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15 Best Beef Broth Substitutes That You Can Try

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Today let us talk about the best beef broth substitutes. Most of us agree that there is nothing better on a cold evening than a bowl of warm broth. It is the best remedy for a blocked nose too. Moreover, it is an extremely versatile ingredient to cook with. 

Beef Broth

However, beef is a kind of meat not preferred by many. So in case, you don’t eat beef, but your recipe calls for beef broth, there is no need to worry! You can easily use a substitute that is not beef-based. This article will help you find the best beef broth substitutes. 

So what are the best beef broth substitutes? Some of the best beef broth substitutes are chicken broth, vegetable broth, mushroom broth, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, liquid aminos, miso paste, and fish stock. 

Although, before we start discussing the substitutes, let me introduce you to beef broth a little more. This will help you understand how to use the substitutes better. So, let us discover beef broth!

Quick Peek: Beef Broth

This section has all the information you need on beef broth. You will get to know what it is, its flavor, texture profile, uses, and nutritional information. 

What Is Beef Broth?

Beef broth, also known as beef bouillon in French, is a liquid made with beef bones, meat, vegetables, and an acidic ingredient such as lime or vinegar and water and is simmered for a short amount of time. 

This creates a thin and flavorful liquid that can be eaten as it is or used as a base for various recipes. The broth is made with various types of meats other than beef and also with different types of vegetables. 

A lot of people often confuse broth with stock. However, there are certain remarkable differences between the two. Stock is generally made with animal bones instead of broth, usually made with meat. 

As the stock is made with bones, it contains a lot of gelatine as compared to the broth. This results in a liquid with a thicker consistency compared to the broth. Moreover, the stock is cooked for a longer time than broth and hence tends to have a stronger flavor. 

Describing Beef Broth: Flavor And Texture

The beef broth has a dark brown color with a slightly thick yet liquid consistency. However, beef broth’s consistency is quite runny compared to beef stock. This is because beef stock has a lot of bones used in it, resulting in gelatine release, which makes the liquid thicker. 

When we talk about the flavor, undoubtedly, beef broth has a prominent beef flavor. However, beef broth usually contains various other aromatics added to it, such as various types of vegetables, an acidic medium, and sometimes along with some aromatic spices. 

These added ingredients do add to the flavor of beef broth. However, one must be careful not to add too much as that might overpower the flavor of beef. The liquid is extremely flavorful but a little less flavorful than stock as stock is simmered for a longer time. 

Uses Of Beef Broth

Beef broth is an extremely important staple in quite a lot of kitchens. It can be eaten as it is or can be used as a base in various recipes. Sipping broth as it is has been linked to helping with headaches and the common cold. 

Moreover, it makes a great base for quite a lot of recipes from all over the world. You can add it to soups and stews in place of water to add a more distinct flavor to them. Moreover, the beef stock also makes a great addition to various sauces. 

Sauces can be thinned down with the help of beef broth in place of water to add more flavor. Moreover, it is often added to risottos, dumplings, casseroles, and stuffings. Basically, you can use beef broth in place of water in almost any recipe to add more flavor. 

Beef Broth On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

As it mainly contains beef and various other low-calorie ingredients, beef broth is extremely nutritious and has a lot of health benefits. It has low in calories and contains many proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. 

Moreover, it is rich in various vital nutrients such as calcium, iron, and potassium. It has certain health benefits, such as helping with weight management, improved sleep, and keeping you hydrated. Moreover, it is also good for digestion and gut health. 

Why Use A Substitute For Beef Broth?

I am sure this question must have come to your mind at least once. While there are many reasons to use beef broth, considering how nutritious it is and its various health benefits, there are a few reasons why you can consider using a substitute. 

Firstly, if you don’t eat beef, a substitute will definitely come in handy. Many people do not eat beef as they are trying to avoid red meat or due to religious reasons. In that case, you can use an equally flavorful substitute, made with a different kind of meat or vegetables. 

Moreover, even if you eat beef, the strong beef flavor in a broth might not be to everyone’s liking. In this case, too, a substitute with a subtle flavor profile as compared to beef broth will definitely come in handy. 

