Looking for a substitute for beef broth? You’ve come to the right place. Beef broth is found in many popular recipes, including prime rib au jus (for our famous prime rib recipe), soup recipes , and even a variety of sauces. Beef broth plays an intricate part in the final flavor of a dish and shouldn’t be entirely omitted.
What happens if you find yourself short on canned beef broth or prefer not to make a batch of Instant Pot Bone Broth from scratch? You replace the beef broth with an equally flavorful ingredient.
Here are some ideas you can utilize as a substitution for beef broth (We also have a ‘Chicken Broth Substitute‘ list.)
This is the best beef broth substitution. While not entirely similar, beef stock and beef broth are almost interchangeable. Beef stock is thinner and made from meat (including beef bones) and vegetables whereas beef broth doesn’t contain any beef bones, but tends to have more seasoning.
Optional – if you’re using beef stock as a substitute for beef broth, just add in a tablespoon of oil or butter to mimic the fat the beef broth provides. It’s not required, however.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup of beef stock)
BEEF STOCK CONCENTRATE
Concentrated beef stock is the way to go if you’re looking for a condensed beef broth substitute. It’s a thick and highly flavorful concentrated form of stock. Think the consistency of honey, with very seasoned beef and spice flavor. It’s a fabulous substitution.
Ratio: 1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup boiling water + 1 tsp beef concentrate
Can You Substitute Beef Consommé for Beef Broth? Yep.
While thicker than beef broth, beef consommé is a great replacement. It contains the exact same ingredients that make up beef broth, but it’s reduced down until it becomes a thicker sauce. In the process of reducing the beef broth, the thicker consistency also lends to a richer flavor. A great example of utilizing rich consommé is our consomme birria recipe.
To thin out the consommé, start by adding a tablespoon of water per cup of consommé. Sub in equal parts, once you achieve the thinner beef broth consistency.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (After Thinning With Water)
BEEF BOUILLON CUBES
Substitute beef broth with beef bouillon cubes for an almost identical flavor profile, depending on the bouillon brand you utilize (we use Knorr). Bouillon cubes have a ton of sodium, so keep that in mind if you’re utilizing it as a replacement.
Ratio: 1 cup of beef broth = 1 bouillon cube + 1 cup boiling water
Can You Substitute Chicken Broth For Beef Broth? Yep.
In a pinch, subbing in chicken broth or chicken stock. Chicken broth doesn’t have the same complexity or meaty flavors beef broth has, but it will get ya to where you need to go. The food network has a good recipe for chicken broth if you’re looking for a non-Instant Pot option.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup of chicken broth)
As with chicken broth, you can sub in turkey bone broth or turkey broth in place of the beef broth. Turkey broth doesn’t have the same complexity, but it is actually more savory than the chicken broth. It’s a great way to use up bones after making instant pot turkey, smoked turkey or smoked turkey wings.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup of turkey broth)
Vegetable broth is extremely easy to make at home, so it’s a great substitute for beef broth. To add a bit more depth to the flavor, throw in about 1 tsp. of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup of vegetable broth)
This makes a great vegan and vegetarian friendly broth. The NY Times has a great simple mushroom broth recipe to check out. It’s ready in only 15 minutes!
As with vegetable broth, to add a bit more depth to the flavor, throw in about 1 tsp. of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup mushroom broth)
As with the red wine reduction sauce used in our Individual Beef Wellington recipe (pictured below), adding wine to infuse flavor into a recipe works extremely well. If you find yourself without beef broth, grab a bottle of your favorite dry red wine instead.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup red wine)
CAN I USE WATER IN PLACE OF BEEF BROTH
You can absolutely use water, but you’ll need to add some seasonings to make up for the lack of it in the water. I’d use the same seasonings used in making homemade bone broth: thyme, bay leaves, black peppercorn and rosemary.
Ratio: 1 to 1 (1 cup of beef broth to 1 cup of water + Extra Seasonings)
OTHER BEEF BROTH SUBSTITUTES
If none of the above Beef Broth Substitutes calls out your name, here are some other ideas. Keep in mind the final flavor and texture will be altered as these are second-tier substitution recommendations. Start small and increase the amount after you’ve tasted. Adjust accordingly!
One of the best ways to add flavor and depth to a dish as it’s inexpensive, readily found at the grocery store and imparts an explosion of umami flavor. Start with 1 tbsp of soy sauce to 1 cup of water and go up from there.
Liquid Aminos is the vegetarian and keto equivalent to soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. This gluten free options adds deep flavor and color to whatever it’s added to. Start with 1 tbsp of Liquid Aminos to 1 cup of water and go up from there.
Another umami powerhouse to use as a beef broth substitute. As with soy sauce and liquid aminos, add a little, taste and adjust accordingly. Start with 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce to 1 cup of water and go up from there.
RECIPES WITH BEEF BROTH
If you’re sitting on a bath of beef broth and you’re not sure how to use it, here are some ideas!
- Instant Pot Roast Beef (Pictured above)
- Birria Recipes (Including Birria, Birria Ramen and Birria Tacos)
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff – (The above ideas make a great substitute for beef broth in stroganoff)
- Instant Pot Carnitas
- Soup recipes: Sancocho Dominicano, Irish Potato Soup, Jambalaya Soup, Pasta e Fagioli, Zuppa Toscana, and Olive Garden Minestrone soup
- Instant Pot Bean Recipes – Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Kidney Beans , and Instant Pot Pinto Beans
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Sous Vide Corned Beef