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10 Chicken Stock Concentrate Substitutes + Homemade Recipe

Chicken stock provides a simple and efficient way to add instant flavor to soups, stews, pasta, and many other dishes. Stock is made from the slow cooking of meats or vegetables.

If you use delivery meal kit services, you are probably familiar with chicken stock concentrate.

Products like these deliver full-flavor stock without the dilution of a cooking liquid, like the ordinary stocks available in cardboard cartons at the grocery store.

Many flavorful concentrated chicken stock substitutes are available to make delicious home-cooked meals.

What Can You Substitute for Chicken Stock Concentrate?

1. Chicken Stock

chicken stock

Chicken stock provides an inexpensive, convenient, and flavorful way to add another layer of flavor to your recipes.

Chicken stock is made through the slow simmering of chicken bones. The bones gradually release dimensions of flavor as they break down.

Unlike chicken stock concentrate, chicken stock contains a lot of additional water to dilute into stock. If adapting a recipe, use ½ cup of chicken broth for every tablespoon of chicken stock concentrate.

In addition to water, a lot of salt is often included with commercially-available chicken broth.

Salt is why chicken soup is recommended [1] when people are sick; the electrolytes in salty broth help replenish the body’s needs.

However, a high-salt diet [2] can lead to serious health dangers like heart disease, loss in bone density, and stroke.

The majority of popular chicken broth brands also make low-sodium versions to help reduce the amount of salt in recipes.

2. Homemade Chicken Stock

Unlike chicken stock at the grocery store, a home cook maintains complete control over their homemade chicken stock.

Making chicken stock at home is one of the healthiest chicken stock concentrate substitutes.

Even if you buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, you can repurpose the leftovers to make an enriching chicken broth.

Note that chicken stock is not vegetarian; if you’re a vegan, this option is not for you.

3. Chicken Bouillon

bouillon cubes

Chicken bouillon’s intensity most closely mirrors chicken stock concentrate.

However, chicken bouillon is pressed into a dry cube or powder, crushed, and sprinkled to flavor broths, soups, and stews.

Chicken bouillon presents a shelf-stable alternative to chicken stock. Bouillon dry product virtually never expires.

If you are new to home cooking, this affordable alternative ensures you are not continually throwing away a carton of chicken broth.

Store-bought chicken broth expires after about two weeks in the refrigerator or six months when frozen.

4. Vegetable Stock

vegetable stock

The vegetable stock offers a vegetarian and vegan concentrated chicken stock substitute. Like chicken stock, this product is slow-simmered to derive the most flavor from various vegetables.

Vegetable stock consists of the dimensions of flavors from carrots, onions, and celery. Herbs and spices like peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt add a signature taste to the vegetable stock.

5. Bone Broth

bone broth

Bone broth is a deeply flavored stock that cooks between six and eighteen hours. Chicken stock is almost transparent and can be made after only two to four hours of simmering.

Because these bones break down completely, including the delicious bone marrow [3] taste, the end product resembles more of a “beefy Jello” product.

When bone broth is reheated, this collagen-rich liquid is consumed on its own. Unlike chicken stock, this flavorful liquid serves as both an ingredient and a nutritious standalone meal.

6. White Wine

white wine

Many recipes call for white wine to add acidity and signature flavor to a dish.

Wine commonly accents cooking liquids like a chicken stock because of its ability to break down tough materials, such as meat products.

Typically a dry white wine is used for cooking. Varietals like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc are appropriate but avoid an oaky Chardonnay.

7. Beer

dark beer

Unlike wine, which requires a careful ratio when using it as a concentrated chicken stock substitute, beer can be applied in the same ratio as chicken stock or water.

Use one cup beer for one cup water or chicken stock in a recipe.

Beers commonly used in cooking include dark, malty beers.

Porters, Scottish ales, and Belgian beers work well. A hoppy beer like an IPA gets more bitter as it cooks, which would impart an unwelcome flavor to your recipe.

8. Butter

what is butter

Like concentrated chicken stock, butter delivers a flavorful, salty, protein-rich infusion of flavor. Especially if you use real butter, and not vegetable oil-based margarine, your dish will benefit from a significant and tasty boost.

Butter is a high-calorie ingredient that can also be high in sodium unless you use unsalted butter.

While butter provides richness and luxurious flavor better than anything else, it is best to use it sparingly if you’re trying to limit your fat consumption.

9. Dashi


The Japanese broth, Dashi, defined the concept of “umami” [4].  

Dashi was originally made by simmering a solution of water, seaweed, and bonito fish flakes. The broth provides the base for many iconic Japanese recipes, like miso soup.

While homemade dashi is still doable, most people opt for instant dashi concentrated liquid or dashi granules. Even Japanese consumers reach for instant dashi nowadays.

Dashi is similar to chicken bouillon in Western cultures.

10. Salt and Spices

chinese five spice

Even if you do not have any of the above ingredients in your pantry, there is a simple concentrated chicken stock substitute.

By mixing different herbs, spices, and salts, you will impart a delicious flavor to your dish. Try adding flavors like garlic, oregano, bay leaves, peppercorns, and parsley to your recipe.

homemade chicken stock concentrate

Homemade Chicken Stock Concentrate

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes

You easiest way to make chicken stock concentrate at home.


  • 5 lbs leftover chicken from a roasted chicken carcass
  • 1 onion, halved
  • Water, enough to cover the chicken bones


    1. Combine ingredients into a pot and add water until everything is just covered.

    2. Simmer on low heat and partially covered for six to eight hours. Do not allow the water to reduce too quickly and burn.

    3. Strain the liquid once to catch the bones. Strain again to catch other large bits of vegetables and herbs, or skip this step for a more rustic broth.

    4. Store by pouring into a Ziploc bag and freezing flat. Or pour broth into an ice cube tray. Keep concentrated chicken broth for up to two months.

    5. Break off pieces of the concentrated chicken broth to add robust chicken flavor to dishes.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1352Total Fat: 80gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 49gCholesterol: 569mgSodium: 436mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 0gSugar: 1gProtein: 146g


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If you don’t have chicken stock concentrate or chicken stock readily available, your recipes don’t need to suffer.

If you are trying to duplicate a meal-delivery kit recipe and need a Hello Fresh chicken stock concentrate substitute, try one of these 10 alternatives.

All of these substitutes add unique life to your favorite dishes and help you explore the impromptu thrills of home cooking.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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