Lastly, in case you seem to be out of beef broth, why run to the store? Many of the substitute options given might already be present in your pantry. Using these options will definitely save you a lot of time and energy!

I think I have given you enough information on beef broth. Now, let me quickly guide you with the best beef broth substitutes. The next section covers them all!

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

15 Best Beef Broth Substitutes

This section has a list of all the best beef broth substitutes. Moreover, you will also get to understand how to use each substitute in place of beef broth. So, let’s get started!

1. Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is essentially the same thing as beef broth, just made with chicken rather than beef. It has a slightly milder flavor than beef broth and can be used as a beef broth substitute in various recipes. 

Chicken broth is very easy to make and is also readily available in the market. Moreover, chicken is much cheaper than beef. Hence, that also comes in handy when you are looking for a more budget-friendly option. 

Chicken broth, however, has a much milder flavor as compared to beef broth. This is because the flavor of poultry, in general, is milder than beef. However, it can still give great flavor to various recipes. 

Chicken broth can be used in any recipe to substitute beef broth. Moreover, it can also be consumed as it is. You can use it as a substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. Check out the recipe for hot dog soup with chicken broth.

2. Vegetable Broth

Vegetable broth is a great option as a substitute for beef broth for vegetarians and vegans. It carries a concentrated and aromatic flavor of vegetables which works as a great beef broth substitute. 

Vegetable broth is, in fact, extremely versatile. The main vegetables used in vegetable broth are onions, carrots, and celery which are further cooked. They are also known as ‘mirepoix.’ 

However, a great thing about vegetable broth is adding other veggies. The variety of vegetables does not have to be limited to these three. The addition of various other vegetables will definitely amp up the broth’s flavor. 

Vegetable broth, similar to beef broth, can be consumed as it is. However, it does make a great addition, particularly to sauces and soups. You can easily use it as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. You can make some healthy barley vegetable soup.

3. Beef Stock

Beef stock and beef broth might seem quite similar to many people. However, they are two different things. In various recipes, this clear, thicker liquid can work as a beef broth substitute. 

Beef stock is generally made with leftover beef bones instead of the beef broth, which is made with pieces of meat. It is thicker consistency as compared to beef broth since the bones release a lot of genuine. 

Moreover, it has a neutral flavor as compared to beef broth because it does not have various added herbs. However, in recipes where you don’t want a very dominating flavor of beef, beef stock can work extremely well as a beef broth substitute. 

If you want the flavor to be sharper, you can reduce the beef stock a little bit and add some herbs and a little wine. That will definitely give it a stronger flavor. You can use this as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio when making braised beef recipe. 

4. Bouillon Cubes 

Bouillon cubes are a concentrated version of broth. They are available in small cubes in the market and can easily be used as a substitute for beef broth in any recipe. 

The best part about bouillon cubes is that they are available in various flavors, such as beef, chicken, and vegetable. So, depending on what meat or flavor you like best, you can pick bouillon cubes of your choice. 

Generally, beef bouillon cubes work best as a substitute for beef broth. However, chicken and vegetable bouillon cubes can also work equally well if you don’t like beef. These cubes need to be dissolved in boiling water to give them a broth-like texture. 

A single cube dissolved in a cup of boiling water gives the equivalent of one cup of broth. However, the amount of sodium in these cubes is too much, so you will have to adjust the quantity of salt in your recipe accordingly. 

5. Mushroom Broth

Mushroom broth is another great vegetarian and vegan-friendly alternative to beef broth. It has a great flavor of mushrooms and can be used as a beef broth substitute in various recipes. 

Unlike vegetable broth, mushroom broth has a predominant flavor just of mushrooms. Mushrooms have long been used as a meat replacement in various recipes. Hence, mushroom broth is a sure shot at working as a beef broth substitute. 

Moreover, it is extremely easy to make and is also very easily available in the market. Mushroom broth will add an extra umami flavor to your food when used as a beef broth substitute. 

Moreover, the flavor can be intensified with various added herbs and spices, similar to any other broth. This can be used as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

6. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce imparts a rich umami flavor to various recipes and is quite similar to beef broth. Hence, it makes a great beef broth substitute. 

