If you're wondering what to substitute for beef broth, we've got 15 great ideas for you!
Beef broth is a savory liquid flavored with beef pieces, vegetables, and spices that is typically used in soups, sauces, casseroles, and other dishes.
Beef stock and broth are very similar (both have beef pieces and vegetables simmered in water), but beef broth is usually seasoned with aromatics and herbs.
If you can’t find beef broth or don’t have time to make your own, here are some easy substitutions.
Best Beef Broth Substitutes
- Beef Boullion Cubes
Bouillon cubes are dehydrated and pressed beef broth. They're about as close to a beef broth substitute as you will find, although they may have more sodium than homemade broth.
To make your broth, combine 1 cup of hot water with 1 bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons of bullion granules. Substitute equal amounts of water (and the corresponding number of bouillon cubes) for an equal amount of beef broth.
Bouillon cubes are great to keep in your pantry. As long as they are stored in a dry place, they'll keep for up to 2 years.
2. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock is another delicious and fantastic substitute for beef broth.
It's flavorful and can be used in the same amounts as any other broth.
3. Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is an excellent substitute for beef broth as it has a similar preparation - a slow simmer of pieces of meat, vegetables, and aromatics. It's one of the best alternatives and one we regularly use.
It is a rich, flavorful broth that will work well as a substitute in most dishes. Use the same amount of chicken broth that you would beef broth.
If the beef broth is a smaller component in a recipe (or not the main ingredient), you can usually use water as a substitute.
You may want to amp up the spices or herbs like bay leaves in the recipe to add a little extra flavor, but in most cases, water will work just fine. Use the same amount of water as your would broth.
You can use beer as a substitute for beef broth in many recipes. Beer is very flavorful, so use it sparingly in your recipe as it will change the flavor.
Use the same amount of beer as you would chicken broth in your recipe if it's a small amount, for larger amounts consider adding some water.
Check the alcohol content of your beer as well, if you are serving children you'll want to make sure the amount of time you are boiling or cooking the dish will fully cook off any alcohol.
6. Mushroom Broth
Mushroom broth is a savory and rich broth and is a great alternative for beef broth as it has similar umami undertones.
The rich flavor of mushroom broth comes from a combination of water, mushrooms, celery, carrots, onion, and herbs.
You can use equal amounts of mushroom broth as you would beef broth.
7. Soy Sauce and Water
Soy sauce is a great savory liquid, but it's high in sodium so use it sparingly if you don't want to overpower your dish.
You can use 2 teaspoons of soy sauce for every 1 cup of warm water. Use a tablespoon of soy sauce if you want a saltier broth.
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock that's very flavorful and is often used in seafood dishes and soups. You can buy instant dashi that's powdered and dissolved in water, similar to bouillon.
One teaspoon of instant dashi should be combined with 2 ½ cups of warm water and stirred till it dissolves.
9. Ramen Seasoning and Water
Ramen seasoning has a similar flavor to bouillon but may have more spice and sodium. You can make your own ramen seasoning blend and add 1 teaspoon of seasoning to 1 cup of water.
10. Worcestershire Sauce and Water
Worcestershire sauce is another great richly flavored liquid that's a surprisingly great substitute.
It's made from vinegar, molasses, anchovies, and garlic (amongst other things), so it has a hint of sweetness and savoriness.
You can use 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce for every 1 cup of warm water.
11. Liquid Aminos
Liquid aminos are a gluten-free, soy-based alternative to soy sauce. Similar to soy sauce they have a wonderful savory flavor.
To make a stock substitute, stir 2 teaspoons or up to 1 tablespoon of liquid aminos in a cup of water.
Liquid aminos can be a little salty, so make sure to taste your dish before adding additional salt.
12. Bone Broth
Bone broth is made by simmering the bones of beef, chicken, or fish - using beef bone broth will taste very similar to beef broth.
Bone broth is a savory, nutrient-rich substitute that can used in equal proportions to beef broth.
If you can find bone broth made from beef bones is will taste extremely similar to beef broth.
13. Non-Alcoholic Beer
Using non-alcoholic beer as a substitute for beef broth is a great option, because it has a savory, malty flavor.
I'd recommend using a brown ale or porter, as they generally have flavors that will complement a dish that calls for beef broth. Use equal amounts of NA beer as you would broth.
14. Tomato Paste
Tomato paste has a similar rich, savory flavor to beef broth, although it is a bit sweeter and will add some red color to your dish. This is a good substitute if you're making a soup or stew.
Stir a tablespoon or two of tomato paste into a warm cup of water. Add optional additional spices like garlic powder or onion powder to add some savoriness.
You may need to adjust the salt level of your dish if you use this combination, as the tomato paste can be very sweet and add a different flavor to your dish.
15. Red Wine
Red wine has a lovely complex flavor and can be a great substitution for beef broth. It works well as a substitute in soups, stews, and sauces.
You can use an equal amount of red wine for beef broth in small amounts. If it's for larger quantities you may want to use half wine, half water.
You can use white wine in a pinch but it doesn't have the same depth of flavor as red wine.
16. Miso Paste
Miso is a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans. It has a wonderful savory flavor and can be a great way to match the flavor beef broth in a pinch.
Use one tablespoon of miso paste per one cup of very hot water. Stir till the miso has dissolved. Use an equal amount of miso broth in place of beef broth.
- Beef Bouillon Cubes
- Vegetable Stock
- Chicken Broth
- Mushroom Broth
- Soy Sauce and Water
- Ramen Seasoning and Water
- Worcestershire sauce and Water
- Liquid Aminos and Water
- Bone Broth
- Non-Alcoholic Beer
- Tomato Paste
- Red Wine
- Miso Paste
- Beef Bouillon Cubes - combine 1 cup of hot water with 1 bouillon cube. Use in equal amounts in place of beef broth.
- Vegetable Stock - use in the same amounts as beef broth.
- Chicken Broth - use in the same amounts as beef broth.
- Water - use in the same amounts as beef broth, add a teaspoon or two of herb mix if possible.
- Beer - use the same amount of beer as you would chicken broth in your recipe if it's a small amount, for larger amounts consider adding some water.
- Mushroom Broth - use in the same amounts as beef broth.
- Soy Sauce and Water - use 2 teaspoons of soy sauce for every 1 cup of warm water. Use a tablespoon of soy sauce if you want a saltier broth.
- Dashi - combine 1 teaspoon of instant dashi should with 2 ½ cups of warm water and stir till it dissolves.
- Ramen Seasoning and Water - add 1 teaspoon of seasoning to 1 cup of water.
- Worcestershire sauce and Water - use 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce for every 1 cup of warm water.
- Liquid Aminos and Water - stir 2 teaspoons or up to 1 tablespoon of liquid aminos in a cup of water.
- Bone Broth - use in the same amounts as beef broth.
- Non-Alcoholic Beer - use in the same amounts as beef broth.
- Tomato Paste - stir a tablespoon or two of tomato paste into a warm cup of water. Add optional additional spices like garlic powder or onion powder to add some savoriness.
- Red Wine - use an equal amount of red wine for beef broth in small amounts. If it's for larger quantities you may want to use half wine, half water.
- Miso Paste - use one tablespoon of miso paste per one cup of very hot water. Stir till the miso has dissolved. Use an equal amount of miso broth in place of beef broth.