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12 Best Substitutes For Bouillon Cubes That You Must Try Once

Quick Answer: What Are Some Of The Best Substitutes For Bouillon Cubes?

The best substitutes for bouillon cubes include chicken stock, bouillon powder, chicken broth, dry white wine, water with seasoning, miso paste, bone broth, stock concentrate, and even British Marmite. Not every substitute can be used with the same ratio as a bouillon cube, however.

To learn more about how to use these substitutes to best mimic the flavor of bouillon cubes (and learn about some rogue substitutions that you might not have heard of), keep reading.

Bouillon cubes are a type of dehydrated stock or soup shaped into a hard cube that have been around for more than 100 years.

The soup that makes up a bouillon cube is typically made of meats or vegetables, providing flavors as the base for various dishes, including soups, stews, curries, and more. 

The dehydrated cube is either added directly to a dish or first dissolved in hot water.

What To Know About Bouillon Cubes?

Bouillon Cubes

Many cuisines around the world consider the bouillon cube a staple ingredient, thanks to its ability to enhance and enrich the flavors and aromas of many dishes. 

The main varieties of bouillon cubes are vegetable, beef, chicken, and lamb, which are designed to be used in dishes featuring their respective flavors.

Problem is, if you’re following a recipe that calls for bouillon cubes that you don’t have, then can you use another ingredient as a substitute? 

Fortunately for you, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best substitutes for bouillon cubes!

Nutritional Value Table

SubstitutesCalories (per 100g)Protein (per 100g)Fat (per 100g)
Chicken Broth362.52g1.2g
Chicken Stock362.52g1.2g
Dry White Wine810.07g0g
Bone Broth163.7g0.1g
Miso Paste19911.69g6.01g
Bouillon Granules70.87g0.01g
Water And Seasoningn/an/an/a
Marmite26034g<0.5g
Stock Concentrate1678.3g0g
Onion Soup Mix2860g0g
Bouillon Powder241g0.8g
Tomato Paste824.3g0.5g

1. Chicken Broth 

Chicken Broth 

Chicken broth is arguably the best substitute for a chicken bouillon cube. This is because the texture and flavor is most similar to a chicken bouillon cube that has been dissolved in hot water.

Even though chicken broth is typically associated with being a comfort food, it’s still a good substitute for chicken bouillon cubes!

The key difference between chicken broth and chicken stock is that stock is mostly boiling down the bones of the animal, whereas chicken broth contains the meat of the animal as well as complementary vegetables.

This means that it’s also a good option as a substitute for vegetable bouillon – though it’s not a vegetarian-friendly substitute. 

In a recipe, you can substitute one cube of chicken bouillon with a cup of chicken broth for the most accurate results. 

How To Substitute

Chicken broth will work best to substitute bouillon cubes. The chicken broth is made of meat and some vegetables. Although it could be better for everyone who follows a vegan or vegetarian diet still, it is a popular choice.

2. Chicken Stock 

Chicken Stock 

One of the best substitutes for chicken bouillon cubes is chicken broth. Whether made at home or bought in a store, chicken stock is a liquid made from simmering chicken bones in water or wine. 

The best part about chicken broth is that it’s super easy to make by yourself.

Not only can you boil chicken bones, but you can also add various vegetables that help to enhance the meaty flavors, such as onions and celery. 

Chicken stock is typically used as the basis for stews, soups, sauces, and chicken curries, similar to a chicken bouillon cube.

So, you can use the same amount of chicken stock to the same amount of chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water. 

How To Substitute

The chicken stock is perfect for replacing Bouillon made by simmering chicken in water or wine. It works exceptionally in stews, soups, and chicken curries. If you want to enhance the flavor of your recipe, add various vegetables according to your preference.

3. Dry White Wine 

Dry White Wine 

When it’s not in a cool glass in your hand, dry white wine is a great addition to several dishes. Alcohol is a nice touch to a variety of dishes that require a bouillon cube, especially a chicken bouillon cube. 

Dry white wine is the best type of white wine for cooking, because it typically isn’t infused with other flavors that would otherwise sweeten it.

The best dry white wines for cooking include pinot grigio, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. 

When using dry white wine in replacement of a bouillon cube, use roughly half a cup of wine for a single cube of bouillon.

