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Top 15 Beef Broth Substitutes for Your Recipe

Beef broth adds liquid volume and a rich, umami flavor to recipes. A substitute for beef broth needs to add both those elements to be successful.

Without enough liquid, a recipe will turn out dry. Without the right amount of flavor, the meal could be bland and lifeless.

Fortunately, if you’re cooking and discover you’re out of this ingredient, you probably have a beef broth replacement in your pantry that can still make your dish a success.

What Can You Substitute for Beef Broth

Check your kitchen for the substitutes closest to beef broth first next time you need a beef broth replacement.

1. Beef Stock

beef stock

Beef broth consists of the liquid made from boiling a mix of vegetables and herbs along with meat.

While beef stock usually involves boiling beef bones without veggies or much seasoning, if any.

When substituting beef broth with beef stock, use the same amount, but check it for taste and seasoning.

You may want to mince vegetables like celery, carrots, and onion to add to the dish as-is or pureed for flavor. The stock may also need salt and seasonings like pepper and herbs you can add to the recipe.

2. Beef Base

beef base

Beef base is a paste of concentrated broth that already contains vegetables and seasonings.

Most brands recommend dissolving one teaspoon into eight ounces of hot water to create a cup of beef broth.

To use in a recipe, add water in the amount given for beef broth, then use the correct number of teaspoons of the base for that amount of water.

Beef base comes pre-seasoned and full of flavor, so there’s no need to punch it up in the way you might do beef stock.

3. Beef Bouillon

beef bouillon

Can I substitute beef bouillon for beef broth? Yes, you can!

Bouillon is an inexpensive and handy substitute for beef broth you can keep on a pantry shelf. Dehydrated vegetables and seasonings give broth made with bouillon an authentic beef broth flavor.

Depending on how much broth you need, you may wish to add extra seasoning or cut back on the salt called for in the dish.

Follow the instructions on the bouillon to use the right amount of cubes, powder, or granules in the amount of liquid the recipe calls for to achieve the best flavor.

4. Mushroom Broth

mushroom broth

Vegetables and seasonings in mushroom broth ensure the depth of flavor that broths bring to a dish.

Mushrooms make an excellent meat substitute in vegetarian and vegan dishes because they provide a rich, umami flavor [1] similar to beef.

You can use mushroom broth as a 1:1 substitute for beef broth.

5. Soy Sauce

soy sauce

Adding soy sauce to a dish when you lack beef broth will help with the meaty flavor. You won’t need to add as much salt because soy sauce contains so much sodium.

Add water in a 1:1 ratio to the beef broth called for, then add soy sauce in small increments like a tablespoon. Taste as you go to ensure you don’t make the dish too salty.

6. Worcestershire Sauce

worcestershire sauce

Can you use Worcestershire sauce substitute for beef broth? Of course yes! Worcestershire sauce can also be widely used as a substitute for dark soy sauce.

A small amount of Worcestershire sauce adds a lot of flavor, but you’ll still need to add water in place of the beef broth for liquid volume.

Add a tablespoon or half a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce at a time until you’re satisfied with the taste. Adjust the amount of salt you add to compensate for the salt in the sauce.

7. Liquid Aminos

liquid aminos

Liquid aminos are a soy product, like soy sauce, but don’t contain wheat. Many people use liquid aminos as a gluten-free substitute for soy sauce.

But it can still a good beef broth replacement.

Use liquid aminos the same way you’d use soy sauce as a substitute for beef broth.

8. Steak Sauce

steak sauce

Purchased steak sauce usually contains a base of tomatoes with vinegar, sweeteners, herbs, and spices to create an umami flavor that complements the taste of beef.

Whichever steak sauce brand you prefer and have on hand will work as a beef broth replacement.

Add water on a 1:1 ratio with the beef broth the recipe calls for, then add dashes of steak sauce to taste.

9. Beer

dark beer

Beer adds a depth of flavor to a recipe that’s hard to achieve with other liquids. Dark beers like lagers create an alternative to beef broth that’s richer than light beers like ales.

Use beer 1:1 for broth and make sure the dish cooks for a few minutes after the addition to burn off most of the alcohol. [2]

10. Wine

red wine vinegar

Red, dry wine like cabernet sauvignon or malbec makes a delicious replacement for beef broth.

