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9 Awesome Kitchen Bouquet Substitutes With 3 DIY Options From Your Own Kitchen

When it comes to getting your food brown and looking flavorful, then you can’t go wrong with a little kitchen bouquet.

But what if you don’t have any in the kitchen? Well, never fear, there are plenty of kitchen bouquet substitutes out there.

These products will help you to brown your meal, whether it is chicken or stew.

Best Kitchen Bouquet Substitute

You’ll want the perfect meal and having the right coloring will be very important for the presentation.

So what exactly are the best kitchen bouquet substitutes? Where can you get them?

How will a kitchen bouquet substitute differ from the flavor of authentic kitchen bouquet?

Well, we have compiled a list of some of the best kitchen bouquet substitutes on the market.

Best Kitchen Bouquet Substitutes

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 ml)
Sarson’s Gravy Browning189
Maggi Seasoning104
Worcester Sauce88
Bragg Liquid Amino All-Purpose Seasoning200
Gravy Master0
Dark Molasses400
Liquid Smoke0
Brown Gravy Mix20
Cocoa Paste (Unsweetened)229
Parisian Essence100
Coffee Granules350
Soy Sauce61

1. Sarson’s Gravy Browning

If you want to change the color but not necessarily the flavor of your gravy, soup or stew, then this gravy browning will be a great reserve bouquet to keep in your kitchen.

This comes in an easy-to-unscrew bottle that you can use to quickly distribute as much browning as you like.

This comes with a very strong gravy flavor, but not so much that it won’t overpower the original flavor of your meat.

This will also thicken whatever you are adding it to.

If you are looking for something that will make your soup seem a little more hearty and full of goodness, then you can’t go wrong with this one.

You can also use Season’s Gravy Browning for barbequing meats.

This will add a little sourness, but it will really boost the natural smokiness of meats such as beef, pork and chicken.


  • Great for browning – this will not give too much of its own flavor and will not overpower the natural flavors of your meats and vegetables.
  • Natural flavors – if you are looking for something that will taste like traditional and authentic gravy, then this is a great one to start with.
  • Handy bottle – this comes with a bottle that is easy to use and seal again. This is great if you have children or animals in the house.
  • Affordable – if you do not fancy splashing out too much money on a premium kitchen bouquet, then this really is the next best thing.


  • Turns the food quite dark – some users have complained that this gravy browning is too extreme when it comes to coloring.

How To Substitute

Sarson’s gravy browning is similar to the Kitchen Bouquet. It is a type of dark brown, umami-rich, savory gravy. It is made from dark brown flour, onion, tomatoes, and beef stock and provides a rich flavor and a deep golden color.

2. Maggi Seasoning

If you want something that is more friendly to vegetarians, then we would certainly nudge you in the direction of Maggi seasoning.

This is made entirely from plant-based ingredients, mainly leaning on its caramel and wheat ingredients to infuse a little bit of flavor into your food.

This particular seasoning is very rich in salt, meaning it will add that extra kick to most of your meals, especially stewed meats.

This also makes it a great addition to barbecues, where you’ll need that extra bit of salt to give it a little bit of flavor, which is often lost during the heating process.

If you are looking to give your steaks that golden brown texture, then this is a great browning agent to add.

One of the downsides of this seasoning is that it will not act as a thickening agent.

So if you want to give your watery soup that little bit of body, then you might want to opt for another brand.

You can also use this one as a great substitute for soy sauce. So if you are partial to some Japanese food, then you can’t go wrong with this seasoning.


  • Great browning substitute – if you are looking for a decent gravy browning substitute, then this comes with plenty of coloring and flavoring.
  • Soy sauce substitute – it is quite rare to find something that will replace your soy sauce, but this is watery, salty and flavorful enough.
  • Great for vegetarians – if you want to add flavor to your grilled vegetables and you avoid meat products, then this is a great browning to have.
  • Not too overpowering – if you want to [reserve the natural flavor of your meats, fish or soups, then try this seasoning.


  • Very salty – a lot of people have complained that this seasoning sauce is very salty and might be a little too much for stews and soups.

How To Substitute

If you’re looking for a way to add a little flair to your next meal, consider adding Maggi Seasoning. Maggi Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices popularly used in many European dishes. You can use it as a substitute for the Kitchen Bouquet or add it to your dish for a flavorful kick.

3. Worcester Sauce

Worcester sauce has been seen as a classic sauce for quite some time and is often used in the UK as an addition to stews, pies and has even been used as a potato chip flavoring.

This includes ingredients such as garlic, tamarind, molasses, vinegar, shallots and sugar.

This is very vegetarian-friendly, so you won’t have to worry about it ruining your veggie diet.

