If you're wondering what to substitute for chicken broth, we've got 15 great ideas for you!
Chicken broth is a savory liquid flavored with chicken, vegetables, and spices that is typically used in soups, sauces, casseroles, and other dishes.
Chicken stock and broth are very similar (both have chicken meat and pieces, chicken bones, and vegetables simmered in water), but chicken broth is usually seasoned with aromatics and herbs.
If you can’t find chicken broth or don’t have time to make your own, here are some easy substitutions.
What to Substitute for Chicken Broth
1. Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cubes are dehydrated and pressed chicken broth. They're about as close to a chicken broth substitute as you will find, although they may have more sodium than homemade broth.
To make your own broth, combine 1 cup of hot water with 1 bouillon cube. Substitute equal amounts of water (and the corresponding number of bouillon cubes) for an equal amount of chicken broth.
Bouillon cubes are a great way to ensure you always have chicken stock in your pantry. As long as they are stored in a dry place, they'll keep for up to 2 years and have the same great chicken flavor.
2. Beef Broth
Beef broth or beef stock is an excellent substitute for chicken broth as it has a similar preparation - a slow simmer of pieces of meat, vegetables, and aromatics.
It is a rich, flavorful broth that will work well as a substitute in most dishes. Use a cup of beef broth in place of every cup of chicken broth you would normally use.
If chicken 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 dried spices or fresh 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.
4. White Wine
You can use a dry, white wine as a substitute for chicken broth in many recipes - especially soups or when the broth is to deglaze a pan.
White wine is very flavorful but it will slightly change the flavor of your recipe.
Use the same amount of wine as you would chicken broth in your recipe.
You can use red wine, but it's not the best substitute as it's a bit stronger in flavor than chicken stock or broth.
5. Chicken Bouillon Granules
Chicken bouillon granules (or powder) are similar to cubes in that they are reduced chicken stock. They're a great substitute because they're essentially the same thing!
The nice thing about granules is you can measure specific amounts, so if you need ¾ cup or 2 ½ cups, it's easier to use granules.
You'll use 1 teaspoon of granules for every 1 cup of warm water.
6. Crushed Canned White Beans
You can use crushed cannellini beans or Great Northern beans as a substitute for stock. They're a bit thicker and will probably require you to use a bit more water.
You can either use the liquid the beans come in or add water for a thinner consistency.
Blend the beans in a blender or food processor with a ratio of ½ cup of beans to 1 cup of water.
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock that has a rich flavor and is often used in seafood dishes and soups. You can buy instant dashi at your local grocery store 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.
8. Aquafaba (Canned Chickpea Liquid)
Aquafaba is the liquid in canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans). It's often used in plant-based cooking and whipped to create a whipped cream substitute.
Aquafaba is thicker than stock, so you may want to add some water to it. It's great to use in sauces or other recipes that need a thickener.
Drain a can of chickpeas and save the liquid from the can. It can be frozen or saved in the refrigerator for up to a week.
9. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock or vegetable broth is another delicious and fantastic to use in place of chicken broth.
It's flavorful and can be used in the same amounts as any other broth.
10. Salted Butter and Water
Using a combination of 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of melted, salted butter will give you a savory liquid that has a flavor profile similar-ish to chicken broth.
Don't use this if the chicken broth is the main ingredient, but it's great to add to soups or sauces.
11. Coconut Milk
You can use coconut milk in place of broth. It will give you a creamier consistency and a more tropical flavor, but it's great for seafood stews.
12. Mirepoix with Water
Chicken broth is often made with mirepoix - a combination of carrots, celery, and onion.
You can simmer some mirepoix with water or just add mirepoix and water to the soup for a similar flavor.
13. Ramen Seasoning and Water
Ramen seasoning is a good substitute in that it 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.
14. Italian Seasoning and Water
Italian seasoning is chock full of dried herbs and spices and combined with water makes a nice savory blend. It's a quick, easy way to make a good substitute in a pinch.
Use 1 teaspoon of seasoning for every 1 cup of water.
15. 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.
- Chicken Bouillon Cubes
- Beef Broth
- White Wine
- Chicken Bouillon Granules
- Crushed Canned Cannellini Beans
- Instant Dashi
- Aquafaba (Canned Chickpea Liquid)
- Vegetable Stock
- Salted Butter and Water
- Coconut Milk
- Mirepoix with Water
- Ramen Seasoning and Water
- Italian Seasoning and Water
- Soy Sauce and Water
- Chicken Bouillon Cubes - combine 1 cup of hot water with 1 bouillon cube. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Beef Broth - Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Water - Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Vegetable Stock - Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- White Wine - Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting. Best for deglazing, don't use if stock is the primary component of the recipe, as it will change the flavor.
- Chicken Bouillon Granules - combine 1 teaspoon of granules for every 1 cup of warm water. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Crushed Canned Cannellini Beans - Blend ½ cup of beans and combine with 1 cup of water. Will be thicker than stock. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Instant Dashi - Combine 1 teaspoon of instant dashi with 2 ½ cups of warm water and stir till it dissolves. Dashi is a stronger flavor than stock. Use ½ as much as you would chicken stock and taste flavor before adding more.
- Aquafaba (Canned Chickpea Liquid) - Combine ½ cup of aquafaba with ½ cup of warm water. Will be thicker than stock. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Salted Butter and Water - Combine 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of melted, salted butter. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Coconut Milk - Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting, but only in dishes that will benefit from a creamy consistency.
- Mirepoix with Water - Simmer 1 cup of mirepoix with 2 cups water for 15 minutes. Strain the mirepoix before using the water.
- Ramen Seasoning and Water - Combine 1 teaspoon of seasoning with 1 cup of warm water. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Italian Seasoning and Water - Combine 1 teaspoon of seasoning with 1 cup of warm water. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
- Soy Sauce and Water - Combine 2 teaspoons of soy sauce with 1 cup of warm water. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting.
If all else fails, you can always try making your own homemade chicken broth!
Chicken Broth Recipe Ideas
If you want to use chicken broth (or a substitute) in some great recipes, check out these ideas.