Soy sauce is made with soybeans, and hence, it again makes a great vegan or vegetarian substitute for beef broth. It will work well as an addition to soups, stir-fried dishes, and any other recipe of your choice. It is a vital ingredient when making spicy grilled chicken wings.

However, an important thing to remember with soy sauce is that it packs a lot of flavor in a very concentrated amount. So, while using it as a substitute for beef broth, combine a tablespoon of soy sauce with a cup of water. 

This mixture will give you the equivalent of a cup of beef broth. Moreover, you can add various herbs and spices to this mixture to boost the flavor. Use this soy sauce mixture in a 1:1 ratio as a beef broth substitute. 

7. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is another condiment with a strong umami flavor. It is flavorful and can work as a great beef broth substitute in various recipes. 

Worcestershire sauce does contain anchovies, though, a type of fish. Hence, it is not a vegetarian or vegan-friendly option, per se. However, the umami flavor of Worcestershire sauce is, in fact, richer than that of soy sauce. 

That itself adds a lot of flavor to food. Moreover, similar to soy sauce, the flavor can be excited even more with the addition of various herbs and spices to the mix. Worcestershire sauce can be used the same way as soy sauce. 

Add a teaspoon to a cup of water and use this mixture in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for beef broth. In case you don’t want too much liquid in your recipe, you can use a teaspoon of Worcestershire as it is instead of mixing it with water. 

8. Liquid Aminos

Liquid aminos is a preservative-free alternative used for soy sauce. It has a strong umami flavor and hence can be used as a beef broth substitute in various recipes. 

Liquid aminos will provide a savory and umami flavor to your food, quite similar to beef broth. However, the flavor of liquid aminos is a tad bit sweeter than that of soy sauce. This flavor difference, however, generally does not come in the way. 

Moreover, liquid aminos is a great vegan or vegetarian and a gluten-free option as a substitute for beef broth. It works well in soups, stir-fries, and stews. 

To use it as a substitute for beef broth, mix a teaspoon of liquid aminos with a cup of water. Use this mixture as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

9. Miso Paste

Miso paste is made with fermented soybeans and carries a rich umami flavor, similar to some of the condiments mentioned in this list. It can work as a great substitute for beef broth. 

Miso paste is another great vegetarian alternative to beef broth. It is a thick paste made by fermenting soybeans which are further mixed with salt and a mold named koji. That gives it a rich, savory, and umami flavor. 

Miso paste is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It works well in soups, stews, and also in marinades. There are various miso pastes available in the market. However, red miso paste works best as a beef broth substitute. 

This is because it is fermented the longest and has a very strong umami flavor compared to other varieties of the same. You can use a tablespoon as it is or mix it with water to use it as a beef broth substitute. Follow a 1:1 ratio for substitution. 

10. Bouillon Granules

Bouillon granules are basically the same as bouillon cubes, just in a powdered form. They have a very similar flavor to beef broth and hence can be used to substitute for the same. 

Bouillon granules are again available in various versions such as beef, chicken, and vegetable. However, while using it as a beef broth substitute, try sticking to beef bouillon granules. 

Moreover, bouillon granules are also very easily available in the market, similar to bouillon cubes. They, in fact, dissolve more quickly as compared to bouillon cubes, so that is definitely a big plus of using them. 

Like bouillon cubes, dilute one tablespoon of granules in a cup of boiling water to get a consistency similar to beef broth. You can use this as a beef broth substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

11. Beer Or Wine

This may seem extremely unconventional, but these beverages can provide a similar texture to your food, like beef broth. Hence, you can use them as a substitute for beef broth. 

Alcoholic beverages can make a last-minute substitute for beef broth in case you may have run out of all other options. They won’t provide the same taste as beef broth. However, they will definitely provide an umami flavor. 

These alcoholic beverages generally work in recipes such as chilies and soups. However, you can also add a splash of these beverages to your marinades as they tenderize meat. 

In case you are looking to add these beverages as they are, you can use a tablespoon of each beverage as a substitute for beef broth. Likewise, you can mix a tablespoon with a cup of water and use the whole liquid as a beef broth substitute in a 1:1 ratio. 

