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.
Floyce Cleghorn says
Did some one post the recipe using the amount of each ingredient. All I have found is thet the list of ingredients of the spices/herbs not the amount of each or how much this makes. I am so interested in the Ramen noodle ingredients in the little packets with the noodles. I would like to can some but don't know how much of each ingredient to add to a quart/pint. I would appreciate any help. Thanks to all.
The complete instructions are in the recipe card under the photos. You can also just click 'jump to recipe' at the top of the page.
Love it! I use this in place of all powdered bouillon and anytime I’m making vegetarian dishes!
How long does this last ?
Indefinitely. I had a big jar for over a year. Just check the dates on your nutritional yeast and spices.
I made a bunch of spice mixtures, including this one, for my kids for Christmas. They love it and are already asking for more, and it’s only February!
I’m a lifelong vegetarian and have always used McKays Chicken Seasoning (not chicken based). But, there are ingredients in the mix I don’t like. Having a homemade version is so nice!
Donna V. says
I am so excited about this recipe , I won’t buy premade at the store because of the ingredients …Thank you so much for coming up with the recipe its so appreciated ..
I adjusted the portion down to try it and converted cups to tablespoons but mine came out super peppery. Full of flavor but a little overwhelming. Maybe I ran my conversions wrong! I diluted with water and it mellowed some but next batch I will adjust the pepper and until then I’ll use a little less per cup and see. I also used white pepper because it would grind easier so maybe that was it. I substituted this for the flavor packet in making ramen (balance, right?) and it did a better job than stock in a box. I think I will gift some to my mom for Christmas as she still uses store bullion because she likes how it works even though she doesn’t love the ingredients. Thank you!!
Stop derailing Recipe Writer's Recipes says
This is actually why you should always try someone else's recipe *exactly* the way it was written. You cant properly taste anything if you change what the original writer composed.
White pepper is never an equal substitute. It's bouquet works entirely different than black pepper. If you try the original and follow the directions exactly (if it says 1/4 Cup, use a 1/4 Cup) - and the same with what the ingredients are, only then will you experience what the writer experiences with the flavor.
Remember though - this recipe is written by the writer's taste. If you come around and make this correct way and still have a problem, that is not the issue on the writer. The issue is you prefer things much different than the writer. So, it will not make it wrong.
This recipe is great, nice to have the measurements, however, nutritional yeast likely is not gluten free unless certified as such because it could be made from Barley or contaminated with Barley. I substitute Organic Bone broth powder to avoid the gluten for my #2 child, FYI for Celiacs. It may taste a bit different but tasty none the less.
Sarah A says
If a recipe calls for 12 cubes of bullion how many tablespoons of this would I use?
I would start with 6 tablespoons and then taste it. You can add more to taste.
The flavor is great. Do you have trouble with it dissolving? When I just make a broth I get a lot of settling in the bottom
Did you grind it in a food processor? That can help it dissolve more easily.
Michelle Cali says
I’m confused why this is called a chicken bullion powder if there’s no chicken? It wouldn’t even taste like chicken. Why not just call it vegetable bouillon powder?
Please read my blog post. The crazy thing is it DOES taste like chicken. Nutritional yeast tastes like chicken.
I have gastroparesis and some other GI issues that we haven't figured out yet. But this broth has become a lifesaver when I'm in a flare-up. I like to add some neutral flavored quinoa and pea protein powder to the mix, for some added nutrition. It's savory and a nice change from meal replacement shakes when my stomach is too sensitive for solid foods. It also smells absolutely delicious when I use it as a soup base.
This has become a staple in my home. Thank you so much!
Pat Higginbotham says
First time commenting ,I have all the ingredients and will be using this . I read in an older comment that you might try a beef bouillon powder ,is it still in the works?
Yes, I have a bag of dried mushrooms in my pantry to give it a go. 🙂
If anyone wants to try you would just sub in dried shiitake mushrooms for the nutritional yeast. Mushrooms have a beefy flavor and are used in many vegan recipes for that purpose.
Claudette Allred says
So there is no chicken broth with this recipe ? I haven’t made it yet as I have never heard f that type of yeast. Thanks
Nope. It's vegetarian.
Amanda Finks says
So flavorful! And, so many great ways to use it!
This recipe is genius! I never use the store-bought chicken bullion because of all of the additives and with this seasoning, I was able to achieve the same flavor in a much healthier way. Great for vegans too!
Marti K. says
Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! ❤️
I just ordered the Nutritional Yeast from … wait for it… WALMART! Yes, I did! They have a sale right now for a 16oz pouch for around $12 and of course I had to order two bags! I’ll run out of chicken bullion when I’m 80 something! 😂😂
I’m so looking forward to making this for my husband and I.
I’ll give you an update after I make it and give it a try in the next couple weeks!
Again, thank you for sharing this recipe! ❤️
patricia mcnalley says
How can this be chicken bouillon without some sort of chicken? I dont understand. Lol please explain it to me.
Nutritional yeast tastes like chicken. I talk about this in the blog post 🙂
Denise Sanders-Powell says
What type of yeast it said nutritional yeast is that different than your quick or rapid yeast
Yes, it is a completely different product. This explains it well: https://www.loveandlemons.com/nutritional-yeast/
Stan Quick says
I am on a low sodium diet. I eliminate salt in my mixes and add to taste, as necessary, in the final preparation. I have gotten used to the diet but others like more salt.
That should be fine in this recipe.
I made this because I could not find a good product for my husbands low sodium diet. I just adjusted the salt. It’s perfect. I will definitely make a batch for my daughters. I put this on veggies and chicken that are roasting on a sheet pan as well as in soups. Also I sprinkle some in my scrambled eggs before I cook them. Yum….with the benefits of the B vitamins from the nutritional yeast. Thank you!😃
JoAnn Swope says
Can you leaves out the yeast or switch for something else
No, that is the main ingredient. It is what gives it a chicken flavor.