When you need chicken broth for a recipe, but don’t have any, try one of these chicken broth substitute ideas! They’re guaranteed to give you the flavor you’re looking for!
It’s rare to hear me say I hate certain situations, but if there is one that I do absolutely hate, it’s going to cook a meal and finding out that I am missing an ingredient.
I especially hate it when it’s something that forms the base of a recipe like chicken broth.; especially if it’s the main ingredient like in chicken noodle soup. It can ruin a recipe and no one wants to run to the grocery store just to get one ingredient.
And let’s face it, sometimes you simply can’t afford to do that.
Luckily there are quite a few things that you can substitute for chicken broth when you don’t have any. Some will be good to use in specific situations while others can work in almost any recipe.
But no matter what you’re using it for, you are pretty much guaranteed to find a chicken broth substitute on this list for any recipe you’re cooking.
- Chicken Stock
- Vegetable Broth
- Beef Broth
- Turkey Broth
- Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- Chicken Bouillon Powder
- Chicken Broth Paste
- Plain Water
- Water and Butter
- Coconut Milk
- White Wine
- Red Wine
- Ramen Packet
- Bean Liquid
- Lemon Juice and Water
- Orange Juice and Water
The simplest chicken broth substitute is to just use chicken stock if you happen to have any on hand. Essentially they’re the same thing. Homemade chicken broth is made by simmering chicken bones in water. It usually does not have any herbs or other additions other than salt. Once the bones have released their broth, it is cooled and the schmaltz – aka chicken fat – is allowed to rise to the top.
Chicken stock on the other hand is typically made with the bones of the chicken – sometimes the meat and fat as well – along with onion, celery, garlic, carrot and other yummy vegetable scraps and spices. Tarragon, turmeric, basil and oregano are also a great additions.
Stock is simmered until it is almost gel-like. This results in a much richer depth of flavor and a thicker liquid. It works great in sauces but can be a bit higher in sodium than broth due to how concentrated it is.
How Can I Substitute Chicken Broth for Chicken Stock?
Chicken broth and chicken stock are interchangeable in recipes, however, you may need to alter the amount or weaken it if you’re using stock instead of broth. Again, this is because it’s much more concentrated and has a stronger flavor. When you use chicken broth in place of stock, you’ll want to consider upping the amount since broth is weaker and thinner.
Vegetable broth makes a great substitute for chicken broth. It does have a much more mild flavor and because of this, you’ll likely need to tweak the recipe and bulk it up in flavor by adding additional seasonings.
For vegetarians or vegans, another option is to use the leftover liquid from a can of chickpeas. This is called aquafaba and it makes a great chicken broth alternative as it has a great flavor when used this way.
It’s also a fantastic way to reduce kitchen waste since you’re using everything in the can.
To use aquafaba, mix the chickpea liquid with water at a 1 to 1 ratio. This is a must-do as aquafaba is starchy where broth is not. The water will help dilute the starch.
Believe it or not, you can substitute chicken broth with beef broth. You may not think it would, but it will.
However, if you’re using beef broth to substitute chicken broth, you will need to cut it with water to weaken it. If not, your dish will taste like beef broth, but cutting the flavor will ensure that does not happen.
Turkey broth is also a great substitute for chicken broth and can be used interchangeably. You don’t need to make any alterations to the amount or recipe.
It is important though to keep in mind though that turkey broth is much more oily than chicken broth. If you’re using homemade broth, make sure that you allow as much fat as possible to rise to the top then use a skimming ladle to remove it.
Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Most of us have chicken bouillon cubes at home because they’re cheap and are shelf stable with a long shelf-life. Add a cube to hot water and it creates a yummy broth great for when you’re sick or for homemade soups and stews.
No measurements need to be changed since many bouillons taste incredibly similar if not better than broth and are easy to make small batches of.
Chicken Bouillon Powder
Chicken bouillon powder is another form of dried chicken broth. The difference between a cube and dried granules is how they’re measured. Where cubes are measured by the cube, bouillon granules are measured by the teaspoon or tablespoon.
How Can Chicken Broth Substitute Chicken Bouillon Powder?
If you have a recipe that calls for chicken bouillon powder but don’t have any, you an use actual chicken broth to substitute.
