Chicken bouillon granules are popular in soups, casseroles, sauces, and other dishes.
They are usually made of dehydrated cooked chicken stock combined with salt, onion powder, yeast extract, and other seasonings.
A bouillon cube is a small tablet of compressed chicken bouillon granules.
However, bouillon granules are no longer restricted to chicken flavor.
Manufacturers offer all kinds of flavors such as beef, turkey, shrimp, and vegetable bouillon granules.
And if you’re like me, then you probably go through a lot of bouillon granules.
They’re a great way to add flavor to soups and stews without having to worry about measuring out spices.
However, they can be a little pricey, so I’ve been looking for some substitutes.
Here are the five best substitutes I’ve found so far.
What are Chicken Bouillon Granules?
Chicken bouillon granules are dehydrated chicken broth that is made into powder.
It is used as a flavoring agent in soups, stews, and gravies.
Chicken bouillon granules are also a great way to add flavor to rice or pasta dishes.
They are usually sold in small jars or canisters and stored in a cool, dry place for up to six months.
The flavor of chicken bouillon granules is fairly plain, so it can be used to enhance the flavor of other spices without interfering with or overpowering them.
It can be found in most grocery stores and is available online.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Chicken Bouillon Granules
If chicken bouillon granules are not readily available in your area, many other spices can be used as a substitute for added flavor.
Here are the five best substitutes for chicken bouillon granules:
1 – Canned Chicken Broth
Canned chicken broth is a great substitute if chicken bouillon granules are not available.
This broth has the same base ingredients as chicken bouillon granules and provides an added kick of flavor.
It can be found in any grocery store aisle.
They come in boxes, cans, or individual serving packages.
It’s always best to stick to the name brands when picking up a can of chicken broth.
This way, there is no need to worry about any discrepancy in taste or flavor.
Canned chicken broth is great for adding flavor to rice dishes and soups.
It can even be used as an ice cream topping.
2 – Italian Seasoning Mix
Italian seasoning is an easy way to add complex, robust flavor.
It usually includes basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, sage, and garlic powder.
It’s crucial to note that Italian seasoning contains salt.
So you might need to reduce the amount of salt when cooking your food with this addition in mind.
Italian seasoning is usually available in most grocery stores, but Italian seasoning mix can also be purchased online.
This will ensure that all the herbs are fresh and at their peak flavor when it gets to you.
3 – Other Stock
Using chicken, beef, or vegetable stock as a substitute for chicken bouillon granules is easy.
These three options are typically available in any grocery store aisle.
Each has its unique flavor and taste, so you’ll want to compare them to see which one best fits your dish.
The best stock to pick up will vary depending on the dish you are cooking.
For example, Italian dishes pair better with chicken or vegetable stock, while Asian-inspired dishes can benefit from beef stock.
It’s important to note that none of the stocks listed here contain any MSG (monosodium glutamate).
This is a flavor enhancer that has adverse side effects for people who are sensitive to it.
4 – Chicken Bouillon Cubes
Chicken bouillon cubes are an easy way to add flavor without having any adverse side effects.
These cubes are made from the same ingredients as chicken bouillon granules, but it’s shaped differently.
The best part is that these can be found in most grocery stores.
One thing to note with chicken bouillon cubes is that they tend to have a lot of salt.
So if you are cooking with this cube, it’s best to reduce or omit the salt completely.
When using chicken bouillon cubes, you may need to add more than what the recipe calls for.
Since these are smaller than granules, it is safer to assume that they impart less flavor than bouillon granules.
5 – Other Herbs
When chicken bouillon granules are not available, other herbs can add flavor.
This substitution can be a bit tricky, depending on the dish you’re cooking.
Here are some examples of when these substitutes may work best:
- Soup: rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, basil.
- Salad: thyme, parsley, oregano, marjoram.
- Sauce: basil, oregano, rosemary.
Keeping in mind these herbs is that they may not provide the desired taste.
It’s best to use these herb substitutes as a last resort.
And remember that if the taste is not perfect with these herb substitutes, you can always add a bit of salt to make it pop.
Chicken bouillon granules are high in sodium and MSG.
They’re also flavor enhancers that don’t provide any nutritional value for the ingredients they’re composed of.
But there are other options available to replace these bouillon granules, including Italian seasoning mix, stock, chicken bouillon cubes, low sodium chicken broth, and other herbs.
With these substitutes, you’ll be able to skip the MSG and add flavor without the unwanted sodium.