We all know that chicken broth is a staple in many recipes. It can be used to make soup, sauces, and stocks. And it’s also the base for dishes like risotto, paella, and jambalaya.
But what do you do when you’re out of chicken broth? Biting your nails isn’t an option!
You need an easy swap! Fortunately, there are many chicken broth substitutes with a similar flavor and easy availability.
The most popular chicken broth substitute is chicken or vegetable stock but you can also swap for beef broth, water, white wine, Bouillon cubes, and others.
Keep on reading to know how you can swap these ingredients in place of chicken broth.
- What is Chicken Broth?
- 11 Best Chicken Broth Substitutes
- What Does Chicken Broth Taste Like?
- Chicken Broth Uses
- Can You Make Chicken Broth at Home?
- Is Chicken Broth Vegetarian?
- Can You Use Pure Water Instead of Chicken Broth?
- Is It Bad to Drink Chicken Broth Every Day?
- Final Words
What is Chicken Broth?
Chicken broth is made by cooking chicken meat along with water, seasonings, and vegetables.
While there are many variations of the basic recipe, most broths contain a whole bird, herbs, and spices like garlic and onion powder or celery salt.
Most store-bought chicken broths work well but you can also make your own.
11 Best Chicken Broth Substitutes
Whether you’re just cooking up some soup or making a hearty pot of chili using chicken broth, these 11 alternatives will be your best friend in the kitchen!
1. Chicken Stock
One of the easiest low-carb chicken broth substitutes is to use chicken stock instead.
Chicken stock is a good substitute for homemade chicken broth because it’s usually made with just the bones and meat from chickens anyway, so there isn’t much difference in flavor or consistency compared to broth made from scratch.
It’s also full of valuable nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate—crucial compounds for healing joint pain without compromising your ketosis (fat-burning) state. Plus, it has fewer carbs than many other keto broths!
You can even make your own chicken stock! It’s very simple and only takes a few minutes.
2. Vegetable Stock
Like chicken stock, vegetable stocks are also made from the bones and scraps of vegetables.
If you’re trying to stick with a strict keto diet, I recommend using a homemade broth instead of store-bought vegetable stocks because most have added flavors and seasonings designed to appeal to a wide range of culinary tastes.
However, if you’re just looking for a quick substitute while shopping at the grocery store, you can always use organic vegetable broth as an alternative to chicken broth.
Just make sure it doesn’t contain any flavor enhancers or fillers that will affect your carb count!
At its essence, water is another common substitute for chicken broth on low-carb diets especially. The key here is to add in a flavorful liquid that will make your dish taste delicious.
For example, you can simmer chicken meat or vegetables in water to make broth.
Or you can use flavored liquids like coconut milk and veggie juice to give it some extra flavor without the carbs. Water is an easy way to get started with ketogenic cooking when prepared with.
You can simply do a 1:1 substitute and water doesn’t require another grocery run.
4. Canned Chicken Broth
This is a good chicken broth substitute for low-carb diets because canned broths are usually much lower in carbs than those sold in the supermarket.
Some of the better choices actually have zero grams per serving and may even contain a little protein!
Canned chicken broth is convenient because it’s already cooked, so you can just open the can and use it as chicken stock or add flavorings to make your own homemade keto broths from scratch.
And if you’re out of homemade stock, canned will do!
5. Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Adding broth cubes to your recipes is another easy substitution for homemade chicken broths. These little cubes contain the same flavor as stock but in a convenient, ready-to-use form.
There are many types of broth cubes on the market, with varying flavors. Look for one that’s low in carbs and fits your taste buds.
A lot of them contain added ingredients like corn starch and wheat flour to improve texture and dissolve better in liquid.
If you’re looking for a gluten-free cube, make sure it doesn’t contain soy or other fillers—just pure broth!
They’re also a good option if you can’t cook a homemade broth at home right away. Whatever you do, though, make sure it’s low in carbs!
There are some brands that have too many carbs for keto diets, so check the nutrition label before buying.
6. Chicken Base or Chicken Broth Concentrate
If you need a thicker, richer broth to add body and flavor to your keto diet recipes, chicken base or concentrate is great.
It’s just like the other forms of chicken broth but in an even more concentrated form. This means that if you blend it with water (1:4 ratio), you’ll get an even stronger broth than the other kinds.
Some brands don’t even need to be diluted—you can just use them straight from the bottle!
Chicken base and concentrate are also very convenient because they’re shelf-stable. No refrigeration is required. And, like chicken bouillon cubes, these are easy to prepare and add to your cooking without leaving your home.
They come in very small packages—just open and add to your dish! Some varieties have added flavor enhancers that will increase the carb count per serving so look for low-carb or no-carb brands.
7. White Wine
If you’re going to substitute wine for chicken broth in your recipes, choose a dry white wine. White wines are the lowest in carbs because they don’t contain any of the sugars found in fruit wines like red and sweet white wines do.