This comes with a hearty brown coloring, which is what will make it great for browning your stews and roast dinners.

We would certainly recommend that you use this one on chicken, as it acts as a great contrast to the soft and chewy texture, as well as enhances the chicken’s natural aroma.

This also comes with a sour aspect (probably the tamarind), which also makes it ideal for use in salads.

We would definitely suggest that you pair this one with feta cheese.


  • Low salt content – if you want to stay healthy and keep your blood pressure low, then you can’t go wrong with this bouquet substitute.
  • Great browning substitute – with its dark coloring, this is probably one of the best kitchen bouquet substitutes on this list.
  • Perfect in salads – if you like your salads to have that extra punch, then you can’t go wrong with adding this one.
  • Packed with flavors – this is brimming with garlic and vinegar, which will certainly give your food that extra zing!


  • Too powerful – some people have reported that due to the sheer strength of the ingredients, the natural tastes of their stews, barbeque or soups are completely overwhelmed.

How To Substitute

Worcestershire sauce is a popular ingredient in many dishes, including in sauces, soups, and dressings. The secret ingredient that gives Worcestershire sauce its distinctive flavor is anchovies. You May substitute Worcestershire sauce with the kitchen bouquet even if the difference in taste is not significant.

RELATED: 10 Of The Best Alternatives To Chinese Five-Spice To Use In Your Cooking!

4. Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning

Now we have a kitchen bouquet substitute that uses all-natural ingredients, earning a non-GMO certificate for including only natural ingredients.

But this does impede its ability to get your food nice and wholesome and brown.

It comes made with soybeans, which is what gives it that Asian-infused flavor.

This is also great for anyone who is suffering from intolerances, especially if you are gluten intolerant. This contains no gluten whatsoever.

It both browns your food and boosts the flavors in equal measure.

This makes it a great addition to a barbecue where you might have guests who want chicken and beef that stings the roof of their mouths.

You’ll only need to use a touch of this, as it is very powerful.

But the upside of this is that you will only have to use a small amount, which will save you money in the long run.

You can use this for a number of dishes, including sushi, salads, barbeque, soups, stews and roast dinners. The sheer versatility of this browning is amazing.

One of the drawbacks of this seasoning is that it might be too overpowering and that you won’t be able to use it to thicken your soup or your stew.


  • Versatile – whether it be pepping up your summer salad or injecting that extra flavor into your stir fry.
  • Turn the food dark brown – this is another one that will transform your pale, watery soup into something that looks a little more sumptuous.
  • Contains soybeans – this has a touch of Asia in it, which is great if you want something to season your sushi.
  • Contains natural ingredients – if you don’t like the idea of artificial preservatives in your food, then we would certainly suggest you pick this one.


  • Too salty – this is another one that comes packed with a lot of strong flavors. You won’t need to use too much.

How To Substitute

Kitchen Bouquet is famous for its different flavors, textures, and scents. Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning is a product that can help you to achieve the same thing. This product is a soy sauce substitute that is packed with flavor and nutrients. Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning is perfect for marinades, sauces, soups, salad dressings, and much more.

5. Gravy Master

If you are looking for a perfect gravy with delicious taste and don’t have a kitchen bouquet, then gravy master is your savior on the list.

It has a flavor similar to a kitchen bouquet and is prepared with vegetables, vinegar, salt, caramel, etc. It is labeled as browning sauce, which makes it a perfect choice for savoring dishes.

Gravy master contains a strong and intense flavor, so you will have to use it wisely in your recipe, else you may go for another option.

How To Substitute

Replace two teaspoons of kitchen bouquet with one teaspoon of gravy master, and you are good to go.

6. Dark Molasses

Many of you might have differing views on dark molasses as a substitute for a kitchen bouquet, but it will do perfectly in your recipe.

Dark molasses is your go-to option if your recipe calls for an intense brown color. However, while using it, you should know that it will give your recipe a sweet taste and doesn’t contain any salt.

Depending on your recipe, you have to adjust the ingredient you are using so that you don’t have to worry about your final product.

Use a little quantity for your dish initially and then increase it as per the need since it does have a sweet taste, so it will help you to avoid messing up with the final result. 

How To Substitute

You may use it in a 2:1 ratio to work perfectly.

7. Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is a flavor enhancer that can be added to various dishes and is a staple in the kitchen of most chefs. Liquid smoke is a blend of smoked and unsmoked woods, which impart a smoky flavor to the food.

Liquid smoke is also a popular ingredient in barbecue sauces. Liquid smoke is an essential pantry ingredient that will do great to substitute kitchen bouquets. You don’t need an outdoor grill to add a smokey flavor to our recipe.