Make sure to cook the wine off properly at the beginning of the recipe to ensure the liquid and alcohol has a chance to burn off, before adding more if necessary. 

How To Substitute

If you are good to have wine, then here is another substitute, the dry white wine with no flavors. You may use it in half the quantity for one chicken bouillon. But first, cook the wine at the beginning of the recipe to remove the alcoholic flavor.

4. Bone Broth 

Bone Broth 

A good substitute for chicken, lamb, or beef bouillon cubes is bone broth. Bone broth, as the name suggests, is a broth made of the bones of the desired animal.

So, you can either make or buy bone broth depending on the type of meal you are making – for example, cow bone broth for a beef stew

The best part about making your own bone broth is that you can add vegetables that will enhance and compliment the flavors of the bone, such as celery, leeks, carrots, and onions.

Once cooked, the broth can be used in a variety of recipes that require a bouillon cube, including stews, soups, curries, sauces, and more. 

The best part about using bone broth instead of a bouillon cube is that you can use a 1:1 ratio, with one cup of bone broth for every bouillon cube. You might need to adjust the salt levels to taste. 

How To Substitute

Bone broth is another option for you to substitute Bouillon cubes, and the best part is you may use the bone broth of your desired animal. It will work great in stews, soups, sauces, etc. However, adjust the sodium content so you will avoid ending up with a messed-up dish.

RELATED: 12 Tasty Vegetable Broth Substitutes You Can Use For Any Dish

5. Miso Paste 

Miso Paste 

Miso paste is the unsung hero of the kitchen. While typically used as a seasoning in Japanese foods, miso paste is a great substitute for bouillon cubes.

Especially considering that it’s vegan and suitable for all diets!

Miso paste is made of fermented soybeans with other ingredients and flavorings, resulting in a savory, salty, and slightly tangy flavor.

Thanks to the paste consistency, miso paste is also great for thickening loose foods such as soups and stews. 

When using miso paste as a substitute for bouillon cubes, it’s mostly a game of trial and error.

Miso paste is more flavorful than bouillon cubes, so you’ll need to add a small amount at a time to not overpower the dish. 

How To Substitute

Inspired by Japanese cuisine, miso paste is an excellent alternative to bouillon cubes. It would work great as thickening agent in your recipes by providing a savory and tangy flavor.

6. Bouillon Granules 

Bouillon Granules 

If you don’t have bouillon cubes available, you can still use bouillon granules!

Bouillon granules are granules made of a concentrated stock, with flavors including beef, chicken, vegetables, and lamb.

They’re basically the ground version of bouillon cubes, which are pressed into cubes. 

The main difference between bouillon granules and bouillon cubes (other than the form) is that the granules have to be dissolved in water before they can be added to a dish, whereas the cubes can go in without this step. 

So, as they are technically the same thing, you can use bouillon granules as a substitute for bouillon cubes in the same ratio. Just keep in mind that the granules require water, which may alter the dish. 

How To Substitute

Bouillon cubes are a typical soup and broth base that you can substitute with bouillon granules in a recipe. While it may seem like the granules will yield a soup that has a more intense flavor, the granules have the same nutritional value and cooking time as the cubes.

7. Water And Seasoning 

Water And Seasoning 

If you don’t have bouillon granules, then you can try to make your own version by adding seasoning to water.

It’s not going to be as flavorful or similar to a bouillon cube, but trying to make your own broth is a good option for a last-minute substitute. 

The seasonings you use will mostly depend on what dish you’re making and what type of bouillon cube you intend to replicate.

For example, you can use a chicken seasoning for a chicken bouillon substitute, and so on. 

This method mostly comes down to a game of trial and error. Be prepared to continue adding seasoning (and a lot of salt) to achieve the desired flavor. 

How To Substitute

If you are running short of bouillon broth in your recipe, here is an easy substitute you can prepare at home with water and chicken seasoning. Although it requires your attention to acquire the desired flavor, it is worth the effort.

8. Marmite 

Marmite 

The Brits love Marmite, and it turns out, it serves more purpose than being spread on toast. If your local grocery store has a British food section, then you can use Marmite as a substitute for bouillon cubes!

Marmite is probably one of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly substitutes for bouillon cubes, thanks to its incredibly flavorful and salty profile.

However, as the taste is so strong, you’ll need to only use a small amount at a time in replacement of a bouillon cube. You can then add more whenever necessary. 