To do this, take the amount of water and granules in the recipe and figure out how much rehydrated broth you would have made using the powder. Simply swap in the correct amount of broth and you’re on your way.
Chicken Broth Paste
Chicken broth paste is actually a more dehydrated form of chicken stock. While it is not as dehydrated as bouillon, it does not contain anywhere near the amount of water that a broth will.
Using chicken broth paste as a chicken broth substitute is pretty simple. You’ll want to adjust the amount of water in the recipe to account for the more concentrated broth, but no other adjustments should need to be made.
When all else fails or if you’re already making a dish with plenty of flavors and seasonings in it, you can just use water instead of chicken broth. It will mean you have to pay attention to the flavor of your recipe and adjust and add in some seasoning, but it doesn’t compromise the overall results.
Can I Substitute Chicken Broth in Place of Water?
Yes, you can substitute chicken broth in place of water. In fact, some dishes – such as mashed potatoes – often turn out much m ore flavorful when cooked in chicken broth over water. No adjustments should need to be made to the amount of broth or water you use.
Water and Butter
If using plain water seems too little for you, adding butter can help bring back some richness and flavor.
Use around 1 tbsp. butter for every 1 cup of water when substituting for chicken broth. This helps to replace some of the fat that chicken broth naturally has.
If you’re doing this method, keep in mind that it should only be done where the broth is a side ingredient and not the focus of the recipe or main ingredient. It adds richness, but it will not carry a recipe on its own.
It also works as a great vegan or vegetarian substitute for chicken broth. It does add a pretty intense coconut flavor to your dish though so be sure to take that into account. Curries and other dishes that benefit from a strong coconut flavor work very well.
White wine is great to use in place of chicken broth. Because it is a light wine, using white wine in place of chicken broth will brighten up a recipe and work almost identically to chicken broth.
Because your recipe will be cooked, there won’t be any alcohol content left in the wine. What your left with is a bright, flavorful addition for your recipe.
Red wine can also be used as a great chicken broth substitute.. Unlike white wine, using red wine in place of chicken broth will give your recipe a deep, earthly flavor. It’s important to keep this in mind when deciding to substitute.
Another quick and easy chicken broth substitute is to simply grab the packets out of ramen noodles. This packet is essentially chicken broth granules or powder, but its often overlooked because it’s “hidden” inside the noodle package.
Because ramen seasoning is extremely concentrated, it is very high in sodium. When using it as a chicken broth alternative, you’ll want to make sure you account for that by removing any salt from the recipe and adding enough water.
Dashi is a Japanese soup base that works great in place of chicken broth. Its normally used fas the base for Miso soup, noodle broth soup and other recipes that need a simple base to create the flavor profile known as umami.
Dashi is pretty simple to make on your own and only contains three ingredients. If you happen to have them on hand, make it to substitute for chicken broth.
Like aquafaba is the liquid from chickpeas, the liquid from soaking beans or in cans of beans can also be used instead of chicken broth. Again, you’ll want to cut it with water in order to use it correctly.
If you have fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, boil them for 25 minutes in a pot of water. The liquid left after boiling is called an umami bath. It has a very earthly flavor profile and can be used in place of chicken broth for recipes that would be a good fit.
Recipes such as stuffing, pot pies, gravies and other sauces are perfect for this chicken broth substitute idea.
Lemon Juice and Water
Lemon Juice, whether it is fresh squeezed, home canned or bottled, works extremely well as a substitute for chicken broth in savory recipes. It is rather acidic though so you will need to cut it with water at a ratio of 1 parts juice to 2 parts water.
Otherwise, use as you normally would.
Orange Juice and Water
Like lemon juice, orange juice is also a great chicken broth substitute in savory recipes. Follow the same guidelines for cutting it at a 1 to 2 ratio with water and use as you normally would.
How to Make Homemade Chicken Broth
If you have the ingredients, making your own broth is a great alternative to store bought and gives you more control over the ingredients that are added.
All you need to make homemade chicken broth is herbs and seasonings such as garlic and onion, vegetable scraps like carrots, onions and celery and chicken meat and/or bones. Add it all to a large stockpot, cover with plenty of water and allow it to slow cook and boil down.
Once the broth is done, allow it co cool completely and remove the schmaltz off the top. Use as you normally would use canned or boxed chicken broth.
Oh, and save that chicken fat! It has uses too!