Here are 14 easy ways to substitute for chicken broth, including vegan options and a recipe to make your own!
Chicken broth is a pantry staple in many of our households. This savory liquid is made from simmering down chicken along with aromatics like onion, celery, and carrots, and it’s used in our favorite soups, casseroles, and sauces.
But, we may not always have it on hand.
So, what do you do if you run out of chicken broth or need a vegan alternative?
Here are several easy ways to substitute for chicken broth, in a pinch!
- Common Substitutes for Chicken Broth
- Make Your Own
- Recipes with Chicken Broth
Common Substitutes for Chicken Broth
It’s probably easier to substitute for chicken broth than you think, and there’s at least one stand-in you definitely already have on hand. Use one of the common chicken broth substitutes below, or keep scrolling for instructions to make your own.
NOTE: Keep in mind, one 10.5 can of chicken broth is equivalent to 1¼ cups of liquid, and a 14.5 ounce can equals 1¾ cups.
1. Chicken Stock
You can use chicken broth and chicken stock interchangeably as there’s only a slight difference between the two. Chicken stock is a tad thicker and is made by boiling a mixture of bones with vegetables and seasonings as opposed to the chicken meat.
Stock can be used as a 1 to 1 substitute anywhere you’d use broth.
2. Vegetable Stock
Vegetable stock is a great vegan alternative to chicken broth. It is more neutral in flavor, but works well as a 1 to 1 substitute. Taste your dish and add additional herbs and seasonings if needed.
3. Beef Broth
Beef broth is made in a similar way to chicken broth, but has a much stronger flavor which can overpower some dishes. If beef broth is all you have on hand, you can dilute it with water and use it as a 1 to 1 substitute (or undiluted, depending on your recipe and taste).
4. Chicken Bouillon Granules
Chicken bouillon granules make a great replacement for broth. These granules can be bought in most grocery stores and when added to water, make their own broth. Add 1 teaspoon per 1 cup hot water and use as a 1 to 1 replacement for chicken broth.
5. Chicken Bouillon Cube
Chicken bouillon cubes are very similar to the granules. They work the same way when reconstituted with water. Dissolve 1 cube in 1 cup hot water and use as a 1 to 1 substitute.
6. Chicken Base or Chicken Broth Concentrate
These substitutes are both, great flavor-packed alternatives to broth. Chicken base is usually found in a jar and chicken broth concentrate typically comes in a packet from the store. Add these to water according to the directions and use as a 1:1 substitute.
Surprisingly, water can make a great substitute for broth in most soups, stews and sauces and everyone has this in their kitchen already. Depending on the recipe, you’ll likely be cooking with aromatics and other base ingredients that are used to make chicken broth anyway, so you can create your own broth as you go.
Just be sure to taste your dish and adjust your seasonings accordingly. If you’re used to using a certain amount of salt and herbs in your dish, you may need to kick those up a bit to get the same depth of flavor.
8. Salted Butter and Water
If the thought of using just water is unappealing to you, you can add in some butter to create a richer flavor (or olive oil). Use 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon of butter as a 1 to 1 substitute. Just don’t use it in recipes where the chicken broth is the main ingredient.
Wine will alter the flavor of your dish, but can be used in a pinch for recipes that call for less than 1/2 cup.
Dry white wine makes a good option and can also help to deglaze your pan, depending on the dish.
10. Coconut Milk
If you happen to have coconut milk on hand, you can use it as a substitute for chicken broth in a pinch. This replacement works especially well in curry dishes and some African dishes.
It does have a coconutty flavor, so make sure this works well with the flavor profile of your dish.
11. Aquafaba (Bean or Chickpea Liquid)
Aquafaba is the liquid left over in cans of beans or chickpeas. Simply, drain your beans and catch the liquid in a bowl. Dilute the aquafaba with equal parts water (to compensate for the starchiness) and use as a 1:1 substitute.
Aquafaba can also make a great substitute for eggs in baking.
Dashi is known for its umami, seafood forward flavor and can be found in liquid or dry versions in Asian markets. This substitute for chicken broth is best for seafood stews, soups, casseroles, or sauces. You’ll want to use Dashi in moderation because of its powerful flavor.
Mix in water to dilute to your taste and add to your recipe just a little at a time until you reach your desired intensity of flavor.
13. Ramen Seasoning
Who knew that this popular college food could actually be the ticket to creating the perfect chicken broth substitute!
You won’t want to go adding the entire packet to your recipe though because of its salty and concentrated flavor. Instead, dissolve the packet in 1 cup of hot water and taste it. If it’s too salty, you’ll want to add additional water. Once the flavor is similar to broth, you can add the required amount to your dish.
Make Your Own
Did you know you can make your own broth? Making your own does take a bit of time but allows you to control your ingredients and salt content.
Here’s an easy recipe to get you started:
- Whole cuts of chicken or just the leftover bones (or any chicken you have on hand if that’s all you have)
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 parsnips, chopped (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Water (enough to submerge the ingredients)
See the full chicken broth recipe for step-by-step instructions.
NOTE: You can freeze your broth after at least 8 hours in the fridge, just be sure to skim the fat from the surface before freezing for up to 9 months.
Recipes with Chicken Broth
And, here are some simple and tasty recipes that call for chicken broth. Use these to try out your favorite chicken broth substitute or your first homemade batch!
The Best Hawaiian Haystacks Sauce Ever
The Easiest Creamy Taco Soup
Creamy Mushroom Swiss Chicken Bake
Simple Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
Chicken broth and chicken stock can be used interchangeably, but just know that chicken stock is a tad thicker and is made by boiling a mixture of bones with vegetables and seasonings as opposed to the chicken meat.
Stock can be used as a 1 to 1 substitute anywhere you’d use broth.
It depends on what kind of soup you’re referring to.
If it’s a chicken noodle or broth-based soup, you could definitely try using it as a substitute. Just be sure to strain out any vegetables or noodles before adding it to your dish.
If you’re talking about cream of chicken soup, you would not want to use that as a replacement. Cream of chicken soup is very thick in nature and you would not get it to be the consistency of broth even if you added lots of water to it.
If you’re wanting to make your own chicken broth and you don’t have any chicken on hand, you can try these options:
-Water with herbs
-Salted butter and water
-Chicken bouillon granules and water
-Chicken bouillon cubes and water
-Chicken broth concentrate and water
-Chicken base and water
Actual chicken pieces aren’t required to make a broth, but using them will give the best flavor.