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12 Tasty Vegetable Broth Substitutes You Can Use For Any Dish

Vegetable broth is an essential staple ingredient that brings a rich flavor and taste to many dishes. From soups to sauces and even pasta, this flavorful liquid is an ingredient you’ll find listed as a requirement for many dishes.

However, you may not always have it ready on hand, which is why a good substitute is essential for moments like that. In this post, you’ll find the best vegetable broth substitutes.

What Is Vegetable Broth?

Vegetable broth is a flavorful liquid usually made from a base of carrots, leeks, celery, onions, garlic, herbs, and spices.

It has a light, sweet, and savory flavor with a rich layer of umami and is often used to enhance the flavor of many dishes. 

It is a staple choice for many vegetarians and vegans who cannot use regular meat-based broth.

Vegetable stock is used as the base ingredient of many soups, stews, and sauces, but it also forms a key component of many rice and meat dishes.

It also brings a lot of nutrients to the diet as it is rich in vitamins and essential minerals.

As great as vegetable broth is, you may not always have it when you need it, which is why we’ve helped you find the best substitutes. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Nutritional Value Table

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Homemade Vegetable Broth70
Dashi438
Chicken Stock38
Bouillon Powder438
Beef Broth3
Mushroom Broth2.2
Soy Sauce53
Coconut Aminos200
White Wine82
Seasoning211
Water0
Tomato18

1. Homemade Vegetable Broth

When you don’t have vegetable broth, homemade broth is the next best thing you can use.

It is not only easy and affordable to make but also imparts the same savory umami flavor you would get from using the store-bought version.

Using homemade broth will also allow you to control how much salt is in the dish, as most store-bought vegetable broths are very salty. 

All you need is a base mixture of celery, carrot, onions, garlic, and fresh herbs that are then cooked with water and salt for about an hour. 

Keep in mind, though, that this may not be an ideal last-minute option since it requires you to make the delicious broth from scratch.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with homemade broth.

2. Dashi 

Dashi is a stock commonly used in Japanese cooking. It is typically made from dried seaweed and bonito fish flakes. 

This flavorful stock forms the base of many Japanese soups and noodle dishes, but it can be added to just about anything.

It has a rich, savory, and umami flavor similar to vegetable broth, making it a great substitute.

However, not all dashi is suitable for those on a vegetarian diet since they contain fish flakes. You will need to choose dashi which is made from dried kelp if you want something vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable stock with dashi.

Although you can find it sold in many stores, dashi is actually very easy to make. If you’d like to save the cost of having to buy it, here is a video to show you how to make it at home.

3. Chicken Stock

Unless you’re on a vegetarian diet, chicken stock is an ideal substitute for vegetable broth. The two have very similar flavor profiles and are often used for the same dishes. 

Where vegetable broth is made from a base of vegetable chicken stock is made from bones simmered with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings. It imparts a similar savory flavor into soups and sauces. 

However, using chicken stock will give your dish a slightly richer and meaty flavor. You can add chicken stock, anything from soups to sauces.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with chicken stock.

4. Bouillon Powder 

Bouillon powder is another great option for mimicking the flavor of vegetable broth. It is made from dehydrated stock combined with other seasonings and is typically used to make instant stock or add a savory flavor to dishes. 

Bouillon often comes in many varieties ranging from chicken flavored to beef and vegetable, so you can choose whichever one you prefer.

It adds a rich umami flavor similar to vegetable broth, but since it comes in a powdery texture, you can really only add it to hot cooked dishes where it can dissolve properly. 

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with bouillon. You may need to reduce the quantity of salt added to the dish because most bouillon powders are saltier than vegetable stock.

5. Beef Broth

Beef broth is another great substitute for vegetable broth. Like chicken broth, it is made from a base of beef bones, vegetables, and other seasonings.

Impart a rich, savory taste to food and can be added to any dish that calls for vegetable broth. 

However, beef broth has a richer and more prominent meaty taste. So, it is best suited to hearty stews and sauces where the savory umami taste takes center stage.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with beef broth.

You can typically buy beef broth in most grocery stores, but if you’re looking to save some money, you can make it at home. Here is a video to show you how.

6. Mushrooms Broth

Mushrooms are known for their meaty taste and rich umami flavor, which is why they are an ideal ingredient for enhancing the flavor of any dish.

In addition, once cooked with water and other herbs, the resulting mushroom broth is a perfect substitute for vegetable broth.  

Mushroom broth has a robust, savory flavor that mimics the taste of vegetable broth really well, and you can use it to flavor sauces, soups, and a wide range of other dishes.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with mushroom broth.

7. Soy Sauce

If you’re making a dish where vegetable broth is being added primarily for the umami flavor it brings, soy sauce is an ideal substitute to use.

It has a salty umami taste with a subtle sweetness that works well in any dish that calls for vegetable broth. 

However, soy sauce has a very concentrated color and flavor. So, you’ll need to dilute it with some water first to ensure an even spread of flavor and avoid changing the color of your dish.

How To Substitute

Combine one tablespoon of soy sauce and half a cup of water, then use a 1:1 of that mixture when substituting. You’ll also need to reduce the quantity of salt you use because soy sauce is already quite salty on its own.

