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20 Simple Apple Juice Substitutes

Need a good apple juice substitute? Here are 20 simple stand-ins for your favorite dishes, plus an easy recipe to make your own!

Apple juice is a common ingredient in many of our favorite dishes. But, we don’t always have it on hand when we need it.

So what do you do if you run out of apple juice in the middle of making a recipe?

Here are 20 easy apple juice substitutes that can come to the rescue! You’ll find simple apple juice replacements for sauces, marinades, dressings, baking, and more!

I also share an easy recipe to make homemade apple juice. This is a great apple juice substitute for those looking to cut down on sugar!

Apple Juice 101

Glass of apple juice with straw surrounded by sliced and whole apples.

Apple juice is the product of crushed and strained fresh apples. It’s easy to find in any grocery store or your local farmer’s market.

And there are a few different versions of apple juice to try.

You can enjoy it filtered or unfiltered, sweetened or unsweetened. And store-bought apple juice also goes through a pasteurization process to kill off harmful bacteria.

There are many health benefits of apple juice when enjoyed in moderation.

It’s a good source of vitamin c, boosts immune health, is rich in antioxidants, and reduces the risk for metabolic syndrome.

And while it’s great on its own as a beverage, it’s also perfect for recipes like marinated ribs, glazed sweet potatoes, smoothies, and more!

But, if you happen to run out, you can always use an apple juice substitute from the list below!

The Best Apple Juice Substitutes

1. Apple Cider

Caramel apple cider ingredients including spices and caramel on white table.

If you need a good apple juice substitute for pork, you can try apple cider. It’s more tart and sometimes has a bitter note. But it’s great for recipes that you prefer to be less sweet.

To counteract the stronger flavor and more acidic undertones, you can add a dash of sugar. And then use it as a 1-to-1 substitute.

RELATED: Salted Caramel Apple Cider

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Glass jar of apple cider vinegar with cork top next to whole and sliced apples on wooden table.

Apple cider vinegar has a strong, pungent flavor and sharp taste with hints of apple. It’s a good substitute for unsweetened apple juice.

And it’s a great base ingredient for marinades and dressings.

You can dilute the vinegar with a dash or two of water and add a pinch of sugar to offset the sharper flavor.

Use your dilated mixture as a 1-to-1 substitute.

3. Orange Juice

Whole and cut oranges scattered around glass and pitcher of orange juice.

If you happen to have some fresh oranges or orange juice in the fridge, you can use it as an apple juice substitute.

This ingredient is great for salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and smoothies. And it’s the perfect apple juice substitute in bourbon chicken.

If your orange is on the tart side, you can add a dash of sugar before using it as a 1-to-1 substitute.

RELATED: 18 Brilliant Ways to Substitute for Orange Juice

4. Pear Juice

Whole and sliced pears sitting on leaves next to a glass of pear juice.

Pear juice is an excellent substitute for apple juice. And it has a very similar taste. You can use it as a 1-to-1 substitute anywhere you would apple juice.

And there’s no need to make any modifications!

RELATED: Ultimate Winter Green Salad with Pomegranate, Pears, and Pecans

5. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice in two glass jars with straws next to pineapple fruits.

Here’s another common fruit juice with a similar sweet taste and tart notes. Pineapple juice is the best substitute for apple juice in smoothies, cocktails, and marinades.

And you can use it as a 1-to-1 substitute with a dash of sugar if desired.

RELATED: 17 Awesome Ways to Substitute for Pineapple Juice

6. White Grape Juice

Green grapes on the vine and a glass of white grape juice.

Sweet and slightly tart, white grape juice works well to replace apple juice in cocktails, smoothies, and dessert recipes.

It’s an easy 1-to-1 substitute for apple juice!

7. Lime Juice

Several fresh limes and lime juice is squeezed into a glass bowl.

The citric acid in lime juice makes it a great tenderizer for meats. So it’s the perfect apple juice substitute for marinades. And you can also use it for salad dressing, dips, and sauces.

However, it has a much more sour taste.

To counteract that, add 1 tablespoon of sugar to four tablespoons of lime juice. Then use a 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture to substitute for 1 tablespoon of apple juice.

RELATED: Rice Cooker Cafe Rio Rice (Cilantro Lime)

8. Lemon Juice

Several cut lemons on a wooden cutting board next to a bowl of lemon juice.

Lemon juice is very similar to lime juice. And you can use it as a substitute in the same kinds of recipes.

Before substituting, mix three tablespoons of lemon juice with a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar.

Use a 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture to replace a tablespoon of apple juice.

RELATED: Perfect Lemon Basil Pasta

9. Grapefruit Juice

Small glass of grapefruit juice on a burlap coaster next to slices of grapefruit.

Here’s another citrus juice that can substitute for apple juice. Grapefruit has a similar taste to lime juice with a bitter flavor.

You can use it as a substitute for apple juice in the same way and in the same kinds of recipes. However, you may want to add some extra sugar!

12. Balsamic Vinegar

Measuring cup of balsamic chicken marinade on a table.

Balsamic vinegar has a dark, concentrated flavor. And it’s a popular ingredient in marinades, dressings, and dips.

