You can either buy or make vegetable broth and in any case it’s the water boiled with vegetables like onion, celery, carrot, garlic, tomato paste, potato and any other vegetable you want to add into it.
It is used for soups, sauces, pilafs, dumplings, casseroles, stuffing and many more. Vegetable broth is a nutritious and healthy stock widely used in many cuisines.
If you don’t have any store-bought vegetable broth in hand, you can make it yourself or use the vegetable broth substitutes listed below.
The best alternatives to vegetable broth are bouillon cubes, chicken stock, beef stock, mushroom broth, water and seasonings, white wine, dashi, plain water, homemade vegetable bouillon powder and homemade vegetable broth.
10 Easy Vegetable Broth Substitutes To Try
1. Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cubes, also called concentrated cubes, are your number one substitute for vegetable broth. They come in various flavors and you can easily choose the one you need for your dish.
A broth cube or stock cube, whatever you call it, is the dehydrated broth or stock formed into a small cube. It’s made of either meat or vegetable broth and contains seasonings and more often salt that make it easier to use.
There are also bullion cubes made of mushrooms and in case you can’t find cubes made of vegetables, you can refer to mushroom bouillon cubes to keep the dish vegan-friendly.
All you need is just throw the cube in boiling water or into the dish during the cooking process or dilute it in warm water before adding to the dish.
2. Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is the next good alternative and it’s considered more nutritious and higher in calories as it is made of high-fat chicken. It also contains herbs and spices that make it taste richer.
Compared to vegetable broth, chicken broth has a stronger and deeper taste. It’s usually used with soups and stews. You can either buy it from grocery stores or make it yourself if you have chicken meat at home.
You can cook the chicken along with spices and herbs and use this broth in place of vegetable broth.
3. Beef Stock
Another meat-based broth is beef broth and it’s again more nutritious and stronger in taste than vegetable broth. You can use it for soups, stews and pilafs and they will taste more delicious.
Like in the case of chicken stock, you can buy beef stock from common stores or make it at home if you have beef. Cook it in water and add seasonings according to your preference. Then use this broth instead of vegetable broth.
In case you have leftovers of the broth, you can store it in the freeze for later use.
4. Mushroom Broth
Whether fresh or dried, mushrooms are always a good idea when it comes to veggie or even meat substitutes. Mushroom broth is a flavorful and tasty broth that can be used instead of vegetable broth in many dishes. It’s also a great option if you avoid meat broths.
Just like chicken and beef broths, you can buy mushroom broth from stores or make it at home with fresh or dried mushrooms seasoning it with your favorite condiments.
5. Boiling Water + Spices
If you have enough seasonings at your pantry that can offer a similar flavor to veggies then go ahead with this easy and quick substitute.
Boil water and season it with dried parsley, onion, lemon pepper, garlic powder and other spices according to your preference and you’ll get a tasty alternative to vegetable broth.
If you have dried veggies like carrots, mushrooms or onions at hand, then add them to the stock to make it better-tasting and more nutritious.
6. White Wine
You can use white wine in place of vegetable broth in clear and light dishes but avoid using it in soups and stews. It’s great especially if you want to maintain the color of the dish because in the case of beef or mushroom broths, the color of the dish will be changed.
White wine will enhance the flavor of the dish and will help to bring out other flavors. It’s important to cook wine properly but it’s also important to add water if you notice the liquid is reduced to half while cooking.
Dashi is a popular stock in Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisine. It is used as a base for miso soup, clear broth soup, noodle broth soup and many dishes and simmering.
It is made of kelp seaweed, dried bonito flakes and sometimes shiitake mushrooms, and niboshi which is a variety of small dried fish.
Due to this combination of ingredients, it has a rich and complex flavor. You can use it in place of vegetable broth in soups, stews, rizzotos, fish dishes, marinades and sauces.
If you want a vegan alternative then consider kombu dashi or make it yourself with kombu and shiitake mushrooms.
Water comes for help when you have no other choice. Of course, it won’t provide any flavor or nutrients, but it will help you cook the dish if you have a combination of ingredients that can bring flavor to the dish.
Water is also a safe option for people who avoid rich flavors and prefer clear-liquid meals. You can add it to soups, stews, pilafs and many other dishes.
If you have any vegetable like carrots or at least potatoes in hand, add them to the water, boil and then use the broth to substitute vegetable broth.
9. Homemade Vegetable Bouillon Powder
There is an easy recipe of homemade vegetable bouillon powder that’s used as a condiment and provides almost the same taste to your dish as vegetable broth.
If you often use concentrated cubes, then this might sound like a better idea. You will always have it in hand and use both in place of cubes and vegetable broth.
So, the ingredients are as follows: nutritional yeast, dried vegetables (carrots, onion flakes, garlic powder, crushed pepper), herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, parsley flakes, celery salt, turmeric, black pepper, Italian seasoning etc.
You can choose herbs and spices according to your taste. Blend all well in a bowl and store in a jar. Use as a condiment for soups, stews, casseroles, veggie dishes and any other recipe that calls for the flavor of vegetable broth.
10. Homemade Vegetable Broth
Perhaps you have always used a store-bought vegetable broth as it’s effortless and quick. However, we offer a homemade recipe of vegetable broth in case you have run out of the store-bought one or want to know how to make it yourself.
It’s simple, easy and doesn’t require too much time.
So, check if you have onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes, green vegetables, mushrooms as well as spices and herbs in hand. Slice the vegetables into small pieces.
Boil water in a pot and add all the vegetables, spices and herbs including salt and pepper. The choice of the condiments depends on your taste.
Now, bring the vegetable broth to boil and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about an hour with a lid on it.
Note, that It’s not necessary to have all the vegetables mentioned above. You can add the veggies you have in hand.
FAQs on Vegetable Broth
Can I substitute soy sauce for vegetable broth?
Soy sauce has a slightly sweet, salty and umami flavor which makes it a good substitute to use in place of vegetable broth. Of course, it will change the color of the dish but the taste and flavor will be similar.
How long does homemade vegetable broth last in the freezer?
If you store it properly (preferably in an airtight jar), it will last around 1 month in the freezer. When storing, make sure you leave some space on the top as the liquid expands while it freezes.
Does vegetable broth retain nutrients?
Although vegetable broth is low in calories and fat, it’s packed with many vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium, vitamin A,E, C and K. It is high in fiber and makes a perfect addition to healthy diets.
It’s not a tough task to make vegetable broth but you may sometimes have a lack of time and need a quick replacement for it.
Luckily there are very suitable vegetable broth substitutes to consider for most dishes calling for this liquid. If there is nothing at hand, plain water is always there to use instead.