8. Coconut Aminos

For those on a gluten-free diet, soy sauce might not be a good option since most brands contain gluten. 

However, coconut aminos is a great gluten-free alternative made from the sap of coconut palm trees.

It is very similar to soy sauce and has essentially the same flavor profile with savory umami and more sweetness. 

Coconut aminos is a great substitute to use in place of vegetable broth as it adds a similar savory taste. 

Just like soy sauce, you’ll also need to dilute coconut aminos in some water to keep it from overwhelming your dish.

However, you won’t need to reduce the salt in your food because it is not as salty as soy sauce.

How To Substitute

Add one tablespoon of coconut aminos to a cup of water and use a 1:1 ratio of the mixture when substituting.

9. White Wine

If your goal is to use vegetable broth as a flavor enhancer, then there’s no better substitute for it than white wine. It brings a rich acidity and helps the other flavors in a dish to really shine.

Unlike other colored wines, white wine has a clear color, so it won’t alter the appearance of your dish. You can add it to soups, sauces, or meat dishes.

How To Substitute

Use 1/14 of a cup of white wine for each cup of vegetable broth required.

10. Seasonings

If the main reason vegetable broth is being added to your dish is to enhance the flavor, then you can easily replace it with some seasonings.

Adding a good mix of herbs and spices will impart a rich flavor to your dish the same way vegetable broth would. 

You can add things like onion powder, bay leaves, turmeric,  garlic, or even MSG to amp up the flavor of the dish. You can use seasoning with soups, sauces, and a wide range of different dishes.

How To Substitute

The amount of seasoning you’ll need will depend on which ones you’re using. However, a good rule of thumb is to start with half a teaspoon of seasoning and then, after tasting, add more as needed.

11. Water

When you’re in a bind and don’t have any of the other options available, water is a great last-minute substitute you can try.

It doesn’t add any flavor of its own since it is neutral, but it will balance out the overall texture and consistency in dishes where the vegetable broth is added to make a liquid consistency.  

Water is best paired with dishes like curries or meaty soups that already have a lot of strong base flavors since it doesn’t bring any flavor of its own.

You can also add some seasoning and herbs to enhance the taste and compensate for the lack of added flavor. For instance, you can add water and then include a little bit of bouillon powder.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 ratio when replacing vegetable broth with water.

12. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are considered as an excellent substitute for vegetable broth. it is especially considered in vegetarian and vegan dishes.

As often included in all recipes substituting broth, tomatoes gives a perfect and balanced taste to the dish.

There are a few ways to substitute vegetable broth with tomatoes. You can use tomato sauce or paste in place of the vegetable broth.

Another way is to simply add a few tablespoons of tomato juice to the recipe. The next option is to use a combination of the two.

How To Substitute

To substitute vegetable broth for tomatoes, mix tomatoes half and half with water and then mix that mixture with vegetable broth on a 1-to-1 basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Vegetable Broth? 

If you don’t have vegetable broth, you can use things like bouillon powder, soy sauce, or mushroom broth to impart the same flavor.

However, you can also use chicken or beef broth if you are comfortable consuming meat products.

Can You Replace Vegetable Broth With Chicken Broth? 

You can replace vegetable broth with chicken broth since the two have very similar flavor profiles and are often used for the same purposes when cooking.

Is Bouillon The Same As Vegetable Broth?

Bouillon is nearly the same thing as vegetable broth.

It is essentially vegetable broth in a different form since it is made from vegetable broth that has been seasoned and dehydrated to form a powder texture.

So the only difference between the two is the texture.

Is Vegetable Broth Healthy? 

Vegetable broth is very healthy and nourishing. It is packed full of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, E, and K.

It is also low in calories and contains phytochemicals and antioxidants, which are great for the overall health of the body.

What Is Vegetable Broth Made Of? 

Vegetable broth is usually made from a base that consists of carrots, celery, onions, garlic,  leeks, and fresh herbs. However, many varieties can include other vegetables and flavorings.

What Flavor Does Vegetable Broth Add To Food? 

Vegetable broth is used to add a savory umami taste to food. 

Does Vegetable Broth Have Bones In It?

Vegetable broth is made from a base of vegetables like carrots and herbs, so it does not contain any bones or meat products.

How Long Is Vegetable Broth Good For?

 Once opened, a cartoon of vegetable broth will typically last about 3-5 days in the fridge before it starts to go bad. However, you can store it in the freezer to extend that time. Frozen vegetable stock can last for up to two months.

12 Tasty Vegetable Broth Substitutes You Can Use For Any Dish

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time

20

minutes
Cooking Time

40

minutes
Total Time

1

hour 

Not sure what vegetable broth to use in your recipe? We’ve got you covered. From store-bought to easy homemade substitutes, we have the perfect one for you.

Ingredients

  • Homemade Vegetable Broth

  • Dashi

  • Chicken Stock

  • Bouillon Powder

  • Beef Broth

  • Mushrooms

  • Soy Sauce

  • Coconut Amino

  • White Wine

  • Seasonings

  • Water

  • Tomatoes

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