How To Substitute

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Marmite, it is a thick, dark, spreadable paste that is used to flavor and preserves food. However, to make a Marmite-like spread that substitutes bouillon cubes, you need to use soy sauce, nutritional yeast, and maple syrup.

9. Stock Concentrate 

Stock Concentrate 

Stock concentrate is basically the reduced and stronger version of stock or broth, and it’s a great substitute for bouillon cubes. 

You can buy stock concentrate in various flavors, including ones that match bouillon cubes, making this a good pantry-staple for a variety of dishes.

Alternatively, if you have homemade stock or broth, you can reduce it to a small and intensely flavored amount, and then freeze it and use whenever necessary. 

The only problem with stock concentrate is that it is so powerful in taste. So, you’ll need to add a small amount at a time in replacement of a bouillon cube, and then add more if necessary. 

How To Substitute

Stock concentrate is the last option, and you can try substituting chicken bouillon. Consider homemade broth or stock to freeze, which helps it last longer, and use it whenever required.

10. Onion Soup Mix

Onion soup mix will do great if you are looking for an easy and versatile substitute for Bouillon cubes.

It’s a flavorful option and works exceptionally well in soups and stews. However, use them wisely since they are spicier and might ruin the taste of your recipe.

How To Substitute

If you want a flavorful option to swap out Bouillon cubes, you should consider adding an Onion soup mix. Generally, a 1:1 ratio is an excellent choice for swapping out but still use it wisely as it is spicier and you have to adjust the other ingredients of your recipe.

11. Bouillon Powder

Bouillon powder is the closest substitute to Bouillon cubes in many dishes.

It contains the same flavor, but the significant difference between them is it comes in a powder form, not in cubes. The Bouillon powder works extremely well in soups giving them a chicken flavor.

Apart from these, they are great to substitute Bouillon cubes since they would give your dish the exact taste and flavor, and you will not have to worry about the taste of your recipe.

How To Substitute

Bouillon cubes and powder are the perfect choices to interchange since you get the same flavor for your recipes. However, while using it, please choose the amount of the powder wisely, or we suggest you add a little to the exact taste of your recipe.

12. Tomato Paste

Use tomato paste if you’re looking for a vegetarian substitute for Bouillon cubes. You can add some additional flavor to your dish without using meat. 

It’s also very cheap and easy to find in most grocery stores.

You can try tomato paste if you’re looking for an excellent replacement for bouillon cubes. Depending on the recipe, you may be surprised at its effectiveness.

How To Substitute

If you’re cooking something without suitable bouillon cubes, you can use tomato paste. To do this, take a can of tomato paste and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Let the mixture simmer on low heat until the sauce thickens and the fat has been absorbed.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! While bouillon cubes are often considered a pantry staple in most kitchens, there are lots of ingredients that work as suitable substitutions for bouillon cubes.

Hopefully, this list has shown you a substitute that you can use with the ingredients you already have, so you don’t have to run to the grocery store. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Better Than Bouillon Made Of?

Better Than Bouillon is a chicken soup broth with real chicken, vegetables, herbs, and spices. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.

Is There A Healthy Bouillon?

There are many different types of Bouillon, but all of them are designed to be a healthy, low-calorie option with various flavors.

The most popular options are the broth, stock, or consommé, all liquid, but some broths and stocks are solid. You may use all of these options to add flavor to dishes.

Which Is Healthier, Chicken Broth Or Bouillon?

There are many factors to consider when determining healthier chicken broth or Bouillon, such as sodium content, fat content, flavor, and convenience. Bouillon is typically more convenient, with less low sodium fat, than chicken broth.

Therefore, it is essential for those looking for a quick and easy way to make a tasty broth.

12 Best Substitutes For Bouillon Cubes

5 from 3 votes
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

5

minutes

Bouillon cubes are a staple ingredient, providing the base for countless dishes. If you don’t have bouillon cubes, here are the best substitutes for bouillon cubes!

Ingredients

  • Chicken Broth

  • Chicken Stock

  • Dry White Wine

  • Bone Broth

  • Miso Paste

  • Bouillon Granules

  • Water And Seasoning

  • Marmite

  • Stock Concentrate

  • Onion Soup Mix

  • Bouillon Powder

  • Tomato Paste

Directions

  • 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