Does your favorite recipe for soup or beans call for chicken broth? You don’t have to give it up to live cruelty-free. Use one of these substitutes for chicken broth instead.
So many recipes for beans, soups, stews, and pilafs would be vegan if you just replaced the chicken broth with a plant-based substitute. If you’re new to vegan cooking, though, you might not feel like a veggie alternative can give the same depth of flavor that you get from real chicken broth.
But you totally can! Here’s everything you need to know about substitutes for chicken broth, including some of my favorite alternatives.
What is Unchicken Broth?
You might be worried that unchicken broth or other vegan substitutes for chicken broth are packed with synthetic ingredients. Don’t fret! Most vegan chicken broths just use the same spices that you’d find in animal-based chicken broth. Think celery, carrot, onions, garlic, oregano, and thyme.
Just like animal-based chicken broth, unchicken broth can be very salty and contain synthetic ingredients. As with any other food, you just need to read the label carefully.
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If you’ve never tried substituting plant-based broths for the chicken broth in a recipe, you might also worry that you’re going to lose some of the recipe’s flavor. The substitutes for chicken broth below do a stellar job of replacing the chicken without sacrificing taste.
My 4 Favorite Substitutes for Chicken Broth
1. Better Than Bouillon
Better Than Bouillon makes both plant-based and animal-based chicken broth paste, so make sure you read the package carefully.
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I have accidentally bought the wrong sort before and had to go back to exchange it. This is probably my favorite substitute for chicken broth. They really nail the rich flavor and mix of spices.
This is the substitute for chicken broth that’s in my pantry right now. It tends to be a little bit more affordable than the Better Than Bouillon, and I like that my two-year-old son can easily add these cubes to the pot when he helps me cook. The directions on this box don’t include a recipe for just making plain broth, but with experimenting, I’ve found that one cube makes two cups of broth.
3. Low-Sodium Vegetable Cubes
When I was pregnant I had to cut back on the salt in my diet, and these cubes were always in my pantry. I tended to use one cube per cup of broth, because – let’s be honest – without the salt, you need a lot more spices.
4. Homemade Stock Powder
My friend Somer McCowan is a stellar vegan cook, and her homemade plant-based stock powder is a stellar substitute for chicken broth. I love that you can make a batch of powder to have on hand whenever you need it. She recommends one tablespoon per cup of water, and that ratio has worked well for me, too.
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