Chicken Broth is extracted from long periods of boiling a whole chicken and other vegetables and spices. The juices from the mixture are then collected and stored for cooking purposes. Chicken Broth is perfect for making soup dishes, sauces, and stews. It adds that meaty savory flavor to every dish.
But did you know that you can substitute vegetable-based broths to your regular chicken broth? Yes, you heard that right. You can get vegetable-based broth from the grocery store to substitute chicken broth like Swanson’s Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth.
We’ll discuss how these vegetable-based broths can substitute chicken broth for cooking.
Best Substitutes For Chicken Broth
1. Swanson’s Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
According to the label, this vegetable broth is a mixture of the following ingredients: water, dehydrated carrots, concentrated juices of carrots, celery, tomatoes, celeriac, onion, cabbage, salt, yeast extract, and potato flour. Multiple combinations of vegetables are added in this broth to achieve that salt and savory broth flavor.
The broth is clear in appearance with no traces of any vegetable chunks or residues. It’s perfect to use for clear soup dishes such as noodle soups and vegetable consomme.
Kids will definitely like this broth since it doesn’t have any vegetable aroma. It smells like a typical chicken broth. Perfect for tricking your kids into eating vegetables without even knowing it.
To replace 1 cup of chicken broth for a dish, use 1 cup of this vegetable broth as well. It will have the same flavor and consistency when substituted for dishes such as soups, sauces or stews.
2. Kitchen Basics’ Unsalted Vegetable Stock
The ingredients of this vegetable stock are water, carrot, celery, mushroom, onion, red bell pepper, tomato, bay leaf, thyme, and black pepper. This broth has added other types of vegetables and aromatic spices to increase the flavor and body of the broth.
Unlike the previous broth, this one resembles the color and texture of a beef bone broth. It’s clear and thin, but quite light brown in color. The smell as well is quite beefy-like. The flavors are quite interesting as you can taste the sweetness of the carrots and onions.
A cup of this vegetable stock can replace a cup of regular chicken broth. Fort the broth’s characteristics, it’s perfect to use for beef dishes without adding any beef. Especially when you’re trying to eliminate meat on your diet, this broth will add a meaty taste to no-beef stews.
3. Imagine’s Organic Low -Sodium Vegetable Broth
This vegetable broth is a mixture of water, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, carrots, celery, garlic, onion, tomato paste, salt, and spices. The broth has added a combination of different healthy oils compared to other broths mentioned above.
The oils added resembles the natural oils found in chicken broth. The stock’s appearance is quite cloudy and yellowish in color. Perfectly resembles the chicken broth.
It has a sweet-smelling aroma with no hint of veggie smell. The flavor of the broth is sweet and thin in the body. The celery taste is also noticeable.
Since the broth is not too strong in taste, use 1 ½ cup of this vegetable broth to replace 1 cup of chicken broth. Adding a little salt can enhance the taste if you like your soup a little salty. Since it’s low-sodium, the broth is perfect for making soups when someone is sick at home. I bet this will help them recover in no time.
4. More Than Gourmet’s Vegetable Stock
This vegetable stock has an interesting ingredient, it has alcohol. White wine is mixed into the broth together with other ingredients such as water, lemon juice concentrate, carrageenan (seaweed), carrot, celery, onion, onion powder, roasted garlic powder, tomato paste, and spices.
The broth has a clear appearance and a golden yellow color. The aroma is more on the sweet side you wouldn’t think there’s a vegetable in it. The flavor however has a hint of bitterness may be coming from roasted garlic. You can also taste the wine from the broth.
I’ve tried using this for meat stews. It works well with beef and lamb since the stock helps eliminate the pungent smell from the meat. 1 cup of this vegetable stock can replace 1 cup of chicken broth.
5. Trader Joe’s Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth
By far the most affordable brand from this list. The broth’s ingredients are water, olive oil, carrots, carrot juice concentrate, celery, garlic, leeks, onions, onion juice concentrate, tomato paste, bay leaf, black pepper, parsley, and thyme. The broth maximized the use of carrots and onions to enhance its flavor.
The appearance of the broth quite resembles a thin pumpkin soup. It’s because the broth has an orange color and a thicker body.
The broth has a strong smell of carrots, onions, and a hint of tomatoes. You can taste the sweet flavors of carrots and tomatoes. It’s not as clear compared to others but it’s very savory.
This broth is perfect for making thicker sauces or soups. If you like to add a hint of carrots and tomatoes to your regular pumpkin soup, this broth would be perfect. A cup of this vegetable broth can replace 2 cups of chicken broth.
Which Is The Best Substitute? (My Personal Pick)
For quality, smell, and taste, I’ll definitely go for Imagine’s Organic Low-Sodium Vegetable Broth. Out of all the brands mentioned above, this broth is perfectly clean and balanced.
It’s easy to play it with other ingredients and spices. It’s also a healthier choice since it contains less sodium. The vegetable aroma and taste is not noticeable at all, perfect for picky eaters.
Is Vegetable Broth Healthier than Chicken Broth?
Yes, it is. The more vegetables mixed in the broth, the more nutritional value it offers. Our body needs these essential vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and combat any possible diseases.
The vegetable broth has lesser calorie content, fat, and sodium compared to chicken broth. If you’re trying to take care of your kidneys, then this is the best option.
Can You Use Pure Water Instead of Chicken or Vegetable Broth?
If time constraints are involved, yes you sure can. However, don’t expect that the flavor and texture will be the same as using chicken or vegetable broth. Although it will not add value flavor-wise, I believe it’s the healthiest option compared to flavored stocks.
You can control how much fat or sodium you can put in your dish. The taste can always be improved by adding spices and other seasonings.
Can Vegans Use Vegetable Broths?
Yes, they sure can. Just make sure to check the label for the ingredients added in the broth. If it contains any animal products like dairy or meat chunks then, it’s totally not vegan-friendly. The vegetable broths listed above are all certified vegan-friendly perfect for making vegan dishes.
Just to be on the safe side, I highly recommend making your own vegetable broth at home. It’s simple and easy to make without any hassle to pick which one to buy from the grocery store.
Here’s a quick recipe that you can follow.
“Healthy Homemade Vegetable Broth”
- 7 cups of water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole chopped onion
- 1 unpeeled garlic head, sliced in half
- 1 cup chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 2-inch sized chopped ginger
- 2-inch sized chopped turmeric
- ½ cup mushrooms (any type)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 pcs of bay leaves
- 3 pcs dried chilies
- 6 stems of thyme
- In a large pot, saute your onions in olive oil over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the carrots and leeks and saute for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Pour in the water, stir well and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the rest of the ingredients in the mixture: ginger, turmeric, garlic, mushrooms, bay leaves, thyme, chilies, and peppercorns. Stir well and cover the pot.
- Reduce the broth to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours. Important Tip: Refrain from opening the lid while it’s cooking to keep all the aromas and flavors in the stock.
- After 2 hours, turn off the fire and strain all the vegetables. Set aside the vegetables for other uses. (Do not discard the vegetables and waste food)
- Once the broth is clear, add seasonings such as salt, pepper, lemon, or oil. Adjust taste based on your preference or you can leave it unseasoned for future use.
- Store leftover broth in an airtight container or covered glass jar in the fridge for 4-5 days. If you made a big batch, store some for future use in the freezer for up to 6 months.