Chicken Broth Substitutes if you don’t have it or don’t want to use it

                by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  June 19, 2020

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What is Broth?

A Broth is a flavored liquid prepared by adding and mixing different ingredients like chicken, beef, vegetables, etc. in water.

It can be eaten alone as well as can be used in other dishes such as soups, rice dressings, dumplings, gravies, and various other sauces.

Best chicken broth substitutes

Commercially prepared broths are available in the market in liquid form as well as in dry or powdered form. Since it contains simple ingredients, it can also be prepared at home.

Favorite Asian Recipes video

It is available in many types but the most commonly used is the chicken broth.

Chicken broth substitutes

Let’s dive into the substitutes you can use instead of chicken stock. My favorite to replace chicken stock with is this delicious vegetable broth.

To make a minimalist, quick and delicious vegetable broth, you’ll usually need the following items:

vegetable broth substitute

Vegetable chicken broth substitute recipe

Joost Nusselder
A good substitute for chicken broth is vegetable broth. It may not be similar to the chicken broth in taste and color but can add great taste to food and taste as delicious as chicken broth, or maybe more.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people


  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 medium carrots
  • water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • nutritional yeast optional


  • Note: To get fast results, chop the vegetables first.
  • Heat one tablespoon of oil and water in a pot and add all the vegetables, salt, and pepper.
  • Stir the mixture until the vegetables are softened.
  • Add more water and bay leaves and bring the mixture to the boiling point.
  • Once boiled, reduce the heat level and add tomato paste. You can also add nutritional yeast however it is optional.
  • Continue cooking at a low heat level for about half an hour. The more you cook, the more the rich flavor will be.
  • On completion, taste the broth, adjust the flavors accordingly and let it cool.
  • Finally pour it in a container.
Keyword Broth
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

chicken broth in a bowl with meatball in it

To make a vegetable broth, you will need a few spices and vegetables of your choice. For one great vegetable broth, it is recommended to use vegetables with a neutral and more savory taste like carrots, garlic, mushrooms, etc.

You can use corn as a taste-maker and can adjust the spice level according to your taste buds. Additional seasonings like cumin powder, paprika, garlic, cloves, red chili powder, curry powder, etc. can also be inserted to enhance the taste to the next level.

Vegetable Broth remains fresh and edible in a refrigerator for about 4 to 5 days but it survives in the freezer for about 30 days.

What are the benefits of vegetable broth?

Other than being a great substitute for chicken broth, vegetable broth has some other benefits as well. Here’s the list:

What is the nutrient content of Vegetable Broth?

The vegetable broth has wonderful nutritional content because it contains a large number of vegetables that provide antioxidant and anti-allergy characteristics to the broth. It has a high amount of sodium but fewer calories in comparison.

Containing a handsome amount of vitamin A, it works great for the eyes. The best part is that you can choose to add or subtract any nutrients of your choice by choosing the vegetables you want to put in your broth.

For times when you run out of chicken broth, substitutes are the food staples that can be used as alternatives. Their ingredients may vary slightly but they give your food an almost similar flavor, look, and aroma.

Moreover, the nutrient contents, time, preparation and benefits are indistinguishable. Hence, they can be used as a perfect alternative, making your food just as delicious as it would be with Chicken Broth.

Here are some of the Chicken Broth substitutes you can use:

Bouillon Powder/Cubes

Bouillon is a very thin liquid made by boiling vegetables, meat or fish in the water. It is available in the market in the form of powder, cubes, and liquid.

The powder is a dried form of the soup that can be accessed in a variety of tastes and formations. However, cubes are the most popular form of bouillon but it may not contain all the healthy ingredients.

It is an easy and ideal substitute for chicken broth. It can be easily made at home and tastes just as delicious as a broth.

Additionally, it can be stored in the pantry for several weeks and can be readily available to make your cooking hassle-free and convenient. Bouillon is available in a variety of flavors and ingredients.

