12 Best Bouillon Cube Substitutes To Try For Your Recipes

Bouillon Cube Substitute

Bouillon cubes are an interesting cooking option. They’re usually made from stock and are solids with high salt content. Though sold as solid cubes, they are generally dissolved in some water before their use in a recipe. Basically, dissolving cubes in water gives you a good, strong broth. 

These cubes are a simple and easy way to get that flavor of broth to the food quickly. But what can work as a bouillon cube substitute if you need a replacement?

Considering the way bouillon cubes are made and their use, stock and broth are easy options to replace the cubes. However, there are a few other foods too that can do the trick. As with stock and broth, bouillon cubes are available as chicken or beef bouillon. 

For most substitutions, both of these options will work. However, you might want to pick better replacements. For example, if you want a replacement for beef bouillon, beef broth will be a better alternative than chicken broth.

So, let’s see what are our options when we want to replace bouillon cubes in a recipe.

Top Substitutes For Bouillon Cubes You Can Use

1. Chicken Broth

Chicken broth is the simplest and best substitute for chicken bouillon. In a crude way, bouillon is the same as dehydrated and solidified chicken broth. With the use of chicken broth, the overall taste and texture of the recipe will be pretty much the same. 

You could make the broth at home or use a store-bought option. Either way, this will get the substitution right without much of a problem. Conventional substitution requires one cup of chicken broth for every bouillon cube.

2. Chicken Stock

When compared to chicken broth, chicken stock has a bit more intense flavor with a significant taste of bones. The presence of gelatin gives it an excellent mouthfeel, giving more body to the stock. Chicken stock is often (though not always) a base ingredient for chicken broth. This also makes it very similar to chicken broth.

Considering its similarities and behavior, it can act as a good substitute for bouillon cubes in several recipes. You can replace one bouillon cube with a cup of chicken stock, or slightly reduce the amount of stock and add some water. 

The part about adding water is largely to manage the thickness and mouthfeel of the stock. Either way, you’ll have an excellent substitution. Chicken stock is usually low on salt, so you might want to add some more to make up for the very salty taste of bouillon cubes.

3. Bouillon Powder Or Granules

Bouillon is available as cubes, granules, or powder. If you’re out of cubes and want a quick substitution, powder and granules will do the job just fine. One teaspoon of bouillon powder is usually good enough to replace a cube of bouillon. 

4. Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine seems like an odd choice, but it is a surprisingly effective bouillon cube substitute. The flavors of dry white wine will match the effects of bouillon cubes to a good extent. The resulting flavors will be slightly weaker, but overall acceptable and good enough for a recipe.

If your recipe calls for a bouillon cube and a cup of water, you can replace the bouillon cube and quarter cup of water with a quarter cup of dry white wine. Add the wine and the remaining ¾ cup of water to the recipe. 

This replacement works best with recipes that have a longer cooking time, so that there’s enough time for the alcohol to evaporate. 

5. Stock Concentrate

Stock concentrate works the same way as using chicken or beef stock as a replacement for bouillon cubes. However, as its name implies, the concentrate has more intense flavors than normal chicken or beef stock. 

Therefore, when using it as a substitute, add a small quantity at first. Taste the recipe, and add more of the stock concentrate if necessary.

6. Miso Paste

Miso paste is an acceptable bouillon substitute for vegetarians. It isn’t an exact substitute, but it does its job fairly well, while maintaining a good sense of flavor and mouthfeel. Miso paste works as a fairly good thickener and adds flavor and aroma to the recipe. 

The quantity used often depends on other ingredients of the recipe. So, when using miso paste, start small and add more of it if necessary.

7. Soy Sauce

Here’s another unlikely but useful bouillon substitute. Soy sauce can work as a replacement by adding its wonderful umami touch. In a sense, soy sauce is about as salty as bouillon cubes, though the overall flavors are different. Yet, the excellent flavors that come with the fermentation of soybeans can be a fairly delicious choice for substitution.

Usually, a teaspoon of soy sauce can replace a bouillon cube in a recipe.

8. Tomato Paste

The thick tomato paste brings some sweetness and acidity to the recipe. Again, this isn’t an ideal substitute for a bouillon cube, but it is a fairly useful one if you’re in a tight spot. It’s also a very useful option as a vegan substitute for bouillon cubes.

Tomato paste can work as a thickener, while also adding some sweetness to the recipe. On the other hand, bouillon is quite rich in salt. When using this substitute, you’ll have to remember to make adjustments with the amount of salt for the recipe.

9. Marmite

Here’s another useful vegetarian alternative to bouillon cubes. Marmite brings strong flavors and can also add some thickness to the recipe. Though, given its strong flavors, its best to start with a small quantity and increase the amount as necessary.

10. Bone Broth

Bone broth is a type of stock and can work pretty much the same way as chicken or beef stock when replacing bouillon cubes. It might be thicker than normal stock, so adjust the amount as necessary.

11. Water With Some Seasoning Or Butter

If you’re all out of options and need a quick replacement, working with a cup of water can come to the rescue. Go overboard with seasoning and use it to match or approximate the flavors of the recipe. 

Using water with some melted butter will also help get a similar richness and texture as bouillon cubes in a recipe. 

However, this option can be suitable only if the recipe already has some meat ingredients and bouillon is used for mouthfeel and texture. Water and butter, or even seasoning, are not going to add the flavors of meat. 

12. Vegan Broth

Here’s another option vegans can try, though you’ll have to do some work with flavors. While vegan broth or vegetable broth is a decent choice, it risks lacking the depth of flavor or mouthfeel that bouillon cubes bring. So, you’ll have to be particularly careful when picking this choice, so the right mouthfeel and flavor can be maintained for the recipe.

Choosing The Best Bouillon Substitute

Picking the right bouillon substitute depends on how closely you want to follow the original flavor and texture. Using chicken broth or beef broth (or stock) can be the best options for replacing bouillon in a recipe. If these aren’t available, or if you have some dietary preferences, there are several other substitutes listed here that are worth your time. Many of these suggestions can also work with vegetarian or vegan preferences. 

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