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Our Favorite Chicken Broth Substitutes

Chicken broth is an essential ingredient in any kitchen. You should always have chicken broth in your fridge or pantry. It is an extremely versatile product and one that you will use time and time again.

But what if you go to your pantry and find out that you have no chicken broth left…what could you possibly do? 

Firstly, do not panic, you do not need to go to the store all in a flurry. There are plenty of substitutes that you can use instead of chicken broth.

In this article, we are going to go over the easiest chicken broth substitute as well as that we are going to go over a method you can use to make your own authentic chicken broth from home.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Our Favorite Chicken Broth Substitutes

What Is The Difference Between Stock And Broth?

Before we can get into the chicken stock substitutes let’s quickly cover what the difference is between stock and broth. Are they interchangeable?

The short answer is yes you can. Stock is essentially made from bones, vegetables, and seasonings that have simmered together for an extended period of time.

The fact that it is largely made from bone means that it can be a lot thicker than broth, but stock does have a lovely robust flavor.

The broth is made by simmering meat, vegetables, and seasoning together. Broth tends to be lighter and less thick than stock. 

While both stock and broth are different they are similar enough that you can use them interchangeably in recipes if need be. 

What Can You Use As A Chicken Broth Substitute? 

In this section, we are going to go over some of the best broth substitutes out there.

We have found ten main substitutes, but there are plenty of others to pick from if none of these suit your needs. So, without further ado, let us dive right in!

You Could Try Chicken Stock

Chicken broth is an obvious substitute for chicken broth, it is very similar and as we have just found out, it can be used interchangeably with broth.

It is a rich liquid that is full of fatty acids and protein which are essential for your body to work properly.

It is super simple to make, all you need to do is to boil some water, dissolve a store-bought stock cube in it, and allow it to dissolve.

You can make your own stock if you wish, there are plenty of amazing recipes out there to pick from. 

You Could Try Vegetable Stock

Much like chicken stock, you can quite easily substitute chicken broth with vegetable stock if need be. It is something that you are very likely to have on and it will be adequate for just about any recipe you are making.

One thing to keep in mind is that vegetable stock can be quite flavorsome and can easily overpower your dish if you are not careful.

It is recommended that you make a more mild vegetable stock from home using whatever vegetables you have on hand. This is a fantastic way to use up any veg that is near its expiration date. So it is a win-win!

The process of making vegetable stock is super easy. You just need to start off by adding the trimmings of your vegetables to a pot and allowing them to simmer.

We suggest using onion, carrot, celery, or even mushrooms. You could amp up your vegetable stock by adding bay leaves or thyme to the dish.

After about thirty minutes you should have a vegetable stock that you can use. 

You Could Try Plain Water

This may seem like a dull option but if you do not have much on hand you can always make do with water. It is a cheap and quick option for those of you that cannot make or purchase a substitute quickly enough.

Many dishes like soup or stew are made by simmering ingredients in water. By doing this the water takes on the flavors and smells of the food you are making.

By using this method you are essentially making a broth of your own as you work. It is a great option for anyone that cannot afford to lose time when they are in need of a broth. 

You Could Try A Bouillon Cube

If you happen to have a bouillon cube on hand you can use it as a substitute for your broth. All you need to do is drop it in some hot water and allow it to dissolve before you use it.

This option is a quick and easy solution much like stock cubes. The main thing to keep in mind if you use a bouillon cube is that you will need to take it easy on the seasoning.

This is because they have a tendency to be super salty which can quickly turn your meal disastrous if you add more salt to your food.

So, if you decide to use a bouillon cube make sure to keep in mind that they are quite potent and you will need to take extra care with your seasonings. 

You Could Try Bean Or Chickpea Liquid

If you happen to have a can of chickpeas or beans on hand you can always use that liquid as an alternative to the broth.

The liquid in a tin of beans or chickpeas is rich and flavorful which is why it can make an absolutely amazing alternative to chicken broth.

If you decide to give this method a try, we recommend that you dilute the bean liquid with an equal amount of water. This is because the bean juice can be quite starchy which can make your dish taste strange.

So, the next time you empty a can of chickpeas or beans make sure to save that liquid in case you need it for a broth substitute. This method is beneficial to those of you that do not have stock or something else to use.

Best of all, you are more than likely to have a can of beans or chickpeas on hand. They are a staple in any kitchen!

You Could Try Beef Broth

If you have beef broth instead of chicken broth on hand you can easily use it as a substitute. They are very similar to each other. But if you cook with beef broth we recommend that you are careful with how much you use or how you season.

