Must have ingredients in every kitchen for making delicious soups, sauces gravies, stews, casseroles, rice, and many other savory dishes. That’s broth or bouillon.
There’s a wide array of broths including beef, chicken, fish, seafood, and vegetable broth for vegetarians and vegans. This liquid is made of water, meat, herbs, and veggies simmered together into a delicious mixture of flavors.
You can use both, broth and stock but it depends on the recipe which one. Stock is best to use in recipes to add texture and flavor, and broth is more just for adding flavor.
However, if you don’t have beef broth on hand, you can use beef stock, chicken broth, vegetable broth, mushroom broth, and bouillon cubes. Or some of the other substitutes in this article.
Beef Broth Substitutes
There are some good substitutes for beef broth you can use and save your meal. Some of them can change the color and flavor of your dishes, but they will be tasty anyway.
1. Beef stock
Beef stock is a good substitute for beef broth. They both have the same flavor since the broth is with meat and the stock is made with bones.
The beef stock has a thicker texture and is not as salty as the beef broth. You can use it in soups, sauces, stews, and any other recipes as a substitute for beef broth.
2. Chicken broth
Chicken broth is usually used in making soups, stews, and sauces. It is made from chicken meat simmered with vegetables and herbs.
Chicken broth is with a different flavor than beef broth, but it will give beautiful texture and light flavor to your dish. You can substitute beef broth with chicken in a 1:1 ratio.
3. Vegetable broth
Vegetable broth is not made with meat. It is made only with vegetables like onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms.
It also has seasonings like black pepper, salt, bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme. You can use it to make soups, risotto, gravy, stews, stir-frys, etc. Make 1:1 substitution with vegetable broth.
4. Mushroom broth
Mushroom broth can also be a good substitute for beef broth. It is made of mushrooms, water, garlic, celery, onion, black pepper, bay leaves, and salt. They are all boiled into the savory and tasty broth with a deep nutty umami flavor.
You can use mushroom broth in soups, casseroles, stews, sauces and risotto, and any other dish. Use 1 cup of mushroom broth to substitute 1 cup of beef broth.
5. Bouillon cubes
Bouillon cubes made from dehydrated broth or stock are another good substitute for beef broth. Dry ingredients like seasonings, salt, meat stock, veggies, fat, and additives are combined to make a paste and then, it is shaped into cubes.
There are few types of cubes made with fish, beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Before you use the cubes in a recipe mix them in a cup of warm water and add the mixture to the dish you are preparing.
Bouillon cubes are perfect for soups, stews, sauces, stocks, stir-fries, and other dishes. The flavor is not the same as when you are using beef broth but it is similar.
6. Bouillon granules
Bouillon granules are made with grounded dehydrated broth or stock, into granules. They have the same flavor as bouillon cubes and you can use them in many dishes as a substitute for beef broth.
Before you use the granules, you will have to dissolve them. 1 teaspoon granules in 1 cup of warm water as a substitute for 1 cup of beef broth. Bouillon granules work perfectly in the same dishes as bouillon cubes.
7. Soy sauce
If you don’t have beef broth but have soy sauce you can use it in your dish as a substitute. Mix 1 tablespoon of soy sauce with 1 cup of water and use it in meals. You can add bay leaves, garlic, and parsley, or some other spices you like for a better flavor.
Soy sauce has salty, umami, and a bit bitter flavor. When added to meals, soy sauce delivers beautiful color and flavor similar to beef broth. For 1 cup of beef broth use 1 cup of soy sauce dissolved in water.
8. Court bouillon
Court bouillon is a flavored liquid mostly used for poaching vegetables, fish, eggs, meat, and seafood. It is made with short boiling ingredients like water, white wine, salt, black pepper, celery, carrot, onion, and herbs.
Add vinegar, wine, or lemon juice to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients faster since the time of preparation is shorter than when broth or stock are prepared.
That is why it is also called” short broth”. It has a light herbal flavor. Therefore, you can use it as a substitute for beef broth in your dishes. Use it in a 1:1 ratio.
9. Wine or beer
If you have a bottle of wine or a can of beer you can also use them as a substitute for beef broth. You can dissolve 1 cup of wine or beer in 1 cup of water and add it to your dish.
Add bay leaves, black pepper, and let it cook for a while until the alcohol evaporates for a better flavor. You can use wine and beer in stews, sauces, casseroles, gravy, stir-fries, and other dishes. Substitute 1 cup of dissolved wine or beer for 1 cup of beef broth.
10. Homemade broth
You can always make a homemade substitute for beef broth with just a few ingredients. You will need 8 cups of water, 2 stalks of celery, 1 onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot, 1 potato, 3 bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
Chop the celery, onion, carrot, and potato. Put them in the pot. Add the water, garlic, bay leaves, and salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and decrease the heat. Cover the pot and let it simmer for an hour. Strain the liquid, and your broth is ready to use.
Interesting Information About Broth
People confuse broth with stock. Stock is also a liquid made of simmering water, bones, veggies, and herbs mixed together. The broth has bones so it’s enriched with gelatin. The gelatin turns to jelly when it’s cold. Therefore, the stock it applied dishes to give them extra texture.
There is also another product made from dehydrated broth-bouillon cubes, which can be found in liquid, powdered, and granular form. They are used to deliver taste to stews, curries, gravies, stir-fries, soups, and casseroles.
Bouillon cubes have high salt content and flavor enhancers added. Therefore, if you opt for the cubes, dissolve them with water before use (1 cube in 1 cup of warm water for 1 cup of broth).
Can I use chicken broth in place of beef broth?
You can use chicken broth in place of beef broth, but you will get a slightly different flavor.
Can I use water instead of broth?
You can use water instead of broth, and for better flavor, you can add some herbs and spices.
Can I use water instead of beef broth for beef stew?
You can use water instead of beef broth for beef stew, but you will lack the flavor of the beef broth in your stew. As a substitute, you can add beef bouillon cubes for better flavor.
Can I use beer instead of beef broth?
You can use beer instead of beef broth in stews, sauces, or gravies. It will add a different flavor to your dish.
If you don’t have beef broth at home you can use some of the substitutes in this article. Your dish will get a different flavor and texture. However, maybe you will like it.
Tell us what you think of these substitutes for beef broth in your comments. We are excited to hear some of your suggestions too.