For a rich and deep flavor to your recipe, liquid smoke should be your go-to choice. However, it doesn’t make any addition to your recipe.

How To Substitute

Replace the kitchen bouquet with liquid smoke in a 1:1 substitution ratio.

8. Brown Gravy Mix

The following substitute in our list is brown gravy mix that is pretty much similar to a kitchen bouquet and does a rich and intense brown color addition to your recipe along with the deep taste that your recipe calls for.

The brown gravy mix will work great in beef, meat, turkey, and other recipes. Apart from this, if you are using it in soups and stews, you will also get a great result. However, you will have to add it wisely to your recipe.

How To Substitute

You may add a small amount to your recipe and increase it depending on your recipe.

9. Cocoa Paste

Kitchen Bouquet is a blend of herbs, spices, and natural extracts. It is used in various dishes and to enhance the flavor of specific recipes.

The cocoa paste is a powder that is made from ground cocoa beans. It is an essential ingredient for making chocolate, which can get from most grocery stores. In addition, it is a thick paste often used in baking and desserts.

How To Substitute

Use one teaspoon of cocoa paste to replace one teaspoon of kitchen bouquet in your recipe.

So here are some of the kitchen bouquet substitutes that you can get online.

However, what if you do not have the money to spend on endless kitchen bouquet substitutes?

Are there any bouquet substitutes that you can make at home? The answer is yes, you can make your own kitchen bouquet.

Here are some ideas for things that you can make out of ingredients that you might already have in your kitchen cupboards.

DIY Kitchen Bouquet Substitutes

Parisian Essence

This stuff is excellent when it comes to infusing your food with an extra bit of flavor.

It is made with water and caramel, which gives it an almost sweet tinge. This comes made with a whole host of natural ingredients.

This is also great if you want to avoid aggravating any of your allergies. This does not contain gluten, peanuts, dairy or soy.

Here is a quick recipe for Parisian Essence:

  • Ingredients: 1 x cup of sugar, 1 x cup of hot water


  • Take your cup of sugar and melt it over your saucepan at a low heat.
  • Stir the sugar until the mixture is entirely black (make sure that you are near an extractor fan or open window, as this mixture will smoke).
  • Take sugar off the heat and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Add the cup of hot water to the mixture very slowly. Adding it slowly will help prevent the sugar from spitting.
  • Keep adding the water until the mixture is entirely smooth.
  • Once you have used up all the water, then put the mixture on low heat again until it has become thickened.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • Store it in an airtight bottle in your cupboard.

This will only take you around 30 minutes to make.

How To Substitute

To add a touch of Paris to your kitchen, use the recipe for Parisian Essence and a few drops of your favorite fragrance. It is quick and easy to make, and you can make it in a larger batch to store for later use.

Coffee Granules

This might sound like a very leftfield option, but you’ll have to trust us when we say that coffee granules actually make a good kitchen bouquet substitute.

We would suggest that you use instant coffee, as this will give you that brown effect that you are looking for.

However, you will only want to add just a dash of this to color the food, as coffee comes with its own strong flavor and will undoubtedly taint the flavor of your final meal to the point where it might be inedible.

You can also use freshly ground coffee, which might give a more wholesome taste and will also easily provide that dark color that you need.

How To Substitute

Coffee granules can substitute for the kitchen bouquet in recipes. The coffee granules are placed in a pot of boiling water and then covered with a lid. They can simmer for a few minutes before they are removed and used in a recipe.

Soy Sauce

As we have mentioned with some of our other kitchen bouquet substitutes above, there is a soy sauce component to a lot of these browning agents, and some of them are made from pure soy beans.

This is rich in salt and obviously has that dark coloring that will alter the look of your dishes.

However, as with any of our other kitchen bouquet substitutes, you’ll want to use only a small amount, as it will overwhelm the natural taste of your dish.

It will also depend on the type of food that you are cooking.

Soy sauce might taste great in your soup, but it might not go so well with barbequed chicken wings!

How To Substitute

Many recipes call for the Kitchen Bouquet to prepare sauces, gravies, and other dishes. However, soy sauce is an excellent alternative to this product. Soy sauce is a salt and flavoring liquid with a dark brown and has a strong, salty flavor. Soy sauce is a staple in Asian cuisine.

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Another Recipe For Kitchen Bouquet

Again, you might be struggling to get your own kitchen bouquet or even sourcing an alternative.

If you are serving dinner imminently or you do not have the funds to buy some kitchen bouquet, then you can always try rustling some up using ingredients that you might already have in the home.

The great thing about the following DIY kitchen bouquet is the fact that you’ll be able to use it to thicken your sauces and gravies, which is something that not a lot of the above products are able to do.

