Vegetable broth is considered a pantry staple to many. It’s a beautiful all-around seasoning to have in the kitchen. Add it to soups and stews instead of plain table salt for a much more exciting flavor and seasoning option.
Homemade vegetable broth is inexpensive to make and low in sodium. There are a ton of delicious and healthy vegetable broths on the market that will do a fantastic job flavoring your meals or creating the base for a soup or sauce. Here are some of the best substitutes for vegetable stock around.
What is vegetable broth?
Vegetable broth is water that has been infused with the flavors and nutrients from a selection of vegetables that have been simmered in it. Vegetable broth is typically made with onions, carrots, celery, leeks, and garlic and the store-bought versions include spice, flavorants, and thickeners. A good quality veggie broth is jammed packed with vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, and K. There are low-sodium veggie broths on the market that are a great addition and substitution for seasoning purely with salt.
Vegetable broths are used to form the base and bulk of soups, sauces, stews, etc. They are sometimes used purely as a seasoning to add an umami flavor to a dish.
7 simple substitutes for vegetable broth
Here are a couple of substitutes you can use if you happen to run out of your store-bought vegetable broth:
|Ingredient||How to substitute with it|
|Water||Substitute in equal amounts|
|Chicken broth||Substitute in equal amounts|
|Beef broth||1 cup beef broth = 2 cups veg broth|
|Soy Sauce||1 cup veg broth = 1 TBS soya sauce|
|Bouillon cubes||1 bouillon cube = 2 cups veg broth|
|White wine, dry||Substitute in equal amounts|
|Homemade vegetable broth||Substitute in equal amounts|
This is, of course, the most basic substitute and the most economical. The water will be absolutely fine if you only require a little broth in the recipe. If you are making a dish that has a lot of savory ingredients with umami properties, such as mushrooms, beef, and tomato, adding water will work because the dish will make its own broth.
In the case of water as your substitute, use salt, fresh and dried herbs, and spices to give your dish the depth of flavor that vegetable broth offers.
2. Chicken Broth
Chicken broth is probably the most utilized type of broth, and for a good reason. Chicken broth has a fantastic depth of flavor. It is also very versatile and can be used in vegetable, seafood, and poultry dishes. Chicken broth will sometimes have a slight sweetness to it which should be a consideration for particular dishes.
3. Beef Broth
As with chicken broth, you can utilize beef broth as a suitable substitute for vegetable stock. Beef broth is essentially just water that has been flavored by simmering beef in it, and while richer in taste, it doesn’t always have the layers of flavor that a vegetable broth does.
If this is the case with your beef broth, and you find it’s a little too meaty rather than balanced, add in a tablespoon of peppercorns and herbs. A few spices and herbs, simmered with half an onion in the beef broth, can improve its complexity.
4. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a suitable alternative to veggie broth should you run out. Soy sauce is probably the closest ingredient you will find to vegetable broth. You can use a straight substitution of 1 tablespoon of soy sauce in place of 1 cup of vegetable broth – you may need to add a little extra water.
There are low-sodium soy sauce products on the market that offer excellent health benefits for those with blood pressure problems.
5. Bouillon Cubes
These are essentially dehydrated and super-concentrated cubes, powders, or pots of broth. Bouillon cubes have a longer shelf life than other products and are very easy to use. They can be added to pasta sauces, stews, soups, and other saucy dishes for an instant savory boost.
This is a great vegetarian substitute as there are many veg options on the market. Most bouillon cubes are pretty salty so if you are using them, watch out for how much extra seasoning you add to the dish. You may want to adjust your recipe.
6. White Wine
White wine should be simmered a little to release some of the alcohol before using it in a dish in place of veggie broth. White wine can sometimes be a bit sweet, so the dish may need to be balanced out in the end with other seasonings.
7. Homemade Vegetable Broth
It’s actually straightforward to make a low or no-sodium, healthy homemade vegetable broth. This is a great option to switch out if you’ve run out of your store-bought favorite. You can flavor a lovely pot of vegetables simmering on the stove with peppercorns, celery seeds, coriander seeds, and fresh and dried herbs. A garlic clove or two will give so much flavor to this broth. Because vegetables are softer than meat, veggie broth is much quicker to make and takes very little time to extract the flavor.
What is the difference between a broth and a stock?
A simple way to explain the difference is that stock usually comes from bones and broth from the flesh. While both are flavored with the inclusion of vegetables, the stock is made by simmering bones to extract the gelatine and all the goodness from them. Sometimes the bones are roasted as a first step which gives them a darker color; stock is slightly thicker than broth due to the gelatin extracted from the bones. Stock is often used as a base for gravies and sauces.
Broth has a lighter consistency than stock and is made by simmering the flesh of an animal or vegetables. Broth is more delicate in color and flavor than stock and is usually used in soups.
Wrapping it up
There are some really easy-to-get and simple alternatives to vegetable broth. There is no reason to hold back on making that dish just because you’ve run out of vegetable broth. We hope this list of the best substitutes for vegetable broth has helped you along your culinary adventure.
7 Best substitutes for Vegetable Broth
- Chicken broth
- Beef broth
- Soy Sauce
- Bouillon Cubes
- White wine, dry
- Homemade vegetablebroth
- From the list of substitutes above, pick your favorite to use in its place.
- Use your imagination and be creative with these substitute recipes!