When you are in a pinch or just want a healthy chicken broth substitute this homemade Chicken Bouillon Powder is the ideal staple to keep in the pantry! It is easy to make, keeps for months, and has more flavor than store-bought stock. This easy vegan chicken bouillon recipe is also low carb, keto-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, low fat, and Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
Need a Chicken Broth Substitute? Make Easy Bouillon Powder
The first time I tried nutritional yeast I couldn't believe how much flavor it had and how much it tasted like chicken broth. It was uncanny! If you haven't tried it before you'll be pleasantly surprised with this homemade chicken bouillon substitute.
Over the last few weeks, I've been testing this natural chicken broth substitute in all the recipes I'd normally use bouillon paste or chicken broth. It works amazingly well!
Last night was one of those nights I was in the kitchen at 5 wondering what on earth I was going to cook for dinner. All of the meat in the house was frozen and my husband was stopping home to pick up a few of the kids for dental check-ups so he wouldn't be around to help. Thank God for the invention of the electric pressure cooker! I pulled out the Instant Pot, filled it with frozen chicken thighs, and turned to manual high for 15 minutes.
Then I sat down to nurse the toddler who promptly fell asleep on my lap. I heard the Instant Pot beep in the other room at some point but just stayed with my little one enjoying the time with my feet up while I did a little early Christmas shopping via Amazon.
When the baby woke up I took the chicken out of the Instant Pot, added some of this chicken broth powder to the cooking liquid, threw in some baby spinach, and then add back half the chicken (now shredded). The family had the choice between chicken soup and using the rest of the shredded chicken for tacos.
Considering all the soup had in it was cooked chicken, spinach, and this bouillon powder it was delicious. My husband raved about it.
For a heartier chicken soup than the one I threw together you must try this Whole30 Chicken Soup shown below.
Nutritional Yeast - This is absolutely the most important ingredient. Once you try it you will agree that it really tastes like chicken while being completely vegan.
Garlic Powder - Garlic powder or dried minced garlic work well in dry rubs and powdered pantry recipes.
Onion Powder - Onion powder or dried minced onion gives a nice onion flavor.
Dried Basil - Basil is my favorite herb and gives this a mildly sweet flavor.
Dried Oregano - Oregano is another good herb choice for chicken broth because it works well in many recipes.
Dried Rosemary - My family also enjoys rosemary so that is another of my herb choices. But you can change this up and use whichever dried herbs you enjoy. Other options are using a poultry blend, herbes de Provence, parsley, thyme, sage, or even tarragon.
Salt - Any type of salt with work. Kosher salt, pink salt, Himalayan salt, etc.
Black Pepper - Black pepper enhances the other flavors in the same way that salt does.
How to make Chicken Bouillon Powder from Scratch
Step One: To make bouillon powder you just need some herbs and seasonings, salt, and nutritional yeast. You add all of these to a food processor and blender and blend until you have a fine powder.
Step Two: Use in recipes that call for bouillon or hydrate with hot water and use in place of chicken broth.
Spice - For a spicy flavor add some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
Salt-free - You can use this to make a sodium-free bouillon. Just omit the salt.
How to make chicken broth with bouillon powder
Once you've made bouillon powder it just takes a few seconds to turn it into a broth. Simple stir some into hot water. The amount you will want will vary on how you are going to use the broth and your own taste buds. My first few tries at figuring out the ratio of powder to water made a broth that was way too salty. I cut back on the bouillon powder and it was perfect. This can replace bouillon cubes in all your recipes.
What is Nutritional Yeast?
Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is sold commercially as a food product. It is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. Wikipedia
Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. My mom is a vegetarian and can have trouble getting enough protein in. This is an easy way she can add a little non-animal protein to her foods. It is widely used in vegan cooking because of it's cheesy, chicken like flavor.
What herbs for Chicken Soup and Chicken Broth?
There are dozens of common herbs that taste nice in a chicken broth. You'll find Rosemary Chicken Soup, Tarragon Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup with Thyme, and dozens of other recipes if you search for them. I used three of my family's favorite herbs in this chicken broth substitute: rosemary, oregano, and basil. These are all found easily in any grocery store and are generally inexpensive. They give a nice herby taste to the broth when you make it.
How Can I Use Chicken Broth Powder?
You can use it to add a flavor similar to cream of chicken soup to casseroles. When I make casseroles such as my Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole and Keto Green Bean Casserole I use a combination of cream cheese, mayo, sour cream, and/or Greek yogurt for a creamy texture. Adding this powdered bouillon to that combo will mimic a canned cream-of-type soup without the need of a bouillon cube.
Obviously, you can also add this to water and make broth. Then you can use it in your favorite soups such as:
Can I make vegetable bouillon powder with this recipe?
Sure. For a vegetable flavor just sub in dehydrated vegetables for the nutritional yeast.
Can I make beef bouillon powder with this recipe?
I've tested this with dried mushrooms to try to replicate a beef flavor but was not successful. If you find a way to make this taste like beef please let me know!
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- 2 cups nutritional yeast
- ⅓ cup salt ***
- ¼ cup garlic powder
- ¼ cup onion powder
- ¼ cup dried basil
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- ¼ cup dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoon pepper
- Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until it is a fine powder.
- To make broth: use 1 tablespoon bouillon powder per 8 oz hot water
Originally Published November 26, 2018. Revised and Republished May 19, 2023.
Helene Berg says
I thought chicken broth had to have some kind of dehydrated chicken in it. I've been buying chicken broth, beef broth and vegee broth for years. I now make my own vegee broth but the ingredients are similar to your chicken broth recipe. I'm a tad confused.
Nutritional yeast tastes like chicken. It is often used in vegan recipes. My family enjoys this in place of chicken broth.
Does this make more of a vegetable stock or does it work as chicken bouillon?
It tastes like chicken bouillon.
Really would like some help with this…. I have been asking everyone I come across….no one has offered any suggestions… I got covid 3 yrs ago and haven’t been able to do garlic and onions… can’t stand the smell or the taste…. I also have the same issue with chicken…. I was excited to see this … thought about trying it with tofu ( it’s how I get around the chicken dilemma….) What spice can I use in place of the garlic and onion and not lose any flavor? Learning to cook all over again without these two things being in darn near EVERY recipe is hard. I hope someone can help me!!! TIA!
You can just double up on the herbs. I have a friend who can't use either and she uses a lot of herbs. You could also try smoked paprika. It has a nice smoky flavor that would work in many dished.
Donna Voets says
This recipe is Genius ….I made the chicken and also made a batch of beef using as suggested ground dried mushrooms…..both perfection!!!! Thank you
Is your Homemade Chicken Bouillon shelf stable?
To answer my own question (I re-read the article), Yes it is shelf stable.
Frances Mueller says
What is the sodium mg?
The complete nutrition facts are at the bottom of the recipe card. Sodium: 591.1mg
I made this mix and it has been my go to ever since. My son in law does the cooking in his family so I make double batches because he specifically asks for this . Quick and easy and most important, it is GOOD!