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12 Best Substitutes For Demi-Glace To Have In Kitchen

Whether you’re a home cook that loves making delicious food for the family or a professional chef that works in a top kitchen, you’ll most likely know the importance of a good sauce.

High-quality, fresh sauces elevate a dish, providing unparalleled flavors and beautiful textures.

One sauce that does this brilliantly is demi-glace. Popular all over the world, demi-glace is a wonderfully creamy, thick sauce originating from French cuisine.

Primarily obtained from the simmering of veal broth, your meat dishes are taken to the next level with the sauce’s silky texture and burst of flavors.

The Best Demi-Glace Substitutes You Can Make

However, it can take hours, sometimes days to make the best demi-glace sauce, and let’s face it, we don’t all have that much time.

Luckily for us, there are 6 demi-glace substitutes that take less time and still offer plenty of flavor and texture.

In today’s article, we’re going to show you the 6 best demi-glace substitutions and what you can expect. 

If you don’t have 14 hours to make the best sauce, make sure you stick around!

What Is A Demi-Glace?

Before we show you the best demi-glace substitutes, it’s probably a good idea to gain a better understanding of what the sauce actually is.

Only then can you understand how the flavors and textures of the other sauces we talk about act as a good alternative.

Demi-glace is an extremely rich, thick brown-colored French sauce made by reducing brown stock.

This stock usually comes from veal and beef, but it can also be made from chicken broth and vegetable broth. 

Red wine or Espagnole sauce is then added to the sauce. This leaves us with a thick sauce that has a consistency similar to syrup and a color similar to soy sauce.

When the sauce has been fully seasoned with various herbs and spices, the end result is a tasty, meaty sauce. 

It isn’t uncommon for the demi-glace to have a both sweet and salty taste as a result of caramelization so not much seasoning is needed.

Quick Table: Demi-Glace Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 Grams)
Beef Demi-Glace227
Vegetable Or Chicken Demi-Glace204
Canned Soup32
Chicken, Vegetable Or Beef Stock36
Condensed Stock5
High End Concentrates133
Bechamel Sauce105
Mushroom Stock53
Beef Bouillon238
Cream Of Mushroom Soup39
Red Wine85

Now you know what to expect from a demi-glace sauce, we can start to look at the best substitutions.

1. Beef Demi-Glace

If you’re not in a rush and simply need a demi-glace alternative because you don’t like veal, a homemade beef demi-glace sauce could be perfect for you. 

In our opinion, when it comes to looking for a veal alternative, beef is the best substitute you can use.

The sauce the beef’s bone marrow produces is incredibly thick just like the original demi-glace and it still provides that beautiful meaty taste.

In fact, you’ll be surprised by just how similar the two different sauces taste.

Despite taking hours to make, this sauce is the best professional choice if you want to impress your guests. 

How To Substitute

All you have to do to make this substitute is let the bones and meat chunks simmer for hours and hours over a low heat for at least 4 hours, remove them from the heat and leave the liquid left in the pan to evaporate. Once the excess liquid has evaporated, you’ll be left with a delicious creamy sauce. You may add red wine while making it.

2. Vegetable Or Chicken Demi-Glace

The Best Demi-Glace Substitutes You Can Make

If you have time spare to make your own demi-glace but don’t like eating veal or beef, there are still plenty of substitutions for you.

Two of the best are using chicken broth or vegetable broth to make your demi-glace.

Obviously, if you’re a vegetarian, the vegetable demi-glace option is ideal.

One of the best things about making a demi-glace from chicken is that the whole process is quite easy. 

After just a couple of hours, your chicken broth will turn into a delicious creamy chicken demi-glace.

You can then serve it up with your choice of meat and vegetables.

The vegetarian option, for obvious reasons, won’t have the meaty taste a traditional demi-glace does but it will still offer plenty of flavors and a lovely thick texture.

How To Substitute

The process to create a chicken demi-glace is quite similar to a veal demi-glace. You first need to cook the chicken down until you’re left with a chicken broth. Once cooked, remove any pieces of chicken and let the broth simmer. It will thicken after hours, becoming a creamy sauce.

3. Gravy

By far the easiest and arguably the most suitable substitute for demi-glace is gravy.

Available in a wide range of flavors, gravy is a sauce that closely resembles demi-glace.

In fact, gravy is just as flavor-packed and thick as most traditional demi-glace sauces. 

It also tends to be very similar in smell and color. 

As if that wasn’t enough, gravy is also the fastest demi-glace substitute you can make.

In no time at all, you can produce a sauce that tastes and looks just like a demi-glace but takes much less time to make. 

How To Substitute

While making your own gravy isn’t too difficult to do, we recommend using gravy granules. The reason we suggest this is simply down to the amount of time you’ll save. In just minutes, you can make a gravy to accompany your roast beef, roast potatoes, and pies. The less hot water you add to your gravy, the thicker it will be.