Here are the ingredients that you’ll need to make your own kitchen bouquet:

  • 0.5 cups of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • Beef broth base

When you are cooking your kitchen bouquet, you’ll need to be mindful of the fact that you are cooking using high temperatures and that the sugar will spit, which might cause your skin to burn.

You can make as many kitchen bouquets as you need to make.

All you have to do is work out how much sauce you want and increase the number of ingredients equally as appropriate.


  1. Heat the sugar – put your sugar in a pan and heat it over a low setting for around 5 – 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it so you can watch the sugar browning.
  2. Remove from the heat – take your sugar off the heat and add the water. Make sure that you add the water slowly so that the sugar does not spit.
  3. Add the beef base – stir in the beef base slowly. You might need to taste to see if this has reached the desired flavor.
  4. Return to heat – once the beef has been added, then return to mixture back to the heat and continue to stir until the whole thing has mixed nicely.
  5. Leave the sauce to cool – once the sauce is mixed to your desired consistency, then take it off the stove and leave it to cool.
  6. Store – then you should take your DIY kitchen bouquet and place it in an airtight container.

There you have everything that you’ll need for your homemade kitchen bouquet.

However, even though you have made a lot of this sauce, you’ll still need only a small amount to add that zesty flavor to your meal.

We would recommend only adding around 2 – 3 teaspoons of this homemade browning to your meal.

You can always store this sauce in your refrigerator, as it will keep for a very long time.

You can also store it in the freezer if you need to use it over a period of time that is longer than a week.

We would recommend putting it in ice cube trays so that you don’t have to keep thawing and refreezing it over and over again.

The more that you reheat this sauce, the less of its flavor will be retained.

Just make sure that you measure this one out evenly and don’t take too long to consume after it has been cooked.

Best Kitchen Bouquet Substitute Buyer’s Guide

When you are looking to buy a kitchen bouquet or kitchen bouquet substitute, there will be a certain specific set of criteria you’ll be looking for: how dark it makes your food, what is the overall flavor and how it influences the original taste of your meal.

Here are some things that you’ll need to be looking at when it comes to your kitchen bouquet substitute:

How Dark Is It?

This will affect the overall coloring of your food. If it is dark enough, then it will add that extra depth to your meal.

However, if you are looking to add that extra brown glaze to your barbecue chicken, then having a sauce that is too dark might give the impression that the food is burnt.

What Are The Ingredients?

Ingredients are everything, as they will ultimately determine the final flavor of your food.

Some of these sauces have a wide range of ingredients, so we would suggest that you check them before committing to a purchase.

You’ll also need to be sure whether your sauce will pair well with certain foods.

As we have stated before, soy sauce will not go that well with chicken, so you’ll want to avoid one that is too sour.

How Watery Is It?

Some people use kitchen bouquets to thicken up their soup or stews.

So if your kitchen bouquet substitute is too watery, then this will defeat the whole purpose of adding it in the first place.

How Much Does It Cost?

Price will be an all-important factor if you are trying to save.

In fact, one of the reasons you might be trying a kitchen bouquet substitute is that a regular kitchen bouquet might be too expensive for you.

If you are a regular stew maker and you want your food to turn out nice and brown on a weekly basis, then having a kitchen bouquet will be a necessary purchase.

However, if you do it only occasionally, then a cheaper alternative might be more appealing.


When you are trying to find an alternative to a kitchen bouquet, then you’ll be happy to know that there are many to choose from.

However, you should always make sure that you get the right consistency and that the flavor of your bouquet does not overwhelm your original meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Kitchen Bouquet?

A kitchen bouquet is a sauce that will help to color your stew or soup darker.

It is also used as a glaze for meats and vegetables, adding a little extra flavor and seasoning to it.

Is A Kitchen Bouquet Made From Natural Ingredients?

Some kitchen bouquets are made from natural ingredients and spices, including garlic and onions.

However, some of them do contain gluten and artificial preservatives.

Is Kitchen Bouquet Unhealthy?

Yes. Due to the low sodium and sulfiting agents available in the Kitchen Bouquet, We can not consider them healthy since it is harmful to human and their stomachs.

Best Kitchen Bouquet Substitute

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A kitchen bouquet will help you get the right color for stew, but what if you don’t have any at home? Here are some of the best kitchen bouquet alternatives.


  • Sarson’s Gravy Browning

  • Maggi Seasoning

  • Worcester Sauce

  • Bragg Liquid Aminos All Purpose Seasoning

  • Gravy Master

  • Dark Molasses

  • Liquid Smoke

  • Brown Gravy Mix

  • Cocoa Paste

  • Parisian Essence

  • Coffee Granules

  • Soy Sauce


  • 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