the same agave plants used to make tequila. It is high in fructose and has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to spike as quickly as regular sugar does.

Agave nectar comes in three forms: light, dark or amber, and raw. It is widely available and you can find it in the natural foods section of most grocery stores and supermarkets.

Agave Nectar Substitute

1. Honey

agave nectar substitute

Honey is an excellent substitute for agave nectar because it is an unprocessed product (an extract from the honeycomb of bees) and is only slightly more expensive than agave nectar.

It also has a low glycemic index, similar to that of agave nectar. And its flavor is unique compared to other types of sugar, which can add another dimension to your recipe.

So if you want your recipes to taste sweeter and more flavorful, honey is the way to go. If you are unsure what kind of honey to buy (there are many varieties), opt for a dark honey. Dark honey tends to be more robust in flavor and works best with savory dishes.

2. Maple Syrup

agave nectar substitute

Like honey, maple syrup is an excellent substitute for agave nectar due to its consistency and taste. It also contains fewer calories than agave nectar, which makes it a better choice for weight loss.

The only downside is that maple syrup has a distinct sweet maple flavor that may or may not work well with your recipe. If a recipe calls for 1 cup of agave nectar, use 1/2 cup maple syrup instead.

3. White Sugar

white sugar

If you don’t have agave nectar or if you just need a substitute, white sugar is a good option. However, keep in mind that white sugar has a much higher glycemic index than agave nectar.

This means that eating food cooked with white sugar will cause a blood sugar spike more quickly than eating food cooked with agave nectar.

Also, note that white sugar has a different flavor profile from agave nectar. It is not as sweet as agave nectar, and while most people cannot detect this difference, it exists nonetheless. Because of this difference in sweetness levels, use twice the amount of white sugar as the recipe calls for agave nectar.

4. Brown Rice Syrup

brown rice syrup

You can also use brown rice syrup as a substitute for agave nectar in most recipes. Like agave nectar, it has a mild sweetness that easily combines with other flavors.

However, it’s slightly more viscous and doesn’t work well in cold beverages like iced tea or lemonade. Start with about half as much brown rice syrup as you would use agave nectar.

5. Brown Sugar

agave nectar substitute

Brown sugar is significantly less sweet than agave nectar, so you’ll need to use about twice as much in a recipe. Its molasses content will add a slight pleasant bitterness and will make your recipe a bit darker and thicker.

SEE: Do Chocolate Chip Cookies Need Brown Sugar?

6. Barley Malt Syrup

barley malt syrup

Barley malt syrup is a good substitute for agave nectar because it has a similar texture and taste. This syrup is also healthier and has a lower glycemic index than agave nectar.

Use the same amount of barley malt syrup as you would agave nectar, but be aware that it has a dark color, which might change the overall appearance of your food.

7. Corn Syrup

corn syrup

Corn syrup is a neutral-tasting sweetener that is the closest substitute for agave nectar in terms of sweetness. Use twice the amount of corn syrup as you would agave nectar, but be aware that it might not contribute much to the overall taste of your recipe.

8. Stevia


Stevia is a plant-based sweetener that is made from the stevia plant and granulated for easier use in recipes. It’s much sweeter than most other sugars, so use only a few teaspoons to replace the agave nectar called for in your recipe.

9. Simple Syrup

simple syrup

Simple syrup is a good substitute for agave nectar because it dissolves easily and gives your food and drinks an even sweetness. You can also make simple syrup at home with equal parts water and granulated white sugar.

For example, if you want to make 1 cup of simple syrup, put 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white sugar in a saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Let the mixture cool before using it in place of agave nectar in your recipes.

10. Fruit Syrup

agave nectar substitute

Fruit syrup is made from fruit juice which has been cooked down to a thick, syrupy consistency. It is less sweet than sugar but tastes just as fruity. You can use fruit syrup as a substitute for agave nectar in many recipes, including lemonade and salad dressing.

11. Coconut Nectar

coconut nectar

Coconut nectar is a sweetener that comes from the sap of the flower buds of the coconut palm. It has a low glycemic index, and you can use it in most recipes as a substitute for agave nectar.

This sweetener comes in both liquid and solid forms, and it is considered to be less processed than other sweeteners.

12. Molasses

agave nectar substitute

Molasses is a viscous product with a sweet and rich taste that complements many dishes. It is made by refining sugarcane or sugar beets, so it’s a great option if you’re out of agave or don’t like the taste.

To substitute molasses for agave nectar, use half the amount that your recipe specifies for agave nectar. For example, if the recipe calls for one cup of agave nectar, replace it with 1/2 cup of molasses.

13. Dates

agave nectar substitute

Dates are a very nutritious fruit that can serve as an excellent alternative to agave nectar in recipes that call for sweeteners. They’re not as sweet as agave nectar, so use more of them to match the sweetness of agave nectar.

14. Artificial Sweeteners

agave nectar substitute

Yes, you can replace agave nectar with artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners have zero calories, have been tested and approved by the FDA, and are safe to consume in moderation.

There are several kinds, but the one most commonly used is aspartame. It’s often sold under the brand name NutraSweet and it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar. So you need less of it to achieve the same level of sweetness when substituting for agave nectar.

Why Does Agave Nectar Need Substitutes?

Some people don’t like using agave nectar because it contains fructose, which is a natural form of sugar that is more difficult for the body to process than glucose.

Agave nectar can also be expensive and hard to find in some areas. If you’re looking for an alternative to agave nectar for your favorite recipes, look no further than the above substitutes.

SEE: Get Free Meal At Checkers & Rally’s


Can you add agave nectar as a sweetener to coffee?

Yes, you can. Agave nectar is a great way to sweeten your coffee (or tea) without the blood sugar spikes that come from using regular sugar. It’s also sweeter than regular sugar, so you’ll need less of it to achieve the desired sweetness.

What does agave nectar taste like?

Agave nectar has a taste similar to honey and maple syrup; it’s very sweet with a slight caramel flavor. There are light and dark varieties; light agave is milder in flavor while dark agave has a stronger flavor.

What is the difference between agave nectar and white sugar?

Agave nectar comes from the blue agave plant in Mexico, while white sugar is made from various plants and trees native to tropical regions around the world.

Agave nectar also has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, which helps control blood sugar levels better for people with diabetes or other blood sugar conditions.


If you don’t have agave nectar in your pantry, several other sweeteners can stand in for it. They include honey, maple syrup, and brown rice syrup. You can also use other sugars like white sugar, stevia, molasses, or artificial sweeteners.

Just keep in mind that these substitutes will change your recipe’s flavor profile, so you might need to make some adjustments to your other ingredients.

Thanks for reading.

For more information on agave nectar, visit Cheffist today.