12. Steak Sauce

Steak sauce has a balance of flavor between sweetness and tartness. It can work as a substitute for beef broth in various recipes. 

Steak sauce works extremely well for grilled preparations, especially. It is made with a combination of tomatoes, vinegar, raisins, and a number of spices. Steak sauce also sometimes contains anchovies. 

So, in case you want a vegetarian option, read the ingredients present in the sauce carefully. This way, you can opt for a version of the sauce that does not contain anchovies. 

Steak sauce generally does not work as well on its own. When combined with soy sauce, it makes a great substitute for beef broth. Add a teaspoon of soy sauce and steak sauce to a cup of water to get 1 cup of beef broth substitute. 

13. Fish Stock

Fish stock is made with fishtails, heads, and various other fish trimmings. Though not the same flavor profile, fish stock can still work as a substitute for beef broth. 

Fish stock is actually quite easy to make. It is also extremely quick to make and is readily and easily available in the market. It can work as a great beef broth substitute when you don’t have many other options. 

It can work well in various recipes such as soups and stews, and risottos. It does have a strong flavor of fish. However, you can use it in recipes where the flavor can be masked with the addition of various other herbs and spices. 

Or you can add various herbs and spices to the fish stock itself to mask some of its flavors. Use fish stock as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

14. Bone Broth

Bone broth is essentially the same as beef broth, just made with bones rather than meat. It can work as a beef broth substitute in various recipes. 

Bone broth is extremely flavorful and has a similar flavor and texture to beef broth. However, the one downside to using bone broth is that it takes a really long time to cook. 

Bone broth takes almost 10-12 hours to simmer and gets packed with flavor. The longer it simmers, the more flavorful the liquid gets. However, the broth’s flavor is so rich that it makes the wait completely worth it. 

So, in case you have some time on hand, try making bone broth and using it as a substitute for beef broth. You can use it as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

15. French Onion Soup

This may seem extremely unconventional. However, French onion soup is made with beef broth as a base. Hence, it carries a similar flavor and can be used as a substitute in certain recipes. 

French onion soup has various other flavors, along with a strong onion flavor. So, it can be a little complex of a flavor for certain recipes. It might not be the best option where you want an overpowering flavor of the broth. 

French onion soup is best suited for recipes where broth’s flavor can be masked with the addition of various other flavors. It might work best in soups and stews. 

Moreover, you can remove the onion pieces and just use the broth if you would like. Use French onion soup as a beef broth substitute in a standard 1:1 ratio. 

Short Recap For Best Beef Broth Substitutes

I am sure that by now, you must have gone through all the best beef broth substitutes. However, are you still confused about which substitute would work best for your recipe? For that, I have broken it down further into four categories. Have a look! 

Most Suitable: The most suitable beef broth substitute is beef stock. 

Easily Available: Chicken broth, vegetable broth, bouillon cubes, beer, wine, and soy sauce are the most easily available substitutes for beef broth. 

Best Flavor Profile: Beef bouillon cubes will give the best flavor profile when used as a beef broth substitute. 

Best Vegetarian or Vegan Substitute: Mushroom broth would work as the best vegetarian or vegan beef broth substitute. 

Final Word 

As we have reached the end of this article, I hope it has helped you find the best beef broth substitutes. Beef broth is a very useful ingredient in most recipes. However, many people may have issues with it, considering it is made with beef. 

While many recipes demand beef broth, of course, it is more flavorful than various other liquids. However, if you don’t eat beef, many of the substitutes given above can come in extremely handy. 

So, the next time your recipe demands beef broth, try using one of the substitutes. I am sure even if the substitute is not beef-based, it will work extremely well in your recipe, and you will cook up a storm!

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)


What is beef broth made of ?

Beef broth is made of beef, vegetables, an acidic ingredient, salt and water.

What is the difference between stock and broth?

Stock is generally made with bones whereas broth is made with meat pieces. Stock moreover has a thicker consistency than broth.

Can you drink beef broth just like that?

Yes, beef broth can be consumed as it is. 

Can I make beef broth from bouillon cubes?

Yes, beef broth can be made from bouillon cubes.

What are bouillon cubes?

Bouillon cubes are beef broth that has been dehydrated into a cube form.

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