Emergency Substitutes for Chicken Bouillon

By Dana Poblete

If you're whipping up a dish that calls for chicken bouillon but you're fresh out, think of it as an opportunity to improve the recipe. Substituting for chicken bouillon slightly changes the overall taste of a dish but could have an unexpectedly positive impact on flavor. Sure, bouillon might be convenient, but it's actually less flavorful than stock or broth.

meat broth with parsley in bowl closeup. horizontal top view
credit: ALLEKO/iStock/GettyImages
Emergency Substitutes For Chicken Bouillon

Video of the Day

Chicken Stock

To replace a single chicken bouillon cube or 1 teaspoon of bouillon powder reconstituted with 1 cup of hot water, use 1 cup of chicken broth or stock. Broth is usually rich with herbs and spices, so it's a win. If the recipe doesn't require reconstituting the chicken bouillon granules, use 1 cup of chicken stock for each 1 cube or 1 teaspoon of granules and decrease the other liquids in the recipe by 1 cup.

Vegetable Bouillon

Vegetable bouillon is a is a great vegetarian-friendly option, but it's not as flavorful as chicken bouillon. To compensate, opt for roasted-vegetable bouillon. Use the same amount called for in the recipe. Roasted vegetable broth can also be used to stand in for chicken bouillon.

Dry White Wine

Dry white wine gives the recipe a lighter, less salty flavor than using bouillon. Replace 1 teaspoon of bouillon granules or 1 cube with 1/2 cup of white wine and decrease other liquids in the recipe by 1/2 cup. Sherry or vermouth can also be used in the same proportion. Don't use wine if you're serving anyone who's sensitive to alcohol.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce has a rich, deep flavor from the fermentation of soybeans. Though it doesn't taste exactly like chicken bouillon, they're similar in saltiness. For each 1 teaspoon of granules or 1 cube of bouillon, use 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Taste the recipe before adding any additional salt or salted products—the sodium in the soy sauce might be enough.