13 Chicken Broth Substitutes For Your Next Meal

When it comes to cooking, having a reliable substitute for chicken broth can be a game-changer. Whether you’ve run out of stock or need an alternative for dietary reasons, there are plenty of options available that can add depth and richness to your soups, stews, and sauces.

In this article, we’ll explore the most common substitutes for chicken broth, considering various diets and tastes. From herb water to aquafaba, beef broth to coconut milk, we’ve got you covered.

Herb Water

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When it comes to substituting chicken broth, you have a few options. In addition to regular water or water with butter, you can also use a flavorful mixture of water and herbs. Simply add in some aromatic herbs like tarragon, thyme, basil, or oregano, allowing them to simmer in the liquid as they release their essences. For added depth of flavor, consider using dried herbs, which are inherently more concentrated than their fresh counterparts. If you do opt for fresh herbs, be prepared to add at least three times as much to achieve the desired level of potency.

Chicken Stock

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While some may argue that chicken stock and chicken broth are distinct, the truth is that both can be used interchangeably without compromising flavor. A key distinction lies in their composition: chicken broth typically incorporates chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs, whereas chicken stock focuses on using meat from the bird. This difference yields a slightly thicker consistency for broth, making it less runny compared to stock at the end of a meal. Fortunately, when substituting one for the other, you can employ the same quantity in your recipe without worrying about adjusting measurements.


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In search of a bold, savory element to elevate your meal’s flavor profile? Dashi, an underrated Asian ingredient, is worth exploring. Available in both dry and liquid forms, this umami-rich condiment boasts a seafood-inspired aroma and taste that can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. While it has the potential to add tremendous depth to your culinary creations, it’s essential to exercise restraint when using dashi, as its overpowering flavor can quickly dominate a dish if not balanced properly. To strike the perfect harmony, mix dashi with water and add it incrementally until you’ve achieved the desired level of umami intensity.

Vegetable Stock

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When it comes to reducing sodium content in cooking, vegetable stocks are an excellent choice. Unlike chicken stocks, which tend to be higher in salt, vegetable stocks offer a lower-sodium alternative that’s perfect for those looking to cut down on salt. The term ‘broth’ often implies the presence of bones, so it’s more accurate to refer to these liquid mixtures as vegetable stocks. The key ingredients – carrots, celery stalks, onions, garlic cloves, and green beans, among others – not only provide essential enzymes, minerals, and vitamins but also contribute to a richer flavor profile in the final soup or sauce. As an added bonus, vegetable stock is a vegan-friendly option that avoids animal products like meat and dairy. If you’re hosting guests with varying dietary preferences, vegetable stock offers a safe and flavorful choice. Moreover, its shorter boiling time compared to some chicken stocks can make it a more appealing option for those with food sensitivities.


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While aquafaba may be unfamiliar to many, its uses extend beyond the realm of traditional cuisine. For instance, if you find yourself without chicken stock on hand, you can still achieve a rich flavor profile by utilizing the liquid from canned beans or chickpeas. This starchy liquid is slightly more potent than chicken broth, so it’s best to mix it with equal parts water before incorporating it into your dish. Aquafaba’s versatility also extends to baking, where it can be used as a suitable replacement for eggs. By exploring these alternatives, you can create delicious meals even when supplies are limited.

Beef Broth

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Beef broth is an excellent alternative to chicken, boasting a richer and more complex flavor profile. The natural beefy essence and umami undertones present in bone broth elevate the taste of your dish, making it a popular choice among various cultures. For instance, Vietnamese cuisine often employs beef broth instead of chicken due to its ability to add depth and nuance. When seeking to preserve the original flavor of your meal, you can dilute the beef broth with additional water or substitute it with beef stock, which offers a slightly milder taste. It’s essential to use beef broth as a 1:1 replacement and adjust the seasoning accordingly to prevent overpowering your dish.

Coconut Milk

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While coconut milk may not be your first choice when chicken stock is out of reach, it can serve as a decent substitute in certain situations. Its rich and creamy texture pairs particularly well with the bold flavors often found in Indian and African cuisine. However, its sweeter nature means you’ll need to exercise caution when adding it to your dish, as too much can result in an overpowering coconut flavor. As such, consider using coconut milk only if you’re confident that its unique taste will complement your recipe, rather than overwhelming it. If not, water might be the safer bet.

Chicken Bouillon Granules

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While some people swear by homemade chicken broth, others prefer the convenience of chicken bouillon granules as a substitute. In fact, many individuals who enjoy the rich flavor of chicken broth opt for the granular version due to its speed and efficiency. By choosing granules over homemade broth, you can save time and reduce waste, as freshly made broth typically has a limited shelf life. Additionally, granules are often packaged in compact quantities that won’t take up much space in your pantry, making them an attractive option for those who prioritize flavor without the fuss.


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While it may not be a perfect substitute, dry wine can be used in a pinch when cooking, especially if you’re running low on chicken broth. Its robust flavor profile makes it well-suited for deglazing pans and adding depth to dishes. However, it’s essential to use restraint when incorporating wine into your recipe. Adding too much can overpower the other flavors and throw off the overall taste. As a general rule of thumb, if a recipe calls for less than half a cup of liquid, you’re likely safe using dry wine as a substitute.

Chicken Bouillon Cube

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Bouillon cubes are a convenient way to add a burst of flavor to any dish, without the hassle of liquid mess. These dehydrated chicken stock cubes have been compacted into small, easily manageable pieces.

By simply adding a few cubes to your recipe, you can instantly enhance the taste of your meal. The key is to add them towards the end of cooking time, allowing the flavors to fully dissolve and meld with the dish. This way, you’ll achieve the same rich, chicken broth-like flavor as if you had used an entire cup of liquid.

To illustrate this, consider that a single bouillon cube dissolved in one cup of water is equivalent to using a full cup of chicken broth. With this clever shortcut, you can add depth and excitement to any dish without the fuss.

Salted Butter and Water

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For a more flavorful homemade broth, consider adding a touch of butter to the mix instead of plain water. To achieve this, simply combine one tablespoon of butter with every cup of water, substituting this mixture for the exact amount called for in your recipe. However, when it comes to recipes where chicken broth is a main ingredient, such as soups, you may need to adjust the seasoning to avoid an overpowering taste. As always, be sure to taste your dish before serving to ensure it’s perfect for your guests.

Chicken Broth Concentrate

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Chicken broth concentrate, often found in small packets at local grocery stores, is essentially dehydrated and condensed chicken broth. To utilize it, simply add the packet to hot water, just as you would with bouillon granules. The result is a flavor profile identical to regular chicken broth. This means you can seamlessly substitute it into your recipes without any adjustments required. The concentrated form of chicken broth offers unparalleled convenience, making it an excellent option for those seeking a hassle-free cooking experience.


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When starting from scratch, a kitchen without many ingredients doesn’t have to be a concern. A good broth can be created by boiling water straight from the tap. Even if your recipe calls for aromatics like onions or garlic, which will release a wealth of flavors into the liquid, you’re still in control. If using water as a base, adding extra herbs and aromatics can help enhance the flavor, although it may require more ingredients to achieve the same depth as a chicken-based broth. The beauty of using water is that you have complete creative control over your dish – there’s no risk of an alternative broth altering its character. What you taste is exactly what you’ve created.


Get ready to delight your loved ones with these mouth-watering options. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering or a casual dinner party, this recipe is sure to impress. So, go ahead and invite the gang – we’d love to hear about your experience!

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