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Chicken broth substitute – 5 ideal alternatives that are making the rounds now!

Is there anything as unpretentious and hearty as a nice big batch of chicken broth? I don’t think so!

Chicken broth is hands down one of the most loved comfort foods across the US. It has this magical wholesomeness to it that’s unmatchable. 

However, there are times, when you simply don’t have chicken stock stocked in your fridge and don’t even have the time to prepare one. In such an instance, you can use a chicken broth substitute in your dish. 

Read on to find out the best chicken broth replacements that you can use in your recipes! 

Depending on how you brew it, chicken broth has a slightly meaty flavor that is enhanced by the flavor of herbs and veggies that you use in it. The more ingredients you add to your broth, the more flavorful it’s going to be. 

Is Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock the Same Thing?

No, they’re not the same thing! 

Chicken broth is made by simmering chicken meat and bones in water with some veggies, such as carrots, onions, and celery, and herbs for some time. It has a more subtle yet finished flavor than chicken stock. 

On the other hand, chicken stock is prepared slowly by simmering roasted chicken bones and veggies in water. It is cooked for about 4 hours. It has a distinct chicken flavor and slightly gelatinous and rich texture thanks to the collagen from the bones. 

Chicken Broth Substitutes

Here are some items that you can use instead of chicken broth:

Homemade Vegetable Broth

Vegetarians love this chicken broth replacement. You can use vegetable broth in various dishes that call for chicken broth and use your favorite vegetables and seasonings to make it. Just don’t over boil the vegetables to the point that they become wimpy. 

Choose flavorful veggies such as onions, parsley, carrots, turnips, and celery to make your broth. Complement these veggies with herbs such as basil, thyme, bay leaves, and more. 

Simmer the herbs and veggies in water for about 40 minutes to make your vegetable broth. Use the same quantity of vegetable broth as the quantity of chicken broth.

Boiled Water Infused With Herbs

You can also use water infused with herbs as a flavorful chicken broth substitute. Use dry herbs rather than fresh ones as they’re more concentrated. Put some flavorful herbs such as basil, thyme, oregano, tarragon, etc., in boiling water and let them simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Don’t steep them for too long as herbs such as oregano might turn the taste of the broth bitter. Use herb-infused water in the same proportion as chicken broth in your recipes.   

Bouillon Cubes

The word “Bouillon” is French for broth, and bouillon cubes are small, flavorful cubes of chicken broth. You can add one bouillon cube in a cup of hot water to make a cup of chicken broth. Just make sure to whisk it properly so that the cube dissolves in the water completely. 

Since many bouillon cubes are quite salty, make sure to taste the prepared broth before adding it to your dish so that you are aware of the salt content.  

Red or White Wine

If you want a burst of flavors in your food, then you can add wine in your food as a chicken broth substitute. White or red wine has its own distinct and strong flavor that can overpower the flavor of your dish if you add too much to it. 

Add equal amounts of wine and water or wine and vegetable broth to make a flavorful glaze for your food.


Dashi is a broth of sorts that is used readily in Asian cuisines. It is made with konbu seaweed and fermented fish peelings. It adds a rich, savory, umami, and meaty flavor to the dish. It’s available in granules, powdery form, and liquid forms as well. 

If you are using it as a taste enhancer, add 1t of dashi per cup of water and if you are using it as a harmonizer, add ¼ t per cup of water. 

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tricks and tips that you can use when cooking with these chicken broth substitutes:

  • If you don’t have dried herbs to make herb-infused water, then add at least three times more fresh herbs than dry herbs to the water.
  • Use more than one bouillon cube if you want your broth to have a thick consistency.
  • When using wine instead of chicken broth, choose one that agrees with your taste palate.
  • Since Dashy is quite salty, add it to your dish carefully as adding too much of it will make your dish too salty.  

The Bottom Line

The aforementioned options have their own unique flavors and can act as the perfect chicken broth substitute in a dish. With that said, some of these replacements can be used as flavor enhancers, while some of them can be used when you need a rich blend of flavors in your dish. Do follow the tips that I’ve mentioned to use these substitutes correctly.