Jeremy Scheck's Alcohol-Free Ingredient Swap For Wine - Exclusive

You may know Jeremy Scheck from his celebrated TikTok channel, ScheckEats, where he shares relatable commentary on all of your burning culinary questions, as well as accessible and mouthwatering recipes for everything from French onion soup potatoes to spicy rigatoni garlic bread to shallot butter fried rice and hot honey roast chicken. Scheck is also a recent graduate of Cornell University, where he studied Italian, Spanish, and food science. To share his sumptuous and straightforward recipes alongside facts about food science and useful culinary context, Scheck has written his first cookbook, "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter: Friendly Recipes with a Side of Science," which he discussed in an exclusive interview with Tasting Table.

During our conversation, Jeremy Scheck shared some of his go-to advice for easy weeknight dishes, including how he often cooks with wine when he's hoping to bring "brightness and a depth of flavor" to a dish. But he acknowledged that not everyone can easily do the same. "A lot of people don't keep alcohol in the house for [personal] or religious reasons," he said. Fortunately, he has a few easy swaps for infusing those flavors without using any alcohol: Verjus, lemon, and even chicken stock can prove good substitutes for wine in nearly any recipe.

The pantry staples you can use to substitute for wine

Chefs often use both white and red wine while cooking to add complexity to a dish and to help elevate the already existing flavors within it. Jeremy Scheck regularly uses white wine in his recipes for brightness and relies on red wine primarily for braising. But for those who prefer to abstain from cooking with alcohol, Scheck believes you can conjure that same intensity with the use of verjus or verjuice.

"The best substitute for wine is verjus, in my opinion, which is just an alcohol-free grape juice that's less sweet," he told us. That lack of sweetness is key because if you add a cooking liquid that has an abundance of sweetness, you can't detract any from the dish, and it may disrupt the flavor balance. "It's similar to choosing to buy unsalted butter you can always add [more salt later], but it's harder to take away," Scheck explained.

If you don't have verjus on hand, don't fret. Scheck's other recommendation for a wine substitution is a combination of two everyday ingredients you likely already have in your pantry: "In a pinch, you can always use chicken stock and a little bit of lemon juice to get that depth of flavor and acidity." The combination will allow you to harness a similar type of flavor enhancement as wine without any alcohol.

For more culinary tips, check out "ScheckEats — Cooking Smarter," which is now available for purchase here. To stay up-to-date with all things Jeremy Scheck and ScheckEats, visit Instagram and TikTok.