You can use them as an alternative to store-bought chicken broths or even broth from recipes that you’ve made yourself.
The main trick to using wine in recipes is to dilute it with other liquids like water and use it at the same ratio of chicken broth as you would wine (1 cup per 2 cups of liquid, for example).
Make sure that your recipe doesn’t need heavy cream or milk because white wine does not make a good substitute for them.
8. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is not just for tropical smoothies and desserts, you can also use it as a chicken broth substitute!
Yes, this tasty low-carb keto alternative has a lot of flavors that will work well with your favorite recipes even if you’re drinking it on its own.
You can either use the thick portion of coconut milk or the clear liquid (the “cream”). Both varieties will add a little protein and healthy fat to your recipes.
If you’ve used canned coconut milk, don’t shake it before opening because that separates the cream from the rest of the contents. Scoop out just what you need instead, so you won’t waste anything.
If you’re using the clear coconut milk, don’t shake it either and only scoop what you need for your recipe—the rest can be used in a smoothie or other drink!
You can use 1 cup of coconut milk to replace one cup of chicken broth in most recipes. Just make sure that it’s unsweetened because the flavored versions have added sugar.
9. Beef Broth
If you’re not able to consistently make homemade broth at home, or if you don’t eat meat, beef broth is the next best thing.
Beef broth usually has a stronger flavor than chicken soup since it’s made from roasted and degreased cuts of beef bones instead of chicken bones alone. It can be used as a substitute for chicken broth and can also be easily added to recipes.
Beef broth is very versatile so it doesn’t need to be diluted or used at a different ratio from the homemade or store-bought chicken broth in your favorite recipes.
However, if you find that it tastes too strong for your preferences, just add more water until the flavor becomes milder.
If you’re using beef broth to make your own bone broth, just add it in place of the water and simmer until the meat falls off the bones!
Dashi is a Japanese soup stock made from dried seaweed, fish flakes, and kelp. It’s usually sold in powdered form but I prefer to look for it in the refrigerated section of Asian grocery stores. There are packets available too!
Since dashi contains no preservatives and has a very long shelf life (nothing beats the freshness of homemade chicken broth!), you can keep it in your pantry until the expiration date.
Just add dashi to your recipes in place of chicken broth and simmer for a few minutes if needed so it gets more concentrated.
Commonly known as the “juice” from a can of chickpeas, Aquafaba is a popular ingredient in vegan recipes and it even has an entire cookbook devoted to its use.
I’ve only used it once so far, just to mix with melted butter and cinnamon for a tasty filling for donuts. I’m sure Aquafaba can also be used in other recipes, just like broth!
You can use it instead of water or broth to make gravy without the need for meat drippings and I’ve even heard that you can whip Aquafaba into meringues, marshmallows, and cakes.
What Does Chicken Broth Taste Like?
It depends on the recipe and even the ingredients used in the original recipe. But at its base, the chicken broth should taste salty and savory.
Chicken Broth Uses
In other dishes and recipes, using chicken broth adds flavor and depth.
It’s commonly used in soups and stews, of course, but also for making gravy, sauces (like Alfredo), risotto, rice, paella, beans (either added or cooked with the beans), and even desserts like panna cotta, ice cream, and bread pudding.
It’s also used to marinate meat because the flavor of chicken broth seeps into food better than water.
Some simple and tasty recipes that call for chicken broth includes:
- Hawaiian Haystacks Sauce
- Creamy Taco Soup
- Mushroom Swiss Chicken
- Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
Can You Make Chicken Broth at Home?
Making chicken broth at home may seem daunting at first because it takes time and patience but the effort is so worth it!
All you need to do is simmer boneless/skinless chicken meat (I usually use the backs or necks for a more flavorful broth) with vegetables, herbs, seasonings, and water.
Is Chicken Broth Vegetarian?
No, chicken broth by itself isn’t considered a vegetarian-friendly ingredient.
However, it can be made vegetarian if you use only vegetables and herbs as ingredients (also known as vegetable broth.)
Can You Use Pure Water Instead of Chicken Broth?
Although pure water doesn’t have the depth of flavor that chicken broth has, it can be used as a swap.
Essentially, you’ll be using aromatics and other base ingredients for your final recipe that simmers in water – making chicken broth on the go.
Is It Bad to Drink Chicken Broth Every Day?
It’s not bad to drink chicken broth every day as it’s a good source of nutrients.
You’ll also find many people who recommend drinking a cup of bone broth daily for maximum health benefits.
But it isn’t recommended if you’re trying to lose weight since most broths are high in calories.
Chicken broth is a staple in most kitchens and pantries because of all the health benefits and its versatility.
Have you ever tried substituting chicken broth in your recipes? Which were the best swaps that you tried? Let us know in the comments!