Beef broth is more potent and has a stronger taste than chicken broth. This means that it can easily overpower the dish you are making.

The best way to counter this is to dilute your beef broth with water. We recommend using equal parts water and beef broth to tone down the flavor. 

You Could Try Chicken Base Or Chicken Broth Concentrate

Both of these options are fantastic options for broth substitutes. They are full of flavor and would certainly be similar enough to chicken broth that you can use them as you would broth.

You can buy these products in-store in packets to which you will need to add water to. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packet so that you do not put too much or too little water with them.

Our Favorite Chicken Broth Substitutes (1)

You Could Try Salted Butter And Water

If you are really in a pinch you can use salted butter with water. It sounds disgusting but the addition of butter with water creates a rich and flavorful concoction that will work similarly to chicken broth.

To do this you will need to put a cup of water in a pot and then add about one tablespoon of salted butter.

This trick will work well but it is not recommended that you use this method if the chicken broth is the main ingredient of your dish. 

You Could Try Coconut Milk

If you are really struggling with any chicken broth substitutes we recommend using coconut milk. It is a subtle yet tasty ingredient that will change the flavor profile of your dish.

For this reason, it is best to use coconut milk if you are cooking curry dishes. This is a quick and easy method for a broth substitute. It will change the taste of your dish significantly so make sure to season accordingly. 

You Could Try Dashi

Dashi has a kind of seafood taste and can be purchased as both a liquid and a powder. It can be used as a substitute for chicken broth but it is best suited to soups, casseroles, stews, seafood, or even sauces.

It has an extremely strong taste so it should be used in moderation. On top of that, the flavor of it can change the taste of your dish so you will need to alter your seasoning to ask for or match the taste.

It is also recommended that you dilute your dashi with water until it is to your taste and when you are putting it in your dish you will need to do so slowly so that you can get the flavor you are looking for. 

What Is The Best Way To Make Chicken Broth?

If you have the time to make your own chicken broth we recommend doing it. The process is rewarding and you will always have control over the seasoning and everything else.

In this section, we are going to talk about how you can make your own chicken broth from home. So, let’s get started!

Hopefully, you do not need broth imminently because this recipe takes roughly ten hours to make. So, if you need broth immediately you should head to the store or use one of the substitutes we have mentioned. 

First, let’s talk about what ingredients you will need to make your broth: 

  • Chicken and Chicken Bones
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Parsnips
  • Bay Leaves
  • Thyme
  • Onions
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Water

Most of these ingredients should be easy to find in your local store. So once you have them on hand you can finally start the long process of making chicken broth.

That being said, making chicken broth is actually quite simple and only takes five steps. 

The first thing you will need to do is put all the ingredients into a slow cooker that has been lined. Next, cover the ingredients with water.

Make sure that the water is two inches over the ingredients. After that, you will need to leave your broth to cook for between ten and twelve hours.

We recommend that you do it overnight so that you can have fresh broth in the morning. This may not work for you if your slow cooker needs to be reset after a few hours.

After that time has elapsed you will then need to strain your broth using a fine-mesh strainer. The liquid must then be stored in jars or bags and stored. 

Best Way To Store A Chicken Broth Or Chicken Broth Substitute

Before we end this article, it is important that you know how to safely store homemade chicken broth. Once you have made your broth you have several options depending on how soon you need to use the broth. 


If you plan on using your broth within four to five days you can store your broth in the refrigerator. But after that time you run the risk of the broth spoiling and becoming inedible.

Additionally, your broth needs to be airtight when you store it so that it does not go off as quickly.


If you want to use your broth as needed over the next six to nine months we recommend that you freeze your broth in small containers or bags.

Make sure that it is portioned out so that you can grab a pack that has the right amount of a dish you want to make. You can use a jar or even an ice cube tray to store your broth in a freezer.

It all depends on what works best for you and the space you have in your freezer. 

Our Favorite Chicken Broth Substitutes

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Are you interested in learning about chicken broth substitutes? Read this article to find out everything you need to know and more on the topic.


  • Chicken Stock

  • Vegetable Stock

  • Plain Water

  • Bouillon Cube

  • Bean

  • Chickpea Liquid

  • Beef Broth

  • Chicken Base

  • Chicken Broth Concentrate

  • Salted Butter And Water

  • Coconut Milk

  • Dashi


  • Decided on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

Jess Smith