RELATED: 7 Of The Best Chili Sauce Substitutes

4. Canned Soup

The Best Demi-Glace Substitutes You Can Make

This one might surprise you but it is possible to use some varieties of canned soups as a demi-glace substitute.

Having said that, we would only recommend this option as your last resort. 

If you have other options available, definitely try those first. Apart from not being as effective as the other substitutes on this list, canned soups usually contain high levels of salt and sugar.

They have high content levels of saturated fats too. 

With the negatives aside, let’s look at the more positive points. Canned soup is extremely thick and velvety, just like demi-glace.

They also taste pretty great. Above all else, canned soups are also very quick and easy to prepare. 

How To Substitute

Using canned soup as a demi-glace substitute couldn’t be any easier. All you have to do is cook the soup until it reaches the consistency you’re after. The hardest decision you’ll have is deciding which soup to use. Ideally, you should go for beef or chicken soup. However, a vegetable soup will suffice.

5. Chicken, Vegetable, Or Beef Stock

If you’re all out of gravy granules or don’t have the ingredients to make a broth, don’t panic, you can quite easily make fantastic, flavorful demi-glace out-of-stock cubes. 

Aside from being incredibly quick to make, one of the best things about a demi-glace made out of stock cubes is that you have free reign over flavors and the opportunity to unleash your creativity. 

That is because stock cubes come in an amazingly wide range of different flavors.

This gives you the chance to make your own version of the traditional demi-glace.

You could use pork stock cubes to create something more unique and vegetable stock cubes if you need a vegetarian alternative.

If you want a more traditional demi-glace that has that recognizable color, texture, and meaty texture, we recommend using beef or chicken stock cubes. 

How To Substitute

All you need to do in order to make a beautiful demi-glace out of stock cubes is pick your stock cube of choice, place it in a pan, pour hot water on it, and let it simmer. You should simmer the stock cube until most of the water has evaporated. It is at this point that you’ll be left with a silky, thick sauce full of flavor.

6. Condensed Stock

The final substitute on our list is condensed stock. This is a great alternative if stock cubes just aren’t for you.

It is super easy to make and produces a broth not too dissimilar to most stock cubes.

When it comes to picking the best-condensed stock, chicken, vegetable, and beef stocks are all solid options.

If you’re looking for the closest tasting demi-glace, the beef condensed stock is your best option. 

The texture, taste, and color created using the beef condensed stock won’t be too far away from the real thing.

How To Substitute

To use condensed stock as a substitute for demi-glace, add the condensed stock to your pot and dilute it with some water. If you want to impress guests even more, use red wine instead. This will give your sauce a more luxurious appearance. A personal favorite of ours is veal condensed stock and red wine.

7. High End Concentrates

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How To Substitute

Substituting High-end Concentrates for demi-glace can be done in many different ways, depending on the dish. In a sauce, a high-end concentrate can be added to the saucepan and then brought to a boil before the sauce is reduced. In a soup, a high-end concentrate can be added to the soup pot before adding the broth and the vegetables.

8. Bechamel Sauce

The classic, creamy sauce for your favorite Macaroni and Cheese is actually a white sauce. White sauces are made from milk, flour, and butter and are thickened with a roux, which is a mixture of flour and fat. 

Bechamel is cooked until the flour is a light golden color and the butter has melted. This is an easy sauce to make and it is versatile, as you can use it for so many different things.

Bechamel is a classic sauce that is traditionally made by mixing flour, butter, and milk together to form a thick white sauce. This simple and easy-to-make sauce is a good base for many different dishes.

How To Substitute

Substituting demi-glace with a bechamel sauce would require you to make a roux, which is a mixture of butter and flour cooked together until the flour has turned into a golden brown roux. This will create a roux that can be used as a thickening agent in sauces.

9. Mushroom Stock

Mushroom stock is a rich, savory base for soups, sauces, stews, and braises. This rich, deeply savory mushroom broth is a great way to transform a basic recipe into something more flavorful.

The mushroom stock is a rich and flavorful liquid that you can add to any recipe that calls for stock. Made from mushrooms and a blend of other vegetables, the mushroom stock is made in a flavorful broth and is low in sodium.

The simplest, healthiest, and most flavorful way to add mushrooms to your favorite dishes. Our mushroom stock has no preservatives or additives, and can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. 

Made from wild mushrooms, this stock is an excellent addition to soups, stews, sauces, and risottos.

How To Substitute

Mushroom stocks are a common substitute for demi-glace. The difference between demi-glace and mushroom stock is that the latter is a puree of vegetables, herbs, and/or mushrooms, while the former is a sauce made with meat stock and browned flour.

10. Beef Bouillon

The traditional and long-lasting meat seasoning, Beef Bouillon is a strong, savory broth that is perfect for adding flavor to your favorite dishes. 