Nevertheless, to make simple Bouillon powder, you’ll require the following ingredients:


The mass of powder required depends upon the recipe you are going to use it for, the quantity you need, and your taste. However, a simple method to prepare it is:

  1. Add all these ingredients in a food mixer and blend it until you get a fine powder.
  2. Once the powder is grainless and uniform, it is easy to make broth out of it.
  3. Stir the powder in hot water and cook for a little while.

What are the benefits of Bouillon?

What is the Nutritional content of Bouillon?

Bouillon contains a variety of vitamins and trace minerals. It also has proteins that can fulfill the protein requirement of people who don’t eat animal-based food. Although it has fewer calories, it can fulfill the water and salt requirements of your body for a whole day.

Also read: these are great substitutes for beef broth

Bouillon Granules

Bouillon Granules are the almost same thing as Bouillon cubes but in a different form and packaging. These granules are concentrated to chicken stock in dried form and are grounded instead of just being pressed in the form of a cube.

The thing that makes these granules different from cubes is the convenience and fast speed with which they can be dissolved into the water. They are easy to measure and stir but serve the same purpose as bouillon cubes.

Is Chicken Stock the same as chicken broth?

Many people tend to confuse chicken broth and chicken stock but there’s a fine line between both of them. Chicken broth is made mostly out of the meat part only. On the other hand, chicken stock is made out of flesh, bones and everything else.

Homemade chicken stock is a very good substitute for chicken broth. It can be more delicious and rich in taste because bones produce gelatin which is extracted into liquid.

Moreover, chicken stock contains more calories than chicken broth and on a healthier note, has more protein, vitamins, carbs, and minerals thus adding to its nutritional value. The benefits and nutritional requirements of chicken stock are almost the same as chicken broth.

Chicken Stock using Bones only

One of the very handy tricks is to form chicken stock using leftover bones from whatever you’ve got. That is, if you have used the chicken for something else and are left with the bones only, you can still utilize them to make a very flavorful stock at home.

It is relatively effortless to make and it gives your meal a better taste. All you need is to simmer the bones at a low flame for a minimum of one hour or as long as a day.

Better simmering gives a richer taste. You can add any leafy green vegetables, parsley, bay leaves or any other seasonings of your choice to mold the taste according to your buds.

Can you use water instead of chicken broth?

Chicken broth is mostly used to add moisture to a dish so it’s largely made up of water. But if you simply replace the chicken broth in your recipe with water you would miss out on all of the flavor the broth brings so water is not a very good substitute.

If you’re going to replace broth with water, at least add some extra salt to your dish for flavor and also some onions or onion powder. But it’s better to use one of the substitutes that I mentioned above.

Tips for Broth substitutes

Why should we use Chicken Broth in food?

Chicken Broth does not consume much time and it is easy to prepare. It is considered a necessary ingredient for many foods.

Being the most common type of broth, the chicken broth is used in almost every kitchen because it acts as an essential element for flavoring soups, gravies, casseroles, etc. Since it is enriched with protein, calcium and fat, it gives a rich and fulfilling taste.

Chicken Broth Recipe

Most of the people prefer to prepare broth at home rather than buying it at a superstore because of its freshness and homely taste. Homemade broth contains the following ingredients.


The following is the detailed method to make 2-3 quarts of broth using the above-mentioned ingredients.

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  1. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pan and let it simmer.
  2. Add one medium-sized chopped onion and three pounds of chicken.
  3. Let it simmer until the chicken turns light brown. Reduce the flame, cover it and let the chicken cook until it releases its juice.
  4. Increase the flame and add water. Add two bay leaves and one tablespoon of salt immediately after.
  5. As soon as the water simmers, lower down the flame, cover the medium and let it cook unless it is flavorful.
  6. Strain the liquid and discard the solids.
  7. Pour the leftover liquid in a bowl.
  8. The broth is ready to use.

Also read: how to make stir fry sauce without using broth

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.