It seems like just about every recipe you come across calls for chicken broth. But what if you don’t have any on hand? As long as you have this list with the best substitute for chicken broth, you’re golden! From simple solutions like water and butter to more exciting substitutions like aquafaba, you’ll find just what you need to make your perfect meal happen without the chicken broth!
How often have you come across a recipe that calls for chicken broth only to open up the pantry and discover you’re totally out? Don’t worry, you don’t have to run to the store… as long as you have this list of substitutes for chicken broth, you’re golden!
From the everyday to the unique, there are plenty of staple ingredients you can use instead. You might be surprised how simple some of these solutions are! Or, if you want to get fancy with something like dashi or aquafaba, we’ve got those options too.
The next time you need to replace chicken broth in a pinch, try one of these easy solutions. You may find you like the flavor even better with your substitute!
Table of contents
- Best substitute for chicken broth
- Recipes using chicken broth
Best substitute for chicken broth
1. Chicken Stock
This is the easiest solution. Chicken broth and stock can be used pretty much interchangeably. Stock is a little thicker than broth, but it’s a great substitute and can still be used in a 1:1 ratio with chicken broth without any issues.
So what’s the difference between the two? While broth is made from boiling meat, stock is made from boiling chicken bones. Both have great flavor with only slight detectable differences.
2. Vegetable Stock
Have some open vegetable stock hanging around? Whether it’s the store-bought or homemade variety, either one will work! You can replace the chicken broth 1:1 with vegetable stock or vegetable broth, which makes things even easier.
It’s worth noting that store bought vegetable stock tends to have a pretty distinct flavor, which could affect the final dish. But hey, you may find you like this version even better!
3. Chicken Bouillon Cubes
This is an old school trick for adding flavor! Simply dissolve a bouillon cube in water, then replace the chicken broth 1:1 with the mixture. How easy is that?
Just remember that bouillon cubes are notorious for packing in the sodium. You will probably want to tone back the salt and maybe even the other seasonings so you don’t melt your tastebuds. As usual, the best solution is to under-salt — you can always add more later if you need it.
4. Chicken Bouillon Granules
Similar to bouillon cubes, bouillon powder can be dissolved in water to create broth. The advantage is that you can measure out the amount you want rather than needing to use an entire cube, so you have a little more control over the flavor.
You’ll dissolve 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules per 1 cup of hot water. After that, you can use the mixture in a 1:1 ratio with chicken broth. A good substitute and easy peasy!
5. Chicken Base
This highly-concentrated version of chicken broth can be found at most grocery stores. It comes in a jar, and it should have instructions on how much to combine with water to create the amount of liquid you need. It’s similar to chicken bouillon cubes or granules, just stored a slightly different way.
6. Beef Broth
Just like chicken broth, beef broth is made by boiling beef. By nature, the rich flavor is going to be a bit stronger than chicken, the same way a steak has a more distinct flavor than a chicken breast.
If you like the flavor, you can use beef broth in a 1:1 replacement with chicken broth. If you don’t want the flavor to be as strong, just replace some of the beef broth with water.
Yes, you read that right. In an absolute pinch, plain water is completely fine to use in place of chicken broth! And to make matters even easier, you can use it in a 1:1 ratio with chicken broth, so one cup of water in place of one cup of chicken broth. No conversions, no fuss, just wonderful simplicity.
Of course, water is going to have less flavor than broth of any kind. After all, it’s just water. With this in mind, you may want to add more seasonings or spices to your final dish to replace what the chicken broth would have added.
8. White Wine
Looking for an excuse to open a bottle? I needed it for this recipe always works for me!
No, white wine doesn’t exactly taste like chicken broth. But it could be a great way to discover an entirely new flavor profile for your recipe! Dry wine works best, and I wouldn’t recommend adding more than half a cup of white wine. If the recipe calls for more liquid than that, just replace the rest with water.
9. Coconut Milk
I would suggest using this one only if coconut fits with the overall flavor profile of the dish. Indian or African cuisine are great examples since they often incorporate coconut in other ways as well.
It’s important to remember that aside from having its own flavor, coconut also has some natural sweetness. If sweetness would be totally weird in your dish, you’re better off using one of the other substitutes.
Have you ever cooked with Dashi before? If so, then you probably know it as an Asian ingredient that’s packed with umami flavor!
It can be found in dry or liquid form and should be mixed with water until you reach the amount of liquid you need to replace. However, I recommend starting small so you don’t accidentally overpower the other flavors of your dish.
This is simply a fancy way of saying “the leftover liquid from beans or chickpeas.” The next time you’re opening a can of chickpeas, set the chickpea liquid aside instead of discarding it, and you’ll have aquafaba ready to use!
I would recommend using half aquafaba and half water to replace the chicken stock your recipe calls for. Just combine the two until you reach the amount of liquid you need.
12. Ramen seasoning with water
Have an extra Cup O’ Noodles lying around? Grab the seasoning packet to combine with hot water, save the noodles for a later recipe, and you’ll have a chicken broth substitute ready to go!
Keep in mind that the seasoning is meant for an entire cup of ramen. If your recipe doesn’t call for quite that much liquid, you may want to add the seasoning gradually until you reach your desired level of flavor.
13. Salted Butter and Water
Yep. That’s right. Believe it or not, this super simple combination of water and melted butter will do in a pinch!
It has a little more flavor than water (because anything has a little more flavor than water), which makes it a nice alternative. Try adding a tablespoon of melted butter with a cup of water. I’d still recommend taste testing the final dish to see if you need to add more salt or other seasonings.
14. Homemade Chicken Broth
Make your own broth with the homemade broth recipe below. I like to make extra for chicken noodle soup. Use chicken meat with the bone, bay leaves, and other dried or fresh herbs, water, celery, and onion. Boil everything together for 3 hours and then strain to get the broth.
Recipes using chicken broth
Homemade Chicken Broth
- 2 quarts water
- 2 pounds chicken legs or any chicken meat with bones
- 2 carrots cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks cut into chunks
- 2 onions cut into chunks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teasppon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 10 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- Place all of the ingredients in large stock pot or dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to bring to a simmer.
- Cook for 3 hours. Discard meat and bones. Strain the broth. Once cooled, place in a jar or airtight container and store in the refrigerator.