Avoid white wines that work better in chicken or pork dishes, and find another substitute if you only have sweet wine available.  

Use red wine in the same way you’d use dark beer.  

11. Miso Paste

miso paste

Miso paste adds a salty, umami flavor to dishes, and red miso [3] has a more complex flavor than yellow or white miso paste. As with soy sauce, a little goes a long way.

It is a popular Marmite substitute, and can also be a good replacement for beef broth.

Use water in the recipe in a 1:1 ratio, and add a teaspoon or tablespoon of miso paste until you achieve the taste you want.

12. Vegetable Broth

vegetable broth

If you’re a vegetarian, vegan, or just looking for a healthy way to make your food more nutritious, then use vegetable broth to substitute beef broth.

Vegetable broth makes a suitable beef stock substitute to add seasoning and the subtle flavor of vegetables.

It’s lower in fat and cholesterol than regular meat-based broths.

But it can be hard to know what vegetables you need. Here’s a list of some that work well in vegetable broth:

  • onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic cloves
  • tomato paste (optional)
  • thyme leaves (optional)
  • bay leaves (optional)

13. Chicken Broth

chicken broth

Can you substitute chicken broth for beef broth? Yes, you can.

There are many benefits of using chicken broth in place of beef for your soup or stew. Chicken is a healthier choice and has less fat than beef does so this is a great way to cut down on calories while still getting the rich taste that you crave.

It also adds the broth flavors of vegetables and seasonings.

When substitute beef broth with chicken broth, use it in a 1:1 ratio.

You may like: Is Chicken Broth Vegetarian Friendly?

14. Soy Sauce and One Other Beef Stock Substitute

Soy sauce combined with Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, miso paste, and other broths can help create a flavor closer to actual beef broth.

Use an equivalent amount of water, broth, or stock, then add a combination of soy and other elements to taste.

15. Water

Plain water as a 1:1 substitute for beef broth is better than nothing.

You may wish to add extra ingredients and seasonings to elevate the recipe if water is the only replacement for beef broth you can use.

How to Make Beef Broth?

If you are looking for a way to make your own beef broth that will nourish your soul then this video is just what you need.

We’ll show you how to make beef broth with the simplest ingredients, no fancy cooking skills needed!

FAQs About Beef Broth

Can you substitute beef broth for chicken broth?

It is one of the most common questions and our answer is always yes.

The reason you can swap out one for another, even though they are two different types of animals, is because both broths contain a lot of water and salt as well as other seasonings like onion or garlic.

This means that if you want to make a soup with beef instead of chicken, all you need to do is replace the water in your recipe with beef broth and add some extra spices like thyme or rosemary.

Beef broth has a more rich flavor which makes it perfect for stews and other dishes where you want to intensify the flavors.

The only downside might be its high price tag, but if you’re looking for something new then this recipe might just do the trick!

Is there any vegetarian substitute for beef broth?

Looking for a vegetarian substitute for beef broth? Then either vegetable broth or mushroom broth can bring you an amazing taste.

Both of them can be a great beef broth replacement for vegetarians.

What can I substitute for beef broth in stroganoff?

The traditional stroganoff recipe includes beef broth, but you can use chicken or vegetable broth instead to make it vegetarian.

This will still give the same flavor and texture as if you had used beef.

It’s also a great way to save money on expensive ingredients while still tasting delicious!

Can I substitute beef consomme for beef broth?

beef consomme

Beef consomme is a type of broth that is prepared with beef stock and spices, vegetables, and other ingredients.

It can be used as an alternative to beef broth in many dishes like soups or sauces in a 1:1 ratio.

Also read: 15 Best Beef Consommé Substitutes + Homemade Recipe for You

What can I substitute for beef broth in pot roast or stew?

Many pot roast and stew recipes call for beef broth, what to do if you don’t have it on hand?

Luckily, there are plenty of substitutes for it, a combination of red wine with seasonings can be an amazing replacement for beef broth in pot roast or stew.

Conclusion

When you need to use a substitute for beef broth, try to use one that’s the closest in flavor, starting with beef stock and going down the list to water.

Always be sure to add the same amount of liquid the recipe calls for, no matter which beef broth replacement you choose.

Using the proper amount of liquid with your chosen beef stock substitute for flavor will ensure your recipe is as moist and delicious as possible.

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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