Beef broth is a staple in many kitchens around the world, but it’s not always easy to find a good substitute when you need one.
There are lots of reasons why people use beef broth as their go-to stock. It’s cheap and readily available at most supermarkets. It has a rich flavor and adds depth to all sorts of dishes, from sauces to soups.
Not only that, but beef broth is also just plain tasty! But if you’re looking for an alternative, there are plenty of options out there, including both vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices.
With this in mind, we are going to be looking at 14 fantastic substitutes to beef broth that can be useful in any kitchen. Let’s get started.
1. Chicken Stock
Chicken stock is an excellent alternative to beef broth. You can make chicken stock from scratch by simmering chicken bones with water, but you don’t have to do that.
Instead, you can buy pre-made chicken stock cubes or powder.
These are usually very concentrated, so they will give you a lot more bang for your buck than homemade chicken stock would. They are also much easier to work with because they are already prepared.
If you want to try making your own chicken stock, start by boiling your chicken carcasses until the meat falls off the bone. Then strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer.
The resulting stock should then be simmered over low heat for about 30 minutes before being strained again. This second straining removes any impurities left behind after cooking.
When using chicken stock, add it towards the end of a recipe rather than toward the beginning. That way, it won’t affect the overall taste of whatever dish you are preparing.
2. Vegetable Broth
If you want to keep things simple, vegetable broth is a great option that is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Simply chop up any vegetables you have lying around, add them to a pot, cover with water, and let it simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Strain the broth through cheesecloth or paper towels and enjoy!
3. Mushroom Broth
Mushrooms are another great source of minerals and vitamins, and mushroom broth – much like vegetable broth – is an excellent alternative to beef broth for vegetarians and vegans.
To make your own mushroom broth, chop up some mushrooms, sauté them in butter, then add them to a pot along with onions, carrots, celery, and garlic.
Cover with water, bring the mix to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 45 minutes before straining and enjoying.
4. Beef Stock
Though similar to beef broth, beef stock is a little different in the way that it is made.
Rather than being made via the boiling down of vegetables, aromatics, and beef bones, beef stock is created purely by reducing down beef bones and meat.
Beef stock is an alternative to beef broth as it contains less fat and calories. However, it does contain more protein than beef broth.
To create your own beef stock, simply take the bones and meat from a roast beef dinner (or other beef meal) and place them into a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the bones completely and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 2 hours. Skim off any foam that forms on top and discard.
Once the mixture has cooled slightly, pour it through a colander set over a bowl, and allow it to drain overnight. The next day, remove the bones and meat from the stock and return the bones to the stockpot.
Bring the stock back to a boil and skim off any remaining foam. Reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer for at least 3 hours.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, discard the solids, and refrigerate. Use within two days.
5. Beef Bouillon Cubes
Bouillon cubes are a quick and convenient way to get a flavorful base into recipes without having to spend time making a full batch of stock or broth.
Just dissolve 1 cube in 2 cups of hot liquid, and you’ve got yourself a flavorful base.
If you don’t like the taste of bouillon cubes, feel free to mix together equal parts of granulated onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika for a homemade version of beef bouillon.
6. Beef Consume
Consume is made via the reduction of beef broth, wherein it is boiled down to the point where it becomes a sauce.
To make this recipe, simply combine equal parts of flour, corn starch, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add cold water until the mixture forms a paste. Then add the beef consume to a pan and cook over high heat until thickened.
Beef consume is a great way to substitute beef broth if you are looking for a base with a thicker consistency and richer flavor.
7. Red Wine
Red wine is another great substitution for beef broth. In fact, it’s often used as a replacement for both beef broth and veal stock.
To create a red wine sauce or jus, simply pour some red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon) into a pan and allow it to cook down until reduced by half.
While cooking, stir occasionally so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Once the wine has been reduced, remove from heat and whisk in:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Once combined, slowly pour in 1 cup of warm water while whisking constantly. Continue to do this until all the ingredients have been incorporated. Finally, strain out the solids using a fine-mesh sieve
Beer is another great substitute for beef broth. Brewed beer is actually quite acidic, so it will work well in place of beef broth.
If you’d like to create a darker-colored broth, brew dark beers such as porters and stouts. However, if you’d prefer a lighter-colored broth, go with light beers such as lagers.
The flavor of beer as a beef broth substitute can be enhanced by adding spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger, or star anise.
9. Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is yet another great alternative to beef broth, as it has a salty taste that goes well with many Asian dishes. It is usually derived from soybeans, but there are other types of soy sauces available such as tamari.
When using soy sauce as a beef broth substitute, use low sodium versions of the product, as it has a natural salty taste.
10. Worcester Sauce
Worcester sauce is typically made from anchovies, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices. To make your own, simply combine equal parts white vinegar, brown sugar, and salt in one container and store in the refrigerator.
Though this type of sauce isn’t typically considered vegetarian, it is a good alternative to
11. Steak Sauce
Steak sauce is one of the best substitutes for beef broth as it is delicious as well as a thicker option. Simply combine equal parts of ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and horseradish in a small bowl.
Stir thoroughly to ensure that everything is evenly distributed. Store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also find pre-made steak sauce at most grocery stores.
12. Brown Sauce
Brown sauce is similar to steak sauce, but contains more salt than regular steak sauce. Brown sauce can also be used as a substitute for beef broth, as it adds a rich flavor to soups and stews.
Combine equal parts of tomato ketchup, molasses, and balsamic vinegar in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together until smooth. If desired, add additional seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or paprika.
13. Liquid Aminos
Liquid aminos are a great substitute for beef broth because they have a mild flavor and contain less sodium than traditional beef broths. They are commonly found in health food stores and Asian markets.
To make liquid aminos, mix equal parts of mirin, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. This mixture should last about six months when stored in a tightly sealed bottle.
If you find yourself in a pinch and have little to no ingredients handy, you can always substitute beef broth with seasoned water.
Just fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add in some seasoning such as salt, black pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes as well as some butter or oil. Be creative with your seasoning choices, and you can create your own, flavorful dish!
There you have 14 different substitutes for beef broth! While these alternatives may not be exactly the same as their beef broth counterparts, they are all tasty and versatile enough to be used in any recipe calling for beef broth.
As long as you remember to adjust the amounts accordingly, you won’t even miss the original. By experimenting with different combinations of ingredients, you can come up with new flavors that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters whilst not breaking the bank!