Due to its strong flavor, you can use half the amount of balsamic vinegar as you would apple juice in your favorite recipes.

RELATED: The Easiest One Pan Balsamic Chicken And Veggies

10. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar in a clear glass bowl next to green garnish and bowl of oil.

Made from fermented red grapes, red wine vinegar is a great apple juice substitute for savory dishes, sauces, marinades, and dressings.

It has a bright and punchy flavor that you can tone down with a pinch of brown sugar.

Then you can use it as a 1-to-1 substitute.

11. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar in a small clear glass bowl next to green herbs.

White wine vinegar has a fairly sweet flavor with fruity tones. And it’s made from fermented grapes without the skin.

To substitute for apple juice, add a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar then use as a 1-to-1 substitute.

This substitute is best used in sautéed recipes, marinades, and dressings.

13. White Vinegar

Bottle of white vinegar next to bowls of lemon and baking soda.

Here’s another type of vinegar that’s a decent substitute for apple juice in a pinch. White vinegar has a sharp flavor and consists of acetic acid and water.

It’s very strong, so you’ll need a lot less of it!

To substitute, create a mixture of 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Then substitute 1 tablespoon of apple juice with a 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture.

14. Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice wine vinegar in a clear glass bottle next to a bowl of rice.

Rice wine vinegar has a similar sweet and acidic flavor compared to apple juice. And it’s popular in Asian sauces and marinades.

Add 1/4 tablespoon sugar to 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, if desired, and use it as a 1-to-1 substitute.

15. Sherry Vinegar

Close up view of sherry vinegar in a small white bowl with a metal spoon.

Made from Palomino grapes, sherry vinegar has a rich flavor with wood or hay notes. And it has a sweet aftertaste similar to apple juice.

To substitute, use 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar plus a teaspoon of sugar. And then use 1 tablespoon of the sherry mixture to substitute for 1 tablespoon of apple juice

16. Sherry Wine

Close up of a partially filled glass of sherry wine with blurred background.

If you happen to have sherry wine on hand, it’s great for sauces and marinades. And it also has a similar flavor and sweetness to apple juice.

You can use it as a 1-to-1 substitute, but it’s not kid-friendly!

17. Champagne Vinegar

Close up of champagne vinegar in a small clear kitchen prep bowl on white surface.

Champagne vinegar has a light and fruity flavor, and it’s great for stir-fries because the alcohol content cooks away.

To substitute, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar per 1 tablespoon of apple juice in your recipe.

18. White Wine

White wine poured out of clear bottle into pot of clams.

This substitute is not kid-friendly, so beware. White wine is a good substitute for unsweetened apple juice. And it has a mildly fruity and sweet flavor.

It’s great for savory preparations like sauces and stir fries. But, be careful of flames.

Use 2 tablespoons of white wine for 1 tablespoon of apple juice.

19. Soda

Clear glass of ginger ale soda with green garnish next to lime wedge.

Soda is a great apple juice substitute in baking. It’s an excellent leavening agent and it makes for light and fluffy cakes and breads.

Mild sodas like ginger ale and sprite are your best bet.

Just be sure to use slightly less ginger ale so it doesn’t overpower the dish.

How to Make Your Own

Assortment of whole and cut apples on wooden cutting board and in wooden bowls.

If you want a healthy substitute for apple juice from the store, you can make your own! Here’s an easy recipe with just two ingredients!


  • 6 fresh apples
  • 1/2 cup Water


  • Blender
  • Cheese cloth/muslin cloth

Get the full recipe from Alpha Foodie.

RELATED: Chicken Salad with Grapes, Strawberries, and Apples


Can I use apple cider vinegar in place of apple juice?

You can use apple cider vinegar to substitute for unsweetened apple juice in marinades and dressings. However, it has a much sharper and more pungent flavor. To counteract these differences, you can add sugar to taste or use a smaller amount.

Can I substitute applesauce for apple juice in a recipe?

Applesauce is much thicker than apple juice and is not a good substitute. It will change the texture and consistency of your dish.

Can you make apple juice from applesauce?

No. To make apple juice you must discard the pulp and retain the liquid from the apple. On the other hand, applesauce has most of the liquid removed and a high amount of remaining pulp. So, applesauce is essentially the opposite of apple juice.

Yummy Recipes to Try

Here are several easy and delicious recipes with fruit juice. They’re the perfect way to test out your favorite apple juice substitute from above!

The Easiest Instant Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

White bowl of Instant Pot sweet and sour meatballs with pineapple and bell peppers with bowl of cooked rice nearby.

Coconut Cilantro Chicken Soup

Bowl of Thai coconut chicken soup with spoon and fresh cilantro garnish.

Persimmon Salad with Goat Cheese and Oranges

Persimmon salad with oranges, almonds, and cranberries on white platter with plates and fresh ingredients nearby.

Crockpot Cinnamon and Honey Carrots

Small white baking dish with brown sugar cinnamon carrots and fresh parsley on top.

The Best Meyer Lemonade Recipe

Two glasses of Meyer lemonade on wood board.

Delicious Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Crockpot sweet potatoes and apples in small white bowl with gold fork, tan napkin, and white pumpkin nearby.