Made with beef and beef bones, this product is known for its long-lasting flavor. Bouillon is a thickened soup broth that is used in many dishes to provide flavor and act as a medium for the sauces and other ingredients that are added to it. 

Many people also use bouillon as a cooking liquid in which to cook their meat or vegetables. It is a flavorful seasoning that can be added to beef, poultry, soups, and sauces. 

How To Substitute

Using demi-glace is a great way to create a rich, flavorful sauce. But what if you’re out of the good stuff? Beef Bouillon is a rich, flavorful sauce that is made with beef broth, herbs, and spices. You can use it in any dish that calls for demi-glace.

11. Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Mushroom soup is a soup that is made by simmering mushrooms in water, cream, or milk. It is commonly used as a base for soups, sauces, and other dishes. It is often served with grated cheese and sour cream on top.

Cream of Mushroom Soup is a light and flavorful soup made with a creamy base and plenty of mushrooms. It can be served warm or cold, and is the perfect complement to a variety of dishes.

How To Substitute

If you’re looking for a creamy sauce to pour over chicken or vegetables, you can use cream of mushroom soup instead of demi-glace. This is a much healthier option that still tastes great. Cream of mushroom soup is made from chicken or vegetable stock, white wine, and a variety of mushrooms. It’s perfect for adding flavor and substance to any dish.

12. Red Wine

Red Wine

Red wine is made from grapes and other fruit. The juice is fermented and aged in barrels for a period of time. The result is a red wine that is usually aged in oak barrels. This gives red wine its distinctive color and flavors.

It’s a deep, rich red color with hints of brown and black. It smells like fruits and flowers. It tastes fruity, sweet, and slightly tart.

Red wine is often consumed in alcoholic drinks such as a cocktail or mixed drink, as well as in many foods such as braised dishes, sauces, and in sauces for meat.

How To Substitute

To substitute demi-glace with Red Wine, take 1/4 cup of red wine, 1/4 cup of beef broth, and 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir the ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until the mixture is boiling. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.

Choosing The Best Demi-Glace Substitute

Now we’ve finished our list, it’s time for you to pick the substitute that suits you and your recipe best.

Most of the methods we’ve taken a look at will deliver similar results, especially if you use beef, chicken, and vegetables to make your homemade demi-glace sauce. 

If you have time on your side, of course, nothing beats making an original demi-glace to compliment your meat. However, this could take 14 hours.

If you’re short on time and you’re not fussy about how authentic the sauce is, gravy is probably your best option.

It is perfect for mimicking demi-glace and comes with a distinct flavor and thickness.

If you want a quick fix but don’t want something as rich, stock cubes are the way to go.

They’ll provide a delicate, yet delicious flavor, in very little time. 

Individuals looking to experiment with flavors and those of you out of options could use canned soup.

While canned soups might not produce the same flavors, they are a great way to bring a creamy, flavorful sauce to a dish. 

Finally, if you have plenty of time on your hands but not enough time to make a traditional demi-glace, we recommend making your very own sauce out of beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. 

What’s The Difference Between Demi-Glace And Gravy?

A lot of people are easily mistaken when it comes to demi-glace and gravy.

So much so that some people don’t know the difference between the two.

To put it simply, demi-glace is a flavorful, rich sauce with a syrup-like texture and consistency.

Traditional recipes are complex and often take all day. 

On the other hand, gravy is a meaty, savory-tasting sauce that has a varying texture and consistency.

It can be runny or thick. Authentic gravy doesn’t take anywhere near as long to make either.

Gravy granules even make it possible to make gravy in a couple of minutes.           

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Demi Glace Powder?

Demi glace powder is a seasoning powder used to make a flavorful sauce for meat and vegetables.

Demi-glace powder is a powdered sauce used as a base for sauces and soups. It is made by reducing the liquid of a sauce or soup until it turns into a powder.

What Is Demi-Glace Made Of?

Demi-glace is a sauce that is the base for many other sauces, such as bechamel. It is made from browning butter in a saucepan, adding flour, and then adding a liquid, such as milk or stock, before cooking for several minutes. The liquid is then removed and the mixture is thickened with roux.

What Is Demi-Glace Used For?

Demi-Glace is a classic French sauce made with a rich brown stock, butter, flour, and herbs. It’s typically used to add flavor to braised meats and stews, as well as soups and sauces.

The Best Demi-Glace Substitutes You Can Make

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Planning a delicious meal for the family but don’t have time to make a fresh demi-glace? Let us show you 6 quick fix substitutions you can easily make right now


  • Beef Demi-Glace

  • Vegetable Or Chicken Demi-Glace

  • Gravy

  • Canned Soup

  • Chicken, Vegetable, Or Beef Stock

  • Condensed Stock

  • High End Concentrates

  • Bechamel Sauce

  • Mushroom Stock

  • Beef Bouillon

  • Cream Of Mushroom Soup

  • Red Wine


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith